A few weeks ago I was watching The Bachelor, which I’m sure many think is a huge waste of time because most of the couples don’t stay together, and one of the girls being sent home said something that stuck with me. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman that simply didn’t click with the current bachelor. In her exit interview, she declared she was going to give up her search for love, immediately adopt a cat, and stay on her couch alone forever. I thought about how dramatic she was being since she seemed to have so much to offer and simply hadn’t found the right guy yet. Then I thought about how many times I’ve expressed the same sentiment, however I could never tell myself that I was being ridiculous.
Turning 30 years old and being single while seeing all of your friends who WERE going through the same dating woes as you eventually find love and happiness can be challenging. Obviously not for them but for you. As a friend, your job is to be supportive of them but it doesn’t make spending nights alone any easier. You can only go to so many birthday parties, holiday parties, and weddings solo, smiling your way through while plastering the “I don’t feel self conscious about being here alone” look on your face.
It’s easy to give up after experiencing non stop dating blunders and failures. It helps to share with people who have gone through the same failures but at the same time it makes it seem like things won’t get any better. Women a decade or so older than me are still dealing with inconsistencies, disappointments, and challenges. That’s not what I want to hear! I thought that as I got older men would be more serious about settling down. It seems as if at this rate, I’ll have to wait and meet someone at a retirement home.
When I was younger, apart of getting older meant getting an education, finding a career, getting married and having children. My entire life plan was based on achieving those specific things. If I don’t achieve those things, does that mean that I have failed at life? I went to school for a career I thought I wanted, but as I got older I realized it was more important for me to do something that made me happy instead of something that made me sound prestigious. Maybe that’s the attitude I have to take when it comes to being apart of a couple. If I haven’t found the relationship I want by now, I shouldn’t keep struggling to find one just to say I’m in one.
Would it be so crazy to rid myself of the expectation that my life has to look a certain way or take a certain path? There are plenty of people who have decided they didn’t want to get married or have children. They don’t feel the pressure of conforming to the traditional expectations placed on adults. With the advances in technology and ever changing ways that families are built, the future is full of options. My life may not lead to a husband and a white picket fence, but that doesn’t mean my life has any less happiness.