Maybe it’s the holiday season? The romantic ambience set by carols or holiday movies with nothing but happy endings? Whatever the reason, the adorable but very outspoken woman who did my nails at the salon last night felt compelled to tell me that I “should NOT be single at 32.”
I quoted the aforementioned line because those were the exact words that came out of her mouth as I sat there with tin foil hanging off 7 fingers and a dried pair of eyes that couldn’t bring themselves to blink (out of shock).
Here’s how that conversation rolled out:
Me: “I’m sorry, what?”
Woman: “You’re not married?”
Woman: “You don’t have a boyfriend?”
Me: “No. I am very single.”
Woman: “What’s the problem?”
Me: “Nothing! There are two pints of ice cream waiting for me in the freezer and I don’t foresee a single problem in the immediate future. Should I?”
Woman: “Hahaha. That sounds nice but you are 32. You should not be by yourself.”
Me: “Haha. Thank you?”
Well, that was the end of that conversation but since I’ve cracked open my laptop to write this less than 24 hours after that confusing interaction, I’m clearly not ready to put it behind me (yet). Let me preface by saying it’s not because I agree with her but because this conversation has come up more than once since I re-entered the single life 6 months ago, and now, I’ve become pretty opinionated about the topic myself. Talking about my private life was never the plan. And you know what? Neither was being very single in my 30s. Sure, when I was in high school I thought I might be married or in a common-law relationship with a dog, but as we all know, things don’t always pan out the way we expect or even hope they will.
Hoping to be in a stable and committed place with another person at a certain age was never in my DNA. Hoping to be happy, financially secure, and successful in my career whether it’s with someone or not? Absolutely, all the way through, and I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful to be at the point in my life where I can tick off all three boxes on my own.
But if I’m happy for myself, why can’t others let me be? Are they sharing their opinions out of concern and if so, why do they even care? Or is it us single women who actually care more than we’d like to admit?
I’ll admit when my last relationship ended I cared A LOT. I have to date again? More importantly, I’d have to go out in the winter to make that happen?! No, thank you! Time has changed my attitude a wee bit. Just a tad, though. The winter weather alerts in Toronto have been pretty consistent, FYI.
Truth is, being a single woman in her 30s this day and age, is very common. In fact, according to this year’s Valentine’s Day article by Daily Hive, more than 12 million people consider themselves single in Canada. Moreover, in a CBC.ca article this past March, Statistics Canada claimed Canadians living solo more than doubled in the past three decades, the majority of which are in “middle adulthood” starting at 35-years-old.
To be a 30 something single woman entering 2020 isn’t abnormal. Being a 30 something single woman is actually quite empowering because it’s a reflection of the choices we’ve chosen to make for ourselves. Sure, some of those choices may have been the wrong ones to make in hindsight (whatever they may be), but they’ve led us to where we are today and we should take pride in that.
So, to answer the lady who did give me a fantastic manicure despite the unwarranted advice – I should be by myself. I’ve chosen to focus on growing my career and spending time with my friends until I attract a solid partner. More importantly, as a single woman in my 30s, here’s why I think I, or anyone in my position, should remain single for the foreseeable future if it’s what we truly want.
- I should focus on my personal growth – An entirely new decade is upon us and if we don’t have anything or anyone holding us back to explore new territories, opportunities, and risks, then why shouldn’t we be doing exactly what it is that we want to be doing?
- I should only date if I meet someone I connect with – As the old adage goes, “Time waits for no one,” and if that’s true which I believe that it is, then why the heck should we be wasting time on another forced relationship or another date that we don’t really care to go on? It’s not fair to the other person if the interest just isn’t there, and let’s be real, it’s not fair to our inner child who ultimately just wants to run free.
- I should not make the same mistakes again and again – Rebounding can be fun but it can also lead us to question ourselves in a vicious and unproductive cycle. Instead of sounding like a broken record in our own mind, why not try something new like breaking the rebound cycle, exploring each day on our own, and see what might happen?
- I should be able to confidently say “No” without any questions asked – Which isn’t always the case (clearly) but if we are adamant about our stance on our personal life, be confident in it and don’t let someone else project their fears on to your self-designed journey.
- I take my freedom of choice seriously and that won’t ever change – Because freedom of choice is an absolute gift and if we are lucky enough to live in a country that allows us to have it, we should be grateful for it and exercise our rights to choose every single day, which Miss, I most certainly am doing at this very moment as a 30 something single woman.