There’s a stigma attached to the always-single. If someone has been single for a long time there must be something wrong with them, even if— especially if—they’re really attractive. They must be crazy, right? Or maybe they’re a commitment-phobe (which, for the record, actually affects less than 1% of the population and is really often just used as an excuse to justify disinterest… or the behavior of assholes).
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the perpetual dater, the relationship-hopper—someone who moves from one relationship to another. You may look at someone like this and think it shows they are capable of commitment—which is good. But that isn’t always the case.Clearly, they have spent a lot of time investing in relationships that didn’t work out—which actually indicates a concerning pattern of not being able to recognize when their needs aren’t being met.
If someone is hopping from one relationship to the next, it means they aren’t taking the necessary time in between to learn what went wrong, what their weaknesses in the relationship were, and what they want to be different in their next one. Without this crucial time-out from dating to heal and reflect, they are just setting themselves up for failure—a string of perpetually failing relationships.
If someone is always single, it doesn’t necessarily translate to something being wrong with them. Sure, maybe they have trust issues, but also maybe they just have a low bullshit tolerance and aren’t into mediocre relationships or chasing someone.
“Single is not a status. It’s a word that best describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.”
There are many benefits to dating someone who has spent years being single.
They have a better sense of who they are.
Relationship hoppers always have another voice in their ear wanting them to act or behave a certain way—setting a certain amount of standards for them to live up to. Our twenties are a crucial period of getting to know yourself. How do you do that when you spend so much time with someone else?
They know what they want and need from a relationship.
You don’t need to be in a relationship to know what a healthy one looks like, but you do need to be single for a considerable period of time to know yourself. People who are relatively always-single have spent a lot of time unbiasedly observing other relationships and have a better sense of what they do and don’t want out of a relationship. (Fighting every time you are drunk at the bar and knit-picking each other in a cringe-worthy ‘we’re just teasing each other’ but you can tell I actually want to kill him when we get home’ way? No f*cking thank you. The ones that are allowed and able to go out without each other and not check in all the time? Yes, please.)
They’re okay being alone.
People who have been single most of their lives aren’t clingly because they’re okay being alone. They won’t be with you just out of fear. One of the most common yet easiest ways to destroy a relationship is to have it hinged on attachment, dependency and fear. As Oscar Wilde once said, “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.”
They have gained a level of confidence, independence and trust for themselves that everyone needs for a healthy relationship but, ironically, can only get when they haven’t often been in one for a while.
They tend to be more social.
They’re used to third wheeling and things like that, and aren’t relying on their “bae” to be with them at all times, acting like a social-anxiety crutch. They think outside of the box and are usually the ones who are down to do whatever, whenever, with whomever. This is one of the benefits that comes when you have a sense of independence. You have the routine content of a relationship to keep you from leaving your comfort zone. Plus, they don’t have to worry about their significant other getting mad for talking to someone of the opposite sex.
They don’t seek to be validated by another person.
You should never chase anyone for their attention. You either have their attention or you don’t. Chasing someone isn’t something you do when you have a strong sense of your self-worth, and that is only something you can get when you have spent a considerable portion of your life learning what makes you happy and being able to recognize when your needs are, and are not, being met.
If there with you, it’s because they actually want to be.
There’s a difference between someone who’s with you because they want to be with you—and someone who’s with you because they just don’t want to be alone. Some people aren’t trying to find a real connection in their relationships—they are just trying to fill a void, or to avoid themselves.