(Closed) Mid 30s, single, and I want marriage and a family

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
679 posts
Busy bee

I think there is too much pressure in society to have a significant other, and I think a person can be completely happy and have a full life without a spouse. If you want children, you could always adopt, and since you have a successful career, you wouldn’t have to worry about being able to afford a child on one salary.

In life, you can’t always have everything you want. You need to accept that a husband might not happen or that you might have to adopt and be okay with that. It’s better than settling. I think you should put your focus on all the good things in your life and just enjoy life as a single person. You can keep your eye out for a boyfriend, but don’t force it. Just let it happen or not happen. Love is not something you have any control over.

Oh, and you could also reevaluate your past relationships. Did they not work out because y’all just weren’t compatible, or was there a common theme that could be avoided in the future?

Post # 3
194 posts
Blushing bee

I also second looking at your past relationships and why they did not work out. Make sure you pay attention to what you need and what did not work, so you avoid those issues in your next relationship and do not waste years on someone who will not serve you well.

I also think that you could find a man at any age. If you really want a child and you happen to meet that man later, you could always adopt.

You could also try the approach of trying to meet new people by going to meetups and joining organizations that suit your interests. If you put yourself out there you’re bound to meet someone ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You’re accomplished and have everything going for you. If I were you I’d think about your top needs in a guy and relationship and as you date people figure out if they meet that criteria; if they do not then cut them out quickly so as not to waste your or their time.

Like I said though, there are lots of places to meet new guys, so just get out there.

Post # 4
6245 posts
Bee Keeper

Yup. This was me a few years ago. I turn 40 this summer coming.

I ended up meeting my DH on tinder. I was 37.  We got engaged when I was 38 and married this summer just gone. We are now expecting our first baby. 

For me the only way was to get out there and date. 

I found this guy helpful. Being a Brit I was a bit eye-rolly at American dating coach ways, but this guy is no nonsense and his advice (read the blogs) helped me to stop wasting time on the relationships that weren’t going anywhere and focus on what really mattered long term. 



Yes being happy in your your own skin is important and for me that journey continues, but now I have that somebody.  He doesn’t complete me, I had to feel complete in myself but he certainly adds that element to life and love that you just can’t have on your own, so I understand where you’re coming from.


Post # 5
1701 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
michelle2015 :  

Just because you haven’t met the right person doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, or you are doing anything wrong!

I too seemed to have everything but that special someone well into my 30s. While I did always see myself married with a family, I simply hadn’t met the right guy. I met my husband in my late 30s and while we are happily married, we did decide to not pursue children. We know many people choose to have kids well into their 40s; however, based on our lifestyle, and our age, we decided to change our plan. 

Post # 6
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

View original reply
UK-bee :  You said what I was going to say after reading the OP. I have not been exactly in OP’s shoes, but I think being happy in your own skin, and even happy being single, is not mutually exclusive to wanting that companionship of a lifelong partner.

OP, we all have our own life path. You do sound like you have a full life, and all that has happened is…your own path. Mine was a bit different in that I did meet and marry my husband at 30, and am childfree so never felt that pressure, but I too had my serious LTRs, my heartbreaks, and wondered if what I hoped or believed could be out there was out there. By that, I mean that right relationship, that right partner.  It/he was, but it was something that just showed up, that was the result in part of luck and us both being ready (and complete in ourselves) and in the right place at the right time – it was not something I could force. Go easy on yourself. Sometimes things just do not work the way we wanted or expected. But that does not mean they aren’t working out just the way they need to. 

UK bee has provided some resources from her own experience, but I also highly recommend online dating if you have not. I think as we get older it gets a little harder to just “run into” dating partners – our time is spent largely working, many of our friends and their friends are coupled up, others our age are all busy doing their own thing. I met my own husband on eharmony, but also met lots of other great guys in their 30s and 40s (just not the ones for me, but likely the right ones for someone else!) in the experience. Honestly, I have several friends and acquaintances who met and married their partners after 35. One of them is my ex – he met his wife when he and she were 37/39, and they now have twin toddlers. Just because you are single at 36 does not at all means your hopes have become impossible.

Post # 7
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

At my old job, I worked with a lady who got married to her ‘prince charming’ when she was 45. This was her first marriage. Much like you, life just kind of took her on a path that didn’t happen to lead to someone. They are PERFECT for each other! She is so happy she held out for ‘the one’.

It WILL happen if you want it to ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
1595 posts
Bumble bee

Just keep being who you are and being happy and live a full life and don’t settle…you WILL find the one!  It happened for me and it will happen for you too as you sound like a wonderful and independent person who has her life on track. I was in my 30’s when I met my husband and I got married at 36 and had my baby at 37. I know plenty of women who got married later than me and had babies and the family they always wanted. It is NEVER too late!  Keep moving forward…the right person is still out there for you.  I truy believe there is someone out there for everyone.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 9
2355 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
michelle2015 :  It sounds like you have a great life. Why are you pining for something that might not work out? Stop stressing. And I can say this because I am not getting married until I will be 41. It will be my first marriage. But you know what…I wasn’t looking. I was perfectly content in my life and with the people around me.

