Single life in your late 30's

This is my first Hub!! It was suggested, that I write about something I know about. Well, being single is certainly something I know lots about, having been that for most of my 30's. I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks... I'll be 38, so being in my late 30's is also something I'm familiar with!

I didn't intend my life to go this way, I'm not sure that anyone ever gets the life they intend though? Those who do would probably be considered very lucky. Having said that, I'm not so sure I would now enjoy the life I once had mapped out for myself. It included a husband and children. I have neither of those and to be perfectly honest and (maybe) controversial, I'm rather pleased about that!

The thing that gets me the most about being single and female and in my late 30's is the stigma!  Seriously, what's that all about?  Another tip for writing hubs was to do your research.  I googled "single in your 30's" and there are articles galore about not being afraid of it? Losing the fear? Words like "misfit" are bandied around.  Why in this day and age should we be afraid of our life choices?  Ok, ok maybe we don't all consciously choose to be alone but I think on some level... we do!

I'm certain if you want to be with somebody it's actually quite easy.  There are countless number of social and dating sites out there with any number of people offering to be with you.  Maybe not forever but hey.... you can get company if you really want it.

Years ago, you were considered to be "on the shelf" and the word spinster would be used to describe you.  It seems to me that these words have been replaced with much harsher ones.  I mean really... taboo was another I found on google.  What's wrong with empowered, liberated, sensible?

I make no apologies for the choices I've made and I'm also happy with them, most of the time.  We all seem to rely too much on what society expects of us.  As a woman, you're expected to one day be married and raise offspring.  Men are expected to provide for their new family.  It's how it's always been and we should carry on conforming.  The problem is, these rules were made when choices and voiced opinions were limited. 

I remember the day it dawned on me that maybe, I could do something other than be with the same man for the rest of my life and have his babies.  It was amazing but very frightening too.  I understand why all these articles about "lose the fear" are written.  The only scary thing about choosing to be single is about how other people percieve and/or react to you.  The disappointed look on your Mother's face, the sympathetic look from strangers followed by the obligatory "awwwww, you'll find him soon", the smugness from happily married couples.

I wouldn't mind so much if the people who are married or have children or both were blissfully happy but generaly, I've found.. they're not!  Our lives seem to revolve around being successful in whatever it is that you choose to do with your life.  If your choice is to be married, it needs to be a happy marriage, if you choose children, they should be happy, well behaved and cause you to brim with pride.  If you choose a career... you'd better be good at it and make plenty of money.  It's ok to make the choice to travel with nothing but a rucksack and a passport... so long as you travel far and wide and bring back tales of adventure.  As a result of this endless pressure to be successful, we brush our failures under the carpet.  Married people having affairs shrug this off as if it's normal....after all, we all know of someone else who's done it, so it must be ok.. right? 

My choice to be single is partly to avoid all this.  I'm already considered a failure for not managing to bag a man, so not much is expected of me.  It leaves me free to live a life that isn't forever under scrutiny, people wondering when it's all going to end in tears.  I don't have to be terrified that some Lolita is going to make a play for my man.  I see the looks on the faces of married people while at a function and their partner has made a break for it... terror, utter terror, especially when they see us "singles" hanging around!!  I don't have the pressure of finding the perfect school for my little cherub, the one that will bring out the talent in them that I'm sure they have. 

I suppose the main thing about being single in your late 30's is being happy with you.  It's at this kind of age that the whole world, including yourself seems to resign themselves to the fact that your choices are now limited.  In your twenties, you still have all the time in the world to find someone, settle down and have children.  But with 40 tapping softly on the door, these choices are beginning to be taken away, certainly the children part of things.  I know it's still possible to have kids into your 40's but not quite so easy.  Plus, when you're single at this age, you don't want to rush into a relationship just for the purpose of procreation.... that would be silly at any age! 

As long as you can honestly say that the life you are living is the one you're happy with, nothing else matters.  There are no rules to say that you can't change things in the future should you want to but neither is it against the law to be perfectly happy to continue with singledom for the rest of your life.  There are many benefits to the life I and other singles have.  I get the whole bed to myself, I can go out at the drop of a hat without requiring anyone's permission or approval, I can be as grumpy as I please in a morning/afternoon/evening without upsetting anybody else and there's less washing... to name but a few benefits.  Sure it can be lonely sometimes but honestly, the loneliest I have ever been was whilst IN a relationship.

It's a tough and brave choice at times to be single in your late 30's but I'd rather that than have the pressure of living up to the expectations of society.  I have nothing expected of me and that, let me tell you is fabulous!!

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Comments 66 comments

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 6 years ago from Charleston, SC

Nice first article. I spent most of my 30's in the same boat. I felt the urge to jump into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I even felt the pressure coming from my mom because she wanted grandchildren from me. Luckily my sisters provided them for her and I didn't rush into anything.

Now, I'm 40 and in a wonderful relationship with a graat woman that would have never materialized had I settled for anything less. And I'm glad I never paid much attention to the comments I would overhear, "great guy, mid-30's, single, he must be gay." LOL I would never respond to those, being single was a personal choice for many of the same reasons you wrote about. But I can honestly say, finding the right relationship has brought me more happines than I have ever had.


