Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Get To Know: Mandy Hale, The Woman Behind "TheSingleWoman" Tweets

Forget Carrie Bradshaw! Meet the real Single Woman, Nashville's Mandy Hale!

by Sarah Davis

I don't when I began following "TheSingleWoman" on Twitter, but every day, one of her tweets inspires me.  Even if I'm not a single girl when reading, something sparks a little happy, calm feeling inside of me.  Her tweets go beyond dating sometimes and send out valuable life lessons through original quotes or quotes from other people.  Behind these inspirational tweets of a real-life Carrie Bradshaw is Nashville's Mandy Hale.  She's affecting millions by sharing her thoughts on dating, encouraging women all over the world to wait for the right guy and to pass on all of the frogs!  She's the cheerleader who also says that if you are single, you don't need to feel bad about it.  I like to think of Mandy Hale as your big sister behind the scenes all day, every day, supplying you with words of wisdom.  If you're feeling down about your relationship status or a guy who is proving himself to be just another "frog", you can check TheSingleWoman's Twitter account and chances are, you'll feel better about your situation. 

Without saying anything else, here's a bubbly interview Style & Wisdom managed to catch with the woman behind your favorite tweets! She opens up about her best & worst dating experiences & why that one ex who broke our heart is SO hard to forget about! Oh, and if you're not doing so already, head over to your Twitter account and follow @TheSingleWoman!

Style & Wisdom:  When & why did you start The Single Woman?
Mandy Hale:  I started The Single Woman in January of 2010, following the demise of a bad relationship in October of ‘09. The relationship was very toxic and abusive – emotionally and physically – and I found myself in a situation I never imagined would happen to me, feeling trapped in the relationship with nowhere else to turn, because of the fact that I had alienated so many of my friends who didn’t want me to be with this guy. I made the mistake that so many women make, which was allowing the relationship to become my ENTIRE life, so even though I knew I had to leave him, it scared me to think of being completely on my own. About two months before the relationship ended, I started praying that God would give me the strength to leave. Ultimately the answer to my prayer came in the most unexpected way – through a wedding! I traveled across the country with my dad to be in a friend’s wedding in Arizona, which gave me miles and miles of time and beautiful scenery to help me clear my head and gain some distance from the relationship. I ended up catching the bouquet at the wedding, which was ironic…since it actually empowered me not to be the next to get married, but to come home and end the relationship and never look back. It was after I became single again that I started looking around for strong, sassy, independent women to look up to; and unfortunately, the pop culture landscape is sorely lacking in those these days. It was then that I decided that since I couldn’t FIND it, I would BECOME it…and The Single Woman was born!

S & W: You inspire women on Twitter and on your website every day, who inspires you?
MH: Everyone from Oprah to Marilyn Monroe to Carrie Bradshaw to Elizabeth Gilbert. I love quotes…from real people, from movies, from fictional characters, from books…I own at least 100 quote books and I am constantly scanning them for inspiration and new writing material. I even have quotes hung all around my house. I think the power that one little nugget of truth can have to meet you right where you’re at and heal your heart or motivate you or make you laugh or make you cry is incredible. I’ve loved quotes my entire life…which is why it seems so fortuitous that I would now be doing what I’m doing. It’s kind of like Life figures out who we are before we even realize it…ya know?

 S & W: Let's talk about a question everyone seems to ask about relationships: why is it SO hard to get over that ex & how do we move on?
MH:  I think as women, we tend to cling more to the idea of someone than the reality of someone. Especially once you get into your late 20’s and beyond – society teaches us that we need to grab on to the first guy that comes along and march down the aisle because it might be our last shot at love. I think we are so afraid that nothing better will come along, we hang onto a relationship long after we should have let it go because we are terrified to lose what might have been our one shot at love. That’s the unfortunate stigma attached to being single that I hope to change. We don’t have to hold onto someone that’s not God’s best for us just because we’re afraid nothing better will come along…because WE are someone better. I’m actually working on an e-book right now that will address this very issue, so stay tuned!

