...there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single. I, for one, love it. I love being able to focus on personal growth and my career, which I’m able to do better when I’m not in a committed relationship with someone else. However, if you really desire to be in a committed relationship, it can be really disheartening to still be single, despite your best attempts.
So here are some potential reasons why you’re single, even when you’ve been actively pursuing committed relationships with other men.
You don't put yourself out there
If you're sitting home alone and hoping the apps will make everything happen for you, newsflash: You're doing it wrong. Join a gay league, or go to more gay events. Socializing could help you find someone to connect with.
You're too independent
Don't get me wrong here: Independence isn't a bad thing in the slightest. While you don't want to be codependent on a partner, if you're too independent and set in your own ways, you're not making room for anybody else.
You’re trying too hard
There’s a weird irony when you're trying to date seriously. You have to put yourself out there and be open to meeting men. At the same time, however, you can’t center your entire life around finding another man. When you do that, you put too much pressure on dating. Your whole wellbeing is tied into your relationship status. This makes it very difficult to actually date.
You wallow in self-pity
Gay men aren’t the only single people in the world who like to wallow in self-pity. This extends to straight folks as well. I will say, however, I tend to see way more "Poor me! How am I still single?" statuses among gay men than straight men.
You’re looking for love in all the wrong places
Grindr isn’t where you’re going to find love. (Sure, you might, and other guys have before, but that’s not your best option.) There are other apps more geared towards serious dating, as opposed to one-night stands, like Tinder. Additionally, there are other ways to meet men than outside of bars—although that is still a good way. There are LGBT meet-up groups and community service projects where you can meet gay men who have the same interests and values as you do.
You have an (unreasonable) checklist
He needs to be Ivy League-educated, tall, handsome, funny, caring, understanding, have a good relationship with his parents, a solid friend group, making more than 100k per year, and hung like a horse. Yeah, that man sounds fucking awesome. Let me know when you find him. And if you ever do find him, let me know if he’s into you.
You have too many casual partners
I said "too many" casual partners because I think the number differs from person to person. Some guys can date a few guys casually, while still pursuing more serious and committed relationships. For other men, casual partners get in the way of finding a serious partner. (TBH, that's kind of what’s happening to me at the moment.)
You rush the relationship
You’re so desperate to find a man, that when you do find one you like, you dive in head-first, rushing the relationship. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, rushing the relationship can lead to an intense relationship that blows up as quickly as it started.
You like the idea of him, not actually him
You like having a boyfriend, not him, per se. So you end up dating him for a little bit, and then breaking up with him because you realize that he wasn’t the one for you.
You don’t think you’re worthy of love
You are worthy of love. Nobody is perfect, trust me. Sure, you should work on ways to better yourself, but in all honesty, unless you really are a despicable piece of poop, you are worthy of love.
You fear rejection
Folks who don’t think they’re worthy of love or have low self-confidence are often terrified of rejection. Because of this, they don’t put themselves in situations where they can meet potential romantic partners.
You have internalized homophobia
You still have some hangups about being gay. You might not realize them. They might be slightly under the conscious surface, but they are there, and they are inhibiting you from having an intimate relationship with another man.
You have negative beliefs about committed relationships
You believe that committed relationships are for boring, straight people. That queers must be having sex with everyone in order to be queer. (Kind of like how Brian Kinney thought on Queer as Folk.) This will obviously hinder you from having a meaningful, more committed relationship.
You don’t have any same-sex role-models
This is tough. It is hard to find same-sex couples who have been together for decades. That said, they do exist, and you should do your best to find and befriend these men.
You fear intimacy
A number of gay men spend so much of their childhood hiding who they are, and trying to be something or someone they’re not. Because of this, they struggle to reveal their true selves to others. They struggle and fear intimacy.
Sex is no longer a meaningful, intimate act
When you head downtown to poundtown multiple nights a week, sex is no longer a special act, it’s more of a fun activity. Sex, however, is important to a committed relationship. It’s a way to connect with your partner on both a physical and emotional level. It should (not every time, but at least sometimes) be an expression of love with your partner. Therefore, it’s sometimes good to stop having sex with a bunch of different men in order to re-calibrate yourself and in order to make sex a more meaningful act again.
You’re not willing to compromise
Don’t compromise on your morals. You should never let go of your values to satisfy the needs of someone else. But do compromise on the little things that aren’t dealbreakers. You can’t expect him to like and do every single thing that you like and do.