The REAL Reason You’re Still Single

There are two big problems in dating.

1) You don’t want the people who want you.
2) The people you want don’t want you in return.

Now, take a look at those two problems; which one do you think you can change?

Most of us take the futile route of trying to change the second one – “How do I MAKE him like me?” “I’m exactly what he’s looking for!” “He doesn’t know what’s good for him.” But, as we’ve established a few hundred times on this blog, you can’t change anyone else’s thinking.

What you can change is YOU.

To be fair, it’s possible to “make” someone like you by becoming a more desirable catch – there’s no doubt that a man who earns more money, gains more confidence, and gets more experience will have a more positive dating life. But he’s not actually CHANGING women. He’s only changing himself.

But increasing your dating options can be a risky proposition, at best. Men can’t always make more money. Women can’t always lose weight. And as easy as it is to talk about gaining confidence and experience, most folks would rather sit on the sidelines and complain that the people you want don’t want you in return.

This is a waste of time.

In fact, the easiest remedy for an ailing love life is to want the people who want you.

In fact, the easiest remedy for an ailing love life is to want the people who want you.

It is anathema to suggest this, of course. Any conversation about opening up to more potential prospects leads us down the slippery slope to settling. And as the furor surrounding http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/marriage/dont-judge-a-book-by-its-cover-the-truth-about-marry-him-the-case-for-settling-for-mr-good-enough-by-lori-gottlieb/ proved, nothing pisses women off more than the suggestion that they may be somewhat responsible for being single.

But, to be crystal clear, it’s not just women.

There are tons of 38-year-old male Ivy-League educated lawyers who just can’t find a single woman good enough for him. These guys, who are, like me, probably 7’s in looks and 9’s in intelligence, just can’t help but to go for women who are 9’s in looks, but 5’s in emotional intelligence/compatibility.

One of the things that I’ve often thought is that none of these men would marry someone like my wife, even though my wife is – objectively – just about the coolest woman on the planet. They’d have the same objections I did: a little too old, not a Harvard grad, blahblahblah.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that I made a CHOICE to find an amazing partner and create an amazing life – and all I had to do was give up that IMAGE that I’d had of dating a woman who was Just. Like. Me.

If you’re single, and never find anybody “good enough,” chances are that you do the exact same thing.

Today, I’m calling you out.

Because if you’ve been dating this way for 5, 10 or 20 years, there’s something that you’re not seeing.

And that something is this:

If a 42-year-old man says that he’s ONLY attracted to 9’s and 10’s who are in their late 20’s, that’s fabulous. But if NONE of the 9’s and 10’s he covets are interested in him in return, it only makes sense that this man needs to recalibrate his dating options. 6’s and 7’s are readily interested in him, but he doesn’t find them attractive enough. Without knowing this man, I think it would be clear that he’s overestimating himself. If he can get only 6s and 7’s in looks, he’s probably a 6 or a 7 in looks himself. Therefore, if he ever wants to get married, it would probably make sense to start appreciating the 6s and 7’s and choose the one that he’s most attracted to, who shares the same values and can be his best friend for life.

I’d think it would be hard to argue with that logic.

So should it be any more controversial if we flip the genders around?

If you think you “deserve” a certain kind of partner … and yet you’ve NEVER gotten him, you need to start considering another kind of partner.

If the 38-year-old woman MBA who owns her own condo, runs marathons, and can complete the Sunday New York Times crossword only likes 9’s and 10’s… but those same men always a) prefer younger women or b) ultimately break her heart because they’re egotistical, selfish narcissists who only want younger women and aren’t ready to settle down… should she keep holding out for them? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to marry one of the devoted 7’s who think she’s the bee’s knees?

Apparently not.

Because that would be settling.

And settling is bad.

Therefore, all of these amazing men and women remain single indefinitely. Because They. Will. Not. Settle.

They would rather tilt at windmills, trying to acquire a partner who DOESN’T want them, instead of realizing that the BEST partner for them is the one who WANTS them and VALUES them and thinks THEY are a catch.

And the culprit in all this? Our unrealistic expectations – of how we see ourselves – and of what we expect of our partners.

