Late last year I read this post by Garance Dore and was deeply moved by it.
I think about being single in my 30s a lot these days. When I was younger, this isn’t how I imagined “it”. It being my grown up life. I imagined having met the guy and gotten married and had a kid or two by this point. In high school and college and out of college I dated plenty. I had an on again and off again boyfriend for the better part of four years starting when I was 20. I never had a hard time meeting people or getting dates.
When I moved to New York at age 25 I assumed it would be the same. But then came adjusting to a new city in which I had enough friends to only count on one hand and then came my thyroid disease diagnosis. The latter veered me off course in more ways than I could have imagined as I gained weight and felt miserable. I could barely look at myself in the mirror let alone have an ounce of confidence to try and meet people to date.
Once I started feeling more like myself, it took a long time till I was happy enough with myself to begin dipping my toe back in the dating pool. And shortly after I did, I decided to become self employed and poured blood, sweat, tears and much of my free time, into making sure it was successful.
And by the time I felt ready to get back to dating more seriously, it felt like everything had changed. Apps were now the way of life when it came to meeting people. And while it has since normalized, I can’t help but feel so sad that the majority of “meet cute” moments in life seem to be non-existent. My grandparents met in church. My parents in college. And now I’m living in a world where no one talks to one another because everyone has their headphones in and their faces buried in a phone.
I’ve held out hope for a long time that I would meet someone “out in the world.” I volunteer. I get on every flight prepared at the possibility of meeting someone. I travel solo. I read at the bar by myself. I don’t commute with headphones all the time. I smile at cute strangers. I go to parties where I won’t know a lot of people. I go to church. I keep a mentality of being open to meeting someone. I maintain faith that it’ll happen. But here I am. 33 and single.
Sometimes I fear I’ve become too comfortable being single. Too comfortable being so independent. I fear it’ll be hard to re-adjust to being with someone and letting someone in. I barely recognize the person I was in my last serious relationship and while I don’t mind dating, I fear it’ll be hard to open up. To be vulnerable. To be liked. I worry that I no longer have the body/skin/hairline of my 20s.
And while “just” meeting people and going on dates is hard enough, the other element of being single in your 30s that’s so hard is the reactions and judgements you face from others. All.the.time. I know a lot of married or coupled up people mean well when they ask about my dating life but so often, it comes across all wrong.
I’m going to paraphrase some of what Garance wrote in her post that resonated so much with me:
“I was afraid of being judged by society – and what do I mean when I say “society?” I’m talking about generalized judgments. You, me, men, women, the label that gets stuck on our foreheads whenever we’re over 35 and single, judgments I also formed in my head, despite myself, or even expressed out loud without realizing it.
The idea of a single, mature woman, who’s ruined her life. The old maid. The one who missed her chance. The woman who ended up paying the price for her professional success, or worse, the woman who preferred her career over her personal life. The woman who was “unlucky in love.” I told myself the floodgates of condescension were about to fling wide open, so I’d better be prepared.
You know what I mean by condescension?
Those little side glances we give to people whose apparent misfortune makes us feel better about our own lives? The people who scare us because they are living through the things we are most afraid of in life?
I know this because right now I’m living through one of the things I was most afraid of in life. Being alone.”
I’ve had so many conversations with people that look at me as though somehow I’ve failed by “still” being single. That, at 33 years old, I haven’t met the man yet. Haven’t gotten engaged, haven’t planned a wedding, haven’t been pregnant. And some nights, when I’m most alone with my thoughts, I think maybe they’re right. That I’m not as successful at life because I haven’t yet achieved these milestones that society, in so many ways, tells us we should have done already by age 33. I let these people’s condescensions creep in and talk down to me.
But, then, on most other days, I look at my life and I’m so proud of it. I am living exactly where I want to be. I am affording my apartment, bills and lifestyle all on my own. I am running two companies. I am finally healthy.
I like getting to just prioritize myself and my wants, my needs. I don’t feel defined by being single or being in a relationship. I don’t measure my self worth on having a partner. On these days I also can’t quite imagine having the family and the house and the backyard quite yet. But it hurts because I know I do want these things.
On some days I think, at least I’m not divorced and single in my 30s. Or at least I’m not a single mother in my 30s. Or at least I’m not in an unhappy marriage. Or at least I didn’t just stay with the guy because he checked all the boxes on paper.
The thing with most of these scenarios though, is that the happiness is in the eye of the beholder. You can be happy and single in your 30s. And happy as a single mother. And happy as a divorcee. And in no way should society’s standards and storytelling dictate where we find value in our happiness or in our measuring of success. But, that is, in fact damn hard to do on a daily basis. Particularly in the age of social media.
In my time being single I’ve had people tell me I’m not trying hard enough. That I should focus less on work. That I should blog less. That I should go out more. I’ve had people say I need to lower my standards. That they “can’t wait till ‘this’ happens to me” referring to their married with children lives.
When I’ve asked to be set up by people, I’ve had immediate replies with no thought given “Oh I totally would but I just don’t know anyone in New York” or “I don’t know anyone single.” (What would be helpful is, if you know someone that’s single – it would be helpful if you racked your brain and your rolodex to think hard about who you know or who you know knows – that maybe would want to be set up with them. If I had a friend who I knew was trying to meet someone and I was coupled up or married, I personally wouldn’t stop at any opportunity to find that person people to date. But that’s just me, I guess.)
Over the years I’ve had people say things that are so hurtful and so condescending and they have no idea how they’re coming across. I’ve watched as people’s faces give away what I know they’re thinking. “What’s wrong with her that “it” hasn’t happened for her yet?” One of my deepest fears is that I won’t find the person I’m meant to be with and I really don’t need others reminding me of this regularly with their insensitive questions. And the thing is, I don’t have this fear because I care what others think. I have this fear because lifetime companionship is what I know I want.
The other element I find so difficult about being single in your 30s is the cold, hard truth that if you do want children, you have a window. When I turned 32 I started thinking about this a lot. I have friends that have frozen their eggs and I have friends that don’t want children. But my truth is that I do want children. I do want to get married and carry a child. And as a child of four who loves having siblings, I’d love more than one. And who is to say that once I meet the guy and get married, that having children will be easy? I’ve seen friends and loved ones go through loss and heartbreak when it comes to having and losing children and it is one of the most unfair things I can dream up in life.
So, here I am, 34 in a few months, and single. Making efforts to meet people through a variety of apps and through the occasional set ups but finding it a lonely road that often feels like a full time job. I have celebrated alongside my closest friends their finding love, their getting married, their buying houses and their having children. I have felt “behind” in life because I haven’t had these milestones but I’ve never had resentment. I’ve focused on their happiness and focused on all the amazing, successful, interesting, beautiful people in my life who are still single like me.
I also think as we’re discussing being single, it is important to note that not everyone wants to get married and/or have children. It’s another societal assumption people make.
I’ve never tackled this topic before on wit & whimsy because I find it deeply personal but if just one person can relate, than sharing this post – in which I had to break open my heart – will not have been for naught.
All this being said, I’m ready for love. I’ve been ready for a while now. (But I wasn’t always – I am a believer that you must love yourself in order to be in love and I went through some hard chapters that made this impossible). I believe I am deserving of love and I’m on the lookout for it, always. I place a lot of faith in God’s plan and things working out the way He intended. I’m hopeful that I’ll be guided and get to where I’m looking to be – one day.
. . .
Update: My follow up thoughts to the reaction to this post can be found here.
You May Also Like:
[Image via this post]
Thank you for this post, it is exactly what I needed to read.<3
Great post- honest and real. I was there as well. I was single till 43 living my great” big life” with a career I loved, lots of travel and my family which I adore. I did find my true love- just took time and in the mean while I found me. Life isn’t about finding yourself it’s about creating yourself!
“a career I loved, lots of travel and my family which I adore. I did find my true love- just took time and in the mean while I found me.” Love this so much, Caroline!! Couldn’t agree more and here’s hoping I follow the same path.
So glad you liked it!
I’m literally in the same boat as you. Same age, same city. No one wants to hang out. Apps are ways of time. I want to meet real people to be friends to do activities with and date decent serious men. Again, like you i enjoy my freedom and own company but I also want life long companionship not just to get married for the sake of it or have kids for the sake of it.
What are some of the places to meet people in NYC, especially during Covid19. All of my friends are married, have moved and are busy with their 3-4 kids. People at work are older than me and married. I don’t do dating apps. Why do you go to meet new people to meet or hang out with not just for dating. But especially if the city life is so lonely you want 1 or 2 friends to hang out with.
I’m in Long Island and always looking to connect with friends. I recommend the HeyVina App or Bumble BFF to set up friend dates. I haven’t been going out much because of COVID but definitely know the apps are up and active. Years ago I used meetup and made a TON of friends but not sure if those are running right now.
Long Island girl here- I would use Hey Vina or Bumble BFF to set up friend dates. I know they’re really active and I have met great friends through them.
This is an amazing post! While I was fortunate enough to meet my fiance in college, I feel your post said so many things that many of my friends have a hard time vocalizing. I really appreciate your continued honesty in this blog and I have loved reading along . <3
So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for appreciating it through the lens of your single friends!
Great post, and thank you for writing this and giving us your honest feelings.
I needed this post right now because while I am married (met my husband at work, in the wild!) we are likely not going to have children. This is a difficult decision for both of us, but we refuse to have a child until we both really want one. That time has not come and I am not sure it ever will. I just turned 38, so the “window” as you mentioned is starting to close.
All of my friends and co-workers are having kids, and some are on their second kid already. It hurts to know that they are going on a journey that I won’t understand completely, but I am not willing to change our journey to keep up with others. People “bingo” me all the time and make remarks of “oh you will change your mind” and even going so far to ask “what’s wrong with you?” and it’s getting harder and harder not to explode when people probe my life choices. I’m sure you understand.
