Are you a hardcore single or are you hiding from a relationship?
Are you a #hardcore #single or are you #hiding from a #relationship?
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting two women from the St Louis area. During our conversation they revealed that they had both been divorced for more than 20 years. One said she was totally content in her singleness and the other seemed to be seeking a relationship. This conversation caused me to do some reflecting about the single life and those that have spent a significant part of their adult life being single. Based on my conversations with clients, singles in general and other coaches and counselors, I am seeing two patterns emerge. One is the hardcore single and the other is the person hiding in their singleness. (Note: I’m not talking about the single parent that has devoted the last 10, 15 or 20 years to raising their children and is now interested in dating.)
A hardcore single is someone that has been divorced or widowed for at least 15 to 20 years. They are usually adamant about staying single and NEVER wanting to marry again. As I talk to these singles, they have some very common characteristics to each other. First, they have had a bad experience with marriage and more often than not, with dating. They have become very set in their ways and admit they don’t want their daily routines interrupted. They don’t particularly care to share their home with a significant other because they want their space. Generally, anyone “invading” their space is unwanted. There are the noted exceptions of family and close friends from out of town that come to visit for a short time. Is this a bad thing? No! Some people just prefer to remain single. They enjoy their life as it is. They have plenty of friends, enjoy plenty of activities and are rarely lonesome. The single life is ideal for them.
And then, there are those people that hide in their singleness. Why? Many are fearful of being hurt especially if they suffered emotional trauma in one or more previous relationships purposefully sabotage their relationships. Some are just socially awkward and have difficulty meeting and getting to know people. Others are uncertain of their ability to date successfully. They like to date but are generally afraid of making a mistake by choosing the wrong person to be in a relationship with. Finally, there are those that are actually in a relationship and refuse to commit to anything long-term. They usually hide in mediocre relationships because it gives them an excuse not to have to commit. Their loneliness is minimized because they are not usually alone yet they are not truly happy because they are not in a great relationship. In many cases it also gives them something to complain about with their friends; the negativity factor.
There are many ways in which a person can hide in singleness. A number of people I have talked to have adopted traits that are extremely unappealing to a potential mate. Many of them are openly defiant about traits or habits. For example, one gentleman told me that he is very disorganized around the house. “I know it and that will never change!” he said. Others may over-eat to make themselves unattractive. I have even met people that berate and belittle the opposite sex and yet will complain that they cannot find a good mate.
Regardless of why someone chooses to hide in their singleness, generally these people are not able to identify or recognize a healthy relationship. Usually they have only experienced emotionally unhealthy relationships or co-dependent relationship issues may have attracted them. It may be beneficial to recognize these characteristics and find the appropriate counseling or therapy for help if you cannot work through them on your own.
Are you a hard core single or are you hiding in your singleness?
If you have questions about dating, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the author.
Over the past 30 years, Rick Soetebier has been a student of self and relationship improvement. He has become an astute observer of people and relationship issues. Over time and through a relationship and marriage that ended after 25 years, Rick started to develop some of the fundamental principles that are found in his book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate. You can benefit through his observations, education, research and personal experience by letting him help you make better relationship decisions.
So true; wise words indeed.