I’ve had a lot of single days, weekends, years, in my day. Some years felt lonelier than others, but I grew up in a rather matriarchal household. We were expected to focus on our education and career before even thinking about our love lives. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers who married were blessed with wonderful husbands, while the women of the family who didn’t marry lived equally joyful and fulfilling lives. I would greatly attribute this to their strong sense of independence and very discerning spirits.
One thing my great-aunt told me about finding a significant other was, “Collect and then select.” She had two masters degrees and was totally devoted to her career as a teacher. She was also single until the end of her days. She was one of the wisest people I knew. Her advice didn’t mean, “Date as many people as possible and then pick one.” She meant that I should focus on collecting as many life experiences, friends, travels, and so on, as I could before settling down because all these things would only help me better recognize the person who might be the right man for me someday.
Whenever being single felt like I had the short end of the stick, I would repeat her advice to me over and over. It brought me patience and, most importantly, peace because it was a reminder of what should be most important: focusing on and enjoying the present, not wishing for a future that wasn’t guaranteed.
Below, three wise women share their own singleness mantras. Whenever being single feels like a bust, try one of these nuggets of wisdom. We hope they remind you of your wonderful irreplaceable value in this world regardless of your relationship status.
“I am enough.”
One year when she was depressed about being single, Andi Compton’s mom took her to Disneyland on Valentine’s Day. It was packed with couples. “I felt way worse. I finally had to learn that I was enough and having a boyfriend didn’t affect my self worth at all.” There can be times when it seems like everyone you know has weekend date plans, if they’re not already raising a family. Whether you prefer a glass of wine at home or at a romantic restaurant on your Saturday night, you are worthy of however you choose to celebrate love in all its forms.
“Better happy me than lonely we.”
Kriz Bell shares, “For me this is a reminder that acts as a salve—when I feel lonely, not enough, or terminally single—to remember that I am enough on my own. I don’t require completion with someone else.” Aside from assuring herself that she is enough as she is, she also uses this mantra to remind herself “that the most lonely times in my life have been when I was in a relationship that wasn’t healthy or meant to be.” We wholeheartedly agree it is far better to be single than sorry.
“Travel is the best medicine.”
“I’ve embraced my singleness in these last few years with the joy of adventure of meeting new people,” Melissa Chu shares. “I think I used to believe that I should have a significant other to travel because that’s what I was supposed to do. I was waiting around for someone to show up in my life to travel with. But I only realized I was wasting my time sitting around and waiting instead of going for it. And traveling with a friend/friends and obviously solo have all been so life giving for me.” Replace the word “Travel” with something you love to do that helps you grow as a person, and it will be as good an antidote to the being single blues.