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It is amazing how a good book can put your life into perspective a little more clearly.  I am not here to advertise for this particular book, but as I left PSU a lot of important events happened that were what I call, “Life changing.” I finally let go of the life I had with my college sweetheart, I ended up becoming best friends with my ex-boyfriend who I was on and off in a relationship with for quite some time, and I had moved to Florida solely for my new career. I had discovered the new age of dating in Florida – most of the guys that I dated while l was living there I met through mutual friends. One of final draws that made me re-evaluate the guys that I attracted happened right after I finished my manatee dredge job and started packing to leave for my next project in the Gulf of Mexico.
I met this guy Mike at a sports pub nearby my house – I had a good feeling about this date, because he was a charming, young, and an athletic umpire for the Florida Marlins. Mike explained to me that him and 2 other umpires would take turns during certain games, but most of the time he worked by himself. As the night drew on, he kept talking about himself, his umpire issues, and his gay brother (yes, kind of random!). I realized at this time that we really had nothing in common, besides that we both loved sports. Sports were a great topic, but in order to be with someone there has to be that “connection” – well the connection between Mike and I was non-existent. After I drove myself home, I laid there thinking why do I attract these types of guys and why do I tend to date them? A few days ago, I went to the local bookstore in the area and purchased the book, “Better Single, Than Sorry.” I thought it would be a great read on my next project – besides I kind of like the Sex & the City vibe that it had. Plus, it emphasized that being single is a time to have fun, learn new things, grow, and blossom—not a time to feel desperate or depressed, so cherish it! Instead of waiting to read it on the ship, I decided to begin reading it that night! I could not put it down!
I bought this book with the intentions that I could not only learn a thing or two, but I could get myself to the level that I wanted to be on. My thoughts were that once I was on that level, everything else would fall into place, guys included. I have absorbed some great material for this book. I was really impressed with how this book seemed to relate itself to my current lifestyle.  With this being said, I wanted to briefly recap why I really enjoyed this book and overview 10 of the tips that I had learned. The funny thing was that these 10 tips were from only chapter 1! The main reason I brought up this book and why this associated itself with the travelingmarinebiologist, was because a few months after finishing this book I met my husband. If this was not “Life changing,” then I do not know what is!
10 Tips from Chapter 1 – “Better Single, Than Sorry”

1.       Let us be honest. No woman really wants to be alone for the rest of her life; however, some women have their reasons to remain single. But does alone mean you are doomed to be miserable forever? Definitely not! And does being single have to equal lonely?  No way! You can have the best time of your life when you are single, but you would you not know that from our relationship obsessed society, where celebrity magazines devote majority of their content to who is dating whom. The wedding industry does not help either. Yet more than 1/3 of marriages ends in divorce, and countless other couples languish in unions that should not have happened in the first place. Do not become a statistic- love yourself and never settle for anyone!   There is nothing wrong with wanting to find a man who gives us that certain feeling in our stomachs – and especially in our hearts.  
2.      Because a relationship ends, this only brings hope that the relationship that you longed for or simply the relationship that will not end is so much closer now. Dating is supposed to be fun and well let us face it, quite an amusing activity. Live life to the fullest and know that you are becoming the person that you want to become – pairing with someone as equally fabulous as you feels amazing.   
3.      Single has its perks, for instance, what if you dated a guy just to get him off your back or to stop asking you out all the time? What if that made him happy, but not you? Being single is not a bad thing; it is a wonderful time to liberate the feeling of being independent and not having to answer to anyone or for anybody. 
4.      There are a few stories that are mentioned in this book. I will mention one that I thought was really good and definitely made me think. A married wife who just lost someone close to her realized that her husband was not there for her at all. In a way, this death made her acknowledge that she deserved better and for a great guy to be there when she needed him the most, especially in a situation like this one. Unfortunately, it took this tragic event to re-evaluate her life and her commitment to her husband. She settled for her husband because she wanted to be married and thought he was a good catch – but lately realized that he was a great catch for someone else, not her. At the time she thought that he was the best that she could get. And since her divorce she finally came to terms that she is a lot more confident and definitely deserves so much more than what she settled for. 
5.      Dating can be frustrating and exciting at the same time. But there is nothing worse than being in a bad relationship.  It all begins with the belief that you are single and fabulous – a great Sex & the City phrase. So many women are desperate because most of them are insecure. We owe it to ourselves to be content. It is important to be surrounded by people and things that make us feel good. Every day it is significant to remind yourself that you are a valuable and motivated human being that deserves to be happy and find your prince charming.   If we do not have that confidence, we can fall to the temptations to settle because of our friend’s weddings and friends who simply are already in a relationship.
6.      Painful relationships take a lot of heartache, but we have to remember that even painful splits are worth it in the long run.   Those broken relationships teach us about our own needs, the warning signs, and the wisdom not to make the same mistake twice. And always as devastating as the breakup, remember life goes on
7.      Why a boyfriend should not matter – being single is not a curse. All the time you hear girls saying, “I NEED a boyfriend.” In other words, what they are really saying is that they are desperate, pathetic, and nothing really matters in this world unless they have a boyfriend – a man in their life to save them from their wretched existence.   Please tell me what is wrong with this picture? Your life should be filled with plenty of things that keep you happy and busy- yes, even without a man. You can have a great apartment, a fun job that pays you enough to stock your closest with as many clothes (jeans, shoes, etc .) that you want, wonderful friends, and of course a loving family. Just think this is the only time that you will not have to be accountable for anyone, but yourself. Once you have a boyfriend, you have to worry about checking in with him, or worrying about what he is doing when he is not with you. Also, a boyfriend entitles you to watch all the action flicks that he wants, instead of watching Legally Blonde for the millionth time. And heck, if you gain a few pounds, only you notice. 
8.      Do not get yourself down about not having someone right now. The person that you are waiting for that reaches all of your expectations and more maybe has not come around yet. There is no time line to tell you when this will happen; you just have to patient and have fun doing what you are doing now. Be optimistic and reveling in the freedom you have. There is no reason to feel pathetic if you have a fulfilling life. Do not sacrifice all of the benefits of being single – that is your happiness – for a guy who is simply not worth it. We do not have boyfriends for a reason: Settling just is not an option nor should it be. This gives you time to discover new adventures, meet new people, and to focus on yourself
9.      Since there is no set schedule for when you are going to fall in love, do not sit idly waiting for a guy to come around. Being single should not stop you from doing anything! Pursue your interests and create a life that you will enjoy even while you are “without boyfriend.” And the thought of waiting for a guy never should be what limits your choices or actions. 
10.  Choose your friends wisely and remember to surround yourself with positive people who do not bring you down. Most important thing to remember is that if you meet a guy and something does happen, then that is great. What happens if it does not work out? Then it is simply his lost, not yours. You already have a wonderful life
My Initial Thoughts After I Read the First Chapter

