All Articles Tagged "single"
On last Thursday’s episode of The Real, singer and actress Brandy Norwood served as a guest co-host and used it as an opportunity to promote her new BET series Zoe Ever After. And because the actress and singer has been vocal about her love life in the past, it was no surprise that she talked about it some more on the show. But what did shock those watching was her declaration that she never wants to get married. Like ever.
After a sham marriage and a few failed engagements, Brandy shared that in the present day, she hasn’t dated in over a year, and she loves the single life because it’s the first time where her focus has been just on herself, her career, and her daughter. Although I am not a mother, I can certainly identify with Brandy’s need to give up on dating to just focus on the more important things in her life. Hell, I’ve met all types of strange men and have had failures that make me question why I even try anymore. Still, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I never want to get married and that I would be okay with simply being in one relationship after another or single for the rest of my life. Life is a long journey depending on how you live it, and I wouldn’t want to go through it alone without a committed partner, intimacy or romance.
Before Brandy’s statement, powerhouse women such as Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes also went on the record to say they’re okay without marriage and commitment. Most women see this as a testament to embracing themselves and knowing what they want. And while I have embraced singlehood for the last two years, I won’t lie and say that it’s for me.
I’d like to have children and build a family at some point in my life, and I can’t do that alone. Kudos to all the single parents and women who want children without the man, but that’s not how I want my life set up. I’d like to build with someone and create a legacy and set an example of a strong family dynamic for my kids.
I’d also like to share my success with someone. Sure, it’s fun when you can share in those things with your friends and crack open a bottle of bubbly or wine and toast to good fortune. But having a life partner walking through the journey with you through the highs and lows, being there when the curtain closes and the tears fall, and then celebrating with you, is different.
The way my life is currently set up, on one end of the spectrum, I can identify with Brandy and say that I am content with being single right now and focusing on my career. Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, I’m actually afraid to not be single and to give up my freedom, not due to commitment issues, but because of said career focus. But then there’s the lonely girl on the other end of that spectrum yearning for companionship, and someone to come home to after work. On any given day, I am at a different place on the spectrum, but I know for sure that when that time comes and I meet someone worth giving up the single life for, I am not looking back.
When your parents ask why you’re coming home for the holidays as a single woman or man yet again, direct them to WalletHub’s new study, which pinpointed the best and worst cities to date as a single this year. So if mom and dad aren’t going to help you pay your rent in a city that’s friendly for singles, they need to pipe down already.
A team of scientists from the University of Louisville, the University of Michigan and the University of California at Santa Barbara “compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities based on 25 key metrics.” Their data ranged from the percentages of singles in a city, the online dating opportunities, to the average costs for dining, going out for drinks, going to the movies, rent, the highest and lowest gender balance and more.
“In order to identify the best cities for singles, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across two equally weighted dimensions, ‘Dating Economics’ and ‘Romance & Fun.'”
So what did they find? Well, the best city to be a single dating is Salt Lake City, Utah. Interesting, right? Other top-finishing cities include Atlanta, Georgia at No. 4 (which ranked No. 1 for “Romance & Fun” interestingly), Austin, Texas at No. 6, Cincinnati, Ohio at No. 9, Denver, Colorado at No. 12, and Minneapolis, Minnesota at No. 14.
The struggle cities for dating include Yonkers, New York, the worst at No. 150. There’s also Detroit, Michigan at No. 146, Jersey City, New Jersey at No. 142, New York, New York at No. 139, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at No. 137, Chicago, Illinois at No. 133 and Los Angeles, California at No. 126.
You can find the lowest-costing restaurant meals in Aurora, Colorado and the highest-costing meals in San Francisco, California.
The lowest average beer and wine costs? Indianapolis, Indiana. The highest? Atlanta, Georgia.
The cheapest movie tickets? Corpus Christi, Texas. The most expensive tickets? It’s a tie between five cities in California: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Glendale and Santa Clarita.
Highest percentage of single people? Detroit, Michigan. The lowest number of single folks can be found in Chesapeake, Virginia. Guess they’re all booed up.
