Between attempting to actively ignore comments from traditional relatives concerning the ring missing on your finger, to trying to find the right avenue to meet someone (dating apps really suck, but is meeting strangers at bars really any better?), being a single woman can be rough. That being said, sometimes being single can be absolutely amazing. When you're not involved with someone, you give yourself the opportunity to become self-reliant, and work toward personal goals. And that can not only help to build a solid foundation for your relationships later on, it allows you to potentially get to know yourself in a way you couldn't in a relationship. Most importantly, it helps you love yourself.
But that doesn't stop the world from trying to make us feel guilty about being single. For whatever reason, some people still believe that a woman's mission in life should be to find a partner, get married, and pop out some kids. And while you're probably eye rolling hard at the sound of that, it's not completely uncommon to feel this pressure. Just know that being single is something you should never feel guilty for, nor is any choice you make to help yourself grow during your time alone. Here are some of the things single women shouldn't be ashamed of.
1. Putting Their Career First
This may not be the case for everyone – there are plenty of people that exist in this world who will encourage a woman to put her career ahead of her romantic life – but it definitely happens. Despite the insanely outdated and sexist notion that a woman's career should take a backseat to starting a family, there's no reason this sort of pressure should keep you from climbing the career ladder. Taking the time to hone your skills at your job, and develop the career you've always wanted is everyone's right. And having that success is something you completely deserve.
2. Hooking Up When You Want To
Just because you're single, doesn't mean you can't have fun every once and a while. Let's face it, us ladies have needs, and indulging them with that hottie from the bar, or your latest Tinder match can be harmless. As long as you are safe about it, and active, ongoing consent is expressed by both parties, why the hell not? There's nothing wrong with expressing your sexuality, and experimenting a little. It doesn't have to be in the confines of a relationship, and I'm sure you know that.
3. Traveling On A Moment's Notice
One of the ultimate perks of being single is the ability to drop everything (work and money permitting) and go somewhere. Anywhere. For however long seems feasible to you. Whether you decide to finally satisfy your wanderlust and go abroad for a bit, or simply use your flight points to discover a new city, you can. And no one's around to tell you otherwise.
4. ...And Traveling Alone
Traveling alone is something everyone should experience at least once. Being able to find your way through a city or town, while walking through its streets and taking everything in is an incredible opportunity. But when you're involved in something serious, you're not as free to take this time for yourself.
5. Spending Money On You
The money you work hard to make will always be your own, but when you commit to a serious relationship, financial responsibility suddenly turns from a "you" thing, into a "we" thing. If you're married or living together, chances are you'll have shared expenses, as well as shared financial accounts that the two of you are tasked with budgeting equally.
Randomly splurging on things for yourself may not always be an option, depending on financial security. But when you're single, and your money is your own, there is no reason not to spend it as you want to. If you have cash to burn at the end of the month, go ahead and splurge. Dealing with finances is one of the biggest points of contention in any relationship, but when it's just you this isn't a problem.
6. Remaining Independent
There's something about an unattached woman who lives for herself, and consistently proves she's all she needs that intimidates the sh*t out of society. And while I like to believe that we've moved on from the heteronormative, sexist notion that a woman can't exist without a man by her side, there are plenty of people who will try to censure you for your independence, and make you feel bad for it. Screw them. Choosing to remain independent and self-reliant is one of the best decisions you can make, and if you are looking for love, it will help you retain your self-identity if you do choose to commit yourself to someone. So do you.
7. Taking A Break From Dating
When I told my mother that I wasn't going to date, she spent a good chunk of time explaining to me why that was a complete waste. Even though I told her I was happy, she still insisted that I needed to date because I needed to find someone to be with. When I asked her why, she couldn't really give me a good answer other than "that's what you do."
If you're fed up, tired or just not in the mood to have to scout the less than ideal landscapes of bars, online dating sites, and blind dates, there's nothing wrong with that. Taking the time off to be with yourself, hang out with friends, and do whatever the hell else you want to is not only extremely freeing, it helps put you in a better space for when you decide to get back in the game. There's no rule that says you have to date, and if it's not your thing, then don't.
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