7 Reasons You’re Still Single – The Hidden Ways You Hold Yourself Back
If I was being lazy, I could make this article pretty short.
You didn’t try.
Because that is the reason. But it’s also not very helpful. Sure, you didn’t try. But why didn’t you try? Why would you not put effort into something that’s clearly a huge part of being human?
In my experience, there are a few key reasons. Some of these I learned from coaching guys and paying attention to the similar excuses they provided. Others I learned from figuring out the many ways in which I was kidding myself and protecting myself from taking the risks I needed to take.
Here are the reasons you didn’t try:
I’ve seen it time and time again. But I first saw this one in the mirror.
I was out of shape, between jobs, living in a shitty apartment, and didn’t have much of a social life. Yet for some reason, I believed I deserved incredibly good-looking women. Like, the best-looking women.
This made me pass up countless opportunities with nice, attractive women simply because I had some delusional idea of my own worth – which at the time was pretty low.
Not only was my desire for Mrs. Victoria’s Secret Model an overcompensation for my awareness that my life sucked, but it was also a way of protecting myself from ever making a move with any woman. Because I rarely, if ever, came across any woman who was shit-my-pants attractive – I never approached, I never hit on women, and I never got rejected.
In other words, I kept myself in a safe little bubble.
The reality for me and the countless guys who I’ve spoken to with these same standards is that your standards have to be earned. If you want great women, you’ve got to be great. You’ve got to work on yourself, and take huge risks.
You’ve also got to have some experience with women. You can’t just go from terrified of women to knocking the socks off one. It takes time and experience, and a lot of the ‘experience’ along the way turns out to be women you really get on with, are super attracted to, and teach you that you might not need that Victoria’s Secret model after all.
The easiest get-out-of-jail-free card for not improving your dating life is blaming women and society for your current situation.
You know, things like:
“Women only like rich men.”
“Women only like attractive men.”
“Women are shallow.”
“Society only rewards the successful.”
“Society is rigged for women and against men.”
And so on.
Regardless of whether any of these are true (they aren’t), all these actually serve to do is protect you from taking any action.
Because taking action to improve your dating life invites rejection and humiliation (at least in your mind), it is scary. And because it is scary, you figure out ways of avoiding doing it. Blame is one of these ways.
In reality, before society or any woman could stop you from having the life you want, there’s you.
You’re the one who stops you before anyone else. And, spoiler alert, you’re actually the only one stopping you.
When I was a teenager, I would always fantasize about being the kind of guy who was super-capable, tough, good-looking, and was just all around impressive. Y’know, the kind of guy who could easily win attention from women.
As I got older, and actually spoke to women, I soon realized that this wasn’t just an embarrassing fantasy, it was also toxic and unrealistic. Women weren’t something you had to ‘win’. You just had to speak to them, and if you liked them, ask them out.
But why did I believe this for so long?
Western culture perpetuates narratives that women are something to be won. This stems largely from the stories that permeate our society. Disney is a big offender, but superhero movies aren’t that different. (I.e. If you save her life then she might love you!)
All these stories do is reinforce that you have to be remarkable, extraordinary, or anything other than yourself in order to receive attention from women. So, as a result, you put way too much pressure on yourself and go to lengths to impress them.
Our culture also teaches us other toxic lessons. It teaches us that approaching strangers is ‘weird’ or inappropriate, that sex is something to be ashamed of and repressed, and that, if Rom-Coms are to be believed, women will make the first move with the guy they like.
Spoiler: they won’t.
All of these are culturally imposed narratives that you’ve bought hook line and sinker. But consider the reverse:
What if women didn’t need to be won, and you were good enough just as you are?
What if it was perfectly okay to approach a woman and ask her out?
What if women would rarely ever make the first move?
How would that make you feel? How would that make you act?
I’m pretty you’d start trying more.
Your beliefs about women greatly inform the decisions and actions that you will make in your dating life.
If you believe that women don’t like sex, you will repress your sexuality. If you believe women only like ‘the best men’ you will constantly try to impress them and be threatened by any demonstration of their own competence. If you believe women get shitloads of attention from men, you will tell yourself it isn’t worth taking action because ‘how could you ever compete?’
In reality, your beliefs aren’t true. They’re just ideas, typically ones that -once again- protect you from taking action. The actual reality is that every woman is different.
Some women are incredibly promiscuous. Some women are sexually prudish. Some women have absurd standards, some women date a variety of men. Some women get attention from the men they like, some women don’t get any kind of attention they want at all.
The truth is that women’s lives are remarkably similar to your own. The vast majority of them are normal people, who live normal lives, and are open to connection with most people. The problem is that your beliefs cause you to put them on a pedestal of ‘how you have to treat them’, which causes you to act in bizarre ways, which then causes you to get rejected, which in turn ramifies your belief.
Pretty messed up, right?
Challenge your beliefs, question their veracity, and take actions against them.
Right after blame comes this classic defense mechanism. In psychiatry circles, this is known as intellectualization. And it’s a doozy.
Intellectualisation is where you believe that you need to learn more about something before you can take action. You feel that you have to ‘discover something’ or figure out some ‘special technique’ in order to succeed with women and never, ever get rejected.
Now obviously this isn’t possible. There isn’t anything that’ll stop you from ever getting rejected. That’s just part of the process. But despite this, you still feel the need to learn more and more.
This is because the more you have to learn before you can start, the longer you’ll go without ever starting.
Pretty easy way to avoid all the uncomfortable stuff right?
The last defense mechanism is perhaps the most toxic of all of them.
And it comes in a variety of forms.
Apathy is where you convince yourself that you don’t actually care about whatever it is you want to do.
You ‘don’t care‘ about dating or women or sex, and say you’re ‘going your own way’ – despite the fact you’re also addicted to pornography and find love scenes in movies painful to watch.
You ‘don’t care’ about approaching women – despite the fact you’ve gone to a bar and read about pickup for the entire week.
These are both forms of avoidance, which comically contrast with your reality.
Of course, you care about these things. What healthy person, let alone healthy male wouldn’t? You’re just convincing yourself otherwise because you’re afraid, and it’s easier to do nothing.
So ask yourself – what’s more likely… That you don’t care, despite all the evidence to the contrary? Or that you do?
When I was younger, I used to tell myself all sorts of things.
I’d tell myself she’d never like me, that she must be in a relationship, that she just wanted to be friends, that she didn’t want to talk to me right now, that she might be a lesbian, that she doesn’t like guys with this or that skin color, that she had her headphones on so she doesn’t want to speak…
And sometimes, the woman would even say something to that effect.
Yet in all of these cases, I can remember an example where I hooked up with them anyway. Go figure.
When you reject yourself, you are telling yourself that you know the future. You know what will happen if you take a certain action.
But you don’t. And when it comes to women, you really don’t.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that when it comes to women, you never know what will happen. So you should always make a move.
You will get rejected, sure. But you’ll see countless successes that you never expected.
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About John Matich John is a writer from the UK who splits his time between travelling the world and trying to find unconventional solutions to dating and personal development. You can find more from him at www.lifeuncivilized.com.