As many of you know, I have written a book titled Why Am I Still Single? A Tough Love Guide For Single Women. In it, I delve into the different personality types and how many women sabotage their own relationships without knowing it. However, sometimes, it's not just your personality type that can be keeping you single. It may have something to do with the type of men you have in your life. In this post we are going to take a look at the first type of guy that could be keeping you from a happy relationship.
Your Best Friend -
You have been friends forever (or at least it seems like it). He is so great! He is the one that has always been there for you. He has seen you at your best and at your worst and has stuck by you through thick and thin. He knows all about your crazy family, accepts the fact that you only eat M&M's in even numbers, and even tolerates your karaoke singing even though your voice makes dogs howl. When another guy broke your heart, he was there to pick up the pieces and reassure you that the guy was an idiot that didn't deserve you. He is respectful and fun. You don't have to dress up or try to impress him. You never struggle for conversation. He is the one person you can be yourself with and always count on to be there. You have even made the pact - you know the one - if neither of you are married by the time your 30? 40? or some other arbitrary age, you will marry each other.
Why he is keeping single -
He is your fake boyfriend. Everything is so easy and comfortable with your bestie and dating can be so exhausting. Who wants to go out on one bad date after another? No one seems to get you like he does anyway. Whenever you do muster up the energy to go on a date, you subconsciously (or consciously) compare every other guy to him. How can a new person you just met possibly compete with a guy that knows just what to say and when to say it; to bring you a tube of raw chocolate chip cookie dough when you're upset; that you hate yellow roses because your stupid, cheating ex used to buy them for you whenever he was feeling guilty; and that has a million inside jokes with you? You immediately set high expectations for any new guy you meet and may be disappointed when he doesn't automatically know what to do and when to do it. He hasn't known you for years and doesn't have the inside track to your soul, so it may seem like he is falling short causing you to cut him off before you ever really give him a shot. You find yourself making comparisons or thinking about how you wish your best friend was with you watching this movie so you could be making fun of the people in front of you while throwing popcorn in the air and seeing who could catch the most in their mouth before the movie starts.
And while you're not having sex (or maybe you are) there is a level of intimacy there that no other guy seems to be able to match. And if you need a hug because you're sad or need to snuggle for a minute because your freezing, he is perfectly willing to oblige. It's harmless, right?
Wrong. It is keeping you from wanting and searching for that intimacy with someone else. If you're always with him, you're not meeting new guys. Whether you are taking him to a wedding instead of going alone or are hanging together at a sports bar, a man that would normally approach you may not because he may automatically assume you are a couple. You are missing out on opportunities to meet people by unwittingly making yourself unavailable.
Now I'm not saying dump your best guy friend. In fact, I think every girl should have a best guy friend. But you do need to set up some boundaries and/or use him to you advantage. First of all, if you are having sex or the occasional drunken make out session with him, stop. He is a crutch and the comfort of knowing he is there whenever you want to connect with someone in that way will prevent you from trying to find that connection with someone else.
Next, use him to your advantage. Does he have any male friends, new work colleagues, or teammates from a softball league that he can introduce you to? Having him make the introduction will not only help weed out some bad dudes, but will also help you find one that will be more accepting of your friendship, which, let's face it, some guys have a hard time dealing with and understanding. It could be a win-win because he will have the inside scoop on the guys so you can be sure he won't set you up with some womanizing jerk and your friendship is more likely to survive the new relationship.
Finally, schedule girl time. That means he won't be your wing man at the bar. He can't go out with you and your girlfriends on certain nights. No one will be able to mistake him for being your boyfriend because it is strictly a girls only night.
Second reason he is keeping you single -
He is your "what if" guy - This is the other end of the spectrum. He is your best friend. You share everything together. Everyone thinks you are perfect together and the truth is, you probably are, but you are afraid to cross that line. After all, what if it doesn't work out? You don't want your friendship to change. That would be awful. But still, you can't stop yourself from wondering what if he is the one?
I am going to give you a little piece of advice...go for it. I know all the reasons you are going to ramble on about why you shouldn't but I'm here to tell you, do it anyway and here is why...
Let's say he starts dating another girl or you start dating a new guy. Eventually your friendship is going to change. I know you don't think it will, but trust me, it will. For fun, let's say he gets a girlfriend. He starts spending more and more time with her and less time with you. You get jealous and maybe a little angry. Is he just going to drop you now? That's not going to happen. So you try to make plans for just you and him, but his girlfriend isn't too keen on that. So you decide to tag along on some of their dates. This way maybe you can become friends with his girlfriend, and also let her know that hey, I've been around way before you and I'm not going anywhere. Only, his new girlfriend doesn't understand why you always have to be around. You two have all of these inside jokes that she isn't a part of and suddenly, she starts to feel like the third wheel. And seriously, why do you need to call him to come over to kill a spider? He isn't your boyfriend. Go get your own spider killer.
Now only one of two things can happen here: Either he ends up breaking up with his new girlfriend because she is "jealous" and doesn't understand your relationship or he distances himself from you causing you to drift apart. Ultimately the friendship has changed.
Still don't think so? Let's say he broke up with his girlfriend. Your bestie has already started to question his feelings for you. After all, he just dumped another girl for you. And you know you have already been questioning your feelings for him. It's like having a toy that you have had sitting in your room forever. It is always there whenever you want it. Then one day, you go in your room and realize it's no longer on your shelf. You go into the living room to find the neighbor kid playing with YOUR favorite toy. Now it is all you want to play with. You never realized how great it was and how much you loved it until you saw someone else playing with it. Sometimes it's the same way with people. We just assume that person that means the most to us will always be there for us because, well, they always have been. It's not until we think we might lose them that we realize how much they mean.
And again, you do compare every guy you have ever dated to him. But kissing him would be so weird. Besides you don't know if you can think of him that way. And what if you did try it and it doesn't work out? That would be awful.
But, I'm telling you, if you have ever thought what if then you need to suck it up and go for it. You owe it to yourself and your bestie to at least try it. Yes, you may be afraid and that is natural. After all, so many relationships haven't worked out. But until you are with the right one, none of them will work out. It may end up being everything you've ever wanted, but you won't know if you don't take a chance.
And If it doesn't work out, at least you will know and the question will be answered. And in time, you two may even become better friends because of it. After all, the sexual tension and that pesky what if will be out of the way. Until then, your friendship will always be tainted because whenever you and your boyfriend have a bad fight or your bestie ends up divorced from his 2nd wife, on some level you will wonder what if you two were supposed to be together? It will affect any advice you give and any decisions you make. Every boyfriend will be compared to him. He will always be in the back of your mind making you question if the one your dating is really the one.
Watch out for my next blog post where we will explore another guy that is keeping you single.
Be sure to check out my book Why Am I Still Single? A Tough Love Guide for Single Women available on Amazon.com and @ BarnesandNoble.com