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Single and/or childless in your 30s

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WVMountainrear

Poster formerly known as lovelylady78
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So since these new sub-forums opened up, I thought I'd try it out with a new thread.

I'm 33, and I've never been married. I was engaged once when I was young and stupid, but, in hindsight, it wasn't even a relationship I'd call "serious" (although to an 18 year old who'd just lost her virginity to this man, it was the be all and end all). I was very career-focused, and, while I certainly dated, I can't say there were a lot of men who I was anxious to bring home to my parents (so I didn't). This, of course, has lead to many questions from "concerned" family members (not my parents, incidentally-- more aunts and uncles and cousins) ranging from "what's wrong with you?" to "are you gay?".

Most of my cousins married young (and consequently divorced young but no one ever talks about that) and commenced to birthing babies, which leads me to the next point:

I'm 33, and I don't have any children. This also sometimes surprises people. I like to think it's because I'm so kind and maternal and not because I'm fat so people automatically assume there's a "legitimate" reason therefor. ;) I've always wanted children (just like I've always wanted to get married), but I've never been in the position to be able to focus on this goal seriously. I'm one of those traditional folks who'd prefer to get married first and then have babies. (Not that there's anything wrong with doing it other ways...my sister is a single parent who's never been married, and my niece is my pride and joy.) Besides simply not meeting someone I've gotten to the point of marriage and children with, I have other reasons for not presently jumping on the baby bandwagon: I'm still selfish with my time, I like sleeping in, they're expensive...and it's so easy NOT to get pregnant these days if you're taking the proper precautions.

The older I've gotten and the more fucked up my cousins' relationships, marriages, families, and situations have proven, the less my family has focused on such things. I think through getting to know me as an adult, they've come to accept I have a good head on my shoulders and want to make healthy, positive decisions for myself rather than rushing into commitments because it's what's expected of me either by them or by society.

So, anyway, I've waited to get married, and I've waited to have children. Do any of you other single and/or childless 30-somethings out there feel the scrutiny of others for either not being married or not having any children or both?
 

AmyJo1976

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I used to get hassled by my mother to give her grandchildren. She doesn't say much about it these days though. I wanted kids when I was younger, but now not so much. I've kind of been in the same boat, bad marriages that my friends have been in and disappointing relationships for me. It's not that I don't want to be married someday, just that I have haven't met the one that I can have my amazing with.
 

WVMountainrear

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I used to get hassled by my mother to give her grandchildren. She doesn't say much about it these days though. I wanted kids when I was younger, but now not so much. I've kind of been in the same boat, bad marriages that my friends have been in and disappointing relationships for me. It's not that I don't want to be married someday, just that I have haven't met the one that I can have my amazing with.
Exactly. For me, it's always been about finding someone who's actually right for me.

(I am exceedingly optimistic with my current boyfriend, though. :happy:)
 

penguin

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I do have a 4.5 year old daughter, but I've never been married. Engaged once, a long time back. I'm lucky, I guess, in that my family doesn't ask when I'll find someone. Either they respect me enough to not pester me, or they think I'm a lost cause, I'm not sure. I've said that I'm happy single and that I'd rather be single than in a relationship just to be in one, so I'm hoping they've picked up on that. I haven't met anyone around here I'd want to date, let alone be in a serious relationship with, so it's not something worth pressuring me about.

Though being the only unwed child (I have two brothers and a sister) does get to me a bit at times, I have to admit. I'm just glad I wasn't the last to have a baby, though I only beat my younger brother and his wife by 3 weeks.
 

WVMountainrear

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I do have a 4.5 year old daughter, but I've never been married. Engaged once, a long time back. I'm lucky, I guess, in that my family doesn't ask when I'll find someone. Either they respect me enough to not pester me, or they think I'm a lost cause, I'm not sure. I've said that I'm happy single and that I'd rather be single than in a relationship just to be in one, so I'm hoping they've picked up on that. I haven't met anyone around here I'd want to date, let alone be in a serious relationship with, so it's not something worth pressuring me about.

