Career, education, and healthy relations: everyone wants to succeed at these things, but not everyone does. However, many people don’t have problems with planning time and expenses – but this does not save them from loneliness. The National Statistical Office of Great Britain found that young people aged 16-24 are more likely to feel lonely than older people. However, 5% of all respondents suffer from the fact that they do not have a partner. But why are people lonely? Is there something that stands in their way to achieving happiness in their romantic life? Here are 7 mindsets that don’t let a person build a long-lasting relationship.
- There are better things to do
This sounds especially paradoxical for those who consider romantic relationships to be of incredible value. Is there really anything more exciting in the world than hugs and misery? A survey of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service found that 16–18-year-olds find family and education to be more important than sex and romance. 82% consider career and higher education to be the greatest value.
If you are good-looking, intellectually gifted, why waste energy on mental torment? Expertise and professionalism may be more attractive. If you want to build a rocket or earn millions of dollars, then it’s understandable why you don’t want to date someone — you simply have other leading activities. We shouldn’t devote our lives to the race for other people’s genitals and spiritual unity if there is poetry, videogames, and anime.
- Pain over previous relationships
It is very difficult to be fascinated by a new person when your ex is staring in your face. You meet your girlfriend yet you think about your ex. The heart rips apart like nylon tights on a drunk woman. You can try to meet someone at Tinder, but each swipe is like small infidelity. You seemed to be stuck between two worlds: yesterday you were happy, but no longer hoping for a night call.
After breaking up, it is so scary and difficult that the psyche throws all its strength to ensure that this does not happen again. As soon as a pretty object appears on the horizon, the alarm at the highest frequencies starts yelling in the head. After a negative experience, it is difficult to learn to trust people again, what if you are left behind or rejected again, or even worse?
The data of the American Psychological Association confirm that the breakdown of relationships that could develop into marriage critically affects partners and reduces the chances of a successful relationship. The simpler and more definite the relationship, the easier it is to return to the starting point, but sometimes getting used to life without a partner can take more than one year.
Why do you need someone else if you have yourself? Love comes and goes, but you remain beautiful and perfect. No attachment becomes meaningful and deep. You just don’t feel anything and absolutely don’t understand why your partner is upset. You don’t notice your coldness and obsession with your own image.
Narcissism is not so much about kissing oneself from the socks to the shoulders, as much as a fundamental concentration on one’s own person. You can hate yourself, beat yourself over the head with mental issues, but still remain a narcissist. It’s hard to focus on someone else if a person is constantly concerned with their own image.
A person defines themselves through the opinion of other people, they cannot rely on their own point of view. If others like you – good, if they don’t – bad. As a result, self-esteem regularly jumps between “I’m a sad piece of shit” and “I’m the king of this world and the next president of the country.” This moodiness affects all the aspects of the life of a person. All life goals revolve around receiving sources of enthusiasm and recognition from the outside. Such a person has extremely high demands on themselves, and their inability to follow these demands means failure, and their achievement gives a feeling of grandeur.
There is no empathy, that is, the ability to understand the feelings and needs of other people is impaired. A person is sensitive only if behavior and emotions directly concern them. Any relationship is superficial and based on selfish interests. Reciprocity and insight are minimal. A person contrasts themselves with others, believes that they have the exclusive right to all existing benefits, and those around them should because they are fundamentally better, cooler, and more beautiful. Everyone is a plebian, they are the royalty. The person is trying hard to impress others and to get as much attention from others as possible
- A desire for a very wide personal space
Scientists at the University of Chicago have found that people with a wider personal space feel more alone than those with less intimate areas. The evolutionary model of loneliness implies that people need to stick together: it is more profitable and safer to live this way. When a person is left alone, they experience a feeling of loneliness.
It becomes sad and unpleasant for us because the body gives the command to change something, stick to the pack, the chances for survival are higher this way. The stimulus is a reaction, and now you find yourself with friends in a bar. But for some this just doesn’t work. Too much personal space and the feeling that the danger comes from the outside world is oh so relevant in their lives. Thus, they avoid contact with the outside world that seems to be so problematic and chaotic.
- Being burned out or tired
You cannot fall in love, because the mortgage is not paid out just yet, you are burned out at your job, and it would be nice to get a higher salary. There is neither the strength nor the desire even to go to bars, not to enter into long-term relationships and squeeze something out of oneself. It seems to be necessary to find the energy for love and allow it to make you stronger – but what can you do when there is only a bottle of beer in the refrigerator and a dried piece of pizza?! There is no energy for the rest.
Fatigue and burnout become commonplace. Moreover, worries about the future and about money are still more significant than worries about being alone.
- Strong perfectionism
The inability to fall in love can also be associated with high demands: for the partner to be both handsome and smart, have a strong sense of empathy and love board games. The list can go for a long time. You can deal with this only by getting rid of general perfectionism, and not from its manifestation alone. But even if you manage to find a partner, despite your demands, your relationship is at risk. At York University, it was found that perfectionists more often enter into destructive relationships and behave in maladaptive ways, they require unprecedented dedication.
- Strong dependence on social networks and subsequent contact with ex-partners
The presence of an ex in social networks does not increase chances for a new love. You can be indignant because of the obsessive selfies of your ex-partner in Instagram stories, and be nervous because of constant comparisons of yourself to their new partner. Especially susceptible to this are nascent couples of around 18-24 years old. It is very difficult to love when it seems that you are unworthy of it and worse than ex-partners on all fronts. Most likely, this is not the case, but sometimes it is difficult to believe in it.
What should you do?
People want to live easier and happier than reality allows them. Although in real life, falling in love may not be so romantic at all, the media and everything that surrounds us tells us about the beauty of love and how great it is to cuddle with someone.
If your feelings are blocked and you cannot get out of your own cognitive distortions, regular reflection can help you with that – keeping a diary and going through psychotherapy (rather than reassuring friends and relatives that you “have not met the one” or that “I’m too old”)
These are just excuses, falling in love is not only a biochemical reaction to a particular object but also a system of coinciding views on values, certain actions and the ability to choose the right person.
The catch is most often this. People do not meet with their consciousnesses because they want different things in life, and they cannot seem to notice those that are looking for the same things. Even if a suitable person is found, many doubts and internal contradictions arise, and the older we get, the harsher our attitudes about the world are and the harder it is for us to open up to someone new. This is a normal adaptive mechanism, but it certainly does not make us happy. So there is only one way out – to reconsider your views on life.