the really hard part about being single at 30
I re-wrote this 10 times.
I'm going to be honest, I didn't plan on writing about THIS, this week.
I wanted to be more lighthearted...should I talk about life in New York? Would I share another fun dating story? I do have more fun ones to tell...
Or, should I write about something a little more realistic. Something that would hit home with maybe many of you.
I don't want this blog to comprise of only rom-coms, improbable dating scenarios that feel foreign to your own life, and in anyway, come across that I'm completely content and happy with mine.
If anyone I know can say they are completely content with their life, or rather completely complacent, then I don't think they know what life experience, or rather "growth" is all about.
This is a post for people that are tired of dating. It's vulnerable commentary about how we really feel, and what we really talk about with one another.
What binds us together.
But everyone, men and women, experience blissful moments of dating as well as the woes that come with them...and are left in this same spot I'm about to talk to you about. The Verge.
Maybe all of our romantic moments start on a different path, yet ironically, we all learn the exact same lessons.
These similar learnings bind us together because we go through the same themes at the end of the day (i.e. the hardships of long distance or "he's just not that into you"). Texting with a singer taught me that phone communication and distance is a major hurdle. Casually dating your dream guy is difficult if you've built him up in your head, and will only push him away.
I've included the word "Waves" in the name of my blog because self-actualization and growth derive from the ups we're lucky enough to have, and the crashes that come down to teach us.
After recently deciding to end things with a guy I liked, feeling a bit defeated and deleting some dating apps, I decided that the best kind of writing, and stories, come from the heart...or rather, the present.
So, this week I decided to write about vulnerability, rejection, and the really hard part about being sometimes single when you're 30. Ehhemmm, 32.
The Verge. What is it?
As I constantly talk to many of my other late-twenty or thirty-something single friends, we all seem to be ON THE VERGE OF THE SAME THING.
Every day, our emotions change and life feels like we're riding a teeter-totter. In British slang, a "seesaw."
Part of us feels ON THE EDGE of being fully and utterly exhausted at the thought of love and have basically convinced ourselves that we're so over dating, and men, and texting, and analyzing, and wondering....that we cannot fathom going on one more date. We're tired of the heartbreak, we're tired of trying. Whether or not we broke up with them or visa versa, it feels the same.
We're giving it all up. 👇🏽
The other side of this teeter-totter blissfully rides on the fact that we're strong, confident, AND happy-as-hell we haven't settled, and know that we could have by now if we really wanted to. We're getting to live a few extra years with freedom, for really, the first time in history. A decade of life has opened up in which we're able to dedicate it completely to ourselves because it's finally socially acceptable to get married at 35 instead of 25. I've said this a few times now, but literally, think about it.
And can I please mention, we're not posting Instagram pictures of babies on wrinkled blankets every month with a circled number near them - blind to the fact that people are sick of seeing these. Bless your hearts to friends that do do that, but I am ready for a new fad. Or just please iron the damn sheet.
It's fun to make your own money and spend it how you'd like, to travel (Cuba next month, yes please!), etc.
BUT, these empowering days are only part of the story. The first is very real.
When their you-know-what's aren't that impressive.
Alas, going back to the hanging off a cliff part. The first part of THE VERGE.
Failed dates and mini-relationships are all too common and constantly happen in cities like New York where guy’s careers are large, their egos even bigger, ghosting eventually happens almost 98 percent of the time, and their you-know-what's aren’t even 1⁄4 of the size to compensate for any of that behavior.
But somehow they squeeze right in. Literally. (Sorry Mom).
This doesn’t just happen to the boring girls, the desperate girls. It happens to the most dynamic and gorgeous women I meet every day. Models, Advertising Executives, Women in Tech, Lawyers, Top Stylists from Harper's Bazaar. Fully amazing on the inside and out well-traveled, educated, extremely witty, enjoyable women that are fully capable of handling themselves in a city where the word HUSTLE is an understatement.
If we're the one that does the "breaking up", we also feel at a strong loss for hope that we'll never find our counterparts.
Why does this feel like shit?
When we’re feeling on The Verge (maybe you can identify), the MAJORITY of pain that comes from "defeat" in dating, doesn't derive from a place of low self-confidence or worthiness.
Think about it, why are you so upset?
Yes, maybe timelines will always be worrisome no matter how much I write that they are bullshit. But, I really think the true reason for why we're upset is the opposite, our high self-worth. Use this power, feel good about it.
You're upset because you know you're worth it. What a fucking catch. You deserve this shit.
This is the ego talking. But, we ARE the amazing woman described above and when these failed dates or mini-relationships come to an end, we know what we deserve and The Verge leaves us feeling disappointed that life didn't work out the way we thought it should.
It’s perfectly normal to get tired (some days) of having hopes crushed when it doesn't work out, again. But don’t we deserve the other 3/4 worth - full package - not just a part of it?
