Why Can’t This Be Love

Relationships are hard, if someone tells you differently then they are either single or delusional. Okay, that is a strong statement but nonetheless true. Relationships involve more people than just yourself and lining up all of those likes/dislikes, routines, and habits is difficult. What is even harder, sometimes, is finding someone to get to that point with. It takes focus and commitment to make either of those work. And… you need to know yourself.

Keeping that in mind, let’s not focus on the commitment aspect, as the idea of a relationship should be more about what everyone wants – together – than some storybook, cookie cutter version. You need to know who you are and what you want from others before you can even begin to entertain what others would want from you.

Let’s look at six important questions to ask yourself about why you are still single or not finding the people that are right for you.

Why am I still single?

There is one recurring thing I hear or get asked about, thanks to my blog. Why am I still single or why cant I seem to meet a decent guy? What is confusing to most people is that they already have the answer as to why that is, they just haven’t looked at themselves enough to see it. That sounds a bit accusatory, but it doesn’t negate the fact. In order to know what we want out of anything, we have to actually know ourselves.

What does that mean?

If you were asked what your favorite food is, you would probably immediately be able to tell someone the answer without thinking. If you were asked why you didnt like a particular thing, again that answer would come without much thought. The opposite tends to come when you are asked what you want out of a person or a relationship. Most would say they want someone they love or trust. They want to be happy and feel safe. They want something that they can grow as a partnership or just to not be alone. Vague terms in comparison to the other questions.

Start with asking yourself some of the basics. What kind of relationship do you want? Should it be more traditional or modern? Do you want monogamy or a more open style interaction? Or simply start with, do you want a relationship or something more casual. Starting there gives you the foundation to look at the harder questions like, what kind of person do you want to date? What values are important to you or less important?

An everlasting love

First, it is important to note that everyone’s idea of what a relationship is or is not is as different as the people thinking about them. For the most part, we all come from some common thoughts of what they are. Fairytales are our first encounters with relationships outside of our family dynamic. Sadly, fairy tales, in all of the storybook splendor, are outdated, unrealistic, and typically written from a cis-gender male perspective of what love and an obedient partner should be about. I am not saying throw away all of your Disney movies just yet, only be able to recognize they are not the maps for our lives. All that being said, do not let anyone dictate to you what your ‘everlasting love’ should be like.

History note – The idea of marriage is believed to have started around 2350 BC. At that time, its primary function was to bind a woman to a man so that it could be proven that his children were his heirs. By the time ancient Greeks got their hands on  the idea, the fathers of young women would simply hand them over to a suitor with the words “I pledge my daughter for the purpose of producing legitimate offspring.” It essentially put women into servitude to men with the purpose of procreating. Men were still allowed to sleep around without any thought being given to it. It creates a legally binding indentured servitude model for how a relationship should work.

Wow… that kind of puts marriage in a different light. 

Perhaps your idea of a relationship involves other people. That presents its own dynamic to consider. Have you tried this out or is it something you have only thought about? You need to know if there are going to be triggers, for you, in that kind of a setting. If you see your partner(s) with others, do you go to a place of jealousy or are you okay with it? What, if any, limits do you want to put on it?

Or, maybe you don’t want anything long term, maybe you prefer to date around and sample the world’s flavors. Look deeper into that. Does the idea of a long string of people you have dated or continue to see a fulfilling idea or does the thought of it leave you wondering where your happy ending is?

The point here is, take some time and think about what you want out of a relationship and the people involved.


Get the party started

So you have taken some time to do a deep dive into who you are, what you want, and the kind of relationship you are seeking. Now you decide to get your feet wet by jumping in. Maybe, by this point, you have already started looking and/or dating. You posted your profile on, insert dating app preference here, and have chatted some people up. Are you getting what you want out of it? Have you met anyone or anyone that you want to see again?

If you answered no, maybe, or you are unsure, then guess what I have some more help for you. Let’s look at six questions to help you dive deeper into what you want and how to get it.

1. Are you clear on what you want?

This is a two part question and needs some good consideration. Let’s break it down.

  1. Are you clear with what you want from yourself? This was mentioned above but it is not a one and done thing. Take some time and ask yourself what is it you are truly looking for. Write it down. Sure, you will probably start listing a bunch of physical traits, eye color, heights, maybe even body type issues. Go beyond that. What qualities, in a person, are you looking for? Do you want monogamy or something more fluid and modern? What are some issues you faced in past relationships? Truly take some time to consider what you have experienced and if that is something you want to continue or change. Saved the list and revisit it over time.
  2. Are you clear about what you want from the other person? Boundaries are a must and if you prefer a more casual relationship, they are even more important. Your likes/dislikes. Type of relationship you are wanting and will it be exclusive. No matter what you think of you need to let them know, upfront. Stay away from lines like “I’m just looking to have some fun right now,” or “Let’s see what happens.” These are signs you dont know what you want and probably are not sure how to get there. Communication is the foundation of any kind of a relationship. Use it to your advantage and be honest. 

