Cuffing season can be difficult for women who aren’t in a relationship. With fall comes cute dates to haunted houses, corn mazes and festivals, followed by the holidays, the new year and Valentine’s Day. And when you don’t have a significant other, these months can put your singleness under a microscope.
But just as it’s cuffing season, being single is a season in your life. Some people’s season lasts longer than others, but singlehood is something that we all need to go through AND grow through especially if your goal is to be married.
Your single season doesn’t have to feel like a curse. It’s an opportunity for you to get in tune with who you are and what you want, plus live your best life without having someone to worry about. Relationships take a lot of effort, and while you’re not in one, you can invest that energy into something else until your time comes.
I interview 13 fellas of various relationship statuses for my Millennial Men series. Here’s a blueprint to surviving cuffing season as a single wife:
- Focus on YOU
During your single season, love yourself! Work on the brilliant beauty in the mirror without worrying about when that special guy will come.
Tunde Oshikoya, 26, said it best: “The best advice I can give to a woman who is looking for a man is to focus on herself. There is no one set location to find the man of your dreams but if you focus on yourself and control what you can control, you’ll always be ready whenever you do happen to meet him. Focus on your health and fitness, academics, life goals, professional goals and I promise you will randomly meet the man you’ve been looking for in a checkout line at Publix.”
In addition to what Tunde recommended, use this time to learn more about yourself. Pick up a new hobby or take a class like dance or cooking. There’s always something new to discover about yourself, so use this uninterrupted time to do that.
- Ensure you’re a woman worthy to be found
Continuing on survival tip #1, take a hard look at yourself and see if you’re even really ready for your partner. Are there habits you need to develop, or traits you need to break before you find bae? This may include stepping up your cooking skills, better managing your finances, getting your spiritual life in order, practicing healthy habits, keeping your space clean, and more.
We aren’t perfect and will always fall short in some areas, but doing a self-analyzation of ways to improve before you meet your significant other prepares you for when that time comes
3. Manifest what you really want
There’s nothing wrong with thinking about what you want out of a partner, the key is to not obsess over it. Use the Law of Attraction to your advantage and manifest the ideal guy for you. What are the top five characteristics that he must have?
“Some women have a hard time dating because they don’t know what they want,” says Cedric Brown, 26.
When asked the top traits that he looks for in a lady, Kerry Abner, 31, said: “Ambition, compassion, humor, positivity, and adventure.”
Before Donovan Lyons, 26, got married, he looked for the following characteristics in his wife: “Spiritually sound, career/goal orientated, engages in political or social topics, has a great sense of humor, loves to have fun, great outgoing spirit, open to trying new things, has the ability and energy to help me become a better me.”
While Mr. Right may not come in the package that you expect, knowing the traits that you’d like him to possess will help you identify him whenever he comes.
Another manifestation exercise is to think about your dream date. If money and resources weren’t a factor, where would you go or what would you do with future bae?
We asked our Millennial Men about their dream date, and this is how some of them responded:
“Dinner by the beach, then go salsa dancing, and watch the skyline late at night,” says Darryl Forges, 26.
Isaiah Hill, 21, says, “Skydiving, parasailing, cliff jumping, bungee jumping. Basically, anything that involves us almost peeing ourselves just so we can be closer together knowing that we survived some crazy ish.”
- Raise your standards
Think about your previous experiences and the guys that you’ve dated in the past – did you settle in some ways? Do you need to unlearn some of the myths that you’ve had about love?
“I think some girls may have a hard time in the romance department because they’re stuck on the wrong type of guy. I have so many girlfriends that I believe are wasting their time with a guy who ain’t $h!t,” says Byron Khalil, 25. “I think sometimes girls think that they can change guys or mold them into how they’d like them to be but that’s a waste of time.”
Even if your ex-was a great guy, you may have settled with the dates he’s taken you on (i.e. too many “Netflix and Chills” and not enough nights on the town).
When asked why “Netflix and Chill” have become the norm, Aaron Perkins, 25, says: “Because women have allowed it to be. If ladies stopped coming over then it wouldn’t be a thing.”
Rene Polanco, 25, shares his insight: “Because it’s cheap and guys think it’ll lead to sex.”
During your single season, think about if you need to raise your standards of the caliber of men you date, or how you allow him to treat you. By doing this, you set the tone of how your next relationship will go, and get a firm understanding of what you will or won’t accept.
- Have fun! Go on dates and shoot your shot.
Dating doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be fun if you allow yourself to open-minded, and limit your expectation of how you think things should go.
“I’ve met women at school, work, and social gatherings. I don’t have any recommendations for places to go. Just know that you can’t find anyone by staying in the house,” says Deonte Bridges, 26.
As mentioned in part one, don’t be afraid to let the brotha know how you feel!
Aaron agrees: “In my opinion guys are stupid. You literally have to let us know that you are feeling us. I’ve had girls tell me they were flirting or trying to drop hints at one point but I’m dumb so I never noticed it. So shoot ya shot.”
Jalen Anderson, 25, explains the best method to do that: “Face to face conversation. You can read a person’s intentions when looking them in their eyes. Women making the first move is ok to me. It just shows she knows what she wants, which a lot of men like.”
You can also use your single season to date yourself! Get dolled up and treat yourself to a nice meal or activity. Show yourself how you deserve to be treated.
- Get a better understanding of guys
Men and women are two different creatures. In addition to checking out this Millennial Men series, you can learn more about guys just by talking to them. Facilitate honest conversations with the men around you, including friends and relatives, to learn more about how guys think and operate. While all men are different, you can discover a lot of similarities just by getting them to open up.
Tyler explains: “All men really want is good food, good love, and time to do whatever their craft or hobby is. We’re very simple.”
“We aren’t all dogs trying to get a bone. A lot of us have your best interest in mind because we were brought up to treat women with the utmost respect,” says Isaiah. “Also a lot of dudes feel this way but they don’t know how to display it in a smooth, chivalric way so it comes across as awkward or maybe even “thirsty.” Just look past the exterior and hear us out.”
- Most importantly, be patient and enjoy the journey!
As cliche as it may sound, good things come to those who wait. Learn to embrace the highs and lows of your single season. You are at this point in your life for a reason, plus you are too beautiful to settle for just any guy – be patient until the right one comes along.
[Women have a hard time in the romance department] because you’re supposed to. If you didn’t, you would’ve married the first guy you dated. Struggling is part of the story.” says Rene.
Just as God is preparing you to be in a relationship, He’s also preparing your guy. Believe in your heart that when the time is right, the two of you will be together.
“They might be focusing on their career or figuring out who they are,” says Kevin Crayton, 28. “Patience is a virtue — when it happens your mind, body and soul will know.”
Big shout out to the Millennial Men who shared their insights! Single ladies, how are you embracing your single season? Share in the comments below.
Lifestyle blogger and published author Teyonna Ridgeway is dedicated to helping people recognize their beauty and unleash their brilliance. By day the Atlanta native works in social media marketing, and by night she drops gems about career, travel, faith and life as a Millennial on BecomingBrilliance.com. She also makes homemade natural body butters and sugar scrubs through her Etsy shop, Gail’s Goods. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @TeyonnaLanez.