The Greatest Perpetually Single Women On TV
Times are changing and women across the world no longer feel the need to explain their lifestyles to anyone. Being single used to have a pretty big stigma attached to it – but not anymore. Some of our favorite TV women of the past few decades were in and out of relationships – perpetually single for better or for worse – and we absolutely adore them for it.
Join us as we take a look at some of the most inspiring single ladies TV has to offer.
It’s hard out there for a slayer. For a start, you’re always fighting and there’s the whole ‘could die at any moment’ thing which doesn’t exactly help when you’re looking for a relationship. At the very beginning of the series, Buffy fell in love with the brooding vampire Angel. After that didn’t work out, it was downhill from there. Sure, she had boyfriends but it all ended in tragic heartbreak. Despite how unlucky in love Buffy was, we really didn’t care. This was a girl that oozed proud independence and we dug it.
Samantha Jones – Sex and the City
It wouldn’t be a list of the greatest single TV women without mentioning the formidable Samantha Jones, would it? Sure, Carrie had our hearts on Sex and the City, but Samantha was our true favorite. Why? She completely flipped the script on how we expected female characters to act in TV shows. Samantha went after men to satisfy her own carnal urges in a way that was sexy, compelling and best of all – she took the shame out of casual sex. Why should a girl wait for Mr. Right when she could have Mr. Right Now if she wanted? Samantha would eventually settle down for a few years with Smith, but the pair broke up toward the end of the series.
Rachel Green – Friends
We all know that the on-off relationship between Ross and Rachel fuelled a large part of Friends, but it was Rachel’s stints of singledom that really made her shine. Most of all, how she completely rocked being single mom with a successful career – something that isn’t often accepted. Rachel dated around a little bit during the 10 seasons of the show, seeing most notably Joshua who she met while working at Bloomingdale’s and later on, her assistant Tag. Of course, in the end she ends up with Ross, but think about how much she achieved by herself. Pretty impressive.
Peggy Olson – Mad Men
Mad Men‘s Peggy Olson defied all the odds. When we were first introduced to her, she was meek, quiet and often dismissed – but it wasn’t long before she blossomed before our eyes and kicked some serious butt in the Sterling Cooper office, rising up to be one of their key players. Peggy had it rough toward the start too, falling pregnant with Pete’s baby and later giving it up for adoption. Despite this and a couple of failed relationships, Peggy never swayed from her hopes and desires, not even for a second. We love you, Peggy.
Serena van der Woodsen – Gossip Girl
Serena van der Woodsen was a complex character – well, as complex as you can get for a teen drama based on Upper East Side dwelling, over-privileged teens – but there’s a lesson to be learned here. The entire cast seemed to date each other non-stop, but while her other female counterparts let it get them down, Serena bounced back pretty quickly from each break-up. If there was one character that truly embraced life it was this blonde goddess, who became an unstoppable force. Serena could teach us all a lesson in resilience, perseverance and how to shop for the soul.
Lorelai Gilmore – Gilmore Girls
Lorelai’s love life took on a pretty significant part in the Gilmore Girls, but we didn’t mind. Firstly, her backstory is inspirational. She got pregnant at 16, had Rory, raised her alone without taking anything from her uber-rich parents, and did a stellar job of it too. Not only did she cultivate the type of mother-daughter relationship that we could only dream of having, but she never complained about a single thing. Even when her romances were more complicated than figuring out a Rubik’s Cube, she just kept on keepin’ on, never losing sight of her goals.
Jen Lindley – Dawson’s Creek
Jen Lindley burst onto our screens in Dawson’s Creek, shattering poor Dawson’s simple small-town life. Sure, Jen was just a teenager (and one with some issues to work out) but she had an unwavering, uncompromising attitude when it came to love. Some may call her cynical, but Jen always knew what she wanted and was able to smell a rat from a mile off. Factor in a few failed escapades and a couple of stern telling’s off from her Gran, and Jen developed a back bone of steel that we envied. We wish we had her ability to see the bigger picture.
Brienne of Tarth – Game of Thrones
Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones deserves a place on this list for so many reasons. Firstly, she is consistently mocked for her height and appearance by almost every man she comes across. Secondly, she is so fiercely loyal in her causes that she doesn’t entertain anything so trivial as romance. Her androgyny is incredible given the medieval-esque time frame of the show which makes her a force to be reckoned with. It’s honestly just plain awesome that we were gifted with such a strong character who DGAF about relationships in any way, shape or form.
Bonnie Bennett – The Vampire Diaries
This butt-kicking witch had her fair share of ups and downs in the relationship department, falling for Elena’s brother Jeremy and embarking on a romance that would eventually end in tears. However, throughout the majority of The Vampire Diaries, Bonnie stood alone, going through such atrocities as being stuck in a limbo world, dying, saving the world and everything else that you’d expect from a teen supernatural series. Bonnie is the definition of a strong female, getting the job done and looking incredible while doing it. We salute you, Bonnie.
