When I entered my early 30s newly divorced and freshly single, being on my own seemed to carry this automatic notion that I was failing at life. I must be miserable, incomplete and deeply unhappy with the single situation. There was this instant sense of pity the moment I told anyone that I was single in my 30s. Because there is this societal assumption out there that a single person must be these things and nothing else.
But I wasn’t.
I was happy to be entering single life and had no idea how long I would remain there. I wanted to just do me, and I wasn’t after a relationship with anyone but myself. Yet all those sympathetic looks and, “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone soon,” style conversations started to make me wonder whether being single was something I should be ashamed of? Truthful answer – Categorically not. But those societal expectations surrounding singledom can make you lose sight of that.
I wrote this article for anyone who has ever felt less than, just for being single. Because single doesn’t have to be the assumed survive, it can be thrive! So if you’re in need of a friendly reminder on why a single life is empoweringly awesome, read on. Because single in your 30s isn’t something you should be ashamed of. And you shouldn’t have to feel that a relationship is required to define or complete you.
1. You Are In Control Of Your Own Happiness
Did you know that single people in their 30s and over are not a niche market? In the US more than half the adult population are single. And Eric Klinenberg, sociology professor at New York University has examined the increasing shift towards “happily single.”
Finding self-happiness really is a thing.
And the great thing about being single in your 30s is that you have no-one to answer to. No-one to worry about except yourself. It’s complete freedom baby! You can start getting to know yourself and what makes you happy. And best of all? When you realise that YOU are what makes you happy. The most quality kind of dating I’ve ever invested in was taking time to intentionally date myself.
2. Total. Financial. Control.
You get to spend your money on you, and that’s a pretty big deal. You decide what, when and how your hard earned pennies get spent. The amount of times I’ve heard friends arguing with their partner about what should and shouldn’t be purchased, or what can and cannot be bought. It’s times like that I truly cherish the total financial control that comes with single life.
My Mom said to me, ‘You know, sweetheart, you should settle down and marry a rich man.’ I said, ‘Mom, I am a rich man.’— Cher, Singer
3. You Learn To Try Things That You Might Not Have Tried Otherwise
Whether its learning a new language, holidaying with friends, getting a tattoo (7 hours of pain I don’t regret one bit) or booking in a bungee jump. You become a YES person when you’re single. That world is full of possibilities and you’re equally up for the challenge of experiencing them. Being single in your 30s comes with unlimited options.
4. There’s More Room For Personal Growth & To Focus On Getting To Know You
With trying new things and being more focused on seeking experiences, you learn more about what you want and don’t want in life and what you enjoy and makes you happy. It’s a great process in discovering more about who you are. In fact, I’ve learned more about myself in the past 6 years than I ever took the time to know in the previous 30. Psychology Today reports that single people are finding their emotional needs being more easily satisfied than those of even married people.
I speak to so many single friends who resonate with this being one of THE most important aspects of single life. That ability to really get to know yourself is such a valuable tool in creating a life lived with meaningful intention. There is no better feeling than becoming more self-aware and comfortable with who you are.
5. You Become OK Going Places Alone
In truth this one takes time but it’s completely freeing once you get there and does wonders for your self-confidence. I’ve made a particular effort over the years to put myself in situations that will challenge me. Booking trips on my own. Solo cinema dates. Gigs by myself. Going out for dinner with a reservation for one. And honesty, once you overcome that hurdle of thinking that people might judge you (and the occasional awkwardness of saying, “Yep, it’s just me!”) you realise there’s nothing to be afraid of. And the occasion when I’d spent a romantic night in Norfolk with just me, and the next day sat by a couple at breakfast arguing the entre time (about toast) actually made me even more grateful to be enjoying a peaceful morning meal on my own with no relationship drama.
6. You Can Focus More On Your Friends & Family
In any relationship, friends and family can become a second priority, however being single allows you to make the most of your time with them.