Anyways. Stay strong and don’t worry about your timeline. It’s cheesy but since you are open to finding love, I think it will find you. Stay true to your choices and don’t settle for anything less than what is true to you!
It is always the next thing that people want from us, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your relatable experience, Rachel and for the kind and uplifting words!
You truly are an inspiration to so many. You stated it perfectly in this post… One must love themselves before they are truly capable of loving others…I am a very busy mom of 4 but who one day a few years ago stumbled upon your blog and look forward to seeing your email in my in box everyday. I don’t do any social media at all I lv that up to my children but I do have one vice online and that’s your blog. I have gotten some great ideas, introduced to some amazing companies and products,etc. As my mother ha told me since I was a little girl.. think good things and good things will happen.. this is the first time I have ever responded to anything because I just don’t but I lost my dad last week and your post truly touched me on so many levels.
Thank you for letting my posts be a part of your ever day! That means so much to me. Completely agree about the power of positive thinking! Thank you so much for the kind comment, Barbara!
I’m so happy you posted this!!! Proud of you and love you!!!
Thank you for giving me the courage to do so!
I think it’s so important for people to share stories like this Meghan, even though I know it’s hard, because it really does help so many others realize they’re not alone (just like Garance’s post did for you – she’s so fantastic btw.)
I don’t know if my perspective will help or not. I’m 48, and I married my husband when I was 40. I’d had years of relationships, some short, some as long as a couple of years. I am SO grateful I never married any of them. As it turned out, I was friends with my husband for several years before those feelings changed into something else. And even still, getting married at 40 (he’s 6 years younger than I am) was not all roses and sunshine. It took work to merge our two very independent lives, and I doubt that effort would have been worth it for anyone else. Thankfully, the hard work to really learn how to communicate with each other and share our lives paid off and we are so happy nearly 8 years in.
I come from a blended family of 5 kids, and I always wanted a bunch of kids myself. As it turned out though, between getting married at 40 and having my autoimmune issues arise at the same time, it turned out that having kids is not in the cards for us. I won’t ever be able to say I’m happy about that, but I am glad we tried and I’m glad we stopped trying and I can’t imagine our life any other way now. I have 9 nieces and nephews (and now a great-niece and great-nephew!) I get to spoil rotten, we have a house full of rescue animals, and my life is richer than I ever could have imagined. I wouldn’t change any of it. I also know I would have had an equally fulfilling life had marriage not been in the cards for me. I truly believe there are so many paths our lives can take, and whether those paths make us happy and fulfill us is entirely up to us. If marriage and kids is what you want, I hope you find that, but I also hope that no matter where your path takes you, that you choose to find fulfillment in that path rather than disappointment that the path might not have led where you thought it would, because no matter which way you go, every path is filled with joys and sorrows.
Most of all, I hope you can let go of other people’s judgment and expectations (of course much easier said than done). It often comes from a well-meaning place, but those expectations are really reflective of their own stuff, not yours. YOU are fabulous and unique and you have a purpose that no one else has (we all do). I think all we can do is pursue our purpose and trust that what we need will come to us when we are ready for it.
Thank you for sharing this, Marcia Marcia Marcia — although I am in a very different stage of life, I loved reading your perspective, too, especially when you said you are “glad we tried and I’m glad we stopped trying.” I can identify with that mixed bag of feelings.
Marcia, you always leave the best comments. I am moved by your sentiments and couldn’t agree more about pursuing what we want in life and choosing fulfillment time and time again. “I am glad we tried and I’m glad we stopped trying and I can’t imagine our life any other way now” – you are brave and strong and I admire your take on life. Thank you so much for sharing your experience – it moved me.
One of the greatest things we can do in this crazy online world is be a little more personal. I so appreciate you sharing this. I was with the same guy for more than years, married for 1 and then we got divorced when I was 36. We shouldn’t have gotten married. I met the love of my life soon after, and we have a baby now. Not through a dating app, ha! I was too scared to break up with my first husband because I never thought I would find anyone else. But what is worse? Being with someone you don’t really want to be with, or being alone? Being alone is far better. I often imagine if I had had courage in my 20’s and early 30’s to really end a relationship that was a friendship and nothing more. It all worked out in the end, but I will be teaching my daughter confidence that I know and hope you always have.
Shannon, your comment deeply moved me. “I will be teaching my daughter confidence that I know and hope you always have.” brought tears to my eyes and your little one is so lucky to have a brave and wise mom. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I never comment on things on the internet but this post really hit home. I have the same feelings and it’s so comforting knowing that other people are going through the same. Hearing comments about what I should do with my dating life sometimes makes me confused about what I really want and need in life. Thank you for sharing.
Doing what is best for you will always be the best thing! Remember that and thanks for commenting – it means a lot and I know others will be comforted to know they’re not alone
Wow I am SO grateful to have come across this post and comment thread. It’s so easy to forget you’re not alone, it’s the default really, and the optimism/hope is the struggle. I’m in a relationship now that lacks feelings of being “in love” on my end, though on paper he’s everything I should desire. Thank you for sharing your feelings, it means the world to people like me out there stumbling around online for comfort. And my goodness you have an army of powerful followers. Thanks to everybody who commented as well! ??
I’m so glad it resonated with you – thank you for commenting and joining the conversation!
I second this.
Thank you so much for opening up, i identified so much with what you wrote. I am 34 now and sometimes feel so overwhelmed by these feelings. It was encouraging to see there are others facing the same challenges. All of my friends are now married with children, which is wonderful, but I am often alone now.
Thank you so much for offering hope.
So glad you found the post hopeful & comforting, Ari! You are definitely not alone in how you feel.
Thanks for this post. I really needed it right now. I’m 34, single and finding it really hard to meet people. I feel like I’m losing faith and this is going to happen for me. I too want companionship and kids but I wonder if all of that won’t happen for me. It feels a little better to know that you’re not alone. Thanks ??
Definitely not alone! And a message I heard this weekend “it will happen right on time. It will not be late” <3
This post <3. Love you to the moon and back and am grateful you put this into words and sparking this dialogue. You have been the biggest cheerleader in my life and I am so thankful for that. Going to take a spin through my Rolodex again – I will admit I don’t feel like I’ve done enough and you deserve finding the “one” more than anyone else I know. Love you lots.
Thank you, thank you for these words. From the bottom of my heart.
Thank you so much for this. I’m trying not to cry at work. This so encompasses everything I feel. I love your blog, first time I’m commenting. Thank you for putting this out there.
So many tears for me today – I feel you 🙂 I am so glad you left this comment and shared it meant something to you!
Meghan- I’ve always been a passive blog reader, but I understand the deep sense on community and togetherness that can be built in forums like this, and I know that your words will resonate with so many. I got married this past summer, at 34, and I insisted that our vows were about how our marriage won’t complete either of us, but that it will complement us, as we are whole complete people already. I have shared in your experience and I know that it was because my husband and I knew who we were as individuals that we were ready to be together. I can tell you are there too.
My heart is warmed by “complement” vs “complete” – you are a smart soul for recognizing this! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with everyone – it means a lot to me.
Just wanted to chime in to say that I did the same at my wedding this past December! Any reference to completing each other was removed from the ceremony —the beauty of meeting your partner in your 30’s is that you’re two independent people willing to compromise and work to be together.
Truly love that you both did this! It will stick with me, no doubt!
I’m of the belief that just you saying those words here, that you’re ready for love, will set those things into motion for you. And as someone who was in a long-term relationship that ended in an cancelled engagement, I feel for you so much. I talked a lot about relationships with my best friend while she was visiting this past weekend how half of me is having fun saying yes to all sorts of people (I’ve learned so much…even though those first dates didn’t go anywhere!) but how I’m also ready to be in a relationship. So much more I wish I could say….if only we could catch up in person 🙂
I’m so tempted to start a gofundme for you two to meet up.
HA! Love this comment. Jess and I are blogger friends but haven’t ever had the chance to meet IRL!
Jess, you’ve been so brave to open up on your blog about your relationship journey and I so admire you for it. Love that you’re so open to meeting people and I can’t wait till we both meet our people!
This is such a thoughtful, well-written post, and I can completely relate. I have a disability and use a wheelchair – dating is incredibly challenging, and using the apps really does feel like a full time job. I don’t really have more to add, but I just wanted to leave a comment because I enjoyed AND appreciated this post a lot.
Heather, just wanted to say I’m so glad you posted as I just clicked over to your blog- you have a new reader in me!
Thank you so very much!
I am so glad you appreciated and enjoyed it, Heather! Thank you for sharing your experience – you are brave to be out there on the world of the apps because I know how hard it is!
Beautiful post, Meghan. These are hard things to talk about, but so necessary. I imagined saying all of this to my family when I was going through it but was not as brave as you are. I do fully believe that being open to love and loving yourself has to happen first, so impressed and proud of you for getting to that place. Not everyone can and does and it will make you a better partner because of it.
You remain an inspiration to me!
You remain an inspiration to me! I am so glad you never stopped looking for love.
I have the impression of reading the story of my adult life. I am going through every single thing you talk about. Thank you for sharing this personal story, it means a lot to know you are not alone going through this. I do believe that the one is out there somewhere and will reveal himself at the right moment but sometimes time does feel long and all the “headphones, phones and apps” are not helping. But I am cossing fingers for you, me and all the 30s single out there !
Here’s to this positive thinking! I 100% think it’ll pay off for both of us!
Oh man, I hear you and admire you for giving yourself and others this space <3. I am getting married this year for the first time and I’ll be 45. I didn’t meet my guy until I was 41.
I reached a point in my 30s when I had to grieve the loss I felt from my life not looking like I thought it would. It was hard and it hurt, but moving through it and getting to the other side was a gift. I’ve lived in four states, bought two houses and traveled extensively with friends and on my own.
