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Meet the Wakefield Woman Embracing ‘Solo Saturdays’

Claire Kenny
February 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

Claire Kenny, from Wakefield, tells us why she’s swapped ‘excruciating’ Tinder dates for ‘Solo Saturdays’ ahead of Valentine’s Day

Speaking to Diamonds Factory, Claire explains why she enjoys spending time on her own and how it inspired her to start helping other single people. She’ll also be hosting a Valentine's special of her popular #solosaturday Live!

After spending many Saturdays on excruciating Tinder dates, Claire Kenny, a 47-year-old head of communications and blogger from Wakefield, decided enough was enough. It was time to stop feeling sorry for herself and embrace the single life.

The moment Claire realised it wasn’t a relationship that was missing from her life, everything changed. ‘I gradually identified that what was missing in my life was not necessarily “relationship-shaped” and got fed up of feeling sorry for myself,’ she says. ‘I decided to do everything I could to embrace my single status and build a life I loved, regardless of whether or not I had a partner.

‘I found that as my life started to include more of the things I enjoyed doing, I stopped worrying about what I did on Saturday nights,’ Claire continues. ‘In fact, I found myself looking forward to my solo Saturdays. Although for many people it’s the big night out, for me it’s become my precious time to relax and recharge. I cook something lovely, watch what I want on the TV and enjoy my home. Bliss!’

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Claire Kenny

This new-found happiness inspired Claire to start helping other people who may be struggling to cope with being single, and with over 4,000 followers on her Instagram, she had the perfect idea to utilise her platform. ‘While happily cooking for myself one Saturday, I had a lightbulb moment: I’d host a #SoloSaturday Instagram Live,’ she recalls.

‘The premise for this was simple; to provide a friendly, welcoming space for anyone who wants to enjoy a bit of a social connection and a giggle on a Saturday night. And I absolutely love it. A wonderfully diverse range of people join me, including those who read my blogs and want to connect with like-minded people. The conversation can be extremely random as it’s largely driven by what my guests put in the chat, but it’s always a lovely mixture of what’s topical, and a good laugh.

‘I also use this platform to encourage people to be honest about how they are feeling. For me, saying the words “I’m lonely” out loud was a watershed moment and allowed me to move forward and try to address it. I also encourage my guests to find something they enjoy and that allows them to connect with others – many of my guests are involved with the Parkrun.’

Claire was blown away by the response from viewers who joined her #SoloSaturday journey. ‘I’ve received many messages since I started writing about aloneness, and one of the most heart-warming came straight after the first #SoloSaturday had finished. It was from a woman who’d booked a wreath making class in the run up to the festive season. Her friend could no longer make it and she was going to cancel, even though she’d loved attending the previous year. But connecting with other like minded people had given her the strength to go alone.’

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Claire shares how she uses the day to celebrate herself and how, this year, she’ll be hosting a Valentine’s special. ‘I’m quite capable of buying myself flowers and do so regularly. I don’t know why it took me over 40 years to realise I can do this on 14th February too!

‘In celebration of this epiphany, a few years ago I not only decided to treat myself to a beautiful bouquet, but I also had it delivered to my doorstep and added some beautiful, heart-shaped chocolates and pink fizz. This year, I’m hosting a Valentine’s special of my usual Instagram Live for anyone who's either experiencing FOMO at home, or is at home by choice, like me!’

Claire believes that it shouldn't just be Valentine’s Day and special occasions where we can celebrate ourselves and our single lives, and explains how changing her mindset has liberated her from societal pressures. ‘Throughout our lives, we are the one constant. I used to heavily base my decisions on external guidance, almost seeking permission from someone – or something – separate from me, but I've finally learned that I have everything I need to navigate life’s ups and downs, if I just listen to and trust myself. I’ve also found it wonderfully liberating to finally stop worrying so much about what other people think.’

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