People cultivate happiness in a variety of ways.
One way that trends particularly towards women is being single for long periods of time.
This can happen in a variety of ways: we’ve been single through high school so we’re not really ready for the dating-and-relationships that come, for many, with college. We’ve been constantly monogamous to one person or another for awhile and have “run out” of guys for now…just in time to take a break. Or maybe…we just never got into the game in the first place. Whatever the reason, we end up single for awhile. And we. Are. LOVING IT!
This isn’t to say that women in relationships, marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions are miserable by any means.
Perhaps they had their “single time” and perhaps not. Perhaps they don’t value the benefits conferred by singlehood, or didn’t.
Perhaps they should. A new study by consumer analyst Mintel has shown that 61% of women feel fantastic about being single, while only 49% of men do. 75% of those woman said they were happy not to be in a relationship at all and weren’t actively seeking one.
Why is this the case?
It’s quite simple, actually.
Women on our own have to figure things out on our own, build our own lives and careers and priorities dependent entirely on what is most important to us.
This may sound facile, like isn’t that what everyone does?
Certainly, it’s what men do; in fact, it’s basically expected of them. Single OR attached, men are to pursue their dreams and live the lives they want to live. While sometimes unfair expectations seem to be set for me, it’s often fully expected that women will put our priorities aside to be with and take care of our husbands and families.
Talk about unfair priorities.
Single women who have remained single for lengthy periods of time do so because they learn to enjoy it. Unfettered by the needs of the man in her life, she shops, launders clothing, takes her car in, goes for walks, and sometimes enjoys a movie or a meal alone or with friends, without needing to justify herself to anyone else. Women who have spent big gaps of their lives single tend to be passionate, sometimes a little hard-nosed, but absolutely secure in what they have and the life they have built, and where they would like to take it from there. They don’t get lonely, because they have become comfortable with their living situation not including an intimate partner. They are comfortable going to bed alone at night because they’re used to it, and they cherish it. And they don’t need no mans to do that.
Gender-based one-liners aside, though, it’s important for women to spend time on their own.
We need to figure stuff out, get ourselves out of conundrums, know when it’s wise to ask for help and be able on a steady cadre of similarly-minded female friends for that help. Women friends are worth their weight in gold, and nobody knows this better than the single woman who is loving her freedom.
We need to cultivate not only our freedoms and our preferences but we also need to craft our places in the world. We need to tackle our passions full-on, without anyone holding us back. And then, later, and IF we desire, we might regale a partner with the story of landing the biggest swordfish at the mouth of a squall arising on the open sea, or simply charm them with how we learned to tie our shoes, all grubby-handed and barely capable and at the same time, grasping at the first few strings towards becoming our own precious, amazing selves.