I dated online and learned about myself and others. And then I met my guy in the craziest way possible and not on a dating app. I don’t think either one of us is who the other expected but we work, it’s almost effortless and we give thanks daily for finding each other. We wouldn’t have been ready for each other a moment earlier than when we met.
All that said, I miss moments of my single life. I could turn my days into whatever I wanted them to be, I could travel on a whim or eat dinners that don’t always have to involve meat! Neither is better or worse than the other.
If I could go back and tell myself one thing when I felt so out of the loop on having a significant other, it would be to enjoy the good parts, acknowledge and feel your way through the tough parts and give thanks for both. Sending you all the love and cheering you on!
Rebecca, thank you so much for this “I reached a point in my 30s when I had to grieve the loss I felt from my life not looking like I thought it would.” I totally went through this a few years ago – right around when I turned 30 and then I started enjoying my 30s more! I am so glad you found your person and congrats on your upcoming wedding!
Echoing others — thank you SO MUCH for this post. I identify with so so so so much of it. And, scrolling through these comments from other readers too has made me feel so much less alone than I often feel with these feelings. Thank you to you, Meghan, for opening up about it, and by doing so, for providing space for others of us to chime in too, and making a community. that’s truly special. <3
SO not alone! I am so uplifted by this resonating with so many. Thank you for weighing in and opening up!
Meghan – I never, ever write on any blog but this was too inspirational/emotional/REAL to pass up on commenting on. SO SO SO proud of you and am certain that God has great plans for you. Don’t ever doubt it, and stay true to yourself. You’re a huge inspiration to so many and I’m so lucky to call you my friend. <3
Means a lot to me, LP – thank you so much for the kind words!
Meghan, I haven’t been a reader of your blog for very long, but I felt compelled to comment to commend you on (and thank you for) your honesty. For so many of the reasons you list above, this topic can be so hard and fraught to discuss, but I appreciate your willing to discuss it because it’s beneficial for EVERYONE – for other single people, so they know they aren’t alone in feeling this way, and for people that are part of a couple, so they can better understand how their single friends feel, what to say or not say to them, and how to say it. I’m in a relationship, but I have a lot of single friends, and it can be difficult to know sometimes whether I am being helpful or hurtful – I want to be encouraging, but I don’t want them to ever feel condescended to. This post has given me a lot to think about in terms of how best to support and cheer them on.
In all honesty, I know that there are growth opportunities I have missed out on because I have been in the same relationship for my entire 20s. Time spent being single and focusing on yourself allows you to become comfortable in your own skin in a way that is difficult to replicate within a relationship. I think having a partner to rely on can sometimes mean that you coast, so to speak. Being happy inside yourself is hard work, and I think for many people, a relationship can be a shortcut – “I don’t have to work on me/my self-esteem, I have someone that loves me” etc. This is the flip side of the “couplehood as success” narrative that society pushes. There are so many different ways to define happiness, fulfillment, and success, and a relationship is one, but not the only one by ANY means, and being in a relationship is no guarantee that happiness/personal fulfillment will come.
Again, thank you for this post. You are an amazing woman and I know that your words will inspire and comfort many.
You completely understand the points I was trying to make and I am 100% grateful for it, Gina! I love what you say about the relationship as a shortcut to happiness or confidence. So true (and kind of scary if you think about it!) Thank you for the thoughtful words – truly.
Hello Meghan, I cannot thank you enough for putting into words the frustration, pain and internal strife so many young women and men face as they launch themselves into their personal and professional careers. As you noted, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is never as seamless as the story we have all imagined for ourselves. Despite this reality, your post reminded me of the importance of having FAITH. None of us are in control 100% of the time and that’s okay! Thank you for reminding me to have faith no matter my circumstances.
I am so glad you understood my main takeaway! I struggle with other people projecting their thoughts when all along I have faith it’ll happen for me when it is meant to! So glad the post resonated with you!
Thank you, Meghan, for being so real and so raw with us. I met my husband on an app, and while I’m not 30 yet, it was later than I expected to be married. Now we constantly get pushed about the next thing (kids)… it seems like society is never satisfied with who we are: single or married, childless or with child (or don’t dare have just one or have too many!!). It’s exhausting just to field the question and answer sessions, even with those who love us most. I pray that you will meet the love of your life, and that he will be an amazing companion that you deserve and that you’re ready for, because you’re happy with your whole life. I feel like I’m not adequately phrasing any of this, especially compared to your very eloquent writing. But truly, thank you for having the bravery to share. You deserve all the best. xx
Yay for finding love on an app! I am always happy to hear about success stories. The “next thing” pressure from people is so, so hard. I really appreciate your kind words & always uplifting comments, Melanie!
I think there will always be a point in our life when “society” will tell us we’re not following life by the playbook. It really starts from the day we’re born. Babies and toddlers hitting milestones later than peers, there’s something wrong with them. Teenage girl doesn’t hit puberty along with her peers, there’s something wrong with her. Someone choosing a trade career rather than college, somehow they’re less successful. You’re not married yet? What’s wrong with you? You should’ve bought a house by now, and had a baby. When are you going to have your second baby, don’t you know it’s better for your child to have a sibling? You’re close to 40, you haven’t been promoted to a top position in your company, but people your age are presidents and CEO’s. I even heard an older person once say that it’s not fair all their friends have passed and they’re still having to endure life as the last one still left. I don’t know why that is. I think it makes us feel like there’s something wrong with us if we’re doing things differently. I’m at a point where I’m trying to figure out with my husband if we want kids. Im trying to dig deep to understand how I feel and why. I don’t want kids just because my friends have them. I want my decision to be informed by me, not by what society thinks I should be doing.
The storied narratives are so hard when you feel as though you’re not conforming to them. I think you are so strong to realize you need time to consider kids vs. jumping into it before you know if it’s for you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Anna!
Thank you so much for writing this article! Seriously it perfectly articulated how I feel about being single!
So glad it resonated with you, Beth!
Thank you so much for posting this! I’m not in my 30s yet, but all of this ‘condescension’ and waiting/wanting to find ‘it’ has definitely been on my mind lately. You have a great mindset with all of this that I hope I will remember when I feel like I’m missing out or being judged. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your thoughts and feelings on this. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
I’m so glad it resonated with you, Kim! Thank you for sharing your kind words!
Meghan, thank you so so much for sharing! This took heart and courage, and I admire that 🙂 This is something I can relate to, as well. I am 24, and my friends, and whomever seem to think it is weird that I am not in a relationship. I agree that it is something I want, but I am working on me. My goal is to be a physician, and so that means years and years more of school, and limited free I will have. I enjoy being independent at the moment, and I also agree that there is nothing wrong with that! My motto is if it makes you happy, and fulfilled then keep on, and if there are gaps, then they will be filled when the moment is right! So when it happens, it happens, and it will soon be your turn 🙂 Thanks again, for this beautiful post!!
Enjoy your time being single – I sure have and will never regret prioritizing myself when I needed to! It’s amazing all you are doing and all the work will be so worth it!
Meghan, I posted on your instagram, but I just wanted to drop a comment here as well. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on this post. As I said on IG, I’m 34 going on 35 in a few months, and I’m in the same situation. As I write this, I feel a wave of embarrassment, fear, and isolation. I’ve found myself bailing on plans and vacations because I don’t want to be asked the dreaded questions about my personal life or be a third wheel with my friends and their husbands. It’s a lonely place to be, but I don’t wake up every day feeling ALONE. I feel strong, independent, and worthy of a great partner. Sending good vibes your way in 2019!
The comments have moved me so much! Do not let your being single make you feel embarrassed – live YOUR LIFE! How you want. When you want. We are so lucky if we get to do that. I am so glad you found this post helpful and I absolutely love this: ” I feel strong, independent, and worthy of a great partner.”
I so admire your honesty and your bravery in sharing this post. My husband and I met when we were 19 and we’ve been married since we were 26. I’m 33 and I’m not single, but I don’t have kids, and that seems to be a popular point of discussion for people. It’s crazy how much we judge other people for their choices, but we all do it, consciously and unconsciously. There are reasons and circumstances that people don’t know and don’t need to know. Everyone has their own unique journey and I think that we as humans could definitely do a better job of respecting that.
Thank you so much for the kind words, Sam. I couldn’t agree with “There are reasons and circumstances that people don’t know and don’t need to know.” more. We all have our own stuff going on. I often remember in my day to day “we all have crosses we are bearing” as you never know what someone is going through or what they are feeling. So appreciate you weighing in!
Your post brought a little tear to my eye, which is crazy considering we talk about this in person all the time. We’ve had different romantic paths that lead us to this same “place” of 33 and single. I’m grateful everyday that those paths crossed in New York City all those years ago, and here we are. It’s hard to say exactly right, because I don’t want either of us to be single when we’d rather not be, but I’m so glad to have such a good friend in the trenches with me. I love that we have each other to talk to, to relate to, and to come over to the other’s apartment after a particularly bad ice cream date. And encourage each other to pursue love in whatever way feels right—from set ups to apps, DMs, office crushes, sports bars… You name it, we are, as Carrie said of Charlotte, “OUT THERE.”
I’ve had a hard time articulating (to myself and in writing) a lot of what you’ve said so well here, and I found myself just nodding along and agreeing all the way through. I’ve lived through a lot of this with you, and loved reading it this way, with your hindsight and self-awareness so clear. This is so, so thoughtful and honest and self-aware and just SO you. <3
Oh and one more thing. And at the end our our lives, laying in our death beds, we'll be grateful for the guy, of course. And the kids, probably. But man, I hope we never forget that we lived well enough in New York City to take ourselves out for $26 burgers and $15 Old Fashioneds on a Tuesday if we fucking felt like it. And that's an accomplishment, too.
Thank you so much, T <3 thank god for burger club and fellow single friends. You are one of the best at being "out there" and I admire how often you put yourself in situations to give love a shot.
