I was reading an article the other day that stated that 51% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 do not have a steady romantic partner. It also mentioned this trend is up from 45% since 2016 and continues to rise. The author concluded there are no signs that show this pattern will reverse any time soon.

In this period of technology and online dating, it is hard to pin down why this is a growing trend for this age group. But I contend this problem is not limited to 18 to 34 year olds, it is also rampant among all ages, including for septuagenarians like me.

What is the explanation for this? I am not sure, but I believe that, no matter there generation, there is one common theme, there seems to be a lot more people that are unhappy with their lives and are having trouble finding themselves. This may not be the only explanation forth aforementioned dilemma, but I am certain that it is impossible to be seen as an attractive romantic prospect when you are out of alignment with yourself.

Living the single life

It is easy to feel lonely when you are single and you realize that most of the people your age are married or living with a steady partner. It is also easy to quit trying when your search for partners repeatedly fizzles out. Yet, the survey also says that, although the percentage of people living without a partner keeps going up, so too has the desire to find a partner.

So what is the disconnect?

For starters, people are pickier about what they are looking for in a partner. This has to do with the great accessibility to possible mates provided by on-line dating services. But the downside to such information accessibility is that can make one addicted to a never-ending search for a better partner than the one they just met. Therefore, it is not unusual for people to let go of a promising start with a new love interest in search of another.

I lost count of how many times I presumed I was connecting with a prospective woman when, suddenly; they vanished. No more phone calls or texts. After a few attempts to reconnect went unanswered, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they had moved on.

Experts in this stuff call this practice of disappearing “ghosting” and it is discouraging to experience, for you can’t help but wander what the f–k happened.

Whether you are eighteen or sixty, these experiences leave people filled with self-doubt and believing there is something wrong with them. A series of failed attempts like this can discourage you from further efforts.

The good news is that you can change your situation.

Changing your self

For the sake of transparency, I deal with this subject in my second book, Catch and Release–One Man’s Improbable Search for True Love and the Meaning of Life. I also lived as a single man for six years after my divorce, so I have had many at bats from dating these past years. I am positive this advice will help if being single frustrates you.

1)   Find and establish yourself. Many of us go through life not knowing ourselves. We are like a hamster in a running wheel, running and running but getting nowhere. Many of us disguise our distance from our true selves with some addictive behavior. Others resign themselves to a life of mediocrity, spending most of their time doing things they don’t enjoy.

If you don’t have passion and joy in your life, you are no better than a breathing cadaver. No one wants to be partners with someone like that. Yes, it takes time to try new things and find those that align you with your heart’s desires. But you can start today by taking up something new. So stop binge watching crap on TV or killing hours on social media. Change your patterns. Take up a new hobby. Get out where there are people. Open yourself up to new experiences. This is what your soul needs to rekindle joy and passion in your life. I assure you that Living this kind of life will make you more attractive.

2)   Live a happy life. If you are one of those who believes your life sucks and there is nothing you can do about it, you are wrong. You can change things by being grateful for what you have exactly as it is. Gratitude is a key ingredient of happiness. Fifty-seven years ago, I was crying myself to sleep in an orphanage where bullies beat me daily and where I wondered what the future held for me. If someone had told me, “don’t worry, someday you will have a wonderful career and live in a pleasant home in Sarasota Bay”, I would not have believed them. But here I am. I may not have everything I want, but I am infinitely blessed compared to those wretched times i experience long ago. I am also happy for the boundless possibilities available to me today.

You also have plenty to be grateful for, but you need to turn your attention from what you lack and start celebrating the things you have. I am sure you heard the advice before about looking at the glass half full versus half empty, but it works. When you begin to see the blessings in your life, you will notice things are not so bad. Aligning yourself with the positive things that make you happy will change the energy you emit and will help you become more appealing to others.

3)  Learn to love yourself. If you don’t figure out how to love yourself, no one else will do it for you. i know this sounds like a cliché, but you must learn to do this.The first step in this direction is to stop believing the internal voice that says you are unworthy or unlovable. This is your ego voice, and it is not telling the truth. Your ego does this to keep you from taking risks because it doesn’t want to lose the security he/she feels in your current life.

Another way you can love yourself is to stop comparing yourself with others. We don’t live inside another’s skin to understand what is going on inside of them. Even when they seem successful and happy, they may be miserable. Remember that you are the hero of your own story, you are not an accident, a Higher Power deliberately created you, you have a purpose the world needs. Start taking your voyage with more courage and self-value and others will notice.

4)  Fear of being alone will force you to settle. It is a common occurrence to see someone settle for something or someone they don’t want for fear he/she cannot do better. I remember a time when I bought a new car I didn’t really want. My kids were adults, and I no longer needed a big car. It was time for the sporty convertible I always wanted. But I didn’t get it. Instead, I persuaded myself to be practical. I figured there would be days when I would need to give rides to others, or that I might need to haul something big for the house. So I bought another SUV.

I regretted that purchase for the ten years I owned that car. My justification for it never materialized. Thank God the day came when I replaced it with the sporty convertible I desired, but I needlessly wasted years delaying the fulfillment of my genuine desire by having settled and bought the SUV.

The lesson here is this, if you are dating someone you feel lukewarm about, but think you better hang on to them because you might not find someone better, then you are settling. This will only lead to your misery. Do you both a favor and let he or she go.

the same applies to other areas in your life. If you are in a job you hate, don’t settle, start taking steps towards finding a more fulfilling profession.

In any event, when it comes to relationships, my experiences have taught me it is good to be picky and not settle. I know many long-time married couples who live far more miserably living with one another than any single person I know.


There is no reason to think having a partner is better than being single. Stop forcing it. Enjoy your single life, be happy, interesting, grateful and full of passion. This produces the best chance for the right person to notice and, if nobody notices, it doesn’t matter that much, for you will still be living a great and fulfilling life.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash