5 years ago by

Being single when you’ve never been before, is absolutely marvelous.

Being single at my age – it’s a real gift.

It’s not always easy, of course. There are new habits to learn, especially when you’ve never done this before. Not throwing yourself into going out all the time to convince yourself you’re not alone. Cooking just for yourself. Learning you can say no even when you have nothing else special to do.

Make friends with yourself, at last.
I have so much to learn.

Of course, my friends are starting to encourage me to go on dating apps. And obviously, sometimes I kind of want to. But I’m also meeting lots of people in everyday life.

Men? Yes of course.

And I really love my life right now.

I’ve never been so calm, poised. I had never lived without being attached to the emotions of someone other than myself before. I was always connected to something outside myself, and now it’s just me. If I’m good, I’m good.

In this state, I’m finally discovering my own thoughts and feelings. The work I’m doing with my therapist is no longer being constantly short-circuited by issues I’ve taken on from others.

I’m finally figuring out who I am.

I’ve always been empathetic. Too empathetic. Because of my upbringing, being the first born, first of my class – I was encouraged to behave like the ideal child. What I wanted counted less than what others wanted of me. That’s how it always was with me, in me. I wanted everyone else to be happy. And I thought I had the power to make everyone happy.

So, I became disconnected from my emotions. I learned to smile even when I was hurting.

Then I grew up and transferred those habits into my love life. I was this mix of incredible strength and devastating fragility. I knew how to make others love me, but I wasn’t being the real me. I didn’t know how to love. So often, I’d leave.

I never had a linear view of love. Maybe I’ve read too many novels, but I never dreamed of finding “the love of my life.” “The loves of my life” plural sounded more accurate. Maybe I love men too much to be satisfied with only loving one. Maybe I’m constantly evolving, and I change too much. Maybe I’ve never met the right one.

Or maybe, quite simply, I’d never really met myself.


Dating in the USA is SHIT.
No, seriously – I don’t know how it is in France at the moment, but here, it’s a total catastrophe.

First of all, here, ABSOLUTELY ALL WOMEN are categorized into pathetic clichés.

If you’re 20: Pfff, you’re not serious.
If you’re 25 to 35 and single: You’re definitely looking to snag a man. You’re desperate. You’re radioactive. Help!
If you’re over 40 and single: You are TOTALLY desperate and willing to do anything.
Young divorcée with kids: You screwed up your life.
Older divorcée with kids: It’s over – all that’s left for you is to focus on your kids until they leave home, and then you might as well jump off a bridge.
Over 40 without kids: Go straight to the jumping off a bridge part.

I’m barely exaggerating. We’re all over here shouting COME ON, ENOUGH! We’re fine!!! We’re not a cliché! We don’t all fit into those boxes!!! Please?

But at the same time, we let ourselves get trapped.

When you meet someone, it would be so much easier to talk about “what are your expectations in life?” and answer honestly. Aaaaahhh, honesty. What a joy. So simple.

Sooooooooo refreshing. So why is it easier to hide behind masks? To pretend to be detached? Wouldn’t we be better off, more relaxed, just being ourselves?

Well, yeah. But that would mean ignoring the other big cliché that’s come up between men and women these days (P.S. if you’re gay, please share your version of this, I’m sure the clichés are alive and well for you too).

The “cool girl”.

Ooooh, I know her well, the “cool girl”. I know plenty of them. I also call her the “fun loving girl.” There are tons of these girls on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about?

Super hot, but eating burgers and drinking beer with the dudes. The girl who never gets mad, is always having fun, is easy, and not too intimidating (because another cliché is that men can’t stand powerful women). The girl who will send us photos of her boobs, no problem, because she loves walking around in a white thong and socks on Sunday morning right after giving us a blow job (I’m talking from the guy’s perspective here) oh, yeah, because the “cool girl” is a mix of girl-next-door, model and porn star. And best friend. And she cooks, too.

LOL hahahhaa :)))
Women like that do not exist!!! Loooool!

But anyway. In short, the takeaway point is that all women are desperate, EXCEPT the cool girl.

Personally, I’d prefer to be considered desperate than try to pass for the cool girl.

Because deep down, the cool girl is the most desperate of all, ready to lie on every level to fit into that cliché. And she suffers for it, of course! Can you imagine spending your life trying to play that role?

SO, you see, when my friends tell me to go on dating apps like Raya or Hinge, I HAVE MY DOUBTS.

We are clichified enough as it is for me to go throwing myself into browsing the modern human supermarket. I have self-esteem, for goodness’ sake! I don’t fit into these categories. Maybe I’m too proud. I don’t want to be getting dick pics from random dudes! I have a sensitive stomach, you know? And besides, how are you supposed to pick a guy based on a photo? But maybe I’ll end up giving it a try. Ah! Who knows?


What I think is that we are going through a transitional moment right now.

Women don’t need a man to define themselves anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t need a man to love. I like love. I believe in love. I like cherishing others. I like being cherished on. And most of all, I believe in family, in whatever form it takes. But…

Women are taking power, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Women are aging better than ever. Better than men, a lot of the time. Yes. Because after years of being jealous of men who “age so well” we realized that 1/ women can also age really well (and if a drop of Botox can help, honestly I say go for it!) and 2/ Women can make love to the end of their lives, while in a lot of cases, around 50, male sexuality starts to decline and that little morning blow job can become slightly frustrating, if you know what I mean.

