“Why are you still single?”
For many single women, this is a question that implies not only that they should they be coupled up, but that if they are not, there is something wrong with them.
In over analyzing their past relationships, many women experience feelings of guilt, shame, and confusion as to how to go about finding their soul mate, while still coping with being single.
In her new book, How To Be Single and Happy: Science-Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate, Jennifer L. Taitz, a clinical psychologist who specializes in dialectical behavioral therapy, offers women a way out of shame and toward their life partner, while also challenging many of the most common myths about dating.
For many women, the prospect of aloneness, in itself, incites a cycle of emotional reasoning that goes something like this:
I’ve been alone forever, and now, no one will ever want to be with me.
The process of dating – in which rejection is inherent – then taxes women further.
“Meeting someone promising who then disappears without apparent cause or explanation is the epitome of invalidation,” writes Taitz.
Taitz cites the work of Baumeister and many others who show that feelings of rejection and invalidation come with emotional, social, and cognitive consequences, often compromising our ability think clearly, and manage our emotions.
Yet the advice women are often given – to think like a lady and act like a man, wear compromising clothing, or even move to another state – only invalidates them further and doesn’t really help.
“To sidestep hopelessness, we all need wisdom,” writes Taitz.
The first step, she says, is to identify unhealthy psychological habits that obfuscate fulfillment.
“The belief that your happiness hinges on an external circumstance that you can’t control (i.e. meeting a romantic partner) not only makes it harder to find love, but also sets you up for unhappiness,” writes Taitz.