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30s and single?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by kingdomforahorse, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. I just started this thread to see if there were any other ladies in this position and how you feel about it. I am finding I get a lot of pressure from friends and family to meet someone and "settle down" as well as work colleagues seeming to assume I'm in a relationship. It varies between people who think I must lead a hedonistic lifestyle away from school and those who think I'm old and past it and ask if I've considered singles walking holidays, not for me thanks!
    I do worry that I might never get to have children, too. How is it for you?
  2. I just started this thread to see if there were any other ladies in this position and how you feel about it. I am finding I get a lot of pressure from friends and family to meet someone and "settle down" as well as work colleagues seeming to assume I'm in a relationship. It varies between people who think I must lead a hedonistic lifestyle away from school and those who think I'm old and past it and ask if I've considered singles walking holidays, not for me thanks!
    I do worry that I might never get to have children, too. How is it for you?
  3. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Me. I'm nearly 32 and have never been in a relationship and by now I think I know I never will. The worst part is dealing with people who become quite aggressive and insist that you're trying too hard or not trying too much - with me it's just been unlucky sets of circumstances.
    A lot of people like to share stories about "so and so who was 35 and met" and with me it's different as it isn't that I'm too old but realistically i think I am far too old for a first boyfriend. I then get "well if that's your attitude you won't meet anyone!" from my darling brother, but as I explain time and time again, I haven't always had "this attitude" - it's been more of a slow realisation!
    I do feel really sad about it but I try to plan for the future as much as possible and there are definite advantages to staying single. I too would have loved children and think I'd have been really good at being a mother and that upsets me more than staying single. x
  4. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    I'm not 30 and single but I think it's very impertinent of people to make comments like this to you.
    If and when you meet Mr Right you may get married or you may not. You may have children or you may not. You may decide to have children without Mr Right. That's your decision and good luck to you whatever you decide to do. (If I had to do it again I think I'd take option 3[​IMG])
    Just ignore them. Chances are they're jealous of your freedom.
    I can't imagine anything worse that a singles walking holiday. It sounds like something that Mr Bean would go on.
  5. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    Never say never.- and if you are okay with being single thn it is nobody else's business. You sound from your other posts very kind hearted Badger Girl. I have a few friends in very unhappy marriages and to be honest they'd be better off single. take care . being partnered up isn't the be all and end all - although having a good group of friends makes all things better.
  6. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Thanks, leadlearner, that is really nice of you to say so.
    I haven't exactly said "never" but I think "unlikely" would be the correct phrase!
    I have to admit I find it harder than sometimes I care to admit. It isn't exactly the thought of being on my own forever but it's more the things I won't experience, like a wedding or just the feeling of being loved, or very possibly children. That all really, really hurts.
    Very good point.
  7. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter

    OP: I am 34 (almost 35) and single. Sometimes I love it and other times it's horrible. As said before I would certainly rather be single than in an unhappy marriage (couldn't think of anything worse- *shudders*).

    I think society and expectations have a huge role to play and if you are mid 30's and still single, it feels like that moment in Bridget Jones "So, tell me Bridget, why are there so many single girls in their 30's?" "Oh maybe because under our clothes our skin is full of scales?". I do feel a bit of a freak of nature and that I have failed in someway, but it is quite tough out there.

    I love my freedom and really enjoy things such as being able to go on holiday where I want to go. If I want to go to Milan shopping for a long weekend in the summer hols I can- I just get on the plane!, I like being able to watch my rubbish TV programmes without having to watch fishing or Top Gear or the football etc, plus I can eat what I want and if I want to spend all day in my pj's I can without anyone moaning at me! I don't have to go to the in- laws and spend time doing thing sI don't want to do.

    However.... all I have ever wanted is to be a mum and having PCOS and being near that all important aged 35 mark, not likely! I am considering the adoption route but I know my parents wouldn't be overly happy. My best friend is having her 4th child and admittedly she hasn't done the career thing at all but ironically she envy my freedom and the fact I spend my money on what I want and I envy the fact she has a husband and 3 almost 4 children! Grass and greener?!!!

