Women’s News: What I Know About Being Single Now That I’m In My 30s


Jill Di Donato

Author of Beautiful Garbage: A Novel, and Professor of English

I had my first love affair when I was in the fifth grade.

I think my 11-year-old paramour may have been the first guy to tell me, “I love you.” On Valentine’s Day, he gave me a red rose and a hot pink pencil with a heart-shaped eraser. He introduced me to Stephen King and took me to the best pizza joint on the block. When we weren’t fighting dramatically, involving our entire social circle in our “domestic” squabbles, we’d play Truth Or Dare, listen to Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock tell us how “It Takes Two” or Young MC break down how to “Bust A Move,” as if we had any clue. Ironically, I think we had more of a clue than either of us knew. I can only speak for myself a good 20-odd years later, but I had iterations of that very fraught affair — a fifth grade romance — throughout my 20s and even into my 30s. I suppose it’s not such an unusual thing to relive, repeat or reenact the same dysfunctional relationship over and over again with the characters that fill your life. And, trust me, you will, unless you consciously do something differently. But platitudes like: “You’re single because you are too picky/spend too much time on your career/enjoy living an extended adolescence” are not helpful ways of understanding what it means or feels like to be single. As a single gal, you don’t have a partner to champion and validate your needs. You have to do that for yourself. When you position your single status as such, isn’t it suddenly much more empowering?

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-di-donato/what-i-know-about-being-single-now-that-im-in-my-30s_b_4705746.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women


  1. This is an aside, really: My family has a long tradition of many members of both sexes remaining single, including members born in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. When they grew up in small towns, the chances of finding a mate of the same aspirations and outlook were pretty slim. Those single members were never looked on as being incomplete or defective. In fact, at least one great-aunt had a suitor pursuing her their whole lives, but she chose singleness. They have been contributing and responsible members of the extended family, plus, they have had many opportunities for travel. I think maybe the singles in the family have felt emotionally supported by a loving family. This is just a note from the ‘other side’ of singleness. It would be a great thing if all single people could be in a place where they are viewed as confident and worthwhile people in the larger community.

  2. I think being single is difficult because society does not accept it well… there is an idea that we must be paired up… every generation of my family as had a single female, either by choice or by chance and they have been valuable and cherished members of the family group… they complete us because of their unique contributions, Every one is different and being single is simply an expression of that.

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