Though I’m sure many of you heard of, indulged in, or seen the likes of the trending topic #ImSingleBecause on Twitter–none of you have been so incensed by it as I am. In typical Twitter fashion (for those of you still living under a rock), during a trending topic, people all around the world will use this social network to write 140 character statements describing how they feel or happenings in their lives. The statements, called “tweets,” then broadcast to a group of your friends called “followers” and if you have an open account (vs. a private one) to the world. Therefore, a “trending topic” becomes an opportunity for the whole world, literally, to talk about one thing. All the tweeters have to do is mark their tweets with a hash tag (#) and the topic at hand. In the case of #Imsinglebecause, the 140 characters supposedly explain why the tweeter feels he or she has no luck in the relationship department. And every time someone marks a tweet with #imsinglebecause, the hashtag becomes a link in the tweet. The link leads to a grand list of everyone on Twitter currently talking about that same thing. To access the list, you simply click the hashtag. For the creator of the Misadventures, a blog for young singles and young daters who want to better themselves, it would seem a list of this capacity would be EPIC (notice the capitalization–for dramatic emphasis). Young men and young women everywhere coming together to admit their faulty dating practices–what could be better than that??
Well let’s take a looksy shall we?
Ahhh. Well it seems as though I was even more wrong than those May 21st judgement day people who quit their jobs (in THIS economy). Instead of insightful, self-aware answers–this trending topic, like plenty others before it–turned out to be more evidence that my generation is doomed. I cringed inside as I noticed the vast majority of these tweeters blamed their single status on factors outside of themselves. No one seemed to consider that the reason they were single had something to do with them. And I fear that even outside of Twitter, many people don’t understand that small fact–you’re single because of you.
The Relationship As A Mirror Theory
Whether we’re talking about the habitual liar YOU picked up at the club last night or the crazy girl YOU introduced to your parent’s last month, the operative word is YOU. You were attracted, you pursued, you gave your number out, you said “I do”–no one else but you. Typically, when I start talking like this, many people get defensive. I hear things like “but I didn’t know he was crazy. If I knew, I wouldn’t have dated him” or “man that girl cheated on me! how is that my fault?” or the infamous, “I can’t help who I am attracted to.” And to a certain extent, that is correct. Attraction has a lot of chemical, scientific, and spiritual factors that you are not aware of and therefore cannot control. But there is also an extent to which that is completely incorrect. A pastor once told me, “you are what you attract.” Which means there is something about you that attracts lying men and crazy women. It is no coincidence that a woman with very low self-worth will attract a man that beats her. If she beats on herself, she is more likely to take it from someone else.
Still not following me? I’ll give you a personal example. As some of you know, my last relationship was with a man we call Mr. Lies-About-Everything-But-His-Name. Not so surprisingly, Mr. Lies-About-Everything-But-His-Name also happened to be extremely unfaithful to me. And when I found out about his infidelities, I would use that as an opportunity to enact my own brand of justice. I cheated back. Also, not so surprisingly, he wasn’t the only person I had this relationship pattern with. I’d done the same thing with the boyfriend before him. In fact, I’d done it all throughout my dating life. The boy would cheat or I assumed he cheated and I’d use that as a justification to cheat myself. Because of this, I remember accumulating 7 “boyfriends” at once when I was a teenager. So when Mr. Right-For-Now pointed out my fear of commitment, I started to connect all of the dots. Maybe I’d always dated a cheater because there was a part of me that was prone to cheating. If I dated the faithful kind of guy, he’d expect that I’d also be faithful. And maybe I just didn’t have that in me. So I found myself with cheaters.
The key to understanding your patterns is realizing you play out most of them subconsciously. I didn’t wake up saying “let me see, let me see, who’s going to cheat on me today? Ah you there, fella in the blue, you look like a cheater. Here, take my number!” Au contraire. I saw a cute guy and flirted with him until he decided to ask for my number. Nothing more, nothing less. Or so it will seem to the untrained eye. Without the help of a mirror, the untrained eye cannot see what it cannot see. You will only have a very fragmented idea of what you look like. You might be able to feel the width of your nose with your hands or trace the curve of your chin with your fingertips–but that’s just a fraction of the big picture that is you. So, if you allow them into your life, relationships–whether healthy or non–can act as mirrors of the subconscious, reflecting the inner most beliefs, desires, and feelings. Relationships help you see the things you otherwise wouldn’t. As my boss would say, how you “show up” in the mirror of relationships is often how you “show up” in the mirror of life.
The next time you’re tempted to type #Imsinglebecause no one holds my attention, look a little deeper. What you’re really saying is #Imsinglebecause in general I’m an unfocused person and I don’t have the focus to be in a relationship right now. Or when you go to write #Imsinglebecause women aren’t mature enough, think about the things inside of you that might’ve attracted those immature women. Maybe as a man, you’ve got some more growing up to do yourself. (I think my friend, the ever so eloquent Katt Williams, said it best. If you can see past the expletives, please enjoy the clip I’ve embedded below!) The key to ridding yourself of harmful habits is to own them. If you understand that your lack of ambition will attract a lazy person into your life, then you can start looking into ways to get motivated. When you make a decided effort to become Mr. or Ms. Right, it’ll be much easier to bump into someone looking for just that.