Small But Meaningful Indulgences for the Single Woman

Vanessa Torre

You deserve to be treated right, even if you need to do it yourself.

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If there is one assumption about single life that I loathe more than anything else, it’s the idea that single women are somehow lacking. Lacking what? Name it. Companionship. Contentment. Love. Self-actualization. None of this is true.

There is this notion that there are two groups of people out there: happily coupled people and, well, everyone else. This is also unilaterally untrue. We exist the same as our coupled-up counterparts. The difference is that single people function on a level of self-sufficiency that is close to being a superpower.

We take care of ourselves. By that, I mean we take care of every single thing. All of it. There is no complaining about someone not carrying their share of the physical or emotional labor in our space because we are the lone carrier.

Right now, I have to go trim as many branches off the Palo Verde tree in my backyard for trash day tomorrow because there is no shouting across my house, “Hey honey? When you get a minute?” I have neither a honey nor a minute.

But, that tree’s going to get done today.

Single people don’t have a problem with doing everything. We’re used to it. But, there is a problem I see, particularly with single women. We will not stop martyring ourselves. While we don't complain about the doing of all of the things, we will complain about not getting a chance to take care of ourselves or no one else spoiling us.

I am here to implore all single women who are tired of doing all of the things to stop doing all of the things for just a little while. We need to take care of ourselves. It’s not selfish. We deserve to be spoiled even if we are the ones who have to do the spoiling.

I treat myself well. Really well. It’s almost shameful. Yet, I feel no shame. I feel delighted. I have worked this out. It took me a while to get here because I never made myself a priority. This comes from many years of wife-ing and mom-ing and making sure everyone had new socks and underwear while ignoring that I did not. My own joy is now a serious priority in my life.

Here is a cold hard fact: moving about your life as an autonomous single woman and not wearing brand new, fantastic underwear is no way to move about life.

So I offer a few things women can do for themselves that give them a little space to indulge. They’re not over the top, and they can be done on a budget. That said, build yourself into your budget. Do not be willing to budget for a streaming service but not yourself.

You are just as important as your Apple+ subscription. Put the money aside. Binge-watching Ted Lasso is great self-care but you deserve more.

Moreover, these are easy. They feel good. They remind us that we’re special. We need that because just because no one else is there to do these things for us, doesn’t mean we have to live without them.

Buy herself a ridiculous amount of flowers

I’m not talking about a bouquet. I’m talking about an obscene amount of flowers. Like a you’re-going-to-need-to-borrow-some-vases-from-the-neighbors amount of flowers.

There is nothing more joyful than a house full of gorgeous colors, rich textures, and enchanting scents. Nothing. It’s pure joy. I want you to have flowers in every corner of your house.

You do not have to break the bank to do this. Why? Because you don’t need to do it tomorrow. You need to promise yourself you’ll do it someday soon. Plan this for about two days after a major holiday. Grocery stores will deeply discount flowers to get rid of dying inventory.

I have built a relationship with the lady who runs my local grocer’s flower department. She’ll tell me exactly when to come in. I have walked out of there having spent $20 and looking like I just won the Miss America pageant. Yes, I waved. Why do you ask? Wrist. Wrist. Elbow. Elbow.

Buy herself something amazing to sleep in that she truly loves

When I go to bed every night, no one sees what I look like. There is no one there to judge me for my choice of sleeping attire. I may have spent the whole day in yoga pants and a concert t-shirt, but that does not mean I must sleep in that. And no, changing into a clean, fresh concert t-shirt for bed does not count.

I have purchased myself a whole myriad of clothes that are for nothing more than sleeping. I put them on when I go to bed, and I change out of them after washing my face in the morning.

This doesn’t mean fancy. You get to define this. If you have never considered this, even more fun. What feels good to you? What textures? Colors? Just have fun. If you’re gonna sleep alone, feel amazing while you do it.

Feed herself a breathtaking meal now and again

I am a big believer that food not only feeds the body but feeds the soul. I understand that some people just eat to live, but I don’t know any of those weirdos.

Savoring food reminds us that simple things can be enjoyed deeply and on multiple levels. It can also be a rich, sensual experience, even if we are dining alone. And let’s be real. Some of us are woefully lacking in sensual experiences these days. Step up to the plate, food.

If you don’t cook, take yourself out to dinner. Again, not talking every week, but go to dinner. Grab a friend. Go by yourself and relish not talking to anyone at all. Try something you’ve never had. Indulge in the rich sauce. Have the dessert.

This is even better if you cook. I can tell you from experience that opening a decadent bottle of wine, watching Like Water for Chocolate, and making Chiles en Nogada to consume during the immaculate ending of that movie is life-changing. I am not lying here.

You can go back to baked chicken and steamed broccoli tomorrow.

Our lives still get to be extraordinary. One of the greatest parts about being single is that every day is like a choose your own adventure book. We create this magic. So let’s stop feeling overburdened and give ourselves have some time to feel overindulged. All of the doing of all of the things can wait a minute.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ
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