Bobbins profile image

Bobbins 6 years ago Author

Thank you for your comment livewithrichard... you're my first fan!! I'm so happy that you've met somebody wonderful, I wish you all the happiness in the world x


Single Something 6 years ago

I loved your blog! I'm a 31 year old female with absolutely no desire to get married or reproduce. I completely relate with smug couples and how NONE of my friends who are married with children EVER look like they are having any fun! Cheers to freedom, single life, fun choices, the whole bed and no after school obligations!!!


Yasmina 6 years ago

Totally agree.. just turned 37 and find the hardest thing is actually dealing with other people's expectations and what they think of you.. I love my own company and of course would be happy to make room in my life for a great person.. but not any old relationship just not to be alone.. nice article


Bondgyrl 6 years ago

I love your article. You go girl. I'm 39 living in Manhattan. This city sure makes it easier to be single at my age. Up until my last relationship I wasn't interested in marriage or children, but that changes things. It is so true that it's the person and not the circumstance of the age. We woman have more choices then before and society is becoming more accepting of single woman at our age. Interestingly enough I froze my eggs last month because at my age I am still not sure I want children and I'm sure not going to unless I find the right partner. I feel very lucky to have that option.


katie 6 years ago

I love this article! I am 34 and still single (have been for a good four years now ), and I actually find dating a bit of a bore nowadays! I also find the older I get , the more I want to keep hold of my independence . I feel alot less under pressure in myself to be in a relationship now than in my 20s. In my 20s I found the whole marriage / kids deal the biggest deal , but now I feel completely indifferent about the whole thing


Marie 5 years ago

Great post!!!!! I'm 32 this coming December and I deninitely loving it. I encounter a bit pressure from friends but trying to keep the comment for myself. Being in a relationship does not guarantee a lifetime happiness. I own my time, my bed, eat and cook whenever you like. Though I would say, I'm not closing the door for a wonderful guy to come along but it's not the main thing I'm looking about.


AJ 5 years ago

I'm 36.5 and kinda newly single. I think your article is great, but I must admit I do want marriage and kids of my own. And I don't want to do it with someone who's already done it before! Yes I can admit that. I tried that route and it didn't work. Some moments are just supposed to be special between you and that person ONLY (just my opinion). It seems like only us females waited or decided to forgo the marriage/kids thing. There doesn't seem to be any men out there who waited. Or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. I too am sick of the comments and piti looks. I've been busy making something out of my life, damn-it! There's nothing wrong with me physically or mentally. Augh!!! I'm gonna mark you article as a favorite for when I need to be reminded that I am OK!


bb 5 years ago

Great article - really well written too - not that you need me to say that i am sure. i am single and 36 - have been on internet dates these last few months - not really sure why but i have had a lovely time on most of them - my default position seems to be single though - with every life choice or circumstance there are positives and negatives and i think human beings that have a certain level of living think a lot about how things could be better if our lives were different in some way, be that single wanting to be in a couple - i find i am a lot less anxious when i am single and maybe that says a lot about me rather than informed relationships choices but you know what - the choices we make are only made by us as we are too, so i think if people are happy then it is all good


KelliJo 5 years ago

I'm just turning 37 and have been happily single most of my thirties as well. I'm having a great time and love the freedom. I've had 2-two month relationships and I find I get bored with them and have to move on; especially when they want to know what you are doing all day everyday. Im one of 4 children not to have kids and I think sometimes they are a little jealous of me. I can pick up and go anywhere, move, travel, vacation, school, stay up late, sleep in, you get the picture! I do think it would be nice to have a companion, but you will always have your friends, and will always make new ones. See, the trick is: to always be happy with yourself, no matter if you are single or double! =)


TheHeath 5 years ago

Oye! I'm a 38 year old male, single, no kids, and no regrets. While I'm single, I get to know myself better all the time. I have yet to see a true happy marriage. More often than not, I just see people that would rather suffer in marriage than have the strength to live alone. King of my castle, master of my domain, and as George Bush said, I am the decider!


LozDIreland 5 years ago

Hi, I'm in the midst of setting up a website in Ireland, re: single ppl in their 30's/40's (not internet dating) more a social event site for single ppl..... would you like to be a guest blogger??

many thanks,

lorraine


Ed 5 years ago

This is a good blog. I've read that the marriage rate is declining and those who are marrying are, on average, getting older and older. What bothers me most is not necessarily those 'smug married couples', but the stigma of being single in my 30's. Most of my married friends don't want me around because I'm not interested in their lifestyle. I don't have kids. I don't want kids. And I doubt seriously that marriage is in my future. My friends see this and view me as a threat, especially my friends wives. So, I guess I will be doing a lot of reading, working out and other things I can do by myself.


Beth 5 years ago

I really enjoyed your article. I just turned 34 and have two kids. My situation is I have never been married and live in Utah where your expected to get married by 20 and start popping out at least 6 kids before your 30. I have never cared what people think about having 2 kids out of wedlock and I have enjoyed every minute of being a mom. I am recovering from cancer and have really taken a hard look at my life and even sought professional help for my "commitment phobia". That is what I have always just chocked it up to be anyways. People have always told me how brave and strong I am for being a single mom and the breadwinner but I wouldn't have done it any other way. I feel vary satisfied with being a mom, homeowner, and now a cancer survivor. My next chapter is just about to start. Who knows there might even be a name change in my future. I know my passport will finally get stamped:)


Christine  5 years ago

Great article! I'm 32 years old and unmarried. I just got out of a relationship and don't know what I was thinking in panicking into one, just for the sake of being "with somebody" who was ultimately not right for me. I felt lonelier with him than I now feel without him. I'm a romantic and would love to find someone but, in the meantime, having a grand time with friends out and about in the world. This old spinster is going to go out on the town and see what it has to offer!


