What Is a "Surrendered Single" Anyway?

This excerpt is from the book The Surrendered Single and part of the Relationships Debate, "Does surrendering your idea of "Mr. Perfect" mean you're settling?" Read on, then share your opinion in the debate!


Eventually I lost interest in trying to control ... to make things happen in a way that I thought I wanted them to be. I began to practice surrendering to the universe and finding out what "it" wanted me to do. --Shakti Gawain

The word surrender frightens some because it calls to mind losing a battle or spinelessness. But in interpersonal relationships, surrendering is simply acknowledging that sometimes the only thing I can change is my attitude, and that doing so has a profound effect on everything else. Making "surrender" your mantra is much shorter and to the point than saying to yourself, "Stop trying to dictate who comes into your life and what he'll be like and when he will call."

The basic principles of a Surrendered Single are that she:

  • acknowledges her desire to attract and marry a man who's right for her;

  • lets go of the idea of a perfect man;

  • receives compliments, gifts, help, and dates graciously whenever possible;

  • takes responsibility for and focuses on her own happiness and fulfillment;

  • relinquishes control of the pace of the courtship;

  • strives to be vulnerable;

  • honors her desire to be married by ending dead-end relationships;

  • checks for safety before she risks herself physically or emotionally.


The 5 Changes a Surrendered Single Makes

A Surrendered Single is:

  • open where she was guarded;
  • optimistic where she was cynical;
  • feminine where she was tough;
  • gracious where once she fended for herself;
  • respectful where she used to feel superior.

When a single woman surrenders, she doesn't try to manipulate a man to express his feelings, devotion, or commitment. She knows that would render his words meaningless. It creates the same kind of tension and frustration as when you twist someone's arm to do something rather than letting him decide when and how he wants to do it. She refrains from making ultimatums, nagging, criticizing, and correcting the man she is romantically involved with. She knows she can't improve someone else, and that trying to do so will cost her intimacy.

Instead of indulging in negative thinking about men and dating, she knows that there are both pleasures and risks involved in discovering an intimate relationship.

A Surrendered Single lets go of the negative beliefs she's been holding on to like a security blanket, such as:

  • There are no good single men out there.
  • I'm too old to attract someone.
  • Dating is too much trouble.

At first surrendering will feel awkward and frightening. But so what? No one ever died from these feelings. They're trivial compared to the payoff.

Would you try it? Share your opinion about Laura Doyle's advice in the debate: Does surrendering the idea of Mr. Perfect mean selling yourself out?

Plus, what happens after you find the man who's right for you? Laura Doyle shares four pieces of advice for couples in this excerpt from her first controversial book The Surrendered Wife. Would you try it?


From The Surrendered Single by Laura Doyle. Copyright 2002 by Laura Dyle. Reprinted by permission by Fireside/Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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