Sense & Centsibility Blog

Do You Suffer From the Thirty-Something Syndrome?

biological clock

The “dirty thirties” tend to feel a little bit dirtier when your life doesn’t look quite how your 25-year-old self pictured it would. Many single thirty-somethings feel slightly left out as they watch the last of their friends join the married with children train. If you are over thirty and feeling pressure to “hurry up” and start a family and you find yourself wasting time wondering why life seems to happen to everyone else, you just might be at risk for, or already suffering from, the “Thirty-Something Syndrome”. Major symptoms include:

  • The tendency to want to burst into tears every time you see a mother holding her newborn
  • Feeling constantly distracted by the subtle ticking of your biological clock and a slight paralysis due to your constant state of panic.

Unfortunately there are some single thirty-somethings who choose to live their life stuck in this self-created tragedy indefinitely and it has the power to stunt your growth as a human.

If not treated, you are at risk of growing old alone and bitter…possibly with a lot of cats.

Stop freaking out and start living!

Tick tock tick tock… is that the sound of your biological clock ticking or is it just all of the hours you are wasting as you wait for life to happen? Life doesn’t begin once you are married with children. Think about it. Starting a family means less time for you and more time living and caring for others. Ah the beauty of motherhood—the constant exhaustion from lack of sleep. The happily ever after with your knight in shining armor, whose last words to you before leaving for work were, "Take a shower honey, you smell like baby poop and spit up." Instead of a long passionate kiss goodbye, you give him a dirty look and tell him to be home by five or you’re filing for divorce. How romantic. This is what you’ve always wanted…right?

So what if all of your friends are married with kids already? At least you still get two fifteen minute breaks and a half hour lunch. Your BFF can't even be in the bathroom without interruption. So remember this the next time your alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button for the third time. Babies don’t come with built in snooze buttons, so enjoy sleeping in while you still can.

Embrace your “singleness”

Use this time wisely. Figure out who you are and what you really want. The more time you spend wishing you were someone else, the less time you will have to find your purpose. And don't freak out just because your friend told you that at age 35 you are considered a high risk pregnancy. Last time I checked pregnancy in general is a risk, and guess what? Babies are born every second and plenty of women are having healthy babies well into their 40s. Becoming the classic older “dorky” parent might not be quite what you had in mind, but at least your kids will grow up needing less therapy because you’ve had more time to figure out everything (well, most everything). And let's be honest, you aren't as big of a wack job as you were at 22. So thank God for that.

Don’t smother your soul’s expectations!

women on mountaintop

Sometimes I wonder if some people long for the married life just so they can somehow get around all of the hard work and risk involved in figuring out who they really are and what they really want. Choices can be stressful. We have so many options today and the thought of choosing the wrong path can be terrifying. What better way to dodge making decisions than to get hitched and pop out a few kids, right? Then you at least know your role. You are Mom or Dad. You are a wife or husband. You are too crazy busy to think about anything else! We think that this will somehow be easier than the freedom of being alone.

Why do you think so many of our baby boomer mothers are now having midlife crises and leaving their marriages after 30 something years? They are frustrated because they never had the opportunity to live life as an independent, single, fabulous thirty-something such as yourself. They were too busy raising you and didn’t have time to figure out who they really are. Now that you are all grown up, there are no distractions. They are forced to look at themselves in the mirror and are startled to find that they don’t recognize the person staring back at them. This can be more traumatic to realize when you are already past fifty and more than half of your life is over.

Know thyself

You are still single for a reason and it has nothing to do with not being good enough. There is nothing wrong with you! So stop feeling bad or sorry for yourself and start living your life! Perhaps somewhere deep in your subconscious you know that you still have a few things to accomplish on your own first before taking on the complexities and baggage that comes with raising a family. If you really want to start a family of your own, it will happen when you are ready. Don’t force it. And don’t settle just because you think you are running out of time. Don’t forget that most of your married cousins hate their messy husbands anyway. You are much better off being alone with hope than miserably stuck with a selfish jerk for the rest of your life.

So, the next time grandma says she is so sorry to hear you haven't found that special “fella” yet and tells you she prays every day that it will happen for you soon, just smile and assure her that you are okay. And know that your life IS happening right now. Your life has meaning and purpose despite not having a husband or kids of your own. And if you don’t know what that purpose is, you can use this time to figure that out.

There is no time like the present to live your life the way you want to. And gaining financial stability is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you want help creating a plan of action to take control of your finances, call LSS today at 888.577.2227 and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Financial Counselors. They will help you achieve your financial goals and conquer your debt!

Click here to get started right now!

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Author Mary McKeague is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling and she specializes in Debt and Budget Counseling.