By Jacque Reid, Editor In Chief
Okay. I’ll say it. This whole life as a Single girl… it ain’t easy. I mean, overall I do love being Single, but It does not come without it’s challenges. This is not a revelation. But it can get lost in the recent newsworthiness of being a Single woman not desperate for marriage, in addition to being one without children. Nowadays, dinner party conversation can easily turn to the ‘new woman’. You know the one that does not require having a man or a baby to feel fulfilled. I do love representing that woman, but it does not come without it’s challenges.
I’ve been forced to confront this harsh reality since the recent death of my dog, Sugar-Shane. Losing a loved one can be challenging for anyone, but when you are Single… your suffering is mostly done solo. That’s because home is where we let our most vulnerable side show. We live alone. So, if there is no significant other bearing witness to this part of your life, when you hit your bottom, you experience it alone.
That was my experience over Memorial Day weekend. I had that Friday and Monday off from work, so I decided it was time to gather up Sugar’s things and put them away. It was more difficult that I thought, so I pretty much spent those four days in mourning. There was lots of crying, minimal eating and maybe one shower. It wasn’t pretty.
But it didn’t have to be this way. I have friends and family who offered to be there for me during this tough time… and they actually meant it. But I turned everyone down. I think as long-time single women, we get used to just coping on our own with what life throws at us… getting dumped, a clogged toilet, an impossible back zipper, a really tough day. We usually don’t ask for or accept help from others because there are times when all you have is you, so you get it done. In the end it makes us tougher, but is that always for the best?
I realized over the holiday weekend that it is not. Yes, there were times that I wanted and needed to be alone, but I definitely could have benefited from some comfort and support. But I needed to decide to let myself be someone’s temporary priority. The same way you become each other’s priority in a romantic relationship. You take care of each other when one gets sick, he comes to the rescue if you have a flat tire, he stands by you after that awful haircut, he holds you after you lose your job and mostly you have someone to talk to about those little things that happened throughout your day.
When things get really tough, like the loss of a loved one, we need to accept that even though we probably can get through it on our own, it would be healthier for us to say yes to our girlfriends and others who are reaching out. We also need to love ourselves enough to ask for help if no one is offering and be specific about what we need.
Most importantly, in order to ensure that people are there for you in your time of need, make sure that you are that person that is there for other people… especially your fellow Single girlfriends. This is when you need to go above and beyond, and then some.
This way we don’t have to do things the old fashioned way and get with any man just so we can have a partner for those dark days. We can actually wait for the right person or continue to go it alone, looking to our friends and family to be there in sickness and in health.