And if you were wondering where you would have success with online dating, folks in Gilbert, Arizona have the highest online dating opportunities while those in Cleveland, Ohio have the lowest.
You can check out the full results, as well as advice from the scientists behind the study on how to date on a budget, and what singles should look for when choosing a city to reside in, here.
But what city do you live in? How would you say things are for dating and singles?
Being single when it’s not by choice is never fun, but it’s especially trying on the soul when everyone is going on about how winter’s coming and all these men are hitting them up trying to find someone to hibernate with during the cold months and you’re like, #WhereDeyAtDoe?
I’ve always found humor is the key to sanity, so if you’ve played “Hotline Bling” so many times you can’t think straight and are still wondering if it’s too late to get in the game during cuffing season, let these memes comfort you. The very fact that some other woman sitting at home solo created them let’s you know you’re not alone.
In your thirties, single, no kids, but all your friends are getting married and having babies. It’s happening so much that your wedding and baby shower invitations are starting to pile up. But don’t feel too bad about your off-the-beaten-path life choices. Here are ways to help you deal with all the exchanging of vows and popping out of babies going on around you.
Sometimes we can tell when our relationship is coming to an end.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, the things you once found endearing quickly become annoying. You start to see qualities and traits in your partner that you don’t like. And eventually, you realize that you have no idea how to deal with everything. The endless arguments without a resolution. The feelings of being trapped. You want out.
But what happens when you don’t see a breakup coming?
You had convinced yourself that you were so deep in love that you didn’t realize what you thought was a relationship was just one-sided infatuation. You thought you were growing and going places, but the only person who seemed to be moving was you. So how do you cope with a breakup when you thought things were going good, and you have no idea as to why they fell apart? Most will tell you that in time, things will get better. That’s true! But right now you’re left trying to pick up the pieces and hoping to figure out what went wrong. And that’s normal.
Sometimes you have to let your emotions consume you, even if that means hitting rock bottom. It’s common for people to try to make sense of what happened and it’s okay to want answers. But sometimes you have to be okay with not getting closure. Allow yourself to run through and replay your entire relationship in your mind, talk to friends, and if you must, binge on Ben & Jerry’s for a day. That’s okay too. It’s all a part of the coping process. But it’s also important to know that once you’ve allowed yourself to get it all out and hit rock bottom, you shouldn’t plan on staying there. Coping is a healthy form of recovery, but once it turns obsessive, it’s no longer healthy and it’s time to pick yourself back up and start finding those simple joys in your life again.
Make A Connection
The first thing most of us do when grieving is to isolate ourselves. We shut down from everything and everyone partially because pride won’t allow us to let people see us that vulnerable, but also because taking flight is one of our basic instincts and defense mechanisms to protect ourselves. While it might help to have a crying session by yourself, it’s even more helpful to have someone close by to help you cope. I’ve learned to surround myself with love whenever I’m hurting because I can always count on my friends for a good laugh, a good conversation, and a good story to ease my mind. If you neglected friends during your relationship, it’s time to reconnect. Trust me, they won’t shut you out.
Pick A Hobby
There is life after a breakup, and it’s your job to rediscover it. Do something you’ve never done before or pick something you used to love and want to try again. Take a cooking class, become a gym rat, sign up for a free photography class–anything. Exploring new things, setting new goals and allowing yourself new experiences is a healthy distraction, but it’s also an opportunity for personal development. It’s a win-win situation.
I remember experiencing my first unexpected breakup. It took me a while to get over it, and I honestly didn’t think I would. Things were going so well between us and out of nowhere it all just fell apart. No amount of excuses, apologies and reasoning could give me the closure I wanted until I had to learn just to accept everything for what it was. It was over, and I needed to move on. I had to be okay. And once I started accepting that and rediscovering life as a single woman, it took less time to heal.
I’ve learned that the best way to deal with any breakup is to keep on living through it. You’ll continue to love and want love, and you’ll find it soon enough. As for your defunct relationship, you may never know why it ended the way that it did. Be okay with that. It just means better is on the horizon.
