Thought Catalog

5 Things You Learn When You’re Turning 30 And (Gasp!) Still Single

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1. There’s no need to settle down like your attached friends if you aren’t hitched yet (or get empire state-high with your single friends on weekend nights for that matter).

If you’re still single when most of your friends are sending out wedding invitations or shopping for diapers and baby milk formula, fret not. You should rejoice. While their lights go off by 12am on a Friday night, the curse of #foreveralone does not necessarily bind you to turning up at every party, go on a dating binge or sleeping around. No. You absolutely do not need furry companions to keep you warm. Not succumbing to social pressure or cultural influence doesn’t mean you are a skeptic or misfit. To sum it all up: You simply do not need to be with someone in order to feel secure, happy, and complete. It is not that you do not believe in love or the notion of marriage and the beautiful ideals it endeavor. Having someone to wake up to everyday and share morning breath with comes as a bonus. You are not afraid of loving someone with your heart out, not because that entitles you to receive in return, but rather, it allows you to see the lover you are as a reflection of yourself.

2. The relationship you need to work on is the one with yourself.

Spending a great deal of time and energy on love and friendships in your earlier 20s has drawn you to see what else can be offered beyond those boundaries. You have found some keepers and carved out some of the most epic, priceless moments in the days of yore, down onto your Facebook timeline. Your past strings of romances have influenced and shaped your concept of love. You learned that one’s significance is measured by the approval the world gives; scoring panels with “X’s” and “O’s”, “expert” opinions, and should it fail, an awfully delightful crowd cushions the fall. Even if you don’t watch TV, there’s always this ongoing battle in your life between appeasing yourself and others that sticks out like a tutu dress on a pug. When interests are misaligned and shots are fired, somewhere, something’s gotta give. We grow in the process, but you realize that growth doesn’t necessarily need to always come from there. You discover that spending more attention on yourself can be extremely rewarding; it teaches self-love; it allows you to skip the transit of pleasing others just to please ourselves, and reach the same destination directly.

3. You learn to manage yourself and your affairs wisely.

If you have not yet questioned about the purpose of your existence under the grand scheme of things, quarter-life crisis is about to hit your shores. Being single doubles the catastrophe that runs a real risk of ending up stale in a breadbox. Okay. No. Here’s how to look at it: If you’re single, you are entitled to the privilege of not having to deal with two shares of the same problem. You do not need to handle the beloved’s baggage or the stuff of crappiness that comes with the whole relationship package. While you may not have an extra pair of hands to offer you in terms of a sensual massage or an embrace, all is offset by the luxury of having ALL your resources put into refining yourself and improving quality of life. Your attached friends will encumber and wear themselves thin over multiple roles and responsibilities while you further your skills and knowledge in the areas of structured investments, understanding impacts of global events on financial markets, customizing healthcare and insurance portfolios, and starting a business, if you have not done so, etc. Let’s face it: as much as we’d like to make the world dance and forget about the price tag, prudence in personal finance is your key to a sustainable lifestyle and future. Regardless of whether you decide to start tuning in to Bloomberg or read the Economy section of the newspaper, you should find yourself actively engaged in healthy pursuits, immersing in arts and culture, traveling, cultivating a palate for the intrinsic and finer things in life that adds to the overall richness of your experiences. You would have also made the more banal life-hacks and survival 101’s a walk in the park, such as dealing with workplace politics, pitching a sale, how obtain a free CD key from the internet, how to fake downing a tequila shot, what to do when someone gets into a seizure, knowing the duties of a best man/ maid-of-honor, making a speech, fixing broken Wi-Fi, and perfecting the scrambled egg.

4. What your choices of friends and food have in common and what they say about you.

Choices extend beyond going vegan or swearing by BBQ pork, picking that green smoothie or the caramel Frappuccino. You are both what you eat, and the average of 5 people that you spend most of your time with. If you have been making informed choices pertaining to your nutrition and diet, you should be able to describe the difference between a potato and a sweet potato, apart from taste and color, know which one is a source of zinc: broccoli or cauliflower, and marvel at garlic’s antibiotic prowess. It is the same for making conscious decisions when it comes to people. Precisely because friends form an important social support system, which makes it essential to nourish and weed the social garden from time to time as you grow with it. There’s nothing wrong with being selective about your friends and the food you eat, as long as choices are picked with care.

5. Respecting yourself enough to walk away from people and things that do not serve you.

Milk spills. Crises arise. Shit happens. There’s no more crying over, raising of fingers, no blames to cast. There’s no need for punishment to restore the balance. No more beating of yourself up to wring out residual guilt and remorse. You’re more than a domesticable canine. You accept that there are things you can’t change, people you’ll never forget, and wounds that may never heal, but you live your life as though they were never there. You know that you’ll have to come down from pills or chuck the crutches away eventually because there’s nothing more therapeutic than saying “I want to,” and meaning it. If you can’t find a pillar to lean on, you know that the least you can do is to remove the broken shards that are underneath your feet. That’s when you know that you’ll do just fine when you make it over to the big “3s”. TC mark

featured image – Orin Zebest

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