Being Single and Happy

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

Over the past ten years, I always had a man by my side. I was always in a relationship.

I was in a relationship for eight years before my ex and I got engaged, then broke it off because of the distance—my ex’s reason. Not long after that I got into a two-year relationship with a man who loved, yet cheated on me. It was a messy break up.

So after ten years in relationships, I found myself alone.

I’m 31 and single!

Recently some questions have bounced around in mind: What happened to me during those years? What did I get, gain, achieve in these two relationships? Why am I now alone? What will I do? How do I do things by myself?

Now what? Where to start?

I started to panic, to hyperventilate—until I found this quote:

Single is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.”

Yes I am scared. I was so used to sharing everything. I was so used to having someone around.

But the reality is I am my own person, and if I can’t enjoy being single, how can I enjoy being with someone else?

So I started reading about being single, and interviewing other happy single people. Surely I wasn’t the only 31-year-old person who felt uncertain about her new singleness. I needed to find proven ways to be happy as a single adult woman.

In my research, I learned some important truths about being single:

1. Being single gives you time to be by yourself, with yourself.

Finally some me time. This is the time to reconnect with myself, a time where I can talk to myself, debating all the questions and answers that are bouncing in my head. 

This is the time of reflection. This is the time of acceptance and letting go, which brings me to the second point…

2. If you don’t let go of the past, you will never appreciate the present.

Yes I have fond memories of my exes, but that was in the past. I know I will always cherish those memories, but I need to stop clinging to them to live for today and plan for tomorrow.

Buddha said every day you are born again—that means new experiences and adventures for today!

3. It’s only after you have lost everything that you are free to find out what you were missing.

During those ten years, I lost love, a pregnancy, and my health. I truly believed I had lost everything. I can’t even start telling you how many tears I shed during those difficult times.

Now that I’m single, I have an opportunity to do all the things I put off while I was putting all my energy into my relationships. I have to believe that I will eventually have the things I lost, but for now I’m taking this time to enjoy myself and complete myself.

Single Women Are the World’s True Romantics

Are single women the World’s true romantics?

Beautiful woman in a summer garden blossoming roses.

I am sitting with my sister-in-law, a contented wife and mother of four, in the garden of her summer house on a balmy afternoon. We are discussing the recent remarriage of a friend of hers, an older man who might have been expected to marry a different sort of woman—less arm-candyish and more compelling—than the shiny young blond he ended up choosing. My sister-in-law goes on to observe how none of her single older female friends, whether divorced or widowed, are dating. She says it matter-of-factly, but the obvious implication is that this is an unfortunate situation, something to be clucked over. Looking across her dock at the seagulls companionably weaving in and out of the water, I find myself thinking that I am just like these women, uncoupled and dating no one. The truth of the matter, however, is that far from seeing this as something to be pitied, a large part of me sees it as a condition of inadvertent freedom to be devoutly held on to.

Lest you think this claim is no more than some form of adroitly rationalized sour grapes, let me hasten to add that I have arrived at this point of view only lately. Like most other heterosexual women, I have spent much of my adult life in relationships with men, as either a girlfriend or once, briefly, as a bona fide wife. After I got divorced in my late thirties, I pretty much expected to marry again and, within the next decade, came close to doing so twice. On both occasions—one contender was an immigration lawyer with an acute case of separation anxiety, the other a compulsively womanizing psychiatrist—I pulled back, unwilling to take the next step. I was afraid of the claustrophobic feeling I associated with being a couple—the way it closes off other romantic options, for one thing (certainly if you’re monogamously inclined, as I am), and, for another, dictates that you go through life two by two, like the animals entering Noah’s ark.

Sometimes it seems to me that the prospect of waking up every morning to the same face seems like too much of a muchness, a condition primed to induce restlessness in all but the most emotionally sedentary of us. Getting tired of one’s partner isn’t all that different, when you think about it, from wearying of one’s own too-familiar self. To be quite candid about it, being identifed as a couple has always made me feel a bit entrapped, like finding yourself inside a room with the door locked from the outside. I understood implicitly what Michael D., one of the patients in Stephen Grosz’s book,The Examined Life, was getting at when he explained that “when I’m in a couple, I feel I’m disappearing, dying—losing my mind.” It may be an exaggeration of my own sentiments, but not by much.

And, indeed, who among us hasn’t experienced on occasion the smug, airless “we”-ness of couples, the enforced common ground of their thinking: “We love Verdi,” or “We’ve never gone for Indian food”? Of course, you could argue that this commitment to an unchanging dual identity is a small price to pay for feeling less alone in the world. No matter that it takes a certain degree of clear- eyed, bottom-line calculating to become a couple in the frst place, a cumulative (albeit largely unconscious) assessment that there is no one better for you out there. Or that if there is, the chances are small that you will discover each other— and now is an improvement over never.

Single and Would Rather Be in a Relationship? 8 Reasons to Personally Decode

Clearly, some people are single because they choose to be. They are simply not interested in being in a serious relationship at this time in their life.

Others are single due to the circumstances of their lives. They may have just gotten out of a meaningful relationship or have dated relentlessly and just haven’t found someone with whom they’re truly compatible. The point of this article isn’t to stereotype all single women or men or to put anyone in a box. However, for people, particularly those over 30, who are looking for answers to the puzzling question “why am I still single?”, here are some unconventional answers that lie within.

