Being Thirty-Something and Single

One thirty-something contemplates her single status and the struggles women in her generation face.
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Being Thirty-Something and Single

One thirty-something contemplates her single status and the struggles women in her generation face.

-Gina Thinks a Lot, Divine Caroline

Thirty-something woman

Do you ever wonder why all of your friends are desperate about getting married or have been married for a while, and you are left on your own?

I have been doing a lot of reading about women my age (thirty-something) trying to find the perfect match and not being able to find it. Some of the stories are linked to our professional goals and the importance of being independent, self-sufficient, confident, and not relying on another person to be fulfilled. I have read lots of articles that consider that most of us career-driven women are left behind because men are not interested in waiting for us to settle … either they got married or found that single life is more fun and less expensive and stressful than married life.

Read Are You Giving Him Too Much?

On the other side, I have read a lot on the world of expectations. We are not willing to “settle” … So, we are always looking for something better, someone who responds to our perfect-guy checklist, and the older we get, the less we are open to meet people different from what we would like to have. 

In my opinion, we are living the biggest love and relation paradigm change in the last hundred years, and we are getting the worst of it. For centuries, marriage was a mutual consent linked to economic, social, religious, racial, cultural, and political reasons. Couples were meant to stay together and build through family a patrimony or a legacy. Sense in life was linked to that consent. Most of the time, many other people took the decision, but somehow you knew that was what you had to do. I am not saying I would like that, I just wanted to point out the difference.

Later on, specifically after the great romantic writers of the nineteenth century, love became the base of a matrimony, or at least in the most important occidental communities. You still knew it was important to fill the religious, cultural, social, economic, and politic expectations, but love took an important role. It gave a sense of independence, a sense of being in charge of your own life knowing that someone else would be there for you … no matter what. 

After the fifties, things changed a lot. Wealth changed lifestyles and interests, the sexual revolution introduced new elements linked to freedom, pleasure, experimentation, but the most important part was getting rid of all the social stigmatization that opened the door to a more independent way to understand love and relationships.

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0 thoughts on “Being Thirty-Something and Single

  1. This awesome, awesome article nails it. I’ve related to this for 31 years, but by what must be divine intervention, I’ve finally, after a 10 year dry spell, become serious with a guy from my church. Ah, notice one of the missing factors! I’ve seen this guy around church for about 5 years, but we never ran in the same circles. I really don’t have much self-confidence when it comes to approaching men, so I just let it go and did my thing with my friends. Eventually, we saw each other in a restaurant and he approached me asking if I went to that church, because he thought he saw me at an event. It just kind of developed from there. While I’m not completely gobsmacked in love with him yet, he’s an amazing man and I’m very happy to be where I am.

    Until this cosmic fluke occurred, I was content to live the single life, often espousing the “I don’t want to settle” mentality. And I still don’t want to settle, but I’m understanding that I had become too complacent and attached to my singledom; it was more of a security blanket than an empowerment. So used to keeping people at a certain arms’ length (because even the best of friends don’t get naked with you) I was out of practice with being completely intimate with someone. When I started getting serious with my BF, I honestly felt like an awkward teenager all over again. It’s slowly starting to melt away and I’m seeing my single life from the other side of the fence. I see the closeness and vulnerability I was missing, even amidst all that glorious freedom.

    But you know what else? I was determined to be single in order to preserve my dreams, so no one could monopolize my time and redirect my desires to accomplish the ideas swimming in my head. I feared losing singledom meant losing who I was. Well, I found out when you’re with someone who really loves *you*, the opposite happens. You not only have room to explore your dreams, you have a cheering squad along the entire course and at the finish line. We motivate and inspire each other, and in the last few months I’ve accomplished more of my dreams than I had in the past 3 years. It’s a bit of a wow factor.

    This article does a great job detailing how younger girls are embracing the single life for, what I would say are darker reasons. Not only is it to avoid being hurt, but it seems callousness and selfishness is so pervasive it’s the new normal. That’s extremely sad and depressing.

    Wow, I wrote a novel! To sum it up, I loved this article!

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