About your Book:
If you want to find your soul mate, you first have to know yourself. If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? offers intelligent, practical, and engaging guidance to singles looking to improve their romantic relationships–by getting to know their own past patterns and relationship needs. Guided at every step by Page’s 10 strategies for better self-knowledge, readers will find quizzes, case studies, and anecdotes from the author’s decades of experience as a counselor to both couples and singles. Each aspect of the book is tailored to help readers figure out what they really want–and learn not to settle for less.
If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? has been translated into 22 different languages, and this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of its debut. Offering advice that’s positive, compassionate, and effective, this book will help readers understand their own romantic motivations and find the partner they’re looking for.
Targeted Age Group: any age
Genre: psychology, self-help, love and romance
The Book Excerpt:
Excerpt from Chapter One of
If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?
By Susan Page
Wishful thinking has not brought you love.
Neither has apathy, depression, denial, anger, panic, analyzing the problem, blaming the opposite sex, or cursing the bleak demographics.
So if you still want love in your life, the question is, what will bring you love?
The way to achieve any goal is first to know what the goal is and then to proceed unswervingly toward it, patiently but persistently overcoming any obstacles that present themselves—with perseverance, tenacity, and determination.
Yet in spite of all our obsessing about the state of relationships today, perseverance is one of the rarest qualities to be found among singles. We’ve all heard about the tortoise and the hare, but we failed to learn the lesson of the tortoise. Instead, we dash about like the hare, trying relationships that don’t work, tormenting ourselves with theories, believing our excuses, following one false lead, and then another, and finally, like the hare, simply falling asleep in the middle of the race.
Why do we long for love, yet fail to proceed in a determined fashion toward this goal? Why do we get sidetracked?
Ambivalence is one major reason. We aren’t sure which race we want to be in or whether we want to be in any race at all.
Is love worth it?
Am I better off alone?
Is there anyone out there I could even tolerate?
Will I lose my independence?
Will I be too vulnerable?
Will I have to compromise too much?
Will my career suffer?
This book is about perseverance. But we can’t talk about staying in the race until we talk about whether to race at all. That is the main stumbling block for most singles: not getting what we want in love, but knowing what we want. We keep ourselves from moving forward because we aren’t sure which way we want to move.
The most important prerequisite for finding a satisfying intimate relationship is wanting one. Wholeheartedly, genuinely, earnestly, single-mindedly, and without reservation.
If you sincerely want an intimate partner, you are already beyond the roughest hurdle. But if you aren’t’ altogether certain, then you need to take a close look at the issue of ambivalence and how to move beyond it.
Involuntary singles fall into two categories: singles who want a relationship but haven’t met the right person yet; and singles who, whether consciously or unconsciously, are ambivalent. Distinguishing between the two types is difficult because their language is identical. Both kinds say, “I really want a wonderful relationship in my life.” But the first type really means it. And the second type, as it turns out, doesn’t. What the second type actually means is something more like, I want a relationship, but equally or more important to me is
• not having to take risks
• progressing in my career
• hanging on to my great lifestyle
• avoiding pain
• keeping my secrets to myself
• proving I’m right that the opposite sex is the problem.
The ambivalent person is one who wants a relationship but who values something else equally—or more. The competing value will demand allegiance and will surreptitiously sabotage anything that stands in its way—like love.
Some singles are well aware of their ambivalence. They make statements like these:
• I want to be in a relationship, but I don’t want to give up all I love about being single.
• I want to be in love, but I’m afraid of losing control.
• My lover is wonderful, but maybe I can do better.
• I want to be married, but I’m terrified of another divorce.
• I’m afraid what I’ll gain won’t be worth what I’ll have to give up.
Ambivalence is especially powerful in its ability to keep you single when it remains unconscious. Many singles genuinely believe they want a relationship are unaware of the injunctions that rule their lives and demand total compliance: “Thou shalt not risk. Thou shalt not reveal thy secrets.” These rules of survival, partly because they are unconscious, are far more influential in our lives than our conscious desire for love and connection.