When it comes to dating and relationships, it’s hard not to feel that you are a victim. After all, others can be cruel; you will get hurt, and no, it isn’t always your fault. But the reality is that we hold more power over our romantic destiny than we often think. To a great degree, we create the world we live in, although we are rarely conscious of this process. We can, in fact, make a choice whether to see our fate through a victimized lens or choose to be goal-directed and take power over our lives. We benefit from focusing on what we can control and not what we can’t. We can become aware of the myriad of ways we influence the reactions we get from others, even the negative reactions. So, the question for the single person looking for love is: what are the internal challenges I need to face?

1) Defenses

Most people have been hurt in interpersonal relationships. With time and painful experiences, we all risk building up varying degrees of bitterness and becoming defended. This process begins long before we start dating, in our childhoods, when hurtful interactions and dynamics lead us to put up walls or perceive the world through a filter that can negatively impact us as adults. These adaptations can cause us to become increasingly self-protective and closed off. In our adult relationships, we may resist being too vulnerable or write people off too easily.

If, for example, you were raised by parents or caretakers who were negligent or cold, you may grow up feeling distrusting of affection. You may feel suspicious of people who show “too much” interest in you and instead, you seek out relationships that recreate dynamics from your past. You may then choose a partner who is aloof or distant. It isn’t always easy to see when we have our defenses up. As a result, we tend to blame our singleness on external forces and fail to recognize that we aren’t as open as we think.

2) Unhealthy Attractions

When we act on our defenses, we tend to choose less-than-ideal relationship partners. We may establish an unsatisfying relationship by selecting a person who isn’t emotionally available. Because this process is largely unconscious, we often blame our partner for the relationship’s failed outcome. We tend to feel devastated or hurt by the repeated rejections without recognizing that we are actually seeking out this pattern.

Why do we do this? The reasons are complex and often based on our own embedded fears of intimacy. Many people have an unconscious motivation to seek out relationships that reinforce critical thoughts they have long had toward themselves and replay negative aspects of their childhoods. These may be unpleasant, but breaking with old patterns can cause us a great deal of anxiety and discomfort and make us feel strangely alien and alone in a more loving environment.

Our fears of parting with the image we developed of ourselves early on and starting to see ourselves in a more positive light paradoxically make us feel uneasy and may trigger self-attacking thoughts like, “Who do you think you are? You’re not that great.” These fears may cause us to hold on to relationships without potential or to feel attracted to people who aren’t really available, because they reinforce our negative image of ourselves, which feels more comfortable and familiar, albeit painful.

3) Fear of Intimacy

As my father, psychologist and author Robert Firestone, wrote in his article “You Don’t Want What You Say You Want,” “Most of us profess that we want to find a loving partner, but the experience of real love disrupts fantasies of love that have served as a survival mechanism since early childhood… Pushing away and punishing the beloved acts to preserve one’s negative self-image and reduces anxiety.”

Our fears surrounding intimacy may manifest as concerns over someone “liking us too much,” an understandably irrational reason not to date a person. Or we may punish the other person by being critical, even engaging in nasty behavior, essentially making sure we don’t get the loving responses we say we want. The reality is that most people can only tolerate a certain amount of closeness. We are defended about letting someone else in. In effect, on a deeper level, we don’t necessarily want the love we say we want.

How to Enjoy Being Single During the Holidays

This year, I decided I would do something a little different over a holiday. For Thanksgiving, my family celebrated the weekend before. Since I didn’t have in-laws or a boyfriend’s family to visit, and had 5 days off from work already, I decided to take a vacation.

And I vacationed all by myself.

Instead of sitting at home over the holiday thinking of places I’d like to visit one day with a spouse, possibly feeling sorry for myself, or shopping for things that I didn’t need, I decided to take a trip.

I put my money towards an experience and memories that would last longer than any Black Friday purchase.

It was my first trip by myself. To say I was anxious about the details would be an understatement, but I bought my tickets, got to my destination, and had a great time!

I went sightseeing, saw some theatre shows, wrote and read in my hotel room with a view of mountains and the downtown lights below, and enjoyed the little luxuries of a really nice hotel. I was mindful about traveling around by myself, checked in with my family daily, and was able to get some great deals with smart planning.

The ability to do what I wanted to do and go where I wanted to go, on my own schedule, was a nice change and made for a great trip!

I gained more confidence in my season of life and myself. And it kept me in tune with God’s constant hand of protection over me.

In the past, I’ve gone through different phases of how I feel about being single during the holidays. The truth is, I’ve been single for the majority of Christmases I’ve celebrated.

Looking at it one way, this gives me freedom to do what I want with my time. It’s a sweet time. A time to have “extra” downtime with my family and friends while others may have more obligations to celebrate with their “other half’s” side.

It can also be a time that highlights the fact of singleness. It’s hard being by yourself without a romantic interest to share in the holiday with. That is why it’s so important to accept the love, covering, and companionship that God brings our way.

It might not be romantic, but it can be even more fulfilling.

So this Christmas, if you find yourself unsure of how to move forward through the holiday, here are some tips for making the best of it in during your “season” of singleness:

1. Love on your family and friends.

Your family, as colorful, small, or big as it may be, is important. God gives us the greatest commandant which is to love the Lord our God and secondly to love our neighbors as ourselves. So love on your family and friends! Enjoy the moments you have with them this Christmas. We aren’t promised to have them with us next year, so make this year count.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

2. Answer the infamous “Are you seeing anyone?” question with grace.

Sure, when you feel like you’re standing in front of a target range with a big flashing arrow pointing down above your head that says “SINGLE” on it, it can feel a bit overwhelming. And yes, sometimes the question can strike a chord. But remember this: The majority of the time people are just asking to ask. It’s not malicious. So check your heart. Make peace with your life as it is this Christmas. Try to answer with grace and a smile and remember the blessings you do have.

3. Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone!

I’m not saying to skip your family time, but if you have a chance to take a trip during your time off and do something you’ve wanted to do, you should go for it! If the idea of going anywhere alone seems sad or depressing, by all means, grab a friend or two and go together!

4. Remember that many people are lonely. Not just you.

It can be easy to live in a bubble during the holidays. To get on Facebook and see picture perfect scenes and think you’re the only one lonely this year. But remember that whether you’re single, married, divorced or widowed, anyone can be stressed, anyone can be lonely, and everyone needs love!

And when it’s all said and done, the main reason for Christmas, the get-togethers, dances, and dinners are rooted in the only important fact: The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Keeping in mind that Jesus truly is the “reason for the season” can put your own “season of life” in perspective.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Celebrating Christmas Eve as a Single

It’s that time of year. And we’re *so* glad we’re singletons…

Now, don’t get us wrong. We all know that there can be some amazing perks to being in a relationship.

Romantic mini-breaks, someone to share the hoovering with, comforting cuddles in the sofa and your own personal chef on tap (if you’re lucky).

But at the same time, isn’t there just something truly magical about being a single lady? Especially at Christmas…

Here are 17 reasons why being single at this festive time of year is the best thing ever…

1) You can lie in bed watching Home Alone and Elf with mince pie crumbs in your cleavage ALL day Christmas Eve and nobody will judge you.

2) Haven’t shaved your legs since December 1st? Literally no one cares.

3) You can spend as much money as you want in the Boxing Day without anyone branding you ‘reckless’.

4) You can set your desktop background as Tom Hardy in a Santa hat (and occasionally gaze wistfully at it) without anyone getting jealous.

5) Let’s be honest. M&S two dine in for £10 goes a lot further without a boyfriend. Think of all the extra pigs in blankets you’ll get…

6) You can rock that amazing mesh bodysuit to your work Christmas party without being asked why you’ve chosen to step out in a pair of fishnet tights. Er, because I look AMAZING?

Best New Year’s Resolutions of Single Ladies

Callin’ all the single ladies! It’s that time of year again.

new years resolution of single ladies

Time to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start on a new year. So let’s ditch those bad habits… you know the ones… and set your NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!!!

new years resolution of single ladies

Happy New Year!

Curated by Erbe
Original Video

Meet a Great Catch… Here Are 10 Places

It seems like meeting people these days has become virtually non-existent. People just don’t seem to want to make connections anymore, particularly those that are single.

Whatever happened to meeting someone out and about at the local neighborhood café, or at a get-together hosted by one of your friends? It seems as if we leave school and forget how to speak to people. We become like kids at a high school dance, with boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other.

One thing I’ve observed is that singles tend to look in the wrong places for a quality mate. If you’re looking for a quality mate, bars, clubs, and happy hours are (probably) not for you. It’s not to say you can’t meet someone there, but your chances are slim to none that he or she will be the one you take home to meet the parents.

The truth is that many people who go to these places, particularly men, aren’t really looking for long term mates; rather, to “hang out,” and if they’re lucky, have a one night stand with an unsuspecting woman.

While we’re on the subject of questionable places to meet men, let’s talk about the most obvious, including online dating, churches and the gym. These places are a hit or miss when it comes to finding someone. Of course, by now everyone knows someone who met on or, yet they also know plenty of others who haven’t met anyone significant online and have yet to find that person.

Churches and gyms are decent places to meet someone, but you need to develop consistency because the singles that frequent these places tend to spot the ones that drop in on special occasions, like Christmas or New Year’s, and then you never see them again.

So, you may wonder, “if I can’t meet him or her in a bar, and my chances are slim with dating online, then which places do you suggest would increase my chances of meeting the right person”? Great question.

There are actually plenty of great places to meet people. I’ve listed a few below, but please keep in mind this list is not an all-inclusive list. Based on some of the ideas on this list, you may come up with some of your own to add as well. This list is just to get you started thinking in the right direction.

Top 5 Quality Places to Meet Men

1. Volunteer Activities

An example is an Usher or a greeter. This is a great way to meet men because they’re at your mercy to help them. No matter how you look (although you should still look polished and professional), they need your help. If you maintain a warm and friendly presence while answering their questions or giving them instructions, they will remember that and hopefully chat with you later after your shift is over. You may not have been someone they would normally speak to, but because you’ve helped them get where they’re going, you have earned a star in their eyes.

2. Sports/Fitness Events

Okay, this is obvious, but it bears repeating. There is no better way to meet men than through sports and fitness events. Men love games and anything that has competition in it is a winner in their eyes. It’s not just athletes who can involved in these type of events, just someone who loves to watch a game periodically and/or stay healthy and fit.

3. Business Networking/Entrepreneurial Events

Whenever there is financial opportunities, men will be there. Any type of networking event can lead to future business deals and eventually money, which attracts men to these types of events in the first place. This can also be business/entrepreneurial classes or seminars where there is a potential to make money.

4. Political Events

Men love power, plain and simple. Wherever there is a chance to gain more power and respect, men are sure to follow. There is no better way to earn more power and respect than politics. Whoever controls or influences business, and eventually the money flow, is usually holding power. Politics offer these opportunities, which is why men like it .. like bees to honey.

5. Financial Wealth-Building Events

As I’ve noted before, whenever money is a promise, you will find lots of men. Very rarely do I find lots of women at a financial type seminar, unless of course it’s aimed primarily at women. Usually, these types of seminars attract men from every age and income bracket. Women tend to shy away from these events, but if you do decide to attend them, there is always the potential that the man sitting next to you could be the next Donald Trump (without the hair, of course).

