"When I witness bashing or arrogance as it relates to being single, I don't get it."
There's still a stigma and stereotype attached to being a single woman. Society often equates marriage with success and happiness, and questions why some women remain unattached well into their 20s, 30s, or beyond.
Further, the perception persists that single, childless women are unfulfilled and unhappy. But one report refutes that description, suggesting instead that unmarried women without children are the happiest segment in the population. And in Hollywood, where image is a major factor for actors and actresses, some such as Emma Watson are embracing single womanhood. Watson even coined a new term, "self-partnered."
Acamea Deadwiler (www.Acameadeadwiler.com), author of Single That: Dispelling the Top 10 Myths of the Single Woman, says it's past time for society to stop defining single women by their relationship status.
"Single women get unflattering labels and insecurities projected upon them by not just men, but even their female friends," Deadwiler says. "Being single is not synonymous with lonely or desperate. Being single does not mean that you are broken or bitter or jealous.
"Those assumptions need to be put to rest. Single women can be empowered to refuse being defined by whether or not they have a significant other."
Deadwiler suggests five ways single women can empower themselves to find fulfillment and happiness and ignore negative perceptions:
--Pursue a new hobby or interest. "With time to focus on you, expand your experience to include things you like to do, or have always wanted to do," Deadwiler says. "Perhaps time constraints or self-doubt once held you back, but now you have the room to explore interests outside of work and other relationships. Pursue what makes you happy, what fulfills you, or what piques your curiosity."
--Appreciate the good things in your life. While some people view single women negatively or with skepticism, Deadwiler says appreciating all the positives in your life helps block out the outside perception. "Attitude is key when you're single, starting with how you view yourself," Deadwiler says. "Focusing on the positives will shift your perspective to gratitude and happiness. Take stock of your family, friends, your job, your health, and your good qualities."
--Treat yourself. "You deserve to treat yourself," Deadwiler says. "Splurge now and then. Take a spa day, get that bag you've been eyeing; whatever it is, make yourself a priority for some enjoyment."
--Learn to like being alone. "You can't really know yourself unless you spend time with yourself, independent of the needs and influence of others," Deadwiler says. "In spending time alone, we get to hear our thoughts without all of the outside noise. We learn our authentic likes and dislikes, what we need, and who we are. This process of self-discovery is invaluable to truly being a happy, single woman."
--Prioritize friends and family. "Your time, money, and energy is yours and yours alone," Deadwiler says. "You get to spend each as you see fit without consulting with anyone else, which makes scheduling time with your friends and family all the easier. And just as you need a good support network, it's important that you be a strong member of other support networks."
"When I witness bashing or arrogance as it relates to being single, I don't get it," Deadwiler says. "My big annoyance comes mainly with the insinuation that there is something inherently wrong with the circumstance of being a single woman. But a single woman is not a problem to be fixed. It's a way to get whole, a way to be free and enjoy being the full you."
Contributed by News & Experts