I received a phone call from a woman named Michelle. She knew I was interviewing people and wanted the opportunity to tell me her story. She had participated in one of my workshop six months before. Michelle told me this:
I totally discounted the issue of ambivalence when you talked about it. I couldn’t think of any reason why I didn’t want a man in my life. I felt ready! But after your workshop, I realized that in spite of all my new determination, I still wasn’t doing anything about it. Whenever I planned to go to a singles event or answer an ad, I found a reason not to. I finally realized, I hate meeting men for the first time—under any circumstance. And I think avoiding those situations—which I dread—was a higher priority for me than finding someone. When I understood that that’s what was going on, it really shocked me. Now, it takes a monumental effort every time, but I am forcing myself to meet men. I still don’t like it, but it’s getting easier, and I feel so good that I’m doing this. The way I force myself, by the way, is I always make my plans with a woman friend. Then it’s much harder to back out.
Another woman spoke up during a workshop. She was thirty-nine and had her own successful public relations firm. She reported:
I know what my competing priority is! My career, my lifestyle. I don’t know how I’d fit a man in! And I’m not sure I want to. I guess that’s why I’m here. I think if I could find the right man I’d want to make a commitment to him, but finding the right mans seems so remote. But then, I don’t do anything to try to meet him either. Ambivalent? Who me?
Whether conscious or unconscious, ambivalence is one of the most common and most powerful reasons why singles who would like to be in a relationship still aren’t. Reluctant to relinquish the advantages of singlehood, at the same time they fear they may be missing out on something wonderful in a committed relationship. Often, they are conducting an active search for a mate while secretly hoping inside that they don’t find one. Or, they may be talking about how much they want love, but doing nothing toward that end.
If you are not wholeheartedly committed to love, and if you do not hold finding love as a top priority, you may be talking and behaving as though you want love but holding back on your follow-through.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now we are ready to say more about how to pursue your goal of finding love without getting sidetracked, how to commit yourself to the process, and persevere until your goal is achieved.
We have spoken about the importance of knowing what you want. And in the chapters that follow, we will examine the obstacles that present themselves to involuntary singles. But I want to pause now to look more closely at the two aspects of perseverance: patience and persistence, for they are both critical.
Patience without persistence is apathy, laziness, or indifference.
Persistence without patience can easily lead to desperation, panic, anxiety, or depression.
But the combination of persistence and patience leads to results, with pleasure and good self-esteem on the way to the results, however long they are in coming—a rich journey and a certain destination.
You can’t stop working for what you want. But at the same time, you can’t become frantic in your activity either. Your motto must be “Determination Without Desperation.”
“Determination” means that you systematically and deliberately do things that will further your cause, move you closer to your goal. It also means that you stop doing things that prevent you from reaching your goal. This book contains many specific strategies for a determined involuntary single in search of love, things to do and to stop doing.
“Without desperation” means that you operate with trust. You believe that doing the right things will work for you given enough time. You realize that fortune seldom comes in the form or at the time you expect it. You can’t make love happen for you. You can make certain that if it wants to happen, you aren’t standing in its way. You have to accept that doing the most you can do for yourself is all you can do. Take an active role in the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot control. As the Book of Runes, ancient oracles from the Vikings, says, “Set your house in order, tend to business, be clear, and wait on the Will of Heaven.”
Persistence and patience.
Determination without desperation.
Let us now proceed to consider how to persevere, how to proceed steadily toward your goal of an intimate partnership in your life, trusting as you go that the Fates are on your side.
The search for a person with whom to share your life does not have to be difficult or discouraging. The way you go about conducting your search makes all the difference. As we shall see, if you do it right, the search for love can enrich your life, contribute to your self-esteem, and make your fondest dreams come true.
SUSAN PAGE conducted workshops for singles and couples for twenty-two years and is the author of four best selling relationship books. Her speaking and media career has taken her to twenty-six states and six foreign countries. She pioneered highly successful, innovative couples groups in which she invited only one member of each couple to attend the group.
To learn more, please visit: www.susanpage.com