Single and 10 Truths for Loving It

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

Over the past ten years, I always had a man by my side. I was always in a relationship.

I was in a relationship for eight years before my ex and I got engaged, then broke it off because of the distance—my ex’s reason. Not long after that I got into a two-year relationship with a man who loved, yet cheated on me. It was a messy break up.

So after ten years in relationships, I found myself alone.

I’m 31 and single!

Recently some questions have bounced around in mind: What happened to me during those years? What did I get, gain, achieve in these two relationships? Why am I now alone? What will I do? How do I do things by myself?

Now what? Where to start?

I started to panic, to hyperventilate—until I found this quote:

“Single is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others.”

Yes I am scared. I was so used to sharing everything. I was so used to having someone around.

But the reality is I am my own person, and if I can’t enjoy being single, how can I enjoy being with someone else?

So I started reading about being single, and interviewing other happy single people. Surely I wasn’t the only 31-year-old person who felt uncertain about her new singleness. I needed to find proven ways to be happy as a single adult woman.

In my research, I learned some important truths about being single:

1. Being single gives you time to be by yourself, with yourself.

Finally some me time. This is the time to reconnect with myself, a time where I can talk to myself, debating all the questions and answers that are bouncing in my head. 

This is the time of reflection. This is the time of acceptance and letting go, which brings me to the second point…

2. If you don’t let go of the past, you will never appreciate the present.

Yes I have fond memories of my exes, but that was in the past. I know I will always cherish those memories, but I need to stop clinging to them to live for today and plan for tomorrow.

Buddha said every day you are born again—that means new experiences and adventures for today!

3. It’s only after you have lost everything that you are free to find out what you were missing.

During those ten years, I lost love, a pregnancy, and my health. I truly believed I had lost everything. I can’t even start telling you how many tears I shed during those difficult times.

Now that I’m single, I have an opportunity to do all the things I put off while I was putting all my energy into my relationships. I have to believe that I will eventually have the things I lost, but for now I’m taking this time to enjoy myself and complete myself.

I’m Single and I Officiate Weddings

I have discovered my Perfect Man does this…

To get something out of the way right off the bat, I see it. I see the cliché dripping from my every word, so pointing it out is unnecessary. I see the cliché in recognizing one’s own cliché. I am 33, I am single, I live alone. I do not have a cat, but only because I’m allergic to cats. I schedule my masturbation. I leave toothpaste clumps on the sink. I leave flossers in the bed that poke me when I roll over. I cry at everything. I exercise religiously for two weeks, then give it up entirely for three. I eat in my bed. I think about dying alone. Like, really think about it. Not just conceptually, but actually dying alone. If I hit my head or have an aneurism, who cleans up the mess I leave behind? I didn’t used to believe in marriage, but now I believe it to be the most amazing thing a person can do. You are signing a contract that says, “You have to deal with this mess when I die.” I can’t imagine that.

I eat alone, I shop alone, I travel alone. In the rare instance where I find myself travelling with someone else, I panic. I feel the need to divulge all of my flying quirks in one hurried breath in the security line because I want my companion to have an out should they want one: I have to be chewing gum as the plane takes off. I have to have the window seat, even though I am 100 feet tall. I have to have a book, which I will not read. What I will do is mildly overdose on Dramamine and sleep fitfully for four hours. I will not wake up in a good mood or in my right mind when we reach our destination. And I have to, HAVE TO have a Hershey bar when I fly, which I will not eat. My mother always had one and I’m pretty convinced that they make the plane stay up. If you fly without a Hershey bar and your plane has never crashed it’s because someone else on board has always had one. Think about that.

The men in my life are bountiful. They are kind. They are handsome and flawed and they smell like laundry and they are passionate and wise. They are comedians and actors and teachers and entrepreneurs. They are fathers and brothers and uncles and they hold coats and know my drink order. They build things and write things and are feminists and warm huggers. These of course, are my friends. My boyfriends, my sex partners, my endless causes of scrunched up eyebrows have been many of the aforementioned as well. Just not for me. Or they possessed those qualities exactly and my head was turned elsewhere. Or some outside distraction had their attention, like an ex-fiancée or a new job or a drinking problem.

Finding Your Ho, Ho, Ho this Holiday, When You’re Single

Happy Holidays, Fellow Single Folks!

Ho, ho, ho …. you’re alone!!! Do you ever feel like the holidays put a great, big, exclamation point on the sad fact that you currently aren’t with anyone? Does all that mistletoe, tinsel, and Christmas cheer make you feel all kinds of lonely? Yeah. Me too. Whether you are divorced, single, nursing a broken heart, or even widowed, like me – the holiday season can really do a number on your ability to feel joy. In fact, it can be downright depressing.

But it doesn’t have to be. Sure, singing Christmas carols and harmonizing by yourself, or making a gingerbread house for one, doesn’t sound like loads of fun – but there are ways that you can turn the holidays from a time of “woe is me” to a time of something special and meaningful. And perhaps even have some fun and do something a bit different in the process. Really. All it takes is thinking a bit outside the box. Here are a few ways to have a purposeful, meaningful, joyful holiday – while being single:

Get Outside: 

Maybe in past years, you have done the same tired thing, over and over and over again. Perhaps its time to change it up, do something new. If you’re single, guess what? You don’t have to answer to anyone, so if you feel like spending Christmas week in a casino, seeing a Broadway show, or on a beach in Florida, who says you can’t? Sure, you’ll still be alone and single, but suddenly that doesn’t seem so awful with a coconut rum drink in your hand while floating along in a pool. Also, when you do something completely different and new with your holiday, think of all the stories you’ll have for the rest of your friends and family. They might even end up being jealous, and that’s always fun.