Though being the only unwed child (I have two brothers and a sister) does get to me a bit at times, I have to admit. I'm just glad I wasn't the last to have a baby, though I only beat my younger brother and his wife by 3 weeks.
I am literally the only childless person among my sister and all of my first cousins- both sides of the family. I like it more than I hate it most of the time. :)

I do miss my friends in that they always seem to have to get home no matter what time it is (to relieve the babysitter or for their significant other). That part of it is no fun...but we're sort of tame in our gatherings anyway in that we're more in the meet at someone's house, have some good food and drinks, and play games stage than the olden days of going out and getting rowdy. So we can still squeeze in a little post-bedtime wine and board games on occasion. :)
 

LeoGibson

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37 and not single, but no children. I come from a family that I sometimes think can procreate from looking alone, no touch required. I did feel mild pressure to give my folks a grandkid, but it was usually in good humor as they had so many another would have made little difference. They have both since passed through this veil of tears, so that isn't even a minor issue any longer. As far as pressure from anybody else, there is no one else whose opinion would matter to me left on this earth so I reckon if you don't like what I'm doing you can go piss up a rope. I can't be bothered with some damned old busybody's opinions.

I do admit that I did want children, but the older I get without having them I kinda don't want to now. I like my life and the way I can be selfish at will with my time and resources. I can come and go as I please, plus as my friends kids get old enough to care for themselves now and more are back joining us on evenings out, I'd hate to now have to be the one scrambling for sitters and the like. Those are my thoughts on the matter thus far.
 

indy500tchr

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I am 34 and dying to get married and have kids. It frustrates me each and every day that I can't find somebody who wants to be with me for the rest of our lives.

There aren't many guys my age these days who 1. don't already have children (I don't want to deal with baby-mama drama). 2. want a serious relationship. 3. those that are single don't have the job security to be able to raise a family in the near future.
 

Mayla

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Well, I can definitely sympathize; I've been close, but never married. No kids and single and...I'm in my early 40's. Do I feel unfullfilled? Not really. I have great friends and I think that fills my heart. Would I like to be married someday? Well, sure...if he's the right one. But I think once you get to a certain age there's a new freedom in being single, and it can be kind of fun.:)
 

mimosa

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To be with someone for a long time like I was, ( 17 years).....damn it is hard work. Especially if you have a sick child like I did. I got gray hair when I was 27. Btw, he would tell me he would not have sex with me unless I washed the dishes. But no matter how clean the house was...we never had sex. :mad:I rather be alone with my vibrator. :rolleyes:

So if you do decide to get married....make sure it's to someone you have things in common with ,is your best friend and truly is the right person for you.

So in a nutshell, marriage can be a good thing, if you marry the right person for the right reasons. Other than that....your marriage will be hell on earth.

Marriage and children is not for everyone. Like everything in life...its hard work!

The good news out of my marriage was he made me laugh, he gave me a beautiful son and he didn't abandon me when he started seeing someone else. God bless him.
 

TexasTrouble

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I'm 33 and never married, no kids. I'd like to have both of these, and I'm trying to make my personal life more of a focus instead of just work like I have in the past. Maybe now's a good time to be open for those things, who knows?

I can definitely relate about being the only unmarried/childless person in your family, though. Several of my nieces and nephews have gotten married recently, and it's been a funny dynamic. I'm also from a very rural place and most people have their children before they're in their mid-20s. I bet if I did have a child, people back home would say it was a "miracle" birth (okay, since I'm currently single, if I did have a baby, it would, literally, be a miracle birth, so I guess they'd have me there). ;)
 

ScreamingChicken

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I'll cosign with what mimosa said. My divorce will be finalized next month (over 16 years of marriage) and marriage is indeed work. It's not something that can function with just a little lip service here and there. She was a good person, the girl I married (we we're both 21 at the time and just kids). Time changed us and put us on very different paths. I truly believe we both just withdrew at one point from each other and any efforts we made were too little, too late.

