You should always be your top priority. Be happy in your own skin. Learn to be comfortable being alone. Once you are happy with you, then you can turn your love outward to someone who is going to be incredibly lucky to receive it. Take up a hobby. If you are a serial dater and want to break the addiction, you need to find a distraction. Plus, if you come up with a really nerdy hobby that you talk about all the time regardless if anyone else wants to hear about it, you will exponentially decrease your chances of finding someone willing to go out with you.
You can always take up running. Hang out with your friends who are in a relationship. All friends who are coupled up fall into two categories: The out of control love birds will make you sick to your stomach and remind you that you never want to act that way in front of your friends. These men may further be regarded as "just friends"—expected to pay for all of the costs of a relationship, without the physical and intimate benefits see here. In contrast, if men shun social pressures to be "nice" and follow what is biologically attractive, they have a higher likelihood of getting "sex partners".
However, these men are often punished by being socially labeled as "jerks", "players", or even "creeps", unfit for socially-defined relationships. Therefore, these men may get sex, but they often do not get love and respect. Overall, men in either case report also having a difficult time finding what they label "attractive" women for longer-term relationships.
Men often define these women along evolutionary psychology lines—women who are sexually-selective, faithful, physically attractive, and have a pleasant, respectful disposition for more on these qualities, see Buss, and my own articles here and here. Unfortunately, these qualities are again part of women's double bind, with social norms sometimes guiding them away from these biologically feminine characteristics.
So, until a new equilibrium is reached in these evolving social norms, men have difficult choices to make. Essentially, they seem to have to either appease social norms for relationships and acceptance or evolved standards of attractiveness and get sexual fulfillment. Furthermore, they do so in a situation where women's own social instruction may reduce the very characteristics that many of these men desire. Given that, many men sit on the couch, plug in a video game, and opt out—just as Behaviorism and Skinner might predict.
What Some Men Do About It Men have adapted and devised a number of strategies to make the best of these difficult options, including the following: These are the guys who are often labeled "players", "macks", and "pick-up artists". With this strategy, men are often able to fulfill their short-term sexual needs—especially within the modern, socially-sanctioned climate of "hook-ups" and causal encounters.
In fact, many of these men are former virgins and "nice guys" who previously could not get their physical needs addressed. Many of these tactics, however, primarily attract women who are focused on short-term flings with attractive men see here. Therefore, the relationship needs of the men using this strategy may be less fulfilled in the long run. In this process of attachment, our brains become wired to react in certain ways, based on the interactions we have with those who are closest to us.
As infants, we express our needs needs for hunger, sleep, safety, etc. Over time, we learn whether our needs will be met with warmth and consistency, with a negative emotion like anger or irritation, or with inconsistent responses. As this cycle of expressing and responding to our needs is repeated thousands of times in those first few years of life, we make powerful connections in our brains that tell us what relationships mean to us. Basically, we learn whether it is safe and comfortable to depend on others, or whether it is better to keep a distance because our needs are never met in a positive way.
So… flash forward to adulthood and our question of why some men and women avoid relationships. These men learn early on that relationships are not safe. For them, independence and emotional distance trump intimacy and vulnerability.
The Eight Degrees of Singlehood: Where Do You Fall On the List?
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