I Used To Think I’d Be Married By 30 — Thank God I Wasn’t

When I was younger, I wrote a dating life plan. In it, I set my intention to find my person and to be married by 30. Ha, let’s all have a good laugh! That didn’t happen, obviously, but instead of being bummed about it, I’m actually really glad.

  1. I can’t imagine being married to the loser I was dating. I dated a guy in my late 20s who was totally wrong for me. If we would have gotten married, my life would have been a disaster. He was a narcissistic guy who only brought drama to my life. Geez. I had the good sense to get out of that relationship as fast as my legs could carry me!
  2. I thought I’d want to get hitched but didn’t. I always thought that I’d want to be married by the time I hit 30 because 30 seemed so grown up, so sorted, and so settled. But when that milestone started to get closer, I realized I wasn’t really all that keen for married life. I still had so much more of the single life to enjoy!
  3. I wanted to do more. I didn’t want to settle down — I wanted to shake things up! I wanted to concentrate on many other things in my life that were important to me, such as pursuing a creative career that I loved and chasing my dreams. I didn’t want a serious relationship to get in the way of any of that.
  4. Being single was a gift. Honestly, I thought I’d be afraid of being alone and single by the time I hit the big 3-0, but the reality of the situation was completely different. I found that my freedom as a single woman was awesome, enabling me to do everything on my bucket list. I certainly wasn’t sitting at home alone eating ice cream straight out of the tub.
  5. Time alone sharpened what I wanted. A quick glance over the types of guys I was ending up with (and breaking up with at breakneck speed) showed I was choosing the wrong ones. Taking single time to figure things out for myself was crucial in ensuring that I wouldn’t spend my 30s on the wrong men.
  6. I was surrounded by “young marrieds” and didn’t want to be them. Many of my friends got married in their 20s and some ended up divorced. Others felt that they’d tied the knot too soon. It was a wakeup call. Sure, some were really happy and had made the right decision for themselves, but they were the rare ones who had actually found the right people. I still hadn’t found my great match, so I was grateful not to have settled or rushed into anything with the wrong person.
  7. I still had so much time. To the people claiming that time’s running out to find a good man once you hit your 30s, I say, “Whatever!” The truth is, I didn’t feel like I was losing or wasting time as a single woman. In fact, just the opposite. I was living it up. I wanted to fill my life with what I loved instead of having tunnel vision when it came to finding The One. There’s more to life than that kind of love.
  8. I’d been programmed to feel fear but didn’t. Thanks to society’s pressure to find someone and settle down, I really thought I’d feel lots of stress once I hit 30 as a single woman. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t feel anything like that! It was liberating and made me realize just how ridiculous that pressure was.
  9. I wanted to make the right choices. Instead of being rushed into finding someone, I remained single for a few years and it was wonderful. Not only did I get to be selfish with my time but it also gave me the chance to take my time to find a good person, not just anyone for the sake of dating. My relationship standards rose beautifully!
  10. It was great to have different dating experiences. Instead of trying to find The One, I was dating lots of different guys to see what my type was. I was getting some great and hilarious, and really horrible, dating experience under my belt, and I’m really glad I did. It taught me so much about myself and what I really wanted, and most importantly what I didn’t want in my life again.
  11. I could be on my own. This is such a valuable skill! Being on my own taught me that it was more than okay to be by myself. Being on my own definitely didn’t mean I was lonely. It meant that I could enjoy my wonderful company and do whatever I wanted to do.
  12. I learned to love myself and my life. Being single at 30 brought great stuff into my life. It taught me to focus on loving myself and how important it was to do this instead of depending on someone else to love me. It also showed me how amazing my life could be and that I didn’t need a boyfriend in it to make it wonderful. This also benefited me when I did find someone to seriously date because it was a lesson that never left me: no matter what happened in the future, I’d always be able to have a life that I loved wholeheartedly because I created it for myself. It was mine and no one could take it away from me.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.