Portrait Of A 21st-Century Spinster

Love, Self

Single, successful woman share their tales of living life to the fullest.

I admit it, I love Bridget Jones. (In fact, I actually watched her in both the original and the sequel last weekend. For about the eleventh time.) Still, it irks me that celluloid spinsters are portrayed as losers (however hilarious) when I think that in real life, single women may be the lucky ones. In fact, I'm thankful I didn't hook some nice pre-med guy in college, buy a four-bedroom house in the 'burbs, and start churning out kids (my mom's fantasy).

What I got to do instead: live abroad (twice), become a writer, interview tons of celebrities—Jon Stewart's even funnier in person—date guys from every European Union country, not to mention make out with a Cuban musician in the streets of Havana during a festival celebrating Castro's birthday. Not a bad consolation for no wedding or place settings of bone china.

I'm still hoping the right guy will come along, of course, but like most single women these days, I'm not going to wallow—or worse, settle. In fact, new research by Roona Simpson, PhD, at the University of Edinburgh, found that unlike Bridget, today's "spinsters" aren't obsessed by their solo state. Most are too busy pursuing their personal interests and careers or spending time with interesting friends or family members. Work Vs Love: A Man's Case For Putting Work First

"I have a very fun life," says Rima, 40, of New York City. "I travel a lot." (In the last year alone, she's been to Tanzania, South Africa, China, Scotland, England, and artsy Marfa, Texas.) "As a journalist, I experience things that most of my married friends never do," she says.

Heather, 29, of Boston, agrees. "If I were in a relationship, I wouldn't be able to run my life as I see fit. I wouldn't be able to pursue my master's as easily, I'd miss my hour-long swims, and I wouldn't have learned to sail or climb," she says, adding that she wouldn't want anyone to feel slighted by her commitment to her interests.

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