If you ever wanna make me happy, get me a T-shirt. As a self-professed human billboard, I can't even begin to tell you how many that I have. I adore them so much that I even wrote an article on here about how to start your own T-shirt line. Anyway, back when I was working with a porn ministry, they let me design some of the shirts for them. One of the ones that I created featured some of the words that I'm about to share with you today, along with "single" at the very bottom.
Ah, the porn ministry days. I'll be the first to say that one of the reasons why I'm currently abstinent now is because of how I was able to get a front row seat into how porn affects people in the industry. The more I saw the "darker sides of sex", the more peace I made with choosing to be abstinent until I could get my own self together and embrace my singleness without the need of a man—in any way and on any level; not because I don't want a man in my life but because I never again want to be needy for one.
Hmph. It's funny the things that you can learn, relearn or unlearn when you really put your focus on that thing. And one thing that taking a break has done is show me how to fully respect and honor the word "single". Yes, in the relational sense, it does mean that you're not in a relationship with someone (technically, it means you're not married; your taxes say that you're single until you say "I do"). Yet hopefully, after reading two other definitions and eight synonyms for single, you'll see that it means a heck of a lot more than that.
Single isn't just about not being in a relationship. Single is dopeness personified.
A word that every single woman should be totally in love with is "unique". Not only because it's a definition of "single", but because of all of the different things that it means. To be unique is to be unparalleled. To be unique is to be incomparable. One of my absolute favorite definitions of the word is "having no like or equal". A close second is "without alternative possibilities".
Gee, when you look at "single" from the perspective of being unique, how can you not want to shout out your relational status from every rooftop and social media page that you've got? It doesn't get much better than being unique. And being single is just that.
Something that I dig (and respect) about true creatives is they are highly original. They are all about doing what is fresh and new. Not only that, but they thrive off of being independent. Meaning, it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing or how popular something is. If it doesn't sit well with them or if their spirit man is calling them to go in another direction, they do it without reservation or apology. To be original is to be bold, courageous and to truly march to the beat of your own drum. And yes, "original" is a synonym of "single".
What's so cool about that is it's a reminder to approach life with a fresh and new angle; to also be bold and courageous and, when it comes to everything about your world, to be willing to do your own thing instead of what's expected of you. Taking an original approach to life provides being single with limitless possibilities.
People know that if I ever use the word "monogamy", I never apply it to couples who aren't married. That's because, in spite of how much the word may be misused, monogamous means to be married; more specifically, to be married to one person for a lifetime. So, what's the word I prefer when it comes to those who are in a long-term relationship? "Exclusive". In a nutshell, it means that you aren't considering anyone else other than the one you are currently with.
As it relates to this article, "exclusive" is another synonym of "single". One of its other definitions is "belonging to a particular individual".
As a single woman, everything about you—mind, body and soul—is exclusive. It belongs to you and you alone. And, should you ever decide to share an exclusive part of yourself, because it is so limited and private, the person on the receiving end should feel highly privileged. Access to exclusivity isn't easy to come by. Treat yourself as such.
Not too long ago, I wrote an article on here about how the right man will complement you. Well, if you really want someone to do that, to be the ideal fit for you and your world, sometimes that takes time because, let's all be real for just a sec—if all we wanted was a date or a warm body to be around, that comes a dime a dozen. What most of us want is something much more special than that. Sometimes, we have to be single for a while in order for that to happen.
There's another definition of this synonym for "single" that I want you to take special note of, though. Did you know that "special" also means "having a specific or particular function, purpose, etc."? All of us are God's children and, according to Psalm 33:15(NKJV), "He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works." You don't have a specific purpose once you are in a relationship. You have a calling on your life regardless of whether you ever end up with someone or not. By the mere fact that the Most High has appointed you to something that absolutely no one else can do, especially in the way that you can do it, that makes you very special. For now, a very special single person. Never forget that.
Once upon a time, there was a guy I loved who couldn't decide how he felt about me. More specifically, he couldn't figure out what to do about the feelings that he had. Every few months or so, he'd tell me that although he wasn't ready for the kind of relationship that I wanted (marriage), he couldn't deny the fact that a woman like me doesn't come around every day. Of course, she doesn't, sir.
