Learn To Love Your Single Status
Learn To Love Your Single Status
Bella DePaulo (Author, "Singled Out") gives expert video advice on: What does every single person need?; How can I go out alone without feeling self-conscious? and more...
What does every single person need?
Every single person needs something or someone that they really care about, something in their life that they are passionate about doing, or people they really care about or both. In other words, something that engages you. It may be a big cause like social justice or scientific discovery, or it could be adventure or seeing what you can do or how much of a difference you can make. It's something that grabs you and speaks to who you really are or what you want to do.
How is the single life different financially?
Single life is more challenging financially because if you live alone for example, you don't have the economies of scale. So if you live with someone you are splitting the rent and utility whereas by yourself you are not. Now of course not all single people live alone, but still. Another thing is that many products are sold so that they are cheaper the more you buy. If you are buying for yourself, you might not want to have a family size kind of something. Another thing even more important is that many important services and products are offered cheaper to couples and families that include auto insurance, vacation package, hotels, and restaurants. So many deals are cheaper if it is for couples or families. So single people in a way are subsidizing the couples and the families to get a cheaper pass.
Why is looking my best important while I'm single?
I sometimes hear people on TV or on the radio giving tips, "Oh, if you're a single woman you should wear a skirt because men like that." What nonsense, I don't even own a skirt. You should dress and look the way that reflects who you really are. You don't have someone saying "Oh, you're going to wear that." You can be the person you want to be and not the person that somebody is telling you to be.
How can I go out alone without feeling self-conscious?
Many people think, "Oh, I would feel so self conscious to go out in public, in a restaurant, in a bar, anywhere by myself." I actually did a series of studies with my colleagues and we created these pictures of people who were in restaurants either as couples or alone, and we showed the pictures to hundreds of other people and said “what do you think of this person?” We thought when they saw a person dining alone that they'd say “oh, that poor person, they don't have any friends, they got stood up”, and a few people said that, but just as often or more often said “oh, she just wanted to have some time to herself to think "Or “Her friends were busy that night and she just went out on her own” or “he wanted time to himself, he had a stressful long day and he just wanted to sit there and think.” Instead of what we expect other people to think of us that, oh what poor pathetic thing that we got stood up, or we don't have any friends. Instead, a lot of people are thinking "oh, I wish that were me", and especially the ones who are there with kids who are dumping water on the ground and splattering things and making noise. They are looking at you sitting there in peace and thinking "oh, I wish that were me", or there are some people who do think they could never do that and they look at you and think, "wow, that is wonderful that she can do that."
How does being single affect my career?
Being single can affect your career, especially for men. People still have this stereotype that married men are the stable, committed workers, and single men aren't. And, they often pay single men less than married men, even if single men are doing the exact same work just as competently. Also, both single men and single women have less access to benefits. So, a married person can put their spouse on their healthcare plan at a discounted rate. But, a single person can't put their best friend, or a nephew, or someone important to them on this plan. No one can put them on their healthcare plan. Then, there are all of these ordinary, everyday things in the workplace in which single people are put upon by their married colleagues. So, married colleagues often think, you don't have a life. You can cover the holidays. You can do the travel no one wants. You can stay late when nobody else wants to. So, as a single person, you need to be careful that you're not always the one who covers for everyone else. And, I think the way to do that is not to say, no, I won't do it. But, instead, make sure it's more even. So, you can agree to cover for your colleague this week. And then, they can cover for you the next week.