Our anxiety about being single can lead us to make some really poor and damaging choices. It can turn our dating life into a game of musical chairs, where we scramble to find ANY “chair” for fear of being the only one left standing when the music stops.
In this week’s video, I share with you 7 mindsets that will take the anxiety out of being single.
Which of these 7 mindsets are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments.
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This was a question that came in from one of our members. She says, “I’m 29 and starting to feel really uncomfortable with the fact that I’m still single. I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with me that I haven’t found something lasting yet. How do I shift this mindset and ensure it doesn’t sabotage my dating life? I don’t want to be too eager and end up settling for the next decent thing that comes my way, and I’m afraid I’ve done this with the last few men I have dated.” Today, I’m going to be talking about seven different mindsets that can help you out of the anxiety of still being single.
Before we get into that, I just wanted to let everyone know that I have a free training coming up called Dating With Results. If you’re sick and tired of being on the dating treadmill, if you’re sick and tired of people not treating dating seriously, who you go on dates with, people using you, love bombing, gas lighting. If you want to get results in your love life, go there now, sign up for free and join me for Dating With Results. Now, onto the video.
The first thing I would say to this person is to avoid the seduction of false progress. When we feel like we need to make progress, and then we see someone in front of us, maybe they’re not quite right for us. Maybe they fall beneath certain standards we have for the behavior we want, or maybe we just don’t really click with them on the level that we want for our future partner. But simply dating them and letting that slip into seeing them and letting seeing them slip into some kind of current or temporary relationship feels like progress, it feels like forward momentum. But those relationships that we settle for in the short term, just so that we can tell our friends that we’re seeing someone again, just so that we can post a relationship status, that we’re with someone. We can let the world know that we have someone, they’re costly in terms of time and energy.
It’s a bit like relationship musical chairs. Everyone’s going around in a circle until the music stops, and then all of a sudden, everyone scrambles to find the nearest chair. No one wants to be the person left standing in musical chairs. Well, being single can be the same thing. You’re just any chair will do. Just get me sat on a chair so that I’m not left standing at the end of this. But then you realize you haven’t been discerning at all about the chair you’ve sat on. Is it a comfy chair? Is it a chair you want to be sat on for the rest of your life? Some people sat down on a three-legged chair, this person sat on a chair with a whoopy cushion on it. Because we’re terrified that when the music stops, we’re not going to have a place to reside. We’re not going to have a person, so we grab any person.
Number two, lose the shame; own your intentions. I reread this woman’s question, “I’m starting to feel really uncomfortable with the fact that I’m still single.” Notice that language, still single. It carries a shame that there’s something wrong with me. There is a desperation about me that I’m still single and God forbid anyone else see or feel that desperation. What that does for a lot of people? I’ve been doing this for 15 years now and what I watch is people fake a indifference because they’re terrified to be seen, to be trying in their love lives.
Many people would rather be in the wrong relationship than be seen to be out there single trying to find the right relationship, because at least by being in the wrong relationship, they can say they’re with somebody. That shame is something we have to lose. The way we lose it is by getting back to just owning the intention. What is the intention? I’m a human being who is capable of giving an extraordinary amount of love, who is still romantic and excited and optimistic about how good love can be, and I want to find that. There is no shame in that. That’s just beautiful, and it’s such an unkind thing to do to ourselves to take this beautiful intention that we’ve had for a very long time, and to make it synonymous with desperation and insecurities and all of our worst fears about our inadequacy.
Number three, break the spell of comparison. Even in the language of, “I’m 29 and I still haven’t met someone yet,” are the symptoms of comparison. I thought I’d be here by now, and we measure, where we should be in relation to other people? Where are people normally by my age? Where are my friends right now? Are they married? Are they in relationships? Oh my God, they are. Some of them are even starting to think about having a family. I feel left behind. There’s all that comparison that makes us unhappy. By the way, there are some of you in the comments who will say, “She’s 29. She’s a baby. She’s so young.” You’ll be doing the comparison game because you’ll be doing it in relation to your age, “Oh, God, if she only knew I’m 50. When I was 29, I didn’t realize how much time I had.” But maybe there’s a 70-year-old looking at you and saying the same thing, “When I was 50, I didn’t realize that I could have a whole new life starting at that point.” It goes on and on. These comparisons happen all the time.
One thing is universal. All of us are going to be humbled at some point in our lives by being, to use a monopoly reference, sent back to go. We can think that we’re making progress at one point in our lives. You find a partner at 28, you get married by 30 and you feel like you’ve made massive progress, and then all of a sudden at 32, you’re getting a divorce. No one would’ve wanted that for themselves. They didn’t predict it at the point where they were getting married, but it happened. All of a sudden life went: “Go back to go.” This happens in all areas of our life. Sometimes it happens financially. You thought you were in a certain position and then some cataclysmic event precipitates, you having to “go back to go” financially. Or it might be in your health. You suddenly have a health scare and that sends you “back to go” healthwise. We all have these setbacks in life.
To me, a lot of growing older and especially the wiser people around me, they start to lose that framing of life of, “I’m trying to do this by this time.” Because in the context of a life full of forward motion, and then massive setbacks and taking a big leap ahead, and then having another massive setback and being sent back to go in different areas regularly, it starts to seem a bit silly.
What we realize is, the only consistent thing in my life is my trajectory in who I’m becoming. I am every day growing and becoming wiser, more learned, more experienced, more seasoned in life. And we can refine that person to become better and better at handling life. The funny thing about life is while we’re racing to show material progress: “I am now in a relationship . . . Now, I’m graduating to marriage . . . Now, I have a family.” Life is far more complex than that. You could find someone today and not make that relationship last because you’re not ready to make a relationship last today. Or you could be single for the next five years, and the relationship you find in five years lasts because of who you became in that time. Life is complex. Lose the comparison. It’s just your journey.
Number four, make friends with uncertainty. One of the things that is making this person so afraid is looking at the future and catastrophizing, “What if I’m still single at 35? What if I’m still single at 40? What if I never meet somebody?” Everything changes in life. Everything. Our worst problems today will change. They will shape shift into something else. They will evolve because everything in life is always evolving. It is always changing. So, we have to make space for that in that fear of the future. Instead of having this incredible fear of the future, we have to get our feet on the ground today and say, “I’m here in this moment right now. My worst fears aren’t actually happening right now.” By definition, their fears, their future projection.
That thing isn’t actually happening right now, what’s happening right now is my feet are on the ground. I’m here in this moment. There is some stuff in my life that I want to fix. There’s some stuff I want to work on. There’s some stuff that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s all changing and I cannot predict where I will be a year from now. That would be true, by the way. If you were in a relationship right now, don’t think that other people have been given the gift of certainty and you haven’t in your single state. They do not own the gift of certainty. They’re now they’re in a marriage. So, they’re certain that this person will never leave. They’re certain that this person will never cheat on them. They’re certain this person will never die. No one gets that certainty. It is not available to us.
While uncertainty may create a discomfort at times in our life, we can learn to make friends with it. Part of making friends with it to me is yes, it may be that some of my fears may be confirmed, it might be that some bad things will happen in my life, but what’s certain is that everything changes. This feeling I have will change. My relationship with my problems will change. The circumstances of the problems themselves will change. Within that uncertainty, by the way, is also something wildly exciting, which is that anything can happen. At any moment, someone could walk into your life or you into theirs, and what is sparked is the great relationship of your life.
Speaking of anything is possible, remember, and this is point number five, it only takes one. Baseball, you get a certain number of swings, and then you strike out. This is not true of our love life. No matter how many times you’ve tried, there is no cap on how many times you can try, on how many people you can approach, on how many relationships you can enter into. You can keep going at this until you find the right person, until you become the right person, until you find the right relationship. You only need one. How many things in the entire world give you those odds? It doesn’t matter how many times you try. You can literally keep trying until you find the relationship. You are only limited by your own fear of rejection.
Number six, learning how to be happy on your own is one of the most worthwhile muscles you can build. So much of the work that allows us to bring our best selves to a relationship, have standards in a relationship, be independent while also being in a relationship where there is a kind of interdependence is best done while we’re on our own. When your friends are all out with their partners on a Friday night, and you find yourself having to sit in that feeling of being on your own. Self-soothing, learning that you actually quite like your own company, the relationships, the friendships that we invest in when we find ourselves single, the support network that we build, the passions that we find we invest in. These are all things that give us this solid base that when we find someone allows us to ask a crucial question, “Does this person elevate my life? Does this person add to my joy? Or do they actually compromise this joy that I’ve created?”
Number seven, learn to fall in love with your life the way that your life is happening. This gets completely out of the comparison mode, and it means a complete presence with our life. Fall in love with your life the way it’s happening instead of the way you thought it should have happened, instead of being married to the blueprint that you once had for yourself about the way it was supposed to unfold. Fall in love with the way that it’s unfolding, the good and the bad, because that’s your life and the product of that is going to be your unique product, the product of your pain, the product of things not going your way, the product of the muscle you have to build in the difficult times, in the lonely times. That is all creating this treasure that is uniquely yours.
When you get to the end of your story, it will be your story. It won’t be a cheap copy of somebody else’s journey. The more you can just go with the flow of that in every step of the way, just decide to make the most of whatever is going on right now, I’m single at 29, how do I make the most of that? How do I get the most fun out of that? How do I get the most joy out of that? How do I get the most learning out of that? How do I make the biggest impact out of that? That’s where I am. What can I do with that? The more we can fall in love with our own journey and make the most of that particular journey, the better a life we’re going to have.
Thank you so much for watching this video. If you want to take these seven mindsets and harness them to find love this year, come join us on Dating With Results, the live training I am doing very, very soon. Go over to DatingWithResults.com to sign up for free, and I will see you there.
8 Replies to “Freaking Out About Still Being Single??”
WOW Matthew, this speaks to me hugely! I’m single and 25, and am scared and anxious about being alone and that even if I meet someone at 30, that’s a bit late for someone who wants to start a family. And it bothers me when I see friends meeting people and have “lost” a friend or two because if their relationship and marriage. I’m going to copy down your points and really reflect on them when this fear rises up. #7 is one of my favorites if not the one.
I agree and I enjoyed my journey i realized that it is so good when you can pray and meditate you have peace of mind with yourself.
Hi Matthew. Thank you.
My situation is a little different, but that doesn’t matter. I am 58 years old. Looking through my life, starting in my mid-teens, I was always in a relationship, and found that creating a relationship was very easy. I was always treated well. At age 28, I married my “soulmate”, and we have 3 kids. Sadly, when I was 49, my husband developed a malignant brain tumor, and he died when I was 50. Of course I was devastated, but I ALWAYS had the perspective that I would connect with someone else when I felt ready. I met that someone only 6 months later, and within the next year we got engaged. But something was not right, and our relationship ended after 3 years. It’s easy for me to say that I was just not ready, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. Since then I’ve been in another serious relationship that I shut down, because he was the king of love bombing, and I got uncomfortable. I met someone else who seemed perfect, but we couldn’t make that one work either. I am frustrated with why relationships, which always came easily to me, are now a source of struggle for me. My issue now, is that I am very sad about not having a life partner now. I do not fear rejection, and in fact I have experienced almost no rejection in my life. Trying to stay patient that my next life partner actually does exist. Working now on improving some health issues, that will put me in a better position when he does pop up. Thank you for your insight and your encouragement.
Peggy, thanks for sharing your story! I feel the underlying issue in your case is not as you yourself know the fear of rejection, in fact, it may be a fear of loosing him/your soulmate again (it may be something like If I find my soulmate, he’ll die – even though it may sound weird and illogical). Try to free write what’s in your mind around this (c.45 min). You may find your specific belief and say it bye-bye. Hope I helped a bit, enjoy the life ✨
I don’t think the “still single” is only about comparison with others. It’s also a reflection as to where we’d like to be in life when, so more about your own expectations.
As women, we’ve also got an expiration date on becoming mothers. Some of us don’t want to be ‘older’ mummas (no judgements here) but would love to embark on that journey in our early 30s.
There’s a certain amount of grief we have to go through when our ow. expectations aren’t met, or when we have to give up being a mum altogether. I have numerous women friends who wanted to be mums but couldn’t because of the lack of a partner. They’re now in their 40s and we need to normalize talking about that loss that never was.
This is just brilliant. I have finally learned to love my own company at 49 years old. I was in a loveless marriage for 14 years and then jumped from relationship to relationship. Over the last year I have chosen to be single and work on myself. I’ve never been happier. There are no shortage of interested guys (despite me not actively looking for a partner) and I am not worried about when the right one will turn up in my life anymore. I’m enjoying every day and have lots of new interests (mountain biking, guitar, djing) and know I offer so much more to the right relationship than I did a year ago. Life is good just how it is and I’m excited to see what the future brings.
Hi i like what i heard i will try the last 3. Im a 57year old woman, married and divorce twice. Afraid of dating at my age.
I look for love for me in my life I neet your help please to fllow the one please
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