You have an amazing life. Embrace it. You have freedoms that many of us don’t have. I know taht I used to do a lot more writing, working on my career and doing stuff for me. But now that isn’t possible. I write a fraction of what I do. No book to my name yet, and its all very depressing.

If you have your heart set on finding someone, then I guess you need to throw yourself out there. Do anything and everything that would have a man in it. Take classes where there are men. Do outings that have men.


Post # 10
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

View original reply
UK-bee :  Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!  So happy for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

View original reply
michelle2015 :  My story is very similar to UK-bee’s.  Found myself single at 35, met my fiance on Tinder (who was 28 at the time), engaged at 37, will be married next year at 38.  Looking back on my dating history, my biggest mistake was picking the wrong guys and then staying too long with the wrong guys.  I went for guys who were exciting, intellectually stimulating, and often commitmentphobic.  I even dated one guy for a couple years who explicitly told me he was against marriage!  I thought I could change his mind because we loved each other so much.  Derp.

I, like you, started to panic as a single 35 year old because I wanted marriage and kids and didn’t have any good prospects in sight.  I read the following books which were really helpful:

You Lost Him at Hello, by Jess McCann.  Great advice on using sales techniques to attract guys and keep them interested.

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr.Good Enough, by Lori Gottlieb (terrible title, it’s not really about settling but about separating your wants from your true needs when choosing guys to date… in the book she talks a lot about Evan Marc Katz’s advice, which UK-bee linked above, and I also read his website from time to time)

If I’m so Wonderful, why am I still single, by Susan Page.  Great book on different strategies to meet guys.  She emphasizes that it’s really a numbers game.  Broaden your social circle and meet as many different guys as possible, and sooner or later you’ll meet someone who’s a good fit for you.

So I tried online dating and Tinder, and found a guy who was very compatible with me, and open to settling down, getting married, having kids.  In retrospect, if I had not wasted so much time on incompatible men and bad relationships, I probably could have found someone similarly compatible and ready to settle down when I was younger.  But things happen when they happen.

My advice to you would be this: put yourself out there.  Be open to meeting guys wherever you go — the grocery store, the library, running clubs.  Try online dating as well.  When initially dating guys, keep things light and casual as you’re deciding who has potential for more.  After a few dates, ask about goals and make sure you’re on the same page re: marriage, kids, finances, etc.  If you’re not compatible or in different stages of life, stop dating and move on to the next.

Post # 11
3441 posts
Sugar bee

OP, you sound like you have a great life! I was in a similar boat when I was 35. I joined OK Cupid, met a guy a few months later, married him and found out I am pregnant last month, 3 days before I turned 39. A lot can happen in a short amount of time, of which you have plenty. And, if it doesn’t happen, that is fine, too. 

Post # 12
1254 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

OP – this is me, two years ago!  I was 33 and fresh out of a short but terrible relationship (today is actually the 2 year mark of ending that relationship!) .  I knew I needed to date but I was terrified of ending up with the wrong guy.  So I said, “I’m going to go on as many first dates as possible!” which was very uncharacteristic of me.  I joined OKCupid and had my best friend write my profile.  My now-husband was first date #2.  We got engaged a year later and married 8.5 months after that!

Post # 13
331 posts
Helper bee

I would try online dating, if you’re serious about finding someone. There are wonderful, eligible men looking for real relationships on those apps. I found my husband on OK Cupid. It took some work and I went on some spectacularly bad dates, but I also found my soulmate.

Post # 14
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Sounds like you’re in a good place other than this one thing, and that’s important. It’s easier to be happy in a relationship when you’re happy with your life in general.

I know exactly how you feel and wish you luck. I hope you find the man you’re looking for and you can have a family. It can happen so fast…

In the meantime, don’t forget to enjoy things you can only do as a single girl. When I was single I spent so much time thinking about the hole in my life where my love and my kids should be, and while I still think I had a good reason for the sadness, I also wish I’d focused more on the joys of being able to sleep in late, travel, and watch movies.

Post # 15
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017


View original reply
michelle2015 :  Hi Michelle just wanted to give you some ideas from someone who went through a similar experience. I was 30 and I bought my first house, had a good job, and met a guy. He adored me and I figured “heck I am 30” so good enough. Well needless to say he wasn’t good for me and I wasn’t good for him. Suddenly I was 32 with a broken engagement, feeling stuck in my career, possible infertility diagnosis…

I encourage you to work with a life coach, I found this was a lot better than a therapist (I had decent mental health I just felt stuck). Through a lot of tough work I was able to come to peace with being single, not having kids, and I focused on something I could have some control over and that was my career. I took life into my own hands. I ended up moving to a new city with the intention to date and maybe find a bf, but finding a husband was off my radar. Low in behold two days after I moved, I met up with my soon to be husband. The thing he said that attracted him to me was my “confidence and the fact I had my own journey and could take care of myself.”

I always think there is hope. And I do think there is for you as well. Don’t lose sight of wanting a husband, but take actions that you can control like going on dates. My sister just met her bf on Tinder and she is in her 30s. She was single for almost 5 years. 

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