FIRST THOUGHT: Single Life
Y’all know I love a good history lesson, and here’s one for the books: During the Tang dynasty in China (around medieval times), a married woman’s spirit would be remembered at the altar of her husband’s family. (Ugh, patriarchy, am I right?) So what happened to unmarried women who died? It was believed their spirits would be abandoned (NBD).
To address this quandary, a deceased unmarried woman would be married to either a living man, a doll or even a dead unmarried man, whom they’d then bury with her. These spirit or ghost marriages were conducted to appease a spirit or continue the paternal line. (I wonder if they had wedding cake?)
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 22 Percent
I recently heard a friend explain that maybe the high divorce rate isn’t such a bad thing; maybe it means women aren’t sticking around with abusive partners or in unhappy marriages. That is a good thing, right? After the proposal and dress fitting and honeymoon, you learn that marriage takes work: You notice that your partner’s long locks clog the drains, or that your partner didn’t know you never wash the bed sheets. It’s no surprise, then, that a mere 22 percent of Americans describe themselves as being "passionately in love."
WOMAN TO WATCH: Lane Moore, Author of "How to Be Alone: If You Want to, and Even If You Don't"
A long-term relationship can be like a group project in school: if you’re vibing, then two heads really are better than one; but if you can’t communicate or if your partner decides to have an existential crisis (I’m lookin’ at you, Bryan T.), you’ve got twice the work. Regardless of your relationship status, there will be times when you feel alone.
Feeling alone is not the same as feeling lonely. It can actually be refreshing, relaxing and even inspiring. New Yorker Lane Moore wrote a book about how to deal with alone time and—gasp—enjoy it.
All the introverts reading this are like, yep, that sounds heavenly. Lane’s a comedian, musician and actress. She’s known as the go-to chick when it comes to relationships, particularly in her former job as the sex and relationships editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. She has a longstanding comedy bit where she gets on stage and actively engages dudes on Tinder dubbed “Tinder Live.” Audience members go on the world of online dating with her, cheesy pickup lines and all.
Putting down your phone and enjoying yourself without being someone’s girlfriend or wife can be a challenging action for many. Lane dives right in and gives insight into how you can do it solo—whether you chose single life or it chose you—in her book How to Be Alone: If You Want to, and Even If You Don't.
There are aspects of singledom that partnered-off peeps may not realize are difficult. There are holidays and, even worse, holidays where your great Aunt Bethel asks why you’re not married. Lane explores how to navigate these super awkward moments, while also letting her guard down and being vulnerable.
Lane writes about how, in many ways, she had to be her own parent growing up. Facing a lackluster or even traumatic childhood can go one of either two ways: dependency or independency. Lane advises that no one person is going to help take away a certain trigger, a certain pain, a certain problem. It’s up to you, whether you’re single or partnered for life, to deal with it and shine.
QUITE THE QUOTE
As Lane Moore said:
"If you see a woman who is working super hard to become who she's meant to be, and achieve the things she wants to achieve, and you have nothing to add to her life, please just leave her...alone."