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Feel youth is behind me at 27


anxious247

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I've always been sensitive to the passage of time, but the older I get the more depressing each birthday has gotten. For me birthdays aren't a reason to celebrate. Only a harsh reminder that another year has passed me by.

 

Last month I turned 27 and the number alone gives me anxiety.

 

I'm not sure if this is just a "female thing" but I have attached a massive weight to my age - my attractiveness, my ability to do the things I want, my chances in the dating pool - and with each passing year my self esteem gets lower and lower. I realize this is a horrible mindset to have, but I can't seem to shake it off.

 

I've had men excitedly approach me in the street asking for my number, only for a disappointed "oh" when I tell them my age - as if the number shot their initial attraction into the ground. It makes me feel hopeless and discarded and as if I have to date someone twice my age to seem young and attractive by contrast.

 

I suppose I wouldn't feel so terrible if I was where I wanted to be in life. I've always had a passion for homemaking and would love nothing more than to be a wife and a mother, but the biological clock is ticking. Finding a genuine connection is hard and a husband seems nearly impossible.

 

This is all made exponentially worse because I have a chronic digestive illness that make me feel like garbage every day. Digestion is something you take for granted until it stops working - that much I can tell you.

 

Getting through a day at work is hard enough and I don't have enough energy to do anything afterwards, let alone maintain a social life. In fact I haven't had a social life in years because this illness makes it hard to enjoy myself like a normal human being.

 

I don't know what I'm looking for here. I guess anyone who feels similarly or has any advice. Am I the only one who was a teenager and I blinked and all of a sudden I'm almost 30? I don't know how to dig myself out of this hole!

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Sorry about the spins, and welcome to ENA.

 

No, you're not alone. In fact, I'd say that you are describing a lot of what this wild, wonderful, but often overwhelming, experience of adulthood is all about. I, too, was a teenager yesterday. But today? My passport says I'm 40. I've gotten used to this, with the experience of being me, but it still causes some hyperventilating.

 

I doubt this will bring much comfort, but for whatever it's worth? I'm personally a believer that the ages of 26 to 30 are some of the hardest for us humans. Were for me, were for most people I know. In the scheme of things, you really were a teenager five minutes ago, which is to say you're only about five minutes into the business of being an adult and, as such, still adjusting to the differences. Tough stuff, no matter how you cut it. Shedding husks exposes nerves.

 

The way I see it is: from the moment we're born, and certainly from the moment we become conscious of ourselves as individuals, there are all these markers of progress. We learn to walk, to talk. We get a report card every few months. We look forward to elementary school, to middle school, high school and college. Winter breaks and summer breaks. Then we look forward to being a legit grownup, getting that first job, and so on. And then...well, and then it's kind of like what happens when you swim out into the ocean. Water on all sides, far as the eye can see.

 

Maybe it doesn't feel it right this second, but odds are you are, right now, digging yourself out this hole. Because it's not actually a hole, but more like getting your bearings in the depths. Would a partner make that easier? Would a child? Would more money? Would a dude on the street? Sure—or, well, maybe. Guess I say that to stress that getting your bearings is a process, one you're in right now, and part of that process is imagining what you need to feel more steady and inevitably getting frustrated by the gaps between what is real and what your imagination can produce.

 

A bit of a ramble, I know. Maybe there's something in there that sticks, or doesn't.

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Sorry to hear this. It would be best to follow up closely for your medical condition and depression and '24/7 anxiety'. Hopefully you are on regular a treatment regimen and go to a therapist regularly. Make sure your doctor refers you to therapy for the psychological issues and a registered dietitian for help with a healthy eating plan.

 

In what culture is 27 "old" is there pressure on you by your family, economic situation or culture to get married off?

I've always had a passion for homemaking and would love nothing more than to be a wife and a mother, but the biological clock is ticking. I have a chronic digestive illness that make me feel like garbage every day. I haven't had a social life in years because this illness makes it hard to enjoy myself like a normal human being.
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Maybe there's something in there that sticks, or doesn't.

 

Thank you for taking the time to write such a meaningful response. I guess it's hard to keep things in perspective when I see people my age (and younger) getting married, having children, buying their first house, traveling the world. It makes me feel even more behind in life. You're right about the open ocean metaphor. I've always thrived on structure and there's not a how-to guide on how to navigate adulthood.

 

I feel the time is NOW to move forward in life, but the overwhelming pressure of it all keeps me stagnant. Thanks for listening.

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In what culture is 27 "old" is there pressure on you by your family, economic situation or culture to get married off?

 

I think I pressure myself more than anything. So many years have been wasted not feeling well, and I cannot get those years back. I don't like that fact. It makes me a bit obsessed over what I could have made of my life during that time.

