After 20 Years As A Dating Coach, Here Are The 8 Things I've Found That Keep Women Single

Photo: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock
woman watching couple on tv and eating ice cream
Love

Many single women are happy living alone and enjoy a rich, full life. But if you're lonely and wishing for someone to share your life with, being single can feel miserable.

A divorced woman in her late 50s, Sandra was dragging her feet about getting online to look for love. Her profile was all set and a photographer took fantastic pictures. Yet, she was having a hard time being consistent with her efforts and let days and weeks go by between checking the dating apps.

When I asked what was holding her back, Sandra explained that she'd been dating on and off for so long, she didn't think it was actually ever going to work. As a result, she was subconsciously avoiding rejection and disappointment by not being fully active. This is such a common problem.

The trouble is, without making a genuine effort, Sandra was creating a self-fulling prophecy. She was allowing her negative attitude about men, dating, and herself to dictate the actions she took and sabotage any effort she did make, however small.

This was self-defeating. The worst part is that she wasn't totally conscious of her behavior.

RELATED: 25 Hilarious (And Totally Relatable) Memes & Quotes About Being Single

8 Ways Women Keep Themselves Single Forever

Here are eight things women do that keep them feeling like they'll be single forever and prevent them from finding the love they dream of.

1. Feeling unworthy.

Even though you've heard this before, it still holds true. You need to love yourself before you can attract the healthy relationship you long for. Recognizing your value and worthiness can only be done by you.

Take time to shore up your confidence and feel good about who you are as a woman. Recognize how much you have to offer a good man who would be lucky to be with you. Invest in yourself because nothing will have a greater impact on your life than building a feeling of self-worth and deserving of love.

2. Thinking your time for love has passed.

For women who are older and single due to divorce or becoming a widow, some get the idea that they've already had their chance at love. They assume there is some kind of love quotient and being in love one time is all anyone can expect.

This simply isn't true! Many women have multiple, long-term relationships or marriages and find love again at 50, 60, or 70+! Don’t cheat yourself out of the possibility of companionship and romance later in life. There's no expiration date on love.

3. Seeking perfection in a man.

Forgive the brashness of this statement, but no man is perfect, and neither are you. Everyone has flaws and qualities that need improvement.

The good news is that you don't need a perfect man to have a healthy, loving romance. What works best is connecting with a man who's open to learning, growing, and communicating.

When you spend time with a guy who has a good sense of humor, shows you respect, listens to your ideas, and enriches your life, you've likely found a very good match.

Everyone has preferences and you deserve to have what you want in a partner. But does he need to be 6 feet tall, or could 5’10” work if he's good to you? Get your priorities in order and focus on what's truly important for your happiness.

4. Guarding your heart vigorously.

If you've reached 35, you've experienced your share of heartbreak, which often causes you to feel guarded around men. No one wants to be hurt again. That's completely understandable.

However, when you won't open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, that will keep you single. You cannot make a heart connection if you insist on staying totally guarded. In fact, this will push a good man away.

Do the work to heal your heart from previous lovers who caused you pain so you can willingly open yourself up once more. You don't need to throw caution to the wind — take your time and be smart about your choices.

Keep in mind that no matter what happens while dating, you can and will recover.

RELATED: The Sad Reason Why Smart Women Stay Single For Much Longer

5. Assuming all men are like your ex.

Naturally, you don't want to date another man like your ex. You learned that lesson and you don't want to repeat it. 

So why do women often get this notion that new men are just like their ex? Nothing could be further from the truth!

Now it's true that you may be attracted to similar guys. Yet, there are as many types of men as there are stars in the sky. They're definitely not all the same. That's statistically impossible.

If you tend to end up with the same kind of guy, it's time to assess who you're attracted to and expand your horizons. Take a chance to meet men who aren't your type. Push the envelope to see who else might catch your attention. This is how to find a good match, by mixing things up.

6. Experiencing extreme sensitivity to the dating process.

While dating can be an emotional process, you may need to realize that you're taking the process far too seriously. That's exactly why the author, Greg Behrendt (the Sex and the City story consultant about men and dating), wrote his second book, It's Just a F***ing Date.

Greg suggests you find a way to chill out and stop taking yourself and dating so seriously. When you take the pressure off yourself and men, you might actually enjoy meeting new people and get good at it.

On the flip side, when you get all worked up about some guy you just met once or twice who never called again, or stopped texting, you're no longer keeping the process in perspective. The angst is over the top and when this happens, it's easy to understand why you never want to date again.

Learn how to be more resilient and let jerks you meet roll off like water on a duck's back. It's just a date, not a lifetime commitment that went wrong. Have more confidence in yourself and review point #1 to remember you really are worthy. 

7. Unwilling to look within.

Dating requires far more knowledge and wisdom than just the geography for where to find a good man. In fact, the journey is one of self-discovery. Always try to answer these questions honestly for yourself:

What do you like and want?

What makes you happy?

Are you too critical or too accepting?

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Is your heart really open?

Have you done your healing work?

Did you shore up your confidence and sense of worthiness?

How can you become more resilient?

What do you know about dating and understanding men?

Self-reflection is a must if you hope to avoid repeating troublesome patterns from your past and want to connect with a man for healthy, lasting love to obtain the romance you've dreamed about for so long.

8. Not Believing in love.

While this is the last way that single gals get in their own way, this is by far the most crucial. If you don't believe finding love is real and possible, why would you even bother? With that attitude, you might as well stay single forever. 

You need to get to the place of knowing without a doubt that love is your destiny. No matter how many men you meet that don't work out, each one brings you one step closer to the right man for you. When you hold this belief, you can stay motivated, active, and not give up.

It’s never too late for love! Hold onto this idea like it's your lifeline because it sure can be. For myself, I dated 30 men in 15 months to find the man I've been happily married to for 20 years.

Before I got serious about my efforts, I only dabbled at dating and had my heart broken over and over again.

Thankfully, even though most of the men disappointed me and a few caused tears to flow, I never gave up. After a short time of feeling sorry for myself and asking, "Why me?", I would dust myself off, take a deep breath, and remind myself of the belief I clung to with all my heart: love is my destiny.

And true enough, it sure was.

It may not feel easy to get beyond these self-defeating attitudes, ideas and beliefs, but you can do it. People find love every day. If you want to find love, BELIEVE that you can and then go meet lots of men to find that one and only match for you.

RELATED: 7 Little-Known Benefits Of Being Single

For 20 years, Love & Cosmic Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan has shared her sound advice and practical magic for conscious dating, love and life with thousands of successful single women. Take her Dating IQ Quiz today.