Yes. I know. I’m being dramatic. But bear with me.
I asked myself this question as I walked to work this morning. And it wasn’t really in a self-pity way. Or even in a super dramatic way. Or looking for cries of “Nooooo OF COURSE you’ll meet someone!!!” It was just an actual question that I pondered during my quick 15 minute walk to work. One that I KNOW I am not the first 30 something female to ask herself.
For the first time since March, I have no dating prospects. Yes. Woe is me. March is when I got myself back onto OkCupid and eventually Match.com and then yes, eventually JDate. So since March I’ve thrown myself into these sites to varying degrees. And while I haven’t gotten nearly as many messages as I used to when I was in my 20s, with enough effort and persistance, dates have always come from these sites. And even some short relationships where I’ve actually been learning about myself and what I’m looking for from a partner.
9 months of putting yourself out there deliberately can be draining though. And lately I just haven’t had it in me to update my profile, send messages, and be active on these sites in a way that facilitates actually setting up dates. I actually finally deleted my OkCupid account when I realized I was using it as a Facebook of ex-es more than a way to actually meet people. (Pat on the back for that mature decision.) I still have my Match and JDate profiles but am finding that I have no more creativeness left trying to come up with witty and descriptive lines that are usually ignored for the pictures.
So for the first time since March, no prospects. No dates set up. No chatting with anyone of possible interest. No crushes. No potential set-up in the works from friends.
And it’s a scary place.
Yes. I have a very busy December holiday schedule. I think I’m actually booked pretty much through the New Year. (#humblebrag) And I like my life this way. And I could write a whole post about all the amazing things I have in my life and have done precisely because I am not in a relationship. But for now I am thinking about what it means if I don’t actually meet someone. About what it means to have no dates set up. To have no interested parties. To not be interested in any suitor in return Not in a sad and depressed way but more in a logical way (or as logical as it’s possible to be when it comes to matters of the heart).
I’m 32 but closer to 33. There is that tick tock. There is that pressure from within and externally to meet someone, fall in love, start a family, etc. Yes. I know I still have loads of time. But as the years go by, when do I start coming more to terms with the idea that there may not be someone out there for me. Or rather, that person may not be in the Cambridge area and fall into my life somehow.
Because I decided to change career paths three years ago, I’m in a very different financial state then I was in my late 20s. After years of living by myself, I have lived with roommates for the last 3 years. I could probably afford to live by myself if I moved much further outside the city but not by much. So now, even pondering the question, “could I have a child on my own?” is actually pretty impossible, as among other reasons, it would be seriously financially irresponsible. I definitely do not regret the career decisions that I’ve made but it feels ironic that one of the reasons I changed careers to be in a profession where my work didn’t take over my life and thus allow for more family flexibility. And now it feels like it’s out of my reach, emotionally and financially.
The hardest thing about thinking about this is that there really is no outcome. There is no right or wrong decision to make. Some things are just out of our control. And again, I know that having a partner does not define me. I have hundreds of other things that do. But for the past 9 months I have felt like there are some possibilities. Hope for finding love. Hope for discovering an enriching relationship. And I know I still have that hope. I guess I’m just trying to balance it with some realism so I’m not disappointed Maybe I’m just managing my expectations. Or maybe I just want to see how it feels to say my fear out loud.