10 Glorious Reasons To Celebrate Being Single

"Spinster" is traditionally a divisive, pejorative, incendiary word. Maybe because it's the only equivalent we've got to "bachelor" (seriously!), and over a few centuries, it really hasn't aged so well. But why? What if this historically dismissed and depressing moniker was somehow re-imagined as...Spinster Chic?
Hear us out. It's high time we level the playing field and reclaim all that is truly amazing about being a single lady. Today, that stupid stigma around flying solo is fast fading — and as women and men are rethinking what partnerships, love, and life goals really mean to them, we're all understanding the reality of single status much differently. Which all boils down to this: There's never been a better time to be untethered — and we've got 10 solid points of proof. We think Jane Austen would approve.
1 of 10
Better sex. Now more than ever, women are talking about their needs in and out of the bedroom, reconsidering how to approach the female orgasm, and erasing the taboo around one-night stands and experimentation in general. Naomi Wolf, author of Vagina: A New Biography, sums it up nicely: "The wonderful thing I’m hearing is from counselors who work with middle school girls, wives and husbands, or parents and their children, is that so many people are beginning to add their voices to this discussion about female desire. We're really starting to raise the value of how we treat female arousal and our understanding of it."

Which means there is really no better time than the present to experience (safe) sex and discover who and what works for you. Plus, as Ophira Eisenberg, author of Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, reminds us, flirting (and the eventual sex it might lead to) is just better, when you're unattached: "There is nothing more fun than that initial conversation or banter between you and someone when you’re mutually attracted to one another. It's kind of licking each other with words, and it's all just fun and happy and exciting — and you can only do that when there’s mutual attraction, but you can’t replicate that when you're monogamous. You get a little slice of it sometimes, and there are great things about a relationship that offset all of that, but you can’t recreate that."
2 of 10
Indulging your inner workaholic...and not being ashamed of it. The archetype of the work-obsessed woman who sabotages her career at the end of the chick flick in order to finally make love work is an old and tired one (and precisely why we hated the end of The Devil Wears Prada). But, the reality is that there's never been a more exciting time for women to thrive and aim higher in the workplace. And sometimes, that requires putting work first. Sheryl Sandberg is the most recent in a spate of women who want to empower you to lean in when it's worth it, fearlessly, and even if that flies in the face of gender norms. And we couldn't agree more. It's high time we broke free of the clichés around achieving and recognized that the definition of work/life balance is a living, breathing thing that ebbs and flows as your career advances.
3 of 10
The decline of men...and not just the good ones. Considering all the research around the shrinking earning power of men, the outpacing of men (by women) in terms of education and employment in general (although, not in math and science, and still not at the C-level), on average, a good man isn't just hard to find — he's hard to strike compromise with. Equal footing is harder won in relationships today. Women are earning more and getting more educated, and that makes the balance of a home life (not in every case, but definitely at the middle of the bell curve) harder than it's ever been. If you're single, you're just not dealing with that.
4 of 10
Pop culture no longer mocks you. Helen Fielding has a new book out in October, meaning Bridget Jones is single and back at it, with a very honest look at all the pros and cons of single-dom. Karl Lagerfeld is joking about marrying his cat. Kerry Washington walked away from the president on Scandal. Cersei Lannister found her real strength and truly set out on her quest for power once her husband died. And Frances Ha, in its entirety, is a celebration of single people finding their footing and growing up without needing to find their self worth in relationships. Today, the single girl is alive and well in pop culture, and she's being treated differently — and with more respect than ever. She's not always a 2-D stereotype, chasing after her man, giggling, sighing, and pouting her way to happiness. She's multi-faceted, strong, interesting, and often deeply flawed — just like the most fascinating bachelors who've dominated history.
5 of 10
Me time. Spending the day laying in the park with your headphones on, or dancing around your apartment with the music all the way up while you try on all your clothes, or just running errands and crossing things off your to-do list is reinvigorating — and important. And when there's someone else around all the time, that kind of time is impossible to come by. There's something really meaningful about making time to do all of the stuff that you selfishly do to make your life better; the things that give you little bursts of joy and make you feel like you're in control. On a day-to-day basis, this is probably the toughest and most consistently stressful thing to balance in any relationship — so take a beat to enjoy your complete freedom now.
6 of 10
Trash TV. We love our Charlie Rose and Christiane Amanpour quite a bit. But sometimes, we need something else. Picture this: You spill your coffee all over your dress, your boss yells at you, and you get stuck in a freak rainstorm without an umbrella...and all you want to do when you finally get home is pick up a slice of pizza and plop down in front of the couch for some quality time with the guiltiest pleasures on your DVR. But you can't. Because you share said DVR, and the recent marathon of [insert inane show that you hate here] has bumped the So You Think You Can Dance auditions from your queue. That is when sharing sucks. A lot. As a single person, you get to pick all of your own TV shows and movies and if you want to spend an entire Sunday watching Kardashians and Housewives and Bachelorettes, nobody will shame you for it. Or worse still, try to steal the remote from you. Sure, it's a tiny thing in the grand scheme of things, but after a truly terrible day, it never feels that way....
7 of 10
Your money is yours (so use it wisely!). Here's how single women spend their money: rent, travel, food, and then other stuff. Makes sense. But, there's so much more to the story. As a person who doesn't feel any pressure to have a joint checking account or answer to anyone about your indulgences, there's a real freedom to single life.

