Growing up, my parents were the basis for everything I believed about relationships. They were married at 22, started having kids a few years later, and lived happily ever after, so naturally I put myself on the same timeline. I assumed, when I was a pre-teen, that I'd be married by 25 at the absolute latest, and that would be that.
This is where I'd insert one of those ridiculous GIFs that says something like, "LOL, b*tch, you thought."
There are the times when I have minor meltdowns and realise that I'm in my 30s and not even remotely close to having a life partner.
Here I am 32 and so single that if you could be, like, negatively single, that would be me. For the most part, I don't care. I live in New York, all my friends are in the same age range and also single, and we have great, fabulous, fun, exciting lives. But then there are the times when I have minor meltdowns and realise that I'm in my 30s and not even remotely close to having a life partner, and I'm getting older and older every day. Not that I don't think it's perfectly fine to find love later in life, but I just don't know what's best for me.
But here's my struggle: I'm an extremely independent person and I like it that way. I like my life the way it is, with just me in my apartment with my cats and the freedom to do whatever the hell I want, when I want to do it. It's when the pressure of everything around me (people back home, pop culture tropes, society in general) starts caving in on me that I feel like maybe I should be more proactive about dating and concerned for my future than I currently am. Thankfully my parents haven't heaped that pressure on me, probably because my brothers are both married with a slew of kids to keep them busy and also because they're the best parents I could have ever asked for (even if they gave me unrealistic expectations of wedded life).
So yes, there are days when I worry that I'll end up being a cat lady who is the consummate bachelorette and travels the world with her other single-lady friends. But then I look at that and think maybe that's not such a terrible way to live. Though on the other hand, I am legitimately terrified that that will be my life and 30 years from now I'll realise maybe it's not what I want and should have done something about it sooner.
For now, I'm (outwardly) content about being single, with a bug in the back of my mind always reminding me that I'm not getting any younger. Some days I'm very much in the camp of being a strong, independent woman who needs no man in her life, and then other days I'm telling everyone I know to get me a date with their cute guy friends. I never know which version of me is going to pop out on which day, but maybe one of these days, I'll figure my sh*t out.