Single Girl Problems: Thirty-something
Not all single girl problems are created equally. My single girl problems (SGPs) from my early twenties can’t even make the qualifying heat for SGPs in my thirties. This is mostly due to the fact that I am much older than I once was. Not dating or having a boyfriend seems free-spirited (and downright avant garde) in your twenties, but once you’ve crossed to the thirty side, people start giving you the side-eye and questioning your life choices. Single women over thirty are treated like the week-old eggs in the supermarket. They’re still good according to the expiration date, but no one wants to take a chance and see if those dates can be trusted.
An example comes from a particular conversation that I once had with a guy that I met on Facebook (who may or may not read this). He is in the Navy, quite attractive, and in his late twenties. He saw me comment on my sister’s page and quickly made my acquaintance. He called me within 20 minutes of us chatting online and we had a very easy, free-flowing, and pleasant conversation.
There was this excitement in his voice like when you happen to be on Craigslist at just the right moment and you are the first person to see, and therefore get, that awesome, affordable apartment in the best part of town. He was mentally comparing me to the list in his head. (You know, the list– your wish list for your significant other?) and every trait was being checked off. Pretty? Check. Smart? Check. Goal-oriented? Checkmate. There was this risible happiness in his voice like I-can’t-believe-I’ve-found-this-girl! Though I was also enjoying our conversation, I understood where we were heading.
You see, I am much older than I appear in pictures and when the topic of age came up, he was surprised that I was 4 years older. Though he didn’t seem particularly bothered by the age difference, our conversation shifted ever so slightly: so when was your last boyfriend? Really?? What happened? I could hear the maybe-this-really-is-too-good-to-be-true steal into his voice. The conversation was no less enjoyable, but he couldn’t stay away from the topic of why I am single.
So do you want to get married? I mean – do your parents want you to get married? What do they think? I assured him that everyone in my life — including me – wants me to get married at some point but he couldn’t stop searching for the thing that’s keeping me single. Because there’s always a thing. Some major flaw like a peculiar penchant for wielding axes or a touch of personality disorder that’s keeping me eternally alone.
As he kept digging and digging trying to get to the bottom of my issues — trying to diagnose some psychosis that was never there to begin with–I remember thinking: there’s really nothing wrong with me. Not in the general sense at least.
Don’t get me wrong, I have all kinds of problems, but nothing that’s keeping someone from loving me. We’ve never talked on the phone again though we still chat every once in a while.
I suspect that he felt a bit disappointed after our conversation; perhaps he’d proved his mother’s oft repeated advice that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
I think the ultimate problem with him (and most men who find themselves attracted to single women in their thirties) is that the approach is wrong. Men tend to approach me with the idea that I’m like a piece of costume jewelry.
Costume jewelry is sparkly enough to attract your attention, but something about the price or the salesman will make you question the jewelry every time. You’ll turn that piece over and over in your hands trying to find the flaws. What men don’t tend to realize is that their analogy (and thus their approach) is incorrect. I — and I imagine other single women in their thirties– am not a fake. There’s no need to search for the “aha” fault that will render me an unworthy replicate. You see I’m very much a diamond; completely real, full of flaws, but beautiful and worth it nevertheless.
This approach is most likely to not end in anyone being disappointed!