You're single because you choose to be so. Whether consciously, subconsciously, directly or indirectly through your actions, you choose to be single for reasons only you know yourself. If you truly want to find someone, you first have to understand why you're choosing to be single and then correct your actions and mentality. (Yes I am choosing to be single too, so I'll use myself as an example throughout)
Conscious reasons you're single
Many people actively choose to keep themselves single because they prefer it that way. Some people are happy being single and others are extremely unhappy, but both types prefer to be single for their own reasons. You can have more than one reason to consciously want to be single or just one; they're not limited to this list, but these are the main ones
You want to be single
Obviously there are some people who consciously want to be alone and genuinely don't want companionship. "Hermit" or "Crazy Cat Lady" or "Old Maid" are terms used to describe these people and they are often misunderstood and ostracized by the rest of society. Those who fall into this category are perfectly happy being single, have no intentions of finding a partner, and often come to this state through having a spouse die, family issues growing up that lead to attachment issues, or living an overall life of isolation. In the past, they may or may not have been with someone, but tend to only have been with a few partners if at all. Dependency on others isn't something they think about, so their daily choices lead to lives that allow them to be content with their independent lives. Some people who want to be single are happy and others are not, but that depends on other life factors such as quality of life, mental illness, and family and friend support groups.
Some people choose to be single because they're happy with their lives, but are open to finding love if the right person comes along. People in this category seem like normal people, have good jobs, are sociable, may or may not have a lot of family or friends, and generally fit into society. I fall into this category myself. While I would love to have a husband to love, share my life with, and start a family with, that goal doesn't consume me. For the most part, I am perfectly happy being single and am unafraid of being single for the rest of my life, but I will give someone a shot if I can see myself being in a serious relationship with him. This also means I can easily reject people and break things off with someone if I see a loss of respect, am uninterested in someone, or feel like things won't work out long-term because I would rather be alone than with the wrong person
Negative past experiences
Everybody experiences negative things in life, but some people choose to let those experiences control them. Negative past experiences can cause trauma, anxiety, stress, attachment issues, preconceived notions, and many more issues that lead people to think and act a certain way towards something in a negative way that others would deem an overreaction. Choosing to be single is a way that many people choose to deal with their fears of never feeling loved, not feeling worthy of love, feeling like they're incapable of giving love, being abandoned or mistreated or abused, because something similar in the past left them feeling so terribly they feel it's safer to avoid the risk of feeling that pain ever again at the cost of losing a potentially happy future. Basically they feel like it's better to be lonely forever than risk a bad relationship because the fear of a bad relationship is worse than the hope of a good one. Such events causing these feelings include, but are not limited to abandonment, neglect, verbal or physical or psychological or sexual abuse, exploitation, and ending a relationship in a catastrophic way.
Personally I'm choosing to be single right now because of the negative feelings I've gone through from being cheated on. It's important to remind myself that not all men are cheaters (I know several men personally who are very faithful to their wives and girlfriends), so that's not an excuse I should use to avoid a relationship. When I'm ready to involve myself with someone again, I know I have to be open to trusting him and not accuse him of cheating just because I've been cheated on in the past. However, there are plenty of people who use this as an excuse to become crazy possessive or irrational in future relationships that leads to problems early on. People who have been through negative past experiences and relationships have to consciously address their fears and behaviors related to certain events, behaviors, and actions in order to avoid sabotaging new ones
Some people are simply afraid of relationships. Generally this category consists of adolescents and young adults who have never been in a relationship before, so the mere thought of getting into one is too stressful for them. Insecurity is the main issue here and insecurity can manifest itself in many ways: not pretty/handsome enough, not rich or smart enough, don't know what you want to do in life, you have a weird mole on your face, think your boobs/penis aren't the right size... Often times they feel like they aren't good enough or that nobody would be interested in them due to some horrible blemish or problem in their lives or with their personalities. People who are too insecure about themselves to attempt a relationship often do a combination of things both consciously and subconsciously that keep them either directly or indirectly from entering into relationships with other people
A lot of people here on GAG seem to fall into this category. Well whatever it is that you're so insecure about doesn't matter. If the right person comes into your life, he'll be attracted to your A-cup because he likes petite girls or she'll love how smart your physics lecture was so much that she won't mind that you vomited into a trash can before going on stage. Never let your insecurities get the best of you because they'll either be the thing someone loves you for or they'll love you so much whatever it is you're insecure about won't be something that even crosses their mind. And quit it with the being ugly crap--if Mama June found someone who thought she was attractive long enough to do the deed required to create Honey Boo-Boo, it doesn't matter what you look like because there will be someone who finds you attractive.