Some women prefer to date older men because there is an assumption that they are wiser and more grounded in life. One 24-year-old woman I conversed with believes that they are more powerful and aware of such power, well-established, and are more likely to know what they want from a woman. Some men prefer younger women because they are perceived as more fun and “trainable.” For some men who wait until later in life to settle down, they believe there are perks to doing so with a younger woman. One 37-year-old man I talked to thinks that dating a woman in her late 20s will give him a better chance of still having the children he wants without the rush factor that a lot of older women come with. Some men date older women due to the assumption that there will be fewer expectations and more maturity while some women prefer younger men because both parties aren’t looking for anything serious.
A 2013 U.S. Current Population Survey on the “Age difference in heterosexual married couples,” revealed that 33.2 percent (the majority) of husbands and wives in the U.S. have a year difference in age. The percentages got lower and lower as the age gap widened. Despite the so-called perks that come with dating older or younger, most people settle down with someone closer in age. So in conjunction with all the dating assumptions, expectations, lack of expectations and dating preferences, does age really matter?
According to an article published by The Guardian, Danish researcher Sven Drefahl found that “the key to a longer life is to marry someone the same age, if you’re a woman.” His research showed that women who dated men older and younger than them decreased their lifespan while men, on the contrary, had a higher mortality rate when dating a younger woman.
Psychology Today published an article in 2014 about a dating trend that is being used as the deciding factor on the minimum and maximum age of your partners. This trend is called the “Half your age plus seven” rule where you divide your age in half and add seven to determine how low you should go when dating someone younger than you. On the contrary, when finding the maximum appropriate age for dating, you must subtract seven from your current age and multiply that number by two. But how effective is this rule? As a 25-year-old, my minimum dating age is 19.5, which I’m just not here for. My maximum age would be 36, which isn’t too bad, but based on the assumptions and beliefs that were made in the beginning, and on my own experiences, I don’t believe age is important. Here’s why.
I’ve dated a man near 30 who was still trying to figure his life out and had no idea what he wanted from a woman, so he sure wasn’t looking to settle down with one. I’ve dated a man near 40 who was just as clueless and unestablished. I’ve dated a guy who was my same age, and while things lasted for a while, we ultimately realized we wanted two different things. I’ve dated younger and have found that some young men are way more mature than older men. Even though there may be some truth to the statistics and stereotypes, I do believe that measuring someone’s level of establishment, maturity level, and direction in life goes way beyond the factors of age.
The dating game has definitely changed. Ideas for dates have become less and less thoughtful while dating, in general, has grown more complicated. You can thank all the various apps and websites for that.
Men are still buzzing about whether or not spending $200 for a date is too much, and women are wondering if someone who spends less, much less at that, is worth their time. In the place of such pricey outings, “Netflix and chill” has become the latest trending topic. It is code for “let’s hook up” while Netflix plays in the background. Picking you up in the evening, opening the door for you, and going somewhere nice dates have become somewhat antiquated. People are settling for late-night rendezvouses, Netflix, or “Can I come over and chill?” We settle for these things because of our basic need to be wanted, but more so because it’s convenient and requires less effort. We give all types of reasons as to why we can’t seem to make love work for us or take the time to build a relationship, including the classic excuse that “we’re too busy.” And by “busy” we most likely mean that we’re trying to build our careers, finish school, handle day-to-day responsibilities, or find different opportunities to make money. But are these legit reasons to settle for lazy dating relationships? What happened to the old-fashioned type of dating where you actually got to know someone, spent hours talking, planning dates, and letting time take you to the next level?
Some have chosen to live by the guidelines of cuffing season all year long. Find the right contenders, date them just long enough to keep yourself warm and entertained, but short enough to not have to spend loads of money, meet family and friends, and establish real feelings for one another. It’s easier to crash at someone’s place, order Chinese takeout and watch a movie on Netflix until you two fall asleep. It’s effortless. It’s easy to meet up for a nightcap and late night tryst between the sheets than to make dinner reservations, find a nice outfit and have a night out on the town.
