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Being the Serial Single Girl: 5 Women on Why They Choose to Fly Solo

‘I’m focusing on being an amazing, young mother’

1 I want different sex

‘I started dating when I was 16. Now 27, I’ve had two serious relationships and have been single for a total of six months since my first boyfriend. I loved my relationships and the lessons they taught me. But I’m tired. I’m tired of having to take someone else into account all the time. I’m tired of having the same sex in the same four positions. Mostly, I’m just tired of the version of me that exists within a relationship. I feel like I haven’t afforded myself the opportunity to know myself on different levels. I’ve been single now for almost a year, have met some amazing women who I would have previously loved to have dated, but I’m done with dating for now. It’s weird. At my age, all of my friends are looking to settle down and start a family, while I want the exact opposite.’ – Tanya, 27

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2 My partner passed away three years ago

‘Obviously it was really traumatic and difficult. Something that really shook me was how quickly everyone “encourages” you to move on and “get back out there”. It almost felt like I should hurry up already and replace my lost love. The first year being without him and being single was definitely the hardest. For the most part, I feel as though I have healed. But to be honest, until I meet someone who I feel incredibly deep things for, I don’t want to date casually. When you’ve loved and been loved so beautifully, and then lost that, you’re almost incapable of dealing with generic dating. At least for me, anyway. I’m taking my time. I know what a big love feels like, and I’m not settling for less.’ – K, 29

3 My career takes me all over

‘As a consultant, my career drives my life. I could be in Jo’burg for six months and London for the next six. I love that freedom more than I love the stability of coming home to someone. It’s difficult because I work with a lot of men who think the way I do. They’re never questioned about it or told that they “can have it all”. As a woman, everyone assumes that I’m unhappy with my situation. They don’t get that in my mind, I already do “have it all”.’ – Anonymous

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4 I’m raising my daughter

‘I had a one-night stand two years ago and fell pregnant. The guy wanted nothing to do with me or the baby, which wasn’t surprising. Initially I had these moments of wild panic where I worried I’d be alone forever. This fear drove me to date men who really weren’t worth the time. I realise now that there aren’t many men who are down to raising a young child as their own. Mostly, though, I realised that I don’t actually want a near-stranger raising her either. I’m not going to fight it if someone amazing comes along, but I’m not actively searching for a partner. I love my life and my family of two.’ – Cheri, 28

5 I’m working through some things

‘I got out of an unhealthy relationship two years ago. Only after going to therapy did I realise the part I played in the relationship, being as bad as it was. I have intense issues with jealousy and I can be really possessive. In the end, I pushed away someone I really loved because of my own unresolved issues. I’m working through them now, but I’ve had to confront what drove my anxiety in the first place – the fear of being alone. I’ll get back out there when I know I won’t sabotage myself.’ – Anonymous

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