Are you single, feeling lonely, and constantly trolling dating apps?
Are you wanting to find someone, but don’t seem to have any luck?
So you’re single. By now, you have already downloaded several dating apps onto your phone, spent hours composing the perfect self-description for your dating profile – be it witty, serious, or straight up. Selected and changed your pictures to ensure you promote your best self, maybe even deleted the apps at some point because they weren’t for you, only to find yourself re-installing them a week later. All whilst sitting alone in front of your TV on a Friday night. Perhaps you’ve also had a couple of texting conversations with a dating interest or been on a few initial dates.
Do you do all of this, but eventually seem to end up back at square one?
No matter what you do or try to do differently from the last time around, you’re back to where you started. Doubt may be setting in. “Did I say something wrong? Was I too harsh?”, “Should I show more interest?”, or “Maybe I should send a follow up text or call.” You start to compare yourself to others who have been successful finding love – “They seem so happy now that they’ve met the love of their life… from another continent…what were the odds?”.
Life can often feel hard, and leave you wondering when your turn will come.
Is there Something Wrong with Me?
You may have started to identify all the things that could be wrong with you. What are you meant to do about them? What would life look like for you if you were to remain stuck in this pattern of frustration, blame and self-doubt?
Many of us seek out romantic relationships because it seems like that’s what we are meant to do, or its seen to be ‘normal’. However, interestingly enough, despite pressures to ‘find the right partner’, 72% of Tinder users have purposely chosen to be single for a time in their life, with 81% of users agreeing that being single had benefits that ran beyond being in a romantic relationship (2019).
If you’ve been using dating apps as your primary source of meeting someone, you’re not alone. Online dating is the second most preferred way to meet a potential partner behind meeting through family and friends. Being single is linked to a greater sense of independence, compared to being in a relationship.
Did you know that 50% of women and 44% of men report being worried they’d lose their independence when entering a relationship (2019)?
So what can I do, you ask?
It may have been months, or years since your search for the perfect partner began and you still haven’t found anyone who’s come close. Getting nowhere in the dating world may be making you feel restless and hopeless. But how can you give up now? You’re at an age where you ‘should’ be settling down. Your high school friends are married, some with kids. Your worst fear is being alone, forever.
Transform the Relationship you have with Yourself
- Take some time to consider your reasons for finding love – is it what you want, or are you succumbing to the social or cultural pressures that ‘at your age, you should be settling down’?
- Is finding love taking up a significant amount of your time and energy? Is there something equally valuable you could invest your time into, like catching up with friends, or taking up a new hobby?
- If you’re feeling stuck, write down some of the perks of being single, and perks of being you! How can you make the most of your life today, as it stands without too much focus on trying to find ‘the one?’
Focus on You
So, rather than waiting for that special someone to magically swoop in and change your life with oodles of sunshine and love, turn the focus towards you and think about how you can make your own life more meaningful with what you already have. Note all of your ideas down.
Now the hard part, make your wonderful ideas into a reality. It will really make you re-evaluate yourself, your life, and help you see that being in a relationship is not necessarily the only answer to being happy. Spend some time on you!
Written By Rebecca Deane – Clinical Psychologist – www.creatingchange.net.au