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Still Single? Top 5 Reasons Why You're Alone

Updated on December 4, 2010

Let's face it, the majority of people who are single are not single because they honestly and truly choose to be that way. Yes, there are people out there who are single and love it and wouldn't change it for the world but these people are in the minority.

So, if most people who are still single would rather be in a relationship (of some kind), why are there so many single people out there?

I happen to be single myself and believe that there are some pretty good reasons to explain why single people like myself seem to stay single.

If you're one of the single people, keep on reading to see if one of these "top 5 reasons why you're alone" can explain why you're still single.

1. You were in a long-term relationship:

Being in a long-term relationship is much different than dating. If your long-term relationship ends, there is a lot more to deal with than if you'd only been dating for a few months. Take a 10-year relationship that's ended, for example: there's 10 years of good memories, bad memories, lost commitments, joy, hurt - you name it - to try to deal with. Assumedly, if you were in a 10-year relationship, the person you were with knew you well - your likes, dislikes, your quirks, your friends, family, hopes, dreams, etc. You probably knew each other so well that it was like you had your own secret language. Even if the relationship ended badly, that's a lot to try to replace! It's no wonder that single people with long-term relationships in their past seem to stay single. Whether it makes sense to them or not, they just can't seem to find someone who can replace what they once had whether what they had was good or not. The key here is that they will never be able to find a direct replacement but they can find someone new who is equally if not more worthwhile and hopefully a better match. It takes time, openness and commitment to build another long-term relationship from scratch and it can be scary and overwhelming.

2. You're shy and/or not very outgoing:

Whether we like it or not, people who are outgoing tend to get noticed and that includes getting noticed by the opposite sex. Where does that leave shy single people? We're just not that likely to get noticed if we don't make eye contact with others and make a point of trying to get to know them. It's a sad fact, but true. And being shy is at least 50% genetic so there's only so much we can do to overcome this. The good news is that there are lots of shy single people out there -- admittedly, the hard part is hooking up (assuming you even want to be with another shy person if you're shy yourself) but it happens, so don't despair.

3. You live in a small town or village

Let's just play the numbers game here. Imagine you live in a small town of 3000 people and you're a woman. You're looking for a man, so you're down to 1500 to choose from except that 75% of them are taken so that leaves you with 375. Out of those 375, let's say 15% of them fall within an appropriate age range of you which brings you down to about 57. Out of those 57, you're sure not going to be compatible with all of them; there may be a few you're compatible with but how are you going to find them? Just because you live in the same town doesn't mean that you're going to bump into each other on the sidewalk or at the grocery store. Of course, these are completely made up statistics but are generally what you're dealing with in small towns. If you want more dating options, you'll have to move to the big city.

 4. You've been single a long time and are set in your ways

The longer you live as a single person, the more independent and self-sufficient you're forced to become. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, if taken to the extreme, it can hinder your efforts to find a mate. If you're used to doing everything yourself and for yourself only, it may be very difficult to let someone else into your life even though you may crave that closeness. Unfortunately, this becomes more and more true as we get older. I'm pretty set in my ways myself and all I can hope for is that if the right one does come along, that I will let him break through my wall of independence that I have created.

 5. You're just too picky

Yes, we all want to have a Brad Pitt or Megan Fox type hanging off our arms but it's just not going to happen. Even if we don't want that, we have a list in our minds of traits that our future soulmate must possess and sometimes that list can be rather long, perhaps too long. While nobody wants to "settle", you might want to ask yourself if everything on your list is really that important. Does it matter that much how tall the person is? How much money they make? What color hair they have? It might be worth relaxing some of your standards and seeing what kind of results you get. Remember, nobody is perfect.

Well, there you have it. There are no quick answers as to why one person stays single and the next doesn't (I think there's a certain degree of luck that's involved here) but perhaps one of the reasons I've explained above have explained to some degree why you're single. Please comment below and share your viewpoints. I'd love to hear from you!

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    • chaitanyasaivb profile image

      Sai Chaitanya 

      4 years ago from INDIA

      I love the way, I live. Even, I never expect any one, to be along with me, all the time, to look after me. I want to be alone and I am alone. There are no special reasons, for being alone.

