A Woman’s View: the single life

Today, women are far more independent and self sufficient than ever before. Careers and college goals flood the minds of single women all over the NEast.  Rather than get married right out of college, women today are looking for careers and residences of their own before entering into a partnership.  It is never easy being single, but those who manage to keep themselves willingly unattached usually enjoy the life’s opportunities.

“I have been on my own since I got out of college six years ago and I wouldn’t change it,” said a NEast accountant. “I enjoy dating, but I am just not ready to change my life style yet.  I like my independence.”

Being single, like being married, has its advantages and pitfalls in all facets of life.  Single women do not have to fall into the potential mundane routines that sometimes take over married or even dating lifestyles.  Women are free to explore their hobbies and try whatever they choose without having to consult with another.  Though being single seems to be a new trend, not everyone enjoys it.

On a poll taken of NEast single women, 11 out of 20 said they were happy being single.  Of the 11, only three were hoping to remain single, while the other eight who didn’t mind being single said they were still looking for relationships in the future.

“I don’t mind being single. In fact, there are many bonuses to it, but I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life,” said Terry Bennett while shopping. “I just think we need to enjoy the time we have, and as a single person you have more time to yourself to do things you like and want rather than worry about if you’re upsetting the other person or if they like the same thing.”

It has often been said that when you are single, you are able to explore new opportunities easier, change jobs faster and pursue goals that might not be feasible once you are married or even dating.

“I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year now and I had to give up so much.  I barely have time to do my wash now, let alone things I want to do,” said Jeannette from the NEast.  “Don’t get me wrong I love him; I just miss the single life from time to time.”

Holding true to form that the “grass is always greener on the other side,” most people in relationships wish they had the freedom of being single, while some singles, like Lynne, sometimes wish they had a relationship.

“It is mostly around holiday’s that being single is the hardest, I think because you notice it more with all the coupling around,” she said.  “Especially holidays like New Year’s or the V-Day.”

If holidays signify togetherness and a time of family and friends, why do most singles with good families and friends still feel there is something missing?

“For me I just feel like something is missing, because you don’t have a special person to share it with you and that’s why I always get a little depressed around the holidays.” Lynne said.

Not all single ladies share the same opinion when it comes to the “togetherness” feeling.

“I love holidays [being] single. You can go out to great parties, hang with friends without a man dragging behind you.  New Year’s with my girls: nothing better,” said Teisha about enjoying single life.

“The worst is being out with married couples or friends that sit there and make you feel bad about yourself for not having someone,” Lynn said.  “It’s just depressing to the point you don’t want to see them for a constant reminder.”

Many times, married couples who are happy want to share their happiness with others and attempt to give them the same outlook they possess, not realizing it can have the opposite results.  Others are longing for the carefree, less stressful days of single life and feel the need to build themselves up by putting down the very people they envy.

A friend is a friend if they respect you for your choices and your lifestyle, whatever it is.  If you find that as a single person, some married people downplay your current situation, remember they might be missing the freedom of the up-and-go lifestyle.

“I love being single.  I can date, come home late and sleep ’til noon, do yoga in my living room and basically whatever I want.  I wouldn’t turn down a relationship, but if it doesn’t happen, who cares,” said Shauntella about her current lifestyle.

Being happy with yourself is the first step to having a great life and enjoying the very short ride we have.  Whether you are single, dating, married or separated, if you can be comfortable with the situation you are in and make the most of it, life might just go by a little easier and even be enjoyable.

To all our single NEast ladies:  write in and tell us about whether you are enjoying the single life or looking forward to when it ends.

A Woman’s View is a column about women’s issues written by Donna Ward. The column appears every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEastPhilly columns here.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.