A few weeks ago I was having some conversations with a few of my colleagues and the topic of being single and dating came up. One of my colleagues mentioned that he felt that the singles community was a ‘tough’ population to get into. I wondered what he meant by that and asked, well, what exactly is the problem you think they have?
I personally have an issue with the approach and assumption that just because one is ‘single’ or not married, then they must have a ‘problem’ of some sort. (And this can be true for anything that we may put a label on – being divorced, having been abused, or having a mental illness, to name a few.) I do not like labels nor do I like categorizing people based on certain experiences or simply, what I call, ‘parts’ of who they are. These experiences or ‘parts of us’ do not define WHO we are fully. So I had a problem with someone else labeling all people who are not married or unattached as ‘single’ and then drawing the assumption that that is the problem.
I know many people who have questioned themselves or their capability in forming healthy relationships just because society labeled them as ‘single.’ When, in reality, circumstances out of their own personal control was what was keeping these individuals at their labeled ‘single’ status. It breaks my heart to hear people question themselves and make strong negative judgments about who they are just because they are not married yet (or divorced, or have experienced abuse, etc.) And the people whom I am thinking about are incredible, loving, caring individuals from loving and caring families, who have made tremendous efforts to do whatever was in their power to meet new people, put themselves out there, get into relationships, and then still not find that ‘right one.’ Questions like these often come up in one’s head when one who is making all the right effort to date and get married and it has just not yet worked out for them: ‘What is wrong with me?! Why am I different? Why does it work out for everyone else and not me? Am I bad at relationships? Can I trust myself?’
And yet once these people had met those ‘right people’ for them, they realized, ‘Wow, what was I thinking?! I am capable. I can be in and form healthy relationships. There is nothing wrong with me. I had just dated or been in relationships with the wrong people, or just had not met that right person yet.’
So, how do you know whether or not you have a ‘problem’ or not? Or, rather, how can you know when it’s a good or necessary time for you to seek outside support and get some guidance or help to move forward if you are feeling stuck or not moving in the direction you want to be moving in when it comes to dating and relationships?
In all honesty, working with someone, or on your own, and getting to know yourself better, and working on your own personal growth and relationship skills is always beneficial and can never hurt. We all benefit from learning about ourselves and about others and learning great communication skills and tools to make our relationships even better.
But there are times when you may feel really stuck and have no idea how to get out of your ‘funk’ and closer to the reality you want to have for yourself. Here are a few situations where you might want to consider reaching out and getting outside help:
- You have sought the advice and guidance of your friends and family, but it is still not enough to get you out of your funk and moving forward.
- You have noticed that you are afraid to fully commit yourself in any real relationship.
- You are still angry at the way you were raised by your own parent/s and are confused about how to build a healthy relationship.
- Your own experience with abuse is holding you back from moving forward.
- No matter how hard you have tried you cannot let go of past experiences you have had that are preventing you from moving forward with your own life.
- You feel really lost about how to get to know your true self and figure out your true wants and desires.
- You find yourself in a persistent depressive state and cannot get yourself out of it on your own.
- You are lacking in self-confidence and nothing anybody else says or does helps you build that confidence.
- You cannot hear yourself think and/or get clear on your own voice and your own path.
- You are afraid of being your real self and sharing your true self and opinions with others.
- You want to get very clear on what you want and have tools to focus on what is in your control so that you can find exactly what you are looking for when it comes to dating and relationships.
The above list are some of the reasons why individuals have come to me, or other trusted professionals, for guidance and support.
I believe it is important to figure out exactly what the problem is so that you know what kind of support you require, whether from a trusted friend or family member, or a trusted professional. Ask yourself some real questions and get very honest with yourself about whether or not there IS anything that is really holding you back. Most importantly, please do remember that there is so much more to you and who you are than what society may label as your current ‘status.’ Have faith, believe in yourself, continue to live and do the things that you love and focus on what is in your control.
In support and admiration,
If you have any questions or want to discuss anything that I wrote here or other related topics, feel free to contact me during my free office hours. Send me an email and I will let you know when it’s a good time to speak.
If you are ready to work toward solutions and making changes in your life that will help you get moving forward in dating and relationships, contact me to set up a FREE 45 minute consultation where you tell me more about your needs and I can tell you more about how I can help you so that you could decide if my approach is what you are looking for.
Like what you’ve read? Click here to receive more FREE updates with practical tips and tools for how you can move forward authentically and with confidence in your life, career, and relationships.