Being More Than Single During your Single Season: A Chat with Koereyelle DuBose of Single Wives Club
SINGLE WIVES CLUB: A chat about being more than single during your single season
By: Timoshanae Wellmaker (@goldgoldgirl)
Every one of us has been there (and many of us reading this are still there) – yup, a season of singleness. With so much going on in the world around us it sometimes gets hard to understand what your singleness should look like. After all, a quick scroll on Facebook or Instagram seems to be a constant reminder that everyone is in a relationship except for you.
One woman, Koereyelle DuBose, reminds us that there is a purpose in singleness. In 2011 she founded an entire club dedicated to educating and empowering single ladies to become better women before becoming wives- The Single Wives Club. We sat down with her to learn more about the Single Wives Club, and how to really embrace your single season.
KD: What is a single wife?
TSB: A “single wife” is a single woman who is preparing for marriage. She understands she doesn't solely want to be a “bae”, “boo” or even girlfriend; but, already sees herself as a wife. Therefore, she’s willing to invest in herself personally and professionally to become her best self, so she can step confidently into the role of a wife.
How was the Single Wives Club created?
It was created out of personal need. After I ended an engagement (that turned out to be an abusive relationship), I realized part of the reason it didn't work out was not only did I pick the wrong person, but I wasn't the right person yet. I wasn't ready because I wasn't prepared. I didn't know what being a wife looked like, so I wanted to find resources and programs [to help me better understand that role]. However, when I started searching, I realized there wasn't anything out there, so I figured I would create a solution to the problem.
Single Wives Club initially started as simply me inviting my single friends over, and we would all teach each other how to cook. Those cooking parties [eventually] turned into bigger conversations about singleness, and then those conversations turned into workshops, and then the workshops to classes, and classes into membership. And all of that was the beginning of the Single Wives Club. It started simply as a support group for single women.
Is it ever too late to be not married? Is there a certain age where we should start worrying if we aren’t married?
Who you place yourself into a certain box or status quo, that's when you start feeling frustrated and you start settling. That’s how I ended up almost marrying the wrong person. When I met this man at 24, that’s what worked in this plan that I had for myself. But I have learned, not just in relationships but in life period, you cannot trade your deadlines for God’s timeline. You will end up disappointed, frustrated and mad every single time because it's not up for us to decide when we're supposed to get what we want to have. When we are ready, that’s when we’ll receive the things that are meant for us. No there isn’t a specific number, you can’t put an age on it.
I have met women who have gotten married at 21 and who were unhappy because they hadn’t even developed into full-fledged woman yet. They hadn’t even learned themselves and they jumped into a situation that they later regretted. And I’ve met 25 year old women who felt like they got married too young, or too soon, and believed they didn't make the right decision.
On the flip side of that you can be 21 or 25 and be married to your best friend for the rest of your life. It's just a personal thing. And when we compare ourselves to other people that's where we get these unrealistic expectations for ourselves and end up frustrated and disappointed. I think we have to get away from even trying to give ourselves these deadlines of, “if I’m not married by 30, something is wrong with me,” or “I have to marry whoever I’m dating at 30.”
You were saying in your 20s, or rather before you get married, you should first get to know yourself. What are different ways young women can learn more about herself during her singleness? What are some ways you suggest to take that needed time before getting into a serious relationship?
When my engagement ended it really forced me to check myself all of the way around, and figure out what I wanted to spend my time doing, and who I wanted to spend my time with. That was a real crossroad situation because I realized at the end of it, I had put all of this time and energy into preparing to become the other half of this relationship, but I hadn’t put that much energy into knowing who I was by myself and as a woman. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, career- wise, personally, all of that stuff. I didn’t even really know what made me happy.
I spent a lot of time reading books, so I definitely recommend reading any book that will help you think about yourself a little differently, understand that you are consciously creating all of the things that you are experiencing. By reading and spending time with yourself, and by making those lists of the things that make you happy and the things that you love and the types of people you want to spend time with, just by putting energy into those things you will create your experiences and you will learn so much about yourself.
