It’s time to shatter the misconception that if you’re over 30 and have never been in a serious relationship, you’re somehow defective and must be really lonely. That couldn’t be further from the truth—I’m in that exact position and I couldn’t be happier.
Newsflash: there’s nothing wrong with being single. Let me start by stating what should be the obvious: rolling solo at any age is really no big deal. It’s great if you want to find love and spend your life coupled up, but if it doesn’t happen or you don’t want it to, that’s totally fine. The idea that a person’s value is tied to their relationship status is ridiculous and I don’t subscribe to that BS.
I refuse to allow others to shame me. When I tell someone I’m not in a relationship, they respond either with silence or disbelief. “I can’t believe you’re single—you’re such a pretty girl!” I’ve never understood this sentiment. Am I supposed to feel ashamed that I’m not in a relationship but then placated by the knowledge that at least I’m physically attractive? I just roll my eyes when people go on like this. My appearance has nothing to do with my relationship status and I don’t know why anyone thinks differently.
What’s there to feel bad about anyway? I don’t particularly care for cliche platitudes. When someone tells me that I’m too pretty to be single or that it’s OK because I’ll find someone soon enough, they think they’re being kind and that I must be feeling bad about myself since I’m all on my own. They feel they need to say something to compensate for my supposed sorrow, but I’d rather they say nothing at all. I don’t feel bad about being single so why do they?
I have had meaningful relationships. Just because I have not been attached to someone long-term doesn’t mean I haven’t had any meaningful relationships, been in love, or experienced tenderness, care, or compassion. Love comes in a variety of forms and I’m totally fulfilled with what I’ve experienced of it thus far. I’ve had wonderful love from friends, family, and lovers. I’m not going without.
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as the “right” person for me. The truth is that I just haven’t met the person that checks off all the boxes off my list. Does this mean I’m picky? Hell yes, it does—and you should be too. Is there such a thing as Mrs. or Mr. Right anyway? I don’t know, but I’m not willing to settle for anything less than extraordinary and I’m completely fine waiting for magic to strike.
Being single has given me more strength and character. Call me an idealist or a hopeless romantic. Tell me that I’m reaching too high and that I need to come back to earth. I don’t care what anyone says—I truly believe that learning to live alone as a single person in the world makes you a heck of a lot stronger. It builds character, helps you define what you want, and more importantly, it allows you continue to take care of yourself when you do meet the right person. Too often I see people becoming codependent in relationships and when they break up years later, they feel totally lost. That will never be me.
I love the independence and freedom of being on my own. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in my 30 years, it’s that I am very independent, and one of the things I love about not being in a relationship is that it has allowed me to continue having complete and total freedom. I get bored fairly easily and tend to start feeling claustrophobic when I’m not able to spend time alone. I’m not someone that needs to be attached at the hip to a partner 24/7. I like doing my own thing.
I’ve been able to focus on my career. I’m not sure I’d be where I am in my professional life right now if I’d been in a relationship while trying to climb the ladder. I don’t have to worry about supporting anyone. I don’t have to check in with my partner when taking a trip or deciding to skip town for a few days. Hell, I could decide to move tomorrow and there would be nobody stopping me. This has been a godsend and has allowed me to really make moves in my career.
Being single has served as a spiritual beacon for me. It can seem like being single is a lonely, somber space to be, but it’s given me so much room for growth—room that I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to make for myself if I had a someone else to focus on. I’ve not only been able to grow my career but also my spiritual and emotional life, and that’s been a heck of a lot more useful to me than worrying about not having a partner.
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