How to Be Single.

One of the things I get DM’d/emailed/asked about the most is about life as a single gal in New York. I frequently get some version of this: “You’re so inspiring! I love how you show us it’s possible not to need a guy!” or something like that.

I don’t always know how to respond.

First of all, that’s super nice but I don’t find myself to be inspiring. Maybe that’s because I see myself in sweatpants/without makeup/with matted hair after watching 5 hours of Stranger Things. Maybe that’s normal – if you find yourself to be inspiring, you might have a problem? But also, the reality is that it’s not always easy. And I never planned on being this role model for single women… of course I’d like to be in a relationship! But, I also know I have a pretty great life and I don’t want to settle. And also: If there is anything I hate then it’s being thought of as sad or worthy of pity, so if I’m having a pity party I typically keep those negative thoughts to myself. There is nothing worse than hearing “Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone!” Ew, gross. I know I will. The in between part is just a bit annoying and hard.

Second, I keep my dating/personal life off the blog for a reason. Everyone is different, and a lot of bloggers work with their significant others on their blogs (something I really respect), but that’s not for me. When I get engaged or married, you’ll hear about that, but until then… it’s just off limits. A relationship is sacred and I also really like keeping work and personal life a little bit separate. If something pertains to just me, I’m an open book… I’ll tell you basically anything. But when it involves other people, it gets murky. For the same reason, I don’t really put my (non-blogger) friends on my social platforms either – we typically keep our phones out of site when we are hanging out and I am good with that.

I suspect meeting the right person just gets harder as you get older. I am 36 now and besides the fact that the pool is much more narrow, you have all these other factors. First of all, everyone has more emotional baggage at this age. When you are single in your mid-thirties, the chances are very likely that you’ve been in something serious that didn’t end well, so you’re a lot more cautious. You also have a stronger sense of who you are and a better idea of what you’re looking for. So basically, you’ve narrowed the pool, you’re more scared, AND your standards are higher. Lovely! It’s pretty much a recipe for dying alone. (I’m kidding, but really!)

But we are not here to complain about dating in New York (or any city, it’s hard everywhere!!) We are here to talk about being single. And how to do it. In my twenties, I  literally only had serious or “serious-ish” boyfriends. Boyfriends seemed to just materialize through friends, through work, wherever! When I was 32, I got dumped. It was brutal. I had to move out of my ex’s apartment, and basically restart my whole life. I had no idea what to do and everything was so different (it was when Tinder had just become a mainstream thing.) Now, I have been single or “single-ish” (I haven’t dated anyone seriously for more than six months) for 4 years now so I like to think I’m a total expert on the subject.

I’m joking. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe cats, but these are my views which you are welcome to read, and (silently!) judge or (vocally!) agree with. 😉

First order of business! Examine your priorities. My number one priority is to live a life that makes me feel fulfilled. This means different things for everyone, but this should be your number one priority as well. I would say that my priority is to be happy but that’s lame.. fulfilled is a better word. I want to feel so many more things besides happy on a daily basis. I want to be challenged, excited, intrigued, motivated, and yes, happy – every day. Or at least 90% of days. Some days I just want to eat artificial cheese products and drink wine on the couch.

Here are some things that make me tick: Travel. My job. Art. My friends. My family. Film. Food. Figuring out how to make/do stuff on my own (this is everything from DIY projects like making jewelry or painting my floors, to figuring out how to make foods like ice cream, pasta, etc.) So even if I am alone, I am pretty much always busy. Maybe (as my parents maayyyyy have brought up), too busy. (And if I’m not actually busy, I am MORE than okay watching TV or reading a book.) That being said, when Mr. Right comes along, I will one thousand percent make room in my life for him. Until then? I am going to just keep on living my best life. And you should, too! If you are single, you should be doing all of the things that you want to do now. Don’t wait til you have someone else to do them with! You should absolutely be going on dates and making an effort to meet people, but you should also do THE THINGS you want to do now because once you are in a serious relationship, get married, have kids, it will be a lot harder to do THE THINGS. You won’t be able to just jaunt off on a solo trip, spend an afternoon wandering The Met, or just decide that string cheese and wine are an acceptable dinner and spend seven hours doing face masks and watching Gossip Girl reruns.

Next, repeat after me: A significant other is JUST THE ICING ON THE CAKE. I’m not saying this as a man hater. I love men. I love dating. I get so excited after a good first date and nothing beats that feeling. But you guys. Please remember. You don’t actually need a bf/gf. I feel really strongly that society makes us feel like something is missing if we’re not coupled off and that is just plain wrong. I don’t think we’re meant to be alone or lonely, but  there is this whole myth that you won’t be happy until you find “the one,” and I think that’s really dangerous! Contrary to what the movies say, I don’t think another person should “complete” us. The whole “you complete me” myth is dumb because that assumes you aren’t already a whole person. If you aren’t whole and happy on your own, it’s going to be really hard for you to be a good partner to someone else. Your significant other should complement you perfectly… lifting you up and making you better but they don’t complete you. Work on yourself first and the rest will follow.

Get some interests. When I got out of a serious relationship four years ago, I went a little crazy with this one. It was hard because while we were together I stopped doing a lot of the things I loved (traveling alone, going to art museums and galleries). I didn’t realize this til years later. So I did a lot of things. I’d do a new art gallery or museum every week, I signed up for French lessons, and I went to Tulum by myself for a week. (As an aside, if you find yourself newly single and you have the means, I can’t recommend a trip enough.)

Find yourself some cool single friends that are in the same boat as you. This can be tricky especially if you don’t live in a big city, so if you are single in your thirties and live in a really small town, you should probably move. JUST KIDDING but it will be harder.

One of my best friends was just an acquaintance from work when I was with my ex, but she went through the same sort of breakup six months before me and took me under her wing. She was one of those people I knew I really liked, but we never really got to know each other until then. It really helped me to see someone who had gone through what I was going through and had successfully turned the corner. What started as coffee turned into drinks and then suddenly we were planning trips together and hanging out all the time. Four years later, she is one of my best friends ever and now lives upstairs from me.

If you are single and all of your friends are coupled off, it’s time to make some new friends. I mean, don’t ditch your married friends (make new friends but keep the old!?), but make some new ones. If you are in the market for new friends, read the comments on this post, sign up for a group activity (the obvious choice here is to join a sports team but I have a friend who takes a weekly pottery class and that sounds way more appealing to me), join a book club (that’s how I met all my close girlfriends when I first moved to New York), or consider just inviting someone who seems cool (a work acquaintance, coworker, etc) out on a friend date. I’ve done that last one a lot with great results!

Last but not least, do not feel bad about being single. This can be hard. I have had mornings where I wake up and scroll through Facebook and see nothing but cute kids, weddings, engagements, and couple photos and feel like a total piece of garbage. I no longer have Facebook on my phone for this very reason but I really believe each of us have our own path and things happen (in different orders for everyone) for a reason. I think it’s also important to remember that everyone has their own battles and no one is perfect. Your friends with the seemingly perfect partners and lives are dealing with their own stuff. This sounds depressing but I don’t mean for it to be: Life is hard regardless of your relationship status.

Oh and also, while I still have you as a (hopefully) captive audience! This part is for everyone: DO NOT ASK SOMEONE WHY THEY ARE SINGLE! Ever! I feel very passionately about this.

These are some compliments that are not actually compliments:

  • To your friend. “you’re so (insert positive adjectives: smart, pretty, amazing, talented) – I don’t know why you’re single!!”
  • To an acquaintance. “oh my god how are you single, I need to set you up!!!” (Set them up! Just don’t say that first part!)
  • On a date… < touches boy’s arm… > “how are you single!?!”
  • To your friends… “I’m so glad I’m not single. I mean, if YOU’RE single, then I just don’t even know what I would do.”

You get the point. It may feel like you are paying them a compliment but you’re actually not. Because then they will start thinking about why they are single. (If you’re curious about my answer to the question, I think about this a lot because I get asked the question a lot: It’s because of all the things I mentioned at the top of this post but also: I’m too picky, I work and travel too much, I get bored easily, and I still have a little bit of a thing for the bad boys which I blame on watching entirely too much 90210 in my teenage years. Ugh Dylan McKay. Loved him.) I’ve thought about answering the question honestly and seeing what people say.