Yep, and no one ever talks about that, you know?
Why do you think Viagra is so popular? (and if one Viagra pill can help them, honestly I say go for it!)

Sooo yeah. Makes you look at George Clooney a little differently now, right?

I know, me too – TOTALLY.

Women today have more power over their reproduction than ever before. (Obviously there are limits to biology but I’m choosing to define motherhood in the biggest way possible — which includes adoption, stepmoms, etc.) And they can choose not to have them too, because honestly, enough with all the bullshit. We are free. Take me, for example, I’m 43 and totally free to ask myself that question. I still don’t know if I want a child or not. Yep. Being undecided is the ultimate luxury. Haha.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Women today are, let me tell you, but really now, FAR FROM BEING DESPERATE.

That’s why they’re made to suffer so much. It’s the swan song of feminine suffering, all the bullshit right now. That’s why we Victoria Secretize women. Why we Kardashianize them. Why we stuff them into clichés even though women have been so over all that ridiculousness for a long time now.

And the modern woman believes in the modern man.

The man who is also over the clichés.

Who knows a woman of substance is probably powerful in one way or another, and he’ll congratulate her for it.
Who knows the cool girl only exists in films and on Instagram.
Who knows a woman is not a trophy or a means of confirming his virility, but an equal partner.

The man who knows how to accept a woman’s fragility and vulnerability, just as much as her strength.
And who knows how to recognize those same traits in himself.

And who has values, whether it’s in real life or in an app. The man who doesn’t ghost, doesn’t send dick pics, doesn’t breadcrumb. Who is clear with his intentions. And takes responsibility for them.

The man who understands that respecting others, not seeing them as a cliché, means respecting himself.

I know men like that. And new generations are on their way, brought up by modern parents – so don’t be surprised when you see women with younger men. It’s not just because of the soft penis problem (lol).

(Im kidding guys I’M KIDDING!!!), it’s also a matter of generational synchronization.

Women are ahead. What are we supposed to do about it?

Stop moping around, and live our lives exactly as we like.


Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • Delphine Hocq March, 14 2019, 9:09 / Reply

    Wahou!!! ça décoiffe!!!

  • GERALDINE March, 14 2019, 9:30 / Reply

    Et paf !!!! bien dit !!

  • Garance, amazing words as always. I’ve always believed that and had lots of moments to ponder and think myself and my longings. I got the nickname “Lonely Annie” for it. I’ve been single a lot of years and actually enjoyed it unapollogetically. Now, Im living with a younger man. He has a new set of values, new take on life, new view of what being a couple means. Hurray for us women and the new powers that come along in this changing world.

  • Jillian Ross March, 15 2019, 12:15

    I too identify very stronngly with Garance. I too loved living alone. I too am now in a relationship with a much younger man. I wasn’t looking. So glad he found me.

  • Chataignier March, 14 2019, 9:56 / Reply

    Bien dit !! Attention Garance a mangé du lion aujourd’hui..

  • eva charpentier March, 14 2019, 10:11 / Reply

    clap clap clap

  • ManueElla March, 14 2019, 10:24 / Reply

    Merci Merci Garance. Time is up ! Quelque soit le sujet c’est bien souvent la femme qui est stigmatisée et les violences viennent parfois, et malheureusement, de notre propre bord.

    Ça suffit! alors oui soyons toutes et tous féministes, il y a encore tant à faire. Nous n’avons pas d’autre choix.
    Et Messieurs n’ayez pas peur… cela sera aussi l’occasion de vous débarrasser du fardeau de la virilité.
    Pour finir, un chiffre: 30 féminicides en France depuis 2019. Je te conseille l’excellent film de Xavier LEGRAND “jusqu’à la garde”. Ses interviews sur le sujet sont un bel exemple d’une parole d’homme sur le sujet.
    Je vous embrasse toutes et tous

  • Garance, I am so touched by your heartfelt writing! It resonates sooo much with my current situation in life. I’m turning 40 this year and “still” single. I would say I’m not desperate but you are right about dating in the US!! Men often think I’m desperate due to my age!! C’mon give us some credits people!! and YES the “cool girl” does not exist!! My tip for you, if anyone wants the cool girl, tell them to watch GONE GIRL LOL. Keep on living your best life, Garance! xoxo

  • Judging by some the experiences of some younger single women I know, it’s just as bad over here. One has serially dated, constantly dumped when things start to get serious (on her side–I guess for the guy, as long as she was the “cool girl” who was just as you describe…once she thought they were together long enough to be a real thing, the guy would leave for a cooler girl). Another one gave up and had a kid via a donor. Yet another has only just begun the journey and I hate to think of her, smart and beautiful, yet probably too smart for most guys and also not beautiful enough for them.
    There are guys out there with hearts of gold. A few. Good luck and bravo to you for the excellent lesson in self esteem.

  • AMEN!