Start New Traditions:

So you watch “A Christmas Story” on a loop, every Christmas Eve, every single year, for your entire life. That doesn’t mean you have to keep doing that until the end of time. If you want to do that, then great. But sometimes all it takes to feel new joy is a little bit of change. If you normally have hot cocoa with marshmallows, be a rebel and switch to whipped cream! Perhaps you could even gather together with other single friends, and together, create a lovely holiday dinner or evening, complete with your own brand new traditions. The good thing about new traditions, is that they feel very personal, because YOU created them. And now, you already have something to look forward to next year!

Help Out:

It is very easy to get caught up in all the ways that your own life kind of sucks during the holidays. One good way to help take the focus off of that for awhile, is to find ways to give to other people whose lives probably suck a lot more than yours does.The Thanksgiving after my husband’s death, I volunteered at a women’s shelter serving food for the holiday. The people there were so nice and so appreciative of everything, it took my mind off my own stuff for awhile, and it also helped me to engage in something that was far outside my own life circle. I actually had fun, and ended up doing more things like that going forward.

Be a Kid, Play with Kids:

Just because you’re officially an adult, that doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Children love the holidays, because they get to be kids and just have fun! Who says you can’t do the same? If you have kids in your family, play with them. Build a snowman together. Build a fort. Make Christmas cookies. Make silly videos on Instagram and make each other laugh. If there are no kids in your life (I have a niece and nephew, so it’s always fun to be silly with them), bring back the kid in YOU, and have some fun this time of year. Go sledding, or snowmobiling. If you’re in a warm climate place, take a swim or a stroll.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, being single isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it can be sad and it can certainly be frustrating when everyone around you seems to be part of a couple. But, if you can focus on the celebration of love in all it’s forms – the holidays will start to become much more enjoyable.

So Happy Holidays, Fellow Single Folks! Here’s a toast to you, in all your awesomeness!

The 7 Most Frustrating Types You’ll Meet on Dating Sites

Of course, there are many amazing single men out there looking for love but here are…

Five and a half years ago, at age 39, I was widowed suddenly. For a long time after that, I absolutely detested it when anyone would refer to me as being “single.” It was insulting to me. Single people hung out at singles bars and went out at night looking to meet other single people. Single people had a choice, or some version of a choice in their single-ness. Not me. My husband was dead. My life was ripped apart from me in one shocking second. I was widowed, NOT single, and there is a huge difference.

I didn’t want anything to do with the single life. I wanted no part of it. I just wanted my husband back. Now, years later, I still feel that way, because I still and will always want my husband back, and want that life that I had and never got to fulfill. But, I’m also human. And humans get lonely. Humans need to feel loved. Humans need companionship, and to spend time with other humans whose company they enjoy. So, sometime last spring, I attempted something I didn’t think I would ever attempt in my lifetime. And after my experiences, I honestly cant really see myself ever attempting it again. Dating sites.

To say this experiment has been interesting, is the understatement of the century. It has been downright weird and bizarre. Now don’t get me wrong. I have met some very nice people on these sites over the 10 months or so that I did it, here and there. But the weirdness and the confusion far outweigh the “nice”, at least in my experience. And the whole concept of meeting people this way, is extremely strange and foreign to me, still. Maybe because I am 45 years old. Maybe I’m just old school. Maybe this just doesn’t work for me. Or maybe its just weird and that’s just the way it is. I don’t really know. Yet here I am, stuck in this world of “unwillingly single.” And although I don’t have much interest in continuing to meet people this way currently, I have remained on 2 of the sites, mostly for comedic purposes (it sure gives great material for articles like this one!) If you are new to dating sites, one thing to take note of is that when you first join, you are like “fresh meat” for all the members. The responses are overwhelming at first, and yes, flattering. You start to think: “Hey, a lot of people think I’m attractive! This isn’t so bad!” Then you realize fairly quickly, that a good portion of those people are completely off-their-rocker-bonkers. After you are on the sites for a few months, the novelty wears off. Unless you are blonde and skinny with a perfectly sized body, all those multiple messages per day you were getting, telling you how gorgeous you are, start to wither away. So, even though I have remained on 2 of the sites, its mostly due to laziness of deleting my account. (I do the free ones. I’m not PAYING for this shit-fest!!!) The sites have been mostly silent as of late, aside from a random message now and then from a complete weirdo.

Leaving Behind Drunken Trysts: A Fabulous Single Gal’s Guide Towards Meaningful Connections

2016 really shook me up. It was the last year of my twenties, but by the way I was conducting myself, you would’ve thought it was my last year of life.

Fabulous Single Gal in the City

I was your average twenty-something millennial—I went out (a lot), I drank (a lot), I partied (way too much…way too much). It seemed like every week there was a new guy flavor in my life and that was just part of being a “fabulous single gal in the city” (barf). As a person who lists “actor” under “career title” on her tax returns, I made my own schedule and adhered to no real boss ever. In turn I had no health insurance because caution is for chumps. I was constantly hungover and almost prided myself on being a classic Gen-Y fuckup. “Poor me! But this is my journey, fam! Yolo!”

I turned 30 in October, and my siblings threw me the surprise party to end all surprise parties (I still have one huge helium balloon wandering aimlessly around my apartment ceiling…still). I did what felt like the appropriate amount of drinking and drugs. Woohoo. Fun all around. Honestly, I still think the party was a great time and the hangover seemed worth it.

