Let’s be fully transparent right up front: There’s nothing wrong with being single. In fact, flying solo can be an incredibly healthy option—especially for those who have been in many different relationships, only to continuously feel unfulfilled.
While it could very well boil down to chemistry (or lack thereof) or your ex’s issues, when considering your solo status, it’s also important to understand all the ways you may be sabotaging your relationships. Because let’s face it: It Takes Two isn’t just a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie from our youth; it’s the reality that almost every interaction—positive or negative—requires two participants to make things work.
And even if you aren’t purposefully trying to sabotage your relationships, you might be engaging in behaviors that could lead to their demise. So the next time you wonder to yourself, “Why am I single?” remember that your own actions may come into play. To help you know which behaviors may be to blame, we chatted with a relationship expert and psychologist for the top 10 to be aware of. Check them out below.
You’re highly critical of your partner
According to NY Health & Integrative Therapy psychologist Dr. Sara Glazer, this can occur when individuals feel like they’re being overlooked by their partner. When someone feels this way, she says that the person may experience high levels of anxiety as a result of the perceived distance, which leads to intense pursuit behaviors geared toward getting the response they crave.
“A partner might attack the character of the partner, calling [them] ‘selfish’ or commenting on a partner’s behavior in a critical manner, such as, ‘You are sensitive to everyone’s needs but mine,’” she explains.
The only problem is that if the distance is actually only perceived, it can come across as highly aggressive, insecure behavior, which could potentially push someone away.
You’ve moved on from criticism to contempt
If you reach a point where everything about your partner irritates you but you’re unwilling to walk away, Dr. Glazer says that you may start calling them names and using sarcastic comments in an effort to put them down.
If this sounds familiar, know that it’s likely best to walk away unless you can openly communicate what’s making you filled with contempt in the first place.
You become highly defensive—or you make your partner highly defensive
This one’s tricky and plays into the notion of being highly critical of your partner. If your partner always critiques you and your behavior, Dr. Glazer says you may respond to your partner’s communication of distress by denying responsibility or deflecting the blame. The same is true if you’re highly critical of your partner.
Either way you look at it, being highly critical can lead to difficult conversations because people rarely immediately admit their own faults when being put aggressively on the spot. Instead, try to talk about your concerns calmly so you can usher in a positive conversation and solution as opposed to avoidance and defensiveness.
You ask and expect your partner to meet all of your needs
While partners are a wonderful addition to our lives, it’s important to remember that they’re not meant to become our whole reason for existence. When you put that much pressure on a person to fulfill all of your needs, sexologist, relationship expert, and We-Vibe sex expert Dr.
Jess O’Reilly says disaster can strike. “Practical, emotional, financial, sexual, and spiritual needs are extensive, so you can’t rely on one person alone to meet each need,” she explains. “Turn to friends, family, and other sources of support instead of relying on one person for everything."