The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Being single in your 30's
If there is one complaint amongst women that seems to be universal, it's being single and in your 30's. Everyone thinks, while they're in their 20's, that the world is an endless pool of date and mate prospects, especially if you're attending a university. I've known women, myself included, who were never available for more than a couple of months. You can actually get high off the whiff of testosterone at a college basketball game. The scent of male pheromones wafts in the air - heady and piquant on the palate.

However, all of those rules change when you're in your 30's and you're a woman. Our more cunning sisters snagged "the good men" while they were still in school, knowing that they will probably be divorced in fifteen years, but not caring, since they'll have the house, the kids, and the SUV. Those of us who spend our 30's single, know that the "left over" men over age 30 are either Momma's boys, men who only date women under the age of 25, are materialism-enslaved confirmed bachelors, are virginal religious fanatics, are drug and/or alcohol abusers, are unemployed and ambitionless, are bitter divorced men who think all women cheat, still believe one day they will become a "rock star," or they don't care for women as partners. Life suddenly moves from an endless smorgasbord, to a desert wasteland.

That's why so many women I know over the age of 30, hang onto the most dysfunctional relationships. Despite all of the feminist hype out there, most women do not like being alone. Most of them want emotional security and intimacy.

I belong to a women's travel forum, and invariably, several times a week, someone posts something like this:

So, I think my boyfriend is cheating on me. He keeps getting SMS messages from someone named "D". Would it be ok if I suggested a threesome? And should I blame the other woman, since, technically, my boyfriend is supposed to be the one committed to me? Why can't I get back at the bitch who knew he was already taken?

To console myself, I went out and bought a Dior plastic lipgloss. I can't believe I paid so much for it, but it's supposed to last most of the day with just one application. I hate when I feel depressed, because I always go shopping. And speaking of shopping, I am looking for the perfect moisturizer - and shoes. Anyone recommend anything?

Our cat seems to be traumatized by my boyfriend's philandering ways. He peed on the carpet for the first time, ever. How do you get pet pee out of the carpet? It stinks! And do you think that pets can tell when the owners are cheating? Do you think they dream and can read your thoughts/sense your emotions? And should I tell my landlord? I was thinking I could blame the smell on the previous tenants. If my boyfriend and I split up, how long should I give myself to wallow in self-pity and misery? Is it OK for me to go out and get drunk and have a sympathy shag? I've kind of seen this coming for a while, but just haven't wanted to face things.

Please send me vibes. I'm thinking of taking up knitting booties for people in the old folks' home as a way to get my mind off this terrible situation.

These kinds of posts are followed by innumerable voices of sympathy, with some creative suggestions for getting back at cheating boyfriend, and lots of emoticons and *vibes.* But, having "been there - done that" in my 30's, I have to say that I am totally understanding of these women who should get out of nasty dysfunctional relationships, but who don't for fear of being out of the dating pool forever.

By the time I hit 42, I was resigned to the fact that I was never getting married again. I had four grown sons (not cute little ones who would learn to call a prospective partner "daddy,") and so taught myself how to relish my freedom and independence. I filled my calendar with things to do. I sang in a band. I worked in television - in front of and behind the camera - I did everything I dreamed of doing in my 20's, but couldn't because I was raising a family. And then one day I realised that I actually LIKED my life!

That's when my (now) husband swooped in and snagged me. A lesson for us all.
posted by Melanie O. at 8:56 AM -
  • At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your article is stupid.

    Women who are single in their thirties is because they are not good enough. I am sorry, I am single, have a great career, well traveled, educated and all I hear is how bitter women are. It is YOUR fault why you were not "marriage material".

    What was up with your comment about "oh well divorced in 15 years" but they will have the house, kids and SUV..face it, you are bitter, sorry and lonely. I deem you a loser.

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger Melanie O. said…

    You missed the whole point of this post. FYI - I am not single - I am not even in my 30s, but I have a lot of single women friends who are, and who don't particularly like the fact that they are single and in their thirties. The comments in this post reflect the thoughts that they've shared with me and other women. You must not have read this all the way through.

    I bemoan the fact that so many women can't seem to find the happiness that they seek, and hang on to dysfunctional relationships rather than go it alone. Doesn't mean that I'm not sympathetic to them, however, as I once felt as they did. If you had read this all the way through, you would have read that I was quite happy being on my own in my 30s - and I've never wound up bitter, with the SUV and the house. My post was about being happy with who you are at any given moment - and when that happens, the rest falls into place.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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