In today’s society being a 35-year-old single woman is not always easy. No longer do we just have to deal with the know-it-all family members who all know the perfect guy for us, now social media also is a constant reminder that you’re outside of the social timeline. Often you’re the unmarried or at least, the only uncoupled person in your group of friends and that itself, gets you left outside of some events and situations.
For those like myself, who find no comfort in many of the single woman activities like club hopping, shopping, and man hunting, it gets even harder. I’m at an age where my idea of fun equates to great new dining experiences, travel to new and exotic places, and finding people to share my hobbies like cooking, reading, and creativity with.
When I turned 30 I felt the inevitable pressure to “settle down”, as was expected of me. I started nesting in a way, eager to find a man, make a home and start a family. I spent four years looking for the ‘perfect guy’, in my head. My idea of perfect was molded from the last guy, who I was sure was perfect or me. I was sure I had screwed it up and if I had another chance, I’d be able to make it work. I threw myself fully into relationships I knew wouldn’t work just to have someone. I even dated single dads, in attempts to get a ready-made family.
In the last year I’ve relaxed, realizing that I was chasing someone else’s dream for me, not my own. I don’t want the American dream. I’ve never wanted the American dream. In fact, I’ve learned that it was my pursuit of a dream I never wanted that was causing me extreme stress and depression. My failure to achieve the white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a husband who works hard while I knit, cook and take care of kids, devastated me.
I’m 35 now and my new maturity has taught me a lot. I’ve learned that it is no crime to be single at 35. In fact, for many reasons it’s a great thing.
I’m in no rush to settle down. I spent way too much time feeling like I was living wrong because I wasn’t planning a wedding or knocked up like everyone else I knew. For too long I let the imagined sound of my biological clock lead me to look at every man as if he was the answer to my loneliness. No longer will I allow myself to feel inadequate because I feel like I don’t have the right answers to the usual questions. Especially this time of year, when the family all gathers and everyone wats to know if you’re engaged or at least dating someone special. My answer to my family this year, I don’t have time to settle down. I’m busy living an active life that if I was connected to another person, I might not be able to live. I don’t want to be in a position where I’m forced to ask permission to live the way I want.
I’m not too old to have a baby until menopause. I had my first and only child early. I’m 35 and my son just turned 16. I’ve been steadily counting down the years until I’m free. By free I mean until my son turns 18. When he’s 18, I plan to leave Baltimore and go explore the world. Over the last five years I’ve had so many people tell me that was what was missing from my life, another baby. Someone to love and something to fill all the empty years ahead. I want to travel, to continent hop and eat exotic foods, I want to spend days lying on the beach, having erotic trysts with foreigners. When I’m finished exploring the globe then I will think about a baby, or a puppy maybe. Who know, maybe I’ll be a grandmother by then.
My tastes in everything have changed, it’s time to make new friends. I won’t lament the loss of all my friends who have drifted off into coupledom. Honestly, it’s not just our relationship statuses that have changed but also our hobbies and interests. While many of my long-time acquaintances are now having their first babies, my son is almost grown. I’m not at a point in life where I want to hear about babies all day or married life. I don’t want to hear about kids sports schedules, go to a recital or hear about mother-in-law bullshit. At this point in my life I want friends who want to go to plays, the ballet, who love to spend hours strolling through museums and laughing over mimosas. I want single, unattached friends who can travel at a moment notice, have no curfews and talk about interesting things like female empowerment, the Black struggle and books. As we grow, we change and our friends do too. I don’t need to get on the same time schedule as all my friends. Sometimes we must accept things have changed.
Single life rocks! Don’t get me wrong, there are definite perks that come along with having a significant other like having someone to cuddle with. I enjoy single life though, there’s nothing like lying in bed all day and not having to answer to anyone. I sincerely enjoy watching musicals and singing along to every song to the top of my lungs. I’m not a morning person and it’s hard to pretend to like people in the morning. I don’t need to wake up to someone every day. I’m just not there yet. Making a relationship work takes time and patience. I’m at a selfish point in life. I’m not ready to trade in my freedom for anyone. Can’t I just enjoy a guy for good company and great sex instead?
The world is not going to end because I didn’t live up to the American dream. The American dream is just that, a dream. It is an image packaged and marketed to the masses as a way to guide and control the life of the general population. We are given a blueprint to life that cares little about who we are, instead, beckoning to make us worker drones. I am not a drone; I am not inclined to be a good worker bee nor pump out babies. The world won’t end because I didn’t follow the blueprint. Just because adults resort to name-calling like throwing around the term ‘spinster’ because a woman past 35 is unmarried doesn’t make it true. A 35-yearold single woman is nothing more than that. Single.