Sometimes, you are your own worse enemy.
You say you want a relationship. You swear it's a priority in your life — going as far as hiring coaches to guide you.
But you're still single, scratching your head, wondering, "Why am I alone again on a Saturday night?"
All your friends say you're gorgeous and have it all. You know you want a relationship, but you also tell yourself that you'd rather stay single, rather than "settle."
First and foremost, let's clearly define "settling."
It's allowing yourself to stay in a relationship that doesn't serve you. It's being with a guy you don't love — or even like — because you think no one else will come along. It's allowing behavior you don't want because you feel you have no options.
This is very different from finding a great guy who's not exactly who you thought you were looking for. Think of Charlotte and Harry from Sex and the City ... there's a chance your "Harry" is right under your nose while you're busy "not settling."
I'm going to deal some tough love here: your "Mr. Perfect" — that six foot tall, dark and handsome guy you've been dreaming about — the wonderful, funny, sensitive guy with the six-figure job, a college degree (or two), with a nice car and house? He has his pick of women, and he's going to go for his idea of a perfect woman. And if you got to know him, you'd probably kick him to the curb anyway, because he's probably out for himself. He's like this because having options made him this way. You've known guys like this and what jerks they are, so why would you want one?
A great guy is out there for you, but if you're pining away for "Mr. Perfect" you're going to miss him. And if you're not holding out for "Mr. Perfect," then perhaps you're playing one of the following mind games on yourself — internalizing any of them will keep you unhappy and single.
Can you relate to any of these statements?
1. "I'm too busy."
This is so common that it had to make the list at number one. You use this as an excuse not to work on love and it's an easy thing to toss out there when you need to justify your perpetual singledom. But, are you really too busy? More than likely, the answer is no. How do you expect to maintain a relationship when you have this mindset?
Men have busy lives too; you're not the only one who's short on time. The right man will understand and work with you to make the time you both need; the wrong man will use it as an excuse to look elsewhere.
But are you truly too busy, or do you justify not dating with this excuse? Think about it.
2. "I'm not healthy enough for a relationship."
Perhaps you are sick — sick and tired of looking at dating sites or going on bad first dates, but telling yourself this doesn't help you at all. It's an easy out when you're frustrated with dating or men in general.
If you truly are ill, then I hope you're taking care of yourself; however, if you're just saying this as an out, you're hurting yourself and your odds at love. The right man will take care of you and love you for who you are.
Disclaimer: Please, don't say this out loud on the first couple of dates. There is plenty of time for the two of you to discuss these things ... that's not one of them.
3. "My kids are my priority."
Yes, your kids are your priority but you need to have a life too. Cut out some time for YOU, and if you want a male companion, you need to make him a priority in your life, as well. Of course, I'm not saying shove your kids aside, but as a fellow parent I know it's important to take time for yourself once in a while.
As with all of these things you tell yourself, the right guy will understand your kids are your life and maybe he has kids of his own that are the apple of his eye. All of these issues are capable of being repaired, and more importantly, will work out with the right man.
4. "My life is full of drama."
Men HATE needless drama, and they don't want to fall in the middle of you and an ex, nor do they want to deal with your family issues. I'm not saying they expect your life to remain completely drama free (because, let's face it, no one's is) but if you're still fighting with your ex or your family dynamic is unhealthy, you need to take care of those before you bring a man into the mix.
When you find a good guy, you may see how needless the drama is and take steps to get rid of it. Often drama hangs around just to get in the way, and it's amazing how fast it can go away (if and when you take a step back).
5. "I will, when I …"
This one can take several forms, such as "when I lose weight," "when I get my financial house in order," or "when I get that next promotion." Nonetheless, they're all stall tactics.
Let's take the first two and talk about them. It does not matter what you weigh. I have a client who is 80 lbs. above her desired weight, and she has a good guy who loves her. And, so can you. If you need to lose weight, work on it, but men love women of all shapes and sizes.
If you truly have money problems, find a credit counselor or someone who can help you with a budget. Men understand money problems, but they expect that you're working to solve them. If all you do is complain, they assume you're doing nothing.
Any time you put off seeking a relationship because you're waiting for some specific thing to happen in the future, you're using this excuse. It gives you an out for a little while, and makes you feel better that you're alone.
6. "I can't date a guy who …"
The excuses are numerous here: is poor, is uneducated, has a big belly, is of a different religion, has young kids. You're throwing up roadblocks for no good reason.
Look, here's the thing: you're not perfect and the man you end up falling in love with won't be either. Remember, your "Mr. Perfect" is a jerk, and he's looking for his "Ms. Perfect," anyway. Take each man for who he is, and enjoy getting to know him without judgment ... unless he gives you a good reason to walk away.
7. "Men suck, so they have to prove themselves to me."
This one comes in many forms, ranging from "All men are after one thing" or "Men are stupid." If you think like this, get it out of your head right now. You know plenty of men who are NOT like this — your dad, brother, cousins, co-workers, and friends. If they're out there, then plenty of other men who don't suck are out there, too. When a man hears you say this, he wonders how long it'll take before you're talking about him in that way.
When you get it in your head that a guy has to prove himself to you, this is assuming he's guilty until he proves himself innocent. Why can't you assume he's a good guy until he gives you a reason not to?
If your answer is something like "because I've been burned too much," I can understand that, but you need to understand that not all men are like that. You're going to run off good guys with that attitude. How would you like it if a guy expected you to prove your trustworthiness? You'd rightly walk away, and so will he.
If you tell yourself these seven things, you're pushing love away — these mind games keep you from finding good guys. I can't emphasize enough that when you hold these thoughts, you will either stay single or attract the bad men and run off the good men. They are absolute poison to a good relationship, and they're unnecessary.
Just stop playing. NOW.
This article was originally published at Understand Men Now. Reprinted with permission from the author.