Category: being single in your thirties


Book Rave: Otherhood

April 7th, 2014 — 10:09pm

Otherhood If you’re a single woman over the age of 35, it’s the question you’re asked more than any other—why are you still single?

In her poignant new memoir , Melanie Notkin writes about those of us on the receiving end of that question. And how, despite the fact that nearly half of all American women of childbearing age (married or not) do not have children of their own, we are often treated as an anomaly.

“The independent, childless woman does not feel like a qualified member of the social order,” Notkin writes, “But rather is made to feel hopeless, hapless and just plain old less than everyone else.”

As the fortysomething Founder powerfully articulates, women of the Otherhood are scrutinized for their choices — and continually a target for unsolicited (albeit well-intentioned) advice. In sharing her experiences and those of other women at this crossroads, Notkin provides a long overdue voice to this growing demographic.  Along the way, she reveals a persistent gender-based double standard when it comes to expectations of settling down.

How much has been written over the years about Jennifer Aniston (pre-Justin) painting her as lonely and one step away from spinsterhood? Interestingly, no media outlet has portrayed the also unmarried George Clooney as worthy of sympathy or, for that matter, needing to change his dating style.

But when you’re a woman of a certain age, it seems like just about everyone  has an opinion about why you are ‘still’ single and childless — and what you should do about it.

This unsolicited advice comes from both loved ones and strangers alike. Notkin encounters a potential business partner who doesn’t hesitate to tell her within minutes of meeting him what she needs to do if she wants to become a mother. I had a similar experience when my boss’s boss overheard me mentioning a recent date.

“You better hurry up and meet someone before your eggs dry up,” he said bluntly.

As if I needed reminding of that. There’s no shortage of media and pop culture warnings for women that our fertility has an expiration date. Or, for that matter, assumptions about why you’re childless.

“If you wanted to have children,” a friend’s wife insisted, “You would have by now.”

In Otherhood, Notkin talks about this tendency to blame single, childless women for being too picky, too career focused, etc. We are often lumped into one of two categories: single by choice, living a Sex And The City lifestyle, or miserable and desperate to find a mate.

As Notkin observes, the reality for most of us isn’t so black and white. We are living full, productive lives. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want someone to share it all with, or that we haven’t tried to find a mate.

Otherhood beautifully articulates this often misunderstood journey. It gives the single, childless women hope and encouragement by reminding us – we’re in very good company.

| being single in your thirties, biological clock, book reviews, Sex and The City

Finding Inspiration From Fabulous Women

March 12th, 2014 — 9:46pm

When you write about dating and relationships, you feel a special kinship with others who are doing the same – and adding something valuable to the conversation.

As I currently enjoy Melanie Notkin’s fantastic new book Otherhood (full review to come), I have also connected with two other women whose stories are worth sharing.

Michelle Ortega moved to NYC following the end of her 13-year marriage, finding herself single at 40. She found the best tonic for it in talking to other single women. Michelle shares that experience in here new documentary, The Single Ladies of NY, which follows women of different ages looking for love in the Big Apple.

“The greatest comfort I got was through talking to other single women,” she says. “Gaining their wisdom, experiences, being able to laugh off bad dates, lack of dates, and embarrassing situations. I thought younger women would have it easier, but they have their own set of challenges!“

You can see a trailer and help support the film’s fundraising campaign by visiting the film’s .

New Jersey-based matchmaker and singles event host Risa Glaser is an inspiring example that there’s no expiration date for finding love.

For the past 7 years, Risa has helped single people meet by offering personalized matchmaking services in addition to hosting 8MinuteDating speed dating and “Dating for a Cause” events.

Four years ago, Risa was hosting an evening of 8 Minute Dating when one of the bachelors in attendance asked her–

“Are you just running this event, or are you single too?”

Upon learning she was indeed single, he asked her out. They’re getting married this month. It’s Risa’s first time walking down the aisle – at the age of 50.

“I’m proof that it’s never too late to find love – and that gives single people of all ages a reason for hope,” she says.

