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When it comes to talking about dating, singledom is basically only ever framed in one way: It sucks. There are countless columns, blogs, and articles dedicated to helping single women hack the system, deal with unsavory suitors, and combat the stigmas and stereotyping that the coupled world rains down. Positivity comes in the form of "happy ending" stories; in every article we read about a lonely person learning something from the dating scene, a match of some kind presents itself at the end. "If you follow this advice," the stories seem to say, "you won't have to end up single, either!"
And yet, today, 50% of people in the United States are single, and it's silly to think that all of them feel cynicism about not being in a relationship. If we've learned anything a lifetime of conversations spurred by The Rules, it's that there are no rules when it comes to seeking out love.
So, in an effort to transcend that conversation, we turned to six single women who take wildly different approaches to dating — and life. And, while their experiences, outlooks, and tastes are very diverse, there are a few universal trends (and common misconceptions) that prove exactly how multifaceted the world of singledom really is.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass