Being SingleDefined As: Having one or many lovers An occasional, casual sexual encounter A committed relationship without marriage No sexual or romantic relationships at allDifficulties Outcome due to trauma, illness, or loss Single mothers by choice or circumstance Stigma that women are “incomplete” without a man and the effects that has on us (others opinions/criticisms)
“When we are happy and strong on our own, we are better able to choose freely and carefully the men (or women) we dobecome close to. Creating a safe and equalrelationship with a man (or woman) can then become a challenge we seek and enjoy outof mutual attraction, admiration, and love.”
Personal PowerMay mean any of the following or more to differentpeople: Self-esteem Sense of identity Positive body image Self-Confidence Enjoyment in what one does A sense of community contribution Financial stability/earning power Self-reliance Ability to communicate
Factors Influencing Personal Power Social Cultural Economic Historical Racism Classism Centering Practices
IntimacyRequires honestyWhat we want in a partner may change over the yearsFear of intimacy – physically or emotionally – is anatural instinct
Commitment, Monogamy, & MarriageWhy? We want the love and connection with our partner to be celebrated and supported The belief marriage offers spiritual and material stability Health benefits, property rights, and residency privileges We want our children to grow up in a legally recognized family
However, Marriage also …Reinforces traditional gender rolesHas a long history of oppressing women (women in abusivemarriages have a hard time breaking that vow)Half of all marriages in the US end in divorceSo…do what works for YOUR life and makes YOU HAPPY!
What do you think about marriage?Personally, I would love to be married however, I refuse tosettle for anything less than I want or deserve. I will not getmarried for the sake of being married. I want an equalrelationship without losing myself. I’m almost 32 and theonly one of my close friends who are single. I see so manyunhappy marriages and I don’t want that to be me. Thequote I always refer back to from Sex in the City is “Somepeople are settling down. Others are settling. But I refuse tosettle for anything less than butterflies.” I am teaching mydaughter to be independent but open to love aswell, without compromising herself and at 15 she is smarterthan I ever have been.
Making It WorkIn any relationship problems arise regardless of howsolid and stable the relationship is Develop good communication Try to see things through your partners eyes Pay attention to each other Enjoy being separate Develop other friendships and community Know when to leave Get help if you need it