To The Single Woman Who Has Given Up On Relationships — But Still Wants One

by Michelle Zunter
Originally Published: 
A boy with brown hair and beard and a girl with red hair eating burgers at a restaurant and laughing
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To the single woman who has completely given up on dating and relationships, but still has the desire for a partner: I want to tell you something. I may not be in your shoes at this moment because I’m now married, but I was once perpetually single. I gave up. I didn’t even go out or attempt to meet anyone. I was done.

I was single for many years in my late 20’s and early 30’s. I wish I could say it’s because my standards were too high, but it wasn’t. I didn’t even learn how to have standards until I’d already made one terrible relationship decision after the other.

It’s okay to not want to be in a relationship or to not want to deal with the mess that relationships are at times. If you’re rockin’ the single life and want to enjoy it for many years to come — more power to you. But if you’re still single and you are wishing you had someone, I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible, even if it seems like you’ll be alone forever.

There’s a theory out there that if you want to be in a long-term relationship with someone you have to “settle.” But what does that really mean? Does it mean you have to lower your standards for wanting a kind, committed person who loves you? No. Does it mean you might have to put up with someone’s weird habits or odd interests?

Actually, YES.

I am not the perfect partner. I’m moody, I’m messy, and I’m kind of a control freak for starters. I’ve made some very unfortunate relationship choices in my lifetime. I married an abusive person who was addicted to drugs — eventually divorcing. After that, I ended up having an affair with a married man who was also abusive. Then I tried my hand at online dating but didn’t find anyone who fit what I thought I wanted.

Needless to say, I was definitely challenged in the romance department. I didn’t think I deserved better than what I was choosing. And I paid a steep price. I lost valuable time and the hope that I’d ever find a partner in life who truly cared about me.

I thought I was destined to be alone. I thought there was something wrong with me — a defect that prevented me from having happy relationships with healthy individuals. In reality, I just needed to reset my expectations and learn how to be healthy and functional on my own first.

We are all flawed in so many ways. Someone who you may think is less attractive than you, less intelligent than you, or even less “together” than you may have no problem finding a loving partner. It’s not about that. You could be the most compassionate, funny, successful, desirable, well-organized person on the planet and still not find a partner.

Is it you? Is it them?

Well, it’s a little bit of both. Everyone has something going on that hinders their chances of opening up to a potential love interest. Some people have trust issues that need to be overcome. Some people have trouble communicating their needs properly and have to work harder at it. Some people have held onto a very specific set of expectations for an ideal partner that they may need to let go of — at least a little bit.

If you truly want to find a long-term partner, you may have to endure some initial discomfort. You may have to talk about your feelings when you’d rather not. You may have to compromise on certain expectations you’ve carried around with you. You may have to deal with the reality of someone’s idiosyncrasies.

There is never going to be the perfect time. There is never going to be the perfect person. Certainly, if you never leave your house or meet anyone outside of your bubble it may never happen at all. Get yourself out of your comfort zone. Get out in the world. If you don’t want to do that, then try a reputable dating site.

What you think you want in a partner may not be the best or healthiest choice for you. Be open. My current partner did not fit my “type” at all, but going on a date with him ended being the best chance I ever took.

I’m not telling you to “settle.” I’m telling you that if you want to find a person to have a relationship with who cares about your well-being, cheers for your successes in life, and truly loves you — you’ll not only need to learn how to accept their flaws just as you want yours to be accepted, but you may also have to simply take a chance.

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