7 Mistakes Single Guys Make That Will Keep You Single

Often when I talk to guys about dating and marriage I hear a lot about what they are looking for in a woman. They have a whole list of demands that are non-negotiable. Normally, if you add the list up the women they’re describing sounds a lot like them. I barely ever hear a guy talk about how he can become a better man for his future and unknown wife. The problem is, if you are just focused on pleasing yourself, you are going to end up by yourself.th

So to help my fellow man, I’ve compiled a short list to help you begin working to become the man of every woman’s dreams—or at least not a man of every woman’s nightmares. I’ve made many mistakes on my way to getting married. I’ve also gotten to see a lot of other guys make mistakes during their bachelor years. This list comes from many of those experiences.

Now, when I refer to “single guys,” I’m not talking about being without a girlfriend, although many of these things can contribute to that too. I’m talking about single as in what you have to put on your taxes. Unmarried.

Keep in mind that just because you stop making these mistakes does not mean a wife will appear on your doorstep. But your odds of husbandhood will increase dramatically.

**Results may vary according to personality and God’s will.**

1. You don’t clean anything.

Of all my mistakes made in my single years, I may be most ashamed of this. My room in college was so bad that literally you could not see the carpet. My belongings and clothes didn’t just cover the floor, it was in layers—like stratified geologic timeline, layers. The deeper I dug, the farther in the past I could travel, finding things that were months old just lying there. Instead of stepping on my stuff—you never know what your foot may crunch on—I perfected the eight-foot jump from my door to my bed. (Which of course was not on a bed frame or box-spring. Just on the floor.)

When Rebecca and I were dating, she one time saw my bathroom and started crying. Wish I was joking.

If you don’t know how to take care of your space, it reflects on you. That doesn’t mean you need to be OCD and vacuum every speck of dust as it appears. But you should have a general cleanliness that proves you live in a developed country with electricity.

Hot tip: Cleanliness will automatically set you apart from the pack because so many men neglect it.

Laundry is good too.

2. You don’t clean yourself.

Learn how to keep yourself well-groomed. This means you take showers and actually use the soap and shampoo. Don’t forget to put deodorant on.

And shave. The patchy mustache may be fun for your guy friends but according to an informal poll I took of four women I randomly asked, they do not share your sentiments. Most women don’t think it’s as funny as you do.

Also the hair. Unless you know the girl you are into likes long hair, keep it shorter and nice. You don’t need to have some sort of fancy hipster Prohibition-era cut, but you should look like you have a job and a home. Which brings me to my next point.

3. You don’t have a job and are not working towards one.

Some may take issue with this but I think it’s important. Guys, we were created to work. To get callouses on our hands. To get dirt under our fingernails. To sweat. To create. To cultivate. To provide.

If you don’t have money for a date, you shouldn’t try to go on them. And you definitely shouldn’t try to make her pay for one.

If you don’t have a job but are pursuing one, that’s better than being static on the couch while your mom cooks up your Hot Pockets for you. Of course there are exceptions because of circumstances, but most likely you don’t qualify for such an exception.

4. You spend more time with pixels than people.

This includes video games, TV, movies, iPhone, iPad, social media, Candy Crush, or whatever. You eventually need to go outside. Learn to interact with flesh and blood. Learn to have real life conversations where you talk about more than just the latest Halo game or fantasy football league.

Learn to feel what other people feel. It’s called relationships and community. Just like we were created to work, we were created to know and be known. Your shoot-em-up buddies on Xbox Live from Sweden do not count.

If you don’t know how to interact with people, than you will not know how to treat a woman.

5. You are addicted to pornography

On a more serious note.

She may not know about your addiction, but I don’t care. You are not fit to date any daughter of God until you get this under control, let alone marry them.

This is not an unfair standard.

Much porn is linked to prostitution (Normally under-aged prostitution). If you are viewing pornography, even on “free” websites, you are feeding a monstrous system that preys on young and vulnerable women who have no power. At the very least, you are perpetuating a culture that objectifies women and treats them as objects to be used instead of women made in the image of God, whom Jesus loves and died for. Those women are daughters, sisters, and even mothers.

If you think it’s not as big of a deal as it is, read my series for the Ekklesia blog on pornography. It’s a big deal.

Get help and kill your sin.

Women: Don’t lower your standards. You deserve better.

6. You don’t know how to lead.

Specifically, I’m talking about leading spiritually. You should know how to point everyone around you to Christ—especially a woman you’re dating.

You know you’re ready to lead spiritually when you’re able to lead yourself spiritually. This means, you’re disciplined in your relationship with Christ. You know how to study the Bible. You’re a part of a vibrant church that preaches the Gospel and upholds Scripture. You seek the Lord in prayer. You serve your church and give to your church. And so many more things.

Ultimately, it’s not about going through a checklist of things and magically becoming ready to lead. It’s about your heart (Matthew 6:21). Is Christ the greatest treasure of your life? If not, then you need to work on that first.

If something else is the greatest treasure of your life, you don’t know how to lead yourself spiritually, let alone a woman. If you’re not leading, then very easily your sin will lead. If your sin is leading, then you may drag one of God’s daughters down with you. If your relationship is not about Jesus or honoring Him, then you’re not loving her like she deserves to be loved.

7. You don’t pursue women.

Assuming you’ve worked on the previous six problems, if you want to marry a woman, you must first talk to one—actually get to know one.

Don’t sit around and wait for her to come to you. She may never walk up to you because your silence is telling her that you’re not interested. You know what’s going to happen? Some other guy is going to come in and make her feel like a million dollars. Guess which guy she’ll be getting coffee with the next day?

But don’t overcompensate and be a player—or obnoxious. Making multiple women at the same time think you are interested in them is not pursuing a woman. That’s toying with their emotions. You’re using them.

To pursue a woman you have to get to know her. Ask her questions. What are her dreams, hopes, fears, desires, hurts? You should talk less about yourself and more about her.

If you’re growing in these things, pursuing Christ, and you see a woman you’re interested in, calm down. Take a deep breath. Put yourself out there. But this is important to know: If she says no or doesn’t seem to show interest, it means no, so don’t keep bugging her (It’s cute in the movies but creepy in real life). If she says yes, get to know her and see what adventures happen next.

I’m sure I could’ve added more, but seven felt like a good number. If you have more suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comment section!


3 thoughts on “7 Mistakes Single Guys Make That Will Keep You Single

  1. Hey Kyle, I hope your post is useful for someone.

    I think it’s condescending though. You didn’t take care of your space and that startled your girlfriend. Okay, good example, I’m not discrediting anything on the list as I can think of an individual or two who fits the description of several items.

    But maybe you can remember how you felt before you met your wife. To some extent, I bet you were wondering when you would meet the woman you’d later marry, anticipating her with excitement and perhaps a little impatience. If not, maybe you have a friend who’s not yet married but would like to be or just recently married, later than he might have liked to originally. Before you were married, I bet you were hardworking as I know you to be, and I bet you took general concern for your hygiene.

    Do you honestly know a myriad of guys who appear disheveled, don’t work, and spend their time masturbating and playing video games all day while their moms prepare their meals? I know that person exists, but the gamer in the basement seems to be more of a myth than a common reality.

    Think about the way you communicate—you were an English major so this is up your ally. Anyone could read this blog post, but you address it to Christian men who desire marriage. Now we can place those guys on a spectrum, at one end is the guy who fits all seven descriptors (and maybe a few more if we were to continue the list) yet still desires to be married and at the other is a clean cut, mature, responsible, man who follows God. The sloth has the most to gain from reading this blog post if the admonishments to shower and get a job are convicting. Maybe he took a break from porn and video games to read your blog post, and this will give him a lot to consider. I imagine, however, that the guys you encounter in your church and are more likely to read your blog post are closer to the other end of the spectrum. They’re good guys, still working on a couple things like a porn addiction, maintaining a clean space, or prioritizing their spiritual life. Maybe they’re having a hard time choosing a career or education path. You and I were probably guys like that, and of course, we won’t ever “arrive.” So if you were in your own shoes, maybe six years ago or however long ago, would you take kindly to being told to shower or stop wasting time in order to find your “future wife”?

    The “you don’t”s paints a distinct picture of single guys as repulsive. But we both know awesome single Christian guys. I know you’re writing specifically for the not so “awesome” type, but I think the pervasiveness of these ideas sends the message that if you’re a Christian guy (or girl too) and still unmarried after a certain age, something must be wrong with your character, personality, spirituality, or approach to relationships. Of course that isn’t the case, but I think that type of thinking could be an unintended subconscious effect of listing problems other people have.

    Maybe think of what your younger self would appreciate reading, or your friends who married later than you, or unmarried friends or solid guys you know now. Anyone can say “don’t be a slob, get a job” but I think you have more insightful ideas about masculine leadership, trusting God when life isn’t going how we want it to, being vulnerable in relationships, etc. that would be more beneficial.

    • I think you might have missed the part that says “**Results may vary depending on personality and God’s will.**”
      As a woman, I think it’s very important for single men (no matter how good of a guy he is) to hear this. This might not apply to some, but I think it’s also a good reminder for married men as well. Whether this post applies to a single guy or not, I think it’s good to hear and remember that God is the one that will provide results, as the author states.

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