Subconscious things you do to keep yourself single
Humans are flawed and we all do things that turn others off, but some people do things subconsciously to keep themselves single. Whether it's something that keeps you from entering relationships or keeps you from maintaining one, most single people (and people who go through many short relationships) do several things to chronically keep them in their recurrent situation
You're not relationship material
Encompassing a multitude of issues here, many people find it hard to find "the one" for themselves because they aren't "the one" for somebody else, many people aren't relationship material. Difficult for most people to accept, this one is something you'll have to figure out for yourself in order to pin down exactly what it is that keeps causing you this problem. Possibilities could be addiction, uncontrolled mental illness, misogynistic or misandristic beliefs and mentality, not responsible enough to care for a loved one or children or even yourself, infidelity, being too dependent or controlling inside a relationship, violent or inconsistent behavior, narcissism, incapable of providing for a loved one whether financially or emotionally or physically, and even reckless behavior such as being involved in a lot of one-night stands and quick relationships that someone who is interested in a serious relationship doesn't find you compatible with their values. Basically you're single because nobody wants to be involved with your for an extended length of time due to your personality, choices that you've made, or things you do to prevent long-term relationship satisfaction
Many people get into relationships for the wrong reasons because they're selfish (sex, attention, money). If you want to be relationship material, you have to be relationship material first and be able to offer something to a relationship. I believe love should be 100/100, not 50/50. That way you nobody gets upset for having to pick up the slack and each side still feels loved, cared for, and respected when something bad happens such as losing a job, serious illness, catastrophic whether events destroy the house. In order to be relationship material, you have to be willing to love, care about, and provide for your SO in any way you can
You're too picky/Not picky enough
Some people are too picky to find a relationship in the first place and some people are not picky enough, causing them to involve themselves too quickly with a lot of the wrong people and consistently go through short relationships that never amount to anything. Trying to find little things wrong with everyone you date can be a serious problem even if you're not intentionally doing it because that guy with beer gut or the girl who flosses her teeth in bed might be your perfect match when it comes to important things such as marriage and children or politics and philosophical beliefs. Likewise not being picky enough can lead you into the repeated problem of having guys beat you or girls use you for your money if you're so obsessed with finding love that you'll go for anyone who tells you they think you're cute at the expense of ignoring red flags or allowing maltreatment to skate by.
When screening a new candidate for a relationship (dating), it's important to know your requirements and preferences in order to narrow down your search to people you're compatible with, but to also not weed out people you should give a chance to. Requirements are things you're not willing to settle on that will prevent you from entering a relationship with someone no matter how attractive they are and also cause you to break things off if not maintained. Fidelity is a requirement to me, so when I found out that my ex was cheating on me, I had to break things off with him despite the feelings I had because that turned everything he promised into a lie and voided our relationship.
Preferences are ideals you wish or fantasize for but that you can compromise on for the sake of companionship in the same way you'll give up chocolate fudge on a sundae because the ice cream is so delicious (and it's so hot outside you don't feel like driving over to the next McDonald's to see if they have fudge). Not smoking is a preference I have in a relationship because it's unhealthy, but I was willing to compromise on that with my ex as long as he only smoked outside (the brand he smoked didn't bother me much, but someone who smokes a brand that causes their smell to turn me off is someone I can't be with at all). Knowing what preferences you're capable of settling on and what requirements you're not are essential when it comes to finding a partner for someone who has a history of being too picky or not picky enough
Unavailable people make it difficult for other people to date them, so they're often single for long periods of time or have short and unsatisfactory relationships. Working so much on your career that you don't have enough time to date until your 30s can cause people to feel like they wasted their prime dating years, so it's important that you open up your schedule if you crave a meaningful relationship in your life. The same goes for people who overbook themselves for friends such as taking care of everyone's surprise party, over-involving themselves in the church youth group or neighborhood committee, agreeing to be the Maid Of Honor for three weddings in one summer, playing video games for five hours a day with your online friends. Yes it's important to give yourself meaning in life, find hobbies you enjoy, and live life to the fullest, but making yourself too busy for love will ensure that you won't be able to give anybody else the opportunity to help you out with your own wedding or children. The reverse of being so unavailable to family and friends that you never get out of the house/work long enough to meet someone new can also lead you to continue a lonely life because the person out there trying to find you can't find you anywhere. Finding a balance between being unavailable and over-committing can be difficult, so just remind yourself sometimes you need to relax and be open to something new
Emotional unavailability can also be a huge romance-killer. Maybe you're not open to trusting someone due to issues with past negative experiences or you're still holding onto your late wife of 20 years. Many things can cause you to feel incapable of loving someone else (this one can be conscious or subconscious) but it's important to move on once you've gone through the grieving process. Time--the grieving process takes time, so you have to set a time limit on your grief and fear if your emotional unavailability lasts so long it prevents you from moving on with your life. Dwelling on the past is no way to change it for the future and you're still going to feel the same way in 10 years if you don't change something now. Professional counseling and therapy is a great way to help you with emotional unavailability in discovering what causes it and how to move on.
I'd be a liar if I denied my own issues with being emotionally unavailable, but I've made a lot of progress with it by intentionally addressing my fears, concerns, and anxieties related to opening up to others and developing emotional bonds; removing toxic people from my life and finding new friends have been the most helpful things in helping me become emotionally available. (I am once again emotionally unavailable for the time being, but I believe that is a necessary process for everyone who exits a relationship for a short period of time in order to reassess what they need from a relationship and how to prevent the same thing from happening again)
Denying your sexual orientation
Unfortunately this can be one of the most difficult problems for people, especially adolescents and young adults. While I don't agree that you fully know what your orientation is until after puberty when your hormones are done raging and you've developed enough physically and mentally to understand outside stimulation from the world vs your own thoughts, I do believe there are people who intentionally and unintentionally deny their sexual orientation as adults (mostly due to religious, societal, and familial beliefs). For people who deny their sexual orientation, they can find it difficult entering into relationships with the gender they feel pressured to date because they aren't physically attracted, find sex unsatisfying, and are overall stressed and anxious from lying to themselves, others, and their SOs, but they do so anyway because they're too afraid to admit to others they're not straight. Coming out can be terrifying because it risks letting down your parents, causes others to see you in a different light, and is a major change in your own identity.
Sabotaging your past relationships
Unlike the rest of this MyTake, this one is specifically for people who have had problems with past relationships not working out in the same way or those who have had a lot of bad past relationships. Two things that cause a repeat history are sabotaging your own relationships and picking the same kinds of people who are bad for you (sabotaging yourself). If you pick the wrong type of people, know that and you probably know why (generally because you either love the excitement or don't believe you deserve someone better), but knowing if you've been sabotaging your own relationships is more difficult to tell and more difficult to admit (at least you can blame those other guys for being heartless jerks).
Sometimes people get scared when they realize how much they love someone and pull back or get spooked from not being prepared for the commitment required to maintain the relationship while others cause rifts in the relationship by overreacting to innocuous problems in extreme ways. Love is easy in the beginning, but long-term relationships and commitment take work, so overcoming your own self-deprecating, knee-jerk reactions to sabotage your own relationship when you feel like you're in too deep or had a bad day is something that needs attention if you want to keep that person you feel so strongly about to keep feeling so strongly about you
Well I'm sure I missed plenty of things and could continue you writing this for another couple of hours, but I feel like I hit on the most important things, so I'll leave it at that. Thank you for reading if anybody read this all the way through, and I hope I helped you understand what you're doing to keep yourself single