30 Something and Unmarried: Confessions of an Old Maid



By the age of 12, most girls have their life planned out. It usually goes something like this: graduate high school, go to college, find a good job, meet a handsome/rich man, get married in an extravagant ceremony, have beautiful babies and live happily ever after. All of this usually takes place before 30.

Most importantly, every girl dreams of the day where she walks down the aisle and into the arms of her Prince Charming. We have this important moment all planned out. At 17, I knew that my bridesmaids would be Megan and Theresa, I wanted to wear a big white Cinderella type of wedding dress, and get married at the beach. Maybe even a destination wedding! I knew all of this before I had a proposal, let alone a man lined up!

It is what I like to call the Disney princess syndrome!! Growing up and being subliminally taught (through cartons and Disney films) that while you may go through hardships and kiss a few frogs, eventually your knight in shining armor will rescue you and take you into happy ever after. So you wait and hope and wait some more.

But what happens when you find yourself  30+, single, heartbroken and hardened after years of relationships that went nowhere? You look down at the ring finger on your left hand and it's empty, no real prospects in sight. Or what if you find yourself in a long term relationship with no proposal? Or a man who never wants to get married? When your already over 30, how long do you wait before heartbreakingly moving on? Or do you just give up on the idea of marriage itself?




In the words of Langston Hughes, what happens to a dream deferred? In talking to some unmarried women, I get the "I don't want to get married" statement and it makes me wonder. Are women saying this to save face? To pacify deep hidden desires? Are they telling themselves this so that they don't have to face the real fear of never getting married, never being chosen, never experiencing a happy ever after? 

To be honest at 32, I do feel afraid. I have been in a relationship for 3 yrs now. I love him and things are wonderful, but I promised myself that we won't go into 4yrs unmarried. Im 32!! I don't have 10yrs to waste wondering at this point. Either it is or it isn't. 

I mean, Just the other day my grandmother called me an old maid!! Yes, an old maid!! She said this after telling one of the city gas workers that asked about me, "my granddaughter is looking for a husband." I asked her , "well what about my boyfriend?" Her reply was "first come, first serve." I had to laugh it off but it hurt. Seems like the pressure to be married is just as external as it is internal! 

I could probably write a novel on the struggles of being unmarried and over 30, but I want to hear from you ladies. What are your thoughts, struggles and experiences? 

Stay tuned ,
Ebony 







72 comments:

  1. I definitely wouldn't get married because of pressure. Too many people rush into a marriage before both parties are ready. It took six years for my husband and I to get married. Talk with your boyfriend and see if you guys are on the same page regarding marriage. From there, I would say pray on it and trust God's timing.

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    1. Definitely praying!! We talk about marriage and the goals of our relationship but I guess I should be more patient lol thanks for the insight and support :)

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  2. I was a commitment phobe before marriage and never thought about weddings until I got engaged. I envisioned my life having a great career, no kids, traveling the world and no Husband tying me down. I don't think life ever goes "as planned".

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    1. Really!!?? It is really scary!! I think the unexpected is what keeps life exciting!! Now that you are married can you still visualize yourself as a single business woman?

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    2. Now that I am married I feel completely fulfilled. Before marriage I was the I'm never getting married type because I honestly didn't feel like I was missing anything. Now tho, I do see that I was not as happy as I thought...I had the means to travel, shop, and do pretty much anything but it does feel amazing to still do all of those same things with a mate that you truly love. I AM glad tho that I got married at 29 and not earlier...I got to live alone and get to know me, party like a rockstar and learn to be my own company. I also would have not appreciated a nice guy like my Husband. I used to run guys like that completely over. I think everything that happens in life happens not when we want it to but when we NEED it to. I will say this if you have a true love....that's more important than a ring or marital status. Some people have rings and horrible Husbands...if I had never married my mate we would still be together because I know he's my soulmate. I DO know what that's like tho everyone always asking about kids or marriage...super annoying!

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    3. Awww, I am soooo happy for you!!! First questions on marriage and after getting married, questions on kids lol I guess that people in our lives have all of these expectancies of what it should look like, but not everyone follows that same template.

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  3. I was definitely one of those who had everything planned out when I was young, haha. I knew how I wanted things to be in my future and luckily, I was able to achieve most of that. Thinking back though, it was weird that I was so concerned about finding someone to be with and as soon as I stopped looking, I found my guy. Sometimes, I guess, it's best to just let things come to you and try not to worry about everything. Just remember to enjoy life, I guess is what I'm getting at here.