  • La premiere partie de ce post est une description parfaite de qui j’etais pendant des decennies ! Il y a 5 ans, j’ai tout envoye balader et fait un tri (Konmari style) dans la maison et aussi les gens qui m’entourent. Tout y est passe, il y a un prix a payer : + de solitude mais quel bonheur, quel soulagement. Je suis enfin (presque) moi-meme, celle que j’ai toujours ete mais enfouie sous des tas “d’obligations” et cela depuis mon enfance.
    Garance, je vous souhaite un beau tournant que vous avez deja pris : succes reconnu et merite, une nouvelle maison, une liberte qui vous va si bien.
    Bonne route avec de belles nouvelles aventures que vous avez la gentillesse de nous faire partager.

  • Amen sister! Times have and continue to change. These days women are breaking glass ceilings and disrupting. So why does society still try to put us in boxes?

    Live life the way you want to and on your terms. I totally agree with you Garance! Why all the bullshit still?

  • You rock!
    I feel so often that I have questions about being a woman, about getting older, about life…
    But no one wants to hear them. People are afraid of questions and they’d rather suffer than speak up.

    I want to talk about getting older, NON of my female friends- older or younger- want to talk about it. They just say: You’re not old.

    But I’m not and I want to explore being old. To ask and find answers. I don’t want to be young (I mean, I can’t :)), I want to grow older in a way that helps me. In a way I can enjoy and be proud of.

    I want to figure it out!

  • The one thing I wish everyone is to actually be Lucky enough to grow old… So many people are struck with cancer, and terrible accidents and their lives are taken way too soon. Be thankful for the Opportunity that most of us have to actually get to grow old and Wise :) Life is beautiful, embrace is as it comes

  • garance….thank youuuuuuuu!! It’s always a pleasure to read you

  • Meg Woolf March, 14 2019, 12:08 / Reply

    Fantastic! You are absolutely right! As a single woman, who is very recently divorded I can totally relate to what you have written :)

  • So well said!!!!!!! :)

  • et alors.. tu nous le présente quand ce jeunot ?

  • Danielle Mariott March, 14 2019, 12:29 / Reply

    OMG dying…”Older divorcée with kids: It’s over – all that’s left for you is to focus on your kids until they leave home, and then you might as well jump off a bridge.
    Over 40 without kids: Go straight to the jumping off a bridge part.”

    YES. But whyyyyyyy

  • Yup I know what you’re talking about. Too many cliches for sure – it’s almost too funny. I started to date last summer – a little more than a year after my husband passed away. We were married for many solid years so this was a huge wake-up call to what awaits me out there in the BIG (but not so great) dating world. Guy asked me right away “are you pre or post menopausal” – I kid you not! We didn’t last. I’m now in the category of desperate (but not really I can tell you) widow. I’m still relatively young. I have yet to go on dating apps or sites (not sure I will). I will continue to enjoy the company of my more fulfilling women friends…some powerful attractive women who can cook but still have a difficult time meeting the right (not “perfect”) man.

  • Just love your honesty Garance! Here in Greece almost same cliches and a traditionalist mentality that may take many more generations to change. Single women, whether unmarried, divorced, mothers or not – are regarded as “women without men”. Women are advised by other women to stay in marriages, relationships they are not happy in, just because they will be “without a man”, and they will reach 40 (yes finally the new “30” reached this part of the world too) and nobody is going to want you then, especially if you do not own your summer house, car, or at least have a superjob.

  • Bravo , encore bravo!! Mais évidemment qu’une femme célibataire est épanouie. Fini de laver les slips crados de ton mec , ses chaussettes qui puent quand il rentre du sport. La petite routine de cette petite pipe de la semaine ?. Non et non !, oui la femme de 40 et plus célibataire vit bien . Elle sort , voyage, peut regarder Netflix pendant des heures sans reproches. Bon ok ça fait 1 petit moment que je suis célibataire ( avec un ado à la maison), et quand je vous le comportement des mecs et mes copines Bin ça me fait pas rêver ! En fait mon rêve c’est rencontrer un homme, mais en restant chacun chez soi et juste en partageant les bons moments. Et la gâterie c’est quand je veux !
    Merci Garance pour cet article fabuleux

  • Yaz, girl! Preach!

  • Angie Wojak March, 14 2019, 2:47 / Reply

    This is wonderful! I also want to suggest a great author I think you’d love, Eve Babitz. Thank you for all of your inspiring posts!

  • Ah ah ! Bien dit ! La vraie Garance est de retour !

  • Estelle13 March, 14 2019, 3:39 / Reply

    Bien dit Garance ! La “cool girl” , une version de la fille “pas chiante”, un rôle que l’on a si bien appris qu’il est très difficile d’en sortir. Merci de nous y aider , c’est toujours un plaisir de vous lire !

  • For the last ten years I#ve read probably everything you wrote and i love every piece of it. But now it feels as if I can really SEE you….We probably will never reach an aim and be content forever and really,… who wants to, it must feel like being dead. And I am sure there are many things waiting out there for you, but there will always be you, and since you must be wonderful, how lucky you must be to have you. Thank you, as always

  • Just wanted to say …BRAVO!! Things have been evolving for quite some time now, I believe in the power of femininity that rises above and beyond clichés. The times are changing…<3

  • patricia liu March, 14 2019, 5:04 / Reply

    great post ! how is the situation for women (especially single and over 30, 40) in France ? Are they put into boxes with clichés ? so curious to know and compare. can only find tons of information about romance in France, very little about the reality of the single women there.