 

I also feel like society in general is obsessed with youth, especially with women. Growing up I was always praised on my beauty more than my personality, intellect, talent or anything else. I was my parents "beautiful daughter", strangers and people in my personal life would always compliment me on my attractiveness over anything else, and in a sad way I came to rely on it. As I've gotten older I've realized such an existence is vapid and transient and I cannot hold onto that forever.

 

I am seeking help for my medical condition, however it is chronic and relapsing and I'm stuck with it. I'm also in therapy although I haven't been in over a month because of the covid lockdown. Thanks for responding.

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Thank you for taking the time to write such a meaningful response. I guess it's hard to keep things in perspective when I see people my age (and younger) getting married, having children, buying their first house, traveling the world. It makes me feel even more behind in life. You're right about the open ocean metaphor. I've always thrived on structure and there's not a how-to guide on how to navigate adulthood.

 

I feel the time is NOW to move forward in life, but the overwhelming pressure of it all keeps me stagnant. Thanks for listening.

 

I can only speak for myself, and what I've experienced, but I think you will find over the next 60 years of life that there are many people doing things that you are not, and every so often you'll find yourself comparing your station in life to theirs. Fortune cookie stuff, I know, but perhaps now is the time not get more comfortable with that reality, rather than think you need to "move forward" in a way that keeps it at bay.

 

Funny story: When I was 32 my then-girlfriend was 27. Her breakup speech with me began with "Ever since I turned 27 I've been thinking..." For her it was about craving independence, being on her own, answering to no one, though in a sense it's kind of what you're expressing: feeling lost, treading out there in the depths, adjusting. Guess I'm saying I think it's a somewhat unavoidable feeling, a universal bite that marks us in different ways.

 

And, yeah, best as I can imagine, I suspect it carries a sharper edge for women than men. That said, I really do think there is a point where the concept of "youth" loses its luster and magnetism, even to the most (or at least many) caveman-like members of my gender. None of us are frozen in time, after all, and so I can't imagine you'd have any sincere interest in a man whose idea of compatibility begins at 23 and ends at 26. Those people exist, sure, but they are tragedies.

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Thank you for taking the time to write such a meaningful response. I guess it's hard to keep things in perspective when I see people my age (and younger) getting married, having children, buying their first house, traveling the world. It makes me feel even more behind in life. You're right about the open ocean metaphor. I've always thrived on structure and there's not a how-to guide on how to navigate adulthood.

 

I feel the time is NOW to move forward in life, but the overwhelming pressure of it all keeps me stagnant. Thanks for listening.

 

I wanted to be married in my 20s and be done having kids by my early 30s. I almost married Mr. Right on Paper at age 23 - I was among the first of my friends to get engaged. And the truth is, I took the long way around, egg freezing was not an option back then (but it is now -have you considered it?), and I married the guy I was engaged to at age 31 -- but when we were 42 because we broke that first engagement and got back together right after my 39th bday. He thought I was beautiful (sweetly, my 11 year old son saw me applying lipstick yesterday for a work zoom meeting and he said "you look beautiful". I promise you I don't -my hair is all weird with the salons closed, I'm now 53, wrinkly - glasses all the time, but -to him i am beautiful. It's not about looks. On a romantic level it's about chemistry and passion. My husband is my age and I think he's really cute! Is he objectively hot - no way, neither am I. Was I prettier at your age -I mean, it depends on how you measure prettiness I guess.

 

Anyway I know of happily married people who married in their 20s, became wives and mother and stopped working outside the home, embraced suburban life - and it's all good. Then I know women who did that and got divorced 20 years later with no marketable skills. Or my friend's daughter who is 24, really gorgeous married mom of two to a really hot guy who is awesome and a great father and works all the time - and she had to have EMT people come the other night because she had a panic attack - she's been having those on and off and been so stressed out because even with her great husband she started having babies before she was 20 and it really was too much for her. And she has no marketable skills and I sure do worry about what if her husband gets sick or divorces her, etc.

 

I wish I'd had the opportunity to find the right person earlier and have a child earlier - being pregnant at age 41-42 was high risk and stressful!!! - but I never once felt inferior because I was older when my husband and I reconnected -I've always been slim and fit, cute enough and I never tried to look like a model or thought i should. I did date a couple of really "hot" guys but at the end of the day that's not necessary for passion and chemistry.