The bar has been set extremely low. People are refusing to think outside the box and would rather get instant gratification as opposed to putting in the time and effort with someone. We’ve become a free generation that has taken the bull by the horns, and we’re creating the life we want. This includes the freedom to date multiple people and explore the social scene as we please. Some might even look at building real relationships as a distraction to their lifestyle. I mean, aside from laziness, wanting to get off real quick, and narrow-mindedness, there are some legitimate reasons as to why some would rather not place effort into dating. It’s usually because they are still trying to figure themselves out.
It is important to know what you want for yourself before you can articulate those expectations to someone else, and it makes no sense wasting someone else’s time and emotions if you can’t. Or your own. As a woman whose had the pleasure of growing up around long-lasting and stable relationships, I long to meet a man who believes I’m worth the time and effort. I pray for the day I meet someone who wants to wine and dine me and saves the “Netflix and chill” for a rainy day. Or at least until they’ve taken me out, learned the basics of me, and made a real effort.
If you recall, we interviewed the founders of Black Girls Run about why they started their organization and what advice can they give women who are looking to workout. In this bonus clip, Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey talk about why it's so important for women to workout in a relationship and be open minded while dating.
To join Black Girls Run in your area, visit their website.
Whether you’re loving the single life or desperately seeking someone, these are the the phrases that all single people are sick of hearing.
He’s Out There
Unless you can physically point to his location, please spare single people this particular pep talk.
I remember the first time it happened. Pay attention closely, because you might not realize you’re in this same predicament until it’s too late. So here are the warning signs:
First, everyone is going to stop doing whatever they are doing after the question is asked. Second, their eyes are going to widen and they’re going to lean in to you with bated breath. Finally, the air is going to go stale around you and the ground is going to open up if you don’t have a good enough answer for them, so be prepared to jump in… or that’s what I wished I could have done EVERY. SINGLE. TIME someone demanded to know: “Why are you single?”
The time that I mentioned earlier, happened in high school. My best friend at the time invited me to hang out with her, her boyfriend, his roommate, and his girlfriend (someone else who went to high school with us) while they bar-b-cued. After all the games and practical jokes were out of the way, Peggy’s* boyfriend asked me: “Kendra, why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
All the fun stopped, and suddenly I was the center of unwanted attention. “Um… I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about it.” I thought that that would have been it, but then he persisted, and then everyone else joined in almost demanding to know why I was single.
The pressure, my goodness. The pressure.
But I felt better when I read Erica Renee’s “Annoying Misconceptions About Single Women” and felt myself nodding through the whole thing. But once I was done, it also made me sad because why is this a topic that needs to be discussed? Why is it that people are so quick to throw a misconception on a single person than actually ask them and probably get a true answer from them anyway?
Just like at the bar-b-cue, I was having a great time. I didn’t even notice that people were paired off because I was enjoying the company. But then the fun got sucked out of patio when they started demanding to know “what is your deal?!” Or that time I was at a wedding, and at the reception someone told me to “hang in there, that’ll be you next.” Or after someone asked me why wasn’t I dating after I left my husband and they told me: “You shouldn’t give up on yourself.” I wanted to yell: “I’M NOT!” How did you equate me taking some time to myself, giving up on me?!?! I LOVE ME!
After periodic years questioning I began to wonder myself: “Well, why aren’t I dating? Am I giving off some type of no-man vibe?”
Once the questions began to turn to criticism I had to shut myself down and remind myself that my singleness wasn’t affecting me, only other people who were too preoccupied with it. Who cares if other people are uncomfortable with me being single, because I’ve never been!
Honestly, I LOVE it! Not saying that I have closed myself off from ever wanting to be with someone, but I’m not going to rush it just because people expect me to. I’m honestly enjoying life right now. If I’m happy, then be happy for me.
Also, to all single people, please don’t allow someone to push you into a relationship you’re not ready for just so they can stop feeling sorry for you. Truth of the matter is, they’re not going to be there when you go through the emotional pitfalls of a failed relationship because you weren’t ready to to be in it. Most of the time it’s someone trying to live vicariously through you anyway.
Be happy, whether you’re single, actively looking, or actively not. Plus, how can you truly enjoy being with someone else if you can’t even enjoy being with yourself?
Kendra Koger enjoys dropping knowledge and the occasional tweet @kkoger.