What Married Women Wish All Single Women Knew About Love & Relationships

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dating advice for women

You've got this. Really, you do.

I was in my senior year of college at the age of 21 when my friends started getting married. It kicked off a decade of what felt like every single woman I know, tying the knot, while I stayed single and bumbling around blind in the dark when it came to love and stuff like, you know, tricking a man into being my boyfriend for a span of months.

The women I know who are married are the exact opposite of the "smug marrieds" that Helen Fielding describes in Bridget Jones's Diary.

None of the married women I know encourage me to get myself a man in order to achieve happiness. In fact, most of them are really sensitive to the fact that we are in different places in our lives. 

These married friends of mine are far more likely to hit me up for details about the latest threesome I enjoyed than they are to volunteer sage advice from the lips of a married woman. Even when pressed these friends like to stop and remind me that every person is different and that every marriage is different.

RELATED: 10 Valid Reasons You Should Get Married In Your 30s, Not Your 20s

What I'm saying here is that my married female friends are exactly the types of women who SHOULD be giving single women advice about love, sex, and dating.

With that in mind (and also marriage on mind) I put a call out and asked the married women I know to share some advice for single women, like me, who might be looking in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways for love that lasts a lifetime. 

  •  “Don't ever settle.”
  • “Don't have an affair with a married person.”
  • “Marriage is a choice, literally every day, because you will change and they will change. Marriage is a promise to *continue to choose* that person. Don't get married if you're the kind of person to think about breaking up after every disagreement or fight — marriage isn't for you, and that's okay.”
  • “Know thyself. And like thyself too.”
  • “My husband found that when he decided to get comfortable in his own skin, that's around the time I noticed him. When you stop trying to be different for other people and just be *you,* that's attractive.”
  • “Enjoy yourself. I love being married but it certainly makes me wish I'd enjoyed being single instead of worrying so much about someday getting married.”
  • “Make sure you get to know and love yourself before you share yourself.”
  • “Social pressure is a thing for everyone. Getting pressured to get married? Don't worry, because even if you ever do choose to get married, people will be pressuring you to do something else. Don't listen to those idiots. The benefit you get from marriage is legal things (power of attorney if necessary, right to be in a hospital room, etc.) Marriage isn't the be all, end all. Focus on yourself and what you want to do with your life.”
  • “I think a lot of people think marriage to anyone is better than being single. That is a mistake. Marry the person you love and have no questions about. I truly think you can be 100 percent in with someone. Of course people have flaws and if the things you are looking for are shallow (money, looks, etc) then you may not get 100 percent, but if you want someone who is funny and sexy and smart and passionate about their work, etc. These are not too much to ask. Settling on the big things like that lead to misery. There are many married people who would have been better off staying single.”
  • “If you aren't having good sex now, it won't improve with marriage.”
  • “Don't expect the person to do something or change something after you get married. Don't say to your partner, ‘I’ll be better at (or do) xyz once we're married’”
  • “Don't do it (get married) unless you are willing to work at it every single day. And it's not always rainbows and sunshine but there are lots of rewarding and special moments too. But nothing beats coming home from a long day to your spouse who loves you and is there for you through thick and thin.”

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  • “Walk through your future partner's house. Are you comfortable with your partner's level of cleanliness/tidiness? Your stuff will commingle, and I promise, the pile of random laundry persists after the wedding. Also talk about finances. What is your debt-load compared to your partner's? Do you budget? Who will pay what bills? Is one of you a spendthrift?”
  • “Marriage is an agreement. Different couples have different agreements (values, perhaps, would be another word?). I don't think the agreement itself matters as much as both of you being on the same page about it. JJ and I both really value stability, so our agreement is that we will be stable for each other (no one over here is starting their own business or backpacking through Argentina), and we will live in a place where we can put down roots (community stability) and afford the lifestyle we want (financial stability). Other people have agreements that they will be adventurers together or that they will be pretty for parties together or that the man will make lots of money and that the woman will keep the house or that they will be a family focused partnership and have seven kids or whatever. You need to find someone that you feel comfortable making an agreement with.”

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday. For more of her work, click here