Why Everyone Needs A 'Single Girl Era'

When Emily Ratajkowski spilt from her husband of four years, Sebastian Bear-McClard, she proudly announced she was going through her "single girl era." As the name suggests, a single girl era — although anyone of any gender can have their own single era — is usually that time that comes right after a breakup when you really relish in being single and all the freedom that comes with it. You do what you want, with who want — right now she's doing that with Pete Davidson — and basically throw your middle finger up in the air at our society that's so bent on forcing the notion of coupledom being the "right" way to exist.


"The preoccupation with the perils of loneliness can obscure the profound benefits of solitude," scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., tells the American Psychological Association. "It is time for a more accurate portrayal of single people and single life — one that recognizes the real strengths and resilience of people who are single, and what makes their lives so meaningful."

If you've just said goodbye to a relationship or you've yet to embrace your single life, chin up. You're better off than you may even realize, and there are benefits to prove it. 

Why everyone needs a single era

Having a single era, especially after being bogged down in a relationship, allows us to get to know ourselves again. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, "The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too." And it's true. We get so wrapped up with our partner that we sometimes lose sight of who we are because we're so busy being one-half of a whole. While there's nothing wrong with that, it can be startling — and exciting — to be single again because of it. You remember who you are, what you love, and what you did before the relationship started. That single era gives you a chance to basically be reborn again.


"You're being true to yourself," relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. "Getting a date — even getting married — is not that difficult. But doing it on your terms because you're ready and you think your partner is the right one takes discrimination, hard work and time ... You're living your life and being true to yourself by doing your diligence and living honestly."

Not only do you get to take your time back and have it all to yourself, but you benefit in other unexpected ways. For example, single people spend less money. "We have always been told that single people are penalized financially — be it the extra cost of housing, holidays or food. So, it is fascinating to find that, when asked, single people in fact spend far less than those in a relationship," consumer affairs expert Harry Wallop tells Refinery 29. And what disposable money you do have, you can spend it as you want. Thanksgiving in Rome? Go for it.


How to get the most out of your single era

Although it should go without saying that during your single era, you should very much lean into the whole "you do you" mentality, but there are other ways to make the most of being single. Without having someone else and their schedule to consider, you can be spontaneous and whimsical. You can eat cookies in bed without someone complaining about the crumbs. You can watch "Sleepless in Seattle" every night for a month straight because there's no one there to judge you for it.


"Want to book a spontaneous trip overseas for a few weeks? No problem," psychotherapist Megan Bruneau, M.A., tells Mind Body Green. "Feel like moving to a new city? Go ahead. Decide you don't want to see any family over the holidays? It's your world... Being single is an opportunity to become more comfortable with life's inevitable discomfort. We generally have no choice but to open ourselves up to emotional discomfort and learn how to navigate rejection, disappointment, and uncertainty."

While no one will blame you if, after the end of your relationship, you want to mope on the couch with a pint of ice cream because you do have to mourn the loss of the relationship in order to move forward after all, but when you're ready, the world is there for you. A single era done right isn't much different from oystering, where you see the world as your oyster, and you just go for it.


You will love again, and you'll find yourself in a relationship again, but if you're fortunate enough to have a single era, don't take it for granted. A lot of good can come from time alone doing your own thing.