I have a serious question. Is it okay to enjoy being single?
I, for one, totally think it is, but recently I have been made to feel like it is not. I have been single for a long time (almost 9 years now). I have been on dates, of course, and I’ve even had some guys that have been a part of my life for a season, but I have not had someone that I called my boyfriend in 9 years. I’m not sure if that’s strange, but to be honest, I hadn’t really even thought about it until now.
About a month ago, I was chatting with a guy friend of mine and he asked me if I had been seeing anyone since moving to California. I told him that I had been on a few dates, but that I was kind of over it and just focusing on bettering myself, and enjoying being single. His response to that was, “Don’t you want to get married and have kids?”
This completely threw me off and put me on the defensive immediately! His comment made me feel rushed. I am only 30 years old, and though some might consider that to be when you need to start family planning, for me it’s been the age that I’ve loved being on my own the most. The truth is, I’m really starting to love myself. Like, a lot. There is so much pressure put on women to follow this timeline of marriage and children by the age of 30. Suddenly a fear is instilled in you that if you don’t settle down soon, you are destined to live a loveless, lonely life with 10 cats (I already have 1. I’m on my way).
I’m on Facebook and Instagram a lot, like many of my peers, and of course I see the engagements and baby announcements. There was a time when these would send my brain into a whirlwind of emotion, wondering what the heck I’ve been doing with my life (the answer is: I’ve been being a dope single woman).
I do have hope for the modern single woman, however. Recently, I have noticed that there have been some strong, older, no-ring-on-their-finger women that make me feel like I’m more normal than the world would lead me to believe: Mindy Kaling, Mandy Hale (author of The Single Woman), Chelsea Handler, Sandra Bullock, Amy Schumer, and OPRAH, just to name a few. Sure, some of these women are in relationships, but they are not married. If these women can do it, why can’t I?
If you Google “single women in their 30s,” not many of the results are very positive (or they are reasons why you shouldn’t panic because you are 30 and single). I mean, who cares?! I know it’s cliché, but age really is just a number. Honestly, most of the time I go out, people think I’m in my early to mid 20s, so we’re only as old as we feel, right?
Rewind to my conversation with my guy friend. I told him that I wasn’t really worried about getting married or having kids at this point. I told him I do definitely want kids one day, and he told me that I better work on getting married then.
Newsflash! There is such a thing as adoption, and you don’t have to be married to do it. Look at Sandra Bullock. She, Louie, and Laila are just fine. Would I love to have a partner if I choose to adopt? Sure! But if I feel like my calling is to be a mother, then I can adopt, and my brother and father will be excellent male figures in my child’s life.
My main issue with his constant judgment of being an older single woman is this–Why is it any of his business whether I want to get married or have kids? Why is it anyone’s business? And why do I have to provide anyone with a timeline of my life?
My mom doesn’t even ask me those questions, and she knows everything about me. Why is being single in your 30s like a disease that needs to be cured? To be completely honest, being 30 and single has been the best time of my life thus far, and if I’m still single when I’m 40, I’m sure that will be awesome, too.
Let’s just all agree that whether you were married at 20 with 5 kids or single at 30 with 5 cats, we should all just let each other live our best lives, and enjoy the season we’re in.