Age does not matter. Yes, this concept applies to almost anything, including the discomfort and awkwardness it brings when asked the perennial question, “Why are you still single?”
While many of us are fully aware that being in a relationship is not the measure of one’s worth, there is no denying that a large part of society (e.g. the neighborhood Marites and meme-able Titas in family reunions) still equates happiness and success not only to a stable career but also to a steady romantic relationship.
On a personal note, I have lost count of the times the question has been thrown at me. In my early 20s, what gives more discomfort than revealing I am unattached is answering the follow-up query, “Why?” Flashing a shy smile or keeping mum when accused of being picky and idealistic served me well.
Looking back, given the numerous discussions about how hard it is to find “The One,” the lingering question did make me think things through. What are the possible reasons a person longing for a relationship is still single?
A random find at a local bookstore ten years ago helped shed light on this. Titled All the Good Ones AREN’T Taken (Change the Way You Date and Find Lasting Love), the book was quick to catch my attention, not to mention it had a chocolate truffle on the cover. Packed with insights and highly relatable points, what kept me reading was the author’s interesting classification of unhappy single ladies.
It takes thorough reading of Dr. Debbie Magids and Nancy Peske’s analyses and examples to best pin down which type of behavior you are engaging in that influences your relationship status. Eight classifications based on behavioral patterns were laid out. Before you head out and purchase the book with practical tips on how to address dating mistakes and repetitive barriers, check out if you can relate to any of these personalities. Identification alone may possibly spark ideas on ways to address your issues. Let me briefly recapitulate the categories.
The old faithful?
This person always longs for the unattainable ones and is unable to move forward. Do you seek the ones you cannot have or feel fixated on the attachment that you find it hard to open yourself up to new relationships?
The whirlwind dater?
This one is described as the one who constantly dates but never finds a fulfilling and permanent relationship. You may want to check, is your dating and social life active and yet your personal connections are lacking in depth?
This classifica-tion pertains to the one who rarely dates and finds it difficult to relate to others on an intimate level. Are you overly shy or too conservative to interact with others?
The forbidden fruit hunter?
From the name itself, it is easy to identify that this person gets involved with emotionally unavailable or attached individuals. Do you find yourself attracted to people who are already taken? Do you find it thrilling to sneak into a secret relationship with an unattainable person?
The compassionate rescuer?
This one dates a partner who has problems, channeling her energy into “fixing” someone else. Do you find yourself hoping a person would change for you or believe that you are good enough to have your partner turn problems around?
For this person, just one partner is not enough to fill the void, so she always has an extra one on the side. Do you find it difficult to stick to one or do you feel that different needs or wants can be fulfilled by multiple partners?
The uptown girl?
This one is attracted to someone with money, prestige, and looks. Are your standards based on trophy material? Are you easily impressed when showered with expensive gifts?
The runaway bride?
This classification is described as someone good at relationships until asked to commit. The person finds a way to escape. Are you a commitment- or label-phobe? Do you find it suffocating to commit to a single person?
Did any category resonate with you? I suggest you take your pick and try your best to avoid excuses, especially if finding love is something you aim for. No matter which classification you belong to, there are basic steps that can be done. The book offers a number of ideas to conquer the issues and the listing above just paves the way for us to get to know ourselves better. It is likely that you do not fit into any one of them and simply belong to a category of your own. And that is fine.
Based on observed patterns, the book simply mirrors what we are doing (consciously or unconsciously) that possibly affects our relationship status. It sends out the message that the key to changing our fate largely depends on acceptance of truth, openness to change, and willingness to reverse recurring behavior. We remain in control.
As long as we live a life of purpose and we find joy in what we do, there is no space for societal pressure in our lives. If there is one thing that has been hammered into my head in recent years, it is the fact that the best relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves.