Why Does Everyone Say That Being Single is a Choice? I Don’t Think it is

Why does everyone say that being single is a choice? I don’t think it is.

A majority of individuals state that being single is a choice but I beg to differ. I encounter individuals that are single and looking to meet the right person, however, cannot find a good match. I presume they mean being single is a choice, in the sense that they are going to date when they are emotionally ready to find “the one”.

I have always been single and recently ended a short term relationship. I would have preferred the relationship to be long term, however, there were things that stood in the way. I am back to being single again and I feel like a failure. I am in my twenties and this took place a few months ago.

I take medication for my anxiety and discussed my low self-esteem with my Psychiatrist, who attempted to improve the degrading opinion of myself with easeful words. From that point, he ended that part of the discussion with “so, you are single by choice right?”. Doctor, did you not hear a word I just said? He also stated that I place too much thought/emphasis on the concepts of relationships.

I agree with him to an extent. If I did not have such a high expectations from what to expect from a man, hence they are human and I should act in the same diligent manner for the sake of fair game, I wouldn’t have been single for so long. I had this idea in my head as to what a guy is supposed to bring to the relationship. How he is supposed to treat me. How I want him to look. All of these standards. And while it is important to have basic criteria, there’s no need to overdo it. Who the hell am I?

Maybe if I did not reject those guys in the past, something could have become long-term. After this dating experience, I prefer to be single.

I know this may sound bitter but I prefer to stay to myself in order to avoid any further drama. The whole dating process. The possibility of what seems to be a future with someone and it all diminishes before your eyes. Yet, I am at peace with the notion of solitude. Or am I in denial? I don’t have many (any) friends to begin with. How is a partner going to fill this void?

While it is wonderful to hold hands with someone you care for and share kisses with when the timing felt right, I am alright with where I am now. Some of you may beg to differ because I am composing this myTake.

I am attempting to obtain feedback on a topic matter that seems to have an answer of its own. I wanted to experience love because it seemed so beautiful. It was what everyone else was getting involved in. And maybe it isn’t for everyone. You hear such encouraging feedback.

“Oh, you’ll find the one when you least expect it.”

“Be patient. Good things come to those who wait.”

“Don’t look for love, let love find you.”

“It’s a numbers game.”

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”

For now, I am going to figure myself out and what I want before I involve someone in my endeavors.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • This is a good Take. I've had many of your same sentiments. Right now in my life I'm single by choice and not even sure I ever want to get married or have kids at this point. I've been through good moments but also very painful disappointments. And to make it worse, the older I get and the more I learn about women, the less I feel like I can tolerate some of their actions and attitudes. Might sound pessimistic but that is where I am right now, yeah.

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    • Same sentiments here , except complicated by the fact I'm a single dad !!

    • @FatherJack Well, the good news is you have your kids and you love them and don't have to deal with some woman's drama or toxic behavior.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Being single can be a choice which many people consciously make. They prefer to not date anyone or just engage in short term relationships. The reason might differe. Some people prefer to focus on their education /carrier or even health before dating. Some might think they are just not ready to date yet. After a break up many people like to take a few months to a few years to recover and prefer not to get engaged in any type of relationship. Some people are religious and prefer to wait until they want to get married to meet anyone and only take part in a short courtship.
    On the other hand, some people might fail to meet the right person despite putting a great deal of time and energy into finding the right right person.

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What Guys Said 71

  • Sometimes it is by choice, and that's perfectly fine. I always say it's only a problem to be single if you don't want to be. Personally, I don't like being single.

    It's often the case, as pointed out by the author of this Take, that expectations are too high. I think that has a lot to do with people being single or having brief relationships.

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  • Few people are single by choice, especially when they are young.
    The hard-wired urge to pair bond and mate is overwhelming.
    When I was younger than 30 I could almost not get a date.
    The few women who feigned interest had agendas and every one of them broke my heart.
    That changed me. I became angry and resentful toward women as a collective, especially when I saw the knuckle-dragging mental defectives who seemed to have no difficulty finding female company.
    Feel free to call me a passive/aggressive Elliot Roger, in the way that I saw the world.
    After they and I were on the wrong side of 30, women began to make the first move on me.
    What I saw were former bad boy cum sponges, who would have told me to “fuck off, freak” when they were 20, who had realised that the bad boys were not husband material.
    As a result of that blinding flash of the obvious, they were looking for so-called ‘good men’, who would not have been ‘exciting’ enough for them when they were 20.
    I was too angry and resentful to be interested, so it could be said that after the age of 30 I was single by choice.
    That does not take away the pain that I feel when I go to bed alone, or when I reach out at night and my searching arms find only air.
    Even at my age, women make their interest plain fairly frequently, but there is still so much pain and resentment inside of me that I cannot reciprocate.

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    • I'm sorry you held a grudge so long. I mean it must be some fierce resentment for you to turn down what you wanted all this time. I am currently trying to get over my bitterness and open my heart, which is seemingly hard to do. I want to say thanks for your comment, because it just woke me up to the fact that I do not want to be alone forever! I hope that even with your loneliness, that you can find peace of mind.

    • You have to remember, when you were in your 20's, you were in a different generation, a more "free love" generation (my dad is almost your age, and he told me the 1970's were the best decade for this).

      It's just the opposite these days. Most young women are too picky, and when they do go after men, they go after men over 30 years old. They only want money, and it's this current Millennial generation of women.

      I don't want to get married right now, but I'm not single by choice (as in not having a girlfriend).

  • Can guarantee you are in denial. No relationship is as close as the one you choose to have with that Significant Other.

    Single is a choice, for sure. The inability to have appropriate standards, both for yourself and the other person, or to lower them to accommodate a broader pool of partners, is a choice. I say yourself, because people tend to create a narrative about themselves and how they see themselves, but others do not see you that way. The "smart intellectual" may sound like a know-it-all bitch to everyone else, etc.

    Not having any friends and no real understanding of how great a SO can be really says something to me about you, and it seems you can't find a way to connect with people. Whether that is from others disliking you, them not being good enough for you, how you look, dress, act in public, etc., those all come from the choices you make to be accessible and desired by others wanting to be with you.

    It is a choice. In the end, it depends a lot on the standards you set, and if you're likable.

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  • It can be both a choice and not one. Sometimes I’ve had people into me that I wasn’t into and I’d rather be single than settle. And there’s also times where we’re into a person and they don’t like us back.

    And sometimes people take a break from dating.

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  • Maybe you need to reconsider your standards. I know a lot of people who insisted anyone meet their "standards" before dating them. Some of them died alone. If that is OK with you as a long-term possibility, then that is fine.

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    • Em. Fuck no. I refuse to lower what I want from someone just to settle for a guy, where we are both miserable in each other’s company.

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    • Regardless, you’re telling me to lower my standards. So. Whatever.

    • yeah lowering your standards to the point where you're dating someone you have no physical attraction or just find very boring to be around is a waste of time and will not make you happier

  • For me it's a choice. There was a girl I met back 2016 when her brother came to my country through erasmus. We stayed together in the same room. After some days his sister showed up, she came for vacation. Thing is there was something in her that attracted me, maybe it was her smile, maybe it was her innocence , maybe it was because she reminded me of my self when I was younger and yeah she had a really great body like woah anyways we kept talking for some months and honestly I fucked up, I lost control of my self, I became selfish, lost her trust, her brother's trust and her friend's. You can't turn back time, you can cry as much as you want but you can't delete what happend. To answer the question whether being single is a choice or not, for me it's a choice. After what happend to me, my mind was opened, I was surounded by girls, honestly open your eyes, girls are everywhere but are they "the one" ? Can one of them excite you so much that you can't sleep at night, or seing herin your dreams every night, thinking about her 24/7? Losing your mind when she just sents you a simple text? I don't want to be in a relationship with someone that doesn't make me feel like this. I don't care even if she is the most gorgeous person I ever saw. Being in a relationship means that 1st that you really love that person,2nd that you will give everything you have for that person and 3rd that you can understand them, how they feel, what they want etc. Friends and familly members often tell me go get a girlfriend to have fun, I don't want it, I don't want to take advantage of a relationship for my needs, in a relationship you take what you give, so you can't think only your side, just like you have familly and friends that want you to be happy , so does the other person. For me, if you plan to have a relationship with someone just for the sake of telling everyone around you that you are in a relationship don't. The other person also has feelings and the outcome will not be good, you will make first, the other person sad, feel used and you gonna lose precious time, time that you could have used on exploring what you trully desire.

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  • It can be either a choice or forced.

    If you are looking for it and desire it, but can't find it or get rejected, then it is forced up on you.

    If you are like me and see no reason to be in a long term serious relationship then it's a choice. I live in the most obese country in Europe, which is also a party haven for tourist. We get about 1.3 mil visitors a year, 300K of them are females aged 16-30 and at least average looking or better. They stay anywhere between a weekend and 6 weeks.

    Spring break just ended here, on the second day, I meet a girl from Norway, we hit it off. Following day, her and 3 friends went scuba diving with me, we ended up spending the entire day together, ending with clubbing at Aria and all of them stayed the night at my place.

    They ended up moving in for a week with me and we had a blast. And they will be returning this summer. And this cycle doesn't end, it just slows down in winter time and then starts all over again with spring break.

    I am single by choice, and I have no reason to change.

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  • "I encounter individuals that are single and looking to meet the right person, however, cannot find a good match."

    Hmmm... is it possible that they have an unrealistic sense of what constitutes a 'good match'?

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    • I doubt that’s the case. Guys don’t seem to like me either. So I don’t pursue it any further too.

    • Unrealistic expectations destroy more opportunities than anything else.

  • It's not a choice. Why? You have to get someone else you like to go out with you.

    I have Aspergers and let me tell you.. it's not a fucking choice. Most women I've dated ended up leaving me for some other guy who isn't even half as devoted or loyal as I am.

    It's whatever though, I don't *need* anyone.

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  • Being single is a choice. No one is forced to be single. Anyone can find a partner with whom thry work well if the use the proper system. Few people approach relationships in an effective manner which is why so many are single. It's not a matter of some simply being unable to find partners. It's a matter of going about it incorrectly.

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  • It is a choice for women. Even the most lonely woman is volunteering, turning down guys, looking for an unrealistic dude and just whining because Justin Timberlake isn't going out with her.

    Guys.. well as far as the human population goes, they are single all over the place. It's getting to be like the fucking lottery.

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  • I mean you can choose to be single, however not everyone is single by choice. If I could choose, I would absolutely be in a relationship. I've had one short term relationship in my lifetime that only lasted a month, and in that month I was happier than I ever was before or have been since. If I could choose i would want that again. However no girls have taken any interest in me at all since then so I've been forced to be single, I'm not single by choice.

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  • It's a choice if you're a girl; it's not a choice if you're a guy.

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    • I mean, men tend to get less attention because they’re typically expected to make the first move.

    • Yes, precisely my point-- why is that what's expected? Bear in mind, I'm not complaining about it one way or the other, but, why is that what's expected?

  • Being single is by choice is when you are strong enough inside that you don't NEED somebody, It's not a choice when you are trapped in single mode and feel powerless to get out.

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  • For some it is. Some have plenty of viable options but choose to forgo for their own reasons.

    For others it is not. They are so awkward, unattractive, off-putting, etc. That they'd be hard pressed to ever have someone be intrested in them.

    Others choose to be single rather than settle.

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  • Life is determined by inclination, capacity, and opportunity.

    Best to encounter and have someone you [] like []. Anything else may follow. Autonomy, as mentioned by some others, helps to underline, define, and guide.

    Notice my rendering in functional/procedural terms, rather than categorical.

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  • That is a CHOICE, to be single to find the right one. Lol also i am single by choice i not looking for anyone and i get a lot of girls angry with me, for not "persuing" a reationship with them. As if i did not tell them from the gate, im not looking. Lol

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  • It's a bit of everything it can be by choice, it can't be because you work by yourself in the world, it can be because you're real shy, you can come from a town that has hardly any females in it like Alaska for example. They are many many reasons out there

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  • Being single isn't a choice, i've gone on dates and been rejected plenty due to being only 5'6ft or 168cm, so for me at least and many other short men being single isn't a choice, but something we have no control over due to being unable to change height and womens attraction to tall men. While there are a few women around who don't mind height, they are very hard to find and far far too few of them.

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  • I always tell myself I am single by choice... then I meet the right girl who I crush on or who crushes on me. I personally have a lot of issues that I am not sure will ever be resolved and I think I'm selfish for having a girl because I would dump all the baggage on her.

    Truth is, it's tough to love myself and while I've had relationships, they just weren't meaningful because of me... not because of her.

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  • True because you can seek a companion and be rejected. That's not your choice.

    However, it can be a choice implied if you choose not to try to find the love of your life.

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  • Being single is a choice for you, because you quit after you didn't like the drama and stress.

    An actual incel is someone who doesn't have a choice.

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  • At least you've tried.

    Plenty of people are afraid to do even that. But don't let a negative experience jade you so badly.

    It's worth another try.

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    • Haha so they say 😂

  • It is a choice. Anyone can find someone.. the only question is, "Are you ready to settle?"

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    • I suppose this is true, assuming someone has absolutely zero standards whatsoever.

      Let's assume a straight guy wants to marry a girl someday. Most guys are visual it seems when it comes to picking a girl. Sure, a guy can find a woman to marry-but the catch is, it will more than likely be a woman who is conventionally ugly (meaning a woman who is WIDELY considered unattractive).

      I'm sure most of us can handle dating a girl who is a 6/10 on the "looks scale", or even a 4ish/10, but what about the girls who are a 1/10? Or even something like...0.5/10? I mean the BOTTOM of the barrel? I'm not picky at all, but there are SOME limits.

    • @EnglishArtsteacher Again, by placing limits and adhering to subjective rating scales , that is making a choice. Justify it however you wish. It is choosing to be single versus settling for whatever you can get for the sake of not being single.

    • And this trap is actually quite funny to observe. Your response is typical male. Have a woman phrase it the same way, and she is seen as being "too picky" or "shallow". Dudes have no problem living this way, but get totally bent when a woman they are interested in that is more attractive than them rejects them for this very same reason.

  • The people who claim the loudest that it is a choice are the ones who did NOT choose it, but they are trying to salve their own hurt little selves by saying they did. The people who did choose it have no need to proclaim they chose it.

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  • "How is a partner going to fill this void?"

    At least you are asking yourself this question and recognize that it may not fill this void completely, if at all. For me, I already know beforehand that it won't. And if I ever did believed that they would completely fill a void, then I was deluded and that they were entirely fallacies.

    You'll never hear encouraging comments from me in regards to things like this though. I'm too cynical for that. Instead, I say just let it go and find other things to enjoy, and don't stress it all too much because life is short.

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  • For men, being single isn’t a choice. It’s not uncommon to meet older men who have never had a girlfriend.

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  • Sometimes, it is. I am not single by choice and unlike people say, there is not someone for everyone.

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  • Well people are initially single lol so that is wrong. Being single might be a choice, but really if you are dating so many people that you can't remember being single, then you have a problem maybe.

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  • You're in your twenties, and you feel like a failure and have low self esteem because... you're not in a long term relationship? Holy shit, which crappy magazines have you been filling your head with? On the contrary, you should ECSTATIC that you haven't compromised certain principles merely for the sake of "not being alone". Some say it's a numbers game, but it's a "timing" game more than anything else. Be as cautious as your head tells you to be, and as open as your heart wants you to be. You don't sound like a person of solitude, you sound like a woman who hasn't found someone she can trust... yet. Some of the cliches are true, but they most important one isn't on your list. "Be true to yourself". Only you know if you're in denial. If you are, is that you? Is that who and what you are? BE.. TRUE... TO... YOURSELF... first, and your eyes will be opened wide and all this will be clear to you.

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What Girls Said 26

  • "After this dating experience, I prefer to be single"

    Therefore, you're currently single by choice, no?
    Of course that if you look back at it like "I wanted to still be in a relationship but he did not", then maybe it isn't exactly by choice...
    Conversely, that past relationship is over and you're currently choosing to not be in a relationship with other guys.
    In other words, you may not have chosen to become single again, but you're choosing to remain single for the time being.

    Anyway, just because being single is the default, doesn't mean it can't be by choice (especially nowadays when many people seem to get in and out of relationships due to fear or just because). Same as being a virgin, for instance. Many people make the conscious decision of remaining a virgin for as long as they please.
    Being your own person and not settling has some merit too.

    In my opinion, there's a big difference between "being on the market" for a good match (regardless of your dating pool being big or small, you feeling lonely, wanting to start a family, etc.) and waiting it out calmly until you actually find someone who makes you NOT WANT to be single (which theoretically means you could be single forever), or just go on the market and get into the first relationship you can find because you're in a rush NOT TO BE single, aka settling.
    These situations may seem like the same, but are actually not.

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  • Being single is a choice to an extend. As a girl you only need to snap your fingers and guys will be in line for casual sex.. just no guys you would want a long term relationship with. Find yourself, don't be afraid to be alone. Nothing worse then making the mistake choosing the wrong guy for the sake of "being in a relationship" where you'll never be happy.

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    • As long as you don't give it a try you won't know, not all guys are like that. Try finding your boyfriend between smart guys, not the random guy in the street, try finding someone who sees this world more than just a dating app/status.

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    • White_Widow It was very nice talking to you. I really don't intend to change anyone's opinion about anything. All I really hope for is if I can make a difference even if it is just for a moment it can be positive after all that's how most medical professions operate.
      White_Widow you seem like a thoughtful young lady, I genuinely hope you find what you are looking for. :)

    • @BraveRecreation Thank you, and I did not experience our talk as if you would want to change my opinion.. More like expanding my horizon lol. Thank you for the kind words and I wish you the same. :)

  • I think being single can indeed be a choice. I've been single for over a year, and I'm perfectly content that way. This may not be true for other people, who are looking to date but without success, but not everyone who's single is necessarily wishing to have a partner.

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  • It's a choice for some, and not for others. Some people are completely happy being single and choose to remain that way for one reason or another. And then there are people who long to be in relationships and just don't seem to have any luck when it comes to dating and such.

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  • I’m single by choice. I’m asked out regularly, but decline. I’ve literally been dating since I was 4– that’s when I remember having my first “boyfriend” (I use that term loosely) and when I got old enough I was going on dates. I’ve been in relationships my whole life, but about a year ago I decided to try my hand at spending time out of a relationship and by myself— I personally love it, and intend to continue for a little while.

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  • From what you just wrote, you choose to be single because for no you are going to figure yourself out and what you want before you involve someone else - that's a choice - no matter how you look at it or try to justify it - we all have choices in our lives that impaces our relationshios (or lack of).

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  • Technically it is, because I'm sure you can find SOMEONE to go out with you. Most people will normally wait for someone they actually like when they're single

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  • It always intrest me, why people look at the break up as a total failure.
    Ok, it's not nice... but! why can't they just remember the good moments and mostly it's more of it then the grief ones.
    Why we can't focus on what was good and fun... not only at the last stage, which is separation?
    Probably it would make thing easier... It works with me.

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  • being single is a choice for me. I've rejected all the guys to ever like me. People my age are so immature these days, so I wanna wait till I get older and can be with someone mature, committed, and loyal.

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  • I think for some people that is a choice and for some people they just have a hard time finding someone so it turns out not to be a choice

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  • I just don't wanna date right now, if I wanted I probably wouldn't be single since I have some guys interest in me where I live.

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  • People are single because they haven't found the right one to give all their love to

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  • I personally just don’t enjoy dating. I like to skip into the relationship part, if that were even possible.

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  • I extremely agree with your MyTake that being single is not a choice. I have wanted a boyfriend for so many years but every time I ask a guy out he declines my offer and just recently a guy said "I'm flattered" and when I asked him if he had a girlfriend he said no. I have flirted with many guys on this very website. I have been rejected so many times and yet I have never had my first boyfriend yet, no first kiss no anything. It drives me to tears at times because I really want someone to be with. I would trade my lonely life in if I could but I don't have the power and it tears me up inside. Just one boyfriend and I way be content but none and I'm reckless.

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  • Not sure what you mean. It can be a choice or it can't.

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  • I am not single at the time. It not a. Choice it but I stop dating guys in college since leave me or cheat on me.

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  • yeah im definitely not one of those people who's single by choice i dont really have any other option

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  • i agree with you on so many points. paralell lives.

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  • Being single is awesome when you make your life awesome. Don't care about what others say!

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  • im willingly single ok

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  • Just not ready for next wrong guy... that's y.

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  • im done with GAG today

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  • If the person is asexual/aromantic it is

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  • Don't listen to those sayings. They are mostly untrue and invalid.
    Try EMDR therapy. It's all discussed in the book "Getting past your past."
    It's a lifesaver.

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  • By choice is when you have people banging on your door begging you to date them but you say no. That's a choice.
    When you're on a dating website for month and nothing happens and despite your trying you're still single, that's not a choice.
    When you look around and there is nobody you see yourself with , that's not a choice.
    Sadly, most single people are single NOT but choice. They say it's by choice because otherwise they look like losers.

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  • If you want to be single and u r single, it is a choice.

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