Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is 30 the Magic Number?

As we approach the age of 30, it seems friends our age are getting engaged, married, and having babies like rapid fire. What is it about the age of 30 that makes people feel like they are under the gun? Is 30 the magic number in our society? The invisible deadline when it becomes socially and biologically necessary to pair up, settle down, and reproduce?

I realize the obvious, that women only have a certain number of years to have babies. But these days, women up to (and sometimes past) the age of 40 are able to have children (I'm sure there are risks involved, etc, but it's still possible. Mariah did it!)

People who get married so young tend to change while they're in the relationship. It's human nature, you evolve as a person. And it seems to me like it's a crap shoot whether you change together or change as individuals and decide you don't fit each other anymore. I think back on my past relationships and realize that we just grew apart. We matured into different people with different life goals and paths. So my question is... why rush it? You have the next 70 years to be married.

And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with getting married young. I firmly believe that when a relationship is right, it's right. And no time or outside forces can break you apart.

But I wonder why people feel the need to rush all of these important life events before they reach the age of 30? The pressure seems to make people MISERABLE.

During one of my dark days when I was super depressed and thinking I would never find someone, my cousin said to me: listen, you're at the age now where you feel like everyone is getting married. Just wait for the time when everyone starts to get divorced. And she was SO right. Haven't you seen some of your friends on facebook in custody and divorce battles with their exes? You are the same age as some of these people, and I highly doubt you'd rather be in their shoes than where you are. Am I right?

I know people who are single and 30 who are having the time of their lives. They're building their careers, going out to happy hours, focusing on themselves, yoga, vacations with friends... it sounds like heaven! But I understand that it becomes lonely when you see people around you in relationships and you don't see how you're ever going to get there. Believe me, I've been there.

Maybe it's because everyone seems to feel the same pressure to get married and have babies, your single friends start to rapidly decline in number. People get the pre-30 panic and start to pair up like they're boarding Noah's Ark. So I suppose the more people pair off, the lonlier you feel because you have less people sharing your single status around you.

I'm 27, (K is turning 30 in 2 months) and I'm lucky to be in a happy relationship at this age. I know I would feel differently if I were single and 30. But WHY? Why not take that time to enjoy yourself and enjoy being with your friends, instead of trying to live up to everyone else's standard of how you should live your life?


  1. a wise co-worker once told me that waiting to get married until you're 30 is key. He said, you don't really know yourself enough until 30 to be able to give yourself over to another person for life. Those words rang true for me, as I ended up divorced at 30, smiles.

  2. Thanks for your insight, Jennie! I think your coworker is a smart person. I don't necessarily think there needs to be a number attached to it, but I do agree that you need to be fully matured and know a lot about yourself in order to pair yourself with someone for life. I just wonder why for many people 30 is that number?