I’m working on these things though. And as for you, I hope this is helpful and if it isn’t, I hope it’s at least mildly entertaining. I selfishly wrote this post so that I can stop writing some version of this very long blog post on email + direct message and just link to this post. I know I write with a slightly snarky (and hopefully somewhat funny) tone but it’s coming from a good place. And also, if you’re coupled off, send it to your single friends. Spread the word. 😉

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. Emily says 11.5.17

    This is so insightful and true. Thank you for sharing! Your partner absolutely should lift you up and complement you. I also totally agree that you need to know who you are first before you can be in a great relationship.
    xo,
    Em
    http://www.organicallyemily.com

  2. Lisa says 11.5.17

    Amen Sister!!! Bookmarking this post. I’m in my mid-40s and not actively looking for “the one”. I often get the ‘you should be or you’ll be alone’ – what’s so wrong with being alone?

  3. Ren says 11.5.17

    Thank you for writing this! I’m one of the last single friends and everyone around me is getting engaged or having babies (pass the wine). It’s such a nice reminder that I am not alone in the world and life can be perfect without a guy!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Haha pass the wine indeed. Everyone is on a different path. It can feel a little depressing but at the end of the day there are a lot of pros to being single too. You aren’t alone… (reading the comments on this post is helping me to realize that as well, as most of my friends are coupled off too!)

  4. Loved the post. I’m not single but it’s always important to remember your own interests and have your own goals! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  5. Kasee Williams says 11.5.17

    Hi, thanks for writing this post! Your blog is awesome. I went through something similar over the past year with a breakup. I found myself 36 newly single again and deciding that it was time to make a huge change. I moved to Tampa, FL from Texas 6 months ago for a fresh start (never lived outside Texas in 35 yeas). Best decision I could have made not saying I didn’t love Texas (all my family and friends are still there) but I felt stagnant and always in a bad mood. So after getting dumped I applied to a position in Tampa and three weeks later packed up and moved. After a couple of weeks of being here and I hit my rock bottom and kinda fell apart starting with negative thinking as in “Im never going to meet anyone!” or “I’m going to die alone.” After feeling bad for myself I decided it was time to get my act together and get back to being happy/fulfilled! I started reading every self help book out there and going to therapy. All the books I read and the therapist I saw said to start meditating. BOOM my mind was blown…changed my world, my attitude and my negative thinking. I made a ton of new friends that are awesome, I get to live in one the prettiest places in the world, I drive across the ocean to work everyday and I’m dating again. Point is being single at 36 is pretty dang awesome! I can do whatever I want whenever I want and I have the money to do it LOL unlike in my 20’s. I loved reading your story and realizing that I’m not alone in rockin the mid-thirty singleness!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Aw Kasee, than you so much for sharing your story and I am so sorry to hear you went through that!!! Truly the worst. But it sounds like you made the right decision to get up and get out and change your life!!!

      It really is pretty awesome. I didn’t touch on the part about having the money but you are so right. It makes such a difference. Broke in your twenties and single vs. having the means to do interesting stuff is such a different story!!

      And best of luck dating… the way I see it is that even if it’s a bad date I always have a great story!

  6. Staci says 11.5.17

    Thank you for this post! I’m newly single in my early thirties and have been having the hardest time moving on from my relationship. So many of these points have really hit home and it’s refreshing to hear hope that a great life awaits me with or without a man. Any suggestions on great post-breakup solo trips?

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Aw I am sorry to hear that you are going through that! I’ve been there! It is NOT easy but it gets better, I promise (though I’m sure you’re sick of people telling you that!!!) For a trip, I personally love a solo trip where I am either aggressively busy or aggressively lazy. To be lazy, I like to be by the beach where I can read for hours on end and order frozen drinks. I love Tulum for this. South Beach is also very nice but all the hotels on the beach are so expensive. And for site seeing, I love London! I will go by myself and walk all over the city. I’m super into art and I love seeing how many galleries/museums I can pack in.

