Is Single Really the New Black? According to Dr. Karin Anderson Abbrell, it is. I recently sat down with the author to discuss all things single, relationships, marriage, and the daunting moments in-between. Before I get to the juicy stuff, let me give you a little background on Karin, she’s a psychologist specializing in dating/relationships, identity development and adult family dynamics. Her now book, Single is the New Black: Don’t Wear White ‘Til It’s Right is on sale now. Okay, there’s all the official razzmatazz, not lets get down to brass tax.
As you all know, I have been single for seven years now so you can imagine all of the drama that was discussed during our sit down! Dr. Karin married the love of her life at age 42, she took her time, and did not settle. Having called off her engagement at 34 years old, which, for most of us as she states, is when we feel the most pressure to settle down, get married, and have children, she found love again at 42, but it was not an easy road. Karin states, “I had this phony relationship, and I wasn’t trying to live a lie, but two months before, my maid of honor asks me about the shoes I’m going to wear, and I just wanted to talk about the fun I had at the club the night before.” Explaining how she felt a disconnect, but getting married and having kids is what she felt she should be doing. Despite that, Karin found the strength to call off her wedding and re-enter the dating scene on her terms.
When I tell her I tend to feel as though I am not where I am “supposed” to be in life when it comes to relationships/dating, and that I feel there is more to being a woman in life besides getting married and having kids, she says something very eye opening, “I lived a full life and didn’t just put myself on a shelf waiting for someone, which made me a better partner for my now husband.”
When asked what inspired her to write this book, she explains how she’d roam the bookstores looking for advice in the self help section, but couldn’t get behind the messages she read about women needing to change who they are and/or that something is wrong with them for not having a man in their life.
“Overall I knew I couldn’t settle, and I also knew there were no resources out there to support me in that decision. Why don’t we look at single people in their thirties and forties and say, good for you, you’re up against a lot, you want a true authentic relationship and are staying solo until you get one!” states Karin. When I ask Karin how she was able to wait for the right one, she tells me that she would tell herself she didn’t want anyone who needed her, but wanted a man who wanted her. For her, needing someone to complete you was not what she wanted, “I wanted a man that was fully formed and wanted me. That was a choice based on want not desperation. I didn’t want to manage my man’s emotions or relationships.”
She continues, “My husband was married to someone else for 23 years before we met [he divorced before meeting Karin], and when he sums up our relationship now he says its like breathing, it’s so easy.” Your person is out their, but it may not be your time to meet him. He might be living in another state, currently in a relationship, or traveling and discovering who he is, which subsequently teaches him the life lessons he needs to learn, making him ready for you.
In her book Single Is The New Black, Dr. Karin breaks down all of the different ways women are made to feel less than due to being single, and rebukes them all! Chapter titles include: It’s Not Your Fault, You’re Not Too Picky, Stop Thinking About It So Much and (one I need to pay attention to) Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard, but Don’t Go on Hiatus Either.
Written from a personal standpoint and including letters from readers the book is an empowering, non-cliched, and eye opening read. She’s not trying to tell you what men think, but instead, trying to get you to see how damn amazing you are, how waiting for what you want is absolutely what you should do, and tell you what worked for her to, “Keep her happy, hopeful and believing.”
Being single is a choice, and sucks sometimes (I know), but don’t let that deter you from having an open heart. Single is not a bad thing. Single does not mean there is something wrong with you. Single does not mean you are a loser, less than, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough, not going out enough, or not amazing enough. Choosing to stay single until you meet the person that makes everyone else seem like the starter course to your romantic life is you telling the universe that you deserve the best, and guess what? You sure as hell do. I ask Dr. Karin what she wants women to take away from her book, and she answers, “I want women to feel empowered to be the best version of themselves. To feel encouraged, remain hopeful, and never settle.”
Are you living the single life? What obstacles have you faced? Sound off below in the comments section, and thanks for reading! xo Jonesie