  • Garance, juste merci !

  • BRAVO ! T’es au top ;)

  • Love this, thank you! I’m ready to jump over a rainbow : )

  • Garance, for every women who patiently waits for your words wether they arrive bi-weekly or monthly or longer (you’re a busy woman after all) Would you please consider putting all of your posts in a book? I know, sounds a bit a-la-Carrie Bradshaw but this would be the ultimate companion to Love X Style X Life and honestly your words are something I use on a daily basis for myself and for others when they are seeking it. Always, thank you for sharing so much of your life with us readers.

  • Always so enjoy your posts Garance. They are reason I continue to visit site. Also for your gorgeous art work. Thank you for this post.

  • Cet article est une PURE MERVEILLE ! Garance, merci ! Tu me guides depuis toujours mais plus que jamais ces derniers temps, sans doute parce que nous traversons des expériences de vie similaires.

    Oh, btw, après une dure rupture et un moment de célibat, je viens de commencer à fréquenter un homme de 11 ans de moins que moi. Ça me questionnait mais maintenant que je viens de te lire, je me suis détendue d’UN COUP ! ;-)

  • Not sure if you’ve read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl but I feel like she coined the term “Cool Girl.” One of the protagonists goes on a rant about pretending to be a Cool Girl to get her husband. I won’t ruin the book for you but there is a whole passage about being a Cool Girl and it is summarized so well in the book. You can read it here: https://genius.com/Gillian-flynn-gone-girl-cool-girl-monologue-book-annotated. They also show talk about the Cool Girl in the movie in this epic scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaoQNDIf6pY. And it’s never been so accurately described to me as in that book/movie scene. When will men understand the Cool Girl is NOT real?

  • Lisa Walker March, 15 2019, 2:14 / Reply

    You hit this RIGHT ON THE HEAD. I’m 49 and my life is mine. I’m not a selfish asshole; I’m not a “lesbian” (not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian), I’m not a desperate old maid; I’m not hideous by any means. I’m a badass living in LA and pretty damn happy. Hey, maybe I’ll go to wine country this weekend with friends? Or, maybe I’l zombie out with Netflix and nap in my favorite Saturday life… But you said it best when you said– “Women don’t need a man to define themselves anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t need a man to love. Or want to love a man…” There is plenty of room for all of that. But it’s pretty damn good over here… XO

  • Alors là Garance!
    Je ne prends jamais le temps de commenter mais là…
    je suis debout devant l’ordi et je fais une hola
    tellement ce post reflète notre réalité actuelle!!
    (Et encore j’ai le privilège d’avoir trouvé un de ces fameux mecs. Il s’accroche encore un peu
    à ses fantasmes de la femme des années 50 mais dans le fond il a bien compris que cette époque etait révolue et que l’authenticité et l’honneteté valait tous les strings en dentelle du monde ;-)

  • je pense sincèrement qu’on ne peut réussir rien de (vraiment) bien pour soi même si on n’a jamais appris à être SEUL. On ne peut se construire correctement, en tout cas. Et même accompagnée, c’est hyper important de savoir redevenir SEULE de temps en temps (#lafugue et faire des trucs toute seule)
    J’ai tjr du mal à comprendre comment ne peuvent pas être “mal” ces femmes qui sont toujours tournées vers l’extérieur. Moi si je fais ça, je m’éteins parce que je construis alors la pulpe de l’abricot au détriment du noyau. Et le plus important, c’est le NOYAU. La pulpe peut se gâter un peu, si le noyau demeure, tu résistes… TU PROUVES QUE TU EXISTES :-)

  • Maritoni March, 15 2019, 5:13 / Reply

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this article. I am on the other side of the coin, after being gloriously single for 40 years, I am now entering the grueling coupledom territory. I am totally lost most of the time, compromise is an alien concept for me. I am honestly so envious of you – I miss my old independent fierce single self. Maybe one day it will happen, and I couldn’t wait.

  • Love this! Your thoughts really inspire me and i ADORE your style of writing.
    Stay confident, we need more of this attitude. 8-)

    Ana xx

  • Florence March, 15 2019, 7:12 / Reply

    Garance, dis, la pression est telle aux USA? A ce point là? En Europe elle existe aussi?
    Moi je suis tout à fait d’accord. Ma Maman à 72 ans. Elle m’a eu dans les années 80 toute seule, ne s’est mariée que sur le très tard avec un autre homme…et ce que tu racontes c’est un peu ce qu’elle me racontait qu’elle avait vécue. Que les femmes de l’époque mariées avaient peur d’elle ( qu’elle leur pique leur mari), que les hommes la prenaient pour la femme facile et désespérée.. et du coup c’était pas toujours simple. Je suis pas célibataire mais j’ai des copines et des copains qui le sont à 40 et 50 ans. Certains ont encore envie de rencontrer un autre que soi et vivre une histoire. D’autre pas du tout. Moi, perso, plus qu’à l’Amour je crois en l’Amitié…parce qu’on change, parce qu’on aime différemment, parce que je crois qu’on a besoin d’espace autours de soi pour pouvoir apprécier les autres…En tout cas merci pour ce texte, pour partager tout cela. Je suis sûre que cela aide un nombre incroyable de femmes des divers horizons du monde!

  • Finalement non. En fait la question se pose : veut-on être objet ou sujet dans notre vie. Et si la réponse est sujet , on se pose plus des questions pareils du genre clichés , cool girl, mecs pas cool …
    je sais pas comme vous mais moi je m’en fautais depuis toujours… et j’ai fait tout ce que j’avais rêvé de faire en étant une petite fille ( pardon, sauf de travailler comme une psy, mais heureusement…). J’ai fait un enfant toute seule ( mais à 20 ans . J’ai aimé des mecs cons et j’ai choisie un mec moderne pour vivre. Et je l’aime . Mais je n’ai plus refait un enfant car j’ai choisis de m’éclater ailleurs. Je lave ses chaussettes aussi car je préfère le faire au lieu de payer une femme de ménage, et lui il fait aussi pleins des choses pour moi qui doivent être sûrement aussi chaintes que des mettre les chaussettes dans la machine …
    Faire ce qu’on a envie de faire et aller la ou on veut aller . Il y a toujours ce choix.
    Pourquoi prêter tant d’attention à ce sujet ? « Moi « qui devient objet très vite et c’est là le piège à mon avis. C’est subtile ? Non je crois pas. Trop de rouge tue le rouge et trop de moi tue le moi. Si ça paraît clair. Être et faire. Pas que être et paraître . Haha , bon courage

  • Jennifer March, 15 2019, 7:39 / Reply

    While I’m ‘only’ 27, I learn so much about myself every time I read one of your personal posts. Thank you so much.


  • FALKOWSKI March, 15 2019, 8:20 / Reply

    Ne serait il pas temps de rentrer en Europe, maintenant, Garance ?

  • Standing ovation over here! Go G! xoxo

  • tout à fait d accord avec toi garance !
    être en accord avec soi c est la base.

  • I have a little contradiction here in regards to men approaching 50 and getting their jewel in a newer, softer form, lol
    My bf is approaching this age mark but his precious jewel is as hungry as ever, it exhausts me and creates tensions in our relationship, i can’t cope with his demands and I am 9 years younger.
    I wish 50% of that cliche would work for me…Or is there an anti-viagra cure? haha

  • Je n’ai pas besoin d’un homme mais j’ai envie d’un amoureux. Les femmes l’ont compris. Mais là est tout le challenge pour les hommes: nous faire rêver et nous séduire plutôt que nous chasser de quoi subsiter ;) Finalement c’est un sacré boulot sur lequel on pourra leur donner quelques conseils!

  • I totally agreed! At 47 I have been single most of my life. I love it, love the freedom and independence I have (travelling alone is the best thing), but also struggle with it a lot. I hate online dating and refused to do so any longer. I hate not just the categories we have been slotted in but also how lost and invisible the next profile or swipe makes you. Why should any man try it with you when there is maybe a better you on the next swipe? I choose to live my life the best way I can without a man. Here is to the strong and independent women finally having our moments.

  • More of this please!!!!!!!!!!

  • WAOUWWWW !!!!

    ça fait des années (depuis l’atelier Doré je pense), que je n’avais pas lu un article de Garance qui gueulait si fort et si bien !!!

    oh non Garance tu n’es pas désespérée, tu es une femme LIBRE, comme il y en a, de plus en plus, mais pas encore assez ! Parce que toi aussi tu vieillis suuuuper bien (franchement), parce que tu as pris ta main en vie, et que tu n’as pas besoin d’un mec !

    Je t’admire depuis le tout début de ton blog, et je continue de t’admirer…

    Bisous depuis Paris Garance, d’une fan ultra de la Corse !!

  • La rage est libératrice. Une force incroyable. À nous de l’utiliser sciemment, de manière constructive; sans la diriger contre soi-même. Loving kindness. Tonnerre de Brest!

  • Bravo Garance ! Très bien dit.
    Tu connais Mona Chollet ? Je viens de finir Sorcières. ça devrait te plaire.
    Bises from Paris

  • You express in the most beautiful way how I (and many of my friends) feel about this very topic! I am 41 years old and single – oh my! And many of my friends are single for one reason or another. We live fabulous lives! Traveling the globe, pursuing dreams and successful careers and dating whomever and whenever we like! The notion that a woman over 40 is doomed is far from the truth (sorry…is this the 1950’s?) and I believe our generation is changing that cliche.

