11 Memoirs By Women That Totally Nail What It's Like Being A Single Woman Today
Despite the fact that more and more millennials are opting out of traditional marriage, there is still pervasive societal pressure on women to find a partner willing to put a ring on it. If you've ever had to dodge questions about your love life at a family dinner, defend your choice to hook up instead of settle down, or are just plain sick of explaining why you don't have a significant other, then you will love these relatable memoirs that totally nail what it's like to be single.
Let's face it, being a woman is hard no matter who you are, but being a single woman in American culture is like navigating a minefield. Everywhere you step, there are people judging your decision to remain unmarried, pressuring you into serious relationships, or trying to get you to settle down. Whether you are single by choice or not, your relationship status is something that is treated as a matter of public debate, rather than the very personal thing it is. It can feel endlessly frustrating to have to defend or explain your singlehood, but luckily, there are a lot of amazing writers out there who have already done the work for you.
If you're looking for a book that speaks to your relationship experiences, one that just gets you and your choices, these 11 memoirs that capture the many experiences of the single modern woman in today's world might be just what you've been looking for.
'Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own' by Kate Bolick
Part memoir, part biography, part self-help guide, Spinster is a must-read for every single lady out there. In this inspiring bestseller, author Kate Bolick explores the cultural expectations of settling down, and why remaining unmarried is not only a reasonable alternative, but a beneficial one. Sharp and provocative, Spinster is an important reminder that happily ever after doesn't have to involve anyone else.
'The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo' by Amy Schumer
She may be a famous comedian nowadays (and married woman), but for a long time, Amy Schumer was just a single girl struggling through awkward dates, bad hookups, and the ups and downs of growing up girl. In this extremely intimate collection of essays about her life, the Trainwreck stars talks about the experiences who made her the woman she is today, including her upbringing, her romantic relationships, her casual sexual encounters, and everything in between. Equal parts funny and sincere, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is perhaps one of the most relatable celebrity memoirs out there.
'Sex Object' by Jessica Valenti
In Sex Object, Jessica Valenti doesn't just explore the difficulties of being a young, single woman navigating the dating world, but rather the unbelievable challenges all women face in a sexist, misogynistic culture. With unflinching honesty, Valenti lays out the many ways it is not only stressful but dangerous to be a woman at work, on a date, or anywhere else in the world. Eye-opening to some and painfully relatable to others, Sex Objects is a must-read for anyone trying to understand the experiences of the modern woman.
'Don't Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood' by Alida Nugent
The real world is never what you expect, especially when it comes to love, romance, and the whole settling down thing. In her piercingly funny memoir about failed attempts at acceptable adulthood, Alida Nugent chronicles what it is like to be a single, twenty-something, and all of the struggles that go along with it, including finding an affordable place to live and a job that doesn't totally suck. Though it doesn't have a focus on dating or romance specifically, Don't Worry, It Gets Worse perfectly captures what is like to a single young woman trying to navigate "the real world" alone for the first time.
'What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir' by Kristin Newman
As the title implies, this searing memoir chronicles the many globetrotting adventures she went on while her friends and loved ones were settling down, getting married, and starting families. In What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, Kristin Newman challenges the assumptions that people have two options — happily pairing up or unhappily staying alone — and instead offers up the idea that everyone has the right to find their own path to happiness.
'Single State of Mind' by Andi Dorfman
In her latest book, The Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman shares the experiences of her still-singledom in New York City. While her fame and fortune may be unrelatable — did you even know there was a celebrity Tinder? — her experiences as a young, single female in a big city are anything but. Entertaining and lighthearted, this celebrity memoir is a much-needed reminder that being single can be a serious adventure.
'I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery' by Mamrie Hart
What happens when, after over a decade of monogamy, you find yourself suddenly single in your thirties? According to author, actress, and comedian Mamrie Hart, you pour yourself a drink (or a few) and stride into your new, attachment-free lifestyle with the confidence and fearlessness it deserves. Honest and self-deprecating in the best way, I've Got This Round makes being a single adult woman sound like the adventure of a lifetime, which for many, is exactly what it is.
'Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming a Mother Doesn't Go As Planned' by Sarah Kowalski
There are countless narratives, both true and fictional, that capture the experiences of the single woman in her twenties, but what the stories of older women who chose not to "settle down" with a partner? In her incredibly powerful memoir about becoming a single mother via egg and sperm donor, author Sarah Kowalski speaks the the experiences of so many women who chose, later in life, to become parents on their own. Poignant and compelling, Motherhood Reimagined is a refreshing read that speaks to so many single women in today's modern world.
'We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.' by Samantha Irby
In her whip-smart memoir about poverty, family, identity, illness, mental health, sex, and growing up, Samantha Irby perfectly captures how stressful it can be to navigate the modern dating world. With heart and humor, We Are Never Meeting In Real Life. mixes personal stories, cultural critique, and thoughtful advice to create powerful and relatable narrative that will leave readers feeling like, no matter how messy life or love gets, laughter can get you through.
'I Know What I'm Doing — and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction' by Jen Kirkman
In this hilarious and brutally honest memoir, comedian Jen Kirkman argues that it is OK to not have all the answers, especially in the romance department. I Know What I'm Doing — and Other Lies I Tell Myself chronicles the author's own experiences with failed relationships, awkward sexual encounters, and playing the field in middle age, all in a heartfelt attempt to let readers know being yourself is way better than being the person the world expects you to be.
'Would You Rather?: A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out' by Katie Heaney (March 6)
When she published her debut memoir Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, Katie Heaney laid out what it was like to be twenty-something and perpetually single. In her latest book, the author opens up about her experience realizing that she was gay at the age of 28, including what it was like coming out to her loved ones, her first relationship with another woman, and navigating a dating scene that was totally new to her. Thoughtful and heartwarming, Would You Rather? is a poignant look at what is like to truly discover who you are and what you want, out of love and out of life.