Yes, You Can Be Single Over 30 And Still “Have It All”
“Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me”
–Whitney Houston, “The Greatest Love of All”
I grew up with the conviction that my studies, my career, and my perfect future family would make me happy. Until recently I didn’t see any kind of different romantic possibility.
Over time, I started to realize that most of my dreams were built merely on societies norms, my family’s wishes, and the projections and recipes of others for what’s deemed a successful life. Once I was able to grasp this, I began investigating what was true for me and giving way to an unexpected and different romantic possibility.
There was one idea in particular that was deeply rooted in me: the viewpoint that happiness—without question—comes from a romantic relationship.
In fact, in our society, “having somebody” is a clear symbol of success, and if you’re still single over 30 or 40, it can begin to make you feel like you’re a failure. I spent a crazy amount of time trying to find the perfect man. Many of us spend our whole lives waiting for our prince (or princess), our knight (or lady) in shining armor, waiting for the day when he or she rides up on a white horse and saves us, completes us, makes us eternally happy, and gives meaning to our lives, so that, finally, we can live happily ever after.
My journey to find what was true for me has led me to discover myself in a way I never thought possible. My happiness no longer depends on finding the perfect man. I’m happy just the way I am. When I peeled off all the layers of other people’s right and wrong, all the projections and expectations of society and family, I could finally start liking myself. I stopped judging myself, stopped trying to fit in, and started navigating from my own awareness. I discovered that I always have a choice about how to live my life. Before I realized I had this choice, I felt just as empty with a man as I did without one.
Different Romantic Possibility
I’ve since discovered that I can be blissfully happy regardless of whether or not I have a relationship. I am the only one who can stop myself from doing what I want. Just like you are the only one who can stop yourself from doing what you want. We can open up new doors in life based on our own point of view and choices.
I don’t mean you shouldn’t choose to have a partner in your life. But when you’re in a relationship, thinking the other person will complete you, and be the solution for you to finally be “whole” and achieve happiness, well . . . you tend to get disappointed. You are whole as you are. When you like yourself and know what’s true for you, then you can add a person who contributes to that whole. Most importantly, you can absolutely “have it all” whether you’re single over 30 or over 60.
A great relationship is when you both contribute to each other and add to each other’s lives. And one when you create and have more together than you have apart.
Gary M. Douglas, the founder of Access Consciousness® and a huge inspiration of mine tells a story about a woman who met the perfect man. He comes to pick her up for their first date in his Mini car. She’s so excited. However, the car is so small, she can’t fit into the passenger seat. She thinks that if she just cuts off one of her arms, she should be able to squeeze in. It’ll be worth it. She just can’t miss this opportunity. But it doesn’t work. She hurries to chop off both her legs to be sure she can get in and close the door. She still doesn’t fit! Now she’s desperate, so she keeps cutting off pieces of herself to get into the car. Eventually, it works.
They drive off and there she is, next to the man of her dreams, with very little of herself left, wondering why she doesn’t feel as great as she expected.
This story is a great metaphor for how we often create our relationships—by cutting pieces of ourselves off to fit the other person, to be approved of, to be loved, to hold onto them, and, naturally, in the process, we lose ourselves. I’ve tried to create a new relationship twice since I separated from the father of my kids six years ago. Each time I’ve lost pieces of myself. Compromising ourselves to fit into another’s world is a “program” we all more or less buy into in our society.
Challenging the Norm
These days, I’m not prepared to cut off any part of myself or to try to limit anybody else just to fit into a relationship. I’m willing—and I demand to—include all of me, just the way I am. never want to go back on that. And I desire the same level of allowance from my partner.
My invitation for you is to find you and be you—always. And from there you can choose anything! Choose to have a relationship or not. Choose to be a single parent if that’s what creates the most for you. Only you know what’s true for you. And when you have you, anything and everything is possible.
Life is an exciting adventure, and you’re your own tour guide. Are you ready to make it the journey you’ve always desired it to be with you in the driver’s seat?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Henriksson, author of I Was Supposed to Be Happy, shares her own journey to help others find their true choice and happiness. Co-founder of Wisdom Stockholm, an Access Consciousness® Certified Facilitator, and the founder and CEO of the Yoga studios Egen tid, Henriksson finds pure joy in aiding others to grow and blossom. Henriksson travels the world coaching and facilitating individuals and groups inviting others to a new reality. With Egen tid, Henriksson has opened up new possibilities for expectant women and today the single studio begun 10 years ago has expanded into a flourishing business in numerous health centers, fitness locations, and online. Follow @lisahhappy and on Facebook for more inspiration and tips.