Now if I knew 17 years ago what I know now, would I do it again? In a heartbeat, not being married to here means no Wesley and Katie, my heart & soul and the greatest loves of my life. I just can't imagine me without them. They have shaped me in ways I can't even describe. Being a parent is hard work, too, but it is oh so rewarding. But it is not for everyone. I'd respect someone who has the ability to say that they aren't parent material more than the individual who just brings child after child in to this world and treats them as pets.
 

mimosa

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Decide to be happy where ever you are in life. With or without marriage or children. I agree with ScreamingChicken, For some of you..its okay to admit that you are not the parent type.

Also, do not let anyone decide what is "normal" and good for you. Be happy with the life you have. Lets all make it the happiest with whatever we have or do not have. Life is beautiful!
 

snuggletiger

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Too busy with my hobbies to think about a spouse or kids. Life is too short to worry about what society dictates a person should or shouldn't be.
 

Surlysomething

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Well, i'm not in my 30's anymore but even then I was pretty sure I wouldn't be having kids. I thought I wanted them forever because I love babies and i'm quite maternal but I honestly didn't not want to be a single mother. I think it's hard when there are two parents, I didn't want to go it alone. There are also sooo many people in the world as there is. Do I really need to add another one? Haha.

I'm a good Aunt! I love my nephew with all my heart and feel the same way about my best friend's 3 teenage kids that i've known since birth. :)
 

Diana_Prince245

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While I might someday have a child, the chances of me getting married are slim to none. I'm pretty firmly in the marriage is death camp. Plus my sister's marriage sucks ass, and with my luck I'd wind up in the same type of thing.
 

activistfatgirl

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I'm 32 here and being a partner and being in a stable place emotionally and financially to be able to nurture other humans (if not my own children) has suddenly become important to me. I didn't bat an eye when all my high school and college friends got married in their 20s and started having babies. I wanted to work in the movement, I wanted to travel, and I wanted to kick of years of celibacy via evangelicalism and via body hatred with lots of dating. But that was then, this is now. It feels SO cliche, but I feel like I turned 30 and BAM! that desire was there.

I've not experienced pressure to get married/have kids, but I have felt pity. There's this general sense of oh-no-youre-an-adult-without-a-partner eyebrow cocking that I'm starting to sense. The problem is, I sometimes agree and feel real bad about it. Still processing all of this, happy to have some other folks doing the same.

<3
 

WVMountainrear

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I just wanted to point out that I didn't say that I was sorry that I've waited or that I'm sad that I have. In fact, I said quite the opposite.

The fact that people have now rushed into the thread with the "there, there...things will be ok...you should be happy" spiel actually makes me giggle and illustrates my point in how people automatically assume that if you do wait, you must be miserable or you must be meant to not have those things..."and that's ok." Chances are, if you're in the 30s thread and you haven't gotten married or had children by this point, you've already exercised your ability not to rush into a serious committment for the wrong reasons. Why settle now- after waiting all of this time for the right person and the right reasons?

I'm not saying that I don't appreciate the insight of anyone who's posted-- I do greatly, and it's wise to learn from the mistakes of others or to take the lessons that others are kind enough to share with you. But this also isn't the 18+ area.

I just wanted to know what pressures- internal and external- we "older" folks have felt to do those things, if any. And I've been pleased with the contributions and discussions this has sparked.
 

WVMountainrear

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I like my life and the way I can be selfish at will with my time and resources. I can come and go as I please, plus as my friends kids get old enough to care for themselves now and more are back joining us on evenings out, I'd hate to now have to be the one scrambling for sitters and the like. Those are my thoughts on the matter thus far.
I never thought about just waiting my friends out! :D All of mine are still in the sitter phase. I agree completely with the coming and going as you please...definite perk.