    I recently went on a 5 star “work trip” to Hawaii with a good friend who happens to be a woman over 40. She didn’t have a “plus one” so invited me to tag along. After hiking, attending Barre classes or paddle-boarding in the mornings, we escaped to the Club Lounge around 9am to sip on champagne, eat our delicious breakfasts and plan what fun thing we would do that day…then we face-timed our families back home. WAIT FOR IT! Our respective sisters were busy cleaning up vomit out of their hair, tending to sick kids who had been home from school for a week, managing complicated schedules with husbands they haven’t had sex with in who-knows-how-long, but SORRY – it’s not a competition but again, why am I made to feel bad about my amazing life? Thank you, Garance, for your insight and for publishing this post! I have to go now – I am late to my Barre class and need to get a few things done before my “work trip” to Spain and still need get ready for drinks with friends tonight! (And yes, of course we want to LOVE and I can’t wait for that to happen again but for now, I am absolutely loving the ride:))

  • Florentine March, 15 2019, 1:08 / Reply

    I feel like this is the typical Friday night conversation with my two girl friends : one of them is a strong business woman fighting to break the glass ceiling in a very French patriarchal company, and me and the 3rd one we each started our own business alone.
    We all are singles switching from “god that’s good to be free, there is not one single couple that I envy rn” to “why is it so easy for other girls (we call them les petites meufs) to find someone in two seconds”?

    I wish you could be there for a cocktail with us sometimes.

  • Bravo! Excellently put!
    We are ahead as women – guys just need to catch up

  • Trank you so much… it is soooo true!!!!

  • So On Spot G!! I feel your power flowing through your words!!

  • Amazing words
    !!! I am 43 & single & not despetate.

  • MERCIIIIII !!! xxx

  • I am 57, I have been single for 14 years. Yes, this means that I have not dated, met or fucked anyone in 14 years. And I raised two children, now young adults. While trying to have a career. It is super hard. Super tough.

  • Jessica March, 15 2019, 4:29 / Reply

    I know it’s a small aside in the narrative – but since it was the pull quote on Insta, I thought I’d respond: As a 43 year old woman who has been trying for two years to have a second child, I can tell you for SURE that women can’t have their own biological children whenever they want. There are MANY options – costly, privileged options available to the few, many of which are noble and self sacrificing, but still expensive – for after you no longer have that many eggs to harvest or fertilize. But it’s worth noting the reality, even in this pep talk.

    In fact, I think you have, when talking about your own fertility challenges, acknowledged this reality – there’s a link somewhere? You published the essay elsewhere – which is maybe why I’m surprised to see such a blithe comment here.

    (That aside – I LOVED being single as an adult and I’m truly glad I didn’t meet the man of my dreams until my very late thirties because single autonomy is awesome and society’s view of it mostly makes me think men, in general, are afraid of women who are old enough to give no shits about them and their glitching dicks)

  • Merci!! I’ve never been the cool kid and never wanted to be. Read Dorothy Parker’s masterpiece Big Blonde which truly distills the men vs. women problem for the ages. Women need to tell men that that are not good time girls but that they are happy to share the good times and also the less than good times. These dating apps are for the birds! Women no longer need men for a pay check and that changes everything! There needs to be greater honesty and respect as well as courtship! When women have the courage to show what they really want and set boundaries in the process, we will be in a new era. It’s coming anyway! And it’s cause for celebration.

  • Christy March, 15 2019, 4:42 / Reply

    From Corsica to New York to LA , and maybe now it’s time to transition back to Europe.

  • Oh yeah! My thoughts exactly.

  • Love this! Well said!

  • Stella Tinglin-Webb March, 15 2019, 6:57 / Reply

    Bravo Garance! I was single for most of my 30’s and felt devastated by it because I thought it had to look a certain way. Then I met a man who was 7 years younger who loved my maturity and my silliness and everything changed and we continue to grow together. I am 50 now (just wait it gets even better!) and I am committed to helping my 8 year old daughter that love and relationships don’t look like the movies and that the more self love that exists will attract the person you are meant to spend time with. xoxo

  • Oh no!!! What happened to the Q uppercase?! It was so beautiful, it made me loved the Garamond Premier font even more.
    When i saw this change i thought you changed the font of the website, but it’s actually still Garamond Premier, and i have no idea what caused this change. I found no explanation on the web, could you explain me what happened?

    (For those who don’t know what i’m talking about, the bottom line under the Q uppercase is way longer and go even more under the letter on his right. It’s doesn’t look as good as the way it was before, and personally i quite dislike it.)

  • Whoop whoop* fantastic Garance, I totally feel inspired having just recently found myself single. I shall read this when I’m back on my feet again xx

  • kimberly March, 19 2019, 8:32 / Reply

    well done Garance! i am in my 40s…was single for many years. dating in NYC is ridiculous. i learned to just focus on me. i was (and still am) very happy. i met someone (who i have actually known for years…timing is everything). he is 9 years younger and is the love of my life :-).

  • Marian Sze March, 20 2019, 2:41 / Reply

    Ohmigod, I sigh in relief reading this. I am in the 40, divorced with a kid category, live in Malaysia and have only one single female friend. Every other woman I know–my age, younger or older–is married. It is refreshing to hear another voice describing these hilarious circumstances. Why should attractive, well-travelled, wise and interesting 40-somethings/older, be pitied or shunned by men instead of treasured? Cherished, in fact for all we have learned and have to give from that experience! I do trust in the modern man. Thank you, Garance for always putting the light spin on things. This was FUNNY.