 S & W: What is one message that you really want single women (to all women) to take from you? (If you can sum it up into one message!)
MH: That you are valuable. That you have worth. That your relationship status on Facebook says nothing about your status in life. That just because you’re still single doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you – it actually means there’s something really RIGHT with you. You boldly made the decision to hold out for the best and didn’t allow peer pressure and stigmas and the expectations of others to cause you to settle for less. Keep your head held high…keep doing your Single Woman rock…and fly high, with or without a co-pilot. Wish for love, hope for love, pray for love…but until love arrives…THRIVE! 

S & W: Favorite TV show?
MH:  I suppose it’s a bit cliché to say that my all-time favorite show is Sex & the City…but it is. Carrie Bradshaw boldly went where no woman had gone before, rocked her singleness with pride and took all of us along for the ride. I also was an AVID Dawson’s Creek fan back in the day, am a MAJOR Lost nerd…and I never miss an episode of Big Brother. What’s funny about this list of shows is that I was actually an extra on Dawson’s Creek twice and was a semi-finalist to be on season 2 of Big Brother - which just goes to show that when you follow your passion, you CAN make magic happen. I was so passionate about these two shows, I somehow magnetized my way onto one of them and had a very close call with the other!

S & W: Best thing a fan has ever said to you?
MH: Oh, wow…there have been SO many wonderful compliments from my readers and followers over the past year…it’s tough to narrow it down…here’s one that really touched my heart:

As a newly single woman, The Single Woman helped heal my broken heart. Your tweets are so empowering! Thank you for being my 'sanity'!”
~Danielle Sawaya

I’ve also heard from girls who have ended bad relationships, had the courage to go back to school, and even lost weight because they started following me! It’s so humbling and awe-inspiring to read the comments from my ladies. Getting to speak into their lives every day is such a huge honor, and to know that the words that I say are having such an impact on lives all across the world lets me know without a doubt that I am walking in the center of God’s will for my life. There’s no way my little message could have been carried to the four corners of the earth without a little help from the Big Guy Upstairs!

S & W: Thoughts on online dating?
MH: I’ve never tried it, but I’m not opposed to it. I applaud people who have found their mate in that arena. For me, I tend to be really idealistic and old-fashioned…so my hope is that I will meet my Prince Charming a little more organically…but who knows? I might try it one of these days.

S & W: It's Summer, what's your favorite ice cream or comfort food?
MH: Well, I am a MAJOR Cookie Monster…so bring me anything sweet and I’m a happy girl…but I have a particular fondness this summer for the Rolo McFlurry from McDonald’s. I never even ate the Rolo candies when I was little, but I tried the McFlurry and wow! Pure deliciousness! I highly recommend it.

S & W: Have you ever had a dating disaster? Describe! (We've all had something that scarred us, haha).
MH: I could fill up pages and pages with my dating disasters…haha! Hmmm…let’s see…the one that comes to mind is a date I had just a few months ago. We had a PERFECT first date…had a blast, he paid for everything and was a perfect gentleman, we’re saying our “Goodnights” which end with a perfect kiss…then…dum dad um dum…he asks me for $40. Really?! He made up some ridiculous excuse about having to help his friend get his car out of impoundment…but then calls me an hour or so later after he got home and is eating pizza with his friend. The same friend who didn’t have $40 to bail out his own car but could afford to order a pizza? All I could really do was laugh. It was the “Date That Fell $40 Short of Being the Perfect Date.” Ha!

S & W: Likewise, what's the sweetest thing a guy has ever done for you?
MH: My high school sweetheart, Michael, and I were together for about three years, and right after high school, he joined the Marine Corps, so he was gone all the time. One night when we hadn’t seen each other in about four months, he calls me, and it shows up as a Vermont call on the caller ID, so I know he’s nowhere near home…but little did I know, as soon as we hung up from the call, he jumped on a (very expensive) flight back to Tennessee. I get a knock on the door early the next morning and when I open it, all I can see is this MASSIVE bouquet of roses, and hiding behind the roses is Michael! He had flown all night just to spend the weekend with me. Needless to say, I bawled like a baby. It was so sweet! Such a special surprise.

S & W: Your own words to live by?
MH: “You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life.”

Photo Credits: Mandy Hale

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