Buying that awesome, expensive, satisfying splurge and not feeling guilty because you're blowing "shared" money is liberating. But, the flip side is that you're responsible to yourself. You need to invest in your own future, and you need to plan for your long-term goals. Put money aside for retirement starting immediately. If you want to buy a house, know that you need to put a little bit away from every paycheck to get there. Make sure you're being careful with your credit. Financial freedom is magical — just make sure you make the most of it.
8 of 10
More room to grow. When you're single, you get to build a life for the person you're becoming on your own, and adjust it as you see fit. The person you become on the other side of that is a reflection of your needs, rather than the middle ground you found with another person. And that's an amazing luxury. Instead of waiting around for a guy, consider how valuable this solo time really is and don't waste it; use it to discover the person you really want to be — not just the woman you think you should be.
9 of 10
Online dating is less lame. Today, 30 percent of single people in the U.S. have tried online dating. And 1 in 3 couples are said to have met their spouses online. The taboo of having met someone online is finally disappearing. And more importantly, with the advent of sites like Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, How About We, Grouper and so many others, you can date online without feeling like a round peg shoved into a square hole. You can find a site that feels as casual or serious as you need, and focuses on what you care about right now (whether that's purely appearances, shared interests, or something else more niche).

Grouper director of operations, Kristen Badal, points out that "online dating used to just be about scrolling through profiles and interacting through messages, but new sites like ours are taking those interactions back where they belong: instead of making you choose between repetitive first dates and hanging out with your friends, these sites encourage you to bring friends along and interact in new ways." Similarly, on a site like Coffee Meets Bagel, "members spend a 5-minute coffee or lunch break checking their Bagels daily. And on average, they like one out of three to four Bagels they get," according to co-founder Dawoon Kang. Way better than the twelve hours a week people spend just searching and blindly emailing on traditional sites.
10 of 10
The possibility of love. There's something truly powerful about feeling optimism and possibility every single day (or at least on the good days). And being single, in a lot of ways, is all about that. It's about retaining hope on every set-up and every night out. About knowing that someone worthwhile who could add real value to your life is out there — and that you're unwilling to settle for less.

Plus, a lower divorce rate for couples who marry older means that the more time you spend alone and looking for love, the higher the probability that that love will last. If you're single right now, today, the odds are really good that you're going to find a relationship that brings you real, meaningful joy through true partnership.

More from Sex & Relationships


R29 Original Series