If You’re Currently Single And A Decent Person, This Advice Is For You

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Woman enjoying nature, touching plant

The other night, my husband and I got a phone call from our friend Mason*. 

Mason is a great guy. He’s tall, hard-working, well-dressed, and will leave you in stitches when you talk to him.

He actually called because a girl stood him up on a date.

Mason was wondering what went wrong, and if he was to blame. He always tries to be respectful, always is straightforward, and … nothing really happens. He’s turned down women who weren’t his type, but such is life.

"Am I doing something wrong?" he asked.

Another friend of mine had spent the day wondering why she was single. She’s got a bubbly personality, a great sense of style and it’s not like she doesn’t have options. She tends to turn people down because she’s not attracted to the guys who want her.

"Am I doing something wrong?" she asked.

I hear this from every gender under the sun. I think there are a couple of things I need to say as someone who’s been there, done that.

RELATED: If You Do These 9 Things, It's Your Fault You're Still Single

If you're currently single and a decent person, here are 7 things you need to know:

1. Being single is not a failure on your end

I’m really tired of hearing people act like being single is a bad thing.

Being a single guy is not a bad thing. Being a single girl is not a bad thing. This doesn’t mean you're gross, unattractive, or anything else.

In reality, dating is a total crapshoot. There are really, truly amazing people out there who are single throughout their lives. Is it their fault? No. They just didn’t meet someone who works with them.

Anyone who’s been on a bad date can tell you that the dating pool needs a dose of chlorine in it. Moreover, dating apps are horrible and pretentious. A huge part of whether you find someone deals with luck.

Dating in modern times is also a meat grinder. You shouldn’t blame yourself if you decide that it’s no longer worth it. It’s not your fault if you got burnt out by it.

Singledom does not always indicate that something is wrong with you or that you’re defective. It’s messed up that people treat it that way, and it's even more messed up that there is such a strong push to internalize that concept.

2. You’re not wrong for wanting someone

I’m not going to be the writer who sits there and says, "Can’t you just be happy? Why do you even want a partner anyway?!"

Do you know why? Because that’s patronizing AF and it shames you for wanting something that is 1000 percent human. Your feelings are valid and anyone who tries to say otherwise is a jerk.

Humans are social creatures. It’s normal to want to have a partner who you share your life with. It’s normal to want a family — be it with kids or fur babies or feather babies or scaly babies. You’re not crazy for feeling down about it.

Moreover, I totally understand that feeling of wanting a relationship just to prove that you are "enough." Do you know what I mean? It’s nice and warming to know that you were chosen or wanted that way. Sometimes that’s all you want to hear.

Once again, that is a normal feeling and a normal desire. Our society has that way of making us all feel worthless. Having a partner somehow makes that feel a little less real at times.

Is this a healthy thing? Not always, but it’s understandable.

It’s okay to grieve what could have been. That’s normal as long as you don’t let it define you.

RELATED: 25 Sure Signs You're Really, Truly Ready For A Relationship — According To Experts

3. As much as you may want a relationship, you shouldn’t force one on someone

This was the biggest mistake I always made, and it’s one that really stands out in my mind. I kept trying to beg, plead and cajole people who didn’t want to be with me to be in a relationship.

Others I’ve seen who have made this mistake tried to lock it down through more toxic means: isolating their partners, beating them, stealing their money, and emotionally abusing them to make them "stay in line."

If a person doesn’t want to commit to you, don’t force it.

At best, you will end up with a resentful partner who will bail on you the moment they can. At worst, the relationship will turn abusive — with you potentially being the abuser.

Trust me when I say that this won’t give you the security and happiness you are hoping for. If you force it, it can and will ruin a relationship. If a person wants to be with you, they’ll let you know it.

Male or female, dating is about picking someone and getting picked by them. You can’t just pick and try to hold a relationship with someone who didn’t pick you back.

4. No, do not lower your standards

This is true for both men and women, and I’m sick and tired of morons on the net telling people to lower their standards.

People who tell you to lower your standards do not have your best interests in mind. It’s more telling about them.

