Nothing About This Is Fun

I recently did a search on Google. I searched “being single at 30.” Here are some of the headlines that came up:

30 Reasons It’s OK to Be Single at 30

Why Being Single in Your 30s is Better than in Your 20s

24 Reasons It’s Cool to Be Single in Your 30s

Being Single in Your 30s is Actually Pretty Great

Let’s cut the bullshit! Nothing about being 30 and single is OK, fun, or cool. Actually let me rephrase that. Nothing about being 30 and single and FEMALE is OK, fun, or cool. Cause do you know what all those articles have in common? They are written by women and about women.

We all know it’s women who should be worried about becoming old maids and spinsters after a certain age. Single men at 30 or 40 remain bachelors. There isn’t some derogatory term for them because they still have time. Men are never really past their prime. When they choose to settle down, they will.

Sure we’re past the point where a single woman at 25 is classified as an old maid. Women are getting married and having children later in life than they ever have before. But for as much progress as we’ve made, there is still a long way to go.

And I am going to be blunt here and say what the women in the above articles didn’t want to admit: Being 30 and still single sucks!

Now I’m not saying that I spend every night drinking wine and crying over a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. (That only happens every other night.) For the most part, I’m doing OK. I have so much other stuff happening in my life that I’m not constantly consumed with the fact that I’m single. But then something happens to remind me just how single I really am.

It could be getting the ever popular “Why are you still single?” question. Or it could be getting invited to yet another wedding and realizing that you’d have to put an ad out on Craigslist if you wanted to bring a plus one. Or it could be going to a function with friends and realizing that you’re the only one left who hasn’t coupled up. Or most of the time, it’s simply just that look you get for “still” being single.

People will never say it (unless you know assholes) but you can sense that they’re thinking it. “There must be something wrong with her.” And the really sad part is that you’re the one thinking it the most. “There must be something wrong with ME.”

In your early twenties being single is completely normal. It’s actually more of an anomaly to find yourself in a serious relationship. However, as the candles start to pile up on your birthday cake, you start to realize that you’re becoming an endangered species.

As much as those articles want to preach that being single is OK and fun, I think we can all admit that it’s not the norm. I bet every 30-year-single girl can count on one hand the other 30-year-old single girls she knows. But if she wants to list the couples, she’ll need twenty five-subject notebooks.

“What’s wrong with me?” “Am I unlovable?” “Am I incapable of falling in love?” “Will I ever find someone that I can stand for more than two dates?” “Will I have to wind up settling?”

Settling…This is a word you’re going to think about a lot. After your 50th horrible first date in a row, you’ll wonder if settling is worth it. I’d give up donuts for the rest of my life if it meant I never had to go on another first date ever again. But it’s almost impossible to find a person that you connect with enough where a second date sounds like a good option. Maybe you should lower your “standards.”

The elusive standards. I often think that my standards are too high. And they probably are. But here’s the thing: after 30 years of dating, you’re going to rack up a shit load of standards. I’m very adamant about the things I want in a partner and even more adamant in the things that I DON’T want.

Single and Thirty is a whole new landscape and it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s not always OK, cool, or pretty great. There’s going to be a lot of suckage. And I think that’s something that all newly 30-somethings or soon-to-be 30-somethings should be aware of.

You’re allowed to feel lonely and stressed about living the single life. There isn’t something wrong with you cause you’re not constantly living the “Thirty, Flirting, and Thriving” life.

Wallow in your own self-pity every once in awhile. Cry over a cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie. Eat an entire sleeve of Oreo’s and wash it down with a bottle of wine. You’re single so there’s no one there to judge you. (See, being single has its perks!)

But also know that finding love in your thirties is a very real possibility. And it can be done without settling or compromising on your standards. It’s just gonna take a little more work.

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26 comments

  1. I think being single in your 30s is all about what you make of it. I totally agree with you that there are some days that are harder than others. But there are also plenty of days where I feel better equipped to handle life on my own now than I was in my 20s! Which means there is no way I’m going to settle for someone who is not right for me (which I may have done 5 years ago)!

    1. I definitely do think that there are pros and cons to dating in your 30s. I agree with the no settling. There are people that I’ve gone a date with at this age that I would probably would have pursued a relationship with if we dated in my 20s.

  2. Totally agree. I’d like an article that brings balance to this. You’re allowed to feel lonely and sad and angry. But you’re also allowed to have patience for yourself, acknowledge the benefits of singlehood, and continue living your life and doing fun things. I think both can be true at the same time šŸ™‚

    1. Both are so true and that’s definitely what I wanted to get across. I constantly see single women being depicted as desperate and lonely or independent partiers. It’s usually a little bit of everything.

  3. Yessss! I love that you added the bit that it’s socially unacceptable to be single when you’re a WOMAN at age 30. It sucks that the world is still so conservative. Personally, I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship since my teens but I’ve either not been ready/couldn’t find anyone who was ready to be with me/(Let’s be honest) they weren’t as interested in a relationship as I was. It sucks. I would love to be one of those women that puts career and education first and everything else second but those things are just as important to me as having/being in a relationship. I don’t see why those wanting a relationship and having a career can’t be of equal importance to a female. I know this is a separate issue that you didn’t exactly touch on but I felt like you might have the same problems as I do with this issue.

    I’m now facing a new sort of discrimination; being in a relationship but not married at almost thirty. This might be a Cincinnati thing but it’s incredibly annoying that I’m not seen as “successful” because I don’t have a wedding ring. Judgement is real. Not all married people suck but sometimes it sure does feel like it!

    Basically, I’m saying I feel ya and screw anyone who hates on you because you’re single.

