How Singles Can Opt In to Valentine’s Day
By Josie Brown
If being single, especially around Valentine’s Day makes you feel left out, then you should know you are not alone. Increasingly, more and more Americans are finding themselves unattached.
In fact, the 2004 US Census shows, 53.6 percent of all men and 70.7 percent of Black men between 25 and 29 have never been married. While, 30.3 percent of all men ages 30 to 34 and 43.6 of African American men the same age are also unmarried.
Statistics aren’t much better for women. Of all women between the ages of 25 to 29, 41.3 percent have never been married. For black women, the percentage is a staggering 66.3 percent. And, between the ages of 30 to 34, 22.3 percent of all women are still without a wedding ring, whereas 47 percent of African American women don’t have husbands.
But, a study by Associate Professor Jamila Bookwala published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships [11/30/09] refutes this idea. It found that never married people aged 40 and up tend to have a better emotional well being than married people.
The reason: singles often know how to take care of themselves and feel in control of their lives.
While, for a marriage to work well, the parties most often have a certain level of interdependence.
Certainly, there’s abnormal about wanting someone to share your life with but feeling pressure to find the “one” of “Mr. Right Now” just so you aren’t alone on a specific day is wrong. “I suppose a lot of singles feel pressured to be attached on Valentine’s Day because society leads us to believe that being part of a couple is the best way to be well adjusted,” says Nika Beamon, a writer/producer for ABC/Eyewitness News, and author of the book I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out.
The women interviewed and featured in Beamon’s book rebuke the notion that you should settle for the wrong person just so you are not alone and that being unmarried means you live a lonely and unhappy existence.
“It’s a transitional phase in life which allows each of us the opportunity to get to know ourselves and what we want and expect from others,” explains Beamon.
She challenges all singles to embrace their relationship status and “Opt In” on Valentine’s Day; “Opt In” and start loving, getting to know and finding happiness on your own. Here are her tips on how to do this:
1. Gather with other singles for dinner or drinks.
2. Buy yourself a special treat to show your love for yourself.
3. Call those who you love and who love you, so you can remember the difference you make in their lives and the world.
4. If you are feeling lost, read a book that inspires you to be the best you can be or shows you how great your life is compared to that of others.
5. Commune with other singles on line on sites like Facebook.
“And certainly post your thoughts in groups like I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Women Speak.
To read an excerpt of Nika Beamon’s book I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married, go to www.mcbeamon.com
Other SMW Valentine’s Day Articles
The Single Woman’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Valentine’s Day Isn’t Only for Cupid’s Bow and Arrow
Be His Sexy Valentine! 8 Great Tips
Best Valentine’s Tips for Singles!