“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” -Rumi
Is it bad luck or bad timing? Are there too many men who are commitment phobic or emotionally unavailable? Is the competition too fierce? Could it be that you’re not really that interested nor have the time for a relationship? For the record, if you truly desire being unattached, more power to you. It is entirely up to you as long as you’re being honest with yourself.
There are many possible reasons for being single. However, as a dating coach, I see familiar patterns. Here are some common barriers to finding your dream man:
You think you have a type: I wrote about the “convenient and safe love" earlier this year so I won’t deep dive again. Basically, what looks good on paper has nothing to do with the qualities essential in a successful relationship. Research has shown that the predictor of long-term success depends more on one’s attachment style, conflict resolution abilities and shared values. In fact, conflict resolution ability or the lack thereof, is a high predictor of divorce, with about 90% accuracy. What does this mean for you? Well, it’s nice to have qualities that you desire in a mate that looks good on paper, but if you are truly interested in cultivating a successful, long-term relationship, do think twice about the attributes on your list. As we discussed, keep asking “why” questions – why do you need a specific quality in your potential mate? – in order to get to the source of your motivation.
Daddy’s little princess syndrome: Did your dad treat you like a princess growing up? Perhaps he still treats you this way as a grown adult. Can you do no wrong in his eyes? Will he always take care of your problems? Typically, women may want to marry someone who reminds them of their dad and men may want to marry someone similar to their mom. There is more to this than meets the eye. What we actually crave is that which is familiar emotionally to us, not so much the exact replica of our parents. If your dad pampered you and treated you like his princess who could do no wrong, then, frankly, your dad did you a disservice. Yes, parents should love their children unconditionally. However, raising kids to become healthy adults means setting boundaries, showing limitations and teaching kids the consequences of their behavior. Otherwise, we grow up feeling entitled and believe that what we think we deserve is owed to us. We don’t learn how to work for the things we want. In reality, great relationships require a whole lot of work, effort, and commitment. As great as you are, you will only get back in return as much as you invest in your relationship.
Career driven mentality: There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and career driven. More power to women who have to work twice as hard as men to get noticed in the corporate world (oops, I mean in every world) while receiving 75 cents to a man’s dollar. Yes, women are amazing; hats off to you. However, what works in the boardroom does not necessarily work in the bedroom. There’s a reason aggressive bossy tactics are not working with your man. No one wants to come home to a demanding woman. Men prefer coming home to peace, relaxation and comfort. They, like us, want to be rewarded after a hard day at the office and to feel appreciated at home. Appreciation goes both ways, always. Get over the need to constantly prove your worth. Let your guard down and be your caring self. You won’t be seen as less than or weak because you show your vulnerability and reveal what’s on the inside, the stuff that matters. It’s quite the opposite, you become more endearing when you let your guard down and are just the real you.
You compare everyone to the one that got away/your ex: No man wants to be compared to or be reminded of someone from your past. Men are fiercely competitive individually and as a group. We all have a past but if you are still living there, then you are missing out on what is in front of you. If you’re still pinning for the ex who broke your heart or the one who “got away” and you don’t understand why he left, it’s time to leave them in your past. Let it go! Those relationships did not work out for a reason. Why are you holding onto something that wasn’t supposed to be? Trust that “what’s yours will never miss you and what misses you was never yours.” Let go and be fully present and excited for your future. Living your best life starts with acceptance of what is and then taking appropriate action toward creating a life that you desire. Don’t block your blessing by holding on to what could have been. It’s done. Move on. Start living your life now.
Victim mentality: Do you get together with your girlfriends and gab about who did what to you and how dare they? Do you complain about your co-worker who gets under your skin, a family member who disrespected you, or a past boyfriend who broke your heart or who did something so hurtful that you’re now dreaming of revenge? Are you negative about your life in general? Do you hold on to the energy of “if only this was better, I would be happy?” I have news for you. Life is not what happens to you, but rather how you respond to what happens to you. Yes, bad things can happen to good people; unfortunately, that is part of reality. Potential partners are attracted to people who are happy with themselves; people who are the drivers of their own lives; people who feel grateful for their experiences and take ownership of the good, the ugly and the bad. An attractive person owns and lives their life. If you’re struggling because you feel disappointed in you or because your life’s blueprint is not matching up to your vision of what your life should look like, you can change your blueprint. It is literally that simple. Let go of what you think should be and accept what is. Start fresh, today. Take back your power and shift your perspective by making small, actionable and strategic steps toward living the life you deserve. Even better, work with a coach who can support you, keep you accountable and provide an effective strategy for success.
Too many cooks in the kitchen: We need our girlfriends. They are our strongest allies and our biggest champions. However, you don’t need to run every dating scenario with your friends, family, colleagues, pets and neighbors. They don’t know what’s right for you, only you do. Remember that everyone’s views on life and love look different from your perspective because we don’t have the same parents, childhood experiences and relationships to draw from. Got that? You have to learn to trust your gut and make decisions based on what you truly feel is right for you. You’re not perfect, no one is. Some of your decisions may end up being a “mistake” but that that’s okay. We learn and grow in times of challenge. And growth is always a good thing. Don’t let the fear of making a mistake or of not knowing how to do everything perfectly hold you back from living your best life. On a side note, it’s a good idea to have a select few “trusted advisors” who are wise, experienced and objective. In matters of the heart, often we only see what we want to see. So, do keep a few close friends nearby but make sure they have earned their right to be in your “inner circle.” Not everyone we meet will have our best interest at heart. It is a valuable discernment we must learn in life.
P.S. Share this with anyone who welcomes a fresh perspective and a strategic approach to dating successfully.
P.P.S. Working with a coach is one of the best investments you’ll make. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.