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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Different Singles Styles

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

What's Your Single Style?

Just as there are many different kinds of couples, there are many different kinds of singles. 

I thought about this after reading How to Be Single, the debut novel from Liz Tuccillo, the co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You.  In it, Julie Jenson, a book publicist, bored with her job and her single status, gets an idea for a book.  She’s answered the timeless question “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” too many times to count, but it makes her wonder “Yeah! Why don’t I?” She and her friends Alice, Serena, Georgia, and Ruby deal with their singlehood in their own ways, and Julie decides to travel around the world to see how single women all over the globe cope with the same issue.   I read the book a few weeks ago and it’s true—some of us are honestly not that great at being unattached.  You’re probably an entirely different type of single than your best friend or your sister—that is, you could care less whether or not you have a significant other to bring home for family holidays, while your sister has to take a few sick days to recover from a breakup, convinced that her life is over without her (now ex-) boyfriend.    

No matter how you feel about it personally, it’s not easy to be single in a couple-filled world.  When you are unattached, it seems like every time you walk down the street you see romantic twosomes completely engrossed in each other.  You field the endless “Why are you still single?  You’re so great!” comments over and over again.  How you react to those starry-eyed couples or respond to those well-meaning (but often annoying!) comments on your love life vary from person to person.  Do you feel that something is missing from your life when you’re without a boyfriend? 

Using the characters in Tuccillo’s book as a basis, let’s take a look at the different kinds of single gals out there:

“He’s out there and I won’t stop until I find him!”. 
This girl is willing to go anywhere at anytime to do anything if there’s even the slightest chance of meeting a guy.  She accepts every invitation to any social event, goes to every party, and accepts every date that might come her way with the intention of finding her soulmate.  In Tuccillo’s novel, Alice quits her job as a successful lawyer in order to commit herself full-time to finding a man.  Maybe you haven’t done anything quite that extreme, but there may have been times where you’ve come close!  Everyone goes through phases of trying to pull themselves out of a dating dry spell by working hard to fill up that calendar—just don’t block out everything else that you have going on in your life so you can be the Social Butterfly of the Year! 

“I have to work on me first.” 
It’s been so long since you’ve had a serious relationship, you hardly remember what it’s like to be in one.  “Love yourself” has become a kind of mantra—life has become an ongoing journey of self-discovery so that you can bring a better, more complete being into your next relationship…whenever that is.  Tuccillo introduces us to Serena, who has not been in a relationship in four years.  She goes on a spiritual path to enlightenment instead—imagine her surprise when a fellow swami stirs up some long-dormant romantic feelings. 

“I’m just out of a long-term relationship and I want to have some F-U-N!” 
You’ve been in a serious relationship for so long, you hardly remember what it’s like to not be in one.  So, when it does end, you go a little wild at first.  In the book, Georgia is a newly-divorced mom who is determined to sow some wild oats and show her ex-husband just how well she can live without him.  Hookups, flings, casual dating…it doesn’t matter.  You want it all, and you want it with someone hot!  Sure, you’ll find someone else to settle down with eventually, but right now, it’s all about proving that you’ve still got it.

“I can’t imagine not having a boyfriend.  I’m nothing without a guy in my life!”
These poor girls are the ones who call in sick for a week after a break-up.  Emotionally sensitive and painfully unaware of their own strength, they vow to never love again after the end of every relationship.  These girls don’t want to be so dependent on a man, but it’s too difficult to go through life alone.  When we meet Ruby in the book, she’s a few days into recovering from the death of her cat.  She does learn to love again, one day at a time. 

“If I find him, great.  If not, it’s not the end of the world.  I have lots of other things in my life to fulfill me.” 
These girls have a healthy outlook on the game of love—they go on dates, agree to be set up, and go to social events, but finding a guy isn’t the sole focus of her life.  This best describes the main character in Tuccillo’s book.  It would seem that Julie should have a better idea of what she’s looking for (she’s in her late thirties), but as she travels around the world speaking with other single gals, she learns that she really has no clue.  Though Julie’s had dates, long-term, lasting love has eluded her.  Sometimes these singles need to take some drastic measures to shake up their lives—quit their jobs, see the world, or take on a new challenge—and in the process, they wind up learning more about themselves.  And a well-rounded gal who knows her own mind is definitely a catch!

What’s your take on being single?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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