Thank you for your openness. It reminds me of Ali’s single series of posts prior to meeting her husband (at 34? I wanna say)— on Gimmesomeoven. I work hard to not view being single and 30 as a nightmare but internally it’s a very strong fear of mine. I realize obviously that it is not a healthy thing especially considering a marriage takes two people -therefore much of it is outside of your own locus of control. My mom was 30 after solely giving up on men (she placated her now MIL irritating pleas at church to set her up with my UNCLE. Lol. They fought over her and glad she chose my dad!) when she met my dad- had me at 36 and they have been married for 35 years. I think longevity of marriage can increase if you’re in your thirties when you meet one another, due to maturity and a well developed sense of self. I recently read Dateonomics- discusses the male to female gender ratio drastically affecting relationships State to state.’ NYC is the worst city to be a single female in- 4-5 females for every male. ND/SD/MT/CA have more balanced ratio with slightly more men to women. I’ll be pursuing IVF myself with a sperm donor if I’m single at 35-36.
I wish you all the best. Have you considered posting on your personal fb asking for set ups? I feel like the expanded fb network (including older relatives or friends) might have brothers, nephews, cousins etc that are eligible! And people might be more inclined to message via DM!
I don’t follow Ali but may need to look up those blog posts – thank you for sharing. And totally agree about longevity – I definitely am not the person I was in my last relationship in my early 20s nowadays! Good for you for knowing what you want and giving yourself a timeline to achieve it. Wherever your path takes you, it’ll be what’s right for you
This resonated so very much! I am single and just turned 34 earlier this month. I’ve never really been in a serious relationship (for a whole variety of reasons, several of which match your own). This is definitely not how I ever imagined my life would turn out…I always pictured a husband and a kid. However, I’m actually really happy with my life! I have a great job. I own my own home. I travel alone and with friends/family. I can do anything I want, when I want. I’ve always been pretty independent and am totally fine being alone. But there’s still that part of me, just like you said, that wishes for a companion. I’m okay (at this point) with not having kids or maybe adopting later in life, but I still hold out hope I’ll find a man to share my life with. Truthfully though, it’s not easy to date these days. All the apps/websites make me nervous. I’d much rather meet someone the old fashioned way, but that’s pretty much impossible. Maybe one day I’ll reconcile myself to online dating, but for now I’ll continue to enjoy my life as is! Anyway, thanks for sharing. I 100% understand what you’re going through as I get all the same weird judgements, looks, etc. You are not alone.
We certainly share a lot of the same sentiment, Angelique! So glad you are celebrating all that’s good in your life as I do daily. I so appreciate you opening up and weighing in on the topic!
I’m curious as to your thoughts on how society tells women we must love ourselves and we’ll be ready for love and we’ll find someone-that if it isn’t happening we should turn inward and focus on ourselves? While I agree that we should be focusing on ourselves…and that we should love ourselves it seems it’s a refrain that is especially targeted at women. I’ve never seen, heard, read, etc anything speaking to men on this topic. Men are not told “go love yourself…focus on your own development.” Shouldn’t they be?
Ha I’ve definitely gone out with some men who could sure use some introspective time ! Seriously though. I’m 40 and never married. I’ve had to come to terms with that and that my life hasn’t turned out in that aspect how I expected it to be. That said, I’ve seen plenty of friends go through divorces or stay in unhappy relationships, and that a life I want to live either. I do get it though, it seems like the people who have the most “advice” get on an app, find a hobby where you will meet men, it will happen when you least expect it, etc. are also too often the same people who got into a relationship in their early to mid 20s. Being single in your 20s is in no way similar to being single in your 30s and beyond. Sometimes I do get lonely, but I do remain hopeful that I will find a partner. In the meantime, my time is my time to do whatever I want.
“In the meantime, my time is my time to do whatever I want.” Yes, Wendy yes! The good news is that, no matter our age, we have time ahead to see what’s in store for us – it’s exciting if we look at it with the right POV!
I never thought about this but you’re definitely right that we hear that narrative more as women. It is something I really believe in knowing what I’ve experienced in the past but I’ll have to ask around to some guys to see their thoughts on it!
I completely agree with you about knowing your past. I’d be curious what you find! All of my guy friends have mentioned they don’t get this same targeted message. Which seems so unfair! We’re all trying (at least I hope we are) to be better people! So then if men aren’t receiving this message on the same scale as women, how does that impact relationships? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
I have never felt so seen by a blog post. I’m coming up on 30 and I also know I want lifelong companionship and kids. I’ve also thought about freezing my eggs and dealt with the “oh I would totally set you up but don’t know anyone single.” I hate the apps and nothing I seem to do works. Thank you for putting into words everything I’ve been feeling. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.
It truly does feel so disheartening at times. And exhausting to constantly give ourselves pep talks on the topic! I am so glad my words resonated with you, Molly!
So resonates and made me cry. 38 in two months seems so unreal. Love you so much!
So glad you found it meaningful! Love you lots
Meghan- thanks so much for sharing this. Especially co-sign the part where people say “they don’t have any single friends.” Woof.
Lately I’ve been sitting in some heavy loneliness despite being surrounded by a loving tribe. I’ve realized what one reader mentioned about the grief is connected to the shift in my friendships. I selfishly now have to share my people with husbands, girlfriends and children. Of course I LOVE them all but my network of people to hang out with, cry or dance it out with have dropped significantly. I find myself not being invited to weekends away or dinners because it’s a couples thing or a thing with people and their kids. Our interests have shifted, which is normal and totally fine but it’s a loss. I’ve never thought of it as a stage of grief until now. Hoping to move into the acceptance stage soon because it’s tough when you know you will be fine alone but don’t want to be.
Single and 32
It is so hard when you feel you’re the last in your group to accomplish certain things. That’s how I am with my college girlfriends. I think it is beautiful how you said you’re grieving this loss – that’s so strong of you to say. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your journey, Christina – sending you lots of love.
I spent 8 years with the wrong boyfriend from 29 to 37…prime babymaking years. I met my husband and married on my 38th birthday. I felt in control of my destiny and didn’t want to settle. Looking back is not something I’m prone to do but if I had a crystal ball I would have frozen my eggs. Having children proved difficult once I knew I wanted some. I will tell you young girls this …Being in love is something that happened to me at a young age. It didn’t last as long as I hoped but it was the best feeling in the world. Everyone should experience it no matter what age it happens.
Thank you so much for this, Jeanne!
I’m constantly thinking about expectations and ideals, especially as a mom to impressionable kiddos. And I’m always most proud when I hear the backhanded compliment, ‘oh your kids beat to their own drum.’ Like THANK YOU, I’m doing something right. I’m teaching them that their life can be what THEY decide it should be, not what society expects it should be.
Everyone’s definition of happiness shouldn’t be this formulaic input and output. But somehow, ‘society’ (like, who the hell is society anyway?) has pulled this lever and it spits out life’s plan like a checklist.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel some way about YOUR life. Remember, the more you create your OWN expectations for what you want out of your life, on your terms, for your reasons, that’s happiness. Don’t derive expectations from what others appear to have, especially from social media.
You are truly one of my very favorite people on the planet. To me, you are the opposite of behind in life. You are so far ahead so many of the 33-year-old married people I know. And love, well, it’s just trying to catch up to you now.
Christine, thank you so, so much for these kind and uplifting words! Lucky to know you and so happy I’ve been able to play witness to your journey – particularly that of becoming a great mom!
Your courage to share what is real & on your heart is a blessing! Thank you for your vulnerability & honesty. You blessed & encouraged others today!
Thank you so much, Deborah!
I commend you, Meghan, for sharing this post and eloquently articulating how so many others feel but likely will never publicly express – whether online or to friends and family. The comments and responses speak for themselves here – you’re not alone in this, we just don’t necessarily see everyone else who’s also going through it. But that can make it all the more painful – for me, it’s not enough to know abstractly others are going through it. I need to know them, see them. This does that for me.
Reality is, women are told to “get OUT THERE” (and I appreciate the Charlotte/Affirmations Seminar reference in the comment section) and that it’s a “numbers game” but we’re also told in the same breath to “not try to hard!” and that “It’ll happen when you least expect it!” So which is it? The problem is that people who ask why someone is single. incessantly ask about a single person’s dating life, or offer unsolicited and unproven advice, have NO idea what it’s like for it to be a sensitive topic and clearly has never been in a place where it was a real issue.
I recommend the book “Labor of Love: The History of Dating” – it’s an interesting look at how our social, cultural, and technological surroundings have always shaped romance and the implications of love and courtship, particularly as it relates to women. It’s NOT an advice book which is why I love it. I found it by searching for something like, “I’ve been single my entire life and I literally can’t understand why this is how it is for me.” Sometimes, ya just gotta let it out to Google, honey. It essentially surmises that throughout modern history, there have always been “threats” to romance (think of how the popular headlines will say things like “Millenials not marrying anymore” or anything related to how apps will be the end of our generation). Perhaps it’ll be interesting to you.
Again, thank you for writing and sharing. We’re all with you, and those of us that know what it’s like will always understand.
Absolutely going to look at this book – thank you for the recommendation! And couldn’t agree more about the fine line between the feedback we’re given of “just wait – it’ll find you” and “what are you doing about it” it is exhausting!
Thank you so much for writing this post. I wish more of us would have these honest conversations. It’s so easy to scroll through social media and look at pretty pics of what seem to be perfect lives, vacation trips when deep down inside we are longing for honesty and true personal connections. I met my husband in my late 20’s overseas and got married in my earl thirties and just like you I want children, but while couples around me left and right started getting pregnant…I was building my new career and my business and thinking the road would be the same for me. Fast forward 5 years later and we don’t have any children…I’ve accepted this new journey God/Universe has given me and I know everything will work out in the end. I am certain it will work out for you too! You just have to keep being honest with yourself and others and continue to inspire ?