Drunken Trysts

Underneath all that I was dealing with some inner turmoil—four months earlier I went back into therapy to try to begin the process of curbing my self-sabotaging tendencies. As charming as that looks on “Girls,” it was really starting to take a toll on me. Especially in my love life, which seemed like an endless string of short-lived, drunken, reckless, infatuated trysts with emotionally unavailable men. It was all slowly eating at me, edging me toward certain destruction. My therapist started to subtly point out how the common theme in all of these problems was my drinking habit, to which I said: I’ll never stop drinking. You can’t make me.

I had been making half-assed attempts at cutting back on alcohol since the end of summer, which only resulted in heavier binge drinking on the weekends. At that point my alcohol tolerance was so high that I’d drink to the point of browning out or blacking out, because I didn’t feel that drunk even after four or five drinks. It was normal for me to drink a lot, and drinking was how I connected to people, romantically or otherwise.

5 Surprising Benefits of “Friends with Benefits”

If you’re not laughing and having fun together, then you’re not doing it right.

Summer time is just about here, and I have kicked up my dating activity a few notches or so. For the past year, I have been on a couple of dating sites, with mixed results. A lot of endless conversations that go nowhere, a LOT of first dates that don’t turn into second ones, a lot of guys who ‘just want something casual” (i.e., to sleep with me once, and then ignore me forever – no thank you), 2 short-lived relationships, and a couple of dates that turned into friendships. So, while ultimately, I am looking for the real thing – love – I am quickly finding out that this dating thing is a numbers game. It might take a long time for me to find “the one” who is out there for me. I used to be very impatient about that. Now, I am still a bit impatient, but I am trying to change my perspective and take this opportunity to meet a whole bunch of interesting (and sometimes not) new people. There has also been a lot of kissing, which I have no complaints about. So in the meantime of love coming along, I am taking a positive outlook, and just having fun.

One of these ways to “have fun” in this dating world, is to start a ‘friends with benefits” situation. Now, I’m pretty sure that everyone below age 90 knows what friends with benefits, or “FWB” is, but just in case you have been living under a rock for the past few decades, and there’s no Wi-Fi under that rock so you don’t have any internet access – “Friends With Benefits’ is the term for when two people who are friends, decide to start sleeping together. Now, hopefully you have figured out by now, that the “benefits”, is the wonderful sex that takes place between the two agreed upon parties. Now, I will not pretend that finding the perfect person to have a “FWB” situation with is easy. It’s not. It’s complicated. It is very easy to screw this up. A lot of factors have to be there, in order for this to work. First, you have to both be friends with one another, and also be attracted to each other. Also, you both have to be single at the same time. Most importantly, neither party can have stronger feelings for the other, because once sex gets involved, there is always the danger of falling in love with this person. So you have to be pretty confident that this person is someone you love as a friend, and respect, but that you won’t find yourself confusing intimacy with actual love. So, if all of these parameters are in place, and both parties agree that this is something they would like to do, it can be pretty damn enjoyable. And very satisfying.

My First Friends With Benefits Tryst

Recently, I was texting with a guy I had met a couple of months back on one of the dating sites. We had gone out on 2 or 3 dates together, and although there was definitely chemistry and attraction there, for reasons too boring to get into here, we ultimately decided that a long-term relationship probably wasn’t in the cards for us. So we decided to stay good friends, because we do like each other. And then one night, we started texting back and forth about our turn-ons, and just sort of being lightly flirty with each other. And then he said: “You know, it would probably be really good if we ever slept together.” And then I found myself saying: “I could go for that.” To which HE said excitedly: “Really???” To which I said: “Hell, yeah. Friends with benefits. I’m single right now. You’re single right now. Why not?’ And our FWB was born. A few days ago, we had our first ‘tryst’, when he picked me up and invited me to spend the afternoon at his home. We had a really great time, and plan on doing it again fairly soon. So, if you can find the right person for this, and it is tricky to do that, it can truly be a blissful thing. Here are 5 reasons why:


Sure, one night stands can be hot, in theory. In reality though, having sex with a total stranger that you just met and don’t really know at all, is actually potential for something quite dangerous. You could be dealing with a stalker or a creep, or someone who might force you to do things you aren’t into doing, or just someone who doesn’t share the same turn-ons as you do. This is one of the great benefits of FWB. When you are friends with the person you are about to sleep with, you actually care, really care, about what turns them on, and what doesn’t. My friend and I spent the couple of weeks before our tryst, texting and calling each other to find out more about what the other likes. He flat out asked me: “Okay. So tell me everything that turns you off, so that I don’t do anything you don’t want to do.” We told each other: “This is what I like. This is what I don’t like.” (We found out that we both hate feet, which was humorous.) We started to build up the foreplay for weeks, sharing sexy images with each other through texts. It was lovely, and very arousing. So when it came time to get to the fun part, it was wonderful. Having sex with a friend is a great feeling, because the entire tone is always filled with respect, and you know and trust each other, and when you know this person would never bring harm to you, then you are willing to open up even more, and be more adventurous in bed. Which, for me, is something I could never do with a total stranger.


This might be my favorite part of the FWB thing. Yes, being in a committed relationship is a wonderful, beautiful, and lovely thing. But there is something to be said for just having some intimacy, simply because it feels good and feels nice. And not having to feel guilty about that. It is pretty cool when you are comfortable enough with each other to get vulnerable and get naked, but you don’t have to think about ‘where your relationship is going” with this person, or how you can’t stand their mother and that will never change, or whatever else. FWB takes all the stressful parts that sometimes happen as a result of sleeping together, out of the equation. It’s a truly beautiful thing.


