Single Girl is the woman behind 1 Year of Single, an online blog devoted to experiences in dating, breakup, and recovery. Some time ago, she decided to spend an entire year as a single girl and share that experience with the world. Recently, I decided to talk to her and get her take on how her decision to take a break from the dating scene has not only changed, but improved, her life.
Breakup School: What made you decide to spend a year single?
Single Girl: I wanted a long stretch of guilt-free time to spend on the healthy development of myself. See, at the time I was in the middle of a painful, drama-filled relationship with a guy who was going through a divorce. It was a situation that I swore I would never get myself into, but I had discarded my own intuition for advice from friends and went out with him anyway. Of course it was a huge mistake and I ended up falling for the guy, who soon-after returned to his bipolar, cheating wife. I not only told him to lose my number, but I swore off every facet of dating for a year.
It was at that point that I allowed myself to both recognize and embrace the full scope of my anger at the years I wasted in not listening to my own intuition on men who were more of a mess than I was. And sadly it all originally stemmed from my mother — a mentally unstable woman who raised me to believe that a husband would give my life value.
Breakup School: Well, it sounds like you had a good reason to take some time off from dating. But what do you hope to achieve by writing about your experience?
Single Girl: Writing is cathartic. And coupled with therapy, it’s downright life-changing. You may mull over a year of events and make some changes at the duration, but if you write about it — get it “on paper” and have others respond, saying either they’re in the same boat — or that I helped them — is a huge validation. And strangely enough, the most popular outlet has been Instagram. The punchy, vibrant posts have become so popular that I’ve replicated them on Twitter. The response and support has been overwhelming!
The changes I’ve seen in myself in the last year are staggering and I haven’t even fully sunken myself into my Goal list yet. I’m no longer doing all those unhealthy girl things quoted in movies like “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
But my overall goal? I want to be a woman that my future man will be proud of. Someone who isn’t sitting around waiting for a husband for my life to begin. Someone who doesn’t allow cheaters and alcoholics and liars back in simply because there’s a significant lack of quality gentlemen in the area. I want to follow my intuition without hesitation and be the person that others wish they could have.
Breakup School: That’s definitely a great goal to have. Of course, having said that, what would you say is the most important thing that you want your readers to take away from your blog?
Single Girl: They need to learn to trust themselves and know that they’re stronger than they may think. That it’s okay to take time to find out who you are before committing your life to someone. They need to NOT feel compelled to make 400 excuses for their exes. And most of all, that they never need to settle simply because there’s a lack of options.
Breakup School: Well, that’s something we can agree on. Nobody should ever have to settle on anything but the best. Now, on more a personal level – How has the experience of being single for a year been for you?
Single Girl: It’s been mind-blowing. It’s probably been one of the two most eye-opening experiences of my life. I’ve learned to value myself above all else, and it’s allowed me to both shed toxic people as well as open myself to new friends. My quality of living has increased exponentially.
Breakup School: Is there anything that has particularly surprised you about your experience?
Single Girl: Yes! Taking time off allowed me to evaluate men more objectively and I realized how scarce my dating options really were! It was at that point when I realized I was actually dating in the wrong environment. Basically: I was “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
Breakup School: I’m glad your whole experience has been working out for you then. What do you plan to do after the year is over?
Single Girl: My year technically ended on September 13. Ironically I was knee-deep in “me time” and didn’t realize the date was about to fly by! But I do have a plan: Move ahead with fulfilling my own self. I definitely don’t want to be single my entire life, but I refuse to sit around feeling like I have to wait for a man for life to start. My blog is going to get meatier — from breakup to recovery experiences, songs that heal, Instagram posts that make people not only laugh and agree, but actually cheer.
Yeah. I’m not done yet.