“Why am I still single?!?”
If you’ve asked yourself this question long enough, you might be starting to feel like finding love is simply a matter of luck.
If you’re struggling to figure out why you’re still single, in this week’s video, I give you 5 honest reasons why, plus some quick changes you can make to attract the right relationship faster.
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I wanted to make a video that was a counterintuitive answer to the question that I have received ad nauseum for 15 years now, which is “Matthew, why am I still single? Why have I not met anybody?” And often people are looking for very direct answers that must relate to their love life, must relate to something that they are doing wrong in their interactions, or some flirting tip that they don’t know about. But the truth of why so many people are single is actually more structural and indirect than that. John Kay wrote a book called, “Obliquity.” And the idea of this book was that the results we want to achieve in life are best achieved indirectly. So, if you want to be a millionaire, don’t focus on becoming rich. Focus on creating an amazing product that meets people’s needs. Focus on your leadership skills. Focus on your ability to build an amazing team and get them on board with your vision so that they can help you get there.
These are indirect things that have nothing to do with money, but money becomes the byproduct. Well, the same is true in our love lives. There are things that have nothing to do with our love lives, that if we get those right, produce an amazing love life, produce more opportunities, might lead to the relationship you have always wanted. And so, what I wanted to do in this video was highlight five things that when I was thinking, what are the reasons people are single that have nothing to do with their love life, were the first things that came to my mind. So, I’m going to read these out and I want you to tell me which ones you resonate with. Leave me a comment, and let me know which one are you like, “Oh, wow. That’s mine. That’s exactly me.” And by the end of the video, are there any you feel I’ve left out?
If so, leave me a comment and let me know.
Reason number one you may be single that has nothing to do with love. You have friendships, but not communities. There are a lot of people that will say to me, “Matt, I have a social life. I have great friends.” I know that when they say they have great friends, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re part of any communities. What’s the difference? Well, a friend might be someone that I go to dinner with every week. I get social connection from them. I get this feeling of connection and intimacy and vulnerability and friendship.
All of that is good, obviously. That’s wonderful. But it’s not community, not in a way that introduces me to a new pool of people. And one of the great antidotes to online dating and burning out through dating apps is to have communities in real life. If someone invites me somewhere, and it’s not someone I know really well, it’s more of an acquaintance or someone who’s on the way to becoming a friend, but they invite me somewhere. They invite me to a party they’re going to or a social event, they’re running. If I go there, I’m probably going to meet 99%, if not 100%, new people. That gives me a shot at becoming part of a new community, especially if I get invited two or three times and I become a new staple part of that group.
If I join a running club, I am going to be exposed to a new community of people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met. Most of us spend our lives in the exact same communities we’ve always been in. And so, once we’ve exhausted those pools and realize there’s no one there for us, our opportunities stop there, apart from online dating. The antidote to that is not spending more time with your existing friends. It’s two things. Say yes to people you don’t normally say yes to that can expose you to brand new pools of people, and go do things you are interested in in community. Because you could just put your headphones in and go for a run on the street. But when you do it as part of a running club, you are in a community doing it.
And that gives you the added benefit that you’re going to meet people there, some of whom will be new friends that will invite you to new communities again. And if you hit the jackpot, one of whom might actually be the love you’ve been looking for.
The second reason you might be single that has nothing to do with love is that you work from home. So many more people will relate to this now over the last couple of years because, for many of you, COVID has meant you’re now working from home. This is something that I have experienced for nearly 15 years of my life because, for as long as I’ve been doing what I do, I’ve always worked from home.
And I know that working from home has always meant that I have had to be incredibly intentional about getting out there and meeting people because it’s very easy to stay in my pajamas, to work through the day, and at the end of the day say. “I’m exhausted. I’m not going anywhere.” It’s always easier not to leave the house. When you go to a place of work, you might bump into someone on public transport on the way, you might bump into someone in the building you work in, you might bump into someone at lunch or at happy hour that someone is holding from your office after work. These are all opportunities to collide with another person. You can sometimes end up in a relationship by accident that way. Some of you have because you worked somewhere and that being somewhere meant that you collided with someone at some point. You ended up in a relationship that could not have happened if you worked from home that day.
So, what this means is it doesn’t make working from home a bad thing. For so many of us, it’s changed our lives. But what it does mean is that if you work from home, you’re going to have to be really intentional about creating opportunities to go and be in the world, to be in spaces, where you can collide with other people, whether it’s occasionally working from a busy coffee shop so that you’re around people, whether it’s going to the gym in the evening so that you’re part of a class there and you can meet people there, or whether it’s simply going to the grocery store. Anywhere that you can bump into someone is a plus and a moment where an opportunity could arise. Don’t use working from home as an excuse to be passive.
