When you’re single in your 20s, it’s assumed that you’re having the time of your life and in no mood to settle down. When you’re single at 30, it’s assumed that the world is no longer your oyster, you’ve begun collecting cats and spend your time staring off into the abyss waiting and hoping for a potential mate to come along.
I’m here to tell you that being 30 and single is not the end of the world. In fact, it can be, dare I say it…enjoyable. Like everything in life, there are good parts and bad parts about being single at this age. The bad parts are things like being stuck at the kid’s table for Thanksgiving dinner; the good parts being enjoying ample free time, meeting new people and sprawling across your bed with ALL of the covers.
While I’m certainly not the authority or a certified expert on how to be single (it’s different for everyone), I have enough experience to know what works for me. So, here are my three best suggestions on how to make the most of it:
Be prepared for The Questions
Yes, The Questions can be annoying and frustrating. It seems that everyone wants to know the answer to the million dollar question – Why/How are you single? This is inevitably followed up by the asker listing a litany of reasons why you shouldn’t be single – you’re attractive, you’re intelligent, you’re fun, etc. People may think they’re being helpful or flattering when listing these reasons but sometimes it can leave you later saying to yourself “Yeah, why the hell am I still single? What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong?” when really, you haven’t done anything wrong. You’re just not in a relationship right now. Point blank.
My advice is to take these questions in stride. It may seem odd but I find having a stock answer helps. I tend to go with “I haven’t found the right guy yet but he’s out there. I’m enjoying myself in the meantime.” That response usually shuts down the questions (and the pity party) and hopefully allows you to change the subject to another topic, if you’d like. I try to remind myself that, depending on the setting, I may be one of only a few single people in attendance, and being different will inevitably make people curious and want to ask questions.
So often the “single” label is looked upon with pity, disdain and as a problem that needs to be fixed. But there is another side to being single that needs to be talked about – the side that I like to call Do Whatever The F**K You Want. Want to spend the day at the beach reading celebrity gossip magazines? Go for it. Want to listen to your favorite songs as loud as possible and have a dance party in your apartment on a Tuesday? I feel you, and I raise my glass of wine to you.
The joy and freedom that come with being single should never be overlooked or taken for granted. Use this time to do the things that you want to do, things that you may not have the time, energy or money to do a few years down the road. Pick up new hobbies, read more books, spend time with friends and family or work on yourself. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. Being single isn’t a prison sentence that needs to be served. It’s an opportunity to expand your life.
In the immortal words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” I know, I know. It all sounds cheesy but it actually is true – we accept the love we think we deserve and we attract people who mirror how we feel about ourselves.
You may not have a partner at the moment but you have yourself, and really, that’s the only person you can be certain you’ll ever have in this life. You don’t need to wait for another person to come along to make you feel worthy of being loved. Treat yourself well and take care of yourself in the ways you want to be treated, and you’ll find that you’re ready and able to accept the love of a great partner heading your way.
*Photo Credit: thesinglewomansguide.com