Hannah Horvath – Girls
Lena Dunham’s hit series Girls finally gave us a show about real female bodies and real relationships. Of course, it’s not actually real but as close to it as we can expect to see on our TV screens. All four of the main characters, Hannah, Shoshannah, Jessa and Marnie are in and out of relationships throughout the series, but it’s Hannah who ultimately figures her stuff out on her own. Does she hurt? Of course she does – she’s human. Hannah becomes a mother and finds her way alone, proving that society can suck the big one when it comes to what’s considered ‘normal’ for a woman.
Donna Meagle – Parks and Recreation
Throughout the majority of Parks and Recreation, Donna is happily, blissfully single. She really couldn’t care less if she has a man or not, although she has plenty of opportunity to date as men love her – but she was never about to settle. If it’s not exactly what Donna Meagle wants, then Donna Meagle ain’t buying it. Of course, she does eventually find love, but it’s all on her terms and despite being merrily paired off, Donna maintains that ‘look out for number one’ attitude and glowing self-assurance. She’s truly a girl after our own hearts.
Selina Meyer – Veep
In the political satire series Veep, Selina Meyer isn’t just single, she’s single and running the damn country. As a divorcee and the President of the United States, Selina sets an example for females everywhere. You think you need a man to make you feel secure? You don’t. You can have the highest risk, most desired and most important job in the entire USA without having anyone by your side. You know who you need? You! This character made us more excited than a sale at Sephora. Of course, she doesn’t really like being the head of the country, but the prospect is still thrilling.
Elaine Benes – Seinfeld
Elaine Benes is one of the most entertaining characters in the hit show Seinfeld. Yes, she’s irritating, pretty selfish, and quite neurotic, but that’s what makes her great. Elaine is always dating around but never gets overly attached to her man of the moment. In short, her traits are like that of the majority of male characters that we’ve seen over the years but she doesn’t get any negative press for it. Elaine does what she wants, when she wants – sometimes to a fault – but her choices are her own and she makes them unashamedly.
Ashley Marin – Pretty Little Liars
Hannah’s mom in Pretty Little Liars gets nowhere near the credit she deserves. Firstly, she’s raising a daughter alone after Hannah’s dad upped and left her for another woman, and secondly, not only is she raising a teenager, but she’s raising one that gets into all sorts of insane trouble. Ashley goes to extreme lengths to protect her daughter and has such a deep, stern resolve that we’re convinced she has balls of steel hiding under her extremely stylish dresses. Being single doesn’t bother this chick one bit, she has her eye on the prize at all times.
Cordelia Chase – Angel
Cordelia Chase appeared on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, her character changing dramatically since we were first introduced to her in the first season of Buffy. Initially, Cordelia is the head cheerleader and a bully, but by the time she makes the transition into Angel she is a kind, self-assured and you guessed it – perpetually single woman. Cordy does her best battling the forces of evil with Angel and the gang while also paying her own bills and making a life of her own in LA. If anywhere can make you feel lonely then it’s the City of Angels, but being single wasn’t ever going to keep this good girl down.
Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, The Unburnt, Protector of – okay, we’ll stop there, you get the idea. Daenerys is possibly the toughest female character we’ve ever seen. Initially, she’s married to Kahl Drogo, but after he dies she’s left to her own devices – and thank goodness. Not only is she a fair leader with compassion, but she defies convention. No woman is meant to rule like she does in Game of Thrones land, but rule she does. Daenerys smashes the rule book and is a singledom pioneer in our eyes.
Cristina Yang – Grey’s Anatomy
Okay, we know that Cristina has a couple of very significant relationships in Grey’s Anatomy so ‘perpetually single’ doesn’t really fit – but hear us out here. Cristina is such an unstoppable force both personally and career wise that despite her relationship status, she always stands alone. Even when she’s involved, her core values don’t change. You’ll never see Cristina Yang choose a man over her career. When she falls, she gets straight back up again and picks up the scalpel. She says it best herself. “There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.”
Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead may have waning viewership, but one thing never changes – our love for Carol Peletier. When we’re first introduced to Carol, she’s under the thumb of her abusive husband and wouldn’t say boo to a ghost. After he dies and she loses her daughter, Carol undergoes a severe personality makeover and becomes this fiercely independent woman who makes tough decisions to survive. There’s a reason why the younger members of the camp look up to her. Carol gives absolutely zero damns about striding through life alone, with her head (and her gun) held high. You go, Carol.
Robin Scherbatsky – How I Met Your Mother
The writers of How I Met Your Mother gifted us with one of the ultimate modern women – Robin Scherbatsky. Robin is not just independent but she actively thrives on being alone. When she gets with Ted and he tries to mold her to fit his unrealistic standards, she is having none of it. Never has there been a TV character with such unwavering personal ideals. Robin is career-minded and best of all, absolutely unashamed that she has no desire to have children of her own. Bravo for killing that stereotype dead in its tracks and socking it to society!
Jessica Day – New Girl
Let’s face it, Jess’ eternally upbeat attitude isn’t for everyone, but it’s the very thing that keeps her going. Jess tried several times to get a good thing happening with a guy, but it never quite worked out. Luckily for her (and us), she’s always okay after a brief spell, saved by the unwavering optimism that runs through her veins. Jess does want a partner, but is she desperate for one? Hell to the no! It’ll come when it comes – do you think she’s worried? Think again, padre. This girl’s got it in the bag.