If you price a candy bar at $100 and there are no buyers, you need to lower the price of the candy bar.
If you think you “deserve” a certain kind of partner – not just someone who is rich, hot, and brilliant, but a rich, hot, brilliant partner who STICKS AROUND – and yet you’ve NEVER gotten him, you need to start considering another kind of partner.

The key is in letting go of the image you’ve been holding onto. Because real relationships aren’t about credentials; they’re about connection. And I truly believe there are thousands of people you can potentially be happy with… if only you didn’t have such a rigid idea of what it looked like.

Last night, I was coaching a favorite client, Katie, who is part of my Inner Circle AND a Passion Course member.

Katie is 58 and never married. Of course. She never wanted to settle.

After rebranding her on Match.com, she’s getting a ton of attention and is being chased down by two men simultaneously.

Tom is the brainy, charismatic one who talks about himself incessantly, sends template emails, and hasn’t followed up in a week.

Bill is a fun guy, makes her laugh, is a great kisser, and has followed up for four dates in two weeks.

Katie wanted to know how to make Tom like her and how to get rid of Bill. When we dug deeper, I learned that she was embarrassed at the thought of introducing her friends to Bob because he wasn’t as “sophisticated” as her other tony Connecticut friends.

I asked Katie, point-blank: Are you attracted to Bill? “Yes”

Real relationships aren’t about credentials; they’re about connection.

Do you have fun around Bill? “Oh, yes!”

Is he consistently good to you? “Absolutely. He’s crazy about me.”

So why are you trying so hard to run away? Because of what your friends think? Because Bill’s not what you’ve pictured in your head for 58 YEARS?

“Yeah, kind of.”

I’m delighted to report that Katie is going out with Bill again. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she “settled” her way into an amazing relationship.

By thinking you’re “better” than everyone who wants you, you’re eliminating the greatest source of love around – the person who wants you! And you may be surprised to find that you can be EXTREMELY happy with someone who doesn’t meet your preconceived image of your ideal mate.

I certainly have been.

Did you find this post thought-provoking? Challenging? Insightful? Then be sure to check out my eBook, “Why He Disappeared – the Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever“.

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Comments:

  1. 181
    pisces girl

    Forgot to edit the article before posting it -sorry:)

    He stayed just as cute and went on to make  partner at a prestigious accounting firm.

  2. 182
    John Bogulski

    I’m a 41 Year old single man I see no problem whith being single I’ve been to meny weddings whith my parents I’m carefree I can do what I want when I wanna do it when I wanna do it I don’t answer to any single female I answer to myself it’s great cause I don’t have a clue what I wanna do Other then going for walks I’m the longest single 41 Year old man I never was in love nor well I ever be I did have a Crush on a women whole in school she wanted baby’s I wantednothing to do whith it it was just a crush nothing more although she wanted me I did not feel the same about her no interest what so Ever I broke up whith her a Year after I finished school.Am I Board at times yes but I don’t feel any love

  3. 183
    Lisa

    this was the best article I ever read. I’m 34 and I’m still attracting men who have the education and success level I want but …. They don’t have the looks I want. The ones that have the looks I want don’t have the stability I want.

    I just realized how many 6’4 extremely handsome doctors out there. And those that exist are probably married. And if they’re single they probably want someone who looks like a model. I need to be realistic. I’ll let you know when I’m married! I think it will be soon now

  4. 184
    Dave

    Well for many of us good men still looking for love which has become very difficult for us since so many women these days are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, and very greedy, which has a lot to do with it now that many women have their careers and won’t settle for less. Many women do want rich men nowadays since it is very obvious that they will never go with a man that makes much less than them since many of the women today are making much more money than many of us men do. So this is a very excellent reason why so many of us men are single now which we really can’t blame ourselves at all. If i was lucky enough to meet a woman that makes much less than me, i really could care less. For many women today it is very sad to say that it is all about money for them, and many women these days choose money over love which it is a real shame.

  5. 185
    emily

    The 2 guys that I have in my life are. (That like me and i like them) 10’s. Dark and handsome. One tall and one a little shorter. Both very successful entreprenuers, attractive, charismatic. One about 30, the other 22. One travels around the world for his job and the other a professional dancer with entrepreneurial things on the side. Problem is that they have lots of women that throw themselves at their feet.