Friends have most likely, at some point, had long talks about each other’s pasts and insecurities and whatever else. In this case, my friend knows that it had been 7 months since I had slept with someone. He also knew that I am not in good shape and overweight, and that I feel extremely self-conscious about him (or anyone) seeing me naked. He also knows that I have been through a sexual trauma, and so there are certain things in the intimacy department, that are ‘triggers” for me, and bring me right back to that night. So he knew to stay away from those things, because it would not be a fun experience for me. Because we are friends, we had discussed all of this leading up to our afternoon delight, and it made a huge difference. I also knew things about him, which I won’t say here in order to protect his privacy. By knowing these important things about one another, it made the sex so much more carefree and open. We were both able to fully relax into it, and into the knowledge that we had each other’s backs.

4- You Can Discuss PRE-GAME

When getting ready to have sex with someone you don’t know well, (one night stand situation or just casual sex with a date) you are probably much too nervous and anxious to include laughter as part of the equation. And when you are being intimate with someone you are in love with and in a relationship with, sometimes that can turn into a lot of intensity that makes the sex feel very heavy and serious. And that is great. But there is something to be said for sex that is just really FUN. The kind of sex where you are turned on and being silly, at the same time. Where you can laugh easily, and just generally be at ease throughout the event. Our tryst this past weekend, and everything leading up to it, was very much this way. A few days before our intimacy, I started to get really nervous. So I decided to just tell him that. I sent a text saying: “I’m really nervous.” He asked me why, and I said “because its been awhile, and also I don’t feel comfortable naked. I don’t feel sexy or attractive right now.” He assured me that he would do whatever it took to make me feel wanted and sexy, and that he would do whatever I needed to help me relax. So that morning, I sent him a text, which was basically a list of what I required in order to feel relaxed and less self-conscious. First, I didn’t want to be naked and show all my fat and stomach rolls, so he suggested that I go in his bathroom once we get to his house, and change into whatever makes me comfortable. I decided on a long thin button down black sweater, and undies. Next, I told him to please put the air-conditioner on in his bedroom, because I didn’t want to be sweating profusely while being intimate. That is NOT sexy. Then, I asked him to please pull down the shades and make the room as dark as he could. Lastly, I wanted a shot or two of whiskey before we began. Our text exchanges when coming up with all of this, was beyond hilarious. He adhered to all of my demands, while also making funny as hell comments in the process. “I have a liquor cabinet, and I’ll make you whatever drink you like, but I have to say no woman has ever required downing shots before bedding me.” When we walked into his bedroom, he shivered and said: “Jesus, it’s freezing in here!” Then he made comments asking me if it was dark enough for me, and that if he made it any darker, we wouldn’t be able to see what the hell we are doing. I couldn’t stop laughing, and this set the tone for the afternoon, which was equal parts very hot, and also extremely fun. And because he was kind enough and patient enough to put up with my weird requests, which I thanked him for multiple times, I WAS very relaxed, and I had such a great time. I joked with him about how hilarious it is, the things a man will do, in the pursuit of getting laid. “You ain’t kidding’, he laughed back. Personally, I think sex should be a ton of fun. If you’re not laughing and having fun together, then you’re not doing it right.


So after being in bed all afternoon, and having multiple orgasms, courtesy of my awesome friend, he turned to me and said: “I’m starving. I’m taking you out for dinner.” Who is a fat girl to argue with a nice dinner? So, he chose a really nice steakhouse, and off we went. He ordered prime rib, and I had one of the best Rib-eye steaks I have ever eaten in my life. Salads, dessert, wine, champagne, and wonderful, post-bliss conversation. I got to enjoy myself for an entire day, with someone I respect and truly like, and I didn’t have to feel like I had sacrificed any integrity or self-respect to do it. In fact, it felt good. It felt well-deserved. It felt great. We were proud of ourselves, and we were happy. The best part of great sex with a great friend, is this: We held our glasses in the air, and we made a toast. “Cheers. To us. To feeling awesome. And to a successful afternoon. We had a good day.”

I can’t wait to do it again.

Next time, I might even let him keep the lights on.

And I’m definitely ordering lobster.

Being Alone Doesn’t Have To Be A Prison Sentence

Love is a many-splendored (and multifaceted) thing. But unrealistic definitions of it are really to blame if you’re single and sad.

I’m a card-carrying member of the singles club. The combined time I’ve spent in a relationship is about a year. I’m only 25 so it’s not a massive deal, but it is real. In my lonelier months, it sucks to be in “Couplesville,” which can seem to be any and everywhere. Like many millennials, I am an avid googler, and occasionally “I’m single and sad” will be a frequent search result.

I’m not alone; more people are living the single life than ever. The US Census Bureau reported 107 million single adults in 2015, about 45 percent of the US adult population. That’s a sharp jump from 1950, when married adults outnumbered single folks by nearly double.

There are a number of possibilities to explain why this is. We live in a less conservative America now. Women have more economic and professional autonomy. But could it also be that our ideas on love are changing?

The kind of love we often see in media is simply not real.

However, less Americans getting married doesn’t mean that our deep-seeded, cultural ideas about love disappear overnight. Giants like Disney sell us the song-and-dance of romance, skimming around the fact that romantic love as we sell it isn’t accessible for everybody. And cultural norms often make it much tougher for anyone seen as not conventionally attractive (which includes but is not limited to people who have physical disabilities, are overweight, subvert gender binaries, aren’t light-skinned or thin) in their quest for a life partner.

But love is hardly impossible, especially if we broaden its definition.

