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

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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