There is such power in your acceptance, Sophie and I think it is so brave of you to trust God! I am doing the same!
Sorry the last sentence had a typo…meant to say
“You just have to keep being honest with yourself and others and continue to Inspire!”
Wow, Meghan, such an honest, raw, brave, inspiring, wonderful reflection. I, like so many of your other readers and commenters, am so glad you shared this candid view into your personal life. I think I will be putting this on a post-it on my mirror: “And in no way should society’s standards and storytelling dictate where we find value in our happiness or in our measuring of success. ”
Thanks for being you. Fabulous. Accomplished. And Bada**.
If you do the post-it, I will too! I love that idea. Sending you love, Kelly!
I’m 28 about to be 29 and have never read something that has hit so close to home. I don’t blog but I do find writing therapeutic and recently have been typing away to fight my tears bc I’m just tired of crying. Yet this week I had a huge moment of clarity and I don’t see myself ever looking back. This last week has been one of the worst emotionally for me (anyone else feel it?). Your words, so beautifully articulated were exactly what I needed to read right at this moment. I have been struggling with this constant sadness yet feeling so so proud of where I am and grateful for where I am. I wouldn’t change it for the world and I think we as independent women living on our own and figuring it out on our own…we truly are the lucky ones. And life will fall into place for us exactly as it’s been planned out. In the mean time we get to continue knowing and trusting the plan and most importantly, loving life as it’s OUR life. No one else’s, although I can’t wait to share it with someone, but right now I have no doubt my life is meant to be shared a litte selfishly as I was always putting others emotions before mine. Now I am just so grateful and so aware that these moments of alone time are a gift – that can never be replaced again. I want nothing more than to find happiness one day in my own family and life I’ve created. But I just finally realized, I am happy with the life I created in this present moment.
^^^ continued from my above comment ——
I am so grateful and inspired by your beautifully brave words. I never felt like I’ve had to a reason to post anything I’ve personally written mostly bc I tend to be private and self conscious about expressing too many emotions. I am beyond impressed with your courage. Life is so crazy unpredictable but I think being open and aware of the growth we find through pain is such a blessing and vocalizing it is so important so we can all truly know – we are not alone in this process ?? Thank you again – this post was everting & more that I needed today.
My biggest takeaway from this post! We are all on our own journeys but in those TOGETHER!!
You so do have clarity, Margaret! What you wrote was so eloquent and I’m so glad you’re seeing things this way now! Be proud of all you’ve accomplished and celebrate it every day! Couldn’t agree more with “And life will fall into place for us exactly as it’s been planned out.” I have a lot of faith in God’s plan.
What an absolutely beautiful post! As a single girl quickly approaching my 34th birthday, I feel as though you have given a voice to so many of my own unspoken thoughts. Several years ago, I came to the realization that no matter what my circumstances, I was going to live my life in a way that brings me joy and reflects my beliefs. I refuse to do things out of obligation and instead focus on achieving the goals I set, with or without a significant other by my side. While I don’t have the desire to have children of my own, I also promised myself that I would not let being single stop me if my desires ever changed. It’s a controversial opinion, I know. I’ve finally reached a place in life where I am comfortable and happy with where I’m at.
Still, as you so eloquently point out, it is often those closest to us that point out what is missing from our lives. I don’t think most of these people do this intentionally or with malicious intent, but it can still hurt all the same. I’ve often been told that I’m weird, not normal, and need to lower my standards. At the same time, I know that there are many unhappy people in relationships and I have seen the consequences of those who lowered their own standards or who have never been brave enough to go it alone. I’m brave enough to wait for God’s best for me and I hope that just maybe, I can be an inspiration to some of the younger women around me.
Thanks for sharing your heart!
Couldn’t have said it better myself and love what you said here: “I was going to live my life in a way that brings me joy and reflects my beliefs.” YES! This is who I feel I live my life and I’m proud of that every day.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts, it’s so important. Our paths in life aren’t supposed to follow a straight and formulaic route and it’s detrimental that these milestone expectations fall on us. Life is ups and downs, curves and swerves. Your self awareness, positive attitude and determination will continue to serve you well. I spent my 30s realizing that even though I was following the “route” , marriage then kids, it was not the reality for me. After a very long time and an autoimmune disease discovery I found out i couldn’t biologically have children. I always wanted to be a mom. We adopted our daughter. All kinds of love finds a way. Love to you!
“Our paths in life aren’t supposed to follow a straight and formulaic route and it’s detrimental that these milestone expectations fall on us.” couldn’t have said this better myself, Andrea! I am so glad you found your love and that you were made a mom by your adopted daughter – how lucky she is to have you!
I’m so proud of you for a million reasons, and your vulnerability is one of them! I think sometimes saying *it* (whatever it is) out loud can help take the burden off your chest too. I’ve loved seeing how much you have grown over the last few years and am with you every step of the way! ??
Wow this post–you spoke so many truths that I buried deep inside myself. Thank you for your honest words, for helping putting things into perspective for me and for being so vulnerable. Just thank you!
I am so glad to hear that, Priscilla!! Thank you for the gratitude you expressed!
First, thank you for verbalizing and writing down some of the most terrifying thoughts that millions of women share. I don’t blog, but I can only imagine the amount of bravery required to be that raw and real on the Internet.
Second, you are my inspiration. I am a twin, 30 and single. My sister (who i’m very close to) recently got married and moved away, and most of my close friends are quickly following suit. Sometimes I want to experience things like going to plays, shows, traveling, etc. but I’m not used to doing them alone. You became my inspiration to stop waiting for people to do things with, and to just go out and do the things I want to do. I don’t follow you because you’re single, but I appreciate that inadvertently you’ve showed me and many single women that they don’t have to wait on the most exciting adventures of their lives and to just go out and enjoy life now. I also want a partner and children some day. However my greatest fear is not that i won’t have those things, but that i would spend years of life waiting for them and not truly living my life.
Thank you for the inspiration and your willingness to share your life with us!
Oh wow, Mona – THANK YOU! I teared up reading that you wrote I am an inspiration. I am so glad you are embracing all life has to offer either with others or solo! Some of my favorite moments have been getting dressed up and taking myself out on dates with New York City. I don’t wait for other to join in – I make the memories. If I want to take a trip, I take the trip! Life is too short not to soak in what we want to see/taste/enjoy/experience. Keep up the attitude you’ve discovered- I am so proud to hear you’re making changes and can’t wait to see how life unfolds for you with your new perspective!
Thank you for so beautifully articulating the internal struggle so many women face but never mention out loud. A lot of what you’ve written resonates so intensely with me and it brought a huge sense of relief to know that there are others who are also facing this in silence.
If it weren’t for your blog, I would have never read all the supportive and inspiring replies from other women out there.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We are so not alone! I think that was one of my biggest takeaways following publishing this post. We are all out here trying to navigate the crazy thing called life and we all have our fears and so many shared their amazing paths to love which I found so uplifting. I am so glad you enjoyed both the post and took time to revel in the comments like I did!
Interesting that you feel judged about your choices. I am 44 and have never been married or had kids. I simply do not care what others think about this and I can’t believe you get judged in this day and age. Personally I have never had any expectations about where I’d be at this age so it’s not something that bothers me. Maybe you are more sensitive to others reactions because you feel this is not where you’d be at this time in your life.
Hi Heidi, I definitely think I am sensitive to it because it’s not what I imagined and I think that’s 100% to be expected. That being said, I think it is incredible that you’re able to not care about others thoughts at all. I’m not able to do that – particularly when it is about topics that get stereotyped and tied to success or people’s perceptions about my own happiness. But I’m glad you’re at a point in your life when you can not worry about others peoples judgements and commentary.
I share a very similar story…I’m 39…and at this point, I could care less about how others judge my lifestyle. I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished. If I meet someone, great, but I also know I will continue to have a very fulfilling life if I don’t find my perfect match. I’m always looking for books as a source of explanation and inspiration. One that I read years ago was Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg. It’s an interesting read on how and why we see a rise of people who aren’t matched/hitched/wed/partnered/etc. If anyone has other recommendations, I’d love to know them!
I so admire your confidence, Jordana! You are amazing. Thank you for the book rec – definitely going to check it out. And here’s to celebrating what we’ve built and accomplished every day!
My situation is a little different in Terms of how I’m living. I just turned 33 in January and am so worried about my life. I still live with my parents and not because I want to. It’s because I have to. I have a degree and for what ever reason I feel like I have been cursed soooo deeply because I cannot succeed at anything more than where I am right now. Working in retail which I absolutely detest and worse love has never really loved me. The emotional pain that I go through everyday isn’t normal and the way my life is I don’t wish on anyone. I have nothing to show for the 33 years I have been around. I’m sure not many can relate to my situation here because my situation I feel is rare and I feel pretty scary. But that’s just how I feel. I don’t know the whole world, but I feel most people my age, live life on their own and are living a more peaceful life than I. I am always very unhappy every day. There must be some evil energy brewing in my life holding me back from my best life. I’m really not living a life I can say that is healthy or fulfilling. I hope at least one person here will understand.
Natalie, thank you so much for opening up here. Know that how you’re feeling is OK and that things will get better. I’ve had some very hard chapters in my life where I thought I had been dealt way more than I could handle. And things took their course and eventually got so much better. 10 years ago I don’t know if I could have ever imagined being where I am today and being so happy with the life I built. But I don’t think I’d be so grateful for it all had I not gone through some hellish chapters. My best advice is to take baby steps to where it is you’d like to see yourself. Set small goals and work towards those. Keep upping the game for yourself. You’ll get to where you want to be – it may take longer than you’d like but you’ll find the fulfillment you’re looking for.
