Thought Catalog

How To Stay Single Forever

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Have issues. Like a lot of them. They’re the kind of issues you’re aware of but don’t know how to fix. They just sit there, ruining your life and preventing it from moving forward. You want to scream “Stop! Get out of my life, Issues!” but they aren’t having any of it. The Issues have taken residency in your body and aren’t leaving until a therapist or Lithium forces them out.

Admit to yourself that your love life has been kind of a wash. You can say it. It’s true. You can’t say you’re surprised. In fact, you always feared this would happen. You knew everything else would come easy to you. A job and lots of friends were a given for your personality. But love. Hmm, that’s trickier. That’s where your issues lie, that’s where you switch from being normal to a homegirl with some emotional probs.

Your issues act as bodyguards for your heart. They circle it day and night keeping a close watch for any potential suitors. If they see someone getting closer, they start chasing it away. So far, they’ve seem to done quite a good job. People have been chased away and you’ve remained a solo star. Maybe your issues will even get a bonus this year for all their hard work.

You’re fucked. There are many ways for you to get un-fucked but you’re not sure if you’ll be able to do any of them. You see, you complain about being single but then when someone displays any interest, you retreat immediately. You run under the covers and ask if the big scary ghost man (aka your crush) is gone. A few days later, you’ll be back to whining, “WHY AREN’T I IN A RELATIONSHIP?” The worst part of all this is that you know this is screwed up, you know you’re an idiot, but hi, issues. Have you met?

You need to get to a place where watching TV alone in bed doesn’t provide you with such a sense of relief. You need to get to a point where being by yourself isn’t your idea of a great time. Being most at ease when you’re eating a microwavable burrito and watching Netflix Instant is so #dark and not who you are at all. So snap out of it!

“Taking it easy” one night could turn into three years and then ten years and then forever. Before you know it, you’ve been taking it easy all the nights of your life and have avoided any social situations that could’ve changed your life. Want to stay single forever? Be scared every single day of your life. Fear will do the job. That’s all it takes. It’s as easy as 1, 2, I’M TERRIFIED, GET OFF ME! TC mark

image – flickriver
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  • Poonam

    Ryan, get out of my head. This is my present train of thought, word for word. #dark

  • Sophia

    The very real prospect of being a lonely old woman with 27 cats is enough to scare me out of my house into social settings.

  • Jamie ❤ 。◕

    I’m sorry but this is pretty retarded. There are ways to stay single and it doesn’t require you to have that sort of attitude towards your own issues.

    Were you recently rejected by someone who wanted to be single forever? lol

    • Ryan O'Connell

      hi beb

      these are my issues, my experiences. just like every how-to has ever been in the history of how-to-dom. of course this doesnt encompass the whole experience of being single.

  • Anonymous

    wow. this just scared me into going out tonight.

  • PerspicuousJ

    If I read one more thing on TC in which the author uses second person pronouns throughout the entire piece when he or she is describing his or her own specific personal experiences, I will vomit.

    • Rockandrollme2003


    • Jordan

      Yeah, you’d think that after the hundredth of these, we’d have moved on by now.

  • Brian McElmurry

    I enjoyed this. :-)

  • Caroline Bottger

    Oh, I really liked it. It explains my life even when I’m in a relationship.

  • Ryan Peterson

    This is my life…

  • Abby

    Oh my god, my life. When I go out, I wish I was in bed watching Netflix by myself. I think I should just stop my subscription. Netflix Instant Play is a life-ruiner.

  • Mr Shankly

    Normally I love your articles, Ryan, but this one seemed a bit off for me. The content seemed only vaguely based upon the title, erring more towards some kind of contrived motivational monologue. 

    You shouldn’t encourage people to relate problems finding a relationship to any ‘issues’ they might have. It’s an excuse, it promotes self pity, and, in a way, it kind of negates any more debilitating issues that other people might have. It also endorses the viewpoint that people should have to change themselves to find a partner. Yeah, you should be comfortable emotionally before entering a relationship, but still…

    Furthermore, towards the end you seem to be suggesting that people ‘snap out’ of social anxiety. Maybe I’ve misinterpreted what you were trying to say, but I don’t see how that suggestion’s gonna help anyone.

