Reasons you might still be single despite your plentiful inner beauty.

17 Feb

I was talking with a coworker recently about the single women we know, and we came to the conclusion that it’s not a lack of “good person”‘-ness that’s an impediment to finding a spouse, but rather that “something is missing” that is a necessary component to being good marriage material.  We all know good people with generous, kind, servant hearts and the best of intentions…who, deep down, we know have an uphill battle to find someone who will commit.  There’s just something missing.

I think this is what I find frustrating with Christian and mainstream advice – the focus on “be an amazing person!  you’re amazing!  own your amazingness!”.  As I said in my previous post, there is a practical, mundane component of marriage, and that is having to actually live day-in and day-out with another person.  Being an amazing person doesn’t mean you’re automatically amazing mate material.  Many people with impressive accomplishments and character traits still get passed by for marriage because they’re not so amazing at the relational component of relationships.

Below I have listed ten things that I think can be hold-ups for otherwise functional, intelligent, accomplished adults (which means I have excluded obvious things like “is fatty fat fat,” “is a slutty slut slut,” and “life is a drama-filled wreckage”).  List also applies to men, though I was thinking of women when I compiled it.

1.  You don’t listen.  In conversation, especially when trying to build rapport, people want to feel that the other person is listening to them, not merely waiting their turn to start talking again.  If you’re not giving signals in conversation that you have heard and understood and empathized with the other person, you’re going to have a hard time convincing that other person that they should keep you around.

2.  You talk AT people, not TO them.  This often correlates with point #1.  Good conversation is largely about empathy.  If the other person doesn’t think you’re relating but rather just waiting so you can unleash your (superior) point of view on them, it’s not going to bode well for a relationship.

3.  You’re always trying to get in the last word/one-up other people.  In college, there was always that annoying person in class who always had his hand in the air, DYING to impress the professor with his vast knowledge and proof of having done the reading.  If you made a good point, that person had a BETTER point to follow up with.  It was annoying then, and it’s annoying now.  Let other people be the ones to shine sometimes, even if you have a legitimate claim to the spotlight.

4.  You don’t pull your own weight in conversation.  Relating to others is a give-and-take.  I get that there are a lot of shy and/or introverted people out there, but if you are depending upon the other person to be the entertainment, that’s going to get really old, really fast for that other person.

5.  You lack a sense of humor.  If everything offends you, or you can’t delight in absurdity, it’s going to be hard for you to find someone who wants to be with you for life, because so much of life is offensive and absurd.

6.  You don’t read social signals well (or at all)/you don’t observe social graces/conventions.  If you can’t tell when it’s time for the conversation to move on, or the other person is trying to bow out gracefully, or you’re constantly hijacking someone else’s project or idea, or you’re always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, it’s going to be harder for you to find a romantic partner.  Most people only have so much graciousness for social awkwardness.

7.  You’re a complainer.  I can’t stand to be around complainers.  My free time is precious; why should I spend it with someone who gets off on griping about everything?  How is that beneficial to me?  The occasional venting session is one thing, but people who always have something to complain about are just not worth the time.

8.  You’re too social.  Being social and having your own life going on is good for singles, but not when you’re so social that other people aren’t sure if you have room for them in your life.  If you’re constantly fielding text messages and coordinating activities with friends and ALWAYS have something going on, a new person might decide you’re not going to be able to prioritize a relationship – that getting on your schedule is going to be too much of a hassle.

9.  You haven’t cut the cord with Mommy and/or Daddy.  It’s good to have a relationship with your parents when you’re an adult.  It’s bad to be so close to them that their presence in your life is a disincentive to find a mate.

10.  You don’t dress the part.  Everyone knows at least one single person who wants a top-drawer caliber mate, but the person dresses frumpy/is overweight/is poorly or boringly groomed/doesn’t dress at the level of their target.  Now, how does this person think he or she is going to attract sexy people of the opposite sex?  What are those sexy people going to notice first, the hardware or the software?  See where I’m going with this?  Your appearance brands you.  If you want a certain kind of person to pick you up and take you home (METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING, THIS IS A CHRISTIAN BLOG AHEM), then you need to look like the kind of product they’ll be attracted to.  Sure, you can pray that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes to your inner beauty, but in most cases it’s a lot easier to just look better.

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11 Responses to “Reasons you might still be single despite your plentiful inner beauty.”

  1. Vicomte February 18, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    I once knew a girl that I thought was cute and interesting until another guy told me about a time she had recently returned from the bathroom and smelled faintly of poop.

    You should add ‘poop-hearsay’ to the list.

  2. Austin February 18, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Good advice and I would add that the listening skills, which makes up most of the list, will help you professionally as well. There are some people who are awesome listeners at work and the second they switch gears into social mode they lay that skill aside and just start babbling like a cicada.

    A girl who listens and can empathize with you really gives off the keeper vibe. Mommy needs to listen to the children to effectively manage a home.

  3. Pirran February 18, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    “is fatty fat fat,” “is a slutty slut slut,” and “life is a drama-filled wreckage”

    I believe those triplets are conjoined.

    But getting back to your points, I’ve noted 2, 5, 7 and 10 in a fair number of women I’ve tried to discretely edge away from. The sense of entitlement that seems to emanate from many of your observations adds to the flight instinct.

    @Vicomte

    There should be an app for that.

  4. anna February 18, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    To go along with the “too social” tip, I would add that if you have a lot of “too close” friendships with the opposite sex then that can come off as a turnoff. For example, I’ve known girls who always had a beta orbiter bestest guy friend of the week to pour their heart out to and get free rides and drinks from. Additionally, I’ve known guys who had a bunch of girl friends left from high school, who would call him at 11:59 PM and talk all about the sex with their latest hookup. They all swore “but we aren’t attracted to each otherzzzz!!!!!!1!1″ but it is still a massive issue and will turn dates away.

  5. y81 February 18, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    This is mostly on-target, except that, for dating purposes, it really isn’t necessary for a woman to “pull her own weight” in conversation. Just listen attentively, laugh at the guy’s jokes, find a question or observation to get him going again if he runs out of steam, and things will be fine.

  6. Rich Cook February 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    y81 I disagree. If she cannot hold an intelligent conversation I am outta there. What you are describing sounds like a wind up toy. Even at my age (52) it is damn near impossible to find a woman who has an interest in events, things, people outside of herself. Even harder to find one that can handle a man that disagrees with her viewpoint.

  7. y81 February 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I agree, it is difficult to find a woman who has an interest in things, events, people outside herself.

    You want to talk of Keats or Milton,
    She only wants to talk of love.
    You go to see a play or ballet
    And spend it searching for her glove!

    So what. That’s the way girls are. If you don’t like it, marry another boy.

  8. imnobody February 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    y81.

    It’s not difficult to find a woman who has interest in things (I know plenty of them). It’s difficult to find an ATTRACTIVE woman who has interest in things.

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