“Being single used to mean nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy, and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
Sarah Jessica Parker

Did you know that this week is National Singles Week?!?

Yes, single friends, after the countless hours (and dollars) we’ve spent honoring endless parades of friends at baby and wedding showers, finally, we get our day! And not just a day but a whole WEEK!

In honor of this momentous occasion, I wanted to flip the script on one of my least favorite (and probably also your least favorite) phrases that us single-tons commonly hear…

“She [or he] must be single for a reason.

This is usually said with more than a little judgment by a non-single counterpart who is so mystified by our singleness that they feel the need to “figure us out.” (Like we’re space aliens or something.) But think about it. Everybody is what she is for a reason. You don’t just accidentally become single any more than you accidentally become married.

But why is it that people seem to assume that, unlike marriage, being single is NOT a choice but a curse laid upon those of us who ARE single because we’re inherently flawed in some way?

When did that become the prevailing mindset? The phrase “single for a reason” is the thing that’s flawed—not us! I would argue that, with the out-of-control divorce rates and miserable marriage epidemic, it’s OKAY not to settle for marriage just because it’s the comfortable choice. Just because you’ve been dating someone for so long, you have to either break up or get married, so you chose to get married by default. Or just because it seems like it’s the thing to do once you hit age twenty-eight and beyond. Maybe, just maybe, us single folks are single because we are brave enough to face the glorious unknown of the unaccompanied journey.

Since society seems to think that there is some deep, dark reason behind singleness, I decided I would help solve the mystery a bit by revealing my own reasons for why I remain unmarried.

I am still single because…

  • I haven’t met Mr. Right, and I deserve better than Mr. Wrong.
  • I am fiercely independent, and I won’t apologize for it.
  • I have high standards, and, so far, no one has met them.
  • I’m figuring out ME before I worry about WE.
  • I love the freedom of being able to do what I want, when I want.
  • I’d rather be someone who’s single than someone who settled.

These are just a few reasons why I am still single. I encourage you to make your own list and not to apologize for it or justify it to anyone. We all have our own reasons for being single, most of which have very little to do with the reasons that society, as a whole, seems to want to thrust upon us. Remember: Love is not an area of life that you want to say you “settled for.” Hold out for the best with no regrets. At the end of the day, there is nothing braver than someone who would rather walk alone than with someone who is unworthy of them.

Mandy Hale is affectionately known around the world as “The Single Woman.” With a heart to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never, ever settle, Mandy cuts to the heart of the matter with her inspirational, straight-talking, witty, and often wildly humorous take on life and love. She’s also not afraid to talk about the many realities of being single in a world that still asks, “And WHY are you still single?” Mandy was invited by Oprah in 2012 to cover her Lifeclass: the Tour events in St. Louis and New York City and has been named a “Twitter Powerhouse” by The Huffington Post. Her first published book, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass, is now available.