    • ClassyAtl profile image


      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      There are many reasons why individuals are single. An individual might have set some personal goals for themselves and would like to attain them without the distraction of dating. Dating takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and patience. The initial phase of dating, which I like to refer to as the "getting to know each other" phase is the most time consuming. This is the what are your interests? What are your hobbies? Do you have any pets? Do you cook? Do you like to travel? What do you do for a living? Again the getting to know each other phase. Sometimes when an individual has been married for an extended period of time and then finds themselves divorced and single; the better choice for them is to take time to fully close that chapter before steeping into the Dating Game! The death of a spouse could be another reason for someone to be single and not ready to pursue a relationship until later in life, once they have grieved and feel confident to meet someone new. All of the aforementioned are additional reasons why people are single. Being single is not a bad thing, in fact, it allows a person to take their time in engaging in relationships which might turn out to be a complete waste of time.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I read s lot of your comments and have not found any that address my delema. I am 60 and found myself suddenly Single did not expect it at my age we were supposed to be planning our retirement we even talked about it. Then she got greedy left me with all the money. I am getting used to being alone but I do not like the prospects of spending my last years there. Where and how dose some one my age find someone as was said earlier people our age have a lot of baggage I know that there are people out there but they are either set, satifed, not interested or are totally unappealing. Websites are BS I don't want a pen pal. I don't know the answer. I just know that the older you get the harder it will become so take that for what it's worth. I'm just tired life is not worth living unless you can share it with someone.

    • vibesites profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Yeah for a time I was in a long term relationship.... And then got single again for many years before I'm in another relationship again up to now. Yeah you're right I'm quite picky

      Some people remain or choose to be single because they still love that one special person who used to love them too... Maybe they see that no one could replace the one they loved. Quite sad really, they still love that person... I know some one like that ...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Ya gotta love the psychology used in lame articles like this.

      'STILL" single? As if it is some type of malady. lol

      Why is it we never see ads or articles that say 'STILL married?' Oh but no... we can never ask people why they are still married to that bitch wife or asshold husband of theirs...or why they are still with their shallow boyfriend or girlfriend...that would be RUDE. But hey, it's perfectly fine for SOCIETY to make single people feel there is something wrong with them. Maybe it's not that single people have 'something wrong' or they are 'too picky'. Maybe MARRIED people have something wrong (and let's face it, many end up getting divorced) or maybe married people are so weak that they succumb to societal PRESSURE to BE married...and maybe married people aren't picky enough. How many women are so hell bent on BEING married and/or having babies that eventually a man WILL fit the bill? How many men are so desperate for a woman who'll give him regular sex and cook and clean, that they will 'buy' a wife from another country. People get 'married' for a host of reasons: societal pressure, fear of being alone, financial security, a green card, they want to have babies in a 'respectable' manner, etc. Why is BEING married in and of itslef considered so much more 'normal' or respectable by society? Why does society continue to pigeonhole people and pressure them into conforming to what they think is the 'right' way to be? Why are 'family men' automatically considered more 'trustworthy' (even though we've all seen plenty of 'family men' in the news who cheat, molest, rape etc.), but meanwhile, 'single' or unmarried men (i.e., not 'family men') are overall thought to be more 'suspicious' by society? why are people such sheep?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm single because I lost my long term (0nly)relationship he died unexpectly and we have 2 kids its been 4yrs since his death now my shyness and introverted personality is at it's best I don't even know where to began. Just hopeless!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      well, I'm in an early 40, my wife passed away, and I'm not searching for replacement (like mentioned in 1) but looking for someone to have a walk together and time fulfilled with joy and smile. But it seems too hard to find since there is no place where people over 40 could went out and have some fun.

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 

      5 years ago

      interesting hub, hope that you are not single.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm very shy and I always found it difficult to talk to women I'm attracted to. They even flirted with me numerous times and I either didn't know what to do about it or it occurred to me afterward.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm single because I didn't want to get married in my 20's or early 30's, by the time I rolled into my late 30's and now 40's all the men who were available to marry are now married with kids. I am now stuck with the bitter divorce guy who tells me he will never get married ever again. Oh well - I look at it this way if I did get married in my 20's or 30's I would proably be the bitter divorced woman who would never dream of getting married again either

    • profile image


      5 years ago


      Too many options

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I guess you spend a life time waiting for that one special person to appear in your life that makes you feel like no other. If you're lucky he will stay for the rest of your living life. If you are unlucky, he meets somebody else because you're too far and too complicated for him to deal with. It's been three Years and it still feels numb.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Funny How at the end of the article there are advertisements for personal massagers. I gues even the writer isn't too hopeful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am extremely gun shy when it comes to dating after the end of a 12 year relationship. I am also shy. All of my friends when I was married were my husband's relatives. I lost all of them in the divorce. My family lives in another state. I am the ultimate in singleness. I literally have no one. I went through a phase of internet dating. It was awful honestly. Instead of trying to figure out how to find a mate, I've decided to find out how to find contentment in solitude by getting to know myself better and doing the things that I enjoy, by myself. I am open to love, but I don't actively seek it. It's lonely sometimes sure, but it's been one of the most rewarding endeavors in my life so far. I'm almost 40, I'm alone, and I am actually ok with it. My only problem is trying to cultivate a social life since I really don't know anyone outside of work and have no idea where to meet people except at a bar..which is icky..I walk into a bar alone, and it's like I have a sign that says "attention all men, I need you to try to have meaningless sex with me," which is far from the truth, but that's just what happens....I wish there was advice about how to make "just friends" when you're my age and don't like the party scene....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A large demographic was missed in this list. College students. I know of dozens of single students that refuse to commit themselves to relationships because they are too devoted to their schoolwork and maintaining a high GPA. School is just more important to them than a relationship. Otherwise, good list!

    • profile image

      Camo Girl!!! 

      6 years ago

      well i am single and 17 but i have my eye on this boy i don't like to be single and i have been for 3yrs and i don't like to be single because it is sad and i like to have someone there for me when i am sad mad or happy!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good one, thanks for the books listed on this writeup, will definitely buy one.

      one thing missing in here is friends. friends play a major role, specially that of the same sex. for me example, since i live around female friends all the time, it actually becomes a little more compatitive to find the right one. expectations of your female friends actually form the basis of the choices you have to make. for me its like if i have to introduce a guy friend who happened to like me but my friends do not approve, they actually will make sure i have cut off all communication with him, just cz they dint like him. so well i also feel, the more number of same sex friends you hang around with, that's how you turn out to be and land up all your life pleasing them as you live with them, than to have actually thought about your own life and future or for that matter even have a decent man in your life.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm single, shy, independent, and I crave closeness. This article is too true :) I guess I crave closeness because I'm single and everyone else seems to be dating. I think I'm going to live my life and be happy the way it is, cause I'm in highschool and kids my age can't get that close in "relationships". Even though they aren't even relationships...Most of them just date for the hell of it, they don't intend to get close to eachother and stuff. Even though I know that I still want to date someone

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Just a warning note to anyone trying to contact a first love - DON'T. I did and fell back in love again aged 59. I have wrecked my 40 year old marriage and spend all my time feeling wretched because my old flame and I have parted - 41 years of water under the bridge was too much and we were too different. DON'T BE TEMPTED - the chemistry will still be there.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think the hardest thing to do is to actually figure out who is single? If I could figure that out I would take all kinds of chances in meeting people. Honestly, I have no clue and no desire to meet people already in a relationship and feel dumb for being a flirt when they our. A lot of women who our single have a tendency to not let anyone know. Women who our taken still want to be noticed and flirt anyway. The result is that I simply stop putting myself out there.

    • Cheri123 profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I agree with all of the above. These are the reasons online dating is becoming so popular. People can actually mingle outside of their small towns via the internet. They can get past their shyness because they're really typing on a computer instead of looking at someone face to face, and they can be picky and choose exactly who they want to deal with based on the information provided. Yes I am single, and I felt like I was forced to go online because of all the reasons listed above...Except I don't think I'm shy. Between work, kids, and taking care of home, I rarely have time to go out and find someone. When I am out and my everyday activities like going to the gas station, grocery store, bank, kids school...etc. it seems as if everyone is married, totally not interested in me, gay, or not wanting to be in a relationship. I certainly don't want to involve myself with a person I work with. All my neighbors are well over the age of 50 or 60 years old. Some of my friends have tried to match me up...but the dates were guy actually had done time in prison, one guy had his ex wife stalking us on our first date and admitted that he was still in love with her, the other guy was literally 60 years old (almost 30 years my senior), the other was homeless and trying to find out if he could stay with me instead of sleeping on his mother's couch. LOL I have banned my friends from doing any kind of match making.

    • Natekify profile image


      7 years ago

      Well, I'm 4 out of those 5. It's too many to change at once, so I'll just live it at that.

      Anyway, I really enjoyed this hub. Take care!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Idk...i feel like the only reason im single is i don't settle for who ever happens to be interested in me. alot of people do and it ends badly. I don't go into a relationship until im entirely sure that i want to be with this person for a long time. I HATE short term relationships and if i feel its not going to work im not going to go through with it. i guess that can be "picky" but that's probably not going to change about me. I have found someone i wanted to be with before and he didn't have any interest in being with me for the long term so it didn't work out. i also always get guys asking me out and telling me they like me but i never feel that way about them. its really hard to find someone i really want in my life. i do live in a small town as well so i guess that applies to me too =/ ahh well. i have only a freshmen in college.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      #2,3,5 apply to me. i am 20 yrs old, i had frnds who were girls in the past but never a girl-frnd. just hoping that the right girl will come soon and i'll be brave enough to say atleast a hi...

    • profile image

      Vrijdag Pages 

      7 years ago

      How about this reason:

      You are disabled and whoever tries to get to know you sees you for your disability instead of the person. After years of this, you get so pizzed of this and bitter that you can't even face dating and being wit anyone, you can't even bare talking to many people because you know how it all ends.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm now in this situation and I'm really scared. I've only really known a couple of women in my life who could have been "the one" but the last one I managed to mess up. I'm looking at dating websites and trying to get the courage to go out and begin dating again, but the number of eligible ladies at my age is very small and the sorts of women I'm looking for have been snapped up in their 20s. I think it's too late! I was quite happy being single but now I'm 40 (and a good relationship ending at the same time), all of a sudden I feel very alone and like I will be for the rest of my life. Marriage and children now seem like an impossible situation. Tip: if you're in your 20s and 30s - date like mad! Meet loads of people.....just loads. If you wait there will be none left!

    • Misty May profile image

      Riley Clark 

      7 years ago

      I would say #3 applys to me! lol good hub.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


      The point about a long term relationship holds true for me. I find myself quite daunted with looking for a new lady in my life after spending such a long time in and putting in so much effort with my 20 year relationship. I really did give myself to my partner whole heartedly. I think it has a lot to do with my age now. I am no longer a young man, my best years as regards my youth and drive are behind me. I never say never in life, it would be lovely to meet someone at least half compatible but the baggage carried by two people of my age can be immense. I find myself thinking that I can't be bothered with all the time and effort you need to put in to get to know someone and am instantly dismissive of people who don't match up to my very liberal ideal. And this from a fella who realises that we are all flawed in some way. Sure who doesn't pander for that Hollywood ending, but after a while we all know in real life it's not the good times that make a relationship but the help we give and receive in the bad times. Those revelatory times are reached after along time in a relationship in my opinion. We all dance the same dance when we first meet someone.

      Or maybe I have it all wrong......I hope so

    • pocketinvites profile image


      7 years ago

      This is exactly true. Definitely what It felt like.

    • chellebelle1998 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Hi PurpleOne,

      That's some pretty good reasons why people are still single. Im also 30, have two kids, and a fulltime job. Not much time to go out and mingle. But what about when someone seems to attract the WRONG kinds of men? All I get are either men in their 40's or early 20's? People tell me I look young for my age so guys in their thirties may see me as a kid still in college. Most men don't believe me when I say Im 30. Am I considered a #5? Too picky? Ive dated a 21 year old when I was 29. It didn't work out so well. I think I need to have a sign plastered to my forhead saying 'single, and yes I am 30' :[

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      @VASUM Mansuri - I'm glad you found truth in my words and wish you the best of luck finding your beautiful girl.

      @romelyn20 - the real facts of life, you got it! :)

      @SweetiePie - I did not mean to imply that a relationship is a prerequisite to happiness for everyone but for the majority of people it just simply is (in my opinion). If someone is genuinely content all by themselves, then I say all the power to them!

      @andrian007 - thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

      @kb24fanatic - yes, for me, these 5 reasons have more or less summed up the reasons why someone might be still single. Good luck!

      @micamyx' - #4 and #5 really apply to me as well! I am in a relationship now though so they didn't stop me completely. :)

      @jdomingo - yes, being shy around the person you like can be a real problem. The only way to overcome it I think is just simply practice. Fake it until you make it, as they say!

      @sexybabe - I completely understand. Sometimes there are obligations that prevent us from being able to move away to where there is a bigger pool. You never know though who you will meet and there is always the internet as an option.

      @rulalenska - I definitely don't call that settling either. Sounds like you found yourself a potential keeper! There is nothing wrong with a thick middle, long beard and a hairy back if he has all the other qualities you said he has too. Your guy sounds like a great catch to me!

    • rulalenska profile image

      Rula Lenski 

      8 years ago from USA

      I don't call it settling when I meet a man who is intelligent, kind, educated, has nice eyes, is a great partner emotionally and otherwise -- who also has a thick middle and a long beard and a hairy back. I gave him a chance! Or was it that he gave me a chance? We make each other happy, that is all you need in this world.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeah, I think I am in the small town that's why I am still single. But what can I do, I have to work here and provide for my sad..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      doesn't have money. pretty girls wanted only a money in a handsome guy. maybe not all, but its true. majority wants a demonic money.

    • jdomingo profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      No. 2 and 4 apply to myself but its the oddest thing I'm only shy around women that I'm attracted to around other women I've made great friends out of and have had to unfortunately turn down a few because I believe I may have made the wrong impression on them.

      I've noticed this recently and need to find a way to overcome it to where I am NOT shy around women I'm attracted to. Hmmmm

      Great Hub again looking forward to reading more!

    • micamyx` profile image


      8 years ago

      4 and 5 struck me big time

    • kb24fanatic profile image


      8 years ago from philippines

      I had fun reading this hub. I'm single and I guess these 5 reasons is somewhat true.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This article has been a revelation. I couldn't find words to perfectly describe my reason for being single... until I saw reason no. 4. Oh, and no. 2 applies to me too although this has improved over the years. Thanks PurpleOne for writing this article and I hope things can change for me too!

    • Lillian@Joybear profile image


      8 years ago from London, England

      Being set in my ways and the flirt equivalent of a special needs poodle has posed some tricky problems! Enjoyed the hub!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      No offense, but there is a growing number of people worldwide who like being single. This hub perpetuates the myth that a relationship is needed for full happiness.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i belong to #2,3,4 and 5 that's the real facts of life....

    • profile image

      VASIM Mansuri 

      8 years ago

      i am 19 years old indian single boy..and i m apprishiat you word it's shows total true...hope i will find one beautiful for me

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Ghost Whisperer 77 - I definitely should have added a #6, hehe! You're right about the chemistry thing but maybe that just comes down to being too picky which is #5 on the list. ;) Good luck!

      Philipo - unfortunate but true! :)

    • Philipo profile image


      8 years ago from Nigeria

      Funny. These are just real facts of life.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 

      8 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Hey! I am single and not on your list of five!


      I can't find a guy that I have "Chemistry" with. They like me and I yawn........hmmmmm could you add number six? I really feel left out and now I am really really confused. hehehe

    • Rishfa profile image


      8 years ago made me laugh!! because its kinda true

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      Bard of Ely: Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. Growing up, I too felt that I would find true love, get married and have a family. It's scary to me that it hasn't happened yet and I feel like time is running out.

      Good luck to you and I hope you're happy. If you want to be with someone though, I hope you can make the change(s) happen within yourself or in your life that will bring you another true love.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      9 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      It is true that I never intended to end up single and when I was younger I really wanted to find true love, get married and have a family. I have had to change my views as my life hasn't worked out how I wanted.

      Three of the points you have made apply. I was in a long term relationship but it broke down many years back after my partner had a nervous breakdown and then some years after that she died. I brought up our son.

      Secondly I am incredibly shy even though I am a performer. Off stage I never know what to say to people and tend to speak if I am spoken to but don't begin conversations. I have always been painfully shy.

      Thirdly I live in a small village with only two shops and buses finish at 8.30 in the evening so I never go out at night. Also most of the people are Spanish-speakers and I am not fluent in the language at all so that doesn't help.

      And finally, I lived so many years without a partner I have got used to it - it's about 10 years since I was going out with a woman as a girlfriend and not just a friend.

      I have a cat as my companion and have lived the last five years with her and it doesn't look as if this is going to change unless some big changes happen either in me or in my life.

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      stricktlydating - definitely, that happens. Sometimes you're justing holding out for the right one to come along but you're dating in the meantime. Maybe and hopefully eventually one of those dates will be with "the one."

    • stricktlydating profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Or maybe I'm dating but haven't found the one who will treat me right long-term yet!


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