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This is not a mommy post. It is not a “just graduated college and found the love of my life” post. This is my honest account of living nearly all of my 20-something years as a single gal. At nearly 31 and newly engaged (literally 2 weeks in), I can finally write this post without crying myself to sleep or making my current boyfriend feel the weight of a diamond boulder on his shoulders.
First of all, who cares if you’re married?? Well, I did. I’ve spent most of the past decade craving a stable adult partnership, where we say “I love you” in public, and have a domesticated lifestyle of cooking and cleaning because I have a family to feed and a home that matters. That’s what I’ve wanted since I was, what? 18? So I did what any girl would do. I dated. A LOT! I dated so many boys, I can’t even remember them all, and no later than the 6 month mark, it would all be over, and I’d try again. Repeat. Repeat. At some point, I became so used to this life that I truly believed in my heart that God meant for me to be alone. It was really devastating. I cried more days than not and often prayed I’d go to Heaven because I knew I wouldn’t feel lonely there.
I read every self help book I could get my hands on. What was wrong with me? I’m watching all of my peers, even exes, get married and have children, and wondering what are they doing right that I’m not? Clearly I am the common denominator here in the pattern of relationship fails. I’m willing to face facts.
“Age is just a number,” they’d say. Shut up. It is not. It’s a common mile marker by which we all judge our life progress and goals. And thirty, my friends, is the age at which 95% of girls at minimum wish to be married. Last year I attended a bachelorette party with mostly 24-year-olds discussing their own timeline for having children. “As long as I’m done by 30,” they all agreed. Crap. What a stale and expired mother I’ll be.
Many friends assumed I’ve been single by choice, commenting on how fun my life looks and how I’m always out and about, wearing sexy little dresses and sipping complimentary beverages. If only they knew I was really doing this to “man hunt” and hopefully not have to go to such measures to find companionship in the future.
And the icing on the cake… well, I teach elementary school. Kids have no filter. They allllll want to know- “Why aren’t you married?”
I recently had a conversation with a 1st grader that went like this.
“Do you have kids?”
“But aren’t you a grown up?”
“Yes. I’m a grown up, but I don’t have kids.”
“Do you have a husband?”
Proceeds to point and laugh out loud. “What?! hahaha Hey guys! She’s a grown up and she’s not even married!” Entire class… rolling in laughter. Thanks guys. Sigh.
Anyway, I am not writing this post to complain or bring back negative emotions. I just have a feeling that I am not the only thirty-something who has lived most of her life this way. So for anyone who wants to know why I have waited so long to get married, the philosophical, deep emotional, knock your socks off answer is
NOBODY ASKED ME YET!
That’s all there is to it. And if you’re sitting at home listening to your eggs die one by one and thinking there is something wrong with you, don’t fear. Turns out there was nothing wrong after all! I just finally met a new boy, did the same thing I’ve done a zillion times, and OMG, he liked me back. He loved me back! And now he wants to marry me back!
Therefore, behold my unsolicited words of wisdom for all of the single 30-somethings and beyond that are still searching for love:
1. You are perfect the way you are.
2. You do not need to change yourself.
3. None of the guys you have previously dated would have made you happy.
4. There is someone yet to come who will make you blissfully happy.
5. Don’t compare. (I know this is a toughie.) Half of your married friends will become divorced friends in the next ten years and will be right back there with ya anyway.
6. Accept that things will definitely not happen at the time you’d like them to. (I have honestly still not accepted this, but am working on it.)
After all of that, I have my match and the relationship I’ve always dreamed of. And yes, it’s as amazing as you can imagine. I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in my life and am counting my lucky stars more than ever before. Thank you for listening to my sound off. Hopefully I have resonated with somebody out there!
Bio: Michelle is dedicated to living a full, fun thirty-something lifestyle. She is a fitness enthusiast, yet admittedly unwilling to fully jump onto the clean eating bandwagon. Wine, fashion, and pop music are just a few of her favorite things, aside from loving on her new fiance of course. Join her quest to make your thirties the most fresh, exhilarating years of your life!