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Insecure about my life


kim42
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I’ll be soon turning 30 and I’m in this weird phase in life. I thought I was happy with what I was doing but it seems that different things are expected at my age. I’m not married, I don’t have children, I have a steady job and many friends, and I feel the pressure to settle down, and it honestly scares me a little. I’m scared of this idea that we should all follow the same timeline, but I just can’t escape all these questions about marriage, boyfriends, buying an apartment, and sometimes when it’s just too much, I feel like a failure. Is it bad that I want to do things at my own pace? I don’t know if this is something that happens to everyone once they turn 30, or if it’s just me overthinking things, but sometimes I feel lost, as if I had to tick off some boxes to make everyone happy, and to give the impression that I’m doing the right things.

I don’t think I am a failure, I moved to a different country, got my master's degree here, I think I am successful for my age, but lately I’ve been feeling as if it wasn’t enough. And then I just end up comparing myself to everyone else and I feel miserable – I avoid doing this though. Can anyone relate to this? I hope this makes sense, please tell me I’m not the only one who is confused.

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I've always been my own person and what others think of me or expect me to do means nothing to me.  So I honestly can't say I. understand how you feel because i dont.

I do know you should work at your own speed, your own timetable, your own plan.  Who is it making you feel pressured to do certain things as you approach 30?  I'd love to be 30 again!

You sound like you have done well so far in your life and you should keep on keeping on, do what works for you in your own way.  There is nothing wrong with you and there is a ton that is right!

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30 minutes ago, kim42 said:

then I just end up comparing myself to everyone else and I feel miserable –

I've never done that in my life.  I have to say, like Melancholy, that I just can't understand it. Why do you do it, do you think?

You have done very well Kim. 

And no one is entitled to ask you questions about anything.  Who is the impertinent person asking you these questions? Tell them to mind their own darn business. 

Edited by LaHermes
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I guess it is understandable why you feel like that since people are pressuring you. But you always have to stay true to yourself and remember yourself that you are the only one that can and should choose how your love life should look like. If you feel fulfilled on your own it is ok and it is no one's business but yourselves. You shouldn't let others treat you with pity just because you are single and soon to be 30, because that is perfectly normal as long as it is what you truly want. If they respect you they will stop trying to change you in any way and accept you for who you are.

Stop comparing yourself to other people that have other needs and other wished than you do. You are equally as normal as they are.

On the other hand, if you start to feel lonely and feel the need of affection from someone else, you should also accept this idea and not push it away just because this is how you've been so far, because people change and maybe something changed in you aswell, along the line.

If you are absolutely sure that being single is for you than be single and careless of what others are saying.

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9 minutes ago, melancholy123 said:

 Who is it making you feel pressured to do certain things as you approach 30?  I'd love to be 30 again!

 

Mostly my family, I have much older cousins who are already settled, they live in a house and have children, so sometimes I feel that they will take me more seriously once I get married. I often feel misunderstood by my own family, although they are supportive.

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It is none of their business Kim.  Their life vision must be seriously impaired if that is all they can think of!

39 minutes ago, kim42 said:

I moved to a different country, got my master's degree here

Ignorance is a dreadful thing Kim.  Getting married is not be be all or end all in this life.  Good luck to your cousins. That's their life, which they wanted (or maybe not). 

And no, unfortunately, I cannot relate.  I didn't (don't) have that kind of family.  Maybe simply a question of good manners.  you don't invade a person's private space with push and shove to get married., 

Edited by LaHermes
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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

I've never done that in my life.  I have to say, like Melancholy, that I just can't understand it. Why do you do it, do you think?

You have done very well Kim. 

And no one is entitled to ask you questions about anything.  Who is the impertinent person asking you these questions? Tell them to mind their own darn business. 

I think this marriage thing is very Eastern European, we're still a little traditional, and honestly my mom would love to see me married soon, she's afraid that if I wait too long, I'll stay single forever.  I mean, I want to get married one day, I just don't want to do it because I'm supposed to, but because I want to do it myself.

