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!!