Opinion: Single Woman Syndrome (SWS) by Wale Adetula

Consciously or unconsciously, they present themselves to their partners as being difficult to trust.

A lot of decent, amazing women I know have stayed single for way too long and most of them have at one point or the other come to me to ask why? I’ve thought up a few answers. Here goes…


Well, we all have them (even us guys too). The problem here is when certain women allow their emotions to guide all of their actions and when things go south, they have to work harder to undo the damage. When emotions guide ALL your actions, there’s mostly always more to everything as far as you’re concerned. If he calls more often than he does on one particular day, it maybe means he’s done something wrong. If he asks too many questions about one of your friends, he probably has issues with her or some hidden agenda.


Many black women with SWS probably have what the white folks call OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder). What is OCD? It’s an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). I’ll give you an example; excessive fear of heartbreak and the compulsion to repeatedly run away from guys once they show the slightest hint of emotions e.g. All is well till he asks you to spend the night at his crib.

Trust Issues

Now, this stems from the first point. Like I said, emotions seem to complicate most things. Trust is a major part of every relationship. Women who exhibit symptoms of this syndrome usually don’t have issues trusting. Nope. For them to have committed themselves to liking someone who much, they’ve already crossed the trust barrier. The issue here is with them. Consciously or unconsciously, they present themselves to their partners as being difficult to trust. This may simply be as a result of the next point.

Independent Much?

A lot of women will probably attack me here but the truth remains, as much as most men claim to have left the 7th century and want their women independent, the Adam(ic) genes that run through us won’t allow us let go completely. I’m sure a lot of guys will relate to this: you meet a girl who you know you like almost instantly. She has the looks, the carriage, the persona – everything you look out for in a woman. Problem is, you cannot even for the life of you imagine how to approach her. Not cause you don’t have skills with the ladies, not for fear of rejection, there’s just this barrier that almost makes her seem like that magnificent rolex you know you want, you know you can afford but for some reason, you just walk past it at the display window daily.


Most of y’all will probably laugh this off (especially you, yes you) but hear me out. The issue is not with you having more heels than flats in your closet or you even preferring to rock heels ahead of flats but if you start seeing a guy and after a month he doesn’t see that relaxed, not-so-made-up part of you, SWS much? There’s something ‘unexplainably’ endearing about a woman who doesn’t mind letting go once in a while. When a woman finds it hard to do this, SWS can’t be so far away.


Most women that exhibit symptoms of SWS will never see themselves as victims. Even if they got played and a dude cheats on them with a whole town, they’ll find words and ways to make themselves believe he was the victim. She’ll tell you it happened cause she ‘let’ it happen. Maybe that’s why they don’t have issues with undefined relationships cause it serves as a safety net.

Accidental Wingwoman

The average SWS woman is the ideal wingwoman to loads of guys. Why? Remember a lot of guys probably like her but don’t know how to even approach her? Often times, this eventually evolves into the wingwoman situation where they become good friends, homies, buddies who drink, eat and chill together but that’s where it stops. Most of these guys often grow so fond of her that they unconsciously begin to protect her from prospective partners like adopted brothers.

In conclusion, let me just state that a lot of women who exhibit these symptoms manage to get a man, or men as the case may be, the problem is that they just can’t seem to keep them.

So, there you go guys, do you think you have symptoms of SWS or you know someone who does? Or do you even agree with me that SWS exists, you know the drill, use the comment box and speak your mind. Cheers.

– @thetoolsman (I also write at )

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Comments (7)

  1. errrrr….Wale,have you tried counselling?think about it.we need more relationship counsellors.*wink*

    nice article…explains alot.

  2. Wow, I now know my problem, how do I change things!

  3. So, how many of the above do I need to have to qualify? Coz it kinda looks like 50/50 at this point.

  4. I like that metaphor, like an expensive rolex which you see, and u can afford, yet u just walk by…… Lol. I can totally relate. I don't believe I have sws unfortunately people say they find me intimidating and it deters guys from approaching me. That really sucks cos I'm just one softie.

  5. ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ ) ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ )

    So apparently I have SWS.

  6. Independent much… Well I have a lot of male friends but I never understood why none of them ever asked me out, they always say we are buddies, paddy me, ore me… so so so so. It's amazing still though I disagree that being Independent and assertive can make them keep mum all the same.

  7. I've got the wingwoman syndrome!! ( -̩̩̩͡˛ -̩̩̩͡ )

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail