This week we're proud to share Shani Silver an author and podcaster from Fort Worth, Texas. Her name is pronounced like “rainy” with a “sh.” In April of 2019, she launched A Single Serving Podcast to change the narrative around being single and to help single women shed both societal shame and a digital dating dependency. Shani wants single women to know that it’s possible to feel free and optimistic about singlehood. To love single life and desire a relationship at the same time. After thirteen years single and three years dating app free, she’s living proof.
Tell us about your new book, A Single Revolution -- we’re so excited for it!
I am so excited too! My book is designed to help single women who are exhausted, angry, frustrated, and generally spent with singlehood rewrite the negative narratives around being single in order to start feeling better, and living more valid, full, enjoyable lives. We aren’t here on earth to endlessly search for someone else, and for those of us who haven't found a partner by the time we thought we “should”, that doesn’t mean we deserve to live less of life. I find that in the modern dating world, single women are stuck between a dating space that’s often incredibly frustrating and fruitless and a society that shames us for being what we are. This book is designed as a way out that does not require “finding someone” first.
Do you have a favorite chapter or moment in the book you can share with us?
Of course, everyone feels like this is picking a favorite child, but I think Delete Your Dating Apps, Chapter 13, is my favorite because it’s so direct. In prior iterations of my work, I was so timid about taking a firm stance or giving any actual advice, but I’m at a place now where I’ve found confidence in what I’m doing, and I know that I am helping. Saying things confidently only helps more, and I have a wonderful podcast audience to thank for teaching me that. Delete Your Dating apps delves into the fact that dating app users and dating apps themselves have two very competing goals. Dating app users want relationships. Dating apps make less money if people actually find relationships. We’re not acknowledging this very simple reality and I think it’s leading to single women having a very difficult time walking away from a digital dating world that treats them terribly. Hopefully, this chapter helps us delete these harmful, often abusive apps that take our money and never have to actually deliver the thing we want.
What inspired you to redefine singlehood not just through your book but also through your A Single Serving Podcast and community?
I came to the realization that I was put on earth for so much more than struggling through singlehood. I wasn’t born to date myself into insanity. A miserable singlehood couldn’t possibly be the reason I’m here. I realized I have this entire life of mine, and I got tired of waiting for this “someday” scenario when things were going to “work out.” I wanted my life to work for me, right now, and so I started examining what was really so bad about single life that I was trying like mad to fix it with a relationship. As it turns out, being single is actually this gift, this amazingly free and full time in my life where I can do literally anything I want without compromise or even running things by someone else first. I realized I don’t have to fight to end my singlehood because I like my singlehood. I get to enjoy it instead, and eventually, when I’m in a relationship (because I know someday I will be) I can look back on this time in my life with joy and pride, rather than with relief that it’s “finally” over.
Can you give us a story that exemplifies why you get fulfillment out of the work you do?
The pre-pandemic IRL meetups that podcast listeners organized for themselves have brought me more joy than I can express. To think that people are actually meeting new friends because they listened to my podcast is heartstopping. They’ve happened in four countries on three continents, I am speechless.
Is there a roadblock you had to overcome to get where you are today? How did you do it?
I definitely felt blocked by the publishing industry, who never saw a market in my work even though I interacted with my podcast and Medium audiences every day. I never felt like I was enough for publishers, and much like my choice to live more fully and stop waiting for the presumed validation a relationship was going to give me, I made the choice to publish my book myself and stop waiting for the validation of a publisher.
You and Melody met in law school. How did you make the pivot from law to writing, and how did it feel when you did?
A recession will do interesting things to a career, that’s for sure. I’ve been a writer since age six, and post-law school recession issues in the professional world were so severe that I just kind of said fuck it. If it’s going to be SO HARD to find and keep a job I hate, why not take a shot at finding and keeping a job I love? It’s going to be hard either way, I might as well take this chance to start being authentic to who I am. I am a writer, not a lawyer, but I thought I had to go to law school to be considered valid and successful. I no longer care how people “consider me,” I care about how I feel every day. As a writer and podcaster, I feel fantastic.
Is there something you consider yourself an expert in? What has it taught you?
Reframing negative narratives of singlehood to see additional, and hopefully more positive, perspectives. There’s more than one way to see sleeping alone every night. It also means you get the whole bed. I’ve learned to embrace my inner starfish and start viewing so many areas of life from perspectives I was ignoring before. Once you start doing this, it carries over into many other areas of life. But for now, I’m focusing this skillset on helping single women stop feeling ashamed, full of lack, or unfinished. I’ve learned I am most definitely in the right line of work.
When was the last time you had to be super brave?
There was a giant spider in my kitchen two months ago. I think of this incident often.
What does choosing yourself mean to you?
It means that I don’t care about what other people think, I care about how I feel. I don’t care about how something looks on the outside, I care about what it means to me within me. I choose myself by letting go of the need for other people’s validation or approval, and I give those things to myself.
How do you practice self love and care on a daily/weekly basis?
Sound and scent are big for me (I think because my eyes are terrible, my other senses are heightened), so I always have incense burning and gentle music playing throughout my workday. I also make it a point to no longer force myself to work when things simply aren't flowing. I take breaks, I rest, and I acknowledge that taking breaks and resting aren't me being lazy or unproductive, they’re necessary for me achieving all the things I want to achieve, a happy, balanced life being one of them.
When you were a child, what made you the happiest?
Shocker: Books. I was a voracious reader, I was in love with the library. I brought books home a giant stack at a time. I also LOVED arts and crafts in a very freeform way, less about specific projects and more about just covering stuff in glitter.
What is your advice to your younger self?
Literally, any prior version of me needs to know that everything will be okay, that life will not always feel so wrong and so impossible, that eventually you’ll start living your life authentically and things will fall into place where you’ve felt so much resistance before trying to be what other people validate and praise. Fuck the praise of others, you’ll praise yourself soon. Hang in there.
What do you love most about yourself?
I’ve loved and understood my writing talent my whole life, so I probably have to say that. It’s the one thing I’ve never minimized about myself, even in times of extremely low self worth. When I thought I wasn’t worth anything, when I thought I couldn’t do or achieve anything, I knew I was a great fucking writer.
What is something you're willing to be vulnerable about with us?
My book is really aggressive, it doesn’t hold back, and I’m sometimes afraid it will be seen as angry or “too much,” things that have been attributed to me in the past. But I have to remember that I can’t write the perfect book for each individual reader, I can only create what is important to me to create, and let it ride.
What is your message for our community?
To the single members of your community, I’d like them to know they are not alone, they are not wrong, and the difficulties they’re having in the single and dating space are seen and heard. I want them to know that their life does not have to center around dating and “finding someone.” That isn’t required of them, and they're still allowed to connect with beautiful relationships anyway. My book is one thing that’s been created for them that won’t treat them like they’re unfinished, or doing something wrong. I hope they take comfort in that. To the coupled members of your community, I would like to remind them to text a single friend of theirs just to say hi, to tell someone to have a great day. We forget what it’s like when we’re not automatically top of mind to someone. It can feel lonely.
How can our community support you today through one concrete action?
Apart from buying the book, telling friends about it! We might not be able to “make” someone change their mind about being single, but we can certainly click the wheels of change into first gear. Many people don’t know that thinking a different way about singlehood is even a possibility. Let’s show them that it is.
One website you want us to promote so people can get in touch with you?
https://www.shanisilver.com/ Everything you need to know about me is there.
Link to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Single-Revolution-Dont-match-Light-ebook/dp/B09HZ1TBX7/