Relationship Therapy for Single Women
How Is This Page Different?
This page is not about how you can find a man, or what to do so you are more attractive to a man, or how to flirt, or any other idea that blames you for being single.
This page is for heterosexual mid-life and Baby Boomer women who have always been single (AS) or who are single again (SA) after divorce or death of a husband.
This page is for women with lots of life experiences, who are wise and competent and successful in many areas of their lives.
The issues for Young Singles (those under 30) are very different than for Adult Singles – those who worry about their biological clock and those who no longer do.
Here’s my bias: Being single is not a personal problem; it’s a societal problem that causes women problems! Society (including mothers and even married and single best friends) keep repeating the prejudice that it is a woman’s fault she is not married or remarried. Too many women buy that self-blame.
Of course, you have to make yourself into the best woman you can be and resolve old baggage from childhood and prior relationships. You have to have a full and meaningful life – whether or not you ever meet a man of your choosing. You have to do all this so when or if you do meet this man, he will be the icing on your already wonderful cake of your life.
My bias, built on more than 4 decades of professional experience, leads me to this unspoken truth: More women than men are pursuing their personal growth, so more women than men are ready for a healthy relationship.
Too many women needlessly blame themselves for being single. And they get help with this blame. It comes from people who love and care about them, as well as from professionals and self-help books, with tactless accusations such as: “You don’t give a man a chance.” “You’re too choosey.” “You’re too set in your ways.” “You aren’t feminine enough.”
Self-blame leads to the Fix-It Solution:
If it’s my fault I don’t have a man, then I can fix my problem, so I’ll be able to find a man.
Well, let me tell you something… I am mad.
I’m mad so many smart, professionally successful, delightful women beat up on themselves because … they aren’t married or haven’t stayed married or haven’t remarried.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
(and it isn’t learning to flirt)
You need to learn how to take the control you can have of your life. You can’t make an emotionally available man (EAM) appear. But, you do have control over how you will get your needs met, such as for a social life, physical touch, emotional connection. In fact, in my book, With or Without A Man: Single Women Taking Control of Their Lives, I enumerate nine areas of your life where you do have control. Focusing on these areas will help you feel better about the life you have – for however long you are single.
To help women make this transition from self-blame or helplessness to taking control, I wrote Workbook for With or Without A Man. This has 30 exercises, divided into four sections: Recognizing How You’ve Absorbed Messages; Shifting Your Thinking; Fighting the Blues; and Changing: You Can Make a Difference.
And, to present some of the struggles of being single and how to establish a different world view, I complied 11 Stories on Being Single in a Married World. These stories are about women I’ve seen in therapy, their struggles and their solutions.
The worst thing about being single is…
The worst thing about being single is NOT not having a man.
It’s “Ambiguous Loss.” You may experience this without ever having a name for it. Ambiguous Loss is the not knowing whether you should mourn for the good relationship you want but know you’ll never have it. Or should you keep on hoping. While hoping is good, if you knew you would never meet a man of your choice, then hoping is not good. That’s the ambiguity – not knowing for sure.
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