With spring slowly but surely approaching, it’s the perfect time of year for renewed hope when it comes to love and romance. And I’m thankful to the women above for helping all of us single gals out there rediscover that.

| being single in New York, being single in your thirties, finding Mr. Right

The Unavoidable Interrogation

May 12th, 2013 — 8:48pm

Friday, I enjoyed a low-key and much needed girls night out with my dear friend Sara.

Go Burger: Delicious fare in a fun setting on the UES (photo courtesy: GlenwoodNYC.com)

Go Burger: Delicious fare in a fun setting on the UES

Our destination – Go Burger, a laidback yet lively bistro on NYC’s Upper East Side. Having both wrapped up a frenetic work week, we happily bookended our meal with pigs in a blanket and a chocolate chip cookie dough milkshake. Sharing caloric indulgence is without a doubt one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Over dinner, we talked about summer travel plans, the fun of Field Day as youngsters and one of our biggest pet peeves about singlehood – prying questions about the state of our love lives.

It’s all too common for those who are partnered up to ask those of us who are not why we’re still single. However well intentioned these questions might be, even when posed under the guise of making small talk, the fact is that doesn’t make them any less intrusive. It’s basically the equivalent of asking a couple how their sex life is – i.e., something to think twice about doing.

Of course, we understand there is an inevitable curiosity about our singlehood, and it does often come from a genuine place of caring on the part of family and friends. But we want and have a lot more to talk about than that. And being bombarded with love life questions, especially from people you haven’t seen in awhile, ends up making you feel reduced to your dating status. Talk about a major buzzkill.

So the next time you’re thinking of going into twenty questions mode with a single friend/colleague/family member, hold the interrogating. We’ll be thankful for your restraint. And when there’s news to tell, we’ll be that much happier to share it.

| being single in your thirties, Girls Night Out

A Perfect Saturday With A Dear Friend

March 6th, 2013 — 8:21pm

Saturday, I spent the day with my dear London-based friend of nearly twenty years, Steve.

Our fantastic afternoon began at my day job, The Westin New York Grand Central. After giving Steve a brief tour, we settled into the cozy lounge and dining area of THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen.

THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen's cozy dining area

While indulging in mimosas and hot chocolate — an odd combination that managed to go perfectly together — we caught up on all that’s happened since we last saw each other in August.

Steve told me about how and he his partner celebrated ten years together with an English countryside getaway. I shared some recent dating disasters, including a guy who suddenly launched into x-rated talk on date #2 and couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t swooning. Much as I enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, a second date is a little too soon to go there, if you know what I mean.

After a leisurely stroll through Grand Central Terminal and some shopping, we stopped at Panera Bread. I’m a big fan of the chain and it only recently opened this one location in Manhattan, so I was excited to visit. Much to our great surprise and delight, Panera’s cinnamon scone was delicious. I say this because scones on this side of the pond tend to be a poor imitation of their British counterparts.

Steve and me at Barbounia

From there, we headed down to Gramercy for dinner at Barbounia, an upscale Greek restaurant with a trendy yet inviting vibe. We shared a few small plates (falafel, burrata with artichokes, hummus, tzatziki and spicy feta) and continued our effortless conversation — talking about everything from why Adele rocks to misconceptions about singlehood.

Steve agreed that it’s often one extreme or the other when it comes to partnered up people’s assumptions about the unattached: that our lives are either just like Sex And The City, or we’re curled up in a ball on our couches, pining away for a significant other. The reality is that, much like relationships, singlehood has its ups and downs. It’s not all good or all bad.

What is most definitely all good — a friendship that only grows and deepens with time. Steve said that, nearly two decades later, ours is still evergreen. I couldn’t agree with him more.

| being single in your thirties, catching up with old friends, Sex and The City, Westin New York Grand Central

Girls Night Out: Midtown West

December 17th, 2011 — 2:08pm

Last night, my friend Kristina and I headed down to Concrete Bar and Restaurant in Midtown West. I arrived first and noticed something unusual right away – there were about 18 guys and less than half as many ladies. When I tweeted the welcome change in New York’s typically lopsided ratio, a bachelor friend in Atlanta quickly responded –

“That’s how every bar in Atlanta is. #notmykindofratio.”

I laughed, thinking maybe it’s time for me to pay another visit to the second stop on my Great Dating Blitz last year.

After Kristina arrived, we took a corner table upstairs and over cornflake-encrusted chicken fingers and spiced fries, dove into some serious girl talk about work, dating and biological clocks. Like me, Kristina is a thirtysomething bachelorette who appreciates the traditional mores of dating that seem to be so fleeting these days.

I told her about the handful of dates I went on earlier this year with a guy who subscribed to those old-fashioned ways – making reservations for someplace special, picking up the phone just to say hello, etc. Interestingly, the night we met started off disastrously. Introduced by mutual friends, we didn’t click at all because he pummeled me with questions about this blog. Maybe it’s hypocritical of me, but I’m not a fan of being given the third degree right after meeting someone for the first time.

Anyway, I actually had a backup date on standby and was prepared to beat a hasty retreat once our mutual friends took off. Much to my surprise, the guy turned to me and asked—

“Would you like to get some dinner?”

I was floored. Here I had been practically rolling my eyes at him for nearly an hour and he was brave enough to ask me out. What the hell? I figured.

“Sure,” I said.

And so the worst blind date ever ended up turning into the best. For some reason, once our friends had left, the chemistry between us fell into place and eight blissful hours later, we were smooching like teenagers.

Though it would turn out we had less chemistry emotionally speaking, the evening taught me a very important lesson about being open to possibilities. Up next, how that’s becoming the basis of my number one New Year’s resolution.

| being single in your thirties, blind dates, Midtown NYC, new year's resolutions

A Group Approach To Online Dating

December 14th, 2011 — 9:18pm

When you’re a thirtysomething single and you’ve navigated the choppy waters of online dating, you invariably find yourself thinking – there must be a better way. Something that feels less contrived and more organic.

Not too long ago, a friend of mine suggested going on a group online date – i.e., connecting with someone and then inviting his friends and hers to tag along. Less pressure, more odds of at least a passable night out. Sure enough, there’s already a website that does this, as I learned from a colleague of mine today.

Grouper arranges drinks between two groups of friends who don’t know each other — 3 girls and 3 guys. The connections are made by Grouper based on info from your Facebook account and the site takes care of the details too (i.e. reservations at a local hotspot).

My aforementioned colleague is going on his first Grouper date tonight. Trying Grouper is now officially on my list of 2012 resolutions, so stay tuned!

| being single in your thirties, Facebook, online dating

A Roadblock To Romance

December 4th, 2011 — 11:06pm

The current issue of Time Out New York features a survey about dating. TONY polled a group of New Yorkers ranging from age 18-43, asking them which is more important – a successful career or a healthy long-term relationship. A whopping 61% said career. As I read that, I couldn’t help thinking how this is a city that seems to discourage making love and romance a priority.

I was also reminded of this when a single colleague of mine recently shared an email exchange she had with a guy she’d met at a party. The guy followed up with her afterward to try and schedule a date. Between pre-Thanksgiving preparations and work and school commitments, she told him she was unavailable for the next two weeks. His response–

“Maybe that’s why you’re 35 and still single.”

Ouch.

Though his words were more than a little harsh, he does have something of a point. When planning a date becomes harder than trying to organize a world peace summit, maybe it’s time for us to look at the roadblocks we inadvertently put in our own way.

As thirtysomething women, the temptation is always there to blame unfavorable odds or the quirks of the opposite sex for our single status – something I myself admit to doing and continuing to do. Yes, the numbers game here in New York is stacked against us and commitment phobic men are par for the course. But that doesn’t absolve us of having to do our part and make an effort.