 

Please don't compare to your friends posting on social media about their frenzy of showers and babymoons and honeymoons - sure they might be blissfully happy -and lucky too -so what? Or they might be quietly settling and drowning themselves in bridal registries and gender reveal parties, etc. You don't really know so don't go there. When I found the right person -I became the right person to find him -that second time around - I didn't need to shout it from the rooftops, I didn't need to be showered with gifts. My wedding day was the most magical and natural day of my life - we had 10 guests and I wore blue because we were having a boy. Which means my son for years thought all brides were pregnant and would inquire of them "do you have a baby in your belly??" when we'd see a bride in the park getting her photos done.

 

Please relax, because if you act desperate it will be a huge turn off. Be really proactive about getting out there and meeting people -including women who can introduce you to men - and women you can just be friends with just because - I met my husband originally at work but I dated on and off for 24 years including meeting over 100 men through online dating. So i get it. And I wish you the best.

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I feel that I was at my most attractive in my early to mid 30s. Prior to that I didn't know how to dress, how to style myself and I was exceedingly selfish.

 

I had more men approach me when I was 33 than I did when I was in my 20s.

 

I would recommend therapy to find out why you are self-sabotaging. Also, are you seeing a doctor for your digestive issues? I sympathize as I have a serious disease that involved my digestive system but I am old and not dating lol.

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I feel that I was at my most attractive in my early to mid 30s. Prior to that I didn't know how to dress, how to style myself and I was exceedingly selfish.

 

I had more men approach me when I was 33 than I did when I was in my 20s.

 

I would recommend therapy to find out why you are self-sabotaging. Also, are you seeing a doctor for your digestive issues? I sympathize as I have a serious disease that involved my digestive system but I am old and not dating lol.

 

Same - I was much more confident and carried myself with confidence in my 30s and was finally not desperate to be married. And better hair products were invented to straighten my frizzy mess (but now I've gone back to curly, go figure).

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Same - I was much more confident and carried myself with confidence in my 30s and was finally not desperate to be married. And better hair products were invented to straighten my frizzy mess (but now I've gone back to curly, go figure).

 

LOL Batya, I too have super coarse, curly hair that wants to frizz. I don't have thick hair, just a lot of it, and it all wants to go in different directions. I now found product that allows me to apply it and then air dry. And I had it cut to chin length.

 

OP, you are in your prime. Just do some work to find out why, instead of pursuing a social life, you choose to go home and ruminate. If you can adjust your mindset I think you will find yourself much happier.

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OP I think what you are feeling is quite common. You are at that age (range) where a lot of women start feeling their internal clock ticking especially if they’ve no husband or kids yet.

 

I know what you are going thru- a lot of us older people on here do because that age is when we compare ourselves to others our age. I recalled when I was 28, I had the same emotions you had. Being childless and unmarried- will it always made me feel like there was something wrong with me.

 

And then 30 hit. I don’t know what happened but I knew a switch inside me was turned on. The switch was ‘don’t give a crap’ any more. And I did truly felt that. I didn’t give a crap what guys think or thought any more, what my parents think, what society think, no more Facebook and I finally ended with an on and off relationship that was going nowhere. Great things happened to me right after I did these too- my husband being one.

 

I don’t know what is the average age when a person ‘discovers’ who they are but I would say most in their 30s.

 

I think that’s what is happening to you right now- you’re evolving because you’re self-analyzing more because that pivotal age is around the corner.

 

So don’t beat yourself up. If you really want kids you can think about freezing your eggs until you meet Mr. Right for you.

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I recommend the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I know it taught me to think more positively. The quality of your self talk hugely affects how you see the world, and in turn, how the world sees you, because you will emit your thoughts in your aura/facial expressions/body language.

 

An example: You're at the mall. You see a lovey dovey couple fawning over each other. Scenario one, you think: OMG, that couple makes me sick. Why does everybody else have a partner except me?

 

Think of how your face looks while thinking these thoughts. Think of how other people will see you as you think these thoughts--lips curled in a grimace, eyes shooting darts. Who is going to be attracted to you when you look like Ms. Curmudgeon? Green with envy, like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

 

Scenario two would be: Wow, those two are really enjoying themselves. They are so lucky to have found one another. One day that's going to happen for me.

 

How would your face look then? Would you be smiling, relaxed, eyes shining bright? That's is what would make you attractive to friends and romantic interests. Confidence and a positive attitude aids in making a person more attractive, whereas a lousy attitude and negativity would make a person's attractiveness irrelevant.

 

It was more likely that when you told those guys your age that they saw a look of self pity and lack of confidence, like you were the embodiment of someone "less than," that turned them off.