Ruth 5 years ago

I loved this article. I am a little over a week away from turning 36 and have been single for 2 years now. When I was in my 20s I felt that my whole world revolved around being in a relationship or finding the right person, and I always thought that I couldn't be happy any other way. After being completely free of dating and relationships the past 2 years, I find my life to be more fulfilling and I'm actually happy. I feel that it has made me a better parent as well to my 15 year old son. Anyway, thank you for writing this article :)


Middle eastern single woman 5 years ago

Hi! I enjpyed this article, after reading several articles pushing single woman to just surrond themselves to the Mr. right enough (while the ones who look "right" are still disapointing,lol).

I am 37, maybe last year i was still thinking to much to cut my expectations and marry someone average, well i decided to live with a Mr. near to right...those days i was thinking it was OK, not bad, finally i wasn't physically alone! but when i found out he is spying allll my life and my privacy will be =0 ! as an engineer i didn't calculate this system as healthy and stable and quitted, surprisingly and for everybody's information, since then (3 months ago) i know the value of my aloneness, my freedom, not being in a relationship and so on, i should repeat that this man was a good one before finding the truth about him, but even in the best days..my freedom was getting sacrified for having a mate and spouse,i have lost my interest to marriage very badly and now i have another man around me who wants to marry me and i don't know how to explain what i feel after being 3 months with a man, however we had the full right to quit anytime because there was no commitment...yet i feel scaping from the jail! lol :D


mhaykhal 4 years ago

glad i found your article. i am 30 and still single, honestly i desire to have a baby and a husband who would accept me for what i am but i am not worried if i'll remain single because i so love my independence.


trouble seeks paradise 4 years ago

I'm a 37 year old female, single, never been married, and have no children. I have been single since I was 29 years old. I have spent the past 7 years looking for Mr. Right and being involved in many short lived relationships that have honestly taken a toll on my emotional health and self esteem. At 29 I took control of my life, escaped a negative 4 year relationship, finished my undergrad, and then started some low paying jobs to begin my career. Six years later I'm still climbing the corporate ladder, single, living with my parents, and have a mountain load of student debt. At 37 years old 40 does not look too far away (over the hill for women). I have always wanted to find my soul mate and become a mom. Establish the "us" in a relationship then introduce children. Today, I still desire to meet a man who wants to work on being "us" first, and then if possible have children. Unfortunately, he would have to accept and still love me knowing that at this age I may not be able to have any and consider local adoption.

In response to your post I don't believe people when they say singles’ lives are much better. Having the flexibility to do what they want when they want, is a freedom that is not worth trading in for family, watching your children grow, and companionship. I think being alone makes the years go faster and the memories far less fond.


SingleandFree 4 years ago

I am in my late 30's and am single. I spent more than half my life with a man who could have cared less about my happiness, but only his own. But my fear of being alone kept me with him. I was not going to be a "failure" by not landing a man and a spinster! It was my "duty" being an Asian woman to marry, raise a family, and be domesticated. Generations and stereotypes have engraved this into my genetic make up. Well, things change...

My grandmother gave me the best advice. "It is better to be alone, than with someone and lonely." Sure enough, I realized that for most of those 20 years with my other half, I was lonely. Lonely as Hell and ashamed of it. Ashamed that I had a loveless dead end relationship. I bought in to his crap that I wasn't the type of girl guys marry. Blaming me for his lack of interest in commitment. I bought in to his abuse that I was lucky to have him because no one else would ever want me. I bought it to that I must be crazy if I am not head over heals enthralled to have him in my life. Well, partly - I was crazy for buying in to any of it.

Then one day, I woke up and realized that I had misdirected my love. I should have had love for myself. With that, I was able to hold my head high and simply walk away - with self respect and integrity. I woke up to my real situation. I would never have the relationship with this man that I had dreamed about for so many years. I couldn't mourn over what I never had. I was responsible for taking action. I needed to love MYSELF. I had simply misdirected my love with him. Now that I am loving me for all my quirks, my silliness, my complete love of life, and for not being ashamed to wear my heart of my sleeve - I am healing and am happy.

My life can be anything I want it to be. Anything I can dream it to be. I am learning to be happy within myself. If a man comes along who wants to join me on my journey in life - GREAT! But if not, it is still going to be an incredible trip.


Allison 4 years ago

I'm 37, single and without kids. I've been single for about two years now, having ended a long-term relationship. For the most part, its been good spending time with me, becoming the independent woman that i've always dreamed of being. But its started to gnaw away at me, my desire for family, husband kids. Quite frankly its difficult to mesh with my social circle which consists of friends with their families, I feel like the odd one out; some days are better than others. With a new year literally chomping at my feet, I find myself sqaurely confronting my insecurities, which would explain how i stumbled on your blog; which by the way was quite refreshing. My quest right now is to find happiness with myself, and basically to keep on enjoying life.


Angelita 4 years ago

Great info. Single-39 happy and enjoying each day that comes. Good or Bad! I have made some major decisions and changes in my life that have not been easy, but at the same time excited to try new things!!!!!!


Janelle 4 years ago

I don't understand when people -- whether they're married or single -- assume the other is unhappy. If they're married with children, they must be bored and miserable. If they're single, they must be lonely and/or selfish. I didn't get married until I was 30. I spent my 20s working on my career, traveling, working on my hobbies and interests, developing and nurturing relationships with people and getting to know myself. I've been really fortunate to have had some awesome experiences that I wouldn't have had if I was married with children. It's a lot easier being on your own, and dealing with people on your own terms. Being single was great, so believe me, I understand the benefits of the single life!

I got married to my loving better half a year ago. But contrary to those who think marriage means relinquishing your freedom, I still feel like the same person, I'm still learning about myself and growing -- only this time I have a partner to share it with. True, it is difficult to relate to another person everyday and not always think about myself, and that's the challenge of marriage. It can be draining, but I think a truly successful marriage allows you to grow as an individual, rather than stifling your freedom. You learn more about yourself through your relationships with other people, and a committed relationship/marriage is one of the most challenging relationships you can have.

When I was single, I used to think married couples with children must feel so burdened. They always seemed stressed out. I didn't believe it when they said they were happy. I've interviewed old married couples celebrating their 40, 50, even 75-year anniversaries, they all told me the same thing -- the challenges and the disappointments were plenty, but they grew from the experiences, and the happiness they shared together and with their children always outweighed the difficult times and sacrifices.

I wouldn't judge single person's choice to remain single, nor would I judge a married person who chooses to have a family.

But at the same time, no one should get married simply because they fear being on their own. But people shouldn't shun marriage because the thought of commitment scares them. Doing either one means allowing your fear or preconceptions prevent you from experiencing the possibilities in life, and in the end, you only end up limiting yourself.


Vanessa 4 years ago

Great article thank you for making sense of it all!


Mookies 4 years ago

Ok this is what I'm wanting to know from ladies is I'm a 35 yr old single male. I think I want kids but not exactly sure and so my question is if I date a lady at say 35 can women still have kids say if I dated a lady at that age for a year or two and then got married she would be then 37.

That's my fear and I think goes for a lot of other men is women at 35 pretty much have to get a move on if she still wants to have kids and there isn't much time to just date for like a couple years especially if you wanted a fairly large family like 4 kids. What's womens opinions on this?


Kylie 4 years ago

Thanks for a good blog. I needed it as I have been lonely and searching for a partner in crime for a long time and super stressing out as I will 38 in May. The worst part being that I have to be a bridesmaid in my little sister's wedding. It is my worst nightmare. I think it is very true that if you are happy with your life and who you are you can ba happy single or in a relationship but man is it hard to be convinced into that when you are alone. I don't know if it is societal or genetic but it is really hard to see others have what you want and work so hard but not be able to get it. Any words of wisdom?


4 years ago

Mookies:

Having children is a gamble regardless of age. Yes all of the blah blah statistics show that the chances of women conceiving after 35 are harder but there are too many women now conceiving healthy babies in later years. And many do it because they simply didn't find their mates in their 20s and 30s. There is no guarantee a younger woman who is "healthy" can conceive on your timeline if at all. One of my aunts has 5 adult kids but her first child was born to her at 20-22 and has severe Downs Syndrome. There is no guarantee that a woman your age or older won't conceive. The actress Geena Davis was 48 when she had her twins. While many gawked and criticized her "feat" it was hers and her husband's decision to have these children who appear to be beautiful and healthy. The worst thing you can do now is to try and rush a relationship because you "think" you want a family. And keep in mind - you may worry about choosing an "aging woman" to be your mate but a woman must also be concerned about choosing an "aging man." The concerns go both ways. I think it would not be great to select a mate out of desperation. Regardless of who you choose you can't go into a relationship with the mindset that we must have kids or else. Your wife to be could be beautiful, supportive, loving, healthy, etc. and you can spend 5 years of your life trying to conceive but failing to do so? Would you leave her to try and hook an even younger woman? And what if it's you who can't help her to conceive? Should she stay with you if she has time to have children? Nothing is guaranteed in life when it comes to reproducing. You should settle into finding the mate who improves the quality of your life. This way if you two marry and choose to try and conceive naturally or agree to adopt you'll be with the person who is in the game of life with you for the long haul.


Foreverdating 4 years ago

This article was very insightful! I'm 34 and single...just ended a 2 year relationship. I was in love with my ex, but he was "Separated" and the divorce dragged on for years, to the point where I could not take it anymore. So I ended things. I am proud of myself for being independent, confident and optimistic. But at the same time, ultimately my goal is to find lasting love, get married, and have children. I try not to let the ticking clock of time bother me, but I do sometimes fear how fast it goes by. I've been a serial monogamist, 2 and 3 year relationships all throughout my 20s and 30s. At this point, I need God to tell me what direction to go in.


mary 4 years ago

Deep down inside all you ladies hate being single.


Jason's Influence is Growing 4 years ago

I understand the way you feel and that life tries to put you in a hard situation. But, I am a single man how is recovery from an automobile accident, that happened when I was 15. I like that you think your life relives around "God".


Alden 4 years ago

My dilema. I am a single male in my late 30's and I am finding a disturbing trend of very slow moving single women in their 30's that seem to have no urgency at all in regards to dating and moving to the next stage of life. Puzzled?!


Ss 4 years ago

Hi, I seprated after four year painful wedding life. I love being single as I dont have time to date or to do chores for a guy. However every single time I see my friends, their family or I meet new people and tell them I am a single mom, they have only one thing to say: you r very pretty, you r young, u will find someone & they always say when I get older I will regret, I will regret the day my son leaves the house. Although my family has been very supportive and never mention such things but I think everyone else has an opinion on my life. I think for me it is very hard to go out with someone, u need to spend time together and even then u nt sure what they like. I dont understand why people talk to me about my broken marriage and then tell me I would find another one why? even when I try to ignore them they start showing sympathy by saying, 'you doing very well, u must feel lonely, it must be hard for you'. I hate people for commenting on my life when I clearly tell them I am happy being single, independent.


charmy 4 years ago

Interesint blog and comments. I'm 34 and been single for 5 years. Over that time I have been on counless internet dates, had a few flings and a couple of potential short-termers that turned out to be non-starters. I now feel totally jaded with the whole thing and the optimism has gradually drained from me - I admit this probably makes me less attractive to men! It's a bit of a vicious cirle really. In my 20s I didn't want to be in a relationship, but was with a guy for nearly 4 years - it ended quite painfully but I thought I'd surely meet someone else. However I think that if you move away from your home town numerous times for work then you end up isolated and it gets harder to meet men. It amazes me that all the women I seem to meet these days have a wedding ring - I notice it straight away these days and years ago I didn't even think to look! I guess it just shows how conscious I am of what many people have that I don't. Being single is lonely and the prospect of being alone for the next 40+ years makes me feel sad. However as a woman I do think the key thing is to stay motivated, don't let youself go physically as this will make you feel even worse. I'm not going to give up but I won't deny it's getting harder...


KateG 4 years ago

I have to wonder about the quality of your friends and social circle if they treat you like that. I'm 29 and happily married. A good number of my friends are single and as long as they're happy I don't really care. They don't have to share my choices.

That having been said I think you're making a cartoon like image of married people. I can't imagine any married woman worrying about a man talking to another woman, unless the marriage is already on very shaky ground to begin with. People in happy, healthy marriages don't act that way. And your comments about having to "snag" or "manage" a man aren't right either. In a good relationship you take care of each other. You may want to avoid trying to guess the thoughts of others. Most attempts at that are hopelessly flawed for all of us.


so true says 4 years ago

you think being single in your late thirties is bad, try being in your late fifties like me. i am a straight man that was married at one time, and was a very caring and loving husband that never cheated on her. but she did cheat on me, and i obviously was very upset. i loved her very much at the time, and was very committed to her as well. now single and alone again, sure sucks for me. i don't have that many friends at all, so it does make it a lot worse for me. most of the guys that i know, are settled with their own life. but i will go out every single night, not to be home by myself. and since i have no one to stay home too, is a very good reason for me not to be home. the trouble is that when i go out, i seem to meet very nasty women with their very bad attitude problem that they have today. so it is very hard for me to start a conversation with a woman that i would like to get to know. there are so many very nasty women now, and many of them are lesbians as well which certainly adds to the problem. even the ones that appear to be straight, are not friendly at all. can't blame myself for wanting to meet a good woman again, since i thought that the woman that i was married too at one time would have lasted. i seem to have such bad luck with women nowadays, but it is certainly no fault of mine. i feel as if god is punishing the guys like us that just wanted to have a normal life, and have a family as well. why should god make so many other guys have the luck to have met the right woman for them, and have a family? i am no different than they are. what makes them so special? i just don't understand it at all, and never will. the ones that have it should go to church to pray and thank god very much for the life that they have, because it is the guys like us that are certainly hurting now. now i just go out and hope for the best.


Chris 4 years ago

This is a test to be sure I can post before I start writing a bunch.


Chris 4 years ago

I am single male, mid 30s. Engaged for 2 years, but that recently ended because marriage wasn't the "right thing" for her. I was left, and still am, very much confused as to why things didn't work out for us. But guess never will know. Quite frankly don't care to ever understand, since it won't change anything. I had been single for 10 plus years prior to that relationship. I enjoyed being single at times, didn't at other times. But I am very much confused as to why people think that being in a committed relationship with someone destroys their independence. Do you lose all ability to make choices for yourself because you have someone in your life? Your life should not change to the point that you stop doing what you do. I made it a point that I would not stand in the way of what my fiancé wanted to do, whatever she wanted to do, I would support her. And I expected the same. Sure I sacrificed or compromised at times, but never felt like I lost my independence because of it. To say you "choose" to single, translates to me you choose to care only about yourself. An unwillinness to compromise, and unwillingness to sacrifice (within reason) because you don't care enough about someone other than yourself. I don't buy the embracing the independence thing. Sure, it works for a short time after a break-up or transition. But come on, nobody wants to be alone.


