Single in the City
As the self-proclaimed “last single girl in the world,” 48-year-old Oakland author Jerusha Stewart has travel buddies, exercise buddies—even sex buddies. “Here’s a secret,” she says. “Most people who are single really enjoy it. We’re alone, but we aren’t lonely.”
Stewart’s new book, The Single Girl’s Manifesta, encourages readers—both single and spoken for—to celebrate their individuality. Manifesta spins the busy checklists of Cosmo quizzes (you know, Is Your Man Happy in Bed?) into humorous self-empowerment exercises (But I’m Too Blank to Be Married!). Stewart offers sassy tidbits of advice to singles, counseling them to embrace their alone time and be happy, whether or not Mr. or Ms. Right is just around the corner.
“I’ve found that it’s important to really know and like yourself before you can be truly happy with someone else,” Stewart says. “I let people know it’s OK to have your own interests, goals, and dreams. Even if you’re in a relationship, it can actually make you and your spouse closer.”
Since the release of Manifesta last November, Stewart has been fielding A-list invitations. Supermodel Tyra Banks invited Stewart to dish about the single life on her television talk show, and Essence magazine asked her to serve as a presenter at this year’s Women Who Are Shaping the World summit.
The always outspoken Stewart, who received her law degree at Stanford University, has been writing singles columns for a variety of online venues, including Match.com, since 2001. In drafting her Manifesta, she interviewed more than 200 single men and women of all ages, races, and sexual orientations.
“We are all single at some point in our lives, and time spent alone should be cherished,” Stewart says. “Some people think singleness is a disease, but the truth is, being single can be quite addictive. As some of the people I interviewed say, ‘If this is a disease, then I don’t want a cure.'