Why Being Single in Your 30s Is Incredible

Your initial reaction to the title of this article may have been a combination of pity and sadness—it’s not your fault, our society conditions us to feel this way about single people (read: women) of a certain age! Hear us out, though. There are innumerable benefits to being unattached in your 30s, which are evident if you’re picturing the person in question as a man, but probably less so if you’re thinking of her as a woman. Here, all the reasons you should celebrate if you find yourself sans partner once you hit 30.

 

1. You become ok going places alone.

We happen to know individuals who cannot attend any event on their own—they need a partner for everything, typically because they’ve been in a long-term relationship for a good part of their life and it is all they know. (We should also mention that we have plenty of coupled-up pals that are fine with flying solo!) When you’re single in your 30s, you likely find yourself sans wingman a lot—many of your friends have married and started families, so if you’re not dating anyone, it can be hard to rope someone in to being your plus-one to obligatory events like birthday parties, engagement parties, etc. So, you get used to going it alone, which is a good thing, because life is long and unpredictable, and though you will absolutely find a partner if you want one, there are inevitably times in which you have to fly solo. You’re way ahead of the curve on being okay with this.

 

2. You have time to make friends who fit a fully formed you.

The friends you make in your 20s are circumstantial friends—you met in college, you partied after graduation, you started your careers together, etc. Once everyone starts to peel off into their adult lives, and you start to realize which friends you actually want to bring with you into your 30s, you’re generally left with room for new additions based on your actual preferences as opposed to convenience. It’s not that you can’t do this if you’re in a relationship, it’s just that you’re more likely to do the work of investing in making a new adult friend (it’s a lot of work!) if you’re single.

 

3. Dating is easier.

This doesn’t always feel true, but bear with us. To start with, you know yourself better than you did in your 20s, which means you’re pre-screening suitors with stricter criteria now. Secondly, if we’re getting real real, it’s far less likely that a guy is going to waste your time when you’re in your 30s—those guys tend to date girls in their 20s. Case in point: We have a 24-year-old friend who recently met a 38-year-old guy on Raya. He told her—in the same day—that he was “ready to stop playing the field and settle down” and that he would “never date a girl in her 30s because she’s just looking for marriage.” Spoiler alert: That guy played her, hard—he was 100% not looking to settle down, but lucky for all the 30-somethings out there, he also knew someone his own age wouldn’t allow his antics.

 

4. You learn to do things you may not otherwise.

Don’t get us wrong—if you’re single in your 20s, you’re doing a lot on your own. That said, things get really adult in your 30s, and your besties aren’t around as much to help you deal. If you’re single, you have to figure out a lot of stuff on your own that a partner would otherwise help with—we have a friend who just bought a house, and it was a beast of a process that we’re proud to have watched her navigate solo. Now she knows she can handle it (and kudos to her for having earned her own money to buy a house in LA!), which has empowered her in so many ways.

 

5. You can travel with greater freedom.

We recently invited a married friend to Spain to watch another friend’s band play a show at the Primavera festival, and the reply we received was unexpectedly dour coming from someone who once traveled the world as if it were a small town. She couldn’t get away on a whim, she said, because she’s married, and has a child, and now has to plan everything she does with her family and with lots of advance notice. While vacationing with a doting husband and adorable child sounds so lovely, and we can’t wait for that phase of life, there is something so liberating about being able to instantly say “Heck yes!” when a friend invites you on a last-minute trip to Tokyo.

 

6. You learn from the mistakes of others.

If you’re single in your 30s, chances are you’ve watched quite a few friends get hitched and make babies. While initially these milestones may incite jealousy, eventually the rose-colored glasses come off and you get to see them for what they really are—trade-offs that require a lot of work. This isn’t to say they’re not worth the sacrifice, it just means that the longer you wait to make these moves, the more time you will have to think mindfully about which scenarios actually make you happiest. Maybe you always thought you wanted children, for example, but after seeing the reality of what that entails you’ve changed your mind. Maybe you figured you would be a stay-at-home mom, but then you heard firsthand from friends how challenging that can be and have decided to remain committed to some version of your career. Maybe, after watching friends struggle with money, you’ve decided financial stability is an important criteria for anyone you seriously consider as a life partner. Whatever the revelation may be, you probably wouldn’t have known it with such clarity had you not been able to bear witness to the trials and tribulations of your trailblazing friends.

 

7. Every day is your own.

It’s an intensely luxurious thing to wake up each morning and realize that the day is yours to shape in whatever way you like. Sure, you may have an office job that doesn’t allow you to exercise absolute free will, but what happens outside of that is all you. After work, you can go to the gym, read a book, take in a movie, drink a bottle of wine with a friend, go on a date—whatever you want. Once you have a family, this reality becomes a distant memory. The trade-offs are, of course, wonderful in their own way—you get to go home to loved ones, you have a hand to hold in hard times, you get to spend time with your child, who is likely to be your favorite person on the planet—but still. How great is it that you can go home tonight and eat mac and cheese in the bathtub while watching Sex and the City and flipping through Us Weekly if you want? Enjoy every moment, because one day you will look back on these times and wonder what you were complaining about!