    Social situations are the worse. My younger sister is getting married in a few months and I am bridesmaid, something I am not particularly looking forward too. I will put on a brave face and then find the bar! Ironically I was always the mothery, homely type and everyone said ".........will be married with lots of kids one day, content in her home" and my sister was always seen as the party animal. Our mum always said that she imagined meeting up with us for shopping and my sister would pull up in a sport car wearing designer clothes looking the glamour puss and I would have kids hanging off me, driving a people carrier". Funny how it's turned out. The kids things is the hardest to deal with but if and when I become an aunty, I will put a brave face on! I kind of feel that I have let my parents down as I have no children etc. I did have to tell my mum to stop mentioning "well, so and so has got married, well so and so has had their 2nd child, so and so is a grandmother" as it was getting on my nerves and really didn't help matters! It's not even the wedding I want - I would have a very small do, literally just immediate family and that is it, its the relationship and closeness. My parents have been married 40 years and I do feel sad that I will probably never experience that. It's like the Queen and Prince Phillip- love them or loathe them. Being married for 63 years is amazing! My Grandparents were the same and I do think it's lovely.

    Socializing is the hardest as all my friends are either married with children or in long term relationships so their priorities are very different to mine and I have to book them months in advance! I went on an adventure holiday a few years ago (NOT a singles holiday!!) and we were all very much in the same boat but we all became good friends.There are lots of companies for the solo traveller and it is not a bunch of saddo's - lots of people go on holiday by themselves for many reasons. I would recommend activity holidays though.

    They do say "when you are not looking for it, you find it" and I do believe that. I am starting new hobbies that mean I socialise with different people and I am not actively looking to be a relationship. I believe in fate and things happen for a reason. In the words of Michael Buble "I just haven't found him yet". Until I do, I will make the most of life and enjoy my freedom as you never know what is round the corner.

    Sorry for long post!!

  8. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I'm 36, single and always have been. What's wrong with that?
  9. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but it comes with its own sets of problems and challenges just as, I suppose, being married does. I do sometimes worry there is something wrong with me, to be honest.
    LittleBrownBear, I can empathise with so much of what you have said, although I'm not sure that "when you are not looking for it, you find it!" applies to me! My problem is I never "looked" for a boyfriend when I was younger because to be honest my self-esteem was too low. I never dreamed anyone would be interested. I now know that was silly but pretty much all men seem to be taken now, certainly the ones I've met at work or through friends are always either married or in a relationship and I've tried the 'Net but have had no joy there either.
    Fortunately, I don't have family expectations to live up to but that in itself can be a little hurtful: my dad is always suggesting I buy a flat because "well, you won't need a garden will you?" Erm - thanks!
    People are terribly nosy and as I said in my earlier post, can be a little aggressive (although well-meaning) when they try to find out if you are with a partner. Sigh. If it's like this in my 30s, what will it be like in my 40s!?
  10. 40 next year! been married to teaching too long! [​IMG]
    Most friends married/ settled down with kids now and feeling quite lonely[​IMG]. But Ive realised now it my time and time to do things for me not my job! bring it on! But where do you find/ meet people when you're older any ideas?
  11. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    Funnily enough, I've had no real social life for years because of being a wife and mother. My children don't need me so much and I've started going out with people from work or with friends that I met when I was studying. Some are single and some are like me, older but looking for a bit of a life outside the home.
    Lynz, I bet if you organised a "girls night out" - just a meal not clubbing - lots of people would enjoy it. The friends with children will be jealous because they can't go.
    Or invite three or four friends from work round for a "games night". You can play lots of different "board" games. Get everyone to bring something to eat or drink.
    Games I'd recommend are:
    Pass the Bomb
    The Yes/No game
    Banagrams - with this you can either play so that you use any word or else you can have topics like body parts, furniture, countries, etc to make it harder

  12. I have lots of really lovely single friends who are in their 50s and having overcome some of the sadness of not having children or partners etc... are having a great time. Depending on their interests join clubs such as choirs, rambling, church groups, networking groups, whatever is in their area.
    I try now our children have gone(more or less!) to invite single (and married) friends round as Dozy says for meals, games, tv watching, national events and as an American friend who is single says- she can't have a family of her own for Thanksgiving etc so she creates a family for occasions.
    I think we just have to make the best of life - I know I thought I would be brilliant as a Mum I definitely was not and have lots of regrets and guilt.
    Sorry I am rambling and do not mean to sound patronising in anyway!
  13. Teafrog79

