The Truth About Being Single In Your 30s
By Allison Walther
I am a 32 year old female. I live in the South and grew up Southern Baptist. I am single, and I am happy. For most people, they are able to track with me through those first two sentences, but that statement about being single with the other identifiers and being happy?
Does not compute! There are many things that I have learned about myself and from what cultural expectations I am “supposed” to adhere to being single at this stage in life.
Though I feel very much like I am still young and interesting, that is not a popular opinion. Many persons around me are scrambling frantically to set me up with someone so I don’t die alone. I am approached by family and friends who want me to meet so and so, or can I give this person your number? Etc. When I say, ‘No thank you, I am perfectly content and don’t want to be set up,’ they don’t understand it. Most of these friends are already married, and through trying to set me up, are telling me how much better being married is than being single, even though more of my friends have already been divorced than married. Many of my friends are also single, and are desperately trying to “remedy” their situation. I understand that may sound callous, and I want to be clear that I respect their journey, but that just isn’t me. In either situation, the persons in question are trying to superimpose a problem they have by gaslighting me into thinking it’s a problem I have. But I don’t have a problem with being single- that’s what I keep trying to tell people. I am happy, I am content, and I don’t feel I have to apologize or explain that ad nauseam to people to be understood, but alas, here we are.
Biologically speaking I am aware that many women would like to ideally be in a relationship at this point in their lives, our eggs are truly not going to be with us forever, and that is a real concern. However, societally and culturally we need to calm downnnn. Trying to convince a woman that they are incorrect, they DO want to be married and with a man (or woman/cis/trans/gender nonconforming person), they just don’t know it yet is not helpful. Nor is explaining all the reasons why I am probably single, including but not limited to; I don’t clean enough, wear enough makeup, wear enough dresses, am not feminine enough… that is your opinion, but maybe keep it to yourself next time? Being told there must be something wrong with you for you to still be single, that I must have a lot of baggage or issues and so I must be a problem that isn’t worth pursuing and that’s why I am single- I have heard it all.
Projection will happen, I am positive that at some point I have projected unjustly onto those around me something that I have no experience with or understanding of, but projection is something that we can work on tempering. In the meantime, being respected as a person, and as a woman, and understanding that I am entitled to my own opinions and timelines, understanding that I am the only one who truly knows how I am feeling and what I am thinking is going to continue to be my prerogative.