Written by Daniella Blechner Mid 30s and Single, So What?!
Being mid 30s and single is tough. Why? It’s not the experience itself that is tough, moreso the stigma and attitude so deeply implanted in society that makes it so. If you are a woman in your mid 30s and single, honestly, how many times have you walked into a bar, hailed a cab or even popped into the shops to buy a bottle of wine and a packet of biscuits for your cat (tongue in cheek!) only to be quizzed relentlessly about your singledom? You know the questions I’m talking about, “Why no man?” “Don’t you want to get married?” and on a brave day, “Why don’t you like men? You’re not crazy/a lesbian are you?”
These quick fire questions are usually followed up with pained expressions that if were given words, would read, ‘sorry for your loss’ or furrowed eyebrows and quizzical looks attributed to one who was desperately trying to solve a conundrum on The Crystal Maze. The tipping and scratching of the head, defeated sighs and looks of pity not only convey, but reinforce the message that you are no one unless you have a man; not only that, but if you are mid 30s and over, you may as well be sent to a mental institute or, worse still, buy a lifetime’s supply of cat feed!
Suddenly, your impromptu trip to the corner shop, night out with the girls, or ride home with, Dave-the-cabbie sends you swirling into the depths of despair. Remember this, there is no mystery to be solved, no great conundrum and there is certainly nothing wrong with you, you are just mid 30s and single. So What?!
Times are changing and we have come a long way from the pressures and expectations of the 1950s where marriage was an expectation and women’s roles were purely restricted to the home. After World War II (an era where many women took up men’s roles in the workplace as they went to war) through a series of propaganda and heavy advertising, women were forced to forget their ability in the workplace and redefine themselves yet again as wives and child bearers who were to look after their men, keep home and raise their children. Marriages soared, and in 1952 over 75% of women in Britain were married. The average age of marriage was twenty one. By 1959 over half of the brides in America were under the age of nineteen.
In America, society was also geared towards the family and marriage. Embedded in the propaganda of that time, the concept of the family nucleus was used to convey a sense of superiority over the Communists. It was the glue that bound America together. Women were central to that family nucleus but did not have the public recognition or acknowledgement as independent free thinkers.
We have come a long way from the repressive era of the 50s where women lost their jobs as soon as they were married off. A married woman was not allowed to have a mortgage or to sign a hire purchase agreement in her own name, and virtually no woman had her own bank account. Joint accounts did not exist. This social construct made it easy for a woman to lose her identity and value. Now, in 2015, we can be the mother, wife, career woman and CEO and do it with determination, passion and grace. We are entering an era where there are not only more single women in their mid-30s than ever, but an era where there are more children being born to women over 30 than ever before. It is not our circumstances that need to change but society’s views towards them.
If you are mid 30s and single and are feeling pressurised to find “The One” and have babies, I urge you to enjoy your status, embrace and appreciate who you are and where you are on your journey and love every minute of it. I urge you to relax and believe that if you really want something it will happen without resistance or a desperate expectation that keeps you awake at night, and know that everything will happen in good time. Our mind is a garden of thoughts, shower it with love and gratitude and grow seeds of intentions that reflect your values and all that you wish for in life and the law of nature dictates “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
Grow seeds that reflect positivity and hope in a changing world and remain unaffected by ‘Dave the cabbie’ or the 20 something at the bar questioning your singledom. If settling down is what you want, know that it will come; don’t settle because “time is running out,” equally don’t write people off and most certainly do not write yourself off! As Shakespeare wisely said, “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
About the author:
Daniella Blechner is the proud author of the books 7 Shades of Love and Mr Wrong, “a humorous and insightful exploration into why some women continually attract Mr Wrong.” It is a collection of empowering relationship stories written by both women and men across the world that allows the reader to question, explore and challenge negative belief systems and set out on a positive path of self-discovery and self-worth.