  • Oh beaucoup de choses dans ce texte, bien bien.
    Mais pour celle-là :
    “Jamais je n’avais vécu sans être connectée aux émotions de quelqu’un d’autre que moi.”
    Je te dis merci, merci, j’essayais vainement depuis plusieurs mois de définir cet apaisement, cette petite tranquillité émotionnelle qui m’a envahit depuis que comme toi, je suis enfin célibataire pour la première fois de ma vie à 40 ans. Mais oui c’est EXACTEMENT ça.

  • Valérie March, 21 2019, 4:22 / Reply

    WOW Garance quel bel article! C’est toujours un plaisir de te lire et cette fois encore ta facilité à exprimer ce qui est, ta clarté et ton honnêteté résonne juste pour moi.

  • Count on your friends Garance. They will rarely, if ever, let you down.
    Don’t hate me for writing this, but I suspected things might not be going well when Chris stopped requesting you grow out your hair and told you to wear it any way you pleased.

  • Puisqu’on met les pieds dans le plat et qu’on appelle un chat un chat, que quelqu’un dise la vérité, enfin: non, la sexualité des femmes n’est pas éternelle. Ménopause égale sécheresse vaginale, rapports douloureux et libido qui s’écroule d’un coup. Ça tombe bien et la nature est bien faite, puisque en gros, ça correspond à l’âge ou nos petits maris bandent moins, en tous les cas, pas du tout un cadeau pour un homme plus jeune.
    A part ça, Garance, pourquoi s’obstiner à vivre dans cet “Enfer Climatisé” que sont les Etats-Unis? Moi, j’en suis revenue et tous les jours je me dis “Qu’est-ce qu’on est bien, chez nous!”

  • What is breadcrumbing?!

  • Hello Garance,

    J’ai trouvé au début un peu trop cash, uuuu un peu direct.. et plus tard j’ai ressenti cette énergie que tu as su transporté. J’ai envie de dire que les femmes artistes ce n’est jamais facile.

  • Fast forward to 53 – that’s when I’d like to hear you again , and again at 63 (vaginal dryness and atrophy, anyone?). Still has the familiar whiff of desperation, which is why your ‘confessional’ style, remains distractingly fascinating. Love.

  • Jennifer March, 24 2019, 3:02 / Reply

    Everything you said, Garance. Brava!
    I was lucky enough to become single in my forties but it took me about 12 years to appreciate it (because that was back in the 1990s). Now I’m 66 and loving life so very, very much! I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still have friends who want me to meet men (even though they know I love being alone and have a full life). It seems there are people who are so insecure about their own life that they want you to be just like them (part of a couple). Not for me. I love that there are so many of us now who can connect and rejoice in our decision(s). Bon appetit to life!

  • J’ai l’impression que nous sommes à un carrefour des (re)définitions. Les femmes, les hommes, gays, heteros, tout le monde apprend à pousser les murs.
    Moi qui suit un homme gay, tu n’imagines même pas comment la dictature du cool est présente ! J’ai 30ans, j’habite Paris, et j’ai grandi sans modèles familiaux gays et c’est quelque chose auquel j’aspire. Et tout est à construire de ce côté là. Les modèles qui nous sont offerts sont tournés vers la culture queer, ou des hommes très sexualisés, très sportifs. Si j’ai le malheur de parler de mon désir de famille, on me rit au nez, car selon mes détracteurs j’aurais été conditionné par le modèle hetero. Je ne savais pas que mon désir de famille devrait un jour m’envoyer chez un psy ?!

  • Je t’aime !!

  • Chère Garance, bienvenue dans le monde des célibataires et je sais de quoi je parle !
    Nous sommes des pionnières, célibataires mes soeurs.
    J’ai écrit un livre (que j’espère drôle) réaliste sur le sujet puisque c’est du 100% vécu: “Et sinon, tu as pensé aux sites de rencontres ?”: Guide à l’attention des femmes célibataires, ou les réflexions souvent (souvent déplacées) auxquelles vous n’échapperez pas”.
    Format Kindle sur Amazon (pour le moment)

  • Chère Garance, C’est un plaisir de lire ce billet. Vous n’en avez pas fini de vous rebeller contre les diktats imposés par la société aux femmes. Il y aura sans doute des jours légers comme une bulle de champagne, d’autres plus lourds à porter. Des jours qui vous feront douter, d’autres qui vous feront vous regarder dans la glace en prenant conscience du chemin parcouru. Il faut du courage pour cela. Mais quelles force et sérénité gagnées ! Je vous embrasse et suis heureuse de voir que nous sommes fortes, réalistes, honnêtes avec nous-mêmes. Continuons sur cette voie !

  • Amazing view, so hilarious and so true :’D

  • Well said Garance; I’m in London, 44, and it’s exactly the same. The childishness, casual sexism (because that is what it is) and selfishness from men who are nearly 50 is just astonishing. Like you, this is the first time since my early twenties that I’ve been alone and I’m finally appreciating that my own emotional and mental wellbeing is more important than a romantic relationship with a manbaby of any age.

    Please write another book for women like us!


  • Ha, just this week I was thinking to myself that I’m done with being the cool girl! And if that means men leave, then so be it! I’ll be better off without men like that anyway.

