Valentine's Day forced me to ask myself: why have I remained single for so long? No matter who you are, dating and meeting interesting people is a challenge. Maybe this is why dating is so intriguing.
There are legitimate reasons for not dating (for example, you've been hurt physically or mentally and you need to learn to trust again) or excuses such as "I'm working on my career," even though you're not really working on your career.
I recently pondered the reasons I'm single and wondered: Am I clinging to these reasons as excuses to keep me from taking on the challenge of dating, and to feed my fear of rejection? Here are some of those reasons:
I'm "Unique" and Tough to Get Along With
Maybe I have strange interests and I'm not a "mainstream" kind of guy, so the number of women that connect with me is limited. I'm not always eager to compromise. I fear I'm turning into the reclusive artist type, enjoying solitude and reveling in bitterness.
I Value My Independence
I enjoy being able to do what I want, whenever I want. I'm bad enough budgeting my own time, so being aware of someone else's time in addition to mine seems daunting.
My Last Relationship Scared Me
My Parents' Split Scared Me
When my parents split up when I was 8, it took a big piece out of me. Every year I wonder if I'm over it, or if I'm still damaged from the trauma.
I've Got Issues with Sex
In fact, I was told by a professional to see a sex therapist. I have never enjoyed sex; I'm worried that I'm not satisfying my partner, or that I'll do something wrong.
I Haven't Met the Right Girl
I'm like Simon on American Idol: always finding something in someone to annoy me. I am rarely intrigued by a girl these days. But perhaps I'm too picky, and I'm judging too quickly. My one female friend tells me that she thinks I'm staying out of the game because I don't want drama in my life. Trust me, I'm capable of creating enough drama on my own so perhaps she's right that I can't handle more. She says the "drama-free" girl is out there, and that's when I'm going to give things a shot.
Kids Scare Me
I've learned about child rearing since my nieces were born. Right now, I have it great: I'm cool uncle and I don't have to do any serious parenting stuff. And sometimes I look around the world, and I wonder why I should bring a child into it in light of all of the bad things that happen.
I Don't Want to Grow Up
I've always been on the slow track with growing up. I feel like there's so much to learn out there, and I don't want the responsibility of a serious relationship.
It Rarely Works Out Anyway
I'm embellishing a bit, but I've gotten addicted to that Discovery ID Channel and its true crime documentaries. The last few weeks, I've seen murder, adultery, and deceit all over these shows. And if I switch to my other favorite channel, ESPN, I see similar stories like Tiger Woods. So what's the point?
Some of these reasons may be legitimate, but they should not cripple me from dating. Dating is about overcoming fears. We are putting ourselves out there: like going on a job interview, or auditioning for a gig. I'm assuming the worst; not every girl will get too serious, maybe I'll learn to enjoy sex, my close-minded approach might be letting great girls get away, and just because I go on a few dates doesn't mean I'm going to end up with a kid.
My life is littered with challenges I avoided: academics, college soccer, etc. I may have had the talent to take on the those challenges, but there was always some excuse or excuses that I called (reasons) for not giving it a shot, and a fear of rejection. If we can differentiate excuses from legitimate reasons, we might take on more challenges, and we might even be able to get out there and do some healthy dating.
Do you find that you sometimes mix legitimate reasons up with excuses to keep yourself from getting hurt or rejected? Are your reasons/excuses similar to mine? Do you agree that we sometimes make excuses to keep ourselves from dating, or to feel better about our singleness?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens