These are the 10 biggest mistakes that we make as singles, and need to stop making them. But they can also be great single life lessons.
To this day, there are moments in my life that I think back on and cringe. Wondering to myself ‘what in the world was I thinking?’ We all have those moments, it’s only natural and an inseparable part of life. Personally, I like to utilize them as life lessons to learn from. Mistakes we make can be the great teachers we have. They teach us our limits and how to do better.
1. Getting back / sleeping with the ex
Whether it be for a night, a week, a month or even a year – most of us have done so with at least one ex. Or even just someone that has been a “friends with benefits” of sorts, someone we may not have been with officially, but keep going back to. Society pressures us so much, makes us fear loneliness and feel ashamed of being single, so we automatically revert back to someone who was no good for us. The fear and the loneliness encourage us to forget all the bad times, and the good reasons we broke up. We convince ourselves that we need them and we miss them. We remember only the good moments we had, even if they were few.
So we end up cracking and jumping back into bed with them, sometimes even for a second round of a failed relationship. And that only makes us more miserable and breaks you down further. We’ve all been there, and that’s okay, but we need to be conscious of this mistake, and make sure to learn from it. Because it can cause us a lot of harm, which will take a long time to overcome.
2. Dating the wrong people
In addition to jumping back in with the last person you were with, many times the fear of being alone makes us jump into all the wrong relationships, with the wrong people. It can be with a great person, but they’re just not right for you. It can also be with someone toxic who is really bad for you. While one case is worse than the other, they’re both very unhealthy. They put us at risk of getting even more hurt and damaged, sometimes maybe even traumatise or scar us. Many people even end up settling for mediocre or even toxic people, and get married because they are afraid of ending up alone.
Part of this mistake is that many times we also chase toxic people, who we have an infatuation with. We become obsessed and drive ourselves insane over them, probably also having self deprecating thoughts like “why don’t they want me?” and… “What’s wrong with me?” Which are so dangerous and can completely destroy us. We lose ourselves in them, we put ourselves down for them, forgetting about any of our needs. Letting them dictate our self worth.
3. Blaming ourselves for failed dates
When you go on one failed date after the other, or even date one person exclusively, only to have them end it a month later… It’s hard not to blame ourselves. For me, it came to the point where I would count down the days until a month with the different men I went out with, because I already knew the usual outcome. I would constantly berate myself and wonder what’s so wrong with me. Sadly I let it get to me a little too much, to the point where I was almost certain that there was something fundamental broken inside me.
It took me a long time and hard work to understand that I’m not broken, that there’s nothing wrong with me. I just haven’t met the right person for me. Once I learned how to practice self love better, and how to enjoy my own company… That really helped me to understand that I’m not the problem.
4. Focusing on finding another relationship instead of building one with ourselves
A big part of the problem and the reason why many times we hate being single, and have a hard time being alone… Is because instead of taking the time to focus on ourself and our self relationship, we just jump into something new. And if that doesn’t work, we jump into another. Then another and another. Which is usually the reason for the previous mistake(s). Dates fail because we just jump into them out of fear. We don’t take the time we need to heal our heart from our last relationships and regain some energy.
We’re so scared of being alone, which is exactly why we need to be alone for a while, but instead that fear makes us jump into a relationship with the wrong people. It’s a mistake many of us need to make, to learn that we need to take time for ourselves. To learn how to self care and love ourselves better. Learn how to create a relationship with ourselves and enjoy our own company.
5. Thinking we owe explanations to people regarding our singleness
This is something that irks me most about the stigma about single people. Society see’s singleness a certain way, which is usually pretty negative and we in turn feel the need to defend our singleness. People have a lot to say about it, even when it does not concern them (and it never really is.) They allow themselves to ask questions and demand explanations. Explanations that married people don’t usually are expected to give, only us singles have to explain why we’re single.
For a while I would let this get to me, because I was still quite insecure about it. I was reprimanding myself for it as well, and other people doing so just made it even worse. But with time, the more I learned to embrace myself and my singleness, the less I cared about having to explain myself. I just started ignoring those people, because they mean nothing and I shouldn’t owe anything to anyone. We shouldn’t have to explain our singleness to anyone but ourselves. If we want to share it with someone, then that’s our choice.
6. Caring too much what people think about our singlehood
This is a mistake that we make many times over in our lives regarding many other aspects of it. So add in the annoying and tactless things people think or have to say about your singlehood, it can become quite the disaster. One of the main reasons why so many people hate being single and avoid it like the plague is due to society’s stigmas regarding singleness. We worry ourselves silly over what people will think about us being single, what they will think about us being alone.
I stayed in an unhealthy relationship way longer than I had to, partly out of fear of what people will say and think. Like I’m sure many of you have too. But with this mistake as well, the more I worked on myself, on building my confidence and independence, the less I cared about what others thought, the less I let it get to me.
7. Overthinking and over analyzing
This is also a mistake many of us make in life, in many different aspects and especially regarding anything to do with relationships. For quite a long period of time during the beginning of my singlehood, I felt like it intensified it quite a bit. I would overthink and analyze every tiny little thing. Whether it be on dates I went on, or something said or done by a friend or family member. When I would be out alone or in a group of friends, I would obsess over every tiny detail. Things that probably didn’t even occur to them. Instead of just letting go and going with the flow, I would be so tense about all of these insignificant things.
Again, when we feel like we’re lacking in something, we try to overcompensate by enhancing and focusing on what we’re not lacking in. And while it is great to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t or what others have… You should only do so for yourself and to make your own life better. Not to prove something to anyone, or to show off for others, so they see that you’re not “that bad”. When I was freshly singled, I was basically trying to make up for being single because it’s seen as a flaw, instead of seeing it as an amazing opportunity to flourish and better myself. And that’s just exhausting and deflating.
9. Comparing yourself to non-single friends and family members
Comparison in general in life is very risky business, and can only cause more harm and damage. It usually only makes us even more miserable. And yet, we still do it at least once or twice here and there. Instead of looking at what we do have, we focus on what we don’t, especially if people around us do have it. For me, most of my closest friends are all in serious relationships (some even married) and both my sisters are married +2.
So for a long while, it was hard for me not to compare myself and wonder why me. Constantly berating myself for not being good enough. Wondering what is so wrong with me that I’m not in a partnership like them. For quite some time it even made me quite resentful of them, and I had some difficulty with supporting them. However, I did make it a point to learn how to bear no grudge or jealousy against them for it, and with time I even became very supportive of them. I started being happier for them, and that in itself made me happy.
10. Not embracing yourself as you are
Well, how can we accept our imperfect selves when all we see are “perfect” influencers who only promote perfectness and flawlessness. We’re made to feel ashamed of our imperfections and scars. Especially when we’re single, because people also make you feel like there must be something wrong with you if you’re still single. Then you start believing it yourself. Asking why you’re a certain way and not another. Then you try to change and alter yourself accordingly, so maybe you won’t be seen that way. Which is a huge mistake.
If we need to change for someone to love us, then they will never truly love us and we will never be happy. The root of this problem lies with how we feel about ourselves and how society makes us feel. We need to learn how to embrace ourselves and embrace our singleness. Learn how to self love with all your quirks, flaws, scars, imperfections and weirdness. They are what truly make us special and unique.
Besides, perfect is boring and overrated. And doesn’t really exist. People who portray perfection are usually hiding much ugliness and misery behind and underneath. Either lying to themselves or the world or both. Perfection is quite usually fake.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
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