They are often thinking for themselves and their end goals. In some cases, this is to get more accessibility to people of the opposite sex. In other cases, it’s to lower your self-esteem.

Truth be told, relationships are incredibly risky. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who you are just ambivalent about, or worse, not even attracted to. Attraction can grow, but it can’t be negotiated.

I can’t name how many women I’ve seen browbeat into a relationship with a whiny guy because they were people-pleasers. The same can be said about men who were guilted into being with women. Do you know what ended up happening to them? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

After years or even a marriage proposal, these relationships often got abusive, had dead bedrooms, had infidelity, had a partner who bailed, or had one partner who ghosted after years of it.

Is that what you want? No, absolutely not. You don’t want to be on the giving or receiving end of that.

I don’t care how picky you are. Lowering your standards doesn’t fix anything.

5. There are some reasons why you might be single that you can fix — but this isn’t always the case

People don’t like to hear it, but if you want to attract people, you have to be attractive.

Attractive, however, doesn’t deal with looks or body type. Rather, it’s a vibe. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a decent income?
  • Is my life enviable?
  • Have people told me that I need therapy?
  • Do I harbor resentment or even hatred of the gender I’m attracted to?
  • Do I appear mentally stable to people?
  • Do I offer something to others?
  • Physically, is there something that I can do to make myself more attractive?

If you keep hearing people say that your approach is wrong or that there is a major issue that keeps you alone, it may be wise to consider addressing it. This could be a reason why things aren’t working out. Maybe.

Self-improvement is never easy, but it does help you out in the long run — even if you don’t find someone. More often than not, you will know (to some degree) what needs to change. Personal accountability is sexy.

With that said, there is never any guarantee that improving yourself will result in finding someone to date. It’s just not how life works. Even so, self-improvement maximizes your chances of getting the relationship you want.

RELATED: 7 Little-Known (And Incredible) Benefits Of Being Single

6. A person’s rejection of you can often say more about them than you

In my article about women not being able to afford relationships, I explained that a lot of guys I dated saw me as great to sleep with, but terrible to marry — but only when I was broke.

When I got more money, they suddenly wanted to date and marry me. I was revolted because their rejection and turnaround betrayed their real reasoning: they loved my money more than they loved and trusted me.

A lot of rejections are like that, whether you realize it or not.

Sometimes, it’s not about money. Sometimes, it’s because they are embarrassed to be seen with someone overweight — something I experienced quite a bit too.

Sometimes it’s because they are holding out for someone else or because you don’t have enough "status" for their taste.

Let’s just be honest here. Do you really want to be with a person who only loves you if you make bank? Do you really want someone who would dump you if you get a little more pudge? Personally, that’s a no for me.

It’s often best to trust that a person who rejected you sees an incompatibility that you, yourself don’t see. Rather than try to get into a relationship that could be set for failure, thank them and keep walking.

7. You never know what could happen

When I met my husband, I had given up on dating, gone camping, and gone on a massive drug bender. He met me, we started talking, I vomited outside his tent and passed out for 14 hours.

Long story short, I woke up, and (to my surprise) he was outside, keeping watch over me and making sure no one came into the tent. I was floored and quickly ended up dating him.

Our dates started out humble. He asked me out to a cheap sandwich shop and even picked up the tab — despite making minimum wage. I quickly moved him into my apartment, we got married, and now we’ve been together for almost five years.

Since then, we’ve upgraded apartments, traveled to Florida together, gone into the Artist’s Section of EZOO as a couple, visited tons of restaurants, and enjoyed museums together. Oh, and we got three cats and will be in a music video together too.

Had anyone told me that I’d meet my future husband by vomiting outside of his tent after a drug bender, I wouldn’t have believed you. You never know who you’ll meet or when you’ll meet them.

What I’m saying is, don’t be afraid of the future. Be open to possibilities. And, if you need things to be a bit more grounded, go by what my mom always says:

“Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”

RELATED: How To Know If You're 'Single By Choice' — Or Just Afraid Of Falling In Love

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.