I am peerless. All single women who know their worth and value are.
Is "peerless" another synonym for "single"? Absolutely. It means that you have no rival or competitor. Keeping this in mind, even on the lonely days, when it seems like everyone and their grandma has someone in their life but you, don't look at it as being overlooked. Choose to instead see it as you being so supreme (another definition of "peerless") that it doesn't make sense for you to be out here just dating "anybody". You are deserving of the kind of man who is like, "Damn girl, I can't let you get away because I'll never run up on a woman like you again!" Then nod in agreement because he's right. After all, you are peerless.
This is a synonym for "single" that is also pretty dope. To be exceptional is to be more than the average of something. To be exceptional is also to be extraordinary, and to be extraordinary is to be remarkable, noteworthy and "beyond what is established".
There is something that I really like about being exceptional as it specifically relates to being single. It's the fact that my status gives me the opportunity to represent single living in a way that goes beyond folks thinking that something is wrong because I'm not married or a mom (a great read about this very point is "Tracee Ellis Ross Doesn't Subscribe To Society's Deadlines").
"Single" is not some sort of relational purgatory or holding pattern until a man comes along. Singleness affords me the time and space to do some things that my married friends aren't always able to do with the same amount of focus and ease.
Single women (and men) are out here accomplishing some pretty amazing things. In part, because their relational status affords them the ability to do so. Honey, you are exceptional. And don't sleep. In many ways, being single is an exceptional thing to be too.
"Rare" is another synonym for "single". Amazing, huh? When I was reviewing its definitions, something that kept coming up was the word "unusually"—unusually great, unusually excellent…stuff like that. This means that to be rare is to be uncommon; in its proper context, that can be a really good thing.
All of this is interesting to me because, when I think of "rare" as it relates to being single, virginity comes to mind. Not in the sense of singleness and virginity going hand in hand (I'm single and ain't nowhere close to being a virgin!); it's more like, I know virgins who don't like being uncommon in the sense of never having had sex before and I know single women who are super uncomfortable with being uncommon in their circle when it comes to not being in a relationship or married.
In both instances, I'm kinda like, "Why don't we alter our perspective a bit here?" Just because you're not (currently) sexually active and/or seeing someone, that doesn't mean something is wrong with you. By choosing not to settle, by waiting until the man and time are truly right for you, that automatically makes you unusually great and unusually excellent. Waiting will bring you the kind of rareness that you, yourself, already are. Never lose sight of that.
Privacy speaks to something belonging to one individual only. I remember a wife once telling me, "Girl, the loneliest night in bed alone beats being in a miserable marriage any day." Say that, sis! It's important to also keep in mind that private is synonymous with "single". This means that when we think of being single, we should relish in the fact that what we have is ours and ours alone. We don't have to share our bed, our resources, our time or anything else in the name of compromise in order to make a relationship work or last.
Like oh so many married women tell me, while marriage does have its benefits, the privacy of singleness is something that all of them grieve from time to time. Because of that, they make sure to tell me to never take for granted. I don't.
Another definition of "single" is individual. On the surface, you probably get the gist of what it is to be an individual. However, let this definition simmer on your spirit for just a moment—"separate or distinct, especially from others of its kind". Something that really does bother me is how many single women overlook their individuality and, instead, compare themselves to other women. According to what this definition of "single" is, whenever any of us do that, we're not living out the true meaning of the word.
A woman who revels in her singleness does so, in part, because she knows that her status alone defines her as being someone who is supposed to be and live unlike anyone else.
Being single is all about celebrating one's individuality. How often do you do that?
10. Without Equal
The final synonym for single that I want to round all of this out with is "without equal". When something or someone is equal to something or someone else, it basically means that it's just as great as it is; that it brings balance to it.
Until someone comes along who you can, without question or hesitation, profess that he is as great as you are, be "without equal". And be OK with that. As you've just seen, all that it means in the meantime is that you're single. And girl, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with that!
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Feature image by Giphy
- Affirmations For Single Women - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 20 Responses To Why Are You Still Single - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- What To Do Stuck In Relationship Purgatory - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Spend Christmas Alone, Ideas - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 6 Reasons To Be Abstinent For A Season - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images