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    1. I've heard that when you stop seeking, it will find you.Definitely taking your words of advice to heart. Congrats to you :)

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  4. I am married but even if I wasn't, I wouldn't let others pressure. I had similar pressure from family over getting pregnant. We were married for 7 years before having our first and it got to the point that someone asked my husband if he was "shooting blanks!" The point is, go at the speed that feels right for you and your boyfriend. If you feel he is the right one and is dragging his feet then hurry him along. If not, then don't...and don't stress about it.

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    1. OMG are you serious? If it is not one thing, it is another. People and their questions are hilarious. Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it :)

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  5. Some interesting questions and thoughtful comments, too. Such a personal decision. I agree... life happens when we are making plans!

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  6. Hmm... Maybe you should pop the question on Valentines day?! When I met my husband we were talking marriage within a few weeks, I guess we knew what we wanted. Good luck girl!

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    1. I am soooo traditional and a little shy lol Weeks?! wow, how amazing! thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. Ah yes, the Disney princess syndrome always gets to me!

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  8. I am finding more and more it's so hard to be content where we are. I have friends who are single and approaching 30 and are freaking out. I've been married since I was 24 and struggle to relate sometimes but try to remember what it was like when I was in their shoes. Honestly if you have been together that long can't you discuss your relationship goals? If the 4 year mark is freaking you out - be honest with him. #SITSblogging

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    1. Most of My 30+ unmarried friends are in the same boat as yours :) We discuss our goals and he plans to propose sometime this year so we shall see :) thanks for dropping by!

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  9. Oh my - I guess I'm glad to be "old" and married. Of course, I do think it is possible to have a wonderful and fulfilling life and not be married or to choose not to have children. Don't focus on whether or not you are in a relationship - focus on whether or not you are happy... with whatever your life has to offer! At 32, you do have time... even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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    1. It is so easy to focus on everything else that you forget to slow down and smell the roses :) Aww, thanks for the words of encouragement!

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  10. I'm in the same predicament. 32 and in a long term relationship with no proposal in sight. I would like to get married and have a wedding one day but I don't see that happening. It is kind of sad. Stopping by from the SITS comment group!

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    1. Have you talked about it with your boyfriend? Does he want to get married? As a woman, I agree that it is hard and sad not knowing if it will ever happen. Sending hugs your way :)

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  11. I only got engaged a little over a year ago. More and more people are waiting these days from what I can see. My fiance and I have been together for 7 years as of yesterday, but only engaged for a year. So... it's not so bad. I used to feel the same way you do, or the people around you feel... that I needed to hurry up and get married. That's not the case. Although I probably look that things differently because I have two children from a previous relationship. That may make me look at things differently. Hugs!! Stopping by from #SITSblogging

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    1. Awww, Congrats on your engagement and thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I was 38 when I met my husband. And, after meeting him, I understood why I waited so long! It was worth the wait for sure. I am thankful to God for giving me patience and trust in Him while waiting! :) So glad to read your story! Blessings!

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    1. beautiful and amazing story! I guess I should have a little more patience :) Congrats to you!

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  13. I think this is such a struggle, and differs so much from person to person. I wish you all the best with it (and what good comments you've received!) Stopping by from SITS girls

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    1. I'm finding that It really does :) thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I wasn't one of those girls that dreamed about her ideal wedding. Heck, I had sworn off marriage and kids for years. Until I met my husband. And I was almost 30. It didn't bother me that I was 30 though, because I felt like I got to experience life. The way I wanted to. But I also know that not everyone feels that way. I have plenty of friends who didn't meet their mates until in their late 30's, and they have some of the most solid relationships I know. Stopping by from SITS!

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    1. When I think about it, you are so right. I am glad that I am a little older and have gotten the chance to experience life the way I want. Thanks for putting things into perspective and for stopping by!

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  15. I wouldn't get married due to pressure. I did a lot of waiting and I'm happy I did. But even after the pressure of getting married there is pressure with having children. I got pressure for 4 years to have a child from my family. It didn't seem to matter what I wanted and how I wanted to be married only that I fulfil the dreams that they wanted. My younger brother is 27 and still unmarried. I keep telling him to take his time and choose his partner with care. Nothing like getting into a marriage to find out that your partner is not the person they were before you got married.

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    1. I guess people really do expect us to all follow the same template, get married and have kids. Nice to see that you stuck to what made you happy :) Taking your advice and doing what makes me happy. thanks!!

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  16. I can certainly understand where you're coming from but I think too many women end up with someone awful, just because they feel like they should be married. I say, far better to be single forever than stuck with a loser!

