Turning 30 used to be seen as a milestone birthday —if not the milestone for young women. Why you may ask? Well, by this age you would have been married, with small children and a stable career. Secondly, society officially perceived you as a mature and responsible adult.
Can you relate? Don’t worry, neither can more than half of the population! – Why being single is the new Normal!
While the big 3-0 used to feel like a looming spectre in the distance, it has definitely changed! Now getting married in your 30s may just be more sensible. For decades, the average age for marriage hovered in the 20s, luckily things seem to have taken a turn and if you’re not anywhere close to getting married as your 20s start to whoosh by, there’s no need to be worried! This is why being single is the new normal!
Statistically, It’s Just a Fact
If it feels like everyone around you is not planning to get married soon, you’re not imagining it—people really are getting married later than they used to. In the UK the average age to get married has finally tipped over the 30-year-old mark and in the US, the average age of marriage has also been increasing—for men it is now 29 and for women 27.
In South Africa we have even more surprising statistics. We are seeing the same trend emerging, but it is just much higher. A report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Marriages and Divorces, 2019, the average age for men to get married has increased to 37 years and for woman to 33 years!
“So, my dear single friends, if you’re wondering why a man hasn’t proposed yet, perhaps he’s waiting for his 37th birthday! Or your eye is on a man that is still in his 20s and he’s not ready…”
It Gives More Time for Contemplation
Getting married later also has a few of its own benefits, it gives you more time to figure out who you are and who you want to be with. Given, if you knew the kind of person you wanted to be and met the right partner at 21, that’s great—you are lucky.
“The late-20s and early-30s are when people’s professional careers are coming into play and finances can be worked out,” says Kemie King of the King Lindsey, P.A. law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “It’s the age where ‘love’ is less idealistic and people are a little more realistic about their expectations.”
It Varies From Person to Person
Now, there is a good chance that you are reading this and saying, “Yeah right—all of my friends were married by 26.” And that might absolutely be the case. Although these statistics show national trends, it still varies from person to person—and even region to region or religion to religion.
If you sometimes feel isolated in your social circle, because some of your friends are married or in serious relationships, just remind yourself that most people at your age are currently NOT married. You just have an outlier in terms of your social group!
If you are worried about finding your soulmate and time seems to be running out… This is your reminder that single is not a status! It’s a word that describes a strong person who loves and enjoys life without depending on someone else.
This is why smart girls are not stressed:
1. First things first
Smart girls know their priorities and boys aren’t one of them. These girls want to live their life the way they want to and fill it with people that set their soul on fire. They don’t let society’s expectations rush them into relationships or things that don’t make their hearts sing. They learn, love and experience and don’t settle for anything less.
2. Settling is not in their dictionary
Smart girls often focus on personal experiences and creating memorable moments in their lives. They are adventurous, like to travel, and make every day a life experience. They don’t want to settle down, not yet, there’s plenty of time for that. And they set high standards and goals for themselves and knowing who they are and what they want sets the direction for their lives, and they aren’t slowing down any time soon.
3. Not easy to impress
Give these girls chocolates, flowers, or any material things, but they won’t easily fall for it. Again, they are smart! They know men and their little tricks. You will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat. You will catch smart girls by having a great sense of humour, being supportive, being emotionally intelligent and having an adventurous heart.
4. Not the desperate type
Smart girls know that if you love yourself first then you will always be loved. There are too many men out there, for them to settle on one that doesn’t really make them happy! They are prepared to wait to find the right match because they want something meaningful, something different.
5. They have high standards
So, what if your standards are too high? Having high standards does not mean you are excessively proud of yourself, or that you have a high opinion of yourself. It means you are a strong woman and looking for specific qualities in a man. Every man will not meet your standards. You know what you want and it’s a part of your search in finding the right man that can keep up.
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.” – Mandy Hale
It takes a strong person to remain single in a world that is accustomed to settling with anything just to say they have something.”
Here are 9 tips to stay happy while you are single:
Many people are unhappy with their lives – if they are single they think it is because they are single; and if they are in relationships, they think it is because they don’t have the right partner. Happiness, however, is not about being committed or not committed to a relationship, happiness depends on you and your own heart and this is why being single is the new normal! Happiness starts on the inside. We may have different perceptions about happiness, but at the end of the day what matters most is you, being able to be yourself on your own!
1. Practice self-love
You deserve to be loved not only by those people around you but by yourself as well. Being single is an opportunity to focus on yourself. Falling in love with yourself first is actually the most important relationship you need to deal with. Make peace with who and what you are, with your strengths and your weaknesses, and be happy.
2. View life on the positive side
Beautiful things will indeed happen if you distance yourself from negative vibes. Optimism is a happiness magnet, so if you want to be happy in life, stay positive. Good things and good people will surely be drawn to you.
3. Serve God
Remember that until God is the obsession of your heart, you’ll always be looking for mere men to meet needs that only He can fill. It is only when you make God your first love, will you be ready for a love story that reflects His glory. (Read this one again)
4. Spend more time with your family
Surround yourself with supportive people who will help you feel happy, that share your dreams and goals. Always remember that you don’t have to be in an intimate relationship just to be happy.
5. Focus on your career
Focus on your dreams. The harder you work for something, the greater happiness you will feel when you finally achieve it. Your success is your happiness, so if you really want to be successful, invest in yourself.
6. Learn to ignore media depictions of happy couples
One of the main reasons why many people are not happy and foster feelings of loneliness when they are single, is because the media reinforce the ideal idea that they need to be in a relationship. It may be difficult not to get envious of seeing sweet couples on your news feed while you’re single, but always remember that you are not the only one who’s feeling that way. It is time to ignore the media and embrace your unique journey!
7. Achieve independence
Happiness should never be completely dependent upon another person, happiness should depend upon ourselves. It’s an empowering feeling, knowing that you can get through life without being dependent on others. However, nobody can exist in isolation. Go out and meet new people!
8. Enjoy your freedom
Being single isn’t a time to look for love, it is a time to work on yourself and grow as an individual. Always remember that God has a purpose for every situation, probably in order for you to grow and find your strengths and abilities! You can make an impact on the world by just understanding and being yourself!
9. Recognize the importance of perfect timing
Timing is everything, most especially in a relationship. Time has indeed a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. God is probably writing the best story for you. Just wait on God’s timing and you’ll surely have a better result. In an instant world, it is difficult to be patient and trust that everything will work out. Keep believing.
Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love. Falling in love is inevitable. It does not appear with any warning signs. It can happen anywhere, at any time and to anyone.
Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice, to refuse that your life is to let your life be defined by your relationship status. Live every day happily and let your Forever After work itself out.
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