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10 Reasons To Love Being 30 And Single

You go girl!

Dating

We're supposed to have it all in our 30s, aren't we?


And by "it all," we mean the fantastic career, the financial stability, the kids, the dog, and of course, the husband to keep us warm at night. Everyday, more and more women challenge what a successful life looks like and that goes double for the love lives we choose to lead.

Just in case you're feeling a little left behind as a single woman approaching 30 or in her 30s, below are 10 reasons that being single and ready to mingle in your 30s isn't the romantic kiss of death we once feared it was:

1. You Trust Logic Above All Else

You get to choose. No really, you get to make a well informed decision on who you partner with. While your heart is still in the game, the intelligence and wisdom you garnered over the years is also in full swing. Although you may have been led solely by your heart or your hmmm - let's say, lady parts - in the past, this time around you have much more control over “Her" and she is probably the last part of you that has a say.

2. You See The Positives In Past Relationships

You realize your past loves completely made you grow. As scumbaggish as they may have seemed at the time, they added some fabric to the woman that you are and you become grateful. You are grateful for the lessons that you learned and at the same time, grateful that you were spared from a lifetime with him.

3. You Are Real About What You Want

The 30+ dating scene is absolutely awesome! It is like a game of chess, or checkers, or spades, or whatever you like to play. And guess what? Everyone in the game knows that they are in it and what they are in it for! Communication between potential partners become very clear, intentions are set almost immediately, and there are no guessing games! If you like each other, you decide together on your next move. If you don't well, boy bye (in the friendliest, it was great meeting you, type of way possible).

4. You Don't Fall For Your Old Type

Relative to number 3, you know who is for you! You know what you are looking for, you have a gauge on what your type is, and you have an understanding on the type that you should absolutely stay away from. You are consciously aware of who to share your precious time with, because let's face it, in all this making of you, you ain't got time for that (yes, I said ain't).

5. You Start To Chill All The Way Out

You stop being in a dating rat race, you stop recanting the broken hearts, you stop being anxious about whether or not he calls, you just stop and decide that if he is for you, he will be for YOU and the rest becomes history.

6. You Build On Your Twenties Foundation

You come to the realization that your twenties were all about laying down your foundation; realizing that you have to continue to build or that what you have built is pretty solid, you are no longer willing to settle for someone bringing nothing to the table. Your eye is on the prize for a GOOD MAN and you know just what a good man is! Now, where the picking at this point is pretty slim – due to the women who were patient enough to see their men through success and maturity into his 30s – you also realize, that you've got some competition, but you also now have patience and time, which inevitably means, you become #FIERCE. Bomb.com!

You become THAT woman for THAT man, yes him, he who you want, even if not visible, you get ready. You hit the church, mosque, synagogue, temple, the therapist, the salon, the mall, the gym, the library, the internet, your mama, great grandma, your exes, and wherever else you may be able to go, in order to collect the tools needed to work on and develop YOU. You become the greatest version of yourself, so that your man will present himself to you, as the greatest version of himself.

7. You're Okay With Being Single

Regarding competition, after being tired of hearing people ask why you don't have a man all throughout your twenties, getting depressed about it, crying yourself to sleep about it, and getting in terrible relationships because of it, you start to think about just how great your man will be. I mean why go through all of that to wind up with someone less than what you want? You start looking at who has been taken and who is left and suddenly decide that your him will be the King of all Kings and that your love will be the love of all love, if not for you, for the world and the furthering of mankind (ok, maybe this is going too far, but this is how my brain works).

8. You No Longer Fear Rejection

Rejection becomes laughable, no literally, laughable. You call your homegirls and have conversations like this, “Girrrl he was sooo mad, I mean it was really just one date," or “Girl he said he didn't like my ankles, guess I'll get me some new ones". It just becomes fun and not stab in the heart, send me back to my bed, under my covers weeping in pain and devastation, every single time it happens like (yep, nope, I'll plead the fifth on this one).

9. You Rise Above All Of The Advice Catered to Single Women

Blog posts telling women how to get a man no longer infuriate you, they too become laughable. It's like really dude, you Sir or Madam, may have a few things to work on yourself… insert side eye, emoticon… (I will save my professional opinion on “relationship experts" for the sake of entertaining reading, but let's just say, Freud said that… oh, never mind).

10. You Flourish In Love

Relationships become universal and you start loving everyone deeply. Your lovely is no longer garnered towards the search for just one person, instead it spreads universally. You fall in love with the universe, just as deeply as you fall in love with yourself. You love your pets, the mailman, bus driver, trees, flowers, the world with the same openness and joy you readily give to someone romantically. You finally realize that you have the ability to love your future someone just as deeply. You are ready for his love.

What are lessons in love that have guided you in dating in your 30s? Let us know in the comments below!

Niama T. Malachi, PsyD, 32, Author of "A Hip Hop State of Mind" holds a Doctorate in Applied Clinical Psychology. Her research and writing is based on Social Psychology, practices and principles. She is a current member of the American Psychological Association's Society for the Psychology of Women.

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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