Deep friendships can be just as rewarding.

forever alone single woman

Women like Diane Keaton, Condoleezza Rice, and Shonda Rhimes are proof of a robust life sans partner. They have their various reasons for singledom of course, but I’m positive they’ve reaped the benefits of platonic love. We all have.

The first love we ever experience is within the family. Then after the family, within friendships. Do you remember your first friend? Back when the only expectations you had were to see each other semi-regularly and share toys? As feminist scholar bell hooks says her book, in All About Love, “…friendship is the place in which a great majority of us have our first glimpse of redemptive love and caring community. Learning to love in friendships empowers us in ways that enable us to bring this love to other interactions with family or with romantic bonds.”

Friendship love is long-lasting and more flexible than typical romance. You’d be hard-pressed to love someone halfway across the world, who you only contact via email and Skype, and maybe see 2-5 times a year and make it work romantically. On the other hand, I have several friendships that ascribe to the above factors.

It doesn’t mean children are out of the equation.

family, transport, safety, road trip and people concept - happy

Platonic love has that extra give, where jealousy, anger and expectations are tempered. No wonder “platonic parenting” is gaining popularity, where two or more people are raising a child together without a romantic relationship between the parents.

Of course, raising children outside of a two-parent, heteronormative relationship is nothing new or even particularly unique. In medieval Europe communal living was the norm; households often included widows, orphans, widows and friends in addition to parents with children. In an Israeli kibbutz, multiple families live communally, and children are raised together by a female caretaker. While not the norm among Israelis, kibbutzim has nonetheless existed for over a century.

This year, I visited a good friend of mine in New Mexico. They were part of a tight-knit and loving queer community, one where a pregnant woman could leave her partner and still know that her child would be cared for by a tribe of people. And now, that child is well-cared for by many members of that chosen family.

Love is love… even when it isn’t romantic.

Our meatiest feelings shouldn’t just be reserved for the romantic loves of our lives. It should be reserved for the people who make us feel most loved and most whole. Our friends, our blood family, our pets, and whoever else falls into that category.

For another look into an alternative view on love, check out this story about taking
a “relationship hiatus.”

7 Ways to Empower Your Incredible Single Friends During the Holidays

The holidays can be challenging for single friends or friends who just moved to a new city. Here’s how you can help.

For those worried about single friends over the holidays, now is the time to step in and show them they’re not alone and they’re loved.

Think about what works best with your friend; whether you should be funny, light-hearted or affectionate. Everyone is different and has their own unique needs.

There are several benefits to being single, however. Suddenly, you’re not being pulled in a million directions for where to spend the holidays. Presents certainly can fill credit cards up quickly. There’s the freedom of not needing to impress your significant other’s family or stress about what to get their mother.

While finding the right thing to say might vary, here are seven things you can do with your friends that show them the holidays are about your friend-family too.

1.Take your single friend to a fun holiday party.

single friends party

Whether through work, charities or friend parties, there are always gatherings around the holidays to share in food and fun. Find one that gets your single pal out for a night to enjoy the season and your friendship.

2. Ask your friend to donate their old flame’s belongings to your favorite charity.

single friends donation

While there is nothing more cathartic than seeing your ex’s stuff go up in the smoke from a bonfire, there are so many families that are in need. For parents who struggle every day to make ends meet, gently used clothes, games, action figures, books and more can be the perfect donation to a local charity. Your friend can burn the toothbrush, though.

3.  Sit down in front of a fire and help your friend write a Santa Wish List for love.

single friends sit down in front of fire

December is a great time to think about what the next year will bring. While we always set goals and New Year’s resolutions, this can be a perfect opportunity for your friend to make a new relationship plan.

Take stock in that last relationship and talk about what worked and what didn’t work. What did your friend learn about themselves? How did the ex make your friend a better or wiser person?

Then make a Santa list for what’s next. What are the things your friend now realizes they need in a relationship? What kind of lover or lovers are they seeking to bring into their love life? Let your friend dream about their next amazing lover! What qualities does that person have? The possibilities are endless and it helps your friend look love forward and not dwell in the love past.

4. Give your friend a “sexy stocking” to get them in the mood again.

single friends sexy stockings

Breakups can be a hit to the heart and libido, especially if you’re not over someone and having a hard time getting back out there and meeting people. Don’t let your friend go without. Spice up their stocking with some secret treats to encourage your friend to move forward. What a perfect way to bring sexy back into your friends life this season.

5.  Surprise your friend with a LoveTV membership to speed up their success for love in 2018.

single friends LOVE TV membership

If your friend is ready for a new love story better than they have had historically, but tired of wasting time and feeling drained by facing the same dating challenges over and over, LOVE TV can help. LOVE TV’s membership puts the ease and fun back into their dating and relationship building experience. Your friend deserves to create a positive love life future. At LOVE TV, we can jump start that process.

6. Introduce your friend to someone in your social network whose status is “single.”

single friends social network

Who do you know on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or other social media sites that might also be single right now? Take a look through your contacts and think about who could be a good person for your friend.

7.  Let your friend know just how loveable they are.

loveable single friends

When you are single during the holidays you need your friends more than ever. Once can default into self-doubt, anxiety, and sadness over their relationship life. Do your part in helping your friend go down the love and life affirming road this holiday season.

Find ways to let your friend know why they’re a special person in your life. Express how grateful you are for what they have brought to your friendship.  Help remind them what a catch they are for that special person. Most importantly, help them remember that loving themselves and especially during the holidays is an amazing opportunity to attract lots of love into their life.

Remember that we’re always here at LOVE TV to help you and your friend begin their next adventure in love. We are an empowering resource and guide for moving forward and finding new ways to love again.

karinna karsten