    1. Ah I love what you said about wanting to be in a relationship. I think that’s another thing I struggle with. We’re also taught that we aren’t supposed to want to be in a relationship and crave independence. So somehow wanting someone makes me less independent or career-driven. I don’t want someone cause I can’t take care of myself. I want someone cause I want someone. It’s as simple as that.

      And you really can’t win. If you do eventually get married then people will starting wondering when you’re gonna have a kid. Society just needs to learn how to let people live their lives. There is no one way to do things.

  4. I hate how much pressure is put on women to ‘find a man/woman and settle down’ it sucks. It shouldn’t even matter what age you are, your relationship status doesn’t correlate with happiness..it’s just that society makes us feel like were not worthy or even a real person if we haven’t found someone and then that in turn makes us feel lonely and sad. I know lots of women in their thirties who are single and happy but even then they feel pressurized to just find someone and settle down!
    If you haven’t found anyone yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t and who cares what those boring people that ask you ‘Why are you still single?’ they’re just judgemental idiots who have nothing better to do than to make us women feel bad!
    Loved this post haha šŸ™‚

    1. There really is just too much pressure on women. My biggest fear is that I am going to reach a point where I’m going to settle and that is something I really, really do not want.

  5. My favorite thing about Buenos Aires is no one bugs me about that here. In the us it was a point of everyone to chastise me for it. Here, nothing. Bunch of single 30 year old here.

  6. So sorry to hear that things didn’t work out with the boy! I honestly think that the longer you are on your own for, the harder it gets because your life is already established. But that’s certainly not a bad thing! I’m 25, and when I broke up with my long term boyfriend, I found out that I am way more capable at living an adult life than I realized, and without anyone’s help and it was a great feeling. I’ve been able to keep track of my own bills, and get my own apartment, and basically do the things I wanted without talking it over with someone else. It was weird but amazing. And then to continually do that for a long time and then meet someone, it must be hard to factor that person in. There’s definitely nothing wrong with you. You just have a handle on your own life!

    1. Gaining independence is an amazing thing. It’s a great feeling to know that you are fully capable of taking care of yourself without the help of anyone else. So happy for you that you realized that.

      But it does make dating easier and harder at the same time. It makes it a lot harder to squeeze someone into your life and your standards become a lot higher. But it also means that when you meet someone and really want them in your life, you want them just for them and not because you need them.

  7. I so hardcore needed to hear this, and be reminded that not everything dating-and-single-in-your-30s-related is hunky dory all of the time. Because it’s not. It’s frustrating and confusing and heartbreaking and downright shitty. I certainly have my moments of doubt–wondering if I will ever meet someone who matches my weird, someone who I could see spending my every days and every nights with, someone who will make me look back on this time and be glad that I went through it all. After nearly 30 years of dating all of the wrong people, the heartbreak and tears and horrible dates, it’s not to become a little bit jaded. But I do think that there is someone out there for everyone. That sometimes, it just takes going through the wrong people and heartbreak and tears and horrible dates to find the right one.

    1. Being single in your late twenties and early thirties…It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. Haha

      I just like to continually tell myself that all this heartbreak and nonsense will make finally finding someone that much more special. I will really friggen appreciate this dude if he ever comes along.

  8. I think it is incredibly difficult to a) find time to meet people, and b) like another person enough to consider a relationship. Worse than being single in your thirties would be feeling stuck in a relationship with someone who no longer makes you happier than they make you sad – that’s why it would suck to settle.

    I hope someone brilliant turns up soon – not ‘Mr Right’, not ‘the One’, because these concepts are a little ridiculous, just someone who will see how brilliant you are and who you think is equally amazing. It sucks that we can’t guarantee that we will find them, but I think – with the billions of people out there – the odds are in your favour!

    1. I agree, being stuck in a relationship would be the worst. That’s my biggest fear. I hope I never find myself in that situation.

      And thanks for the kind words. I hope I can find that special someone one of these days.

  9. I LOVED the conclusion you came up with at the end, and I also loved your honesty about being single at 30. I know there is a very special someone out there for you; he just needs to be perfected a littleeee bit more until he’s ready for you. šŸ˜‰

  10. Hey, please don’t be so hard on yourself. I think of it as a numbers game. I’ve only been on a handful of dates in my life. Of COURSE most will be bad. Nothing I did the first eight or nine times was very good. Anyway, I’m 32, and for the first time in my life, I actually feel confident that I’ll meet someone. It’s kind of thrilling. Just a few months ago, I was in my normal funk of “all the cool girls are married, engaged, or relatives I’mma be single forever whoa as me.” Then one day I felt better. I’m still single. But it doesn’t bother me anymore. You’ll get there, too. I know it. And if not, there’s always Starcraft.

    1. It’s so awesome that you’re in a happy, confident place with being single. It’s hard to get there but it’s amazing when you do. It’ll make dating a lot less stressful and way more fun. Here’s to hoping we both find that special someone! šŸ™‚

  11. giiiiiiirl, even though i’m not 30 yet (one more year) i can relate. Right now (today, ask me tomorrow) i don’t mind being single. I actually like doing whatever i want, when i want, without checking with someone’s schedule. HOWEVER there are times when i miss the lazy nights in cuddle fest with a boyfriend, but those nights are few and far between. do you have a group of single friends? or are you the lone single. I’m the token single girl in some of my circles, which is shitty sometimes, but then i just use my friend’s husbands to watch my purse while i dance with my girlfriends.

    1. I am the same as you. There are plenty of days where I am completely fine being single. It really can be awesome at times. But then a rainy night comes along where I wanna just stay in and watch movies all night. Those nights are so much better with a cuddle buddy. Maybe I need to get a pet. That should solve some of my problems.

      Sadly, the amount of single people I know keeps dwindling. I have one really good friend who is also single and when we go out with our group of friends (who are all in a relationship) she is usually my date.

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