A comforting note to single people. From me.

This is a thing: if you’re single in your 30s or 40s you can feel like you’ve missed a steamin’ big ship. Dominant discourse, sadly, goes like this: The pickings are slim; it’s all second rounds and baggage and receding hairlines. And it can feel helpless. Hopeless. Because you just can’t find people who fit the bill, who inspire something in your loins. Where are all the good men and women? They’ve been taken, you reason. You’ve missed the ship.

Image via Favim
Image via Favim

Whether we honestly feel this way in our more grounded moments or not, this is how our plight is often represented. But, I have another take; it goes like this…

By the time you’re in your 30s or 40s, your life is pretty ace. Most of us aim, at least, to improve our lives year by year (otherwise, what’s the point?!). And by this settled age, life is often in a pretty good spot, or, at least, better and richer than it was in our 20s: great friends, a career with up to 20 years back-end development, enough money to be able to not have to live off lentils and all-you-can-eat-Tuesday buffets, and to head to the pictures once in a while. You’re not frantically proving yourself. Perhaps you no longer work weekends. Maybe you finally feel you’re quite good at what you do. You know what hobbies make you happy. You don’t stay at parties any longer than you want to. You get the picture…

In an ideal world your partner should improve your life, not detract from it. Right? If a partner is making your life more difficult, and not not adding to your experience, then you probably shouldn’t be with them. Yeah?

So, add these together and you get this…

In your 30s and 40s, your standards for finding a partner are super elevated. Your personal bar for allowing anything or anyone into your orbit has lifted with each passing year, just as a course of nature. In my 20s it was pretty easy for someone to add to my life, because it wasn’t fully formed. When I started dating a guy at 21 we were building from a pretty low base, together. But now, my life is rich and varied and independent and fun and full. I don’t mean to sound as arrogant as I do when I say that my life now is too good

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