 

Besides that book, there are numerous other ones you can read to achieve a positive mindset, plus books where you can learn about goal setting. I read about a woman with terminal cancer who spent her time handing out single flowers to strangers on the street. She said instead of staying at home and living in misery about her situation, it helped her to forget her problems for a moment to make other people smile. Doing volunteer work might help you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, since that's hard to to when you're feeling good about helping someone less fortunate. It might even make you feel ridiculous to wallow in misery when others have far worse problems, and they might even have a better mindset than you.

 

Take care and let us know how it goes.

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also feel like society in general is obsessed with youth

 

It certainly is--well, the marketing segment certainly is, and unfortunately that segment owns the biggest and loudest megaphone of propaganda. It drowns out the urgency of other (very important) values and has us all confused and running for a stake in youth and beauty. But youth and beauty aren't even close to being what's most important in life. They just sell products.

 

Growing up I was always praised on my beauty more than my personality, intellect, talent or anything else. I was my parents "beautiful daughter", strangers and people in my personal life would always compliment me on my attractiveness over anything else, and in a sad way I came to rely on it. As I've gotten older I've realized such an existence is vapid and transient and I cannot hold onto that forever.

 

That's very interesting to me because I've always felt beauty was an extreme inconvenience. I admit I have occasionally relied on beauty, but it's never been my main strategy and now that it's fading I don't really miss it. I've never been focused on marriage and family though.... What are your interests? Do you have career aspirations? Some way for you to derive your own internal sense of satisfaction? That way, you won't be so reliant on the approval of others. People love beauty, but it is so transient. It's not really a good investment.

 

I feel the time is NOW to move forward in life, but the overwhelming pressure of it all keeps me stagnant.

 

I totally understand this.

 

ETA: I also want to add that I really agree with Batya's post #7. There are so many ways that this can play out. The best investment to make is in yourself.

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I've always been sensitive to the passage of time, but the older I get the more depressing each birthday has gotten. For me birthdays aren't a reason to celebrate. Only a harsh reminder that another year has passed me by.

 

Last month I turned 27 and the number alone gives me anxiety.

 

I'm not sure if this is just a "female thing" but I have attached a massive weight to my age - my attractiveness, my ability to do the things I want, my chances in the dating pool - and with each passing year my self esteem gets lower and lower. I realize this is a horrible mindset to have, but I can't seem to shake it off.

 

I've had men excitedly approach me in the street asking for my number, only for a disappointed "oh" when I tell them my age - as if the number shot their initial attraction into the ground. It makes me feel hopeless and discarded and as if I have to date someone twice my age to seem young and attractive by contrast.

 

I suppose I wouldn't feel so terrible if I was where I wanted to be in life. I've always had a passion for homemaking and would love nothing more than to be a wife and a mother, but the biological clock is ticking. Finding a genuine connection is hard and a husband seems nearly impossible.

 

This is all made exponentially worse because I have a chronic digestive illness that make me feel like garbage every day. Digestion is something you take for granted until it stops working - that much I can tell you.

 

Getting through a day at work is hard enough and I don't have enough energy to do anything afterwards, let alone maintain a social life. In fact I haven't had a social life in years because this illness makes it hard to enjoy myself like a normal human being.

 

I don't know what I'm looking for here. I guess anyone who feels similarly or has any advice. Am I the only one who was a teenager and I blinked and all of a sudden I'm almost 30? I don't know how to dig myself out of this hole!

 

My advice is to focus more on other aspects of your life that are not attached to age or youth.

 

Because while youth doesn't last being a beautiful person does. You just have to be deeper than looks. Are you?

 

Its great to be perceived as a beauty, but its that really you? Arent you more than something that you can't take credit for? just good genes?

 

Also, it may be flattering to be hit on on the street, but the if the guy is turned off by your age, is this really someone you would have considered? Its the equivalent of a cat call from some guy in the street. When you really think about it, its not a compliment at all.

 

Stop treating yourself as an object and others will follow. There are millions of beautiful women of all ages all over the world. The fact that you don't see that, is actually pretty ugly.

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I get it, you kinda feel your life won't move forward because you don't have that special person to join you in meeting your goals of married life, kids, etc. BUT if you don't progress as an individual you won't attract that person. Your age has nothing to do with it....it's how you project yourself, how others see you, your vibe. If you were bright, fun, had a zest for life with a positive attitude, and a lot to offer, you will have np meeting your goal.

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OP, the problem is you are focused on your gifts. Good genes is a gift, you didn't earn your beauty. You were lucky. I do value appearance a lot myself, don't get me wrong. However, appearance is irrelevant to the other aspects of life. Unless you are a ruthless gold-digger, appearance doesn't mean (that) much even for women. Concentrate on building a skill or dedicate yourself to something you love doing. Take it seriously and put the effort to actualise your goal. This will build your character, this will make you happy, this will give you a purpose in life.

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