The real reason I am single

Bonjour, bonjour. It’s a rainy Monday here in London and I am feeling about as romantic as a cabbage. I’ve taken the last week off dating – no Tinder meet ups or even messages – and it’s been a relief. I actually think I’m going to delete Tinder – I don’t like it anymore. It’s a bit of a head f**k. I might just stick to the old fashioned way of hoping to meet someone in real life.

And weirdly that seems to be happening. A friend of a friend asked for my number in the pub on Friday night and earlier last week I got asked out by a guy on the tube. He might have been drunk – and possibly on a few other substances – but hey, it’s still nice to be asked!

Anyway, my light must be on or something.

It’s cool but I find the whole dating thing emotionally and physically draining. Physically draining because dating makes me drink even more than usual (I’m either drinking to take the edge off before the date, drinking more on the date or feeling hungover after the date) – and emotionally draining because dating brings up all the big questions that I usually ignore.

Like do I really want to meet someone? Do I want to have children? Do you have to get married and have children to be happy? Will I regret it if I don’t? Is the fact that it hasn’t happened by now a sign that actually that’s not my path? Or is my independence just a symptom of my fear?

These questions go around and around in my head. Arghh… the paralysis of analysis.

Anyway I really don’t know about the marriage and kids thing but over the last month I have realised just how distorted my views of men are. I’ve even started talking to a therapist about it (I’ll write another post about this later).

It turns out, from my spell on the therapist’s coach, that I don’t see men as ordinary people with good bits and bits, fears and insecurities, just like me, I see men as people who will laugh at me, reject me, hurt me and who don’t want me around.

Rationally I know that none of these thoughts are true – I have male friends who are the opposite to these beliefs – but in my gut that’s my reaction, which is why, romantically, I have built a brick wall.

For years I thought I didn’t have boyfriends because I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, blonde enough. I now realise this is bulls*it. I didn’t have boyfriends because I was keeping them away because I was terrified.

Beliefs that I’d picked up over the years, but which I didn’t even realise were there, have informed everything.

It’s very easy to get into a rant about how there are no good guys left, how hard it is to meet people etc – but actually I think that’s rubbish. There are loads of good guys out there, just as there are loads of good women. I think that if you’re single for as long as I have been, there is always deeper stuff going on.

I’m not going to go into the various things that may have shaped my views but on the whole I don’t think I have good associations with what a marriage is and what relationships are like.

And I’m realising, more and more, that our beliefs absolutely determine reality. We get what we expect.

If we don’t think we deserve a good man, we won’t meet one. If we think that men will only hurt us, we’ll keep either meeting men who live up to that belief – or we’ll do what I’ve done which is to run away from it. If deep down we associate marriage with being trapped then of course you’re not going to let it happen, no matter how many times you’ve cried in the loos at being single at yet another wedding.

I’ve realised that unless we really look at ourselves, our deepest beliefs about relationships (picked up from childhood and later experiences) and what we think we deserve – then you can go on all the Tinder dates in the world and it’s not going to get you anywhere.

So that’s what I’ve gone back to. More navel gazing. Oh well, at least I can skip the hangovers…




Leave a Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter

Sign up for sporadic updates from self-help land and life in general, including details on upcoming talks and events. Promise not to bombard you.