Chris 4 years ago

Great Article. I'm 35 years old, and I've been single most of my life also. I had a few short term flings during my college days, but other than that, I pretty much kept to myself. I have a few friends whom I play golf/go for drinks with a few times a year, and I find that is enough. I never really pictured myself as the 'marriage & 2.5 kids' type. I see myself living alone more than sacrificing my freedom to another. I'd rather be able to do what I want, when I want, and remaining single is the only way I will be able to maintain that mindset.


sara 4 years ago

I feel like the pool of good men is slowly getting smaller and smaller. 37, out of a 5 year relationship (he cheated, which shocked and rocked my world - particularly since I was VERY close to his family and extended family). I'm athletic, educated, employed and independent. I'm not into partying or drinking. I'd like to meet a man organically, but they all seem to be focused too much on their careers (I live near the Nation's Capitol) or how much they make. Likewise, someone who is athletic and enjoys the outdoors. My friends say I am a great catch, but truth be told, if that were the case why am I single. Personally, I would like companionship, someone to share my life with. I am not demanding or expect the guy to be adjoined at the hip; I like to do my own things (e.g. girl's dinner). I don't want children nor do I really want the responsibility of having any. After reading comments I am both at ease and anxious as I don't want to live the rest of my life alone - we're social beings afterall. Sigh. Will just keep running and cycling and perhaps meet someone that way, who knows. What I do know is I would like someone who has morals and ethics, is a good person, a sense of humor and enjoys fun exercise (e.g. cycling, triathlons, running). It seems kinda hard to find. Sigh.


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so true 4 years ago

These are such good comments, I'm 36 and on the verge of being single too. I am in a relationship that is not fulling my needs anymore. I am not new to being single because this relationship has been turbulent, so in a way I am looking forward to the single life. I already have children 2 that are heading out the door, and one that is young, but sufficient. I am ready to live, my kids are growing and I am tired of fighting. I want to be happy that is more important than anything. I think being single will help my health, self-esteem and overall well being. I do not think anything is wrong with it. When I was younger I always thought that a person is defined by there relationship and that is just not true, you define you, and I believe everyone should do what makes them happy.If a person is to come into your life they are supposed even the bad ones. So I am to a point that I am living for me not for anyone else's exceptions just my own.


Maria 4 years ago

I'm 34 and have been single for almost 3 years. I have to admit, those three years have been amongst some of the happiest in my adult life. The man I was with for almost 4 years met another woman, and, at a time when a lot of my friends were settling with their boyfriends/getting engaged/having a child, I was heading towards singledom. I am a strong and independent woman with a good career and great friends, but the last relationship has made me question myself, my traits, my attractiveness etc etc. I hate feeling this way. The reason we talk about 'smug couples' is that their attitudes & questions often belittle our own lives : "you'll meet someone soon", "dont worry you'll get there" and the general gist is that everything we do or achieve pales into insignificance when compared to marrying or having kids. It's tough being on the reviving end of this. If I'm ever in a relationship I'll be sure to never cone out with such thoughtless remarks.


NN 4 years ago

I like the article. I am in early 30s and it makes me sad to be single.. i think I will go through many situations when I will feel desporate..


sotrue 4 years ago

Hey NN I think finding things to do, will take your mind off of things. Exercise, read and remain happy. I am so ready to be free, this way I can live to my expectations and nobody else. There will be tough times, just keep on looking forward and not back.


Kevin 4 years ago

I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. I'm in my late 20's and have no desire to get married and have kids. I mean sure I would like to get married to the right person down the road but I'm certainly in no rush and I'm certainly not afraid of being alone.

However society tells me that after 30 single women go crazy with their biological clock and apparently all they want to do at that point is have babies and get married. It's nice to see that there are smart, intelligent women out there that want relationships where two people involved can still be somewhat independent and not have to worry about anything else


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revitup 4 years ago

Sorry but your article is a farsical display of denial.. if your single in your late 30's your parents are either old or deceased, your grandparents are likely deceased, your siblings are living their own lives and in the end of the day you have know emotional or financial partnership which leaved you vulnerable.. your not special enough to defy nature and even geniuses have their mental faults.. grow up and get real... deal with whatever issues have kept you single


bertyp 4 years ago

good post. We are constantly bombarded with the media "selling" the idea that in order to be happy we MUST be in a relationship.

I'm in my mid-30's and if I'm totally honest, even though I've had some great relationships, if I look back on the best times in my life up to now, they have been when I've been single. One of the most annoying things when I tell people that I'm happier being single is that they automatically assume that it's because I want to shag around!

Another point that annoys me is the saying "who wants to be old and alone? quick grab someone now". I don't understand that at all. At which point will I suddenly think "oh no, I'm 'old' and alone"? I really can't see it happening.


Alex 4 years ago

36 and single for 6 years, dating in between but the pool of men out there is not what it was when I was in my 20's. Heck, I was chubbier and still had more decent options! I love my

freedom and see how some

couples can't function if they

were alone like they literally

didn't develop adult skills in

certain areas bc they expect their

mates to take care of it. That

leaves them very vulnerable should something happen to the marriage, be it death or divorce.

then again, these are the types of people who will just find someone else immediately to

jump into a marriage with. It's something that separates me from them...I'm single by default as someone above said. I want to meet someone RIGHT for me and that is proving very hard to imagine happening these days.

