After five years of being single following a twenty-year marriage, I’ve had plenty of time to date and reflect on the reasons why I am still single. The longest relationship I have had was barely four months and I’m convinced I was only dating the guy because I needed a distraction from the trauma of losing my job after 14-years of being dedicated to my career. Sure, he was a decent guy that wined and dined me, but I quickly realized he wasn’t going to make the cut. He set off some major triggers when he flirted with a “friend” right in front of me. I knew he had to go, because I vowed to myself that I would never be with a man I couldn’t trust. This qualification has now significantly reduced my dating pool by about 80% and that’s being generous. Okay, maybe that’s part of my problem…if I hold the belief that only 20% of single men in my age bracket that live in a 40 mile radius are trustworthy, then perhaps that is the reason why I am still single.
I realized that I had to check my negative beliefs about men since becoming a lesbian was not my thing. This is a hard and laborious process. You see my experience with men and dating has solidified a long standing false belief that all men are assholes. Notice I said “FALSE” belief? I don’t want to insult ALL men with such a sexist erroneous statement. I know plenty of men who are good, faithful husbands including my father who set a pretty high bar when it comes to having integrity. How I ended up marrying a habitual liar makes no sense to me other than the fact that I was very young and extremely naive. Now that I’m older, wiser and extremely jaded; I have to reprogram myself to unlearn these negative beliefs. Believe me, sometimes it’s a full-time job especially with the losers I’ve encountered over the past several years. (Reference previous blog “Dating for Dummies” and pretty much any article I’ve written after that.)
In my process of reprogramming and self-analysis, I have recognized that there are 10 top reasons why women might still be single post-divorce:
#1. You live in fear that you will have your heart broken again and to avoid that pain you shut out all potential prospects.
#2. You are jaded and bitter towards men and hold false beliefs that all men are bad and are going to hurt you. (This is a side effect of #1 “fear”)
#3. You are suffering from low self-esteem and don’t believe you are pretty enough, skinny enough, valuable enough to deserve a good man so you continue to date assholes.
#4. You fear introducing someone new into your life and the lives of your children.
#5. You have unrealistic expectations of what you want in a partner and no one will ever live up to your 5-page list of criteria. (Get real honey!)
#6. You’re looking for love in all the wrong places. You think you can change them and ignore the red flags when guys only treat you like a booty call. (Booty call, meet Wake-up call.)
#7. Your negative beliefs are attracting negative people. (This is an important one so check yourself!)
#8. You haven’t learned your lesson the first time and you are still attracted to assholes even when you know they’re assholes.
#9. You’ve watch too many Rom-com’s and you’re a hopeless romantic waiting for prince charming to ride in on his white horse and sweep you off your feet. (Wake up girl…that only happens in the movies.)
#10. You have a serious case of “resting bitch face” (RBF) and no decent guy is going to come near you with a ten-foot pole.
There are many others but these are definitely my Top 10. Do you see yourself in any of these? I do! In fact, I see myself in most of them. The bottom line is that you are single because you aren’t in the right frame of mind to be in a healthy relationship. You are single because you need time to work through these false beliefs in order to attract the right partner. After heartbreak, you must spend some time being self-reflective and truly honest with yourself. That is when your soul mate will show up. I had to admit to myself that I really wasn’t ready to be in a relationship prior to this moment in time. I was finding every excuse in the book to push it away when in reality I was just scared…scared of having my heart broken again…scared of letting go of my independence and strength…scared of opening my heart and feeling vulnerable again. Honestly, that never goes away. Everyone has fear when it comes to loving someone and being loved. What finally helped me let go of all that fear is when I realized it is much scarier being alone.