The temptation of self-criticism and the HJNTIY phrase.
Don't' get me wrong, self-criticism and rejection can feel very real too. Every single one of my girlfriends does this... “I'm deleting the apps. I’m taking a break. I can’t do this another time.” DO that, until it feels right to NOT do it.
Like I've already written about, I hope we've all had that epically amazing date where you laugh like crazy, feel the depth, that weird thing in common, go for a walk, hold hands, and kiss under the stars or in the rain kinda night. Blah blah.
And then we text a few of our girlfriends and wonder why it never turned into anything?
We’ll talk about the last text we sent and if we said the right thing. After we’ve done enough coddling with each other, someone finally gives it to us straight: “He’s Just Not That into You”.
My lovely friend Trendee King (yes that's her amazing name) says, "A guy will do anything to get a girl that he wants. He’ll text, he’ll call, he’ll invite you out." She's 100 percent right.
Trendee, as single-thirty-year-old women I get that we're supposed to be strong and "independent" enough by now to easily shrug off men when this happens.
"He wasn't that into me? Fine, I want someone that is...next!" This is how society tells us how we're supposed to act. Or how men think we should feel, "stop being SO dramatic."
None of this helps me feel better. Hearing this phrase gives me a reality check, but feels like a real shock to my heart, and ego.
But don't fret, there's one quote I constantly go to when I'm told the "HJNTIY phrase" and need to wrap my head around things to feel better.
A simple quote that cures it all.
One of my favorite TED Talks sums up the solution to feeling rejected perfectly. Screenshot this. Learn it verbatim...
What search should we go on?
Finding our worth. Not our deficiencies in time of our sensitive teeter-tottering.
I’ve made the mistake (way too) many times where I let the first scenario get to me. If I was rejected, I’d be devastated and curious as to how on earth someone could also have that amazing dates(s) and not understand/care to lose the connection we just had?!
Then I think back to the many men where I’ve probably done the exact same thing back. They had a completely lovely night and I knew I wasn’t going to develop anything more than that one swipe right or drink(s) for the night. Fit and circumstance.
My brother is like Yoda.
My little brother, one of the wisest souls I've ever met, sent me this text once that I read when I'm feeling on The Verge. I think it's a reminder for all of us:
"I know this may be frustrating and hurt for a while. But you’re not an unlovable person and you’re not going to be alone forever. You’re too persistent and outgoing and passionate about life. You have difficulties finding someone because you’re a rarity in this world. Most people aren’t as driven and as excited about building a great life as you. While it’s a wonderful thing to be who you are, finding someone like yourself is like trying to hit a moving target. Those people are also constantly on the go. That's a hard target to hit. The windows of opportunity to make connections with them are often very small or they may have similar personalities that vibe with yours very well, but they are just going in different directions or are on different points along their paths. Romance can be hard, but it’s still always going to be worth the pursuit. "
Again, another way of saying, life is about "the fit and circumstance."
What do you have to offer?
Will we always be on The Verge until one day, someday, hopefully maybe, something changes and the teeter-totter of love finally leans in our favor? One the verge of #1? Control the controllable. If he wasn't the right one for you, feel excited and make moves to open up your life to meeting a better match.
If it was on him, accept that he wasn't that crazy about you. That's a fact says Trendee King! Your life paths were just moving in different directions, says Yoda. You shouldn't have to convince a person to be on yours.
With a city so bountiful of amazing women (described earlier), men SIMPLY get distracted. The ones that do, are not for you.
It is an unbiased fact that... all of us are capable and WILL go on other amazing dates with good-looking, engaging, and sweet men. Even though our souls might be a little bit drained, take a week to shake it off, and try again.
Remember, life is impermanent.
That final pep in your step.
This always helps put me in a positive mood.
Stop reading for a second and list 5 things that you like about yourself.
They don't have to be unique, you just have to be thankful you have them.
Examples I've thought of if you're stuck:
- I'm really fun. Can laugh with you in a hut on a beach, or a boring museum, or a 10-hour car ride
- I'm a master of none when it comes to conversation - throw a topic at me I can't chat about
- I'm very loyal
- When I like something...love something, I literallyyyyy love it (think Chris Trager from Parks and Rec). I'm not indifferent to life or things
- I appreciate the aesthetics in life...design, architecture, fashion but not to a vain or excessive degree
Remember your worth. Know we're ALL on this teeter totter together. Hopefully reading this post made you realize (and feel better) that a lot of us feel the same. This is what dating feels like in our 30’s.
Rather, it’s normal to feel On The Verge with dating, no matter how old you are.
You can choose to be stuck on the ground with #1 feeling defeated, or choose to be high on #2 with resilience.
Where do you want to sit?
Robin Gow - My dearest friend that never stops growing, learning, and discovering self-love.