All Articles Tagged "single"
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.
Every summer, we partake in our favorite activities and enjoy the warm weather. However, this summer we’ve created 15 new adventures we challenge every single young women to do! If you’ve already done some of them, sound off in our comment section! Enjoy the summer ladies!
Ladies, when you were growing up, or even now as an adult, how many of you remember hearing your mother, aunt, grandmother or another influential woman in your life ask or say to you, “When are you gonna get married?” “Are you seeing anyone special?” “Now, sweetie, you’ve gotta learn how to cook. You know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…” Or my personal favorites: “You gotta know how to keep a clean house for your husband!” and “Always go out looking your best, you never know who’s out there looking for a wife.” While I do believe this advice is valuable for women so that we can learn these skills for survival and take personal pride in ourselves, I don’t think these things should be valued and viewed as ways to secure a husband and find happiness.
When growing up, little girls are not taught certain tricks of the trade to just live independently and be single, but they are often taught to learn certain things in preparation for marriage. Why is this? Why are girls trained up to be wives more so then women who can be happy single? The answer is simple: Some people tend to view single women as less valuable than those who are married, and this is because society has the tendency to place a higher emphasis on people living happily ever after together rather than them simply living happily ever after by themselves. Not only that, but friends and family members often make a huge deal out of a person’s long-term happiness based on having a significant other by asking questions like, “Don’t you want to grow old with somebody?” or “Don’t you think you need someone to spend the rest of your life with?” While they mean well, they let you know right away that they think you should be married and not single, however, the reality of it all is that everyone is not destined to be married, and even if a woman does get married, there is no guarantee that she and her husband will grow old together. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for happy marriages and relationships, but at some point in life a person will live in singleness whether they have been taught how to live in it or not.
So how does a person live in singleness and be happy? Or better yet, as mothers, aunts, teachers and mentors of growing girls, how do we teach them the skills they need to live and be a lady without the underlying message of marriage?
The first thing to do is talk about being single or married with a positive attitude. Many women talk about marriage with a different tone than they do about being single. They often make it seem as though your life has little to no meaning, or they may imply that you won’t be happy unless you’re married. I believe if more women would learn to see equal happiness in both options, there wouldn’t be any pressure on single women to seek a ring by any means necessary.
Next, older women should teach younger women the value of being a single woman and let them know that their happiness lies within who they are first, and that no man or marriage will give that to them.
Lastly, single women should set positive examples of how to live a productive life as an unmarried woman and stop complaining about being single! It is a gift that is often overlooked because we were never taught to appreciate it, but if all you see and hear about are the woes of singlehood, how will young women know what to look forward to from that aspect of life?
While transitioning through life from a child to an adolescent into adulthood, there are a number of valuable lessons that will be learned along life’s journey that will stick with us. But the one lesson that all women should take with them and should be taught is to be content in whatever state you are in, because you won’t move forward to greater things until you’re purely happy with where you are. Were you taught to live the single life growing up, or was marriage the forefront of your lessons?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin