Embrace Your Single Self

How to make the most of your "me" years--before it's too late!

Once a woman hits a certain age, the race to the altar is on. With the pressure that society-not to mention friends and family-puts on us, it can feel like the worst thing in the world to be single. But not so! In this excerpt from The Bridal Wave, authors Erin Torneo and Valerie Cabrera Krause set all of us single women straight on why we should be living it up during our “me” years!

Sit Back And Enjoy!
For most of our adolescence we want to be older than we are: We buy Seventeen magazine when we're twelve, finagle fake IDs so we can get into twenty-one-and-over clubs when we're seventeen. Once we're in high school, we want to skip on ahead to college (and college boys). Rarely do we sit back and enjoy where we are right now. Our twenties and thirties are a time of getting to know ourselves, but just when we are figuring out how to live on our own as adults, our friends start talking about cake-cutting fees and our family begins to question our lack of the ultimate accessory: a husband. Great. How can you feel good about where you are?

Here's the thing: your single days are numbered, and once they're gone, they're gone (barring a divorce, which you smart readers will avoid, having read this book).

What you'll miss about being single

  1. Take it from the late, great Kate (Hepburn): “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.”
  2. Going to the gym whenever you want, even at midnight. Nobody is waiting for you to get home.
  3. Eating chips and salsa for dinner. Getting married does not a gourmet make, but busting out the chips and salsa for dinner doesn't really work for a guy.
  4. Plucking your eyebrows for hours on end without someone asking what the heck is going on in there.
  5. Going out after work with friends without having to call home to “check in.” A wedding band doesn't mean you'll never go out for happy hour, but it does mean calling to make sure it's cool with your hubby (in an evolved, non-permission-slip-type way).

The grass is always greener (admissions from anonymous married women)

“If I were single again, I would really learn how to flirt. I feel like I got married before I really grew into my body. I would love to go out and really go for it.”

“Sure, I love my husband, but sometimes I wish I could blink my eyes and he would be gone. I don't want him to die, I just want him to not exist for a little so I could be single again and just worry about myself.”

“I was so worried about never getting married that I married the first guy who showed interest in me. We're happy together, but I wonder if I had just waited a bit longer, where would I be today?”

Why being unmarried rocks

  1. You aren't in an unhappy marriage. We repeat: you aren't in an unhappy marriage. Married couples may seem like they have it all, but you have no idea what happens behind closed doors.
  2. You can do what you want when you want. Feel like leaving a papier-mâché project unfinished on the dining table? Do it. Want to watch an entire season of Grey's Anatomy in one sitting? Do it!
  3. You never know when or where you are going to meet the next guy you'll fall madly in love (or lust) with, so every day is another day that it could happen. That's pretty cool.
  4. A first date doesn't pee with the bathroom door open. (If he does, head for the hills!)
  5. You have more time to hang with all of your obnoxious girlfriends--you know, the ones your boyfriends never like but you think are hilarious.
  6. No in-laws. 'Nuff said.
  7. Hookups! You can flirt the night away with a guy just for fun even if you have no interest in him. You can even make out with him.
  8. All of your hard-earned cash can be spent on priority number one: you.
  9. No stinky man laundry.
  10. You can move to another city just because you like its name without having to worry about whether or not he wants to go or if he'll be able to find a job.

Sanity Saving Vows: Repeat After Us

I promise not to grade myself based on whether or not I have said I do.
I know that while falling in love is great, it is not as easy as buying the right perfume/cosmetic/weight-loss product, though billions of dollars are spent trying to make me believe it is.
I won't be bummed about not getting invited to the smug married dinner club because I will be out on the town with my new fabulous single friends.
I will stop making lists of male friends with good genetic attributes who could be potential sperm donors because I'm twenty-eight and nowhere near tying the knot.
I will relish my complete liberty and my ability to join the circus in New Zealand if I see fit because I don't have to factor someone else into my decision.
I will spend more time doing things that make me feel proud of my independence and competence so that I never “need” a man but I won't beat myself up for wanting one.
I know that calling on my gay husbands to play switch-hitter when I need male stand-ins doesn't exactly help my case of seeming available.
When I get really down about being alone, I will remember that the first 120 days of a new relationship are full of lust, excitement, and sweetness and I still have another 120 days to look forward to.
I realize that there are a ton of married women who would kill to be as free and breezy as I am. So for all of them, I am going to live it up and do my best to justify their jealousy.
I won't put up an inspirational poster by my desk or anything, but I will live every day as if it's my last single one.

Copyright © 2007. Reprinted by Arrangement with the Random House Publishing Group.

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