09 April 2013

6 Tips for Single Women


Recently I was talking to some of my single friends here in Brooklyn.

In New York, many of the single women here are professionals.  They've graduated from college, they have good jobs, and they are paying their own rent here in the city.  And so most all of them are in a place and age in life where they'd love to be married.  One woman said to me recently, "You know, we are all just trying to make the most of this, but deep down we're just so over being single and would just LOVE to be married."

Oh man.  It really does make my heart ache. 

SO, I hope to write a bit more about how to thrive during that time.

(6) Tips for Single Women...



1.  Let go of trying to be everywhere at once, stressing about trying to make yourself available at all times possible Dating takes SO MUCH TIME & EFFORT!  I know!  Add up the primping, shopping, commuting, socializing, dating, trying to go to every party you ever hear about, etc.  It's a lot.  And it's not like you're in high school anymore with carefree days and no bills to pay.  So guard your time a little bit.  Care for yourself.  Get the sleep you need.  Do your laundry, wash mascara off your face at night, water your plants.  hahaha (I needed to take my own advice as I could barely fit in any of these things when I was single.  Just this week, I am finally going to work on replacing all my plants that died when I was dating Danny.  :)


2.  Focus the energy a bit more on your own talents, lives, charitable efforts, personal character development, spiritual development, hobbies, and endeavors, etc In other words, live your life to the fullest.  As mentioned in the last post, do not wait for life to begin when you meet a mate.  



3.  Develop your own network of like-minded people, both single, married, old and young.  I think it's easy for single people to be grouped with single people and for married people to be grouped with married people.  But I think there can be great value in spreading out your network.  Not only will it enrich your life, but it can lead to great connections.
4.  Work on truly defining for yourself the kind of person that you want to be (and the kind of life that you want to live.) Defining this is a very. big. deal.  But I can't stress this enough.  Defining this while you are single and then beginning to truly live and breath the kind of life you want prior to marriage is worth GOLD!!!!  Again, you have to live and breath it yourself in order to be able to recognize it in a potential partner.  (Start practicing it now!  :)



5.  Be bold about expressing to those around you the kind of person that you are.  Anyone who knows you should know what you're all about.  This outward way of living (aka vulnerability at it's finest) is key to meeting and connecting with people who are like you.  As they say, your reputation can precede you, which can be a good thing, too, as it can just automatically attract like-minded people to you.


6.  Be open with your network about the fact that you would love to meet someone, if that's the case Don't shy away from this or be embarrassed.  Often times people in your network won't know exactly if you're dating or wanting to be in a relationship, etc.  And it helps to put a bug in their ear, as otherwise they may not think of it.  I was always saying to friends, "So tell me about the dream guy that you are going to set me up with."  :)  Of course, these were friends I trusted, friends that knew what I was all about.  And bless their hearts, they did set me up.  They jumped through hoops, they got email addresses, they played matchmaker over and over.  It saved me a lot of schlepping and time.  Nearly every person I dated after my divorce was someone I got set up with.  Including my dear husband, Danny, who lived all the way in Boston.  :)

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14 comments:

  1. Mara,
    Thank you! This was such a great post and a good reminder of so many things. Being a single woman myself, sometimes it can be discouraging when I would rather be married. But I couldn't agree more with what you wrote. I've found that when I focus on one aspect of my identity--being single or not being married/in a committed relationship--it is much, much harder to stay positive and be happy. When I do this, I'm not being fully present. I lose perspective and it prevents me from living life to its fullest. Being single certainly has its perks: I have been blessed with countless opportunities to travel and do so many things that I likely wouldn't be able to do if I were married with children. Of course, I feel like I would trade all that adventure for marriage and a family in a heartbeat, but when I find myself longing for something that will happen in the future, I forget to live in the present and be grateful for the opportunities I have right now. This behavior is also really ineffective at attracting the type of people I would want to be in a relationship with as well. And really I think it is harmful for anyone to define themselves by one aspect of their identity--whether it's a strength or weakness, a general personality trait or any type of title. I know that society largely likes to qualify and categorize things, which has its place, but it can be a tricky balance not to base our whole identity on titles and categories that we may or may not fit into. As individuals we are all so complex, that we really can't be defined as simply men, women, single, married, gay, straight, etc. We all sell ourselves short when we confine ourselves to labels :)

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  2. Great Post, Mara! So true, too. Having met my spouse a little later than most, I can agree to the above. It used to really annoy me when people would say "don't settle." I didn't really know what that meant. But, as I became more and more empowered in what I felt I deserved from a partner, the less I spent trying, and the more on myself. I took cooking classes. During this time, I realized that subconsciously, I wasn't and never had settled.

