To my single sisters in their 30s: We are not leftovers

By Bao Han   November 28, 2021 | 05:45 am PT
To my single sisters in their 30s: We are not leftovers
A woman smiles in a lotus pond in Vietnam. Photo by Hoang Bich Nhung
Passive, conservative, picky… are what people label me for not getting married when I am supposed to.

I have a good education, a steady job and great friends. I'm not too bad in the looks department, and am willing to learn and own up to my mistakes. No one thought I am single.

I would have no problem finding a guy and settling down, people say.

I used to think I would get married at 27 to someone who is a bit smarter, earns a bit more than me and loves me. I do not need a husband who graduated from some Ivy League school, is at the top of the corporate ladder or belongs to an elite family.

I know where I stand, and just want as a partner someone within my reach, or maybe just a bit better, enough for me to lean on.

But life does not always go the way we plan. I have dated some people and liked them, but they did not feel the same way.

So I kept looking.

Not until I reached 25 did I start to meet people who had genuine feelings for me and want to have a serious relationship. But they were all very successful and ambitious men, much more than I expected for their age.

We eventually parted ways simply because we lived different lives and wanted different things.

I am by myself even now. I know how to seek out opportunities, and I have realistic expectations: not everyone who uses dating apps is bad, not everyone you are introduced to is good, and not everyone who says they are looking for a wife is actually ready for marriage. But I also know that when a relationship fails part of the fault is mine. But I don't stress much about it. No one is perfect.

I and so many young women out there who are approaching an age society describes as "prime for marriage" are in search of happiness like everyone else.

We are not damsels in distress waiting for knights in shining armor to come and rescue us. We are not even picky, not necessarily. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Sometimes love does not find us in our own time, and I am beginning to accept that now.

For many of you out there, marriage with the love of your life could come by the time you are 27 or 29, but not always.

For people like me, maybe we will find someone who loves us most in our 30s. I just want everyone to know not to give up on looking for your love story, no matter how long it takes.

There is nothing wrong with who you are. Besides, what is wrong with late marriages? Don't give up, and things will come when they should.

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