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“I really want to see you find someone,” my friend said to me last week. “I really think you need to get on Bumble.”
Let me be rigorously honest here: I want to get on Bumble (or any other dating app) about as much as I want to give birth without an epidural again.
I truly get my friend’s heartfelt intentions. Single woman equals desperate need for friends to offer an afternoon of taking casually staged photos of me frolicking on the beach for potential online dating profile. Attempts to set me up with their friend’s recently divorced brother, even though they have no idea whether we have anything in common except for the fact that we’re both single. And suggestions that I might want to “get out more” for fear I might end up alone with 15 cats and nobody to leave my 401(k) to.
But what I think many people don’t realize is that I’m not alone in my desire to remain single. In fact, there are hundreds of phenomenally awesome women out there who value their independence, unapologetically.
They are the ones who don’t feel that anything is missing from their lives. They have a full calendar of social engagements, relish quality “me time,” and walk around with an attitude of “I’ve got this” everywhere they go. Adding a plus-one into the mix would actually mess with their cosmic flow.
A good friend of mine who has been divorced a few years, owns her own business, and is raising two boys posed a really interesting question the other day: “Why is it that everyone else feels I need to be dating when I’m happier than I’ve ever been alone?”
Sing it, sister!
You’re not alone. Many women I know are actually surprised at times to admit out loud that they’re happier now than they were when they were in a relationship.
It’s not that they’re afraid to put themselves out there. It’s not that they don’t want to invest the time and effort into meeting someone. It’s not even that they don’t occasionally miss having a warm body next to them at night to snuggle up with.
It’s that being single is so much less complicated.
They’ll openly admit that they’re perfectly content reading a book at night with a glass of wine, and not having to think about what somebody else might want to be doing instead.
It’s that they kinda like not having to wax every part of their bodies until they resemble a five-year-old girl or obsess over picking out the perfect pair of panties to wear on a date.
It’s that they don’t miss that exhausting nonsense of checking their phones every five minutes to see if he called while trying to pretend last night’s booty call was totally okay with them, when in fact they’re now obsessively checking his Instagram account to see if he’s online, and stalking any girl who’s liked his posts in the last six months.
Yeah, you get it—much less complicated.
In talking to over 50 independent, single women over the past few weeks about the reasons they’ve chosen to stay single for now, the one thing they unanimously said they want to hear is this:
“There’s nothing wrong with you.”
And it doesn’t hurt to follow up with: “It’s totally okay. We respect your choice to not be in a relationship, and we believe you when you say you’re happy.”
That’s it. They want the world to tell them they don’t need to keep making excuses for why they haven’t met someone. They don’t need to keep using the same “I’m just sooo busy with work lately” excuse for why they aren’t out there trying to meet someone.
They’re longing to be understood. They don’t want to feel that they’re being selfish for not wanting to think about anyone but themselves. They don’t want to be analyzed and told that maybe they have trust issues or are afraid to be vulnerable when really they just feel like hanging out with their girlfriends on Friday nights and spending extra time at the office so they can land that next promotion.
We all have different priorities as we pass through life. Sometimes our focus is on connecting with another person and exploring that part of ourselves that desperately wants to create something deeply meaningful with another human being.
And at other times, our priority becomes creating that deeply meaningful and profoundly connected relationship with ourselves.
So to all you single, beautiful, independent women out there who are focused on creating a loving partnership with yourself right now—I see you.
I understand the joy you feel in the solace and solitude of your own company.
And I encourage you to continue your journey of honoring your own heart and knowing that the relationship you’re in right now with you has just as much value and importance as all the other ones happening around you.
Stop apologizing. Stop making excuses. Bumble will still be there when you’re ready.
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