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What are the pros and cons of being single?

Whether as a temporary interlude or as a life choice, being single can be a rich and satisfying experience, despite negative messages from family and/or popular culture to the contrary. Depending on how we choose to define it for ourselves, being single may mean having one or many lovers, an occasional casual sexual encounter, a committed relationship without marriage, or no sexual or romantic relationships at all. Yet, being single can be if we feel that we have not chosen singlehood, but it has chosen us, particularly through some trauma, illness, or loss. Some single women who want biological children, but see no father in sight, also speak about the pain of loneliness as they get older, despite the fact that more women today are choosing to have children on our own.

Although many communities admire independent single women, most of us are told from childhood that our lives will be incomplete until we find a man. The hardest thing about being single, women sometimes say, is not loneliness, but the negative stereotypes they must confront from others and, from within themselves. Many single women also stress the importance of being strong enough to know how and when, if at all, to move on—either to deeper intimacy or to a new relationship. When women are happy and strong on their own, they are better able to choose their partners freely and carefully. Creating a safe and equal relationship with a man can then become a challenge they seek and enjoy out of mutual attraction, admiration, and love.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.