By Veronica LaRoque

From reality dating shows to speed dating events to eHarmony commercials, it seems like everyone is in a race to the altar.  Today’s society might make it seem like being single is not an option and that it’s just a phase until you find “the one.” Michelle Cove documented people on their journeys to find love in her new film, Seeking Happily Ever After, and inadvertently found gourds of proud singles out there.

In her companion book Seeking Happily Ever After: How to navigate the ups and downs of being single without losing your mind (and finding lasting love along the way), Cove explores why there have been more single women than ever lately, while allowing single women to reclaim their own stories.  With wit, humor and sage advice, Cove uses others’ stories to answer questions raised during filming and creates a self-help book expressly for women who are single and loving it.

What are the advantages of being single?

Cupid’s Advice:

Cupid learned all about why women are single and what they can do to make themselves happy by finding true love — if they’re looking for it.  See what Michelle Cove had to say about her movie and book:

How did filming Seeking Happily Ever After lead you to writing this book?

The film poses questions about this phenomenon and allows viewers to come to their own conclusions.  When the film was completed, I wanted to go a step further and try to answer some of women’s pressing questions that came up during filming–and to create a self-help book that didn’t lump single women into one giant category of “desperately looking for a husband,” like so many other books out there.

Before filming Seeking Happily Ever After, you had written a book called I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You about mother-daughter relationships. How does that book compare to your first?

I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You was a book that helped mom teach their teen daughters how to handle conflict.  It was a book meant to empower women by giving them concrete strategies that they could then pass on to their daughters.  Seeking Happily Ever After is a book that strives to empower single women by helping them tune into their own needs and block out all the “noise” and pressure to get married.  I think most of my projects, in one way or another, challenge women to explore their choices with thoughtful intention.

What kind of problems do you address in the book?

I give women the tools they need to figure out what they want for themselves in a relationship, which isn’t easy in a culture obsessed with weddings.  I also give them scripts to use to deal with family members, friends, colleagues and so on who treat their single status like a problem to fix.  Also, I answer practical questions like, “I worry about being alone and getting sick.  What can I do?” and “What do I need to know about traveling on my own?”

In the book, what is your view on being single?

The book is divided into 12 types of singlehood, such as “The Organic,” who wants to meet a guy the old-fashioned way (by chance), but friends and family insist she’ll end up alone; “The Late Bloomer” is the single who refuses to live life to the fullest now, but rather is waiting because she wants to enjoy her dreams with a husband. Then there is a chapter on “The Trailblazer,” and this is the woman who has no interest in marriage and is sick of having to defend her decision.  She has the challenge of carving out her own path, and I give women in this category tips for being able to create a new path even as others tell them their choice is wrong.

What advice do you have for single women out there?

We are taught pretty early that happiness is “married with two kids and the white picket fence,” and many of us buy into this “happily ever after,” whether it fits us or not.  I think women need to learn how to tune into their own voice and figure out what their own happily ever after looks like right now, whether it’s the conventional route or not, and how to get it.  I also think we need to appreciate that our “happily ever after” notion will change over time, and it should.  Our needs change over time, so we need to tune into these needs and explore them consistently.

Cupid thanks Michelle Cove for her time!  For more information on the author, visit www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com.