First, thank you for writing such a thoughtful post. I’m 57 and never married and still getting the condescension every damn day, which, let me forewarn those of you only in your 30s, does not get any less infuriating as the years pass. I note here that I’m a divorce lawyer, so have ZERO illusions about the married life being “superior” or a “sign of maturity” or God knows “happily ever after.” I also never wanted children, so did not have to deal with that particular sadness, but that said, I spent 10 or 15 years spanning my 40s and early 50s essentially going through mourning for not having married or found a committed life partner. It’s hard, because it’s an unrecognized loss. When my father died, for example, people were kind and loving and said all the right things (and occasionally the wrong things, but at least attempted an expression of sympathy). But there’s no sympathy card, no funeral wreath, no home-cooked meals for your freezer to tempt your appetite when you’re too sad to cook, that one gets on the occasion of Never Having Found a Husband. I have by and large put it behind me, but as with any loss, there are still twinges of grief.
Kay, thank you for sharing these deeply personal words. I’m grateful for them because I think it is brave to recognize that sometimes we do have to grieve and feel sad for where we are. we can’t be positive and upbeat and hopeful all the time. It’s why I felt it important to note that there are times when I’m alone when all my worst thoughts and fears creep in. My chest tightens and I feel all sorts of anxiety. I have to take deep breaths and reset my mindset but I also know it’s ok to feel this way sometimes. Thank you for weighing in – truly. May you find all you’re looking for in this life.
Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Too many times women put on a brave face and say “I didn’t want that anyway.” I appreciate your truth in saying love IS something I want, and I AM hopeful for it. Your message allows other women to come together and acknowledge a very real part of themselves without feeling like they are weak, or outcasts, or *cringe* desperate. You are a great role model.
I don’t know if this story will help, but I think about it often when I talk to my single girl friends. I have an aunt who married my uncle at 50. It is her first and only marriage. She had never been engaged before, never had any kids. They have been married for 10 years now. The irony is, she knew my uncle when she was in high school. They never had a romantic relationship and lost touch for 20 some years. In that time my uncle had a few unsuccessful marriages. I’ve asked my aunt if she ever wishes she would have reconnected sooner and had more time with my uncle. She very solidly says no, because the person she became in the years while she was single is what makes her who she is today- and also what makes her current marriage one worth being in. She has an exquisitely beautiful love story, nontraditional, but so satisfying. She has become close to my uncles children and is living the life that at 40 she didn’t think was possible. Always keep hoping because you don’t know what God has in store for you. Maybe your love is around the corner, or decades away, or saved for the kingdom of heaven. Either way, you will reach it and your years “in-between” will make it all the better.
I love this story, Sara! Thank you so much for taking time to share it with me and everyone else reading these comments looking for support and for hope. I am keeping the faith always and I’m so thankful for your uplifting words.
Such a beautiful post Meghan! I enjoyed reading every word and so appreciate your honesty. I love reading your blog and following along with you because you are such a genuine person and this post is another reminder of that! God works in mysterious ways. I believe in his path too! Everyday could be the day your life changes forever!
Jillian, this is so, so kind of you! THANK YOU – truly your words touched me and He really does work in mysterious ways.
I commend you for posting this because I think one of the “dark secrets” that goes along with being in your thirties and single is that there’s a simultaneous pressure to remedy the situation and to be happy, carefree, and gracious at countless weddings, engagement parties, and baby showers as you do it. In other words, society expects you to be disappointed by your plight but also to maintain this cool exterior (don’t be desperate, don’t be jealous of those who have what you want). It’s a huge burden to carry. I also think it’s hard not to feel bad about being single when there is so much fanfare around weddings and babies now. Of course, these are momentous, joyful occasions, but it gets to a point where you ask yourself if people see your life as worthy of celebration even if you never get married or have children. For example, there are no questions asked when women spend exorbitant amounts of money throwing one another bridal and baby showers, and of course, bachelorette parties, but I can’t fathom me asking, or a friend suggesting, we do the same for a birthday–even a so-called milestone birthday. All of this said, I think you’re doing the right thing–don’t lose hope, and also don’t look at marriage and kids as the life solution, because we know that every kind of life has it’s own challenges, and be open about your feelings–it means you’re honest and brave, and you can speak to something important in people, as you’ve so clearly done here.
I love this thought-provoking comment because the fine line we balance is indeed very difficult. Your part about the celebration of our milestones that don’t involve partners or children is also spot on. Reminds me of the Sex & The City episode where she wants to register for her singleness.
“Of course, these are momentous, joyful occasions, but it gets to a point where you ask yourself if people see your life as worthy of celebration even if you never get married or have children.”
That is so SO spot-on!
Ooohh I loved this post so much and just wanted to hug you!!! I discovered your blog right now through this post thanks to Krystal Bick’s instagram story. I’m 33 (34 in November) and from France, I’m single, and while I’m happier then I have ever been in my life what you shared resonated with me. I use to be like that, I use to try to meet someone, the one. I’m lucky that I have people around me who support me no matter what and never made me feel like I failed or that I’m missing out on something. They’re just here and love and support me. What’s important is to feel good in our skins, being our authentic selves, and never fail to appreciate our blessings. And I truly believe 30 is the new 20 (well if biology could just follow this lead too ?). Jennifer Anniston being 50 this year just prove it ????
Couldn’t agree more about focusing on being our authentic selves! I love my life and what I’m building and the cherry on top will be finding the person to share that with. I am so glad you enjoyed the post, Marine and found me via Krystal. She’s the best!
Boy, did this post ever hit a nerve! I’m a newcomer to your blog, and this was the very first post I read of yours. It’s like you know me. Deeply. Like you reached out and shook hands with my soul. I am 37 and single, but used to be engaged to an abusive alcoholic. He was my last relationship and that ended over 2 years ago, and let me tell you, I often want to scream at the state of dating affairs in today’s day and age. I swore off all the apps because the resulting dates were so demoralizing, and then very recently, an old friend from college and I reconnected and things turned romantic. It has not been an easy path to acceptance of where I am in life, but I finally have come to peace with the fact that I haven’t met “high-school Me’s” expectations (husband, house, kids). And I am eternally grateful I am no longer in toxic relationships and am learning to set boundaries with people, realizing what I really want in a relationship, and just generally being kinder to myself and not beating myself up because I have not met society’s or my own expectations. That is priceless, really, when you think about what your life could be when you end up with the wrong person. What I appreciate so much about this post is the comfort it gives me in knowing I am not alone in my struggle. Thank you for sharing this beautiful read – I really couldn’t have said what you’ve conveyed any better myself.
First of all I am SO glad you are out of that unhealthy relationship. They come in many different forms and it can be very hard to walk away from them. You’re brave and strong beyond belief. It’s a beautiful thing when we realize to give ourselves a break from time to time and step back and recognize what we need vs. what we want. Thank you for this amazing comment – it means so much to me that the post touched you so.
Thank you for sharing this! I couldn’t agree more. When friends suggest I should go to more sports bars or wander aroudn the grocery store smiling at people it makes my blood boil.
I will leave you with my favorite quote from this Ask Polly article which I read monthly: https://www.thecut.com/2018/08/ask-polly-i-like-myself-but-i-hate-being-single.html
“Because of course you’re going to meet millions of terrible people. That is reality. That is being alive, full stop. It doesn’t have to crush your spirit to recognize that. You can have a sense of humor about it. Fucking own the truth: You want more. You will not settle for less. You believe in love, you believe that you will find love, you are determined to stay open and find love. CELEBRATE THAT. And also? You do want to have a baby. CELEBRATE IT, CELEBRATE IT, CELEBRATE. Own your faith. Own your vision. “
I remember reading this and thinking YES YES YES back in the day – thank you for sharing it everyone via your Comment!!
My mom always used to say to me that Mr. Right was just around the corner, Try kickball!! That’s where I met my fiance. I really enjoyed your post.
Love that that is how you met your person! Thank you for sharing!
I’m really glad I found this post! While I’m 30 and married we don’t have kids yet. When we got married 5 years ago, people would ask ALL.THE.TIME. Now that it’s been 5 years the questioning has died down. (Thank goodness!) I always felt that I would wait until my 30s to start having kids. My twenties were a time of serious growth. I was getting through college, solidifying my career path and trying to figure out how to adult on my own. I liked to say I was too young to have a child. But now at 30, I’m right on the cusp of being ready.
The wonderful thing about life is that you don’t have to follow ANY timeline. Being single in your 30s is more common these days then not. And with divorce rates still so high it’s important to take your time finding that special someone. God always has a plan and I know he’s got a good one for you!
It’s always the next thing for people isn’t it!? I have been telling a few select friends in the wake of all this THANK YOU for not always bringing up the dating question. It’s a relief most times when I leave a social setting and people don’t bring it up. I love that you didn’t do something just because you felt you should but rather waited till you were ready. You’re admirable for that!
Thank you for sharing this. I m french and i dont speak very well english. But it Speak so much to me . It s so hard to be single in this society, so hard to find the right guy and those apps … éven friends who judge . Friends who never think about à friends who could be or people who stop seeing you because they are now a couple, have child… or people who think you are too difficult like you don t deserve more , i m single and yes i Want thé husband and thé kids but i am ont unhappy…
Completely hear you, Violette. Know that it won’t complete you to have the husband but rather complement all you already have! It’ll happen! xx
Girl, I can totally relate to you! While I’m a tiny bit younger (turning 29 in two months) the fear or never finding love is REAL. Almost 90% of my friends are married and there seem to be no men in sight. I’ve had SO many rude comments made to me about being single. Most have no idea they come across that way but the completely belittle you as a person. The big one is usually, “but your so pretty” I just don’t understand why a guy hasn’t swooped you up yet… that’s like the hugest blow to someones value. If your pretty you would be married. If your not married… it’s because your not pretty. MY value does NOT lie in that. I also get the, “your not trying hard enough” but sometimes I can’t help but think I’m not in a desperate place to go after any guy who walks in front of me or gives me the slightest attention. It has must more to do with my values, how I long for them to treat me and that they have ambition in life. It’s not like I purposely was like GOD, PLEASE LET ME BE 30 AND SINGLE. From little girls we dream of being married and enjoying that! At least I did! I am usually very very happy when being single and just living my life. Sometimes it’s gets to me only when I imagine myself single for the rest of my life which is way over exaggerating. My ex was a jerk who would have never given me a say in anything if we would have gotten married. He was already engaged 5 months after we broke up if that tells you anything. Thank goodness we didn’t. There are times where I feel like I should have settled and think to myself, “well maybe if we just got married, I’d at least have someone”. And then what? Be super miserable. I’d rather be single and happy than with someone who doesn’t treat me right. You are so right. God’s timing is differen’t than mine. We just have to be patient, do what we can and they will come!!!