The third reason you may be single that has nothing to do with love is that you live in the middle of nowhere.
Now, this will apply to some of you and not others. But for those of you it does apply to, you know who you are. Living in a city has its drawbacks. Everyone has their favorite excuse about why it’s hard to find love in New York or LA or London or Dubai. The one thing you can say about those places is that there are people around. And if you truly live in a place where there’s this many people, it’s going to be harder. You don’t get to play the odds in the same way. If dating is partly a numbers game, the numbers are not stacked in your favor. And there are people that I’ve known that have decided at a time in their life where I know they really want to meet someone to move out to the middle of the countryside. And I think to myself, “Wait, no. This is going to make it exponentially more difficult for you to meet somebody.” You’re hoping, I guess, to meet somebody out of the five people that go to the local pub near you, and it’s the same five people every day of the week?
It’s harder. Now, I know that there’s going to be a part of this that might inflame people because the idea of, “So what are you saying? I have to move? There’s a big deal. That’s costly. And by the way, I have my sick mother that I’m looking after where I am. I can’t just up and go.” The way that I’ll say it is this, because hopefully this can be a pressure valve in what I’m saying. I remember a brief stage of my life where me and my family were living a decent amount of distance away from the closest town. And I remember, as James Aker would put it in “The Happiness Advantage,” the activation energy required to go to the nearest town to see a movie, to get a meal, was so high that most nights I just decided to do nothing because it was just too much effort.
We have to ask ourselves, if I live in “the middle of nowhere,” is there any way that I could try to lower the activation energy that it would take to meet people, to have interactions, to go on dates? One of those ways might just be, “I’m going to have several reasons to go into town or into the nearest city. I’m going to make it so that I’m able to be there for a day or two a week. If I create multiple wins out of that so that it’s not like I’m just going into the city to hope that I bump into somebody that’s attractive,” because you’re going to hate that. You’re going to go home just demoralized and depressed every time you’re like, “I drove a fucking hour to come here and just to hang out and meet no one, and then come home again?”
“I would’ve rather stayed at home and read a good book, watched TV shows.” If we’re going to remain where we live right now, we have to create multiple wins that we’ll get from going to the nearest place where there are people. What are the four reasons that you could be going into the city that you can combine on a single day or on a weekend? Go do that, and make sure that while you’re there, you attend something social or you meet up with someone or you just go hang somewhere and work for a couple of hours in a busy spot. Or you go on dating apps, and you line up a date while you’re there. Or you may look at something a little more drastic. You may look at your choice in life to live where you live and say, “Does it work with my key priorities?”
“If one of my key priorities is I really want to meet someone, do I want to live a little closer to the action? Is it worth it? Is it possible? If it’s more expensive to live there, could I take a smaller space to go and live there so that I can have the possibility of a different kind of social life that might bring more opportunities for love?” Or, “If I’m looking after my sick mother where I am, do I need to be one minute from her? Or could I be 20 minutes from her and 20 minutes from the nearest place where there’s lots of people, instead of one minute from her and 40 minutes from the nearest civilization?” These are all options. I’m not here to put any judgment on what you’re doing right now or to tell you you should do anything. But they’re questions worth asking.
Life is all about choices. It’s all about priorities. And if we have a setup right now of where we live that’s making it disproportionately difficult to meet someone, something has to give somewhere, and we need to find where that give is.
The fourth reason we may be single that has nothing to do with love is that we’re not proud of ourselves. And more specifically, we’re not taking pride in ourselves and our appearance right now. Training is one of those things that can make us feel great about our bodies. It can make us feel good. I’m not talking about getting to some figure that looks like a magazine. I’m talking about something that makes you feel proud of yourself, something that makes you feel sexy. And that doesn’t have to just be training. It could be throwing on an outfit we really enjoy.
It could be getting up and getting ready in the morning and feeling good. It could be doing our hair or makeup. What are those things that make you feel sexy? Because when we go out, we’re either one of two people. We’re either going out and hiding. And I have had many days where I’m going out and I’m hiding from people. I want my coffee, but I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to make eye contact with everyone. I want to look at the floor the whole time because I just don’t feel good in myself in that moment. And there are other times where I go out and I feel like the shit. I feel great. I’m wearing shoes that I like. I’m wearing an outfit that’s new and crisp. My hair’s done, my skin feels good. And in that moment I’m open to the world. I’m looking around. My head is up. I’m ready for interactions. I’m going to make eye contact with the person serving me my coffee.
