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All My Single Ladies: Women Reflect On Being Single For 3+ Years

Love & Relationships

Being #teamsingle can be a very empowering time in a young woman's life, and most certainly absolutely necessary to really have space to discover who you are by yourself. But what happens when you feel like you have been long overdue for a relationship?

Take it from me, it can be extremely difficult to be single after a long period of flying solo and self-growth. I revealed in a piece about why my sex drive is so low and how it has resulted in me being celibate, but now I am ready to find someone who matches my vibration. It's even harder when many of your childhood friends are all married homeowners, working on baby number 3!

However, I for one still don't have it together, and after a recent brush with F-Boy buffoonery, and a recent rejection, I reached out to women in my boat who have some words of advice!

Some of them have never been in a real committed relationship, while others had only been in short-lived situationships. One woman even joked that she feels like she wastes her makeup sometimes when going out, and to be honest, I felt that! Another even said that she felt rage inside over her singleness, and I have been there! Read on to learn what long-term singleness looks like for these four incredible women and how they navigate in a world dominated by coupledom.

Ashley W. Gillett @ashleywgillett

I have been single for four years, real single no boo, no bae nothing.

I had so many toxic relationships in the past that I had to take a break to heal and work on me. When I decided to take a break, little did I know it would be for four years. During the break, I worked on my finances, my weight - just worked on me for peace of mind. During the initial break, I did not expect to be in a relationship and was not looking for one. I am now at the point where I do want a relationship, but for whatever reason, it is not happening for me. I actually started dating, but literally went on four dates this year, which have all been dead-end situations. They either turned out to be creeps or it just didn't work out.

Yes, I see all these amazing relationships on social media and also plan and design weddings where love is constantly in my face. I love seeing people in love, but I sometimes get to a point saying, "When will it be my turn?" When people hear my age, they automatically think I have a man or a kid, I have neither. I have yet to have a real relationship where a man was truly into me, and not what I could do for them financially.

I constantly hear you are not getting any younger, but I can't marry myself. I will not give up hope, but as of now, it has not happened for me.

[To counteract that] I honestly keep busy with things that matter and that make me happy. I have a full-time job, I am working on my second book (her first one is Red Flags Run), I sing, I take part in community activities with shelters, I host vision board parties, and so much more. Granted you can't occupy your entire time and life with doing things to avoid being single, but they absolutely help.

I take myself out to dinner, I go to the movies by myself, I travel a lot and meet people. Just about everyone in my circle both older and younger are either married or in long-term committed relationships. They often do relationship trips or dinners where I excuse myself because, who wants to be the odd ball when it's an intimate setting like that?!

Yes, I am single and living, not having a significant other doesn't mean life is over. It just gives you the opportunity to work on you and do the things you love.

Jasmine Hosni, @j_dot_rez

I am 35 years old and have been single since I was 29 (turning 36 in September.) Enjoy your friends, their kids, watch their love lives, learn from it, do all the things you want to do but think you don't have time for. If it intimidates you and you're attracted to it, it's likely something you will enjoy, it's just outside your comfort zone.

Become confident in yourself and take yourself out on dates and visit other countries. You get to realize your environment is just that: your present immediate environment! The world is so much bigger and filled with so many possibilities and beauty.

When you live a full life without someone, you learn that "Damn, whoever I end up with is going to have to be an amazing person" because life is pretty damn amazing, and I won't settle for anyone that will put a dent into my happiness because of societal timeline standards. No one will be allowed to interrupt your peace.

You learn to love yourself and everything that deserves love around you.

Boundaries become your friend. You learn to love your freedom and really understand what it means to have your own world and want your own space and life while possibly sharing some time with another person. You become alive. Enjoy it, because once you do settle down, you will want to have epic stories to share and laughs that will last a few lifetimes.

Sadé Solomon @SadeSolomon

I connected with this popular inspirational blogger on Instagram, and she had just written a blog post entitled, "Single: What's Wrong With Me," on her blog, Conversations Beyond. Here's a snapshot of what she wrote:

When loneliness creeps in, you may look at your watch, and say: " It's been 5 whole years I've been single, what's wrong with me?" I did! You too may get upset or frustrated with God, I am. I found myself on my knees begging God to answer these questions for me: "Why am I desiring a marriage this much?", "What's wrong with me?" and "Why are you taking so long to fix it and bring bae?"

After my relationship and dating event in D.C., I realized that I'd been idolizing marriage; something I knew nothing about.

I'd idolized the idea of being married; which SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS TO PERPETUATE. I'd looked at marriage as this fix-it-all situation, which it is not. I'm no expert in marriage (maybe singleness), but after years of studying it, I've learned that marriage doesn't fix your heart issues! Marriage doesn't fix those abandonment issues, your love issues, your depression issues, your financial issues, your loneliness issues, or your low self-worth issues; it exposes it.

We need to spend our singleness unpacking and uncovering those heart things before we carry that baggage into a marriage (if it's God's will).

Although I am frustrated waiting on God for a husband, I realize that I have a lot of Sade stuff to STILL work on. As much as I've prepared myself for marriage, I still have some heart things that need worked on. I mean, I just lost my dad; I have to heal from this.

Another person could never fix or heal you from the mess that you've repressed, only you and God can. So my message to US today is this: Yes, embrace where you are, but don't get comfortable and stop working on you. Do the self-work first! Don't get stuck waiting on a husband that you neglect to do purpose-driven things.

Shima #IAmOyaCush @Shima.me.timbers

Shima has never been in a long-term committed relationship, and she shares why and how she has navigated this space.

An unfortunate stigma about being single is that people automatically slap the "She must be crazy" label on you.

No. I'm just very particular about who I want with me for the long haul.

There are many factors as to why I've never been in a committed relationship such as: immaturity, poor timing turning into a dodged bullet, ignorance, lack of self-love, spiritual growth, career/aligning with my path and purpose, anxiety and depression, healing from childhood trauma, red flags, getting caught up in the physical, not knowing what I wanted, fear of intimacy, liking people who don't like me back, or just outright being a bitch and f****** up potential. I'm a Caribbean woman on the other side of 30, so people look at me like something's wrong with me. I, supposedly, have to bring home some guy who will "give me a good future" and help me give my mom some grandbabies.

I've grown through the ups and down with the help of family and friends. I'm blessed to have a strong circle who always keep it 100 with me, and will support me whether I listen to them or not. I've allowed myself to cry and embrace the heartbreak. I got lost in physical connections, but inevitably cut that way of being off until I could truly appreciate the responsibility of using my creative (sexual) power. If the energy is off, I don't even bother going on the date.

Things got a lot easier once I tuned in to my power and began to embrace the divine within.

My connection with spirit and my ancestors pulls me back from sadness every time. Giving unconditional love to others and finding a place in a community that is here to heal the world gives me purpose and comfort. I know that when my romantic love comes, it'll be well worth the wait. I'll be attracting it from the way I love myself. Of course, I get pangs of loneliness, but I do my best not to dwell in those feelings because they only cause stress and prolong the love that I'm looking for.

Meditation and affirmations have definitely helped the wait for my person go by. I've also taken a lot of pressure off of myself by actively taking responsibility for where I am mentally and spiritually. I love to have Goddess spa days at home. I make spiritual baths and get all luxe (shoutout to Filthy Cosmetics) with my own homemade goodies. I write, mostly provocative poetry. I sing when no one is listening (except my friends), and I help people refocus on the things that make them better through my spiritual work.

The one thing I've learned is to not base your happiness on someone else's experience.

Whether it's fear of having abusive relationships like your friends, or wanting a parent to find love so they won't have time to worry about you, it's not fair to deliberately isolate, prolong, and avoid living your life your way.

Featured image courtesy of Sadé Solomon

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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