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    1. LOL so true! Please God, dont let me ever be so desperate to end up with a loser hehe thanks for stopping by!

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  17. Wow you have received some wonderful advice in the comments ! :) All I have say is have patience. Good things come to those who wait. Never do anything because of pressure. Wishing you All The Best :)
    Stopping by from SITS Girls.

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    1. Awww, this really touched y heart. thanks :)

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  18. I agree patience. Don't want to end up with Mr. Wrong. Wishing you the best. Dropping by from SITS girls! :)

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    1. Okay I will try to continue to be patient :) thanks for stopping by!!!

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  19. That sounds hard, Ebony!! My life happened in the order you described...college, husband, career, kids...And then I have my sweet twin sister who, like you, is completely single. And I love what she does with her singleness. She uses it as a blessing to love and serve others. Whether it's by teaching children at her local church or helping out with my children sometimes, she is enjoying the life that God has given her, knowing it could be forever or for a season. Enjoy the here and now, Ebony, whatever that looks like for you!

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    1. I agree, at times it is hard. Much like your sister, I try to get out and enjoy life. Thanks for the perspective Gabby!

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  20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding this subject. It's all too often I read blogs where everything seems just grand and peachy and life is perfect. That's just not true, so this was a refreshing read.

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    1. awww, thanks! I try to share all aspects of my life. the good, the bad and the ugly hehe

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  21. Even when you meet the right person, nowadays it's rarely Disney style sweeping off the feet. In our case it definitely wasn't, and it's much harder since having had our son and going into 10 years of marriage. But I can't believe in this day and age when people are getting married later (after having a life, and being independent first), that there are still people who interfer and comment. I think it's madness, because it's definitely one of those things you want to get right.

    Good like with your search, and chances are it'll happen when you least expect it.

    #SITSBlogging.

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    1. thanks emma! 10yrs?! congrats! I agree, maybe that is why the divorce rate is so high. thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I don't think the goal is getting married, but staying married. Too many of my girlfriends have missed this point and are now divorced after just a few years of marriage. I say wait until both people are 100% sure...no timetables should be set!

    www.napafarmhouse1885.blogspot.com

    best,
    diane

    Dropping by from SITS girls today.
    #SITSBlogging

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    1. true! From talking to my grandparents, marriage is a great deal of work. especially the first couple of years. I dont think many ppl realize that. thanks for the advice :)

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  23. Well, I got married at 21 and have always wondered how different things would have been if I had waited! My sisters married after 30 and have a very different life. I think the grass is always greener somewhere, right?

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    1. that is so true. I guess we should all water our own grass to make it just as green! thanks for stopping by :)

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  24. I agree with Diane's comment! You want to marry someone you'll be with forever.

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    1. yes, that I do! thanks for stopping by!

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  25. I dont necessarily have experience with being as though I am now turning 29 and have been married for 5yrs. But I can speak from the other side... I love my husband and being married but if I would have known then what I know now I would have enjoyed being single and embraced it more. Its a purpose for each stage in life and sometimes we miss with all that goes on, the influences, and the pressures. I'm not saying I would have been "wilder" or "partied harder" like some like to say but it's the little things. But i think you should never give up on it but also just not wait for it. Live life and let God determine the timing... Thanks for sharing.. #sitsblogging

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    1. thanks for showing the other side of things. In some ways I am happy to have been able to experience life in my 20s as a single woman. waiting to see what god has in store. thanks for stopping by!

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  26. Keep positive! Your Prince Charming will come, when you least expect it! <3 from #SITS

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    1. I will! thank you for the encouragement!!

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  27. You are not an old maid. Hugs to you. It'll all work out.

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  28. So what happens when you reach the 4 year mark? You give him an ultimatum? You break up even if everything else is perfectly fine?

    I think some women put waaaay too much pressure on getting married. There's pressure if they're single. There's pressure if they're with someone. I totally get the pressure coming in from nosy older generations, but don't let yourself get sucked into it or you'll end up either miserable or potentially scaring away a perfectly good man. I'm 32. I've been with my boyfriend for four years. We just moved into our first apartment together. We're happy. Marriage? That can come whenever it wants when we both feel like we're ready for that step and not when someone else tries to impose their own timeline on our relationship.

    Take this time to continue learning about each other, to explore, expand, travel, have fun. Don't drag that marriage cloud around everywhere you go because I'm sure guys feel like some women are just looking for someone to pop in for the Prince Charming role at the wedding instead of growing into that phase together.

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    1. that is the hard part and honestly IDk...things are great as they are and sometimes I cant help but wonder if it is better this way. trying not to let outside people that you love influence you is very difficult. thanks so much for the advice :)

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  29. I don't think 32 counts as "old maid"! I think it's more common these days for women to stay single in their 30s. However, my girlfriends who are single after 30 have low tolerance for games. It's either the real deal, or else move on! Good luck :) Stopping by from #SITSBlogging

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    1. i agree, after 20...play time is over lol thanks for stopping by!

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  30. I am 43 and unmarried, but unlike you I have zero prospects and no one in my life AND I'm good with that! One day I woke up and was like "this is my life...and it's good." I used to think I had to be married by a certain age, and if I was in a relationship we had to be married by a certain time and things just changed. If I met someone today I'd be happy with forever - ring or not.

    You know YOU - you have to do what's best for you.

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    1. how beautiful :) truly goes to show that happiness lies within *hugs*

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  31. ahhhhh! Ebony! In the same boat!!! We have been together for fiiiiiiiive years over here. Put a ring on it gah. I am constantly reminding myself that the reason we (he & I) aren't there yet is because we are working on other goals right now and planning an actual wedding would not fit just yet but I'm 33 and yes -- it eats at you. Tell your grandma shhhhh though. I saw the cutest woman the other day that found true love at 75. Her words made me cry. And she was SO genuine and happy. Time is different for all of us

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    1. true love at 75?!! wow, that is amazing! maybe 32 is not soo old after all, there is still hope for me and you *hugs* going to show this to my granny. thanks for sharing!

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  32. I am married now and have been for 5 years now I am 33..but I didn't think about marriage like that until my husband came along. I was okay for long time with not being marriage or that it might not happen like it does for everyone else. I have a strong personality as well as firm views as to how I want to be treated..so a lot of ex's didn't do that.. so I was fine in myself that if it took longer then that's what God in store for me but then my husband came along when I wasn't looking and had just came out of a relationship. Timing is different for everyone and things some times happen when you least expect it.

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    1. Awww, congrats on 5yrs of marriage! I am learning that it is important to be patient and wait for what god has in store. Thank you so much for the words of advice!!

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  33. Hi! This was such a well written and thoughtful post :) I think that sometimes marriage can be over rated. Society pushes us (especially women) to marry, keep house and have babies. It can be daunting when all our friends are married, with children and we're all "are you gonna drink that glass of wine?" while we are forced to look at photos of their happiness. I've been married, twice and engaged to Mr. Wrong a few times. I have four children and I wouldn't change a thing. But I don't know that I'll ever want to marry again. I can't see what it offers that just loving someone doesn't provide.
    -Elle
    coming from the Comment Love Tribe

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    1. I sometimes wonder if just loving someone is good enough...I met this lady and she told me that she has 4 friends from high school and 3 got married. one remained in a LTR. 10 years later, only the friend in the LTR is still with her boyfriend, all of the others have since divorced. Makes me wonder...thanks for stopping by!

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  34. New visitor from SITS Girls Comment Love. This post really resonated with me. I walked out of a bad marriage at 33. I was childless and broken-hearted. I met my now husband at 36 and married at 38, my son was born just shy of 40. It can happen, but I'm not going to lie - it's a hard road and requires keeping a lot of faith in something more powerful than we are, as well as really learning what you want.

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    1. how touching!! what an awesome story!! Congrats to you, glad you found happiness :) thanks for sharing.

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  35. I have a bunch of friends nearing 40 and not finding love... so in that way, you are very lucky. I was out with a friend last night whose parents just want to know "what is wrong with her" and think she has "issues" b/c she is 37 and single. She is of Indian descent and culturally this makes no sense to them. It breaks my heart (and hers). I never had an opinion one way or another on marriage and I got married when I was 30. I am 42 and still happily married. I realize now that I am really lucky to have met someone that makes me happy (and vice versa). (Thanks for commenting over on my blog and hello from SITS Girls!)

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    1. Sad that we start to believe that something is wrong with "us," usually because of outside influence. I'm sure your friend is perfect, but she has to realize that. you are very lucky and 12yrs of marriage is amazing. congrats to you and thanks for stopping by!

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  36. My brother in law is getting married (for the first time) at 35 and his wife is 37. Age doesn't mean anything anymore, everyone is doing things later in life, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. My husband and I were together 4 years before he proposed because he wanted the perfect ring and the perfect proposal for me. I wouldn't stress over it at all!

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    1. thanks for the advice :) Awww, how thoughtful of him! I'm sure it was all so beautiful!! congrats to you!

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