Let’s get off the high horse for a second and get one thing out of the way; we all thought we’d be married or in a long term relationship by now. Being single in your 30s wasn’t something you were dreaming about every night. It was the exact opposite. And never in a million years, you’d think it’d be this hard to find someone to settle down with. As much as it’s fun and games and freedom and all that, it’s also unsettling to imagine that it might never happen for you.
You embrace the single life because it feels right. But it always gets weird when people are around. It feels awkward to be the oldest and the only single person at your friend’s wedding.
It feels awkward when you’re talking to a newly-married 20-something who’s talking about having kids “before it’s too late”. From dial-up Internet to Amazon Prime Now and from the Mayan calendar to global terrorism, you’ve seen things.
And now, you’re trying to survive a global pandemic alone. And if nothing made you question your decision to stay single, you must have at least looked up the one that got away during the lockdown.
It’s easier to embrace being single in your 30s when you’re out having fun with your single friends and spending the money you make yourself. But it’s not that easy when you go to bed alone and try to imagine your life in the next 10 years.
And it makes you feel lonely, anxious, and depressed to the point where you start doubting your decisions and blaming yourself. The way you manage those feelings is incredibly important for your mental health.
That’s why we’ve put together these tips on how to cope with being single in your 30s. Read on!
1. You make your own luck, sort of.
Let’s forget about fate and all that for a second. There are so many things involved in the whole process of meeting someone, actually liking the person, them loving you back, and having so many things in common to the extent that you decide to grow old together.
Part of it is all up to you being out and about, a little bit of an extrovert enough to comfortably socialize with people. But also, part of it is up to fate, or universe, or god, or luck, or whatever you believe in.
So at some point, you need to make peace with the idea that somethings are out of your control. As with all things that you have no control over, you need to decide if you’re going to obsess over it or focus on things that you can actually do something about.
2. Life is what you make it.
The number of married guys who are flirting with you is way higher than the number of single guys who are flirting with you. And sometimes you find yourself on the verge of officially becoming a mistress.
But you get turned off so easily because you’re way over the fantasy and you know that it’s never fun. Your ex, whom you decided to stay friends with and who’s married at the moment, start complaining to you about his marriage and how he regrets it.
He, low key, is looking to see if you’re up for something but you’re so numb that you don’t care enough to say “you asked for it, now suck it!”. Been there, done that!
This does not have to be your reality. If you make it “she tried desperately for years to find a husband and she was miserable all the time and the poor thing died alone”, that’s going to be it.
If you make it “she took a chance but it didn’t work out, so she moved on and touched so many souls and lived life to the fullest”, that’s going to be it.
3. You’re a global phenomenon.
We were born in the 80s. They gave us different names; Generation X, Generation Y, Millenial, Xennial… One moment, it was fun, innocent, and exciting. And the next moment, Gen Z took over.
Things moved so fast that we simply couldn’t keep up. It was like a glitch in the Matrix. The generation before and the one after us got everything right. But in the blink of an eye, we became the kid that was left standing out during a musical chair game.
We went to school and got a degree. But “young entrepreneurs” made us feel like idiots. Well, you live and you learn. Nobody to blame here. But know that you share these thoughts and feelings with everyone born in the 80s.
4. You get to be picky.
People who got married early don’t count. Couples that meet in their teens and early 20s literally grow together. They shape each other’s personalities.
The sad thing is that they can never know if that’s them or if that’s what they’ve become because of their partners. When they blame you for being single in your 30s and being “picky”, ask them what exactly it was that made them fall for each other.
Was it the way he handled difficult situations like making it home before the curfew? Was it the way she was mature enough to let him do homework with the other girls in the class?
People who get married early grow up under the influence of each other. They tend to be codependent. You, on the other hand, took the journey alone and got to find out who you are by yourself. So you get to be picky!
Because you know who you are and what you want better than ever. If that makes it harder to find someone, tough titties! It doesn’t mean you should settle.
5. Face your fear.
When you hit 30, you find yourself going over your mental checklist a little too often. It’s a checklist full of daunting tasks.
“Am I where I’m supposed to be in life?”, “Is there something else I should be doing?”, “Does my job pay well enough to support myself forever?”, “Do I look like someone who is single by choice?”… The list goes on.
If you’re terrified of the idea of being single for the rest of your life, the first thing you should do is accept that possibility. Acknowledging your fear of being alone and embracing that fact empowers you.
That way, you won’t settle for anything less than what you actually want. You won’t make poor decisions out of fear or desperation. Run towards the idea and prepare for that reality.
Have a financial plan and start saving for your future. It may be lonely and terrifying at first. But once you get there, it’s freeing and empowering.
Being single in your 30s is normal, regular, and even beautiful. It’s not a fault or a mistake. It’s something you share with millions of people around the world. How is that lonely?
Below is a video that shines a pretty bright light on the reality of the situation. Take a look. It’s about the hidden pitfalls that lead to bad marriages. And you, my single friend, will have a sigh of relief.