Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Single: by choice, circumstances, or both?

Recently, I watched a video interview in which a man says something along the lines of “You’re so pretty and still single; how can that be?” The woman is clearly stung by that remark. After a while, she says something like “Yes, I’m single but not by choice. I stress: not by choice.” Her remark stung me.

Similar to that actress, I’m not single by choice. Like her, I’m also not blaming my circumstances. Her situation is far from perfect though. Mine is better but not perfect. I think, feel and believe that she and I are somewhere in between choice and circumstances.

Over time, two people said valid things to me: my mother (88) once said I’m difficult. Some former girlfriends disagree; it’s about focus & perspective. A former girlfriend said I have a holistic view on dating; see my April 2022 blog. She meant that I want it all, being body, mind & soul. She is right.

Men and women often claim they are single by choice. This 2015 psychology study gives an explanation: “By choice or by circumstance?: Stereotypes of and feelings about single people” (APA). Single by circumstances results in pity or empathy, while single by choice may result in envy or even jealousy.

My descriptions for the 4 types of people are deliberate stereotypes.

I would fit the box “it’s complicated“.

In my view, the group of incels or involuntary celibates would fit the box of weirdos because their goal is male supremacy.

A PsychAlive articleWhy Am I Still Single? – mentions 8 reasons why people often stay single:

  1. Defenses: being hurt in prior relationships
  2. Unhealthy Attractions: not emotionally available
  3. Fear of Intimacy: you don’t want what you say you want
  4. Pickiness: being judgmental after bad experiences
  • 5. Low Self-Esteem: you’re not feeling worthy
  • 6. Fear of Competition: He/she could do better than you
  • 7. Isolation and Routine: back to our comfort zone
  • 8. Rule-making: there is no rulebook in dating.

The PsychAlive article mentions several reasons (ie, #1, #4, #7, #8) that seem valid in my situation. Moreover, I might be drawn towards unhealthy attractions (ie, #2). At times, I wonder if reason #3 might also be applicable: you don’t want what you say you want. At least, #5 and #6 are not.

Some funny quotes:

  • I’m single by choice. Not MY choice, but it’s still a choice. (source)
  • I’m not really single. I’m dating myself. I take myself out to eat. I buy me clothes. I love me. I’m awesome. (source-1, source-2)

Yesterday, I heard a part of a full quote by Jean-Paul Sartre: “Even deciding not to choose is a choice.” An interesting quote. To be continued – or not.

I Want It All (2021) by The Script
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album, Wiki-song

[Chorus]
Not just someone I can live with
I want someone I can’t live without
Not just someone I can be with
I need someone I can’t be without
I will stop at nothing, until I find the one
I want it all and then some
I want it all and then some

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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