Florence Given is the 21-year-old London-based artist and writer with a clear message for her expansive online following: “Dump Him”. Given decided to add fuel to the #DumpHim movement during the wake of her own break-up, and has since created a range of widely sought-out tees and accessories emblazoned with equally empowering phrases, like: “protect your energy”, “not taking any more sexist bullshit”, or “love sex hate sexism”. With it, came a movement she bolstered that advocates for self-love, acceptance, and considerate dating. Given is launching her latest t-shirt today with the emboldening slogan “Single Not Sorry” in collaboration with Tinder.
In a society which upholds being in a relationship as the ultimate goal, Given is offering her followers an alternative truth: not only is it OK to being single, it’s a necessary part of learning about ourselves, and has the potential to be life-enriching.
In an “Ask Me Anything” session organised with Tinder and Dazed, Given waded through all your burning dating and singlehood questions. From queer dating to dealing with loneliness, bad dates and navigating the far-reaching world of the apps, Given left virtually no stone unturned.
She addressed the pressure to conform to mainstream narratives which place emphasis on being in a relationship. Speaking on marriage, Given said that it doesn’t need to be an “an emblem of success” and “you need to ask yourself if it’s something you want, or something society has brainwashed you to believe that you need to be happy”. When it comes to dealing with nagging questions from friends and family over your relationship status, Given says: “it isn’t anyone else’s business how you choose to live your life… show them that there are multiple ways to thrive in this world”.
According to Given, a thriving single life doesn’t mean renouncing apps – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. She says that because she’s “very feminine” and not instantly recognisable as queer, apps have proven invaluable, by allowing her to signal her sexuality without “compromising her gender expression”. Tinder’s sexual orientation feature allows you to select up to three terms that best describe your sexual orientation (it’s totally up to you whether these are displayed on your profile or not).
Given also discussed how to use apps for experiences, rather than relationships. “I think there’s no link between the respect you have for yourself and casual dating,” she says. But she stressed the importance of being open and honest with the person on the other end, by “communicating your desires, instead of keeping them ambiguous, and in the dark”.
No different from relationships, being single offers its own set of challenges. When asked about how to fill time in London by yourself, Given advises going to a coffee shop with your laptop: “no one’s going to look at you”, she assures. “You can meet the most amazing people by stepping outside of your comfort zone”.
On learning to love being single, Given says that it’s about changing your perspective, by realising “you are whole on your own”. “I don’t think I’d be the person I am today if I hadn’t been single for over a year… I love the freedom that comes with it”, she says.
Essentially, it’s about remembering that, as Given says: “your worth is not intrinsically linked to your ability to find a partner”. Once we learn self-acceptance, the pressure we may feel to enter a relationship will fall away, opening us up to endless experiences. Is being single selfish? “Yes”, answers Given, “and that’s not a bad thing”.
Watch the full video above.