Today’s blog post is written by a guest contributor. If you’re interested in contributing to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey y’all, my name is Lindsey White. I am a freelance writer who worked as a Professional Dancer for seven years in Los Angeles. I’m so honored to be a guest contributor for Sivan’s blog.
As a 30-something, I’m one of the last single girls out of my friends. In fact, most of my friends are married with 2+ kids. So if you’re in the same boat, I feel you.
If you’re like me, everyone around you is probably hounding you about your dating life (or lack thereof). I feel that, too.
As women, society has put so much pressure on us to find the “one,” and if you don’t by a certain age, it can come with anxiety, judgment, confusion, and a ton of emotions I know I’ve been through. Maybe you have, too? So let’s talk singleness in your 30s – and some of the positive aspects of it. My purpose in writing this is to bring a different perspective – a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m writing this not just for you, but for me, too.
THOUGHTS ON SINGLENESS IN YOUR 30s
+ Singleness is not a death sentence
There is a toxic assumption going around that singleness is a problem to be solved, and the solution must be marriage and a family. Spoiler alert: marriage doesn’t solve problems. I know a lot of our culture makes women like us feel less valuable if we aren’t in a relationship/married. Trust me; I’ve believed every lie imaginable. I was one of those girls who thought I would find my husband in college, get married at 23, and have kids by 25. Little did I know my life would turn out to be the opposite.
In my 32 years on this earth, I have never felt more independent and strong in my life. I had to change my thinking and consider what I did have. There is joy all around. It’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t have. It is easy to become bitter when we see another friend engaged before us. I want to flip the mindset and start celebrating people around us because 1. It keeps us from dwelling on what we don’t have and 2. It’s an indication that if it can happen to them, it can most certainly happen to us.
+ Waiting is working
Let us be honest with ourselves. If we truly wanted to be in a relationship, then we could. Instead, we’re single because we have high standards for ourselves and REFUSE to settle (something Sivan always preaches about, btw). So what are we waiting for? We are at an age where we know what we are looking for, so while it may be harder to find, it will be worth the wait. There is a reason why we are in this season of life. Just because all of our friends are married doesn’t mean they’re happier than us – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Just because someone has something we want doesn’t mean we should feel insignificant. Don’t wish this season away because we won’t be here forever, I promise.
+ Take this time to work on yourself
Many of us aren’t willing to take ownership and accountability for our own lives. Maybe it isn’t the guys we are dating; perhaps it’s us. That could be harsh, but I’m here to keep it real.
I’ve had to take account of the patterns and habits I kept doing, which kept me in a cycle of repeating the same things. We may not have control of the outcome, but we do control how we handle situations. I am still breaking habits and cycles that I refuse to let take captive of my life.
For example, I over-valued my job for the longest time and who liked me or didn’t. Looking back now, I spent all of my 20s harping on things that honestly didn’t matter.
What I’ve learned is there is nothing more powerful than a woman who can stand firm on her own. Walk proudly into that wedding with no date – that takes balls, girl. Take that solo trip you’ve always wanted to. I did, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Now is the time is to discover things about ourselves. And remember, we are fine on our own; everything else is a bonus.
+ Find a community
When we are in a season of life that isn’t ideal, we think we are the only ones experiencing it. But, the fact that Sivan was so eager for me to write about this subject tells me it is worth discussing further – and that she has readers who are going through the same thing. Find your single girls and build a community! It’s not to say you can’t have friends in relationships, but I think both are important.
+ Attract who you want to be with
Have you heard the saying “you attract who you are”? This is why working on ourselves is so important – as is figuring out what type of person you want to be with. Brad and Chad may have thrown us for a loop, but that isn’t the whole male population. I am not saying we chose them because we don’t think we deserve the best. It could be a deeper issue within ourselves. Not all men are evil. I know that is counter-culture and not part of the mainstream narrative, but I genuinely believe some good men desire the same things we do.
So make a list of qualities you want in a partner. Not outrageous like “He has to be 6ft+ with dark hair.” More like how does he treat the barista at Starbucks? Does he tip well when he goes out to eat? How does he talk about his mom or sister? Some might think these aren’t necessarily “red flags,” but for me and my “list”; it’s something I look at and take into account.
TRYING TO DATE
Now that you know my thoughts on singleness in your 30s, and you know what you’re looking for, let’s talk dating. Here are some ways to meet people:
+ Join recreational groups
So many of my single girlfriends are involved in some sort of co-ed sports group like soccer, volleyball, or softball. I think it’s an excellent way to meet people, as well as show off your competitive side. It creates a community and helps you focus on things other than what is lacking in your life.
+ Single mixers and events
Go check out your city’s website or activities that are happening around town. Thinking outside the box could help you get out of your comfort zone. It could be less intimidating if you went to a place where you know everyone there is there to find someone or have the opportunity to meet people.
+ Dating apps
This is particularly not for me. I’ve tried it and haven’t found it to be much fun. On the other hand, I know many friends who have met their husbands or boyfriend on the app. I think it’s a great tool and broadens your options.
Girls Night Out is such a fun way to meet people because you are going out with your girls, so the focus isn’t on guys. Plus, it creates a barrier of potential awkward conversations…and your friends can hype you up if you see a cute guy you want to approach.
+ Places of faith (Church, Synagogue, Mosque)
If religion plays a big part in your life like me, there is no better place to meet someone with the same values. Whatever your belief system is, it creates more depth in a relationship when you share the same values.
I hope you found some of this helpful. This season of life can feel like you are trying to survive on your private island with no way out to civilization. Just remember, there is a whole community of women in the same boat as you. You will not die alone, I promise. The best is yet to come, besties.
Make sure you follow me on IG @lindsey_e_white and DM me so we can get through this together!