Recently, someone asked me about dating after 30 and how I met my husband. I always try to be thoughtful and sensitive when I answer these kind of questions. I know all too well what it’s like to be on the receiving end of flippant comments and/or unsolicited advice about my relationship status. Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I decided to write a little bit about the topic of love after 30.
Before I met my husband, at times I felt that it was taking forever for me to meet my person. There were days when singleness felt awesome and days when it did not. Everyone told me that it would happen when I least expected it. If you’re single, you’ve heard heard the same thing too. I get the sentiment. We can’t control when we meet “the one.” Yet, while I believe that some people meet their person when they aren’t actively looking, some of us find our person during an active search. I wished our society made it more ok for people, especially women, to openly desire partnership and to be forthcoming about looking or positioning themselves to find it. It’s quite possible to simultaneously live a full self-actualized single life and look for love.
The truth is, we look. We wonder if it’ll be the guy next to us on the airplane, or if we’ll meet him at a professional mixer or at church one Sunday. We create online dating profiles. We read books. We attend seminars. If life gets insanely busy and time becomes a luxury, some of us hire matchmakers or dating coaches.
In my early 20s, I planned to get married by 28 and have my first child by 30. As the saying goes, “we make plans and God laughs.” At 31, I walked into an ice-cream shop in Brooklyn for a first-date. It was an ordinary day in early Fall. Great weather. I wore a non-fussy outfit that some would probably describe as Brooklyn-hipster chic. We scheduled a late afternoon date, because I had a professional networking event to attend after. When my date walked in the ice-cream shop, I noticed he had a nice smile. I smiled back. At the time, I did not know that he was going to be my husband. We had a great first date. As the saying goes, the rest is history, and just like that on an ordinary day, my life changed.
As a single woman, I lived fully. I travelled. I chased and conquered dreams. I had a full life and great friends. Yet, I still desired a relationship with reciprocity, respect, real communication and of course romance. Whether we’re older or younger than 30, if you’re desiring love and looking, there’s no shame in that. It doesn’t mean you’re miserable being single, or desperate. It simply means you’re human.