As part of my blog I want to incorporate dating as a topic of discussion. Not that dating is a big part of my life at the moment or I dedicate a lot of time to it, but I have grown to realise that being single and in my (very early) thirties has started to define me in other people’s eyes.
Before getting into that, I’d like to give you a bit more context into my situation and past experiences. I spent most of my twenties in relationships. When I was 17 I met my first long term boyfriend and we were together for 6 years. After that fell apart, I was then single for less than a year before meeting someone new. Just before turning 25 we started dating and were together for 5 years. I am the kind of person who gives my all in relationships. I found myself sometimes sacrificing my own opinions, beliefs or experiences for my partner. Looking back, I spent a lot of my time defining myself as someone else’s girlfriend and it didn’t allow me to grow into my own person.
By the age of 29 – soon to be 30, I was single again and the scariest thing about it was that I had no idea who I was. In that moment I felt incredibly lost and started my path on the journey of self-discovery. As cheesy as it sounds, life did really begin at 30 for me.
For my 30th birthday I went to Colombia, where my mother is originally from, with two of my best friends. It really opened my eyes to the excitement that life would now bring. On the day of my birthday, we were on an excursion to the remote part of the desert at the very tip of South America. We had no reception, no wifi, nothing! I woke up on that day and walked to the edge of the cliff on my own and remember feeling at peace with myself. I pondered about how ironic it was that I was specifically here on this day, without connection to the outside world. It was the beginning of the next chapter of my life. I was sitting alone in the desert staring into the vastness of it and I thought… it’s okay to be alone. Embrace it and find your own happiness!
In essence, since turning 30 I have been working on myself, trying new things and meeting new people. I dedicated time and effort on clearing out negative people and situations from my life. My most recent relationship had been a toxic confidence killer, so my first port of call was to ensure that no one around me could make me feel worthless, in the way that he had done.
As I grew more confident I was introduced to Tinder by my single girlfriends and felt shocked at how much the dating scene had changed. I thought it was all a bit bizarre and felt nervous at the thought of getting back out there. I have dated here and there, nothing incredibly serious and I definitely have some stories to tell – it hasn’t all been smooth sailing but I can now look back, laugh and learn.
I can safely say that, even through the ups and downs, the last couple of years have been the happiest for me and I am thoroughly enjoying being single. I’m slowly but surely falling in love with myself and I can feel myself growing into the woman I have always wanted to become.
However, back to my original point about the ‘single label’ defining me in other people’s eyes. No matter how many times I tell people that I’m at my happiest now and I’m enjoying my life, I still get the same looks and comments, mostly from family friends.
- But are you looking for the one?
- Don’t you want to be in love?
- When are you getting married?
- Don’t you want children?
Well… no, I’m not actively looking for him but of course I believe in love. I look forward to the possibility, but I think the most important thing for me is to focus on loving myself before allowing someone else to love me. I’m also not sure that I even want children so, I don’t really dwell on that…
*Insert awkward silence*
In fact, after I quit my job and was looking into what to do next, I actually had someone recommend I do an MBA – Masters in Business Admin, which at first I thought was good advice. This was followed with, “there will be lots of driven, entrepreneurial and business minded men there that you would be compatible with”.
It makes me laugh because there are so many other things I want to do before I even think about getting married or having children. I know there is the inevitable (and annoying) question of the biological clock, but surely it’s better to enjoy my life than worry about how much time I have (or don’t have) to make babies? I am definitely in no rush and have other goals to focus on before I delve into the world of serial dating and husband finding.
For those of you who haven’t yet found love, I would encourage you to embrace this time and focus on yourself. Do what makes you happy and don’t stress about how much time you have to find ‘the one’.
For those of you who have found love – Congratulations! Love is a beautiful thing, cherish and embrace it.
Ladies, if you are in the same boat as me and have also heard these remarks before, please comment below or contact me directly. I would love to hear your stories!
Thanks for reading