Tracee Ellis Ross Talked Being "Happily Single" and Appreciating "Joyful Solitude"

We all need to listen to Ross.

Tracee Ellis Ross
(Image credit: Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross spoke about being "happily single" and relishing "joyful solitude" in a new interview with Shape.
  • "In my wonderful and robust experience of being single, I have learned to have a productive relationship with loneliness," she said.
  • Speaking about self-love during quarantine, Ross added, "One of the things that’s been lovely to discover is how I care for myself and how I actively love myself. And I believe that love is an action: You get back what you put in."

In a society that places an absurd amount of pressure on people—even those who aren't interested—to lock down a significant other, it's extremely bloody refreshing to hear icon Tracee Ellis Ross's take on being single. Speaking to Shape, Ross spoke about "joyful solitude," enjoying her own company, and having "an experience with [her]self that is whole."

"I am happily single, though that doesn’t mean I am not open to and don’t want a relationship," Ross shared. "But in my wonderful and robust experience of being single, I have learned to have a productive relationship with loneliness and an intensely juicy relationship with my joyful solitude — I really enjoy my company."

"For example, one of the things I loved to do pre-pandemic is put on something cute and go for dinner and have a beautiful meal and a glass of wine. Well, can’t do that," she continued. "But you know what? I can do that at home. I make a beautiful plate. I set it out and have a glorious meal. I make my bed every morning. One of the things that’s been lovely to discover is how I care for myself and how I actively love myself. And I believe that love is an action: You get back what you put in."

"People can be in wonderful relationships but can’t actually reap the joy of that connection. Because you can have all the good stuff, but if you don’t know how to be with it, it doesn’t matter," Ross reflected. "I realize that I hold the idea of wholeness with great reverence and respect because my goal is to have an experience with myself that is whole." Once again: an icon!


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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.