Volume Thirteen (Part 3 of 3): Why Am I Still Single? – Solutions

Posted on 10/27/2009

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Alright readers, I’ve let it sink in long enough. It’s time to wrap up the Why Am I Still Single? series of blogs. To recap, I surmised five (5) major reasons that men and women are still single. Each of the five reasons were gender specific; however, they are not as different as some of you might think. But, what do we do with the knowledge of our deficiencies? It’s easy to tell someone what is wrong, but far more difficult to tell them how to correct it. (In my former life as a counselor, I had first-hand experience of that truth.) The best corrective action is to create a program that the person (or reader) can apply easily in their life. Much like an exercise program, dramatic changes only work for the short-term. In order to enact true, lifelong change, you must incorporate activities that have results, but are also sustainable over time. That’s why I’ve chosen only one (that’s right, one) solution for each gender to incorporate into their life. One solution that, on the surface, may sound simple; but, will have a profound effect on the type and quality of your future relationships.

Solution: Men

Talk: This may seem counter-intuitive for some men. In fact, I feel a little weird writing it because the advice I would give a man who is trying to sleep with someone is exactly the opposite. Relationships are a different animal altogether. Relationships require understanding. And true understanding requires communication. Women have long been viewed as the communicators in relationships. Men are the doers. Yet, when a relationship ends, the reason always seems to be because you “stopped communicating.” Well, my question is, were you communicating in the beginning, or were you just riding the euphoric state that comes with a new relationship? Were you letting your partner know your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, faults, etc.? Bottom line: Were you letting her know the real you? The you stripped down of the ego and bravado that we create to be “hard” or to protect our inner child.

There’s a word in the English language that is commonly mispronounced. I know because I have to concentrate to say it myself. It is a word that we, as men, are secretly afraid of, but have to achieve in order to have a lasting and meaningful relationship. That word is vulnerable. We have to open ourselves up and show the very emotions that we work so hard to hide. Dictionary.com defines vulnerable as “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt.” It is in those places that we achieve true emotional connection. That we let our partner know who we are without pretext. Ironically, men tend to find this place in areas other than their relationships. Namely, sports. Successful sports teams achieve because they have reached a level of vulnerability with one another that makes them want to play harder for one another. They know that it is up to them to protect the unity of the team. The same principle applies to a relationship. The more you two share with one another – specifically, the more vulnerable you are to one another, the more you are going to work to preserve the union. Result? Meaningful committment.

Solution: Women

Listen: Yes, I said it. As a man, I can directly speak to this topic. I’ve had numerous conversations with single women, and the common theme is that the man talks his way out of sex. On a certain level, and in certain situations, I would agree 100% with that assertion. However, sexual encounters aside, I would ask what type of relationship are you trying to have if you don’t learn anything about your partner? Do you want to know anything about him? Is learning about him important to you or is it just important that he learns about you? Frankly, sometimes it’s very hard to tell. Listening to your partner is vital to the sustenance of your relationship. It eliminates ambiguity. And, most importantly, it makes him feel important and heard. Those two things will stay with him when he runs into a “distraction” while he’s out with the boys.   

Additionally, that point where relationships have problems and he “stops communicating” is the point is where he’s given up, in…whatever. He has resolved himself to the fact that you are not interested in learning about him and are more interested in having him conform to you and your needs. You’ll start hearing words like “nagging” enter his vernacular. He’ll start avoiding conversations because they become lectures about how he’s not doing enough or how he’s “stopped communicating.” Are you getting a theme here? Listen to him. Learn about him. He will tell you. He won’t do it all in one conversation while y’all sit around crying all night. But, he will do it in his way. The quicker you learn his language, the quicker you will get to the vulnerable state described earlier. And, once that state is achieved, he will talk to you and you will listen to him. The two of you will work on maintaining your emotional connection in order to form a more perfect union.

Conclusion

There you have it. Two simple solutions to what seems like an impossible problem. The biggest problem as I see it is not in the other person, but in our own ability to overcome our inner demons. Can we step outside of ourselves and accept someone else? Do we understand that by accepting before we are accepted will open up the fast lane to understanding and committment? Most of my questions in this posting are rhetorical because you already know the answers. The one question that you need to ponder is, Can you start with the (wo)man in the mirror and make that change? (Sorry. I couldn’t avoid the Michael Jackson reference.)

That’s just my three cents….

sill-E

“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”

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