Still the hardest thing about being single at this age is losing your friends...sure, they are still your friends...BUT you don't get included like you used to - bc if they aren't inside their family bubble, they are doing dinners and parties and trips with other couples and families. Your weekends are often a blank slate and you are usually fine with that bc it's what you are now used to anyway! But if your circle of friends are entering family mode - single life can really, really suck even if you know it's best to keep looking for the right one and not marry out of desperation.


Lenna 4 years ago

To be honest, if that works for you, its great. I personally love being married with a new baby son. But I know its not for everyone. I chose my life for me, not anyone else. I absolutely feel more fulfilled and cherish our family time more than my old single days out clubbing. Is my family always happy? Of course not, but challenges are a part if life. My good friend is 37, goes to clubs and enjoys the cougar life, has a 25 year old bf, and is not interested in having kids or settling down. Shes having a ball, and her reasons for her lifestyle choice is, "because I love it, you only live once, and this is what I choose to do". But never once has she said to me that its because "oh all married people are smug and unhappy". That sounds like sour grapes. Choose your life because you want to, not because "married people are miserable". If you've never been married or have kids, you wouldn't know. Generalizing my life because "others are that way" is sheer ignorance.


Patricia T. 4 years ago

Sure,sure...we make a lot of excuses to make it bearable but the truth is: it is hard! it is lonesome! it is scary! society makes you feel like sh... your parents get that disapointment look on their faces and get embarrassed of you, and if we really want the bed to ourselves and do whatever you please you also get nobody to talk to when your friends are with their husbands, you can get all that after a divorce but at least you'll have children to make you feel like you have roots, a family even after your own parents pass away...it is tough...believe me, I now...


Patricia T 4 years ago

One thing as to be said though...I can't stand the superior, pretentious or pity filled speech and attitude of married women towards us!!! how do they think they are? some did rushed into marriage because they were afraid to remain single, that makes us, the single ones, a little more courageous I think ;-) don't listen to them, don't listen to those who love to rub their life in your nose to make you feel bad (but fairly distinguish the bitches from the innocent ones :P) .


Willow 3 years ago

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Willow 3 years ago

I'm in my mid-30's and newly engaged. I must say that it took me this long because i waited for the right man. I once ran away on the day of my wedding when i was 29. Why? Because i felt i was gonna make the biggest mistake of my life. Then i got engaged again at 31. I felt the pressure again from family and friends. I felt that nagging feeling again that this isn't what i want. I didn't want to sacrifice my own happiness just to please everybody.

Then i've had enough! I told myself to hell with the pressures of society. I'd rather be single than be miserable with the wrong man just because i had to conform to the norms. I'd rather put up with the side remarks from insensitive people than force myself into something i wasn't really into. I listened to my instincts and i knew what i was doing was right. I followed my heart even though i didn't know where it was heading.

I dated and had relationships after. I just enjoyed my life without any expectations. I told myself if i meet the right one, i would know. If he comes i'd be happy and if he doesn't i'd be ok.

And boy im glad that i waited! It was worth the wait. I found a loving man and i could not ask for more. Sometimes you just don't know what the future holds. Unexpected surprises can happen at any age whether you're 30, 40 or 50 yrs old.

Appreciate all your other blessings. Do not be fazed with the social stigma as long as you know you are a valuable person. Do not settle or compromise for somebody that you know is not right. The heart knows what it wants, and if it's meant to happen it will happen.


ariesgirlie 3 years ago

Here is the difference. The smug, condescending married couples are the ones that are unhappy and jealous of you. The ones who aren't, and could care less, are happily married.....for now. Just kidding!!


kuhnell 3 years ago

I am 36, nearly 37, and have been single for about a decade. I've one child who is in high school and I'm very happy. I realised some years ago that the happiest times in my life had been when I wasn't angsting over a guy, so I made a decision to leave guys alone for a while..and it's been successful. I'm happy, I've achieved a degree (which I wouldn't have done in a relationship because I was always distracted by them). My child is growing up in a happy environment and a positive female role model. I've gained confidence, discovered so much about myself and have interests that I really enjoy...I don't think I would do these things with a guy, so I feel that my mind is more open thanks to my being single. Relationships were always hard work, I was always playing games and the guy always had an idea in his head of how he wanted me to be...and I will never be anything other than me. Society is evolving and we singles are at the forefront!


sean 3 years ago

You people are so cold hearted. Not caring about getting married and staying that way and having kids is pretty much saying you dont care about life either, if your parents didn't care about those 2, odds are you people wouldn't have ever been born.


sean 3 years ago

I'm a single 30 year old guy by the way that has never been on a date in his life from shear bad luck soo bad, I've never even been able to ask a girl out on a date.


VeryMuchTrue 3 years ago

well it certainly sucks for us single men that are very seriously looking to meet a good woman to settle down with, and with so many very mean women nowadays meeting a good one is a real challenge now. women have certainly become so much nastier to meet today, and with the attitude problem that most of them have does make it much worse. just trying to start a normal conversation with a woman that we would like to really meet is hard now since they will just walk away from us and then they will tell us don't bother me at all. so it is very hard meeting a good one today, that is if they still exist.


Peter 2 years ago

It would be interesting for the commenter's of 12+ months ago would revisit this page and give an update on their current situation!


Willow 2 years ago

Hello just to give an update. I didn't marry my fiancé several months ago. His real color started to show. It was last june when i totally gave up and at 35 wasn't exactly the type of situation i wanted to be in.

