There are many single people out there who either are actively dating but haven’t found a relationship that sticks, or have been single for a long time with few dating experiences.
For some of them, the desire to couple up and grow old with a significant other comes and goes like seasons while, for others, it only intensifies with time.
Unfortunately, with this strong yearning for love comes a irking feeling of inadequacy that is born out of their long-term single status.
Inevitably, society’s obsession with romantic relationships makes single people feel pressured to get into a relationship for the sake of having a relationship as they’re convinced their singleness makes them unworthy.
There are so many negative connotations associated with being single — for example, sad and lonely — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For the most part, it’s a marketing agenda.
Think about it — who benefits from these negative connotations? Who wins when people hate their singleness and try to get into relationships? Countless businesses. From cosmetic brands to wedding planners or even divorce attorneys.
That’s not to say that you should boy scout romance and love. It’s a known fact that intimate relationships are good for your health and they bring long-term meaning and fulfilment.
It’s to say that if you’re single or have been single for a long time, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It shouldn’t hinder your search for healthy love if you decide that’s what you want.
Here are 6 reminders to help you date with confidence and success:
1. Being single for a long time is not baggage.
Being single and being in a relationship are simply two different states of being. There are upsides and downsides to both. Being single for a long time can mean that you maintain your standards and refuse to stay in bad relationships, and it’s a great thing.
Plus, there are many reasons that a person is single which have nothing to do with their value as a person: life circumstances, time focusing on building their career, time taking care of loved ones, and so on.
So you shouldn’t assume that people will automatically think negatively of you because you’ve been single for a long time and act defensively. That’s you projecting your own thoughts onto others and it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you genuinely believe that your single life has been beneficial for you and carry a positive vibe, people will feel it and perceive you as such.
2. You don’t have to justify your singleness.
Remember that you don’t have to explain your singleness to anyone if you don’t want to.
If someone asks you why you have been single or how can someone like you be single, you could simply laugh and say something humbling like “Aw, thank you!” then change the subject. Or if you’re in the mood, you could use it as an opportunity to explore their thinking.
Ask them “What do you think are the reasons why someone is single?” then turn it into a general discussion. If that person is someone you are going on a date with, their answers could tell you how they see their own singleness and their level of self-esteem.
Most importantly, don’t be defensive when you get this question. It’s your attitude that will drive the conversation. Be normal, relaxed, and charming. Give the world a confident, winning smile.
3. Your singleness is an advantage.
It’s a winning smile, yes, because your time being single is an advantage and you should carry yourself like a prize.
See, being single for a long time means not dipping yourself in a toxic relationship that could damage your mental, physical, financial well-being. It means having plenty of room for self-improvement, which could make you a better catch.
Being single can also mean having spent lots of quality time with yourself and understanding yourself well, which could lead you to make better judgment and decisions when choosing a mate. So whoever it is that you decide to go on a date with, they better feel flattered.
Some people might argue that being in a relationship means you’re valued by someone and so you’re worthy, but this is a myth.
Many people are in a relationship with those who don’t value them and it might be due to having a low self-esteem or limited resources that they couldn’t end the relationship.
Meanwhile, being single could mean you have enough courage to resist societal pressure, you’re aware enough to appreciate that good connections are rare and it’s okay to not have found it yet, and you value and love yourself enough to rather stay single than being with someone who can’t give you what you deserve.
4. You’re enough and worthy of love.
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, you’re inherently worthy because of a simple, obvious, and beautiful fact that you’re a living human. And there’s so much more to you than your relationship status. There’s so much worth to you than just being someone’s love interest.
While you’re deserving of love, you don’t need the love from others to validate your worthiness. You’re valued for being you, for all the uniqueness and goodness you bring to this world; you’re valued even when you don’t know it.
So you can go have fun dating and leave your self-worth out of the equation. Bring your authentic best to the table and forget about how long you have been single. Love is abundant for you.
5. How long you have been single shouldn’t make a difference in the way you date.
I know some people might feel a sense of shame when they reach a certain age and have never been in a relationship. They might think they don’t deserve to be picky and should be grateful for any opportunity to get into a relationship.
This mindset is harmful because it’s based on negativity and scarcity. A scarcity mindset will cause you to make poor judgment and give off the self-sabotaging needy vibe. Why think like this when you could choose the opposite?
As I’ve said, your relationship status doesn’t define you as a person and your long-term singleness isn’t baggage. You have every right to adopt an abundant mindset and be selective, regardless of how long you have been single.
Then, like everyone else, you can follow this four-step dating approach that will get you a quality, long-lasting relationship.
6. Being in a relationship with the right person will feel natural.
One of the biggest concerns of people who have been single for a long time when looking for a relationship is that they don’t know how to actually “be” in a relationship.
They’re not sure how they would feel spending every day with someone because they’re so used to their lovely alone time. They’re worried that they might be too independent and, most often, want to do things their own way.
If this is you, don’t worry. When you meet someone who is truly right for you, coupling will feel natural. If there’s anything that’s not comfortable for you just yet, that’s what communication and compromising are for.
You can be honest with your partner about how being in a relationship is a new experience for you so you could work on a plan together. Your vulnerability and openness will bring you two closer together.