“Don’t worry, your time will come.”
I don’t think I will ever forget the first (but certainly not the last) time someone said those six words to me.
And yes, it was in reference to my personal life. And it was at one of the series of the wedding showers that occurred pretty much weekly at the time. Of course, it would also happen at engagement parties, birthday dinners where I was inevitably the ninth wheel at a table of couples, or even after yoga with the girls.
Do I look worried?, I remember thinking. I had probably been boyfriendless for about two years at that point and was close to 30. Was I supposed to be worried? I was finally killing it in my career. I was working out and looked great (if I do say so myself). I was confident and independent. After being in a series of pretty much back-to-back relationships since 16, being free and independent came with a sense of focus.
A relationship could wait.
But it seemed everyone else had a bit of a problem with that.
The assumption is that as you near 30, you naturally want to start a long-term relationship, so you’re always on the hunt for one. Why wouldn’t you be, right? Doesn’t everyone want to have something locked down for life around 30? Everyone else seems to think so, from your aunt to your hairdresser.
It seems other people question your single status more than you do if you’re a single female with a “3” in front of your age. But frankly, it seems like some people you know are settling. And settling is the last thing I, nor anyone, should do. Anyone can get a boyfriend at any time; it’s about having a quality, compatible one that you’re actually excited to see at the end of the damn day.
Being single was shitty at times; I’m not going to lie. It was hopeless at times, when I decided I was perhaps finally back in the market for a relationship and considered my options. I have definitely had those moments of is this what I’m left with?
But, I knew my turn would indeed come. So I waited (while being fabulous in all other areas of my life).
I waited for years of attempted (and failed) set-ups from girlfriends and professional matchmakers (no joke) alike. I waited through girls’ dinners where the same ladies who sympathetically tried to “help out” in the dating department to ensure my expiration date wouldn’t pass were disappointed that my single life wasn’t as wild and entertaining as it once was. Ironically, the same friends that are horrified that you could be heading on a one-way path to old maidhood don’t like it when they can’t live vicariously through your single life.
I had a guy reach out to me on Facebook a few months back. His knowledge of me was limited to social media. He said he would be in my city for a few days and would love to take me out, “You’re so pretty and interesting; you’re such a great catch,” he wrote. “I just don’t understand why you’re single.”
Although I’m not single now (I just choose not to broadcast my personal life on social media), that comment was yet another reminder of the collective thought that still seems to exist that all the “good catch” ladies should be married by her early thirties (latest), and if she isn’t, she’s doing something wrong.
My time indeed did come. And the timing made perfect sense. But even if I was still out there waiting for it to happen (not worrying about it while I did, for the record), that’s my choice. And sorry, I’m not sorry if it keeps anyone up at night.