But fate has plans otherwise. I met a wonderful man last july. In 3 mos we got engaged. We got married a few weeks ago. All i can say is wow!

So what im trying to say is dont entirely give up. God works in mysterious ways..most esp when i thought i lost my world. Now im in an even better place w someone who truly loves and accepts me for who i am.

So dont lose hope. Love comes when you least expect it. If it could happen to me, it can happen to you too.:)


Loosey goosey 2 years ago

My husband and I just celebrated our 40 th Ruby wedding Anniversary. We've raised. 2 wonderful hard working kids that are contributing to society and good to us. Am I smug? Definitely not! There were many times in this life I worried, fretted and wondered if I knew what I was in for when I married all those years- ago! Was it all worth it? Definitely.

That isn't to say I don't admire the younger generation today for choosing their own path and if staying single is it then that is their right and choice! We don't all have to procreate to be of value in this society! No one's life style is better than anyone else...sometimes we don't choose it but there are rewards and challenges in both. We are all connected but on different journeys.


borhan 2 years ago

very very well said , thumbs up ...


2 years ago

I think you can be single and happy if you want to be single. For instance, you got out of a long term relationship and you need time to heal and move on or you're focused on your career and you don't want to be tied down. Let's face it, if you're single and you're longing for a lifetime partner you're going to feel lonely and sad at times. I think you can try to do all the things that everyone recommends like hobbies, activities, clubs, classes, etc but at the end of the day nothing substitutes a spouse. So many people wouldn't be looking for love and getting married if they were oh so happy being single. I do think it helps to stay positive and optimistic and do whatever you can to meet new folks but some days are just going to be really depressing and $hitty. I don't know how it falls in some people's laps effortlessly and others spend their entire lives trying to find someone they're compatible with.

I strongly suspect that it helps to meet someone if you're attracted to a larger percentage of the population. Unfortunately, I'm not attracted to as many men as other women are. I'm not saying I'm looking for perfection. I'm no supermodel but I don't think my standards have helped my cause in finding a good marriage. Another thing I learned is that you should get to know someone first before ruling them out at as a mate. Just because you don't feel chemistry instantly doesn't mean it won't develop in time. I take reponsibility on that end for my fate as I didn't start doing that till my 30's when I should've approached dating that way all along. You live and learn.


RealTruth 18 months ago

It really sucks for a single guy like me that is still Not married with no family, and it even hurts much more when all your family and friends are all settled down and your Not.


Anon 15 months ago

I partly like this article because until I was 31, I was single, and very happy to wait for the right guy. It annoyed me that people assumed there was something "wrong" with being single, not actively and aggressively seeking, and it annoyed me to see the desperation in some people who forced relationships to happen, and ended up with the wrong people or in unhealthy relationships due to this, or couldn't be happy in their own company, with more to their life than meeting a man - and then looked down on single people. Just after I turned 31, I met the most wonderful man, and am now in an extremely happy, committed, and fulfilling relationship. It's just over a year later, I'm 32, and we are about to get engaged. I'm so glad I waited. However, I must say I do detect some bitterness in this article. Yes, I've been single and very happy but I never claimed it to be "better" than being in a relationship. I never thought of myself as "free" or "liberated" or so lucky not to be tied down. Why do people always overcompensate when trying to prove their happiness in being single? "I get the whole bed to myself, I can go out at the drop of a hat without requiring anyone's permission or approval, I can be as grumpy as I please in a morning/afternoon/evening without upsetting anybody else and there's less washing"...really? And why insult all people in relationships as if they are all unhappy and insecure? I certainly don't worry about "singles" stealing my man and I hazard a guess that you're misinterpreting that "terror" and fear that you claim to see. I think a better way to see things is to realise that both options have benefits, and that life doesn't always fit into our plans. But when we embrace what is, we usually find that life provides us what we need. For example, I really grew into and found my authentic self when I was single, and felt very secure and whole BEFORE a met my fiancé. I wouldn't be the same person I am today if I hadn't grown on my own, and I'm glad love only happened for me later in life. We probably weren't ready for each other a few years ago.


Kindred 8 months ago

I am 36 and still single. Never been married or had kids.

I have been single for the last 6 years. I have had flings, 3 monthers, dated. Still nothing has worked out.

Trying Internet dating. The men I have been meeting online have very high unrealistic expectations of you and expect to fall madly in love with you on the first date. With the dates that do continue onto the second they usually just want a casual relationship.

It is funny how I find that society places so much importance on relationships yet most guys that are single these days just seem to want sex. Even into their late 30's.

So to all those people that look down on us over 30 singles on here. Sometimes it is not that easy, you don't get a choice. You try, but keep meeting the wrong people. As to why I am still single. I just have not met the right one yet.

I bet those types settle for whatever comes along because they are either to afraid of being alone, want to pop out kids before 30 or are just god damn lucky if they are with their partner for all the right reasons.

The things that I do enjoy about being single is having the freedom to do what I want when I want and think that it is great that I do not have to define myself or self confidence by another person, also not being afraid of doing things on my own is quite liberating when friends are busy with other things.

But it does get lonely at times and being the only single one at extended family functions that you can't avoid. That sux.

When I do eventually find the right person. I definitely won't take them for granted and will feel very lucky to have them.

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