    One said “wow, you must have a lot of guys that like you.” i almost laughed but didnt…because here its like dating is dead and guys expect the girl to do the chasing. It’s hard when you’re a little more dorky than all the hotter women that like them haha….it makes me a bit nervous so I might just try to find people a little less desired by women. And they might be a bit too controlling…so it makes me wonder if it would be a healthy relationship.

    I know I can attract these types of men, the problem is that the area where I live there isnt much of a chance of meeting new ones. I live in a smaller city which is more of a retirement place. And most of the guys if they stay here after highschool are weird usually. I don’t like judging people but they are, they’re not men, but mama’s boys and they’re not high quality.

    When I went to california for a trip, guys were constantly eyeying me and if I initiated some form of conversation with them I know they would go on a date with me quickly.

    But here people are so weird the culture is weird. I feel completely undesirable, even though people say that guys check me out constantly., because i know that if i even talked to them it would take an enourmous amount of time and talking to even get one to budge and ask me out. They also seem to like more talkative life of the party type of girls…which I’m not at all. It’s like the guys expect the women to chase THEM. I don’t do that, unless I really must, but I think that’s why I’m able to attract guys who are more confident and manly than all of the mamas boys here that wish they could have me but are not man enough to do anything about it.

    I haven’t had one decent date here with those types of guys. How sad that the only guy that has asked me out in the last two months was a semi retarded man! I am very pretty!! And NO guys are asking me out. It’s like this weird culture of…”oh lets just hang out.” no! Thanks, I’d like a date. Lol

    And the girls that DO get dates are all extremely popular from highschool….sigh….

    I just feel so undesirable when they’re getting two or three dates a week and I’m here getting asked out by retarded people….no offence to retarded people…but when they’re the only guys to actually ask you out it’s really depressing!!

    Im almost tempted to just move somewhere else where the guys are better.

    It’s just awkward when more women are getting more dates than me, and I’m pretty amazing.

     

  6. 186
    Dani

    Well. As a 4..and 54 yr old male. I now realize why I’m single.

    1. 186.1
      DeeGee

      Welcome to the club.

  7. 187
    Kevin

    i enjoyed reading the article and in principal I agree. I’m a tall (6’8) educated guy who considers himself to be outgoing, funny, & athletic. I’ve been single for every one of my 33 years of existence. I approach girls all the time and never get dates so obviously no relationships. I don’t have a physical type and certainly don’t just go after 10’s, 9’s, 8’s, 7’s….girls don’t seem interested in me. When I observe it appears a girl may be interested but upon approach, nope.

    This article assumes somebody wants you, but this isn’t always the case for everybody. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself and happy single. I’d like to start dating and bring someone special into my life. Feels hopeless I’ve put much effort into it. Ugh

  8. 188
    HELLEN

    THANKS .MY PROBLEM IS SETTLING FOR LESS IS NOT AN OPTION

  9. 189
    Dave

    Career women are the worse ones to get involved with, so i will just stay clear from them.

    1. 189.1
      Tom10

      I’m sure career women will be devastated to hear that you’re not going to date them Dave…

  10. 190
    Dave

    Tom, do you understand that many women today are very high maintenance, very independent, very selfish, very spoiled, very greedy, very picky, and very money hungry, so why are you protecting them for when i really am right? Don’t you understand that we’re living in a totally different time today? The good old days are all gone when the good old fashioned women were around which came very easy for our family members that are still together today.  It was just too very bad for many of us that are still single and really wanted to settle down to have a family which is much better than being all alone and having no one to share our life with. I will say that many of us were just born at a very bad time. And i certainly don’t want to date a Career woman, and you’re right about that.

     

    1. 190.1
      Karl R

      Dave said:

      “do you understand that many women today are very high maintenance, very independent, very selfish, very spoiled, very greedy, very picky, and very money hungry,”

      Don’t date those women.  Date the ones that aren’t high maintenance, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky and money hungry.

