are you me?

by rantywoman

I came across an old Jezebel post today (from 2008–“Brits say getting married early saves you from a depressing life of singlehood”) and noticed a comment that I thought might have been from me– I literally had to check the poster’s name to make sure it wasn’t:

Being single after the age of 33 or 34 is a whole new ballgame. In order to even remotely succeed at it, you must: 1) be happy with doing 95% of your activities alone. 2) accept that you don’t have a lot of economic wriggle room so job decisions are limited. 3) learn to let quite a bit of rude comments sail right off you (including from former friends who have gotten hitched). 4) accept that when you participate in activities most people will be a lot younger or a lot older than you. 5) accept that a fair number of men your age (and older!) will want to date women younger than you. 6) feel lucky if you have one or two single female friends left to talk to, and those friends may well live in another city. 7) make peace with the fact that not having kids is a decision that ultimately will be made for you. 8) accept that old friends, if married, will stop keeping in touch with you and will move on to “married circles.” 9) accept that other women, know matter how brazen/feminist/unshaven they may seem to be, may well throw themselves into marriage and motherhood with a vengeance and leave you in the dust. Proclaimed politics are not a good guide for who will or will not continue to stay in touch after marriage. 10) accept that there won’t be many single female friends left in the workforce who are your same age. Very few work buddies left to commiserate with. 11) accept feeling invisible a fair amount of time– no longer a young sexpot but not a mother either. Age 33-38 has been tough for me as a single woman, I admit. It’s only now, as I accept all of the above and learn to deal with life AS IT IS, as opposed to a fantasy of single fulfillment, that I am beginning to cope well with the facts. And of course, many married people are miserable, but it’s a different kind of miserable.

Another poster wrote an uplifting response that I partially, but not entirely, agree with:

t_h5757 @OliveZeigler This is the most depressing thing I’ve ever read, especially as someone in your age range that loves being single. 1) Everyone should be comfortable doing things alone because if you can’t feel comfortable being with the one person that knows you best, that’s just scary. 2)It’s true single folks carry the brunt of society’s bills (we just do). I own my own home and am responsible for it but if I wanted to leave my job to do something I actually like and had to take a pay cut, it would be much easier because I don’t have anyone depending on me. Hell, I don’t even have pets. Or plants. Damn. I should get a plant. 3)This is true but really: how is a comment (however snide) about singledom less hurtful than if someone said something about your new haircut or told you how bloated you’ve been looking lately? Doesn’t it all suck? 4)Which activities are you participating in? I take tap classes on Saturdays and there are college girls in it and a 60-year old married couple but there’s also 30-somethings. I think it depends on the activity and where it’s being carried out. 5)I hate to be the bearer of bad news but many men (not all) are interested in younger women and they don’t wait until they get into their 30s to be interested in them. 6)I don’t doubt what you’re saying, but I’m black and all I’ve been told by mainstream media in the last two years is how incredibly sad it is that so many of us are unmarried. Despite what the media says, we can’t possibly be the only ones. 7)If you really want kids, you can always adopt. No one makes decisions for you but you. Time cannot make decisions for you. 8)Anyone that “loses touch” with you simply because they got married or had a baby was never really your friend. Friends make the time, if for no other reason than they need someone to talk to about something other than diapers and college funds. Makes them feel like they’re still tethered to the world. 9)Same as #8, except I don’t understand the unshaven part. 10)Why are you commiserating about your personal life at work? Keep work professional and you personal life just that or you could get a rude awakening one day. I speak from experience. 11)I’m biased on this one (the whole black thing has made me kind of invisible my whole life) but I’d be willing to bet you may be missing something. Being single is, quite simply, fabulous. I’m sure being part of a couple would be fabulous, too, if I was willing to put in the right time with the right person. It’s all what you make it. You only get ??? years on this planet and you have no idea when your number’s up. That’s too little-or too much-time to spend not having, well, the time of your life-no matter the circumstances