Yes…I’m 35 & Single
“Being single doesn’t make you weak it means that you are strong enough to be on your own.” – Xavier Zayas
Are you in your mid-thirties and still single? If you are, you’re not alone. About 56% of people in their thirties are married, while the other 44% of thirty-somethings are single. Marriage timing has changed since a few generations ago, where it was more common to marry young, today’s population is filled with individuals who may have different goals. So what got us here?
How did I get here?
Those who fall into the category of being in their mid-thirties and single may or may not realize how they actually got there. Here are a few paths that may have been taken…
Focused on personal goals: Some people are deeply focused on their own personal interests and goals. While some may consider this to be selfish, it really is not. When you are single, you can be selfish. And for some, this is a major benefit of being single. Reasons people become selfish or self-focused include:
- In today’s culture of electronics, luxury, and materialism, people find themselves working overtime to achieve a certain lifestyle
- The demands of our professional lives can take over our personal lives
- The desire to travel during any and all free time to requires time away from work and family
- This makes it challenging to connect with a long-term potential partner, especially if they do not share an interest in travel or are able to take the time away from work
- Whether you are a die-hard sports fan, avid rock-climber, or marathon runner, hobbies can take away from dating, especially if you do not share common interests
- Meeting someone and building a relationship requires time and effort
Married and divorced young: Some people do in fact fall in love, hard, at a young age and choose to get married. The 2018 divorce statistics which reviewed over 115 studies found that 46% of marriages ended in divorce because the couple married too young. When you are married too young, immaturity coupled with the lack of marriage reality is both factors in why a marriage could end in divorce.
Hard time putting yourself out there: Some people want to settle down but have a hard time with the process of getting there. Dating is challenging and can be quite intimidating. Fortunately, in this day and age dating has become more accessible with online dating. For some, this can take a bit of the anxiety and wonder out of dating. But for others, it can be overwhelming considering the endless options and available information about people. This may cause you to withdraw from it together.
Don’t want to settle down: Maybe you do not want to get married, buy a house, and have a family. Based on today’s divorce rates, especially among young marriages, more and more people are becoming turned off to the idea of marriage and commitment.
Emotions & Mental Health Concerns
Regardless of the reason or reasons that you find yourself in your mid-thirties and single, you may be experiencing some common emotions, thoughts, and feelings that are associated with your relationship status.
Loneliness: When you are single you are bound to experience feelings of loneliness. Even for those people who see endless benefits to being single, loneliness is a factor. Spending time alone can sometimes feel like a luxury, but constant alone time during periods of the day, month, or year, when it would be comforting to have someone by your side can be isolating.
Feeling left-out: Many people whose peers are dating, engaged or married, may feel like they all of a sudden don’t belong within the group anymore. People who are paired off tend to socialize with other couples because of the commonalities of being in relationships. Even if you are invited to socialize with couples, it may not sound appealing or fun. This could lead to both jealousy and resentment of your friends.
Insecure: The desire to be with another person can create insecurity. How so? When you are either stood up or dumped, you may question yourself and what went wrong. You find yourself analyzing conversations, interactions, and even your image. If you don’t have a good support system in place, the self-questioning could turn to insecurity.
Anxiety: Stress and worry is a natural way to feel when you are experiencing some of the above-noted emotions. Feeling anxious about dating and the unknown future is quite common. Especially for women, anxiety about being single has serious implications. Feeling anxious about the reproductive clock can hinder a woman’s dating experience. Medically speaking, once you reach the age of 35, a woman is considered “high-risk” for potential complications with conception and pregnancy. Thus, the pressures to both find a partner (who wants children) and successfully conceive can be very stressful.
Depression: The sadness associated with feeling lonely coupled with the pressures and anxiety of dating and settling down can send a person into a state of depression. A negative mindset, unhealthy habits, and an overall gloomy demeanor are all associated with depression. These qualities are not considered attractive dating characteristics, which can hinder the dating process; becoming a vicious cycle.
Addiction: Feelings of depression can lead to developing unhealthy habits. Using drugs, alcohol, or even building an addiction to gambling or pornography are all ways that individuals suffering from a depressed state may try to numb their emotions. Like depression, addiction is not an attractive dating quality and can make it even more difficult to meet a potential life partner.
7 Ways to Freshen Up Your “Datability”
If you are looking to change up how you approach dating at this point in your life, you may need to try something different. Here are some tips that you can try to develop a healthy and secure mindset about putting yourself out there.
1. Focus on having fun
- It will help you relax about dating and while on dates
2. Try not to compare yourself to your peers
3. Let go
- Of past relationships
- Of your prior mindset and any insecurities
4. Be open and honest (with yourself and others)
- Honest communication is key to creating meaningful connections and relationships
- Don’t waste your time dating just anyone
- Trust your gut and your instincts
6. Value your you time
- Don’t become obsessed with finding the perfect person if you are not taking care of yourself
7. Do not be desperate
- Not attractive to others
- Can potentially alter your values