Oh god ALL OF THIS! I can’t believe how tone deaf people are sometimes, Katie and I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts in response. Was nodding my head as I read your comment. Completely agree about God’s timing – thank you for weighing in!!
All of this! I met my now husband at 34. I felt and lived this exact same thing. Mostly, other people can be the worst:) It can happen at any time though:) Keep the faith. Love this post.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Tracey!!
I read a great book last month called “All the Single Ladies” about the rise of single women in the US. It was very empowering and I highly recommend it.
Thank you so much for sharing this book rec with me & everyone reading the comments, Caroline!
You’re not alone 🙂 Many of us are right there with you. Thanks for sharing!
The best takeaway from sharing this post – we’ve all got our stories and we’re definitely not alone!
I couldn’t help but leave a comment as well. This post was so open that I felt compelled to share my story. Like many women, I felt pressure to find a boyfriend and I spent my early twenties frantically dating in the hopes that one would stick. One did stick and I love that one very much. But now that I have a happy relationship I am constantly left wondering: now what? I felt that a happy relationship was my end goal and with that checked off, I realised I have abandoned many other aspects of my life in order to find and maintain a relationship. So I think there will always be trade-offs in life. I think it was Oprah who said: ‘We can have it all. Just not all at the same time.’ While you are hoping that you might find a partner, I am hoping that I can finally take off in my career. Thank you for sharing. Xx
So true about us always being onto the next. You’re wonderful for opening up about this. Thank you for sharing your POV!
I am 61 years old and never married. Something I learned fairly early is that there are many interesting ways to live a life, and only some of them revolve around a marriage. Years ago a friend was trying to fix me up with someone and seemed surprised that at my age I wasn’t willing to take anyone who was willing to take me. I told her that I was still looking for a grand passion. I still am. If I find one, great! If I don’t find one, still great! Life is an adventure with many different paths, and as with so many things, the journey is at least half the fun.
Absolutely love your perspective, Margaret – thank you for sharing!
thank you for your courage and honesty. I can relate so much because I went through the exact same situations and feelings you express. I’ve lived most of my adult life being single and just like you I beat my head against the wall trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I asked the universe to please show me how to make things differently, and it turned out that the universe responded, little by little, one step at a time, and gave me the answers I needed. But it required a lot of patience and work on my part. I soon discovered that if I really wanted to change my situation, I had to start from the inside out; the answer was in me and not out there. I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I had everything to do with me being single when I didn’t want to be and I couldn’t understand how I was the one getting in my own way. So I came across a couple of books and later online courses that guided me out my confusion. One of them was “Calling in the One” by Katherine Woodward Thomas and “Deeper Dating” by Ken Page. I devoured these books like there was no tomorrow and then I joined their online courses. I figured if I had already invested so much money and time in my career and academic education, why not make the investment in finding the knowledge that had the possibility of helping me improve in the area of love and relationships that I so desperately needed. After I finished the courses, love didn’t come rushing through my door. It took about, maybe a year or two for the right man to show up. However, every situation that I encountered since, helped me deal with disappointments in a new way and also helped me grow so much in the process. I learned so many things about my belief system that got in the way of finding love. Anyhow, there are so many insights that I got from these resources, but I don’t want to bore you with my life story. It’s really not my intention to promote anything. I’m not affiliated in any way to these people. I’m just pointing out what worked for me and the advice I wished someone would have given me earlier in my life instead of saying things like “don’t worry, you’re still young” or “just be patient and happy with your life.” Yes, all this is fine, but I wished someone would have told me that I had to work on myself and showed me how.
I so hope that you use this time in your life as an opportunity to keep searching and growing as I am sure you have been. And keep working toward your goal of finding true love, because it does exist for you, as for all of us. We just have to find those areas in ourselves that are blocking it. And that is hardest part.
Thank you for this book rec! I will look into it but think I feel a bit differently. 99% of the time I feel good about where I’m at and I’m happy with myself, with my life and proud of what I’ve accomplished. It’s not that I am questioning whether anything is wrong with me! But we all have fears and accepting those fears are hard. Completely agree that love is out there for all of us though and I’m grateful you took time to share you how you sought it!
Meghan, this was a beautiful read. I’m not yet in my 30s, but am 29 and just met my first boyfriend 8 months ago, never had anyone in high school college or even post college. I’ve dated and dated and nothing stuck, until I met someone on an app back in the summertime and it’s been effortless since. Though I know that that singleness in your 30s isn’t the same as it is in your 20s, I completely understand the comments and watching your friends go through these changes while you be their cheerleader. It’s nice to know that there are people out here who have felt how I’ve felt and vocalized it and at the end of the day, it’s a good day to have a good day and we’re all going to be just fine as we enjoy the ride with alll the bumps in the road it might bring. Thank you for sharing this!
Susan, thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so glad you’ve met someone who makes you happy and that it feels effortless – that’s how it should be. Down with drama! I’m also really glad the read resonated with you!
From a mother of a single 31 yr old daughter I so appreciate you writing this.
I have to remind myself that this is not my journey but hers and I can only pray for her happiness and finding her eventual solemate.
I truly believe you will as well!
I love that you are going to remind yourself of this perspective, Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing.
I am so proud of you for posting this! I think you are the bees knees and deserve a million good things whether that be a bf, kids or a multi-million dollar business empire!
Thank you so much, BP! Thanks for taking it out with me. I wish you the same – everything you want and more!
I came to your post via Meaghan (District Sparkle) and am so glad she highlighted it! So many times reading this, I said out loud ‘omg’, ‘yes!’, ‘exactly!!!’. Thank you for your brutal honesty that resounds with me in so many ways. I’m 32 and have been in a relationship for 5 years. I worry constantly that time is running out to start a family. Or that he will decide this isn’t it and I’ll have to start over. It’s truly a rollercoaster of being so happy with where I am, then freaking out about what I’m doing and what’s going to happen next.
It’s so wonderful and exciting to celebrate our friends and family’s many life-changing moments – I just wish it were about the many other facets and phases of life we go through rather than the constant focus on marriage, babies, and the perfect house.
Thanks again and I can’t wait to read more from you!
I am so glad it resonated with you, Jodi! I would say how you feel is definitely OK as we all have to trust the process and lean into the unknown, right? So glad you found my post and happy to have you along for this crazy ride we call life that I share on w&w 🙂
As someone who is single, mid-30s – it’s refreshing to see how many other women feel and experience the same thing. Sometimes it can feel like everyone else who is now married with kids and moving to the burbs is in on a secret that I somehow missed.
One of my mothers friend’s once told me “everyone says life is short, but the truth is most of the time it’s really long”. While maybe the having kids ship has sailed for me, I think about that often when I’m sad about my own life, I’m not where I thought I’d be, but could still meet someone down the road and easily be married 40-50 years!
Life is so long and we have so much to be surprised by about in life, still Kit! Remember that and know that we must continue to celebrate our lives every day and the more we do that the more I believe we manifest what we’re looking for. It’s a daily practice but I’m working on getting better at it myself. Thank you so much for commenting xx
This is fantastic. I could have written it myself but not nearly as eloquently. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you so much, Jillian! So glad it resonated with you!!
I don’t even know where to begin. I feel as though I’ve just read my life story from the last decade. With exception to my career and current living situation that is. (I can’t believe I’m about to type this number out because age is something I’ve found myself desperately trying to hide) I recently turned 33 and am single too. The anxiety of being 33 and my societal “failures” has been keeping me up at night. I feel like a failure no less too. In every sense. Aside from not having a partner my career has been stagnant and living situation is highly undesirable. I love my independence, I am fine with being alone but society makes you feel bad for being so. And that sucks considering males are praised and labeled as bachelors, living some kind of high/ideal lifestyle, but not females. Recently I’ve felt more pressure to couple up as I’d simply like company to hang with. Someone to go to brunch spontaneously on to simply have someone to call whenever I like. My friends are all married and most have two kids now. Being the only single I definitely feel and am excluded. I’m never invited to anything unless it’s a child’s birthday and even then I’m avoided like a plague. It’s like these people I’ve known for more than a decade can’t even relate to me? What I’ve never understood is seemingly you have an issue with me being single or whatever yet never once has anyone tried to set me up with someone they know! It’s hard not to feel like s** when there’s so many expectations coming at you from all sides. I wish we could be as supportive and encouraging of one another regardless of situation or circumstances like males are of other males.
Thank you so much for your post! I just turned 33 and I have been feeling the same way. It helped me not to feel so alone. Wishing you the best of luck.
So not alone <3 Sending you love on this journey & so glad you found the post!
Tears came out as I read this post…it felt like you were in my mind describing exactly how I feel. I am almost 35, divorce no kids in NYC, very few friends..but when I look back and see how much I have accomplished since I moved to NYC (5 yrs ago), how much I love and know myself now, all the difficult situations I have overcome and how strong I have been..I feel proud of myself, but I am also ready to find that partner and have a family!
I’m so glad it resonated with you, Teresalina and how amazing to have such self awareness about how far you’ve come and all the things we all have to look forward to in the future – sending you a virtual hug!