      • Emily says 11.5.17

        Yes! London is what got me into solo trips. I also can’t recommend Lisbon enough – really easy to walk around everywhere and the locals are really friendly.

  7. Shelby says 11.5.17

    Thank you for sharing this! I am not single but I moved to NYC with my bf and I’ve found it so hard to make my own friends and have my own interests in a place where I don’t know anyone. I love reading and I was interested in joining a book club but haven’t been able to find one – can I ask how you found yours?

  8. SR says 11.5.17

    I have never commented before but I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You hit the nail on the head. I just got into a mini fight with my best friend last night bc she told me I wasn’t doing enough to meet someone and it really stung- she wasn’t wrong per se but I also think people who haven’t been single for a long time sometimes underestimate how exhausting it can be to constantly put yourself out there especially if that’s not your natural tendency. Anyways I know that isn’t what your post was about but just reading a post from someone else who is single and seeing your positive attitude really helped, so thank you!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      HAHA yes. It is so so exhausting. I tease one of my single girlfriends as she rarely goes on dates and I want her to put herself out there (I actually do date a lot but get burnt out by it so take breaks – it’s literally the most tiring thing, especially as a blogger where I need to be on my phone all day and then I’m supposed to go look at apps? Yuck!!) The thing with her though is she literally has the most stressful job ever right now, so I get it – if I were here the last thing I would want to do is go out on yet another blind date after dealing with wretched office politics all day.

      I’m really glad that the post was helpful. I’m an introvert (it sounds like you might be too) so agree with you that putting yourself out there constantly is a LOT of work and energy, especially when you are already balancing all the adult things like a job, life, etc. Keep your head up and just do YOU! And nicely tell your friend to back off a bit. I’m sure she meant well, but yes, those coupled off friends can tend to forget. Enjoy your Sunday and thanks for commenting!

  9. Meghan says 11.5.17

    So much of what you said resonates me so YAY for this post! I honestly cannot stand the way some people make me feel like I’m behind in life or not as successful just because I am single. I’ve had people tell me I blog too much to meet someone. I have had people say over and over again “I can’t wait for THIS to happen to YOU” or “It’s going to happen to you” – and the latter, This I know. I don’t need anyone to tell me that. It’s not comforting. It is rather condesending – like I haven’t achieved some accomplishment to tick off my list. When people ask me now if I’m dating someone I just reply “You’ll be the first to know” because I truly am tired of making up excuses when I don’t have anything to justify! <3 you, G. Thank you as always for your honesty!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Yes yes yes! It’s so silly!!! I get said those things all the time… people mean well, kinda like with asking why someone is single… oof! So happy you enjoyed the post and hope you had a great weekend my dear!

  10. Kristy says 11.5.17

    Grace! I love this post, it resonates so much. I’m single, introverted, 34 and live in a big city too. Sometimes I’ll get down on myself and think I’m somehow behind in life, but most of the time I’m thoroughly happy doing things I love and being selfish. I love taking solo trips too! More than anything, I think being single at this age makes you realize just how strong and freaking self sufficient you are; which is really empowering. Things will happen when they happen, we just need to keep living full lives regardless. Love your blog for always being so real! Thank you again for sharing your very accurate perspective 🙂

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Thanks so much Kristy!!! You are so right. You really do realize how strong you are, which is such a great feeling! xx

  11. Emily says 11.5.17

    Thanks for this. I am almost 35 and SUPER-single (the older I get, the more single I seem to be). I am – 95% of the time – totally okay with this. A friend and I are planning a trip to SE Asia and I needed a little kick in the booty to take the final leg of it myself. It’s a trip I’ve always dreamed of, and I actually love traveling alone, but I stupidly get ashamed at other peoples’ reactions to it. I just need to do it.

    And I agree with everything that you wrote.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      You are right. People always look at me in a sad way when I tell them I’m traveling alone. I want to shake them and be like, NO it’s a good thing. I LIKE going places by myself!!!

      Also that is amazing that you guys are going to SE Asia. In all honesty I would be nervous to go to Asia by myself!!!

  12. Grace, this is such a great post and I love how honest you always are! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be sharing with some some friends for sure!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Bostonchicparty.com

  13. natalie says 11.5.17

    So appreciated this post, grace! It really resonated with me. I’m going to link to this in my blog post for wednesday – I’m writing about moving home at 27 and basically quarter-life crisis type stuff haha, but feel like your advice is valuable and similar to a lot of my thoughts on dating and NOT SETTLING! Your advice is always really well stated and I honestly take it to heart. Also, appreciate your humor 😉

  14. Mary says 11.5.17

    I got dumped when I was out tutoring at the local library for just an hour!!! LOL! My bf at the time moved his stuff out in a shocking 60 minute span, and I came home after tutoring to no boyfriend and half our dishes gone. But thank God he did!!! I met my now husband on Match.com (IDK if you are looking to find someone that way, and I am sure you don’t need to because NYC is probably a mecca of hotties!! but my sister and I both met our husbands that way), and now we are married with a baby due in April. It all works out, and it truly doesn’t matter your age. I know you don’t *think* so, necessarily, but you totally are a role model for all of us– single, married, etc.– in the fashion world!! So, keep living your fabulous life and watching Stranger Things for 5 hours because we admire you! And, I can’t wait to see your engagement/wedding posts :):) haha!
    xxoo
    Mary
    http://www.BelleOnTrend.com

  15. Jenn says 11.5.17

    Grace, I needed this post so much this weekend. I’m a month away from 34, and have felt so down recently when I think about all of my friends who are engaged, married, buying a house, having babies etc. I am also in NYC and have a fair share of terrible, but memorable, dates. Boy, am I the storyteller amongst all of my couple friends. I connected with so much of what you wrote, especially making sure that you are living your life to fulfillment. I always dreamed of going to Paris with a significant other and last winter, I thought ^%#* it, I’m doing this trip myself. Why should I wait for someone else? I think I need to do more of this, and I love the idea of new friend groups, just to connect with more people to do things I love. Thank you, thank you for putting this beautiful post out into the universe

    • grace at the stripe says 11.5.17

      Aw I am so happy you enjoyed it. ENJOY PARIS!!!!

    • Colette says 11.5.17

      I’m in the same place! That’s so awesome that you went to Paris on your own! I have yet to do a solo trip. It’s inspiring!

  16. Amy says 11.5.17

    Grace have you read Labor of Love? It made me feel so empowered and liberated bc it talks about how dating is hard work. If/when you read it I’d love to know what you think!

    Review of the book here: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/books/review/labor-of-love-by-moira-weigel.html

  17. Cyn says 11.5.17

    Take it from someone who is older than your median readership (early 40s gasp!): your 30s are amazing partnered up or not. I like to think we all write our memoirs every day, and it’s all about the kind of book you want to leave behind. Me personally, I want to leave a 5 volume biography rather than a sad 4 page pdf of the type “she didn’t xxx because she didn’t have a partner to xxx with”. To me this means being present in my life, showing up for myself, and living to my fullest (of course there are ups and downs). At the beginning of this year I decided to take a solo trip to Paris (it can sometimes be very hard to accomodate friends’ schedules and budgets, but I love to travel, so I am not going to sit home feeling sorry for myself). On my second morning, having breakfast at a cafe, I met a charming parisian, we started talking, exchanged emails, and long story short, have been inseparable since. We are currently at an impasse evaluating things, and our relationship may not survive, but what I took as a morale of my trip was: a) never wait, the best moment is now and b) the most mundane of things, like breakfast, can be a game changer any given day, you just need to show up.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.6.17

      GASP! Haha. I love this story!!!! I hope it all works out (but even if it doesn’t, wha ta great story.) Thank you for sharing it here!!!

  18. Tanya Jimenez says 11.6.17

    Grace! Thanks for sharing, loved reading this!

