I find myself 30-years-old, picking myself up after yet another failed relationship attempt, and realizing, in these moments, that my heart feels divided. There is a part of me, the part I am most familiar with, that has always been certain I wanted my prince charming, a baby or two, and roots. But a strange and unexpected thing has started to happen to me. As I look around at my friends who are getting married and buying houses and having babies, I only kind of envy them.
So I was picking up my favourite Vietnamese takeout one typical Friday night, and the owner - who I know reasonably well since he is the one feeding my addiction- asked me why I was “so dolled up” and if I was getting up to some Friday night excitement. I laughed and told him I was going to eat my takeout order for one alone on my couch, but thanked him for the compliment… I feel like many single women destined to spend a Friday night alone would have been crushed by this comment. I’m grateful for the strength and humour I’ve gained over the years to help me laugh these things off instead of fleeing into the arms of an instantly gratifying dating app.
Remember chivalry? And dating? Where the guy picks you up in his freshly washed vehicle, wearing something he clearly planned out, opens your car door for you while telling you how nice you look? No? That’s kind of where I’m going with this…
When your older sister who has been with her seemingly perfect husband for 16 years asks what you want for your 30th birthday and then suggests maybe a boyfriend...ah, jokes. But the thing about my family, and please remember that I love them dearly, is none of them have ever been single for any length of time. Ever. When I say I prefer to be single or when I say I am totally fine on my own, doing my own thing and answering to no one, they all nod sympathetically while I can only imagine they’re thinking to themselves how lonely I must be. That’s the look I always get. I am the one who jokes that my Christmas gift to my mom will be getting myself a boyfriend. It would make her so happy, and maybe one day it will make me happy, but so far, this has not been the case.