 

8. You can change your whole life on a whim.

You know the whole midlife-crisis thing? Yeah, you probably won’t experience that. As an unattached thirty-something, you have the perfect combination of financial resources, good health and savvy which collectively allow for the possibility of totally transforming your life without having to consider what anyone else in your life wants or needs. This is rare and magical, and you will miss it when it’s gone, so take advantage now and do that thing you’ve always said you would love to do, e.g. move to Paris for six months.

 

 

This post originally appeared July 8, 2017, on The Zoe Report.

  • Nikki Laraja

    As a 30-something single, I could not agree with this more, great post!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

  • Vanessa Bigelow

    Thank you for this article. I needed a reminder that it’s ok to be (almost 30) and single!

  • This post expresses exactly how I feel. I’m super excited about my friends getting married, but I’m very content to be single. I’m trying to stay single as long as possible, even after I turn 30, because I would totally love to take an impromptu trip to Tokyo!

  • Alexis Comer

    Do we need this article? It seems so obvious….enjoy life and don’t be in a rush to settle down because those two words “settle” and “down” aren’t all that fabulous.

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Alexis, thanks for reading! We thought it was important to share because of the stigma that is so often associated with single women in their 30s. We think that stigma sucks, and wanted to share our thoughts about how amazing singledom in your 30s can be.

  • Pam C

    At first I had the fear of turning 30 but once 30 came in it has been AWESOME. This article expresses a lot of what happens in your 30 and not only that you just have more freedom and confidence to either do what you want or what needs to be done. Honestly I feel that your 30’s some of the best years.

  • Candy

    It’s when you are in your early thirties but I think you really start to panic when you hit your late thirties. It’s not so cool to be 38 or 39 and be single the reality is 40 is right within reach

    • Maxine Mullock

      At the age of 43 im pnly just over people being judgemental about me not neing married and having stopped scanning your hand for a ring and acting why your not married, now im not altogether sure why that is may they now automatically think im married and just dont bother asking…anyway i stressed alot about not being married when i reached 40 and for a couple of years before that but that was more am i leaving it to late for children and the danger of having children at a later stage in life, it was never anything to do with oh no I’ve not got a husband yet i was still happy as me on my own enjoying life and getting so much more out of it definitely the travel side of things i agree there, i travelled around India with a friend in my mid 30s and with a different friend travelled round South Africa going back 6 times to travel with friends I’d made over there. So being single in your 30s dus make you a more independent and happy with the people you are, a note of caution would be falling into the trap of getting set in your way and getting used to being single and on your own thats different to being happy with being single…remember no man or woman is an island.

  • I’m 35 years old and I’ve been single for eleven years. Though sometimes I wish I had a partner, 90% of the time I’m incredibly happy being on my own. It’s so liberating! I can literally do anything I want whenever I want and no one is going to tell me “no.”

  • Evalyne Njeri

    This article says it all. Number 4 resonates well with me. When you are single, you put yourself first, and stop depending on people. In my 30s, I have done things that my married friends will never do. I live in a very partriachial society where buying property as a woman raises eyebrows. I recently did and I felt great about it. Honestly, it is better to go through life single than be poorly accompanied.

  • Allison

    I completely disagree with #2 and #3. You’ll never have friends like you did in college where there’s such a large group of people with similar goals. I’m in my early 40s so I have a different perspective but I’ve found friends at my age the last 15 years to be too busy with their kids and families to have time for real friendship and socializing. I’m divorced with one child so again a different perspective but I’ve never heard anyone particularly excited about their friendships in their 30s and 40s. Dating easier?!? Truly funny…more like complicated. Oh and a 38 year old never married man…he’s never going to find someone to be serious with because he’s emotionally avoidant and never going to be married or in a serious relationship. If your goal is marriage and kids, my advice is find it before you’re 35. Too late after that. Dating pool is unsuitable beyond that point. I was married from 25 to 35 and never plan to marry again but glad I tried it and had my son. He is the love of my life and I would have really missed out without having him. Read the article about people should be more serious about dating in their 20s.

    • The Everygirl

      Thanks for sharing, Allison!

  • nat

    Something very judgmental, soap-boxy and defensive about this article.

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Nat,
      Sorry you feel that way! We wanted to highlight that being single as a woman in your 30s is wonderful — because there is so often an unfair stigma around that choice in our society. We also think being in a relationship in your 30s can be wonderful. It’s all about not letting society or others influence how you feel about what makes you happy. Thanks for reading!