  • Cela fait du bien de lire une femme forte, qui vit avec son temps, et qui envoie valser tous les clichés pourris d’un revers de main! Garance Présidente! Bravo et merci pour ces 10 dernières années de lecture et de rencontres.

  • I am the cool girl you’re talking about. Guys love being around me. And I object to your censorship of me as the most desperate of all. Because I see how most women behave around men, and I know WHY they like ME.

    I’m the cool girl because I’m at ease with men, I enjoy their company and I am myself with them. I dress elegantly and wear makeup for work, and I’m a tomboy off-duty. No thongs here. I prefer wine. I refuse weed because it leaves me baked beyond belief. I’ve never sat through a football match, pool/snooker is a mystery. I can’t sink a beer. But I can discuss sci-fi and fantasy because I like it.

    I’m the cool girl because I’m good company and I like good company, and I’m kind and a good listener to everyone. I am NEVER desperate for male attention because my sense of self-worth doesn’t depend on male validation. That’s the difference. I take for granted guys will like me. I’m dismayed and amused by how many girls around me will giggle and shimmy to appease or get the attention of a random male presence. Eyes flitting to the door even five seconds on a night out in case a ‘prospect’ walks in. Please. I find it so degrading. But my closest friends are women and I have plenty of them.

    Yeah I’m attractive with a good body, but I don’t try to be hot.

    I’m cool because men generally trust that I’m being myself with them, oh and I’m usually the funny one.
    But it’s definitely not a front. I wish more girls were like me.
    So G – I don’t believe that you feel sorry for the cool girl. I think you a) don’t understand her, and b) wish you were like her. Start by ignoring men until you meet one who actually is interesting to you and do what you d*** well please the rest of the time. You might like it.

  • Fine text here, but credits go to Gillian Flynn’s Cool Girl.

  • Ce que tu dis résonne tellement en mos à l’heure actuelle que ça en est terrorisant.
    Je copie-colle certaines phrases qui m’inspirent et qui me parlent dans un fichier et c’est du 80% Garance Doré haha.
    Ca fait 2-3 ans que je me révolte contre mon costume de cool girl et c’est difficile. Je suis tellement perdue. J’ai joué un rôle si longtemps que je ne sais plus qui je suis.
    C’est flippant.
    Merci pour tes mots, écris des livres à l’infini stp.

  • Cristina April, 17 2019, 8:33 / Reply

    Olé olé y oleeeeeee!!! ??????

  • True to my own observations and eloquently explained, merci Garance :)

  • Best Post Ever
    could not agree more!
    and if men were a solution to all our problems, we would know it already.
    You don’t need to go on dating apps…..I cannot think of a worse thing….there is something so transactional about them, soulless.
    A man will drop out of the sky when you least expect it. He will not be the “perfect” man, but he will be the perfect match for you.
    ps the perfect man does not exist and “cool girls” ?….don’t get me started.

  • Thank you, Garance for the wise thoughts. As usually you burst with honesty an I trully appreciate that! Few people can be like that:Honest! I think finding yourself is the ultimate gift life can give you! I am 34 next week and still looking for myself.

  • Garance!!! You took the words out of my mouth! This is a lovely and relatable post for me.

    This is the first time I’m taking full control of my own fate. I’ve always heard my voice, but never acknowledged it. Never paid attention to it. I am taking a break from an 8-year relationship with my husband, who I have a selfless, loving relationship with (but of course, this doesn’t come with personal demons). I’ve fallen for a woman and shared 3 months of beautiful and exciting moments. But neither knew the truth about each other. He knows now and I’ve finally told her. I’ve given both a letter pouring every emotion, truth, and infinite sorries from my end to theirs.

    My husband and I will always be connected; our relationship surpasses the formalities of labels – we will always be there for each other. And she may have been an opportunity missed; an explosive chemistry within the wrong circumstance. But, I have to be alone for now. I have to live my life for myself. I have to make decisions without the influence or consideration for others. It’s frightening, actually. My husband tells me this can be the most exciting part where I’m able to explore myself and steady my root. Find who I truly am.

    The most dishonest I’ve committed is the most honest I’ve done for myself. Growing pains, right?

    All the love and empowerment,
    Ky xx

  • Et BIIIM! Il fait beaucoup trop bien cet article. Femme célibataire de 34 ans sans enfants, je rentre bien sûr dans la case de la folle qui veut passer la corde au cou. Ou de celle qui fait “trop peur aux hommes” ou que sais-je. Mais ce temps de solitude me permet, comme toi, de prendre conscience de ma force, du fait que je ne suis pas étiquetable, et que bordel tu as raison, on n’a pas forcément besoin d’un homme pour se définir. D’être en couple ou d’avoir des enfants pour avoir une place dans la société.
    Oh mais comme je suis d’accord avec ton article!! Il fait du bien, merci douce Garance :)

  • Marinela Larsen May, 10 2019, 2:42 / Reply

    Garance, I adore you.
    Great text, as always, made me laugh a lot.
    Thank you.

  • I am almost 30 and I am so sick of people telling me you need to lower my expectations if I want to get married some day. I don’t want a relationship just for the sake of not being alone. Plenty of people are in bad relationships or codependent ones, yet it’s single people who get all the flak. So annoying.

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