I think I compare myself to other people sometimes because I have self-esteem issues, it's an ongoing struggle. 

Edited by kim42
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Well, I know some Eastern Europeans and I don't get that feeling from them, at all.  In fact one of my cousins, his daughter is soon marrying an Eastern European. They've been living together for ages.  I think both are over thirty. I don't see them being pressured by anyone. 

5 minutes ago, kim42 said:

she's afraid that if I wait too long, I'll stay single forever. 

Well, that fear is hers, not yours.  And what would be so terrible in the event (probably unlikely) that you turn out to be single forever.  What's so awful about "single". ? Worst of all is marrying just anyone merely to become "married". Therein lies the route to unhappiness, big time. 

the self-esteem issues, Kim. That's a different matter. 

Edited by LaHermes
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Kim,

Looking back at all your threads I see a theme. Here are some titles that caught my eye.

-I'm too sensitive

-Preoccupation with body image

-Introvert at work

-I worry too much

-Assertiveness

Now of course you have many other threads but these had me thinking they tied into what you are talking about here.

  You have decided to not marry until you meet the right guy and it feels right.  That is exactly how you should phrase it to your mother and family when asked.  I am sure they don't want you to be miserable with some jerk the rest of your life right?

  You have made some very logical choices and in this phase of your life they feel right to you correct?

My advice is to own them.  By that I mean they are your choices (and very smart ones I might add) so own that stuff (can't use the word I wanted too but it starts with the same letter).  If you are sure about your choices or pretty sure  then proudly declare that to whoever asks.  Many times people ask just to catch up or make conversation.  Like when you are in school and everyone asks you "how is school going" or "how are you doing in school"  If you weren't doing well or think you weren't taking the right  course you might see those questions as an attack of sorts.  Now if you were doing well then the questions would just be a question and not trigger the feelings of inadequacy because you can answer "Great, I got all A's and B's last semester"

  If you feel this is the correct course for your life right now then that is all the people that love you need to know.  Sure your mom would love to be at your wedding and have grand kids but I am sure she wants you to be happy way more than that.

Lost

 

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5 minutes ago, lostandhurt said:

I am sure they don't want you to be miserable with some jerk the rest of your life right?

You'd be surprised at what families want, Lost. That is you being optimistic about humans. Families desperate to see the daughter married wouldn't know a jerk at a foot away, trust me.  Nor would they care much. Not all families of course. 

No one ever, EVER, asked me back in the day why I hadn't got married yet.  It would be a brave person (family or not) who would have dared put such a question to me.  If they had they'd have been treated to the famous "LaH look". lol.

But, then, everyone is different. 

 

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Comparing is a really bad habit so work on stopping that -thought stopping ,etc - whatever it takes.  You never know what's really going on.  And guess what -yes -some people will have things you want, some people have awesome marriages and relationships and are happy as can be - the woman I was a maid of honor for in 1987 is still very happily married!  Life isn't fair.  Comparing will show you that and it's a bummer. 

No "shoulds" - maybe look into freezing your eggs if you do feel you will want more than another 5 years or so to really look for a husband -that can take some pressure off.  When I was 30 my future husband  threw me an awesome surprise party. 

We got engaged about ten months later, unengaged about four months after that, re-engaged 11 years later, married about 7 weeks later.  Our son was sort of a guest at our wedding albeit growing inside me.  Crazy and nothing like your cousins or family members who are doing the whole - be single in your 20s, get married by 30, kids and house within a few years after that.  Nothing like that.  But it's very much like me.  Because that's how I took the long way around.  If you enjoy being on your own right now, cool - as long as it's for positive reasons not because of some negative assumptions about being so-called "tied down".  Or comparing how "free" you are compared to your married friends.  That's a downer.  But if you're into what you're doing right now -cool, do it! You'll know when you're ready to date, or change jobs, or move, or whatever.  Trust yourself.