    Teafrog79 New commenter

    Thank God you're not the only one. I can very much sympathise with a few of you here as my situation is very similar.
    Funnily enough, the last 2 holidays I have been on (they were walking holidays but not just for single people), there has been 50-60 year-old single women and I so dread becoming like them-just animals to keep me company.
    I am very bad at socialising and meeting new people and the less I go out, the more unsociable I become.
    The no children situation does not bother me as I don't want any. Another reaon why I feel like an outcast.
  14. ljr

    ljr New commenter

    Am I allowed on this thread s a mother of an unmarried daughter? She tells me to stop worrying about her - that she is perfectly happy.....but, I want her to have the happiness my husband and I have got, (she tells me that I have the one perfect man in the world so there is no point in her looking any more). If she is in any trouble we are her first port of call - that is fine, we are her parents and love her dearly, but when planning a retirement escape for 2 or three months we have to take her need of us into consideration - should we go away for so long? We look after her dog when necessary / let the plumber in etc.... because she doesn't have anyone else. I know this sounds really petty, and I'm making it sound as if she is a nuisance - she's not! As I said I love her dearly and do all this willingly, but I would love her to have someone special, someone who will care for her.
  15. Mrs_Frog

    Mrs_Frog New commenter

    My mother was always trying to get me married off, especially once my own engagement broke down. It took a while for me to get my head together after that, but her constant 'interference' in things took its toll on me a bit. For a long time I did not want anyone. Sometimes that is just it. Single girls in their 30s maybe just don't want anyone hanging around.
    There are things we can occupy our time with, and people we can spend time with. In addition, some of us live a fair old distance from family, so we have to do things ourselves, and arrange for the plumber to come at a weekend etc.
    Times have changed since my mother's time, being in a long term marriage is not the only way to be 'happy'. And anyway, having seen the state of some of my friends' marriages, they can serve as a warning to all!
    Ijr, if your daughter says she is happy, and is not showing any signs of 'unhappiness' in all its forms, then she probably is.....
    B x
  16. Teafrog79

    Teafrog79 New commenter

    @ljr: you sound very much like my mum. She hoped for years we would find Mr Right and now that my 2 sisters are either married or in a long-term relationship, she is still worried. No later than yesterday, she told me my sister didn't deserve such a lousy husband. She won't say anything but I know she is worried that I am in my 30s and single. But she can't do anything about my situation and neither can you about your daughter's.
    I chose to live far away from my family and I have no one to rely on if I am in any trouble. It gets me down briefly but I have to get on. There is no other way and I believe it makes me a stronger person. I have personally felt guilty when my parents have had shorter holidays because I was coming to visit and my mum didn't want me to arrive to an empty house. I am sure your daughter would cope just fine without you around for a while if you were on holiday.
    p.s. "unmarried" makes me feel abnormal.
  17. shd132

    shd132 New commenter

    I was in a relationship in my late twenties - thought we would get married and have kids. By the time 31 rolled around, our relationships was in dire straits and I ended it. I have been single ever since, whereas he has taken up with a girl in her late twenties, and she is EXACTLY what he needs!

    I'm now touching 34 and have started to accept that I may never have kids.
  18. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I think as long as you are sure she isn't a nuisance and you're happy to help out, try not to worry.
    I do feel it's easier to miss the boat than people think it is, and I think that now applies to me. Has she been hurt, ljr? It can be really difficult to pick yourself back up after rejection. I know my dad thinks along the same lines as you, although he's never verbalised it as such, but just as there are many different types of misery there are different types of happiness too.
    Please keep posting, it's interesting to see it from the 'other side' as it were. x
  19. mushroomz

    mushroomz New commenter

    I'm single, and a lot older than thirties!! I love it - the freedom, independence, argument free life etc..

    Seen way too many couples I thought were happy in their marriages split up, with all the fallout that brings for their kids (and for them).

    Had a couple of relationships in my late teens and early - mid twenties, and honestly have never felt so unhappy as I did then! Then met a few guys in my late twenties and thirties, whom Im went out with for a short time, but they were vile! I was completely put off!

    A few things do get to me in a smallish way: difficulty in going on holiday, because I don't really have many people to go away with and wouldn't feel secure enough going on my own; lack of a vibrant social life (which worries me a bit, only from the point of view of what other people might think), but 99% of the time I relish my opportunities to run my own life as I want to!

    Obviously I have contact with young children as a teacher, and I do feel maternal towards some of them, but I've never had the urge to be a mum, and, having reached an age where this would be next to impossible anyway, I can honestly say I have no regrets about this at all!

    From personal experience, I found that once I turned 40, the inane: 'Have you found a man yet?', 'Aren't you married yet?' have largely stopped
  20. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    OP: One thing you may want to do is look at yourself, especially with regards to how you speak to men. Many of us (men and women) who hit 30+ as single can get a little too set in our 'anti-social' ways and not realise how quickly we are turning potential partners away. Only you know how this may be (or to be fair, may not be) for you. A classic mistake teachers make is to drone on (and believe me, this is how it will sound to a man) about the school and their classes on the first date, not ever bothering to ask the man about himself. Instant dead relationship and guaranteed no-show next time!

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