       

      I am willing to bet that Tom10 has dated far more in the last several years than you have.  He has a far easier time dating than you.  I suspect that he dates career women (and non-career women).  And he doesn’t need a time machine to travel to the time when all your relatives were getting married.

      You might want to listen to his advice.

       

      Mike said: (in this thread)

      “Many women are just too very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, and very money hungry today, unlike years ago they were nothing like that at all since the times were really different back then which today many women are feminists which really makes it very hard to really meet a good one today.”

      And is there any reason that you changed your name from Dave to Mike between posts?

  11. 191
    Dave

    Karl  R,  well if i really could meet a good woman that is not like i said which i would certainly have it made which i would’ve been all settled down by now with my own family that i don’t have today which makes it very upsetting for me when so many others were blessed by God to have that gift of life that i could’ve had myself.  And i will certainly admit that i really hate being single when i really should not be.  Peace.

    1. 191.1
      Callie

      Maybe it’s worth analyzing why you seem to attract such unpleasant women. I mean there are many great women out there who do have careers and yet also want a family and are giving and kind. Just like there are housewives out there who unfortunately can be selfish and cruel. It’s less the choice of occupation and more the personality.

      So yeah, if others are able to meet good women out there who aren’t as you say, then I think you need to ask yourself why can’t you. You are, after all, the common denominator.

      I wonder if it’s a bit like that whole women liking bad boys thing. Yes some women end up with really unpleasant jerks, but the reason they end up with them is not because they like being with jerks, but because these kinds of guys give off an impression of confidence. Alas what these women think is confidence is actually arrogance, and they end up with a pretty horrible guy. But it’s the confidence that they are drawn to. So to such women I would say, “How can we get you a guy who’s confident but not arrogant? What clues can we look out for that are red flags?”

      So too it might be for you, that there are things you find attractive in certain women that upon getting to know them actually turn out to be negative qualities. Maybe you like women who really keep up appearances and are really on trend say (not saying you do, this is a hypothetical example), and that turns into vanity and self centered-ness upon getting to know them. That kind of thing.

      At any rate, I think instead of launching your hatred and anger outwards towards women (which does you absolutely no good and only makes you less appealing to women – women don’t like to date men who hate women), it might make sense to take a deep breath and do a little self reflection. We all generally from time to time need to do that.

    2. 191.2
      Karl R

      Dave said:

      “well if i really could meet a good woman that is not like i said which i would certainly have it made”

      First, there are good women all over the place.

      Second, you wouldn’t “have it made” even if you met one.

       

      Most women are good women.  They’re not like what you describe (except for being independent).  The only way you can fail to meet good women is if they actively avoid you.

      When I was dating (several years back), I met hundreds of good women.  Most of them weren’t interested.  Of the ones that were interested (whom I dated), many didn’t work out.  I married the one who did.

       

      I strongly suspect that if you and I attended the same social event, I would meet many good women, and you would meet none.  If my suspicion is correct, then I think that your problem has nothing to do with women … and everything to do with you.

       

      Regarding “independent” women:

      Independence is a great thing.  If a woman is independent, then she can leave a bad  marriage (particularly one where she is abused or neglected).

      My wife’s independence has no effect on my marriage.  My wife wants to be married to me.

      I can only see one reason why independence would impact a marriage.  If the woman wants to leave, but her lack of independence traps her in the marriage….

       

      So when you criticize women for being “very independent,” I get a really creepy feeling.

      And if that statement creeps me out, I can just imagine how women react to it.

       

      Callie said:

      “I wonder if it’s a bit like that whole women liking bad boys thing.”

      In this case, probably not.

      Based upon some grammatical idiosyncrasies, uncommon catch phrases and bits of personal history, Dave/Mike has previously posted (3-4 years ago) under the names jay says (here and here) and SpeakingTheTruth (here and here).

      I also suspect that he posted in that thread under several other names: David (#354), I Am Right Says, I Certainly Know, The Truth Is, It Makes Sense, The Real Answer, Michael (#689), and Reality.  Since those posts are shorter, I’m not sure about those posts.