In our overly scheduled, social media saturated lives, it’s easy to use other demands on our time (especially work, of course) as an excuse for being unattached. The reality, though, is you’re as busy as you choose to be. If you can’t find room in your calendar to schedule a first date without 14-day advance notice, then maybe that means dating just isn’t a priority.

The question becomes, though, when do you make it one?

| being single in New York, being single in your thirties, Time Out New York

Encouraging Words From A Pop Princess

November 16th, 2011 — 9:42pm

In this era of celebrity worship, it’s tempting to think the rich and famous have it easier than we everyday people do when it comes to being single. Which is why I found it especially refreshing when I tuned in to tonight and heard Kelly Clarkson saying otherwise.

Speaking candidly about recently turning 30 and being unattached, Kelly admitted to being tired of the adage that love happens when you’re not looking.

“Anyone who says they’re not looking is lying,” she declared. “I don’t wake up thinking ‘I hope it’s just me and my dogs for the rest of my life.’ ”

As Kelly talked about how difficult it is to meet a good guy between working a lot and being surrounded by married people, I was reminded of something I encountered again and again during my two Dating Blitzes last year – that everyone is more or less going through the same thing as far as finding love.

Thank you for keeping it real, Ms. Clarkson, and welcome to the thirties!

| being single in your thirties

The Greatest Misconception About Being Single

June 23rd, 2011 — 4:23pm

Last weekend, I went to a birthday party for my cousin’s one year old son. As the only single person in a sea of married kin and their kids, I found myself experiencing the greatest misconception about being unattached.

It happened during a conversation with a married relative who also happens to be a new mom. We hadn’t seen each other in more than a year, so I excitedly filled her in on my two Dating Blitzes and landing a literary agent to represent my book chronicling the experience. Her response?

“Are you seeing anyone?”

The implication, of course, being that my relationship status is what matters more than anything else.

“Are you going out tonight?” she continued.

Assumption number two — that because it’s Saturday and I’m single, I must be heading out on the town.

What irked me about both questions is the underlying presumption that if you’re single, your primary preoccupation is to find a way not to be, that you can’t possibly be living a full, happy life without a significant other.

A good friend of mine made the valid point that, when you blog about your dating life, it inevitably invites questions on the subject. Understood. But I still maintain this line of interrogation is all too common from married or partnered up people — as though they can no longer appreciate what it means to be single and content.

Would I like to meet someone and a start a family? Of course. Do I spend my days dwelling on it or structuring my existence solely to make it happen? Absolutely not. I’m thankful for the many wonderful people and pursuits that enrich my life, for the adventures and opportunities flying solo affords me.

Those who’ve left singlehood behind would do well to remember that.

| being single in your thirties, singlehood versus marriage, singles versus marrieds

What Happens When You’re Not Looking

June 14th, 2011 — 4:56pm

Like anyone who’s ever been single, I’ve often heard the adage that you meet people when you’re not looking. A recent girls night out proved to be a wonderful example of this.

My good friend Faith and I wandered into Stumble Inn, a lively Upper East Side bar in my neighborhood that I almost never go to. We were happy to find good music (80’s tunes in heavy rotation), a fun crowd and equally fun menu (fried twinkies, anyone?).

Being on a dating hiatus at the moment, my one and only agenda for the evening was to savor a girls night out. But when Faith got up to go the bathroom at one point, I couldn’t help noticing the adorable guy sitting next to me at the bar. Chiseled features, bright blue eyes and a megawatt smile.

Before I knew it, we were talking about the Stumble’s fiery buffalo wings, our former hometown of Toronto and our respective travels across the US and Europe. And, in a great illustration of what a small world even a big city like NYC can be, it turned out Mr. Adorable resides across the street from me.

Eventually, he asks for my number. Much to my surprise — bar connections rarely follow up, after all — I hear from him. It occurs to me that there really is something to the notion that you’re more desirable when you’re less invested in seeming so. And that being laidback translates to being much happier about being single.

| being single in your thirties, Girls Night Out, Upper East Side

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