Well, I can definitely sympathize; I've been close, but never married. No kids and single and...I'm in my early 40's. Do I feel unfullfilled? Not really. I have great friends and I think that fills my heart. Would I like to be married someday? Well, sure...if he's the right one. But I think once you get to a certain age there's a new freedom in being single, and it can be kind of fun.:)
I don't feel unfullfilled either. I definitely would like to get married and have children, but I think if I don't, I wouldn't feel like any less of a person for it. I also admit that I've had the most fun being single as I've gotten older and have come more into myself and who I am. My 30s have been my best decade yet by far. :)

I'm 33 and never married, no kids. I'd like to have both of these, and I'm trying to make my personal life more of a focus instead of just work like I have in the past. Maybe now's a good time to be open for those things, who knows?

I can definitely relate about being the only unmarried/childless person in your family, though. Several of my nieces and nephews have gotten married recently, and it's been a funny dynamic. I'm also from a very rural place and most people have their children before they're in their mid-20s. I bet if I did have a child, people back home would say it was a "miracle" birth (okay, since I'm currently single, if I did have a baby, it would, literally, be a miracle birth, so I guess they'd have me there). ;)
It's become more common for people to focus on their careers and start focusing on family later in life. I saw on the news just this morning that women are on average 26 now when they marry and men are on average 29. Still younger than we 30-somethings, but not by a whole lot. I'm happy that I focused on work like I have. I've by and large met all of the career goals I'd originally set for myself when starting college and contemplating where I'd like to be work-wise at my age. I would like to focus more on building my personal life and relationships at this point in my life, though too.

Too busy with my hobbies to think about a spouse or kids. Life is too short to worry about what society dictates a person should or shouldn't be.
Good for you!

I'm 32 here and being a partner and being in a stable place emotionally and financially to be able to nurture other humans (if not my own children) has suddenly become important to me. I didn't bat an eye when all my high school and college friends got married in their 20s and started having babies. I wanted to work in the movement, I wanted to travel, and I wanted to kick of years of celibacy via evangelicalism and via body hatred with lots of dating. But that was then, this is now. It feels SO cliche, but I feel like I turned 30 and BAM! that desire was there.

I've not experienced pressure to get married/have kids, but I have felt pity. There's this general sense of oh-no-youre-an-adult-without-a-partner eyebrow cocking that I'm starting to sense. The problem is, I sometimes agree and feel real bad about it. Still processing all of this, happy to have some other folks doing the same.

<3
YES. I sympathize with this. I owe you major rep.
 

penguin

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When I was younger (in my 20s) getting married was Very Very Important to me. I guess it meant that I was wanted and it was what you were meant to do. As I got older, it didn't mean so much to me, and it's at the point where I'm okay with never getting married, because I know it's not the be all and end all, that I don't need a partner to feel good about myself and know I'm desirable. I'm not going to be in a relationship simply to avoid being single, and I'm definitely not going to get married so I'm not a spinster. If it happens, it happens, but it's not a goal or something I'm working towards. My happiness isn't going to be reliant on whether someone else is in my life or not, and my self worth definitely isn't based on whether someone wants to put a ring on it.
 

WVMountainrear

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Well, i'm not in my 30's anymore but even then I was pretty sure I wouldn't be having kids. I thought I wanted them forever because I love babies and i'm quite maternal but I honestly didn't not want to be a single mother. I think it's hard when there are two parents, I didn't want to go it alone. There are also sooo many people in the world as there is. Do I really need to add another one? Haha.

I'm a good Aunt! I love my nephew with all my heart and feel the same way about my best friend's 3 teenage kids that i've known since birth. :)
I've never wanted to do it on my own either. At some times I've thought that makes me weak or...honestly...makes me feel like less of the moderate to liberal asshole that I am. :D I don't disagree at all with the decision of people to go it alone, I've just never had the desire to do so. Like I said, my sister is a single mother, and I have no idea how she does it sometimes...and I'd especially be in awe if she didn't have my parents close by to help her. But, like you, I love my niece immensely...I can teach her things, play with her, spoil her...and then leave her with her Mom and go home to hours of uninterrupted sleep. :)
 

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