Until you spend time doing that it's going to be hard to even entertain anybody else. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship if you aren't really confident and sure about who you are by yourself it's going to be hard to be confident with somebody else.
Do you believe in the saying, “my partner is my other half”?
Definitely not. I think that a healthy, whole relationship is two whole people. It isn’t two halves trying to fulfil one another, and trying to make each other whole. You have to be whole already. Its two whole people creating third entity. When you look for somebody to complete you, or somebody to make up for what you don’t have, you end up settling for that other half versus getting a whole.
What were some ways you made sure you enjoyed your single season rather than obsess over it?
Finding the things that you like to do. As women it's so hard to not think of the stuff we don't want to do, things we don’t like doing, the types of men we don't want. But, then if I say what do you want, what makes you happy, we have to think about it.
The only way to enjoy your life is to actually enjoy your life. If you’re spending every single moment of every single day with people you don’t want to be around, doing things you really don’t want to do, working a job that doesn't make you happy, having conversations that don't fulfill you, then of course you’re going to be miserable. But if you actually figure out what you want to do, what you want to spend your time doing, and who you want to spend your time around you can bend your life around those things, and you’ll be happier because you're actually doing the things that make you happy.
If you were to give single you advice on how to date properly (red flags, things to look for) what would you tell her?
I would say if you already see the red flags, just don’t ignore them. Most of the time, when we see them, we know they are there but we don't act on them. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to trust our gut, trust our intuition- to not make a bunch of excuses when those red flags pop up, to not sweep it under the rug or talk ourselves out of thinking about it.
I think the best thing we can do for ourselves is to trust ourselves and to know that we already know that we should do, whether we want to do that or not. I think the root of all evil is bad decision making. It’s knowing what you should do but doing what feels good anyway.
What are boyfriend versus husband privileges? How can we give that separation of not doing too much for a boyfriend, etc.?
I think that is a personal preference type of question. I don’t ever want to be in the same box where I’m trying to give people a blueprint. I don’t think that works. I don’t think anything is one hundred percent, especially when it comes to relationships because you can only control yourself. I can tell you ten things to do, and you can do every single one of them, but if you didn’t pick the right person to do those things with it’s not going to work. It comes down to your own decision making.
For example, I can’t say don’t cook a meal for a man unless you’re committed to him (or unless he’s your husband) because you might love cooking. I would say don’t do the things outside of your comfort zone until you’re committed to someone, or until you foresee this being a real long term thing.
Even if you’ve given someone the title of boyfriend that does not mean he’s going to be your husband. Even if he has the title “husband,” it doesn’t mean you two are going to last forever. I think when you start stepping outside of your comfort zone, those things should be reserved for the people who you see as long-term type of people. If having sex and cooking and going on vacation is within your personal comfort zone, do what you do. I don’t think you should try to live up to other people’s expectations, whatever is comfortable for you is what you should do. But if it's a stretch, I would reserve those privileges for my husband.
How can we tell the true intentions of a man?
The best way to tell his intentions is his effort. I think we’ve all dated guys you’re really interested in, and they’re kind of interested in us. Yet, every little thing they do we gas it up because we “really, really” like them. And then we’ve met guys who are extra interested in us, but we call them thirsty and put them in the friend zone, or think something is wrong with them, because they’re doing “too much.” So, I would say you can judge a guy's intentions based on his actions following his words. Is he actually doing the things he says he’s going to do, or just talking about it?
I think the guys who I’ve come across who have had good, healthy intentions, their actions have spoken louder than their words. I would say watch his actions, and make sure they are a clear reflection of his intentions.
Do you think that if one is ready for marriage, they should stop casually dating altogether, decide on the first date, etc. How would you say they should go about it?
I think you should enjoy dating, but don’t waste your time. I don’t think women should just go on multiple dates with a guy they have no interest in. I also don’t believe on the first date you should necessarily dismiss somebody unless you see those red flags, or unless something comes up that is a deal breaker (you shouldn’t put that much pressure on yourself).
So, to answer your question, I do think you should date, but only with intention. Have fun and enjoy dating.