All the single ladies, all the single ladies! All the single ladies, all the single ladies! Now put your hands up!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. If you are not looking for love, and you are satisfied with focusing on your friends and family, yourself and your career, more power to you! But for many people out there, being single is not something they are married to. Yet despite their best efforts to change their relationship status, it can be brutal out there.
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Last month, Jimmy Fallon tweeted out asking viewers to share their funny, weird or embarrassing reasons for being single, and boy, did they deliver. We’ve gathered some of their best responses down below, as well as an interview with dating and relationships coach Rachel New. So whether you’re happily married or looking for love, enjoy these tweets and be sure to upvote the ones that you find most hilarious or painfully relatable. Then if you’re looking for yet another Bored Panda article featuring reasons people are single, you can find our last story on the same topic right here.
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We reached out to dating and relationships coach Rachel New to gain some insight on this topic. First and foremost, she wanted to clarify that, “People shouldn’t have to give reasons why they are single, any more than people should have to justify why they are in a relationship with a particular person. I hope we are moving towards a society that doesn’t judge people for their relationship status!”
“How people make sense of being single can show differences in how we perceive our lives,” Rachel elaborated. “We may see being single as a wonderful opportunity to experience freedom, autonomy and growth; or we may feel alone, unattractive and hopeless about the future. Being single can be intentional or unintentional – something we have chosen or something forced upon us – and this makes a big difference to how we live with it.”
“When people come to me for coaching, they may be wanting to explore the dynamics of their previous relationships so they can do better next time,” Rachel explained. “They may want to make the most of short-term dating; they have enjoyed the single life for some time but now want to find a meaningful commitment; or they may have no experience of relationships at all. How they make sense of their relationship history depends on their relationship with themselves and their well-being.”
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We were also curious if Rachel often sees people who are looking for love blaming themselves or blaming others for being single. “Some people have a deep-seated belief that there is something wrong with them; others blame dating apps and the poor relationship skills of others for their singleness,” she explained.
“These two perceptions are called dispositional and situational attribution by psychologists: in other words, explanations based on oneself and on external circumstances respectively. We all tend towards one or the other depending on the situation, but if someone is feeling pessimistic or hopeless, they are more likely to blame themselves when things go wrong and others when things go right. In coaching, it’s important to challenge these distorted explanations so you can become more resilient to the ups and downs of life – and even more so if you want to date now or in the future.”
“In coaching, the reasons someone might be single when they don’t want to be varies from person to person,” Rachel added. “Sometimes I work on getting people to take responsibility for their own dating skills and to see how their behavior and social interaction style might be perceived by others; sometimes I work on self-care and feeling worthy of love. However, we can all improve our relationship skills, which are often formed from copying our families when we were growing up. We can learn to manage conflict better, be less sensitive or more assertive, deal better with our emotions and those of others, and much more.”
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We also asked Rachel if people tend to be too picky when dating or if it’s important to know exactly what we want. “Two key relationship skills are understanding our own needs and then being able to communicate them to others,” she says. “We may start with superficial criteria like height or income, but as we date more we realize that others are much more important for building a relationship. The ingredients for creating an initial attraction are very different from those to sustain a commitment in the long-term. Empathy, warmth, good listening skills, openness, emotional availability, admitting when you are wrong, being able to apologize and change your behavior are just a few of the attributes needed. Healthy dating involves updating your criteria regularly!”
Rachel also added, “Research shows that a moderate level of selectivity (or pickiness) is attractive to potential dating partners. To know your own mind shows you have the confidence to say ‘I deserve this kind of relationship’. But lists starting with ‘Don’t bother messaging me if …’ on dating profiles just give the impression that you are bitter about previous bad experiences.”
If you’re single and ready to mingle and interested in gaining more insight from an expert, be sure to check out Rachel’s website right here.
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Dating can be really hard. You are not supposed to settle, but you’re not supposed to be too picky. Opposites attract, but if you are too different from another person, you will have nothing in common. Relationships are about compromise, but you should not make too many sacrifices for your partner. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dating, but one thing is for sure: it can be quite the journey.
Whether you have been with your partner for decades or you are still dabbling in the dating pool, you should be able to relate (or try hard to remember) what it was like to be still searching for your soulmate, your other half, your missing piece, ect. Jimmy Fallon opened a huge can of worms by inviting viewers to share their reasons for being single, but he also got people to share plenty of great content. From embarrassing moments on dates to lacking the patience to deal with others, this list is full of hilarious, valid reasons for being single.
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It’s always fun to reflect on your own dating experiences and really contemplate why you might be single. Was it because you could not properly use chopsticks on your last date, or was the other person simply not looking for anything serious? There are a million ways to analyze your dating life, but for the moment, let’s try to focus on some of the positives. The assumption about most people who responded to this Twitter thread is that they do not intend to be single any more; that’s just how the cookie crumbled. But maybe they should be satisfied with their single life.
Ashley Mateo wrote a piece for Oprah Daily titled “The Surprising Benefits of Being Single”, and she makes some great points. First of all, single people have much more time to focus on building strong friendships. “It’s important to have strong friendships whether you are single or not, but there is no doubt that when you’re single you are able to spend more time deepening the friendships that you find most valuable,” says Dr. Roxy Zarrabi, a clinical psychologist. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean your social life has to go out the window, but when you aren’t spending most of your time with a significant other, your friendships can take center stage.
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Among the many things you will have more time for when you’re single is focusing on your health. One survey of over 13,000 people found that those who were single exercised more frequently than those who were married. With more free time and no one urging them to spend a few more minutes in bed each morning, single people have more time in the day to hit the gym or go for a run before work. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, single women also tend to have lower BMIs and are at lower risk for smoking and alcohol related health issues.
Aside from the purely physical benefits of being single, it also allows you more time to focus on your mental health. You have time to learn about yourself and prioritize your own growth and healing. It can be hard to process your emotions when you are constantly worried about another person, but sometimes it’s healthier to put yourself first. When you feel confident in yourself and your identity, that’s the best time to start looking for a partner.
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All of the time you have being single can also be channeled into pursuing new hobbies, traveling wherever you want, and really understanding your preferences. “Being single, you’ll learn to value your freedom, make decisions for yourself, and become more accountable for your choices, actions, and goals,” Russell Thackeray, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the UK, told Oprah Daily. “People who can make their own choices and choose when and how they connect with other people develop their own inner strength.” Dr. Thackeray also notes that single people tend to have less regrets. They can be selfish and make decisions without feeling obligated to make sacrifices for anyone else. They can live wherever they want, travel wherever they want, play whatever music they like, etc. That freedom is something many people in serious relationships envy!
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Now, you might be thinking, “But I don’t wanna be single! I’ve had enough of this freedom!” Of course, there are pros and cons to every situation, and the grass tends to be greener on the other side. But according to clinical psychologist Dr. Lisa Firestone, there are several common reasons why people often stay single. The first reason she notes is when people have defenses up, due to being hurt in the past. These could come from a variety of sources, from a negative experience in a previous relationship to having negligent or cold parents.
“You may feel suspicious of people who show ‘too much’ interest in you and instead, you seek out relationships that recreate dynamics from your past,” Lisa explains. “You may then choose a partner who is aloof or distant. It isn’t always easy to see when we have our defenses up. As a result, we tend to blame our singleness on external forces and fail to recognize that we aren’t as open as we think.”
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Another common reason for being single is having unhealthy attractions. We’re all familiar with this concept: “I just date horrible people!” Lisa explains that when we hold onto insecurities or anxieties, we may be inclined to choose partners who are less-than-ideal to reinforce our own beliefs about ourselves. For example, if we don’t think we are good enough to find love, we may actively choose someone who is not emotionally available because they won’t show us sufficient love and affection. They will make us feel like we were right for doubting ourselves. And when we are comfortable with this treatment, from others and ourselves, it can be very hard to break the cycle.
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Fears are another cause for being closed off in relationships, particularly fear of intimacy. “Most of us profess that we want to find a loving partner, but the experience of real love disrupts fantasies of love that have served as a survival mechanism since early childhood,” says Dr. Robert Firestone. “Pushing away and punishing the beloved acts to preserve one’s negative self-image and reduces anxiety.” If we are scared of what it would mean to truly be vulnerable or have someone like us too much, we may self-sabotage by being overly critical or nasty towards our partner. This prevents them from giving us the love that we claim we want.
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Being too picky is another common reason for being single. We all know that we shouldn’t have a checklist when it comes to dating, but especially when someone has been single for a long time, it can be hard to be open-minded. Especially with online dating where it seems like people can curate the ideal person and be overly judgemental before even agreeing to meet with someone one-on-one, pickiness thrives in today’s dating world. But it can be detrimental.
“When we think we are ‘settling’ for someone, we may not be settling at all. We may actually find ourselves in a relationship that is so much more rewarding than those we have experienced,” Lisa explains. “Ironically, initially we tend not to trust the people who really like us, but when we give them a chance, we find that we’ve chosen someone who values us for who we really are, someone who can really make us happy.”
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Lisa also notes “isolation and routine” as a common reason people can’t seem to find love. Breaking habits can be hard, and putting yourself out there can be scary. So why take the risk of going on a date when there is a possibility of rejection? It’s so much easier to stay home and follow the same routine one does every Friday night. “It’s important to resist falling into a comfort zone and to repeatedly challenge the influence of our critical inner voice,” Lisa says. “We should take action and make an effort to get out into the world, smile, make eye contact and let friends know we are looking for someone. We should try new activities and even try dating diverse people as a means to discover new parts of ourselves and what makes us happy.”
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We hope you are enjoying this list of some of the most hilarious, embarrassing and bizarre reasons people are still single. Many of them might just need a little push to get back out in the dating pool, but if they are happy taking a hiatus and focusing on themselves, I’m happy for them too. Be sure to keep upvoting your favorite responses that you’d like all your fellow pandas to see, and then if you’re single too, let us know in the comments why that is! There is no shame in the single game, for all we know you might be even happier and healthier than the rest of us!
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