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
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.
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.