Being single is a part of everyone’s journey at some point and it is a shame that we aren’t taught how to really enjoy those stretches of our lives. There are 126 million single people in the US, and the average age at which women marry recently jumped by five years after remaining unchanged for over a century. A 2013 study from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research found that the marriage rate was the lowest it had been in over a century. Women are living the SBD stretches of life for longer than ever before, but we aren’t given enough tools or support to help us successfully navigate these periods. There are tons of books about how to land a guy and books about why statistics are not in your favor to do so, but there isn’t enough talk about how fun and empowering this time in your life can be!
There is still a certain amount of societal validation that comes from being in a relationship, with many choosing to flaunt their relationship status to the world either in person or on social media (we all have at least one of those chicks in our feed). Sometimes there is a fine line between being proud of someone who is in your life and using the presence of a partner to elevate our self-worth and self-esteem. I once heard of a woman Photoshopping her boyfriend into her social media posts even after they’d broken up, because she felt too ashamed to be pictured alone. What a horrible feeling and a colossal waste of her precious time.
I’m good enough for someone else to love and choose me. The pursuit of this type of validation can lead women into relationships with the simple agenda of making themselves feel good, even if that means picking a partner who isn’t a great t or who doesn’t treat them well. As an SBD woman, there may not always be someone to validate you. That is why building self-esteem is so crucial: you have to love the person you are enough so that another person’s desires are just an added bonus. Healthy self-esteem is integral to a healthy life and healthy love.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single and there is nothing wrong with you if you are; that’s why you can now add “but dating” to that word. As you read on, you’ll have a lot more tools to help you enjoy and appreciate this time in your life.