Your 30s are a real special time. From the moment that clock changes on your 30th birthday, ending the 20s era officially, you feel so accomplished like “Whoa, I’m a real adult now.” There’s no more denying it, you’re not a 20-something anymore; you’re a real grown up. Woo! But wait; 30 is the age where stuff gets real and if you haven’t accomplished or gotten to any of those expected life phases by this time, panic starts to creep in. When you’re single, this is extra special. I’d like to describe these thoughts as a like an internal adult temper tantrum. I mean sure, being single in your 30s is fine and all, it’s apparently “still young” I’m told, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t thinking some real and sometimes crazy thoughts.
- Will I ever get married? This is a pretty real thought. As much as it’s endearing to hear, “There’s still lots of time!” sometimes, I can’t help but wonder if that’s really true. As much as I don’t want to, I do calculate the timeline in my head of when marriage could realistically become a reality for me, assuming I couple up in the near future and that it actually works out in our commitment-phobic dating culture. And when my coupled friends complain that they don’t want to be married at 35 when they’re waiting for a ring, it’s annoying as hell and makes me feel like my future probable milestones are frowned upon.
- Do I even want kids? With the marriage thoughts come the thoughts of when we might have children. Having noticed my friends being anxious to hurry up and start a family, I have real and deep thoughts about if being a mother is something I’ll actually be able to experience, and so I wrestle with the idea of the possibility of not ever having children someday.
- Should I bite the bullet and just settle? Honestly, yes, I think about it. I might not actually follow through, but sometimes the idea of being with someone good enough is better than the thought of being alone forever.
- What do people think about my situation? Yes, I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if people consider me to be that sad single person who just can’t seem to find that happy ending and step into traditional adult lifestyles with someone else by my side.
- Should I consider freezing my eggs? Another very real thought. What if I wake up at 35 and the situation hasn’t improved? This is a worst case scenario, but as an adult, I think about ways to prepare to maneuver traditions if they don’t happen for me by seeking out alternative solutions. I might want to be a mother one day regardless of whether I have a man to do that with.
- Did I ruin my only chance? I’ll look at the past sometimes and wonder if that one guy I was really serious with was worth letting go. I’ll worry a little that maybe that was the one I should have built my life with. But then it fades, just like the relationship did.
- It’s going to be okay. Being single at 30 can be a scary place, but it’s also pretty awesome in some ways; like, I’ve had more time to enjoy aspects of life I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise if I was already settled in or raising tiny humans of my own, and so I look at the positives instead. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought deeply about the new meaning of my single status when I reached this specific age. After cycling these thoughts on sometimes a daily basis, I convince myself that in the end, I’ll be okay no matter what life has planned for me, and in the meantime, I plan what I can myself.