Because you’re fed up of dating and want to find ‘the one’, because you want someone to snuggle up and watch ‘Stranger Things’ with, because you’re tired of not having a plus-one to take to weddings…
There are plenty of reasons people lament being single in their 30s.
But there are also lots of reasons why it’s completely fantastic to be single at 30 – and beyond.
A recent survey by researchers at the University of Auckland found that, contrary to the stereotype of thirty-something singleton’s sitting at home sobbing into their Sauvignon, many of those flying solo are actually happier on their own than coupled up.
Which is a good thing because according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of single people is on the rise – up three million in a decade – with increasing numbers choosing to divorce, or never marrying in the first place.
And yes, sometimes it is hard to be the only person who’s single at a wedding, but here’s why it’s actually pretty cool to be single in your 30s.
You know what you want
“In our twenties, we are very impressionable – we select our partners on little more than looks,” explains Rachel MacLynn, Chartered Psychologist and Founder of The Vida Consultancy.
“Once in a relationship we morph into one another i.e. our partners shape the values that we will hold onto long term and that formulate our identity.”
But Rachel says this changes as we move into our thirties. “We have greater clarity over our own values and therefore the range of people we are compatible with becomes more focussed.”
“Dr Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist and refers to our subconscious wish list of characteristics we seek in a partner as our ‘Love Map’,” she continues. “In our thirties, our ‘Love Map’ is clearly defined and therefore we can enjoy single life, while waiting for someone who matches this Love Map to come onto our radar.”
And you’re not afraid to communicate it
“Along with increased independence comes assertiveness, which means you are more likely to get what you want when you ask for it,” says sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight.
You appreciate the single life more
According to Rachel MacLynn single people in their thirties are typically seeking a life partner, rather than a relationship that may only last a year or two. “We know that upon meeting ‘the one’, our lives will change forever (queue music while you daydream about your wedding day). Our appreciation for the single life, therefore becomes greater while we savour the luxury of being able to do what we want, when we want.” Makes sense, no?
You’re more confident
The best about being single in your 30’s, says Madeleine Mason, Dating and relationship psychologist, director of Passionsmiths, is that you start to care less about what other people think about you. “As a result you enjoy a better freedom around doing what YOU want to do,” she says. “For the first time you begin to feel more confident about yourself. You are likely to have had a few years of paid work under your belt and this contributes to your growing confidence, which in turn makes you more attractive.”
The sex is often better
“If you are dating in your 30s, sex tends to be better than in your 20s,” says sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight. Why? “Because you and are your partner(s!) will have likely figured out what works for you.” (And what definitely doesn’t)
You can have your pick of the partners
“The pool of potential partners is probably at its largest when you are in your 30’s,” says Madeleine Mason. “There is more likely to be a bigger and better selection of singles to date.”
You have your own space
What a luxury to be able to wake up every day and know that the day is yours to spend exactly how you want! Chances are you have moved beyond flat sharing of your 20s and have a home of your own. “No marking your food in your fridge and you have the freedom to do exactly what you want in your free-time without disturbing others,” says Annabelle Knight.
You can grow your social network
According to Madeleine Mason, being single in your 30’s also allows you to cultivate your friendships and network more. “Research suggests that the better the quality of relationships in your network, the longer you will live, and it’s easier to establish friendships earlier in life,” she says. “Being able to nurture those relationships before you settle down may come you in good stead.”
You’re over playing games
Wait three days before texting back, don’t sleep together on the first date, being single in your thirties often means ditching silly dating ‘rules’ “Old-fashioned conventions such as how many times you should see someone before sleeping with them are abandoned and you can do exactly what feels right for you,” says Annabelle Knight.
You can make a huge life change on a whim
Always wanted to jack in your job and travel the world? Being in a relationship makes that dream that little bit more complicated. But as an unattached thirty-something, you can consider the possibility of totally transforming your life without having to consider what anyone else in your life wants or needs first.
You know far more quickly if a relationship is right
Added life experience can make for better judgement. “You can weed out unsuitables far more quickly,” says Annabelle Knight. “Communication is stronger and you can trust your instincts more.”
You have financial freedom
“You may well have taken the first rung on the property ladder and most of your disposable income is not going on rent,” says Annabelle Knight. “You have well-established friends and hobbies and the finances to properly enjoy them. Potential partners likely won’t be skint either!”
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