Advice for single people who can't find a long-term partner

M. Brown
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**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

If you’ve been on the dating scene for quite some time and still can’t find someone compatible with you , my experienced advice is to put the brakes on and take a dating vacation.

This is not just about you. This is about all the potential boyfriends and girlfriends out there who are also daydreaming about true love. If you’re not ready to be a partner, then spare them the agony of unwanted drama.

There are some convincing reasons to press the pause button on your dating life and just take a much-needed break.

You’ve had at least 3 “crash and burns” in the last year

If you’ve put time and effort into a person, changed your relationship status on Facebook, they’ve met your family — and you’ve done this at least 3 times in the last year — a dating “time-out” may be in order.

Not only must you be truly exhausted, but perhaps you’re operating in a rebound overdrive. This occurs when you break up with someone, (or get dumped) and you immediately bounce to a new person to avoid the depression you were starting to slip into. Then you repeat this routine with different people over and over again each time. It’s not cute and it borders on manic — so stop.

Until you actually figure out what went wrong in your previous relationships to some degree — or get to the point where you’ve learned something — stay home with Netflix or go out with your friends. Flying by the seat of your pants may not be working anymore.

Serial dating can be exciting and keep you busy, but if you’re looking for long-term love, you’ll need to slow down.

No one disagrees that the beginning of a relationship can be the most thrilling and romantic time of all, but sooner or later you’re going to need to deal with the reality of life with someone instead of just jumping into relationships full-speed ahead every time.

If you don’t mind being a serial dater and you’re not serious about committing, then, by all means, do as you please, but make sure the other person is on the same page and that you’re aware it may not last.

You’re overly insecure

We all have flaws, and we all have insecurities. But if you’re the type of person who obsesses over your flaws, and feels the need for constant reassurance from others, you may not fair very well in the dating world.

Dating can be scary. It’s basically like an audition or interview. If you’re constantly feeling like you’re not attractive enough, smart enough, or worthy enough in any type of way, things may get rough for you until you figure out how to get over these feelings.

Starting a relationship with an overly insecure person can be a nightmare for the other party involved. It can be an unbelievably high-maintenance experience dating someone who never feels they are good enough or who has a chip on their shoulder.

Insecurity breeds jealousy, and too much of that is a relationship killer.

If you have even a small inkling that you are the type of person who constantly complains about yourself or doesn’t go out places because of insecurity, then you should work on yourself before entering into another relationship.

Take time to discover yourself. Travel somewhere, take a class, join a gym, and discover some interests so that down the road you have more to offer in a relationship other than neediness or fear.

Generally, relationships work more efficiently when both people have a life outside of their relationship — which means activities they are involved with that bring them fulfillment beyond a romantic partner. That way, not all the self-esteem eggs are nestled in the hands of only one person.

Another plus to having outside interests beyond dating is that if the relationship doesn’t work out, at least there is something to fall back on, so you don’t go completely off the rails after a break-up.

You’ve been dumped more than twice — consecutively

This may sound harsh — and yes — there are many reasons why people break up and it may also be a mutual thing. But if you’ve been dumped more than twice in a row and you never saw it coming, it’s time to check yourself.

This doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with you, but it may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate how you’re behaving in your relationships.

A lot of us cruise around through life on automatic pilot, and we’re not always in tune with other people’s feelings. This happens in the dating/relationship world as well. You may feel that you’re doing all the right things, saying all the right things, and giving plenty of yourself to a person. But are you really listening to them?

The art of a relationship includes the ability to listen. Not just hearing what someone says to you and taking from it what you want, but the actual work of listening to what someone says without turning it into something about yourself.

This is a common problem for all of us. We hear what we want, take from it what we want, and close the book. Many times, we don’t understand the intent behind the words.

Getting ahead of ourselves by not actively listening to people can equal dating disasters down the road and also end up with the unfortunate scenario of getting dumped.

Many of us go into the dating world with preconceived notions of what we want in a partner, and we are so busy ticking things off our mental list as the other person speaks, that we’re not even paying attention to them when they attempt to express who they really are.

This may not be an issue for you, but at least take a minute to think about it.

You want everything to be about you

The idea of dating is to screen for a new partner, hopefully, a long-lasting one. If you’re in the market for someone to call, text, and be with you, then you’ll have to make room.

In this day and age with so many social media platforms, it’s easy to get caught up in the “me” mentality. We are all selfish to some degree, but when in a relationship, it’s best to practice considering another person as well.

As much as you want your partner to bring all good things to the table, they are wanting the same thing from you. Think about what you bring to a relationship, both positive attributes, and flawed ones. Are you reliable? Are you honest? Are you a good listener? Do you have a bad temper? Are you insecure? Are you jealous? Are you affectionate? Do you want children? Do you already have children? And the list goes on.

If you are only interested in a potential mate providing things like gifts, compliments, or security, then you’d better sit out a few more dating rounds until you wise up.

If everything is always about you, in the end, you may be all who’s left.

Mind you, it’s not easy, especially if you’ve been single for a long time and if you are older. The more used to being alone and independent you are, the harder it becomes to accommodate the needs of others. It’s okay. It takes practice, time, and effort.

Hopefully, if you do struggle with these relationship challenges, you’ll find a partner who is accepting and patient enough to help you while you evolve your behavior.

There are many great things about finding a suitable partner and being in a relationship. But there are also many great things about exploring yourself, traveling, and growing before you get into a relationship. The more life experience, wisdom, and consideration you develop, the better many of us can be as someone’s partner.

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