the girlfriend, aarp, mandy hale, single showers
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Why We Should Throw Showers For Singles

Where is the party to celebrate ME?

I’ve spent the greater part of the past decade examining what it means to be single. And pointing out all the many positive aspects of single life. And leading the “Single & Fabulous” parade down the Main Street of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, the Internet, and basically any media outlet that would listen. And generally being the poster child for shiny, happy singleness. And you know what? That’s awesome, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to help flip the script on single life so that women (and men) learn to accept their relationship status as just another part of who they are rather than viewing it as this great big scary thing.

But you know what else? I’m kind of growing weary of spending countless hours writing about all the reasons why we singletons should “accept” our singleness … and posting daily reminders about why singleness isn’t “that bad” … and feeling like I’m having to constantly put a positive spin on a negative situation. Why is our singleness viewed as a negative thing to begin with? Who gets to determine that for us? Society? Pop culture? Married people? Did WE label it as negative? Why are we made to feel “less than” or “lacking” or “incomplete” just because we happen to check the box marked “Single” on tax forms and job applications?

And then it occurred to me the other day … almost like a lightbulb going off above my head as I sat and pondered my singleness, and the answer became crystal clear.

Why does singleness have this overwhelmingly negative connotation? Because we don’t celebrate our singles.

We just don’t. I mean, yeah, we have birthdays, of course — but who over the age of about 25 really makes a big deal out of their birthday?

We don’t celebrate our singles. We celebrate our couples for making the decision to get married … we celebrate them again once they actually GET married … we celebrate their choice to start a family (and then celebrate them again and again and sometimes again and again and again when they decide to expand that family). We celebrate the anniversary of their marriages and the christening and baptisms of their babies and their kids’ birthdays and them buying a new home or choosing to adopt or, heck, sometimes we even celebrate when they decide to END their marriage. But we simply don’t celebrate our singles.

Singles buy gifts we can’t afford and make trips for which we have to take off work. We get fitted for endless numbers of (mostly unflattering) bridesmaids’ dresses, and budget for housewarming presents and birthday presents and anniversary presents and graduation presents and shower presents, and on and on and on — all in the name of being supportive of our married friends’ life choices. And that’s a beautiful thing. But why aren’t OUR choices getting celebrated?

Where was the party when I finally ended my 10-year, on-again/off-again, mostly toxic and unhealthy relationship? Or when I hit the New York Times best-seller list? Where was the celebratory shower when my friend Anetra won an Emmy or my friend William got a job promotion or my friend Alli picked up her entire life to move across the country and pursue her biggest dream?

Or when you bought your first condo or lost 20 pounds or went back to school or walked away from that dead-end job or told that loser ex to take a hike or overcame depression? Where was the big party or shower or celebration to commemorate those beautiful, brave, bold life choices?

There’s a quote that says: “You’re not single because something is wrong with you. You are single because you are single. It’s really as simple as that.” I’m not sure who said that quote, but Yasssssssssss, queen! (Or king.) There’s not some deep, dark, mysterious, terrible reason why you’re still single, and singleness is NOT a curse, a disease, or a punishment. It’s time we stop acting like it.

We have to stop spending our lives waiting to be set free from this “prison” called singleness so that we can finally join the ranks of celebrated coupledom. If society won’t celebrate us, then we have to start celebrating ourselves. Now. In THIS moment. Our unfinished, unwritten, imperfect lives deserve to be honored. Our life choices DESERVE to be recognized. And our singleness shouldn’t be merely tolerated. It should be celebrated. Because we’re doing this life thing alone and if that isn’t brave and admirable and confetti-worthy, then I don’t know what is.

I urge you to find a way to celebrate yourself and your singleness on a regular basis; not just accept your singleness, but HONOR it. Appreciate it. Even revel in it. Don’t wish it away because you’re hoping and praying and longing for marriage. Whether your singleness is for a season or for a lifetime, there is great beauty and adventure and magic and love and laughter and happiness right here in the middle of this moment. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with your relationship status.

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the girlfriend, aarp, mandy hale, single showers
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