2. Do you focus on the idea more than the person?

You are probably wondering what this even means, so let’s break it down. We have all sat around and fantasized about what our perfect relationship will be like. The bigger issue is that ideal carries over to anyone we meet and we use it as a rule to measure them by. More often than not, we are disappointed and cut them out of our lives. Maybe they are too serious in comparison to you, or age could be a factor, or they don’t like the same superhero universe as you do.

If you keep getting frustrated because the people you meet aren’t stacking up or the relationship you start is in another fairy glen than you expected, maybe it is time to rethink what you want. Newsflash here, no one person is ever going to be the perfect person, you just have to remember that they don’t need to be perfect to have a great relationship. After all, you have flaws, as well. Set those thoughts aside and focus on getting to know the person and let that be the foundation of whatever evolves out of it.

3. Is your relationship a power dynamic?

It is almost a guarantee that in every relationship, one person will be more invested than the other. That sounds a bit negative, but it honestly isnt. Its just the nature of things. Your friends aren’t as passionate about your love of the Twilight Saga as you are and that is okay. Maybe one of you is the one that constantly makes the plans or seems to chase the other more. All the while, the other is just happy enough to be there, like that dog with his tongue hanging out of the car window. That is okay too.

But what if you are the one constantly on that side of being the emotionally invested one and the other seems to play hard to get. Again, this is probably a good time to pull out that list and go over your wants and desires again. If you are the one who always pursues the other person, stop and see if the guy shows anything back to you. Maybe your meetings are always physical, try changing the situations a bit. Meet up with friends or go to an event. How do they react then? This works the other way, also. If you are the one that keeps their distance, switch it up and do the chasing.

Remember this key piece of information. If you are not feeling the situation, be honest about it. Tell them that it isn’t working, for whatever reason. Reset, rethink, and repeat.

4. Do you confuse lust and love?

We are all guilty of this or will be at some point. You meet someone, it ends up in a bed, and you have some amazing sex. You wake up the next morning, before them, and looking at them in a post-coital bliss, you think you are in love. It happens, but slow it down and look at the whole picture.

Remember that you will spend more time out of the bedroom than in. Granted spending the night blowing your mind and/or the other person is amazing, but you won’t really learn if you are both compatible or not. What else do you have in common? Can you both hold a conversation? Do you really want to know more about this person laying naked in your bed?

If you can’t answer yes to these, then you have probably found the perfect fuckbuddy or maybe a FWB. Yes, there is a difference, you cant have a FWB if they aren’t friends. There are worse things to have in life. Maybe this leads you to knowing this is actually what you really want.

5. Are you obsessing about your ideals?

We all get laser focused over things we want. This becomes even more true when we look around and see our friends and strangers falling in love without any perceived effort. It leaves us wondering what we are doing wrong. Why can’t we seem to have the Instagram filtered version of happiness like all the others?

First off, stop comparing yourself to other people, this is never helpful. The biggest reason why is you don’t know what is actually going on with them.You are looking in on them from afar. Think of it like a Monet painting… it looks great from afar but when you get close, you see the impressionistic style that makes up the painting. All of the brushstrokes get confusing.

Even worse, that vision you have of what their relationship is pushes you to find that person ASAP and that kicks in our desperation mode. Our senses turn off and we don’t see the problems coming at us. Slow down, your relationship doesn’t have an expiration date. Author’s note: I had been single since 2003 and thought I would never find another relationship. At 47, I found someone who clicks with me in ways I wasn’t looking for and turned out to be one of the healthiest relationships I have ever had. Time is not a factor.

6. Is the grass greener on the other side?

We all know this well enough. We meet someone but we dont remove our profiles from dating sites, we still talk to people on the Book of Face, and other places. In the back of our mind, we rationalize it by saying “What if this doesn’t work out?” Or maybe you are still thinking, is this the right one? So you keep your options open. Not fully committing to the situation or person you are involved with is fraught with disaster.

Slow your roll a minute. No one is saying that you need to switch to exclusivity mode every time you go out on a date. That is ridiculous and is directly related to number 5 above. But, at some point you can’t keep dropping into the DMs of your next door neighbor, for some late night sexual healing, if you are seeing someone.

So when is the right time to delete those hookup apps, stop flirting with others, and talk about a type of commitment? When you both have discussed it openly and honestly. Once you talk about your feelings, wants, and where this is heading you will know their feelings and if this is the right place to focus your combined efforts.

You’re still the one

Two or more people coming together to share a life is never easy. It takes patience and communication to be able to lay the groundwork for something that is meaningful and able to grow. But to get there, it requires knowing yourself and your wants. Pushing something that just isn’t right will lead to problems, let those relationships cultivate and grow with the proper mixture of time and work. Remember, you are in a relationship with yourself first, there is nothing wrong with being single. This allows you to see what you like and don’t like, want or don’t want and grow those ideals. Most importantly is to look at what a relationship means to you and questions where those ideals came from. Maybe what you need is a different way of looking at something we all think we know so well.

What about you? What does a relationship mean to you? Are you still worried about being single? What traits have become more important to you as you have aged and dated? Let me know in the comments below. After all, your information could be key in helping someone else along in their journey to happiness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.