For most of us, the thought of turning 30 wasn’t so bad thanks to the decade leading up to it, when we were reassured repeatedly by the catch phrase that “30 is the new 20.”
Armed with the notion of an extra 10 years of cushion time that our parents never had, many of us took our sweet time to figure out what in the world we were going to do in life.
We switched up our university major at least once, went to grad school for the hell of it, travelled, changed career paths altogether, and continued with the wild nights that lasted until sunrise – all because we could.
By the time 30 (aka 20) rolled around, we finally began to figure it all out. And though we may not all have mortgages, cottages, and babies like our parents did at our age, if 30 is indeed the new 20, then most of us are actually doing just fine.
Unless you’re 30 (or over) and single, that is.
We applaud the young professional who leaves a generous and secure paycheque in the corporate world only to see their bank account go into overdraft as they launch the company they’ve always dreamed of. We shamelessly “like” pictures of our under-30 friends dancing on tables and being all kinds of first-year university levels of ridiculous… and then go out to do the same. Most YPs have yet to sign a mortgage by 30.
And everyone’s just fine with that.
Yet we inevitably wonder why a young professional is still rolling solo if they’re older than 30, and assume that something must be wrong with them. Though your parents may be supporters of your late bloomer status in all other areas of your life, when it comes to your singlehood, they’re now trying to set you up with their friends’ remaining single children. Your coupled-up friends are sometimes even worse, with both their relentless matchmaking attempts and perpetual reassurance not to worry because your time will come.
Um, thanks? Perhaps you didn’t get the memo of what not to say to single young professionals.
Even worse than the assumption that being single isn’t your choice is the whole online dating banter bandwagon that the same people keep jumping on, complete with success stories of happy couples they know. With online dating now commonplace (and the stigma long gone), it’s so simple that to find a “match” that apparently nobody over 30 has an excuse to be single these days.
The implication is that you’re leaving it late (and subsequently running out of options) in the lockdown department if you’re over 30. And again, that something must be wrong with you. Why wouldn’t you want a relationship?
Of course, for females, there’s the whole biological clock thing, which apparently didn’t get the whole “30 is 20” memo. Though we seem to have more options than there are baby names when it comes to reproductive technology, there’s always the worry that it just won’t happen if you leave it too late (we’ve all heard stories about that couple too). And if you have a kid after 40, it could very well become a total challenge to keep up with it. Valid.
But the very reason that many young professionals are still single after 30 is because they were busy carving their unique path and doing all the things (complete with all the mistakes) that they were afforded the societal permission to in their 20s.
So we did just that, telling ourselves that the serious relationships could wait. And who knows, maybe some of us did indeed leave it too late.
But there are many benefits to getting married after 30 – here are just 8 of them. So if your single friends keep bothering you, fire back with that material.
Then go out for a few drinks – if you’re only “20,” then drinking on a weeknight is totally acceptable.