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When I see how single women are portrayed in the media, it’s usually a bit tragic or desperate. Picture Bridget Jones meets Annie (Kristen Wiig) from Bridesmaids. When I meet people for the first time and they ask whether I’m married or in a relationship, I often find myself the subject of their pity when I tell them I’m unattached. Being a single female nowadays is certainly a mixed bag… here are (supposedly) the worst bits:

  1. People assume you’re a sad sack and a victim of circumstance
    As much as the world has moved forward in recent decades, the subconscious assumption of most people towards single women is we’d rather be in a relationship and life has passed us by. Erm… no! Yes, there are times it would be nice to be with someone special. But ultimately I can do what I like when I like, and it’s pretty bloody good. Ultimately if I wanted to be with someone for the sake of it, I’d go and find someone. For me, and many of my girlfriends, being single is a far more enjoyable option – less compromises and more autonomy.
  2. Men think you are an easy target
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve been hit on over the last 12 months. That sounds like I’m pretty far up my own backside but I’m not – far from it. It appears a portion of men see single women as being desperate for male attention (and/or a shag). Often these men have been married, committed, narcissistic, generally undesirable, or all of the above. I’m certainly no man-hater and I truly enjoy male company, but I’m neither needy nor desperate. Most single women are strong and independent, a far cry from a helpless princess that needs rescuing from life!
  3. Stretching the purse strings
    Being single can put more pressure on the household bank account. Going from a dual to a single income household took a bit of adjustment but hey, now I get to choose how I spend my hard-earned moolah. If I want to live on baked beans and two-minute noodles for a month to save for a designer handbag or a trip away, I can. I’m certainly wiser financially, and I love being able to economise or spend as I see fit.
  4. Solo adventures
    The idea of travelling alone can feel daunting and overwhelming – getting on a plane or embarking on a road trip. Checking in to a hotel and exploring new places on your own can certainly seem pretty scary. I’ve taken solo trips to Peru, Argentina, Vietnam and Bali and I’ve ALWAYS had a ball. Travelling alone enables you to see and do whatever you want. You’re more likely to meet new people, and you’ll enjoy an increased sense of independence and accomplishment afterwards. I highly recommend it!
  5. No one to get dressed up for and head out for dinner
    I still find this a tough one. When I was in a relationship I loved getting dressed up and going out on dinner dates, and it’s one of the few things I miss about being in a couple. I now remind myself that I have heaps of girlfriends to go out with, I have a great time entertaining at home, and I’ve got a few platonic friends to go out with when I crave the male company. Going out for a nice dinner doesn’t have to be romantic.
  6. When the proverbial hits the fan
    We all know that life has its ups and downs. It’s easy to feel very alone when life hits a curve ball. Sometimes it’s equally tough when something goes astoundingly well and you want to share your happiness with someone close. This is when I turn to my friends and family who’ll either counsel me along the way, provide practical help or raise a few champagnes with me during the wins. To be honest, I’d rather feel alone when I’m single than lonely in a relationship. The latter is far more isolating.
  7. Getting on with the daily grind
    As CEO of my own household, life is pretty busy. Weekly chores, home maintenance, piles of paperwork, gardening etc. etc. It’s mundane and crappy but it needs to get done. Sometimes I think it would be easier if there was someone to share the load but at least this way I get to choose when, if, and how stuff gets done, and I can always outsource if it all gets too much.

I think there’s a whole load of inaccurate assumptions made about the life of a single woman. The unhitched ladies I know (including myself) aren’t tragic or weak. We don’t sit around waiting for a knight in shining armour to trot along. If we want something (money, fun, sex, material stuff) we’ll go and find it. We’re tenacious, independent, strong and formidable.

“Single is not a status, it is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others”, or in other words “too fabulous to settle”. 

If you are flying solo right now, even if you’d prefer not to be, my firm advice is to savour the good things about your current situation. As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side”. At some point you will look back at this period of your life with fondness and a new appreciation for singledom.

Note: I wrote this blog post a while ago whilst I was single. Whilst I am now in a relationship, as I re-read and updated this post, I recall all the great things about being single and independent.

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