I’m a huge fan of the show Parks and Recreation, and on a recent episode, one of the female characters, Anne, made a great comment about being single. Someone asked her if she was dating her ex, and she said something along the lines of :
No, I’m not dating anyone right now. I’m dating myself. I’m taking time to figure out who I am and what I want.
Of course, the sarcastic and snarky April said, “God, you’re so selfish, Anne.”
I just loved this moment, and it’s true on so many levels. Women who choose to be single are not always looked upon favorably. When you’re single and don’t mind it, there’s an underlying assumption that something is wrong with you — that you’re cold or you’re too focused on your career. In Anne’s case, April calls her a “lesbian nurse.” Or, some might assume the opposite — that you’re single because you want to date several men at once.
But the truth is, as Career Girls, we don’t have time to waste. We are very driven and focused. We take our careers seriously, and when it comes to our personal lives, we don’t want to waste time with the wrong person. Lately, I’ve found my attitude has shifted. Before, I was attending numerous singles events and trying to get a feel for what’s out there. In the past month, I’ve slowed down the process considerably, taking the attitude that if I find that right person, then I’ll make time for him. Long gone are the days when I used to search for a boyfriend just because it was nice to have one. Now is the time to settle into my career and figure out what I’m looking for in a partner — instead of just looking for a partner.
So, Career Girls, what I wanted to tell you this week is that there’s nothing wrong with being single. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little (or long) break to figure out what you want. And take it from someone who has gone on dates for the sake of going on dates: it gets old. Instead of saying yes to every drinks, lunch, or dinner invitation, save those times for someone you are truly excited about going out with. And in the meantime, use that spare time to focus on you and where you’re headed. Ultimately, your future is in your hands — not a man’s.