Quantcast

It's OK To Be Single

Dating

A friend of mine recently sent an article with the title "What People Don't Tell You About Freezing Your Eggs". After three long blinks and mentally slamming my head into my keyboard at work, I asked myself, "Should I be thinking about this?"


The thoughts and emotions that flooded in all before I even clicked open the link reminded me that there are millions of anxious women having feelings just like this. Feeling as though the dream of a loving marriage and family could end up being just...a dream. This fear of never finding true love, or having the kids they've always wanted is very real for many women. As I thought more intently about this fear that I didn't necessarily share, I recognized that it isn't purely natural, but there are outside influences that make singleness, for women in particular, dreadful.

American society plays a major role in how us gals view our unwedded lives.

There are thousands of movies on love and romance, finding that special someone, or being "lucky" enough for them to find you. The strong emphasis on being "chosen" makes it oddly taboo to discuss being single, as a woman, especially to do so fondly. It's a topic that isn't as welcomed in girl chats as it is in guy groups, and because this status isn't affirmed as much in women, ladies everywhere are urged to feel the way popular culture tells us to feel about it: miserable. It is often this urge that causes women to remain in relationships much longer than they should, or to rush from relationship to relationship without much or any time for reflection and healing in between.

Then there are those that are actually in relationships, married, or with child. Perhaps without even trying, many of them use language that elevates those titles over others. How many captions have you read from a new wife or mom that go something like, "I'm finally complete" or "Now I know what true love is" or 'Motherhood gave me purpose"? And it's not just women who do this. I've seen some damaging statements from men also, that are along the lines of, "You become a man when you become a father." How might that man or woman with reproductive issues feel when reading these?

If he's never been able to help produce a child, or if she's just had her 9th miscarriage, is he or she any less of a man or woman? Of course not.

There's also this stigma that if you're of a certain age and single, that something must be wrong with you.

I've heard so many conversations over the years where a woman who seemingly has a lot to offer is picked apart once it's known that she's single. Comments like, "She must be crazy," or "I wonder what she does to run men off" are prevalent in these discussions. What a flawed, but common way of thinking. In case anyone reading this doesn't know, there are women out here that are literally choosing. Women who could jump the broom at the snap of their fingers but would rather wait until she finds the one her very soul adores, or focus on her own wholeness, instead of rushing to keep up with the world's timeline. Go figure.

Related: Single Or Taken: The Battle Of The Relationship Status Is Tearing Us Apart

I have a somewhat unique perspective, having been on both sides of this pendulum. I've been engaged before, and have experienced "wedding culture" with nearly everyone around me treating this experience like it's the best one that will ever happen to me, when in actuality, ending that particular engagement was! Since being on the other side, I've found and am still finding, such freedom and joy in truly discovering me, my interests, my goals, my heart's deepest desires, without the influence of another person.

It saddens me to hear women discuss their singleness like it's a curse or a punishment - it is neither. If treated well, it is an incredible time of self-discovery and refinement.

I asked my mother a couple years ago, what was the hardest part of marriage to her, and her response has stuck with me ever since. "I didn't realize how much 'me-time' I'd have to give up," she said. "Once I got married, all the time outside of work was shared with your father in some way. Even if I did things by myself, like going to the grocery store, it'd still have something to do with him because now I have to think about what he wants in there. Then the kids came, and I completely forgot what 'me-time' was."

Now, my parents have been happily married for 38 years (TODAY actually), so it's safe to say my mom wasn't lamenting, but just highlighting a very real point. In case I wasn't catching on, she ended with "Enjoy this time alone, 'cause once it's gone, it's truly gone." That advice didn't make me shun marriage, but it did give me a new appreciation for my singleness, knowing that this incredible time to be selfish is precious too.

I wish I could change the narrative of what singleness for women in particular should look and feel like.

It shouldn't be a sad, dreaded experience, but an invigorating and empowering one. It should be a time of growing and learning from the inside out. And it doesn't have to be riddled with any of the various "phases" that people suggest women should experience in their singleness. Along with wholeness, you can be completely liberated without the intimate company of another person.

Related: I Swore Off Dating For the Remainder of My 20s & Survived

It's a fairly common misconception that romantic relationships are the only ones that grow you. I'm thankful for the friends around me, male and female, who push me and make me a better human. Don't take those opportunities to be sharpened by platonic relationships for granted. You can learn compromise, patience, forgiveness, faithfulness, TRUE LOVE, and much more from ya own homies, and I'm learning more everyday. And if you plan to be in a relationship or married someday, it's a good idea to work on these qualities with your friends, your family, your coworkers etc., because they won't magically appear when you're boo'd up.

Society encourages women, in particular, to justify our significance based on marriage and children.

We've been influenced to feel that singleness is a lesser position, and our greatest hope should be that we're one day chosen by someone else. Call me a rebel, but I just can't surrender to that way of thinking about such a sweet time in life! We don't have to play by those rules. Romantic love is one of the MANY things, to be enjoyed in this life, and so is singleness.

Singleness should be treasured and spent well.

I LOVE love, and I deeply value marriage and family. But I desperately want women [people] to know they can and should be whole without either. Romantic love is a desire of my heart, but an even greater desire of mine is to have a life where if it never happens for me again, if I never birth children of my own, or any other of my many hopes, that I am happy, whole, and complete; trusting the God who knew my end from the beginning.

I strive for the apostle Paul's level of fulfillment in being content (satisfied) in whatever state I'm in (Phil.4:11), and I hope the same for you. And if we are not first whole ourselves, we'll never be the wives or mothers we were (possibly) meant to be anyway.

*Article originally published on Joya Smith

Featured image by Isaiah McClean on Unsplash

We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba are gearing up for the second season of their podcast Coupledom where they interview partners in business and/or romance. The stunning couple has been married for three years but they have been together for a total of six years. During that time, they have developed many partnerships but quickly learned that working together isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Keep reading...Show less

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.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts