To borrow from one of my favorite single ladies, Oprah, let me tell you about the ‘Aha’ moment that lead me to launching SingleandLivingFab.com. It came last year while watching an interview with legendary actress Linda Evans of ‘Dynasty’ fame. Evans was promoting a new book, Recipes For Life: My Memoir. Aside from her fame, she had a particularly interesting love life.
She married John Derek in 1968. What is particularly interesting about that marriage is that Derek left Evans for another woman, a then 15 year old Bo Derek, who went on to become quite famous. Evans admits she was ‘devastated’ when her husband left, but says it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. She says his leaving forced her to stop focusing so much on men and to focus on herself and her career. That decision lead to her starring role in the hit television series, ‘Dynasty’. Evans says that acting opportunity never would have come if John had not left her because he wanted her to stop acting and stay home.
Evans married again, but it was her relationship after that marriage that made headlines. From 1989 to 1998, she dated new age musician Yanni, who was 15 years her junior. She even admits to having plastic surgery while with Yanni, because she saw herself getting older and wanted to look younger for him.
THE AHA MOMENT
Today Evans is single and happy. She admits that she loves her life right now. She revealed this in a television interview last year. As I sat and watched this interview, I admired how Evans seemed at peace and very certain about her life. Then my ‘Aha’ moment. Evans went on to say that in her earlier years marriage and kids were her primary goal. She wanted that more than she wanted her acting career. But, she added, now that she is so fulfilled with her life right now as a single, that she looks back wonders what her life would have been like if she had not been afraid to be alone. Wow.
For so many women, the quest to find and keep love can take us off our paths of self fulfillment. I wrote last week here in S&LF about ‘The Disappearing Woman Syndrome’ and how so many women lose themselves in relationships. I had been doing that for years. All my life, I thought I was supposed to be married. I thought I was supposed to have a man and a baby, or my life would not be complete. So I felt justified in losing bits of myself in order to find ‘him’.
When I heard Evans speak those words about being single and “if she had not been afraid to be alone”, it made me consider what if I were not afraid to be alone. I realized that I didn’t have to be afraid and it freed me to be my authentic self when it came to dating. I am not anti love. In fact, I still hope to find a man to share my life with. But, thanks to that Aha moment, I realize that if I don’t find that man, I will be ok. I can still live an incredibly fulfilling life by celebrating the gifts God gave me and realizing the value of good friends and family. I wanted to share that message with other woman who feel their lives won’t begin until they get married or have a baby. I wanted those ladies to start embracing their lives, right where they are. So I created S&LF.
As we celebrate National Single and Unmarried Week, don’t turn this time into a pity party. Revel in the fact that your existence is a gift… not just for those around you, but also a gift to yourself. Let this week be a new beginning of appreciating you.