Single and Loving It
The beauty of living in the 21st century is that women no longer need to feel pressured to be married or in a relationship if they don't want to be. However, as a single woman, you have to be able to take care of yourself, and there are some items you should never be without. From the obvious to the "I never knew such an item existed," here are some great ideas for you and for your other happily single friends.
Big Box O' Tools
Long gone are the days when a woman had to wait for a man to do even the simplest of home repairs. Now you can repair that leaky faucet and replace the bathroom tile grout like a pro. Keeping a toolbox nearby isn't just for handymen: With a complete set of tools of your own, there's almost nothing that you and YouTube can't fix. Don't buy into the whole "It has to be pink" thing, either - your toolbox can be whatever damned color you desire. Why not add a chainsaw if you've got a fireplace? Cutting wood is great exercise (and can be therapeutic as well).
Since you're already a whiz at doing home repairs, it also doesn't hurt to have a jack in your car trunk to fix flat tires. (Although if you opt for a AAA membership instead, that's perfectly okay, too.)
Home Sweet Home
For women who are so over living in an apartment, it's a great time to think about buying a home. With higher incomes creating more buying power for the average woman these days, home ownership might be a smart decision. In the past, women often waited until they were in committed relationships to think about home ownership; today, single women are jumping right in when it comes to owning their own space. If you're a single parent, this may be an especially important purchase, so your kids have room to grow and a sense of security surrounding them.
Things you should keep in said home: a generator (candles get you only so far during a power failure), all of the art you want (including pieces your college roommate found "disturbing"), and enough kitchen gadgets to fill all that cupboard space (this multi tool may just be the greatest thing ever). Don't forget the biggest, most awesome bed you've ever seen, which you can hog all to yourself whenever you want.
Woman's Best Friend
If you've ever dated someone who was allegedly allergic to animals ("allegedly" because it was more likely a "I'm secretly jealous that you like your cat better than me" ploy), then being single allows you to have all the puppies and kittens you can handle; Crazy Cat Lady stereotype be damned. On those stressful days when your boss is being a complete jerk-face, your pet will let you vent without judging.
Money CAN Buy Happiness!
Okay, so maybe you can't own financial security, per se. And yes, it's something that every woman, single or otherwise, should aspire to. However, when you're single, having a retirement plan in place is especially important, because you won't have a partner's social security or life insurance as a cushion to fall back on as you get older.
It also doesn't hurt to think about a supplemental insurance for you if you hit a medical snag not covered by your employer insurance - again, with just yourself to take care of the money stuff, this can be a lifesaver.
Get Out of Town
With tons of travel agencies falling over themselves to court the solo traveler, this is an excellent time to own a passport. Whether you want to play it safe and travel as a single within a tour group or get off the beaten path all on your own, the world is waiting for you to explore it.
For the ocean-loving singleton, a singles cruise is a fun way to hang out with like-minded vacationers. It's also a chance to meet other singles to see if you have any desire to become un-single again.
Library Card = Free Books!
Everyone should own a library card, but for the single woman, it's a chance to kick back with a stack of reading material without paying a dime. Whether you're into exploring Patti Smith's memoir or want the trashiest romance in existence, the local library is a treasure trove that you can re-discover on a weekend, instead of doing yet one more session of antique shop-hopping with your significant other. It's also a fantastic place to find a how-to manual and try out those new tools. Since books eventually go back to the library, you get to enjoy a cutter-free home.
If you're not into reading but are into spending some quality time at home in control of the remote? Netflix is a cheap thrill, especially if you can't get enough of superheroes like Luke Cage or 17 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. If you need something slobbering on you while your butt creates a perfect space on the couch, well, that's what the dog is for.
Remember that Sex and the City episode where Miranda moves into her new home and chokes on her take-out, before dislodging it on her own? (Liz Lemon had a similar experience in 30 Rock, reinvigorating female anxieties about living alone. Thanks, television.)
If you're not exactly ready for Life Alert just yet, there are ways to stay safe if your goldfish isn't well-versed in the Heimlich. For starters, know how to do the Heimlich on yourself. Get a home security system…and a taser couldn't hurt. Believe it or not, you'll find them in the "Tools & Home Improvement" category on Amazon; just like the toolboxes, some come in pink. Others look like a tube of lipstick, which is even more badass.
A Spotify Playlist for Every Occasion
Every single lady should have a music playlist of tunes that inspires her: to greatness, to movement, to whatever you want. And because it's your own personal Spotify or Pandora account (and there's no one around to judge you) you can opt to include any and everything by ABBA without anyone groaning dramatically while you dance around your kitchen. Not that you have to listen to ABBA. That's just a suggestion. (But seriously, listen to some ABBA.)
Fancy Schmancy Dinnerware
For the singleton who loves to entertain, having a set of high-end plates (or plates that only look expensive) to create a Martha Stewart-worthy place setting is a must. To hell with waiting for an antiquated wedding registry to get what you want!
Should you use them only for special occasions? No way. Who says you can't have your Special K in a cut crystal bowl? Even the generic stuff is extra tasty when surrounded by rainbows.
Toys of the, Uh, Adult Variety
Sometimes a single woman wants options when it comes to playthings. Fortunately, this is an enlightened age, and there's no shame in owning whatever you need to enjoy a satisfying sex life - even if you're the only one in the room. Thanks to the internet, discreet purchases are but a mouse click away. Just clean out your browser history if you have a nosy mother who likes to "check email" when she visits (or maybe not - it might keep her from snooping). Even better, if you're the only one who occupies your space, you don't even need to hide your toys away in a deep, dark drawer. Leave 'em wherever they're most accessible - maybe right next to that box of condoms, just in case you meet Mr. Right Now and want to give your batteries the night off.
Single women, rejoice: You have options that your attached women pals don't. And everything you own? It's yours. If you do get tired of talking to the cat (or have memorized every line from The Notebook), you can always try a dating coach to get you back into the game. Until then, life is there for the taking - so go ahead and take it!