How To Keep Your Head Held High And Your Standards Higher


As a well-adjusted, pulled together and outgoing single woman, I hear this phrase about a million times: “You’re so great! Why are you single?” Though my typical response is just to shrug it off with a nondescript reply, deep down I fear that the answer is that nobody wants to be my boyfriend.

It is a difficult decision when faced with these two terrifying options, “Be single indefinitely” or “settle,” yet these have felt like my only options more times than I can count.

Dating someone (anyone) always seemed like the much better option when faced with lonely nights pining for a man.

However, after many failed attempts at relationships with somebody who wasn’t quite right, I eventually learned that settling for less than I wanted/deserved was a slippery slope of unsatisfying connections, unfulfilled expectations, wasted time and hurt feelings. I recalled every time I had settled in a relationship. I hung with guys for far too long just because I was bored or lonely. I gave them the energy I should’ve been giving to my friends, my family and myself. I overlooked what I knew deep down inside, because I didn’t want to be single.

So really the challenge was upon myself. Was I brave enough to be single? Was I really okay spending another night in my bed by myself?

Once I let go of the idea that I was less than if I didn’t have a man, I started to feel complete; it was easier to stick to my standards and stop settling for less than I wanted.

I finally recognized that I am in charge of whether or not a relationship is destined for the dumpster.  To discover this newfound power I had to be comfortable saying, “I’d rather be SINGLE than to settle for less than I want and deserve. I’d rather be single than be treated like second best. I’d rather be single than to not be called back. I’d rather be single than to be one of 10 girls he’s dating, I’d rather be single than to wait for him to change his mind about marriage/children/growing up/getting serious. These were hard realizations, but they were essential for true happiness.

In the end, self-worth and confidence are where the power—or more specifically, the empowerment—lies. Once I found this confidence, I realized that being single isn’t so bad and sticking to basic standards is all up to me.

Lesson: Standing up for yourself and your standards leads to a sense of self-worth, self-confidence and in the end, more satisfaction out of life—single or not.

Want more? Check out No Plus One: What to Do When Life Isn’t a Romantic Comedy on Kindle and iTunes.