We all know those people: the ones who are never single. The ones who partner-hop as if their lives depending on pairing up, even if the partner isn’t good for them; even if they don’t particularly love (or even like) the person; just as long as they aren’t – gasp – single. I’m sort of the opposite. Mostly single, which is fine – I’m not pining for a boyfriend, and I’m happy with the life I’ve created for myself and my son. If I can find a husband with whom to share it, great.
Here are some books to read when you’re just not feeling the partnered vibe.
Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner
At first glance, this may seem out of place on this list. I found this book pretty randomly at the bookstore, and it seemed fun, so I bought it. Carrie is a genius (really) who’s socially awkward and finds dating awful. Her therapist suggests that she try things to be more social, including dating, and she reluctantly agrees. But it’s more than just a YA meet-cute. It’s a charming story about not settling, not changing who you are just to have someone, and about finding out who you really are.
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman
Think of this as sort of the more fun, real-talk version of Eat, Pray, Love. When it seemed like Newman’s friends were all getting married and having kids, Newman was getting stressed at work and wanted to escape – and was lucky enough that she did, periodically. This story follows her travels all over the world, stories of the men she meets, and the adventures she has.
The Misfit’s Manifesto by Lidia Yuknavitch
Okay, so even partnered people should read this, but this book— based on Yuknavitch’s TED talk– is all about those people who don’t quite fit with societal molds: those who challenge expectations and boundaries, who don’t conform, who are on the outskirts. Asking for what you want, pursuing your dreams, and living an authentic life on your terms – it’s all in here. This book will break you and then rebuild you, stronger than you’ve ever been.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats up the Marvel Universe! by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
This stand-alone graphic novel is a must-read for anyone who loves the Squirrel Girl comics, but also for anyone who just wants some fierce, butt-kicking girl power in their lives. The title is pretty self-explanatory, but she’s just so dang lovable that you won’t even be thinking of a significant other when you read this – the story is that absorbing.
The Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner
Weiner (In Her Shoes, Little Earthquakes) is no stranger to “chick lit,” although I cringe at that classification. If you’ve ever followed her on Twitter or Facebook, you know she has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to share them – which is what makes this collection of essays so wonderful. Spanning topics like parenting, writing, love, and more, Weiner is like that best friend who always makes you laugh and knows exactly how you feel – and says what others think but are too polite to say.