7. You Make & Meet New Friends
Single is social. Being single in my 30s sort of forced me to make new friends too. Not because my bank of existing friends were sub-par, but simply because all of our life priorities were different. I’ve learned that friendship groups change as we get older and whilst I’ve retained core friendships with people I have known most of my life, I have also had the opportunity to involve new people with similar priorities and interests as myself.
8. You’re More Mature & You Tolerate Drama Less
This one says it all. When the focus is on yourself, you naturally become a top priority. All that personal growth and time spent focussing on you, leads to a strong ability to recognise when something isn’t serving you positively. It isn’t a sure fire ‘works every time’ radar. But it’s certainly a sturdier stance on what you tolerate.
9. You Care Less About What Other People Think
You really do. Being over 30 and single comes with a lot of presumptions. You naturally have to grow a thicker skin and become less interested in what other people think of your situation. If you’re happy, that’s all that matters. And besides, if you’re not quite there you’re absolutely working on it and heading in the right direction.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”— Steve Jobs
10. You Understand Your Own Sexuality
You either already understand it or you’re still discovering your own sexuality. But importantly, you’ve got the time and freedom to do so. Enjoy!
11. You Can Differentiate Between Lust and Love
You’re no longer a slightly naïve teenager confusing sex and love (Well, for me that’s only most of the time). You have years of experience under your belt and so it’s far easier to identify when in lust or in love.
12. Your Home Is All Yours
From home decorating, choosing furniture, to full control of the TV remote, your home is entirely yours and you can do with it what you will. Never have I felt love for this more when choosing a new piece of furniture and realising the only person I needed to check in with, was me!
13. You Have Full Control Of The TV Remote
According to 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair, 36% of couples fight over the TV remote control. However, none of this drama for you, and you wouldn’t tolerate it anyway! You can stick on Netflix guilt free of your TV habits.
14. Your Confidence Is At An All-Time High
You’re trying new experiences, socializing more with friends and family, making new friendships, learning more about yourself and what makes you happy every day and your home is truly yours, with no-one harassing you on your TV show or choice of sofa. As a result, your confidence is booming and you’re acing being single in your 30s. You have every right to be experiencing an all-time high!
15. You Can Travel Anywhere, Anytime, With Anyone
A personal fave of mine. You can say YES to every trip and investigate new ways of seeing the world. Travel is good for the soul and being able to commit to anything, any time, on your own or with whoever you like, just brings all round good vibes.
16. You’re More Likely To Make Choices That Make Sense for You
Consequently with a better sense of self, you become more aware of what will bring negativity into your life and what will improve it, therefore your choices begin to reflect this.
17. You Know How To Say No
You’re not afraid to say, Yes. But more importantly, you’re certainly not afraid to have the power to say, “No”. Whether it’s a favour from a friend, or an experience you’re absolutely not interested in, you’ve got the confidence and knowledge to know comfortably what you like and don’t like. Saying, No, also helps to clarify what you do want.
18. You’re Responsible, Independent, Established & Wiser
You look after you and are gaining a bigger sense of self. Best of all, you have complete freedom. Furthermore you have taken all the learning’s from life up to this point and are creating something even more spectacular.
“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty.”— Georges Clemenceau
19. You Can Change Your Whole Life At Any Moment
The idea that at any moment you can head off travelling for 3 months, change your career, or up sticks and move location at the drop of a hat (whether you decide to do these things or not) the knowledge that you can gives you a complete sense of freedom that’s unlike any other.
20. You’re Single In Your 30s & Beginning The Happiest Years Of Your Life
According to studies, true happiness begins at around 33. So it’s definitely the time to enjoy life, and all the benefits that come with being single in your 30s. And finally, to every person who made me feel less than, just for being single in my 30s, I can assure you that when someone in their 30s and over tells you they’re happily single, they mean it. They don’t need, want or accept your pity. There are so many reasons why they’re bossing life right now.
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”— Katharine Hepburn, Actress