I am 33 and single as well. Everything you said about feeling left behind and missing mile stones are how I have been feeling. It’s a struggle. I keep praying and try to keep turning it over to God but it gets exhausting. Thank you for posting and helping me not feel so alone!
Definitely not alone and our time will come! It will happen right on time, this I believe 🙂
Sorry I’m late. Stumbled across this re-post on my Google feed and wanted to add my thanks for sharing your own singular experience. I turned 45 this year, have never been kissed, let alone married, hence ive never had children. My mom and stepdad have completely given up on someone like me. My younger sister married, had two kids then last year they decided to call it quits and get divorced and start dating other people. I have two younger brothers 41 and 37 who have never married…yet I’M the one who still needs “fixing”
Honey, be glad you don’t live in Utah!
Being single, feeling like the worlds oldest living virgin, driving yourself crazy wanting children so desperately but not enough to lower your standards let’s be honest, it sucks, no matter what age you’re at. You get it, I get it, yet nobody wants to talk about it. Thank you for not being afraid to talk about it.
Great words and so relatable. I think as someone who takes his/her career seriously and has really made great achievements, it is inherently “harder” (I mean, compared to some who seem to be able to just “get by” with a job) to find the One in his/her personal life, because you are just used to the way of having high-standard in every aspect of the your being. But still, always take life seriously and try hard to really live a life can never be wrong in any sense. I wish you would achieve what you true-heartedly want. I wish I would too.
I relate to this so much. I too am 33. I broke up with my boyfriend over a year ago after 7 years of being together. He wanted kids and although I wasn’t sure I agreed at age to start a family with him when we turned 35. He deciding this was too late and we broke up. Ironically after we split and I spent more time with all my married friends with children I realised it’s something I really really want.
He moved on quickly and seems to be very happy with someone younger than me.
I’m grateful for everything in my life and I’ve taken a year just to focus on me, want I want, trying to create a new life and my happiness. I too would prefer to meet someone naturally rather than a dating website. The thoughts of ‘is it too late’ has crossed my mind many times but I’m learning to relax abit more and stop worrying. I like to think that at any moment my life could change and i could meet someone amazing so I’m trying to make the most of my single life incase it’s the last time I’m single ever in my life. By flipping it over and thinking singledom time is limited and running out it feels more positive.
Im am here too. I am 32, and ive given every relationship everything ive got and nothing has panned out. I feel im not good enough and it is my worst fear to be alone, unloved. I see my friends and i am the only single one. I feel people’s glares like im a lepper and singleness is catching. A disease to be avoided at all costs. I have a great career, a house, pets, a nice backyard, and a mom car for when i have the kids, but it dont have anything else. I feel the pressure from my family that my life should have turned out better, i should have found someone, that nothing else ive accomplished is comparable to finding love, and i agree, because thats all ive wanted. I feel discouraged.
It really is so discouraging and I feel you on this – but I hope the comments on this post ensure you that you are not alone. And that we are all awaiting the moment it happens – it will – I have faith in it whole heartedly!
It’s SO refreshing to find another single woman in her 30’s who struggles with the expectations that both society and we place on ourselves. I also blog about singleness and I’ve come to discover that we often feel isolated and alone in our singleness, but when we reach out there are SO many others who are in the same boat. I mostly get replies from other women, so I’m not sure if there are just fewer men out there or if my blog just appeals more to women, but we are most definitely NOT alone in our single struggles! Thank you for sharing your honest and open story!
So glad you found the post and that it resonated with your POV – thank you so much for weighing in!
Thank you for this moving post. I needed to see this and find comfort in the fact that I’m not alone being single in my 30s while the world around me finds their person and I apparently remain invisible. My whole life, guys only talk to me to get to my friends. And I try, I do all the things – go out, do activities, be social, try to look nice, smile, etc, but no one ever notices me. The only guy to ask for my number in 5 years — this was last month — texted me to ask for my friend’s number because she had left the cafe before me so he didn’t get a chance to talk to her. I wish I was making this up. I was on 6 dating apps for 2 years and got zero likes across all platforms. It’s so disheartening. I deleted them. It makes me so sad. So yes this post was exactly what I needed to read to feel less alone <3 Thank you! I bookmarked it so come back to when I need encouragement 🙂
I’m so glad you found it comforting, Parisa! You’re definitely not alone – sending you love and comfort!
This is beautifully written. My story is that I was pretty much single (albeit a few dating experiences that lasted only 3-6 months) until I was 29. Having children has always been important to me, and I was beginning to have thoughts around settling for just anyone to be able to do this. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing man (tinder, after many many crap dates, 6 years of online dating in total) and now, 3 years on, we are looking to start a family. But what I would like to tell my 28 year self if I could, is this: you are not defective because you are single and have been for many years. Meeting a suitable life partner is hard and complicated, and requires lots of luck. Don’t buy in to societal pressure and settle for less. Re children- if you can financially, don’t be afraid to go it alone, it’s 2020. You have the rest of your life to date, there should be no shame in making a choice to be a parent when this is such a time limited choice for women. I would say that, it’s amazing how quickly things can move when you are with a partner who’s right for you. And you know those many couples getting married right now? They don’t have absolutely perfect relationships, no one does. I find that some of the friends who counselled me about what they saw as my being single/ not able to find a man issue are now regretting relationship choices. For all the worrying about never finding a life partner/ having kids, I’m glad things turned out the way they did and happened when they happened. You never know what is just round the corner. I also now miss some of the things I liked about single life (Not having to compromise on interior design, doing more exercise, prioritising me)…I would enjoy that more now if I could go back!
Quotations I found helpful:
E.M. Forster: we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
JK Rowling: personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement
Carla thank you so much for sharing your story – it was so hopeful for me to read and I also loved the quotes you shared – I really appreciate your comment!
Cara* not Clara!
It looks like I’m stumbling upon your post over a year later, but it was just what I needed in the moment and I am so appreciative of your honest and vulnerability! May our desires come to fruition and may we also continue to love every minute of this crazy life!
So glad you found the post helpful, Lauren! <3
I think this feeling applies to a lot of guys as well. I felt I was “on track” for the married by late 20s, but just didn’t work out that way for a few reasons. Life is not set up or guaranteed to give you that person. I guess I could have tried to prioritize it a bit more, but not sure that would have changed anything.
Had ~year of worrying that it would never happen for me (as the future didn’t seem any more promising than the past), and then an acceptance and planning for life to continue that way.
Someone said that things can progress quickly once you meet the right person, which I could see, but ideally I would like to have 2-3 years of exclusive dating life before getting enraged and having kids, which seems unrealistic now, and makes me a little more hesitant about the whole thing as I feel I will be rushed/pressured/guilted for “wasting” someone’s time.
So I think the biological clock thing also indirectly affects guys if we want someone about our age to have kids with.
*engaged, not enraged, haha
You are a beautiful writer and I enjoyed reading your article. I am a man (age 40) and happily married for 17 years to my wife who I met 2nd semester of my senior year (fortunate to have 3 great kids). Could easily be single at your age. While as a traditional Christian I don’t subscribe to your post-modern views, I appreciate your realness and honesty. All the best to you.
Wow Meghan! This is so well written and I can relate to every single word in this post. I’ve been single for a while and now I’m 32. And it does suck. But I learned how to accept it. I can handle being by myself, I go to work, have hobbies, enjoy cooking and reading. And I do hate is the ”pity look” I get from others and the immediate ”distancing” that my friends do when they find someone. It’s kinda like their personal stock is ”more valuable” then mine because they are in a relationship.
But lately I often would use others as inspiration.
My best friend who’s been single for a long time like me, recently met the love of her life. She came back home after working in Dubai for 5 years. She quit the high-stress job that consumed her. She came back, and was surrounded with family and friends. Her vibe was ”relax and enjoy the moment”. Even though she was single and jobless, I’ve never seen her happier. Two months later she was at a concert. She saw this guy from our junior high, who she hasn’t seen in 15 years. They started chatting and soon they hit it off. Now they’re married with a 6 month old baby. She’s been in some toxic relationships before and It’s so beautiful to see her now, and the guy treats her like queen. The advice she gave me was – just relax. It will come when you – relax and let go. I will try and I hope she’s right. Wishing all the best for you Meghan xx
Thank you so much for this beautiful and touching comment! So glad the post resonated with you and am hopeful for us both!
Meghan… wow… as I’ve read this post a few times this morning… it made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me feel less alone on this boat of “30+Single”. I recently broke up with a man that I thought was going to be the one and I’m realizing that the thing that actually breaks my heart about breakups is not only the failed relationship but also having to start dating again… dating isn’t fun when we have society on our backs waiting for us to be married with children.
Thank you for reminding me that you can be unmarried and have no children and still be happy. I will treasure this post for many years to come and share it. So beautifully written and truly something many women can connect with.
First of all I’d just like to point out that this post is over 2 YEARS old and your words are still impacting others. And that’s amazing.
I’m 33 and single, sister to a younger sister literally days away from an engagement and an older brother in a long term committed relationship. The past few weeks I’ve really struggled to articulate exactly what I’m feeling — which led me to the internet and fortunately, your post. Your words feel like they came directly from my heart. I am very much in the space of grace and gratitude for my life and its blessings. I have an amazing family, wonderful friends, and more than I deserve. But man, when you want something so desperately that seems to come so easily for others, it’s really hard to keep that perspective. Life isn’t about comparison but in the age of social media, it’s impossible not to let doubt creep in.
It’s easy to remind myself that we are not alone, but I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear your thoughts that resonate so deeply with my own. I feel a physical weight lifted from my spirit. So thank you, Meghan. I hope that wherever you are today that you are fulfilled, happy, healthy, and you know that you are loved. Thank you for your strength to share your story and for the reminder to trust God’s plan. XO
I’m so sorry for your recent hurt but so glad you found comfort in my words. Sending you a big virtual hug!