    I also found that really unique people take longer to find that equally unique partner. worth it.

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  3. This was great and kind of funny. Good tips to remember. I am married after all but it was a good read!

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  4. This part made me crack up: "In New York, many of the single women here are professionals. They've graduated from college, they have good jobs, and they are paying their own rent here in the city." Golly day, a woman paying her own RENT? What will happen next?

    I really thought this was going to be all in the vein of the above, and I was pleasantly surprised. Your tips on self-improvement and self-worth are really valuable.

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    Replies
    1. you're right! I guess that sounded a little funny. I guess I was just trying to point out the stage of life these women are in...they are mature, professional, successful women who could probably say that most of their friends are married at this point. It's a tough place to be in for many. And I guess the rent thing is maybe new york specific. Rents are not cheap here. It's actually a very big deal to be able to survive on your own here in the city, male or female - which is why most people here are a little older.

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    2. I live in DC--I totally agree; paying rent in the city and still trying to have a life beyond that is HARD to afford. I think this speaks to the deeper issue of women having more and more autonomy than they have had before--and trying to rectify that with the loneliness and isolation that can come from it.

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  5. Love this Mara! You know it's funny because I feel like your tips also apply in the "trying to get pregnant" dept...but it not happening when you would like. I am going through this right now with Jesse, and failing each month at having a baby. However, this is something that I know is a timing thing and am just trying to make the most out of my "free" time... ESPECIALLY because I don't want to look back on this precious time I do have with Jesse and regret that I wasted it by crying "I don't have a baby yet" ... Easier said than done obviously... And another thing that I do wanna add to the dating and baby topic is how important it is to be happy for those who are happy!! True happiness shows on one's face and is probably the most beautiful accessory one could wear... it makes me sad when I see people [specifically women] bitter towards other women because they are married, or pregnant or with a family. A happy and positive outlook on life shows, and a great guy who is normal and healthy will be attracted to that!. Hope everything I wrote just made sense? :/ xo

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  6. It's good to remember that the women you might hang out with (I'm guessing disproportionately Mormon and maybe more conservative than average) doesn't represent the whole female demographic. I certainly agree with these tips. But I don't agree with the woman you quote in the intro who, based on her general language, seems to think that all single women (who are old enough to be established in life) want to be married. I know lots and lots of them who love being single and who aren't experiencing any stress about "finding" a guy or getting married. It's good to remember that marriage isn't the be-all-and-end-all for a growing demographic of people and that one can be very happy and content single.

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  7. I remember how sometimes being single can lead to constantly feeling like something is missing and if you complete that puzzle piece your life will be great instantly. I wish I had someone remind me of these wonderful tips back then when I was really young. Actually it would be great to apply all the above at all times, since entering the teenage years and never stop actually, single or not (except for the last one when you're not :D).
    Life is about making yourself happy, but how often do we forget that?!
    Thank you Mara!

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  8. I totally relate to the ladies in your first paragraph. It's pretty much me to a T. haha. For what it's worth, I've been doing pretty much all these things (and making progress on number 5) the past two years and-- while I'd still love to meet someone-- it's been the time of my life. I'd recommend those tips to anyone who needs a bit of a boost in their life. ^_^

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  9. GREAT TIPS! I'll be passing these along for sure. I'm a single btw. And i know a lot of singles who could take from this as well. Thank you!

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  10. I wish more individuals would embrace being single. My latest post http://www.purposedrivenambition.com/2013/08/why-am-i-still-single.html expresses my feelings as a young single woman.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your heart, thoughts, and worries with all of us readers. Everyone deals with struggles that are similar to what you face and being able to read your posts and see how you reflect on life is nice. It gives me inspiration. Thanks again!

    successfulsingleladies.com

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  12. Any middle of the lifestyle transition is really as soft as feeling a little not comfortable to a complete broken personality crisis Männergruppen

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