And then it happens… The big 3-0. Most women’s biggest nightmare. People assume that by the time you hit 30, you’ll have it all figured out. In addition, everyone all of the sudden tries to force dating advice down your throat as if starting a family is the foremost important thing you should be worrying about as a woman. But many millennial women are finding life after twenty-nine to be a lot different from how they’d pictured it. Founder Annelies Keus (30) shares her personal experiences about life as a single woman and gives advice on how to make your thirties the most fabulous years of all.
“I’m a firm believer of things being meant to be and I’m convinced that it will all happen when it’s supposed to. But the last few years, as I approached 30, I often wondered; what if it doesn’t?”
It was January 21st; the 30th anniversary of my existence. That morning, I woke up feeling anxious. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy, or disappointed of the fact that I, by far, had not been able to cross all the things I wanted to accomplish before thirty off my list. I know many people celebrate their 30th birthday big, gathering everyone they know on a yacht with bottles of champagne, or even go abroad to mark the end of an era as a milestone of many accomplishments.
I decided to not celebrate wildly, but to host a small dinner party with just a few close friends at Restaurant 5&33, which is located inside the art’otel in Amsterdam’s city centre. I had asked a friend who had already passed the milestone for any advice about the big event. “It’s not as if you’re going to wake up with grey hair the next morning.” His words of wisdom made me feel more secure, so I just sat back, and laughed. Being surrounded by such good company, had led my thoughts away from the pressure, and leaving the restaurant at the end of the night – to go home alone – I felt empowered. There was something liberating about reaching this age. As if that weight from the past years had finally been lifted off my shoulders. As from this day on, I was a thirty-something single woman and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side
To be completely honest, I do catch myself comparing my Instagram posts to those of friends who took another path (marriage or babies) and wonder what that kind of life would be like. Nevertheless, I then reassure myself that they are probably looking at my page wondering the exact same thing. Most of my friends often remark how impressed they are with my ability to be independent – Honestly, I do believe they really actually mean me ‘being alone’. I’m a firm believer of things being meant to be and I’m convinced that it will all happen when it’s supposed to. But the last few years, as I approached 30, I often wondered; what if it doesn’t? Honestly, my independence does scare me a bit at times, as I feel that, the longer I go by being this independent “boss-lady”, the harder it becomes to eventually adjust my life to a partner.
No time for drama
Of course, there are also quite a few upsides to being single at 30. For example, it’s common to be a little insecure about yourself in your 20s. However, once you hit that 30-year milestone, that’s about to change. Although dating doesn’t necessarily become any easier, your confidence is at an all-time high and you have to knowledge to identify red flags from a mile away. You know what you want from a potential partner on an emotional level, and you are no longer ‘okay’ with him getting off while you are being left unsatisfied in the bedroom.
In addition, your radar for bullshit doesn’t only get better when it comes to finding a life partner, but many other crucial areas as well. Such as setting boundaries with friends and family, and making sure you are getting what you want at work. I think one of the best things about being single in your thirties is that you have more time to focus on your career. So far, I have chosen career over dating, and time will tell if that was the right decision. But for now, I’ll just continue strutting the streets in my fancy clothes and 4-inch heels – without baby vomit on the back of my perfectly tailored Italian made blazer – and just allow life to evolve naturally; one date at a time…
Credits: Illustration by Carlijn Claire Potma, exclusively for AV-mag