I know that some of these are common sense, but is nice to be reminded that the first and foremost priority is to make sure that you are happy. Everything else will fall into place. And this is why I finally realize that I should not get down about not finding that “right guy.” I know he will come around, but I am not at the state right now where I could create that kind of relationship that I want. My job right now is taking me to new leaps and I do not want to be the one who does not make that jump, because I feel that I am needed elsewhere. This book, especially Chapter 1 has taught me so much about myself – it is quite ridiculous how much more confidence I felt after reading the first chapter. For once in my life, I am truly happy. I could not have better friends, family, and I am working on a passion that I had since I was a kid.   
Concluding Thoughts on “Better Single, Than Sorry”

One of the best lessons I learned from this book was to never settle! One section that has stuck with me since reading this book was a description on the routine guys that we girls sometimes date. I found myself dating the same typical guy one after another – almost the exact type of guy, but with a different name! I dated your typical surfer bums, athletic guys, and even the geeky electronic boys while living in Florida. Each guy never really had a huge difference from the last guy I dated – like I said, they seemed to be all the same! And then it happened, I met Adrian who was very different from my “routine” guys that I dated. Call me a hopeless romantic, but when I went on my first date with Adrian I skimmed back through this particular section that I had mentioned and compared Adrian to the guys that she was talking about. To my surprise, he was nothing like these guys in her book – he was different.
One of the First Pictures of Adrian and I; Cape Canaveral, Florida 04.2008
Life-Changing Events

There is a portion in the book that asks you if the guy you are dating is unique, has a good sense of humor, conceals a great personality, and is overall a “nice” guy – Adrian fit this profile. There is another question that asks you what makes this guy distinctive from your previous ex-boyfriends? Adrian was from Romania, was highly goal-driven, musically talented, loved teaching little kids how to play musical instruments, and had an amazing relationship with his family. Instead of giving him the cold shoulder and presenting him with my “planned” speech that explained how goal-driven I was and how at this particular time in my life I was neither ready nor available for a relationship, I jumped in with both feet! Here it is February 2011 and I am happy to say that we are still together and going strong! You tell me if the book led me to find an amazing relationship, instead of stumbling into “bad” ones that I could have easily fallen for if I had not gained my self-confidence?
Leading Author: Jen Schefft
A Little Background about the Author, Jen Schefft

In 2003, she got engaged in front of millions of people on television’s The Bachelor, only to see it end nine months later when the relationship just was not right anymore. A year later, she turned down an engagement on The Bachelorette, and the backlash was relentless. She was labeled a “spinster” by a celebrity magazine, and a noted national talk-show host remarked that she would be “a bachelorette for the rest of her life.” 

This is a terrible message to send to the millions of sensational single women out there, and in her book Schefft makes it her mission to let women know that it is better to be single than to be in a relationship that does not make you happy. With testimonials from women of all ages—single, married, in committed relationships, with children (even single moms) and without—this book tells you how to let go of your fear of being alone and how to love yourself and never settle for a relationship that is anything less than you deserve.

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