When I was asked to speak on a women’s conference panel called “Suddenly Single,” I had to laugh because I’m suddenly married. But then I thought: this makes sense. Who better than me to speak on the subject since I was single for 150 years before I got married? If anyone knows how to be single, how to prepare for it, and how to deal with it, it’s me.
When you’ve been suddenly single as many times as I have, you know your shit.
Girlfriends, I’ve been there. I’ve walked in your shoes, and I’m here to tell you that being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. Ill-fitting shoes are.
“Suddenly Single” was billed as a how-to on “creating a social network, mastering the new dating game safely, and controlling your financial portfolio.” It was part of the conference “Deal With It: Taking Charge & Facing Life’s Curveballs” sponsored by the MPTF (Motion Picture Television Fund).
My fellow panelists included a divorce attorney, a former law enforcement guy who now runs his own security firm, and a recently divorced single mom. Together, we shared our insights and experiences on everything from background checks to personal branding, from prenups to pepper spray, from Facebook to finding Mr. Right.
Our goal was to help the newly single navigate the world of dating, mating, hooking-up, and breaking-up, all without fear and loathing. And as the once-perpetually single person on the panel, I felt it was my personal duty to not only enlighten and empower my single sisters in the audience, but to also show them that single life needn’t suck.
Here are some Q&A highlights from the session:
What’s the secret to being a successful single person?
Striking a balance. It’s the ability to be alone with yourself without freaking out, while at the same time being able to stay busy, active, and be social. Having balance is doing what you love with frequency and passion, then knowing when to shut up and stay still.
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How do you survive break-up hell?
First, process the grief any way you have to: therapy, exercise, spa treatments, journaling, meditating, drinking in mass quantities or vaping with your buddies. However, if you’re feeling fragile and your heart is still mending, don’t jump into the sack too soon. “Getting over someone by getting under someone” is total bullshit and bad advice unless you’re an unevolved guy who thinks getting laid solves everything.
What are some red flags to look out for when dating?
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: a guy who texts all the time and doesn’t pick up the phone to talk isn’t for real. He’s either not available, not a serious contender, a complete pussy, or worse, married. Men who hide behind texts are a huge red flag. So are men who can’t spell.
What are some of your hot tips for meeting guys?
Learn to play golf, teach yourself to make eye contact and smile, take an extension class at a local university, join a gym, hang out inside a Vegas sports book, hang out at coffee houses, go to Happy Hour, hit balls at a driving range, and always show up for jury duty. You never know whom you will meet in the jury pool!
How do you win at the dating game?
Do NOT take it too seriously. Think of it as a game; keep your sense of humor and your sense of SELF so you can laugh the whole thing off. Good self-esteem and self-worth is like dating catnip: it makes you extremely attractive to people. If you think of yourself as the prize, then the best man will win. And so will you.
Hopefully by the end of “Suddenly Single,” attendees (including my mother) came away feeling more confident and less anxious about the prospect of being single. Either that, or they came away needing to take a Xanax and take to their bed.
Been there, done that too.
Treva Brandon Scharf
The Late Blooming Bride