    Ah, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t get it because I’m a guy. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in a relationship. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’m really really super cool. Yeeeaaah.

    • Mr Shankly

      Also, ‘Be scared every single day of your life’. Nice, man. I see what you did there.

  • SparkerPants

    Oh god. Too close to home. 

  • ryan chang

    this rules hard

  • ryan chang

    this rules hard

  • Frida

    The last 3 paragraphs are really hard-hitting.

    I guess it’s just easier to keep wishing for something to happen, while you’re laying in bed watching TV at 2am, saying that tomorrow will be the day you finally do something.

    I don’t know if tomorrow will come soon enough for me.

  • Judger

    I hate a lot of the trite shit that’s been popping up on here more and more lately, and I think this is very well-done and hard-hitting. The second person thing is a stylistic choice, not a symptom of an inability to write. Hard to read but great.


    perhaps i’ll go out tonight.
    thank you, ryan.

  • Holly

    thank you for the kick in the pants, Ryan.

  • Anonymous

    What’s worse is being approached by guys or my guy friends pointing out that I don’t let anyone close enough to let them in.  The moment I feel like they’re getting too close I can feel my damaged self saying they wont be able to handle it.  And I’m not saying this because this is my opinion or what I think, my ex can vouch for this.

  • Brooklyn

    You just described my life.  I noticed you do that a lot! You’re awesome Ryan =)

  • zorbing

    I think what you’re describing towards the end is often actually social anxiety, mild depression, whatever else, and is not something you can just “snap out of, silly”. If you consistently don’t genuinely enjoy spending time with others or with your partner no matter how much effort you put into it, then something might just actually be wrong, brain chemistry wise, and implying that it’s all your fault for letting yourself be this was is a little skewed if you ask me.

    • Megan

      I don’t think he was implying that it’s all your fault. He seemed to be saying that you just can’t help it, even though you know these issues are there

    • ChillPill

      relax please. you’re entirely missing the point. :) press the back button, no one wants to be at

  • valtameri

    Oh my word, have you been stalking me?

  • omgzzz

    OK, now please do us the favor of writing an article that suggests a remedy to this seemingly pervasive issue!

  • Anonymous

  • guest

    As I was reading this, I kept thinking “yes, this is me!” and “omg, I do that!”

    …just to get to the end and realize there are no suggested solutions to this issue.  Help!

    • wtfiswrongwithpeople

      OMG the solutions are so obvious! Just get out of your comfort zone and meet people, don’t be afraid to screw up, work out your issues and stop making excuses when people ask you to go out. 

      If no one asks you out, like you’re so sad you don’t have friends or siblings or colleagues, classmates, OMG you are so anti-social, then go sign up for some classes for things you could possibly do, find a forum, go to a con, a club (dance or like a bookclub or some nonsense), get another job…I duno…prominent bloggers usually do those meet-up stuff. I’m sure you can attend one. 

      Unless you stay on an island and like…it’s so hard to travel anywhere…–> FORUM. Make friends on youtube…make friends on thoughtcatalog. 

      Just get out of the house yeah. All that internet bullshit. There are so many other people out there not being lonely or single and still have time for the internet. If you’re not sleeping much anyway, what’s a few hours out of the internet? 

      • wtfiswrongwithpeople

        And to all those people with social anxiety, go see a shrink or talk to people unless you’re happily single (and some people without social anxiety/depression/all those issues can be happily single too), just be happily single. There is nothing wrong with being happily single. 

        Of course the world is not all perfect and rainbows but if you’re NOT happy being single ==> don’t stay scared of relationships because that’s just one nice excuse. And I’m sure those unhappily single who want to wallow in their excuses cannot see the point but it’s ok, people want to help more than harm. Zzz…

  • maeve

    whatever, microwave burritos are good.

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