It happened again the other night. I was out with a group of women, some I’d never met, for a girl’s night out. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to men — who had one, who didn’t. The women who were married, engaged or “living together” took the superior position over the women who were single. It wasn’t because the married women necessarily wanted to be “top dogs” in the situation; it was because the single women willingly gave up their power to be of equal status.
Picture an encounter between two dogs at the dog park. One is standing tall wagging his tail while the other lies down submissively before it. Same dynamic was in that circle of ladies that night. The single ladies were in awe of those who “had one” and acted eager to learn the hidden secret that would make it possible for them to “have one” too. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a long-term romantic relationship, as long as it’s coming from your true self and not a blind assumption that single is bad and partnered is good. Single women are their own worst enemy in this regard. It seems they spend more time putting themselves down, apologizing for being single or framing their status in self-deprecating humor than any other topic in their conversational repertoire.
There’s a quotation from Proverbs, the “wisdom” book in the Hebrew and Christian Bible: “We are snared by the words of our mouths” (Proverbs 6:2). The point being that whenever we speak something, our words have tremendous power. Just thinking negative thoughts is bad enough — but say them out loud and those words manifest into reality. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, what we say about ourselves has a profound influence over our lives.
Yes, I know that in America, the old idea that it’s bad to be single has been ingrained into our cultural consciousness. Many of us have rushed into marriage with the wrong person just to graduate to “top dog” position. Problem is, there are few things more miserable than 1) having a fear-based negative self-image just because you’re single or 2) marrying the wrong person and going through the hell of a divorce — or just deciding to settle into an unhappy life.
So, my single female friends, next time you start the “poor me I’m single” talk, or start acting like a silly fool, joking about how desperate you are to grab a guy, realize those words are creating your reality. Keep talking about it, keep framing yourself in a negative way with all that forlorn conversation, keep seeing your singular status as a problem rather than an opportunity and don’t be surprised if your life is one of perpetual defeat.
The good news? It’s easy to reverse. All you have to do is start speaking words that build you up, words of self-acceptance, words of faith, words of positive energy to be the best person you can be. Tell me about all the places you’ve been and places you’re going, about your family and friends, about your dreams and aspirations, tell me about the real solutions you have for your real problems, tell me about all the things that make you the fascinating and unique person you are. These parts of you are so much bigger (and more interesting) than hearing you complain about being single.
It’s so important to not just think, but speak, in a positive way, because then and only then will you finally find the happiness that is waiting for you. Your words are vital in bringing your dreams to pass — so please, stop that negative self-talk and start using your words to see yourself as the fascinating singular woman you have the power to become.