Last year, it was reported that single people in America now outnumber married people. There are many theories and ideas about why this is. One might think that it would be easier to find a soul mate because of online dating sites, but it seems that this has changed our millennial mindset, making us pickier than ever.
The research group Euromonitor even predicts that by 2020, there will be 48 million new single residents, an uptick of over 20 percent of the current number.
Notwithstanding, many of us still crave companionship, a void that nothing else in life can seem to fill. The dating game can be exhausting and frustrating, especially when we experience repeated breakups, which causes real, actual grief. Once this grief is properly addressed, which can include therapy, we still may be left asking ourselves, "Why am I still single?"
My experience has shown me that usually it's not other people; it's me who needs to change. When I say this, I don't mean that we need to change who we are; rather, change what we're doing and why we're doing it.
1. Make it a matter of prayer
Communing with God to better understand His plan for you can help you find peace in a brutal world. Consider that God's ways are higher than ours; He has a plan for each of us.
God wants us to talk with Him. By putting Him at the forefront of our dating lives, asking Him questions, and turning to holy scripture for answers, we'll perhaps find some of the answers to why we haven't married yet.
God does want us to marry, have families and learn to become like Him. Seek His guidance in what it will take to get to that point.
2. Meet as many people as possible
Years ago, a good friend of mine told me that he had a goal to go on dates with 50 girls. I remember exclaiming that was a lot. He then told me that he wanted to go out with as many people as possible to learn what he did and didn't like. He kept a journal of these dates, and started to notice a consistent theme in his preferences.
My friend never made it to his goal of 50, because along the way, he met his wife. By the time she came along, it was apparent to my friend that this wonderful woman would make an excellent companion. He moved quickly and asked her to marry him. She accepted, and they have a wonderful life and a cute little boy.
From this experience, it's apparent that putting ourselves out there will broaden our opportunities. If my friend hadn't been going places where he knew he could meet quality girls, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet and date his wife.
Use every avenue possible to put yourself in front of people. As you are out there, remember that you may get rejected from time to time. That's OK. Take those experiences, learn from them, then move on to meeting more people. If you follow this pattern, you'll find rejection happens less and less.
3. Make a list of qualities you find attractive
Also, make a list of things that aren't attractive to you. From these two lists, pick three things you absolutely must have, three things you absolutely can't stand and then discard the rest.
No one is perfect, so simply focus on the values and attributes in a person that are most important to you.
Finally, make a third list, but make it about you. What do you need to do to be deserving of this ideal mate? Only you can answer these questions, but seeking out the advice of family and close friends in this regard will help you narrow down your best and worst qualities.
From this final list, make any necessary changes in your personal behavior, and hold yourself accountable to someone (such as a parent or best friend) to measure your progess. During this time, it's important that you keep dating, because this will give you realtime feedback about your improvements.
4. Be kind and stay positive
Kindness goes a long way, especially in the dating realm. This isn't to say that you should go on a pity date with everyone who shows interest; rather, politely declining an invitation in a kind way will do a lot for your personal self worth, and it will make it easier to stay within your preferences.
Staying positive can be tough, especially if it's been a while since you've been in a relationship, but focus on the good things in your life. Keep your friends and family close; exercise; read; expand your hobbies and talents.
Eventually, for most of us, the right person does come along. Until then, if you are the very best person you can be, you can find happiness in the single life.