       

      It seems likely that Jay/Speaking/Mike/Dave drives decent women away.  Three and four years ago I recommended some changes that he could make.  Apparently, he ignored much of that advice.  (He may have ignored all of it, but it’s a little soon for me to say.)

      In general, I would say that he dislikes women.  Period.  He has mentioned some exceptions — old-fashioned relatives who have been married for years.  Other than that, I’ve never gotten any indication that he likes women.

      1. 191.2.1
        Callie

        Ah I did not know the history. Well that’s a pity. Hopefully maybe some of what I said will be helpful to him but if he really just doesn’t like women then there’s not a lot I can say, or anyone can do.

  12. 192
    Dave

    Well the way that i look at it which there are a lot more women these days that are Gay which has a lot to do with my problem since i had a friend once that had his wife leave him for another woman which is very sad and disgusting the way i look at it which he was a very Good person. Oh by the way i love women very much but i keep meeting the real Low Life Loser ones which it is very sad for me since i am a very Good person myself that would just want to have a love life that i still Don’t have today which i have absolutely No reason to blame myself at all when i Didn’t do anything Wrong to begin with. And it really seems that many of you are ganging up on me which i really do have a right to my own opinion since i will admit that i do have very bad luck with women. I really don’t expect to have a woman Curse at me when i really wanted to meet this woman that i really liked a lot at the time about 2 months ago which never made any sense to me when i really thought that she was a good person at the time which really Shocked the heck out of me. So there are a lot of very sick women out there that act this way which i had a friend of mine that had this happened to him too, and he even said to me what is wrong with most women nowadays. The way i look at it is that many women just hate us men period. Peace.

  13. 193
    Val

    Why am I single? Poor bad life choices, hoping I’m skinny enough,  hoping I’m rich enough, hoping I’m smart enough. Hoping I’m funny enough.. (confidence issues)… In the end, all of these confidence lack luster traits I “hope” I have have left me “hoping”… And though hope can be a powerful thing, it is, at it’s core… Wishful thinking..

  14. 194
    N

    Who’s  Bob who suddenly appears in the story?  All your numbers confused me:(

    Nice you’re telling me I’m a blood sucking,  bottom feeding leach?

    Because that’s the only men I ever find,  they get worse,  penniless,  jobless,  carless, houseless  – feeding off my goodness and hard earned bank balance! !

     

  15. 195
    Ms X

    I’m 38 and settling all the time and giving it 100% of the effort. Dating anyone available as my dates come with a maximum of two or three a year, and I have only had 2 half year long relationships before engaging in the current one.What do I have in return? A relationship I’m not happy with, and it will most probably not last as the guy doesn’t find me good enough to be his wife:( while I try to close my eyes on his shortcomings just to have someone:( I’m very onestly no longer sure settling is worth it:( there are people like me, not wanted in the dating world, no matter how much we try:(

    1. 195.1
      DeeGee

      Ms X, I’m sorry to hear that you are having such a tough go of it.
      In my opinion, if a person is not happy in a relationship, they should consider leaving, as it isn’t positive for the relationship or fair to either themselves or the other person.
      You are doing much better than me on the dating numbers, I’ve had three in the past seven years, and it’s not from my lack of asking.

  16. 196
    Kay

    This article makes a good point sometimes you have to open yourself up to possibilities in relationships. People aren’t perfect and an ideal person can still have their flaws. I don’t think a persons standard should be so rigid that they can never date outside of their type, but at the same time lowering ones standards and settling doesn’t seem like a genuine way to be happy in a relationship. You could end up meeting some one who you fall head over heels with who is the complete opposite of what you thought you wanted and that’s ok, but just saying well their are no educated guys so I’m going to go for a guy who doesn’t even have a high school diploma just b/c he’s there, doesn’t seem fair to you or the person you’re dating if you’re just taking them so you can have somebody. If you still secretly long for someone who you can have different types of conversations with. I think if you are single and waiting for your ideal partner to come a long stay true to your guns. There is a reason why that desire is there. Stay true to your heart and yourself. There is nothing wrong with having high standards and being single and content until the right one comes a long

  17. 197
    Guest

    Just too many Gay women these days that are keeping us Straight Guys single today.

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