  19. Melissa says 11.6.17

    Preach to all of this. So very thoughtful and helpful reminders for us all (single or not) – thank you for shedding light on the topic. As a single girl in my early 30s, it’s a constant struggle. I have family and friends that mean well, but it’s difficult to constantly hear – “you’re so beautiful! I can’t believe you haven’t met someone!” Or the most obnoxious thing to say to anyone who is single… “maybe you’re too picky?!” It’s not helpful, and honestly, it makes me not want to share the not so fun stuff about being single in my 30s — the internal battle of negativity where I admit to thinking “it might not happen for me” and focusing on how my life hasn’t panned out the way I had always imagined. To your point, I try really hard (and for the most part, succeed) to focus on the great things about life, and honestly, I wouldn’t trade this time in my life for anything. I’m so grateful for the perspective of being OK on my own. When I meet the right person, it will be wonderful, but I’m not going to stop doing all.the.things now, because I’m waiting for someone to do them with.

    In the process of buying my first condo in Boston now solo (eep!), and as I’ve been telling people, it’s been fun to hear their reactions of “alone?”. Yes, because I work hard and why should I keep waiting for a guy to make my dreams come true?!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.6.17

      OMG if I hear “maybe you are too picky” one more time… haha!!! Thanks for sharing your experience.. and BIG congrats on your condo, that is so amazing!!! I am also saving for my own place (alone as well, though by the time I get there maybe there will be a guy in the picture.. haha!)

  20. Carrie says 11.6.17

    Grace, Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU for this post! I started following you a few years ago because I really enjoyed your style, but I’ve remained a follower because of posts like this one. 1. Huge kudos to you for putting it out there. Yourself, the touchy subject(s), all of it. I imagine that can be scary and some people aren’t the kindest when they can hide behind a screen. 2. This is so relatable. At 34, I find myself “newly” (10 months) single after a loooong relationship, in a new home, a busy work/travel life that I love but keeps me away often, and hardly any single friends. Not knocking the couples – more of them have picked me up when I was down this year than I can count, and I will be forever grateful. That said, it’s not easy being a mid-30s single woman and this post hit the nail on the head. When I’m ready to mingle – and when it inevitably is more difficult than I’d like – I will refer back here often, I’m sure. Thank you again, it looks like this post touched many of your readers. Bravo!

  21. Cy says 11.6.17

    Grace, everything you said is so true. Being the old baggy lady in the group ( kidding, but not) I’m in my mid fifties, I think it’s time to change the narrative. Not everyone wants to be coupled up, it’s a shame we haven’t moved passed this idea that we only have one choice in life. We are made to feel like there is something wrong with us. The same thing with deciding NOT to have children. I love kids and have an amazing nephew that I am very close to and have had the privilege of spending a lot of time, babysitting,etc close friends kids. For me it was about meeting that person and having kids through that love. I never NEEDED to be a mom. And of course if you do, that your choice. The point is we have to write our own story and it changes from year to year. I have been married, so I do think( because of societal pressures) that kind of take the pressure off. Please everyone have a mixed group of friends! I have gay, straight, couples , singles among my friends. It just makes life more interesting and then you don’t have that weird, I’m the only single one thing. I’m stilled shocked that in present day, even if the couple parts amicably, people choose sides. I rarely get lonely, I love to travel alone. At this point in my life, sure I would like to meet someone, but I think I might just keep my own space. I’m open, but it’s such a nice feeling to be the director of your own life and share it how and when and with whom you want to. The truest thing you said, is you have to enter into any partnership as a complete person. No other person can fulfill all your needs, nor should they have that pressure. It’s not not fair to put that on someone. Life does get easier as you get older in so many ways. Mostly, because you do what you want and don’t care what people think. Such a great post, thank you!

  22. Cy says 11.6.17

    My friend Chris runs creative writing workshops here in San Francisco. There are one day retreats and weekly workshops. I’ve met lots of great, mostly single friends this way. I don’t want to post his website, unless it’s okay with you, so let me know.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.6.17

      Feel free! Thanks for checking!

      • Cy says 11.8.17

        His website is http://www.laguna-writers.com . This was an idea for people to meet new single friends in SF. Such a great idea! Thank you for that. I’m trying to get out there dating again after a hiatus. I’m also going to try to go old school and meet people face to face, I don’t know if I can deal with the apps again. I stopped at Trader Joe’s on my way home last night and handsome checker was beyond flirty with me( practice, practice). My friends always tease me when I don’t pay attention. So my mantra is to stay mindful! You never know when/ where you are going to meet someone

  23. Lauren says 11.6.17

    YES! Perfectly timed post as I’m having trouble losing my ‘loose end’ who is a bit of a security blanket. Is anyone reading in Raleigh/Durham? Friend date soon? 😉 Great post and agreed, solo trips, especially newly single are the best. So are living up the trips the guy was supposed to go on and didn’t.

  24. Sara says 11.7.17

    Grace this is so spot on! Your writing is always heartfelt. If you don’t mind I think the next time I get the question about why I’m still single and then the immediate ‘look’ that comes right after, is to direct them to your post and tell them “what Grace said”! 🙂

  25. Rachael Chan says 11.7.17

    I love this! I’m still 25 but it’s hard when most of your friends are in serious relationships!

  26. Emma says 11.10.17

    As another (mostly happily) single lady in my late 20s, thank you for this! I haven’t had many serious romantic relationships, but find so much fulfillment in every other aspect of my life-it’s great to hear from someone who is also mostly-happily-single. It’s not always easy, especially with social media and the inevitable “but howwww” comments, but there is so much more to life! Agreed that it is “icing on the cake ” 🙂

  27. Anna says 11.11.17

    Such an insightful post. I’m not single, so I try to refrain from giving anything that could be perceived as “advice” in that area (really not my place, but also don’t feel I have any advice to give) but I do try to be a good listener to friends when they talk about it. I have one friend who has expressed concerns about being single as she wants kids, but at the same time she’s bought her own townhouse and has recently started talking about parenting on her own as a potential option. Different things work for different people. Also, love the solo travel mention – it’s the kind of thing that can be hard to do at first but really fun once you get comfortable with it!

  28. Olga says 11.14.17

    Love this post! I agree with every single item you listed there! I am living in New York and am single as well, and I also realized that it is so so so important to stay occupied by doing the things we love. Like you said – everything happens for a reason and at the right time (which is different for everyone). Some people meet in high school and stay together, but some people need years and years to find the right person. The most important thing is not to settle and not to give up your life to search for someone. Just live your life, enjoy every part of it, and when the time is right, someone will come along.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.14.17

      I’m so happy to hear that it resonated with you! Totally agree with everything you said!

  29. C says 11.14.17

    Honest story: after a few glasses of wine I was considering to write you a message asking for advice, but then decided it would be weird to write a total stranger, just because she has had a similar experience. I had a big laugh when I stumbled across this post. Thanks for your honesty and witt! Loved the slight snark.

    I’m also early 30s and it’s the first month out of a long term relationship. It’s a big adjustment, mostly because I’m starting to realize how much of myself I’ve lost over the past few years. I admire your openness and positive outlook on life. One thing I take away from this post is that I have a lot of things to be excited about and looking forward too. Yes it will be hard at times, but it’s also a interesting and exiting process to get back in touch with myself. Thank you for that realization!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.15.17

      Oh my gosh you are so funny. I get emails like that ALL THE TIME for the record, which is why I wrote the post. (And if you felt weird about it, know that I would too!) I’m really happy that it was helpful for you. I realized the same thing after getting out of a big relationship. You DO have so much to look forward to. Breakups are the hardest but use this time to focus on yourself, get back to finding yourself/doing the things that you love most, and be a little bit selfish. When my ex and I broke up I traveled a bunch, redecorated a new apartment, and spent a lot of time just thinking about (and then doing) the things that made me happy. Wishing you luck… and sending a big hug from Brooklyn! xx

  30. Laura says 11.17.17

    I’m single, early 30s, and I get questions all the time. The truth is that I don’t WANT a relationship, but no one wants to hear that answer. Instead, I get reassured constantly that I will “find someone” and “don’t give up.” I really don’t want to find anyone. People don’t have to be coupled to be happy, content, or complete. I feel like I need a shirt that says that!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.17

      Good for you! I think it’s important to just know yourself and know what you want. 🙂 x