I Used To Dread Being Single At 30 But It Happened And Guess What? The World Didn’t End

As my 30s approached, I prayed I wouldn’t still be single when I reached my fourth decade. It sounds dramatic, but I really feared that I’d end up a sort of Bridget Jones character, adopt loads of cats, and die of loneliness. Here’s what happened instead:

  1. I had the golden ticket. I’d seen friends and family members hit 30 and hate it like the plague because they were single. I worried that would happen to me but I didn’t take into account that I’m not the kind of person who can’t make herself happy. I realized I had the golden ticket to my own happiness. That power didn’t rest with a relationship—it was all mine!
  2. The “big 30” wasn’t such a big deal. I mean, yes, of course it was. It was a time when I was coming into my own but I wasn’t old, for goodness’ sake! I still had my life ahead of me and loads more was going to happen for me. I finally relaxed and enjoyed the ride a bit, seeing opportunities instead of the dead-ends I’d expected. I wasn’t finding love but I was finding other great experiences, like new dreams to chase.
  3. I was kicking off my shoes. I felt like I was finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable being me and being on my own. Hitting 30 meant that I could kick off my shoes and relax while getting to know myself more. I learned so much more about who I was, what made me tick, and what I wanted. It was such a journey!
  4. I wasn’t depressed. It’s so funny that I really thought I’d be sitting at home, crying into an ice cream tub. Ha! The truth is I was happier than I’d ever been because I was enjoying time to myself and being able to make my life whatever I wanted it to be on a daily basis. I was a little drunk on the power of it all!
  5. I didn’t give up hope—I just changed what I was hoping for. I thought, “Hey, maybe someday I’ll meet a great guy” but it wasn’t a thought that consumed me anymore. I would rather hope for other things, like being happy and satisfied in my career. One guy asked me if my career kept me warm at night and I said a big fat “yes!” It was my passion and it was making me feel fantastic.
  6. Love is not an age game. I’d always thought I had to have a man by the age of 30 or else I was doing something wrong. Whatever. Being 30 showed me that there’s no time limit on finding love and everyone’s path is different. Remembering this helped me to focus on what I wanted right now and live life to the full instead of having unrealistic ideas and milestones to achieve.
  7. I had no time for love, tbh. Seriously, I was busy AF working on my career and chasing my goals. I wasn’t even able to date during this time, and hardly even missed it. I went for a whole year without even so much as a first date, and I was surprised to really like it!
  8. I made other connections. I made a lot of friends during this time my life, and I cherished them all. I realized how important it was to build different relationships—I’d feared being alone and single but I was never alone unless I needed some me-time (and I took huge spoonfuls of it daily).
  9. Life never stays the same. I realized how life could change in a minute. Maybe it was the whole thing of getting older and losing loved ones, but I started to value my time so much more. I didn’t want to waste it waiting around for some mythical perfect guy to come around. I wanted to live it as much as I could!
  10. I fell in love with myself. I hadn’t always been good to myself in the past and had ended up with many toxic boyfriends. Now was the perfect time to fall in love with myself instead of another person. I learned to respect and value myself, and this wasn’t to find a great relationship. Oh no. It was about caring for the relationship I had with myself and it made me so much more self-sufficient and happy.
  11. I realized “second best” could be amazing. Years earlier when I expressed my fear of being alone to a psychologist friend of mine, she said that if having a relationship was considered first place in my mind, followed by being single and happy in second place then single and happy really wasn’t so bad. Ugh. Now that I was 30 and alone, I didn’t see it as second place, but perfect for where I was at the time. Life might not have turned out the way I’d planned since I was 16, but it was so enjoyable.
  12. I broke all the relationship myths. I used to think that having a relationship would make my life better. I’d be happier, less alone, and satisfied. Hell no. As a single woman, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything and I was much less lonely than I’d been in unhealthy relationships.
  13. I didn’t need the support I’d craved. One of the reasons why I always wanted a relationship was to have support from a partner, but you know what? I didn’t need to get that support from someone else. I could give it all to myself! I started to depend on myself and it was so great because it meant that I knew I’d be fine, even when Prince Charming decided to swing by and say hi. If he never did, I wouldn’t be crying. I’d be having a ball without him.
  14. I became a date hater. From dreading being single, after a year and a half of doing my own thing and completely enjoying my freedom, I started dreading going back into the dating game! Once, a guy asked me out and I freaked, thinking that I didn’t want to give up my single life. I was having too much of a good time, so I put up a “Do not disturb – enjoying single life!” sign up on my life for a little bit longer—two whole years, in fact.
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.