Oh and here's a news flash -even if you do the whole holy grail of marriage and kids if you're the comparing sort it still will make you crazy.  Like today on one of my moms groups yet another food porn post about how to use bento boxes with compartments to make beautifully displayed and healthy school lunches.  Right.

  I commented that it gives me great joy to put everything in aluminum foil, not labeled so it's a mystery whether he's going to open a foil covered wipe for sticky hands or chips.  I'm happy to do me and let the parents who are into the whole crafty lunch deal (and I am sure their kids trade the sliced cucumbers for chips -if someone is willing) - do them.  

Edited by Batya33
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Don't compare yourself with others.  Live your own life.  Everyone lives their life at their own pace and on their own time. 

Be your own person, get busy doing what you enjoy whether it's concentrating on maintaining your health, sports, hobbies, church if you're faith based, intellectual pursuits, spending time with friends and family, etc.  Build your self confidence so you will feel secure within your own skin.  You have to start somewhere.

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It may sound simplistic but I have found it very helpful to limit my time with those who feel the need to compare, be pushy, or generally bring me down... even if it's family or others who have been in my life a long time. 

Surround yourself with those who get it and get you. It can mean a world of difference when I've spend the day with someone who sees the great things about others versus one who is looking to criticize others through one particular way they think people have to be. 

We are all different and things aren't linear either. Everyone has up's and downs, strengths and weaknesses, and their own things that are interesting about them. Comparing isn't even accurate, it's not any barometer of worth or even success. We are all just trying our best to find what works for us. 

I think you are amazing. 

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Kim have you considered that some of these people who think you should be married by now, have a house etc. are jealous of you?  You are the one free to live your life as you see fit and they are the ones saddled with a mortgage and a spouse and often kids.  You have freedom that they no longer have.

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I did the same for years, Kim.  And then the Apple hit my head in a Eureka moment (also waiting for more apples but none since). I got pooped on however. Life is way too short to live by anyone else’s standards. You just have to go out and be free from all of those other ideas, make your own happiness.

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13 hours ago, melancholy123 said:

Kim have you considered that some of these people who think you should be married by now, have a house etc. are jealous of you?  You are the one free to live your life as you see fit and they are the ones saddled with a mortgage and a spouse and often kids.  You have freedom that they no longer have.

For me this type of "t it" for tat never worked -maybe it will work for Kim.  To me it's a negative path to think about whether others are jealous of me because everyone defines freedom differently.  I felt freer being married than single in so many ways. 

Because of the pandemic yes I've been jealous at times of adults who can come and go as they please because their child is not home during virtual school (all year last year plus summer, 520 days in all but who is counting) and every single time I thought of this I reminded myself how blessed and lucky we were in so many other ways- but without any need for others to envy my blessings. 

I remember having to twist myself in a pretzel just to get my darn vaccine - because it was hard to get, I had to take public transit because if my husband drove me our child would have to come too and be exposed to all the people at the facility too  It was annoying to hear my friends who weren't encumbered say again and again "just drive to another state!" or "take uber!" etc.  as if these were actual alternatives.

So Kim - Itsallgrand is right - you don't know all the details and again - please accept that life isn't fair. Please accept that some people really have no huge downsides and things come easier to them.  I had many friends who found good husbands as if it were a checklist:  go to college, graduate college, go to grad school, party in your early-mid 20s (nothing crazy but party) , get a decent job and either in college, grad school or job meet and get engaged to and marry spouse, save for home down payment, get knocked up within a few months of trying, have one then two then maybe more kids".  I actually had a friend who was about 30 at the time -I was 34 and single tell me "yes, we're going to buy a house soon, you know, it's the next step everyone does."  Something like that.  Who is "everyone??" 

My checklist worked for school and professional life -not for husband hunting.  At all.  Apples and oranges.  Sounds like the same for you.

Please avoid that rabbit hole, please don't waste your time musing about who thinks you have so much freedom and they wish they were single and accept that you don't know all even if all is good.  You do you.  Vent away but please, do you.  You're fine and will do your best to get to where you wish to go when it's time.  

Edited by Batya33
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At some point Kim, you have to decide your life is good enough for you. 

many people succumb to pressure to do things and then they regret it.

I'm older, not married, no kids... I've heard every question there is about this and felt the judgment.

But!

Any choice you make you have to live with.  Not them.

Instead of using your energy to worry about what others think, say & do, focus on building a life you're proud of and is what you want. 

I do wish I was married. That's true. but that's not enough for me.  I have to be married to the right person and that's my choice. 

There is nothing wrong with me. I'm not a loser. I'm actually a winner and I intend to keep that way. 

I'm just not rude enough to question other people's poor life choices and say to their face that their looks pitiful to me and I'm glad I'm not them. 

So how about those apples? 🤣

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20 hours ago, kim42 said:

I’ll be soon turning 30 and I’m in this weird phase in life. I thought I was happy with what I was doing but it seems that different things are expected at my age. I’m not married, I don’t have children, I have a steady job and many friends, and I feel the pressure to settle down, and it honestly scares me a little. I’m scared of this idea that we should all follow the same timeline, but I just can’t escape all these questions about marriage, boyfriends, buying an apartment, and sometimes when it’s just too much, I feel like a failure. Is it bad that I want to do things at my own pace? I don’t know if this is something that happens to everyone once they turn 30, or if it’s just me overthinking things, but sometimes I feel lost, as if I had to tick off some boxes to make everyone happy, and to give the impression that I’m doing the right things.

I don’t think I am a failure, I moved to a different country, got my master's degree here, I think I am successful for my age, but lately I’ve been feeling as if it wasn’t enough. And then I just end up comparing myself to everyone else and I feel miserable – I avoid doing this though. Can anyone relate to this? I hope this makes sense, please tell me I’m not the only one who is confused.

Hey, OP. You frame this post as "insecurity," but I actually think for most of it you deserve praise. You are thinking, questioning what society wants you to do. That shows a layer of depth, introspection, and thoughtful reflection that most people ostensibly do not have or practice. 

My advice is that you get one life on this Earth. Do your own thing, go at your own pace. Don't want to be married until later? That's fine: there will be people who are unmarried all ages. Kids? A-OK either way. Even with the "biological clock" ticking, modern science permits egg freezing, in vitro fertilization, and the like. And there is always adoption too! 

Society and its expectations be damned. You can make your own way. In my opinion, you are mostly on the right track. 

I say "mostly" only because you are playing the comparison game. Look, I get it. I am 26 M. Everyone and their brother are getting married and posting it all over social media. It can feel like "what am I doing wrong" when seeing all these happy couples and being with no partner/date with potential at the moment. I think it is completely natural to feel this way and that many of us feel it. 

If there is something you can do, e.g., staying off of social media, regularly meeting new people at social gatherings, and eventually finding someone at your own pace, I bet the comparisons would decrease in number and in potency. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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20 hours ago, kim42 said:

I’m not married, I don’t have children, I have a steady job and many friends, and I feel the pressure to settle down, and it honestly scares me a little. I’m scared of this idea that we should all follow the same timeline, but I just can’t escape all these questions about marriage, boyfriends, buying an apartment, and sometimes when it’s just too much, I feel like a failure.

No , no... We should NOT all have to follow a 'timeline'. We are all different and we go down our own paths.

Yeah, I had kids at a young enough age, but my sisters were different. One had only one kid, later in life and one has a couple like me... My brother didn't 'marry' until he was in his later 30's ( and was single for about 10 yrs until then) They don't have kids.... If you don't want kinds, that's okay too. I have several friends who never married or had kids.

The right thing is doing what you want...

You are looking out for you and doing it all at your own rate and preferences.

So, no worries, I think you are doing right. 😉 

 

 

 

Edited by SooSad33
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1 hour ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

My advice is that you get one life on this Earth. Do your own thing, go at your own pace.

Totally agree. March to the beat of your own drum.

1 hour ago, Pleasedonot5 said:

Society and its expectations be damned. You can make your own way

Yessir!

Get married (or not) when YOU want to, and of course to the right person.  It is rare nowadays, at least where I am for people to get married in their twenties.  Looking at the "younger" set in our families I don't know one who married before 30.   And it is usually well into their thirties at that.  My mother (and that was back then) married at age 34 to Dad (then aged 40). First and only time for them. 

And as SS remarks above. You don't have to have children if you don't wish to. That's a choice, and a valid one. 

Mind you, I realise that "society" varies somewhat from Continent to Continent and even from country to country. 

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Thank you everyone for your advice, I read everything, and besides my self-esteem issues (this is a very long process for me), I think I need to stay away from social media for a while to avoid comparing myself to other people. 
One of my cousins that I hadn't seen in a while told me it's high time that I find a serious boyfriend at my age. Things like this make me questions myself, although I know that life doesn't end when you are 30. I'll try to focus more on my life and my happiness than what m cousins think 🙂 

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23 hours ago, LaHermes said:

Well, I know some Eastern Europeans and I don't get that feeling from them, at all.  In fact one of my cousins, his daughter is soon marrying an Eastern European. They've been living together for ages.  I think both are over thirty. I don't see them being pressured by anyone. 

Well, that fear is hers, not yours.  And what would be so terrible in the event (probably unlikely) that you turn out to be single forever.  What's so awful about "single". ? Worst of all is marrying just anyone merely to become "married". Therein lies the route to unhappiness, big time. 

the self-esteem issues, Kim. That's a different matter. 

That's true, I think my mom is worried that I might end up in the same situation as she did, so maybe that's why she'd like to see me married and settled (her favorite word).

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1 hour ago, kim42 said:

Thank you everyone for your advice, I read everything, and besides my self-esteem issues (this is a very long process for me), I think I need to stay away from social media for a while to avoid comparing myself to other people. 
One of my cousins that I hadn't seen in a while told me it's high time that I find a serious boyfriend at my age. Things like this make me questions myself, although I know that life doesn't end when you are 30. I'll try to focus more on my life and my happiness than what m cousins think 🙂 

About 25 years ago I went to a comedy show.  The comedian was a woman in her 30s.  She said that when people like her mom asked her why she was "still single" she wanted to ask them if they thought it would be ok if she asked them "so, you're ___ years old -why didn't you break your hip yet??" LOL.  The person who is rude enough and self centered enough to make that comment is the one with the issues, not you.  

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On 8/22/2021 at 11:52 PM, kim42 said:

I think this marriage thing is very Eastern European, we're still a little traditional, and honestly my mom would love to see me married soon, she's afraid that if I wait too long, I'll stay single forever.  I mean, I want to get married one day, I just don't want to do it because I'm supposed to, but because I want to do it myself.

 

Ha, it trully is Eastern European thing. After 30 all cousins ask when are you gona get married. I have an aunt, she always asks "When are you gona get married so I can dance at your wedding?". I just say "Next year". She has 2 daughters that didnt finished faculty and married very young(one right after high school) and she met uncle very young on some rally where they build a road together(that was a thing at their time) and shortly after that married so her idea of marriage is very different. Especially because both her and her daughters didnt get accomplished professionaly until after they were married. So she thinks you get all other stuff done after that and you can magically succeed in it with no problem at all. 

Anyway, your path is different. You finished school and have a steady job, build it from there. I know its a social pressure but that doesnt mean you have to get married tomorrow. You are soon 30, that is still young, you have time. You shouldnt neglect that part of your life(especially because you want marriage in kids in time) but you also shouldnt feel pressured to do it with first one that comes along. Do it at your own pace and should be just fine.

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