Comedian Bill Burr has a famous line in one of his stand-ups; “There’s a critical point when you’ve stayed single for too long, that your brain switches from ‘No, don’t say that’ to ‘Eh, fuck it. Say it, see what happens.”
What he was saying is that when you go a long time without being in a relationship, you can take a few more chances. Why? Well, you’ve been alone before, and have survived. Fuck, you may have even flourished. Thus being in a relationship isn’t the be-all-to-end-all. You know that life doesn’t end if this relationship ends. So why not push the boundaries in your relationship and see what you can get away with? If it doesn’t work out, you’ll survive, you may even flourish all over again.
So this brings about the obvious questions…
Are you more likely to sabotage a relationship because you simply just don’t care?
You see this is the very problem you run into when you’ve been single for too long. You tend to kind of not care about anyone else as much as you should. Even if you meet a woman who you really like, even love, you may run the risk of jeopardizing your relationship when you carry over the habits you’ve been doing for the past however many years as a single guy. The hard truth is that you need to change certain things about your behavior when you’re in a committed relationship with someone. In theory, it shouldn’t be difficult to change for this person because you love them, or at least like them, and want to do everything you can to make it work. But it’s often easier said than done. It’s at least something you need to be cognitive of so you don’t push away this person you care about with your “I don’t give a fuck about anything” attitude.
Does the longer you stay single mean your chances of finding the right relationship will continue to decrease?
It’s the obvious worry to someone that’s been single for a long time that they’re going to run out of time — all the catches are going to be snatched up, they’re going to become out of date, old, expired, and not in prime position to meet someone of quality, thus their standards are going to be forced to deteriorate over time, just as they’ve themselves been deteriorating. Their need to find the absolute perfect person has been the primary contributing factor to their permanent single status, leading them to go on multiple years without an exclusive relationship. So sure you’ve been single a long time, but you have to trust that you’ve stayed single because you know what you want in a romantic partner and aren’t willing to settle for anything less than you think you deserve, just as long as you aren’t picky to the point that you expect everyone you meet to be perfect.
Once you stop using that relationship muscle, do you lose it altogether?
Just as someone who goes months and months without sex may be worried their genitals will become dried up and not functional, someone who goes for so many years without an actual relationship may worry their capacity to be happy and functional in a committed relationship may leave them as well. While it’s definitely going to be a hell of a transition going from being VERY single to all of a sudden being in a relationship, but you have to trust that it will be easy when you find someone you care about enough. Also, the fact you’ve been single for so long and have such a strong sense of self might make you a better partner in a relationship. It may be of your benefit to find someone of a similar independent personality type in a similar position to you (been a while without a relationship) who can allow for a relationship dynamic that enables both of you to still keep your independent lives, while making a concerted effort to make time for each other and meet in the middle.