Yes, I’m single. And yes, I’m 34 and a half years old. Nothing particularly outrageous or shameful in that right?
But why do people not believe me when I say I’m ok with it? And that actually, I’m happy? What is so hard to believe about being single, aged 34, and (shock horror) actually not being bothered about it?
I frequently feel that we still live in a society where certain things are ‘expected’. Getting married for example. Starting a family. People I don’t know are often a little bit taken aback when I say to them that I’m single, more so when they realise I’m in my mid thirties. And when I get that reaction, I always feel the need to say I’m actually really happy as I am. It’s like I’m defending myself in some way, or even attempting to reassure them that I’m a normal person, really I am.
But that sort of prompts two questions:
1.) Why do I feel like I need to provide that defence or reassurance, and
2.) Why do they automatically assume that being single at my age is a problem?
The reality is that I’m a very very independent person. Everything I have I’ve worked for myself. I’ve worked hard and earned the right to have the kind of lifestyle I have. But I don’t take for granted that I’m also very lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had to allow me to live as I do. I’m not rich or ridiculously successful. But I’ve got all the things I could want in life – my own house, a nice car, a job I really enjoy and fabulous family and friends.
I’ve been single for a long time. And the longer I’ve stayed single, the more independent I’ve become. I know that I would really struggle to let anyone into my life and disrupt the nice balance I’ve created for myself – a balance and lifestyle that genuinely does make me happy.
I like being independent. I like having the freedom to do as I please without having to consider someone else in any of my plans. And that might sound selfish to some, but in my eyes it’s not selfish, it’s just who I am.
People often don’t understand why I think the way I do about being single – why it doesn’t bother me like it would bother most other people. We’re brought up thinking marriage and a family is what we should aim for. And it’s disappointing to your parents if you don’t get married and have kids. But the reason they are disappointed is because that’s what they want for you. But what if it’s not what you want for yourself? You shouldn’t be pressurised or made to feel bad because you don’t want the same things out of life as your parents.
Some people seem to be so consumed about finding a partner that it utterly takes over their life. Some think that because marriage and kids is what’s expected, then that’s what they should do even if ultimately it’s not what they really want – at least perhaps not so early in their life. And I just don’t want to be one of those people.
Of course if finding a partner, getting married, having a family is what you genuinely want and it’s the most important thing to you, then of course you should pursue it and do what you can to make it happen. But it’s not the most important thing to me, and so being single in my mid thirties just doesn’t really worry me.
To be honest, being single isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when pretty much all of your friends are getting into relationships, getting married or having kids. Those are the sorts of times when I tend to feel a little bit blue and for a moment, I wish I wasn’t single – that I had someone to love and love me in return. But then I think about all the reasons I like being single and I instantly feel better.
Now, I’ve probably made myself sound like I’ll purposely never get into a relationship ever again. That’s not the case. I’m just open minded about my future in terms of marriage or kids. If I was to meet someone and the relationship felt like it could be something special then of course I would do whatever I could to make it work. But, right now, I feel that if I don’t ever find that special person, I won’t be overly bothered. If I was to let someone into my life, that someone will need to be pretty amazing. If only to be able to cope with my independent nature!
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if, like me, you’re single and getting on a bit and you’re worrying about it, just take a step back and think about why you’re so worried about it. If it’s an expectation thing, then let it go. You do what YOU want and live your life as YOU want. Just like I do. And have the courage to remind people, in a friendly way, it’s not weak or shameful to still be single and you’re not some weird crazy woman that can’t keep a partner. It’s a choice. Your choice. A choice to live the life you want to live and there is absolutely nothing wring with that. Don’t let other people make you feel bad for it!
Of course if there was a gorgeous, single, pretty awesome guy out there that felt he might want to get to know me a bit more, then please make yourself known. Everyone woman love a bit of attention now and then……