A new, female focused group has been created in Essex that aims to reclaim single life for women.
The Single Girls Club was founded by Chantelle Dyson, 28, a teacher and life coach from Essex, earlier this year.
After going through a divorce two years ago at the age of 26, Chantelle realised that she had barely been single during her adult life.
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Her relationship with her ex-husband had lasted seven years, and before that she’d been in a two year relationship.
“Basically, as an adult I’d never been single”, Chantelle explained.
She felt pressure almost immediately after her divorce to start dating again, as people kept asking her whether she was seeing new people and getting out there again.
Chantelle felt she hadn’t yet even got over the divorce before this.
She continued: “It was that element, the kind of journey I went on in terms of self-discovery, looking at inner confidence and self-love.”
“And what I realised was that some of the answers to this were community, belonging and friendship”.
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So she decided to see if people could develop friendships together – and the Single Girls Club was born.
The first thing that the Single Girls club did was a meet up, where girls could get together, make friends and not feel pressured to constantly be talking about marriage, babies or dating.
Chantelle describes the Single Girls Club as “a collective of women that want to just enjoy life and not be worried about their relationship status”.
She explained: “Yes, we talk about dating, but it’s a kind of support network and place to normalise that being single at this point in time or by choice maybe forever or for the ongoing future is an acceptable position to be in, and you don’t need to be married with kids by 30.”
It’s been particularly important for people who live alone, especially during the periods of lockdown over the last two years.
The club hosts breakfasts, as well as organising trips to club nights such as the Ministry of Sound, as well as online meet ups and a book club once a month.
It’s currently based in Chelmsford, as that’s where Chantelle lives, but she hopes to expand the club to other areas as it grows in popularity.
Chantelle remembered the group’s first ever meeting, which was online over Zoom.
“It was just me and one other person, who’s become one of the more regular members,” she said.
“And it’s built over time to a couple of hundred members on Meetup, and more on Facebook.”
People are now creating their own friendship groups from meeting each other at the Single Girls Club events, which Chantelle is delighted by.
The ethos of the events the Single Girls Club puts on is “that element of being able to talk to people, take an interest and hopefully make them feel comfortable and more confident in themselves than they were an hour before”, Chantelle said.
“It’s realising you’re not the only one.
“I think helping to reduce loneliness of any kind is really key at the moment, especially with how long people living alone have spent on their own.
“I think having that kind of support and people to chat to that are in similar positions helps you feel less alone.”
This sense of building community is central to the Single Girls Club, and means that anyone who identifies as female can join – even if they’re in a relationship.
“We encourage and embrace the single life, and there isn’t then an assumed position that any single girl that’s a member would want to be in a relationship.
“The conversations aren’t about marriage and babies, which I find so often happens when talking to my friends.”
For more information about The Single Girls Club, you can visit their Facebook page here .
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