I might have a bit of banter. I’m open to the world. And that energy produces a whole different world of opportunities. There is one face that we have that tells the world to go away, that tells opportunity to go in a different direction. And there’s another face we have that invites everything into our lives. The difference is when we leave, do we feel that energy that makes us proud to take ourselves out? Do I feel good? Do I feel like I’m taking myself on a date right now? And am I doing the things that make me feel that? A small thing for me is getting ready first thing in the morning. Showering and making myself look as good as possible in the morning so that I feel like that for the rest of the day. That cheesy cliche, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” right? When you go out and you just feel ready, then anything can happen.
You could be in a grocery store and see someone attractive, and you might actually do something about it. You might actually say something. You might actually hold eye contact for a second longer. And that one second longer might be the thing that brings them over to you. So, is your head up? Are you open to the world? And are you doing the things for yourself, your presentation, your image that make you feel like doing those things? Are you taking yourself out on a date each day? Because if you are, other people will want to date you.
The fifth reason you may be single that has nothing to do with love is you’re too freaking tired. And I would combine this with you don’t have time. Time and energy are two things that are very connected. In fact, I would go as far as to say energy is time because most people have some kind of time.
Most people find time to watch the latest Netflix show, regardless of how busy they are. They somehow have still seen the episodes that we’re all talking about when we say, “Have you seen this?” So, they have some time. But time without energy is redundant. If you don’t have the energy to reach out to somebody, to flirt, to go out and be where people are, to be on a date with great energy, then it doesn’t matter how much time you have. You’re just exhausted. You’re never going to be able to do it. So, we have to look at our lives and say, “If I’m getting real with myself, what needs to happen for me to have more time and perhaps, even more importantly, more energy to actually invest in creating opportunities in my love life?” And I say this humbly, knowing that there are those of you who are working multiple jobs, who are looking after sick relatives, who have children that you’re raising on your own, that are dealing with all manner of issues in your life. You may be dealing with your own health issues.
There are so many plates you are spinning that at the end of the day, you have nothing left to give and barely any time. And to that, I would say, if you are watching this video, then there must be some part of you that really wants to find love. And you may decide, “Based on what Matt just said, I just don’t have time right now, and I’m going to take a step back and I’m going to do this in another chapter of my life.” Or you may say, “This is always going to be my life to some extent. I’m always going to be busy. I’m always going to have multiple plates spinning. That’s who I am. I have a lot of responsibility. I have a lot going on. I have a lot of people that rely on me. I better figure out what needs to happen for me to have time and energy for me in this area.”
And that might involve recalibrating. Who do I need to start saying no to? Who do I keep making more important than me? And they shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list. Where do I need to have more boundaries? Where am I doing too much people pleasing in my life? Where am I taking on responsibilities that aren’t my responsibilities? Where do I need to start putting myself first? What help and support could I get? And how do I start to crowbar, albeit imperfectly, time for my love life into my week? Whether it’s time to go and join a community where I might have a hope of meeting somebody, or whether it’s time to go on a date. I need to find that time. If it’s as important to me as I say it is. There may be areas I need to pull back, but if it’s important, I’ll find a way.
When you do these things, it’s not just about giving you more time because, by the way, if you’re honest with yourself, you might already have some time. But it may be more about where do I need to pull back so that I have more energy? Because energy is ultimately going to be the thing that allows me to start to be enthusiastic and more optimistic about this area again.
Oh, hello. Look, now it’s light outside. Now, I’m wearing a green t-shirt, not a white one. But I wanted to give you something that’s going to help you before you leave. If you are out there texting people in the early stages of dating, and you want to know what to do in a challenging situation where someone sends you something you don’t quite know what to reply in order to keep the conversation going or to maintain attraction.
Or maybe someone got sexual too quickly, and you’re like, “Whoa, I like this person, but I don’t like this tone. I don’t like this rhythm. What do I actually do to get this back on track?” I have a free guide for you at WhatToTextNext.com. Go over there now. It’s a video training on how to move things in the direction you want them to go in in early dating. Especially if you just met someone from the Wild West that is dating apps. So, go check it out. WhatToTextNext.com, and it’s free. Did I mention it’s free, Jameson?