I got a kind of nasty email from this online dating guy. Apparently he had emailed before and I didn't respond to him. Since his first email, he says, since I don't have certain features turned off, he could see that I (a) read his email; and (b) have since looked at his profile. He wrote the email to tell me I should turn off that feature because "people might wonder why I didn't respond to their emails". This really pissed me off. I don't give a shit that he sees that I clicked on his profile. I don't owe him anything. Who is he to try to make me feel guilty?
Later I read this discussion on someone else's blog about different takes of singles in their 30s. Like some of the people mention, I too worry sometimes that what is left over by the 30s are just that: leftovers. But then I have to remind myself that I'm in the same boat and I'm not 'leftovers'. I'm an intelligent, attractive, fit, fun, adventurous, creative, passionate, and sexual 31 year old woman, and if you can get past (or, cross my fingers, even grow to like) my slightly neurotic side, I could make some lucky guy very happy. So then I started to feel a bit better about the discussion until someone took it a step further and said that it wasn't the age that people should be leary of, but rather the absence of a proven track record of serious relationships. That really got me in a vulnerable spot.
I had three long-term relationships through highschool and university, but that's where my track-record came to a virtual end. After graduating from my first degree, I moved to Toronto and my boyfriend of a year and a half moved to Vancouver for work. We were young - I was 23, and we weren't ready to consider marriage. I was starting another university program and he was tied into a contract on the other side of the country, so we broke up. It took me over a year to get past that. My heart still aches a little when I think about him. After that I spent a lot of time, for the first time as a quasi-adult, being single and enjoying life in a big city. I was single by choice. I dated, but not seriously. There was this one guy from 'the islands' - a chef in a restaurant where I worked. He was absolutely stunning and a decade older. He made me think of salt-water air and sand. It wasn't serious. His good looks were negatively correlated with his intellect, but he was soooo cute. And that accent! Anyway, that lasted for a while, but then I took another dating hiatus. Mostly it was unintentional. It was probably a mixture of my academic situation and my neuroses. I was in nursing school, surrounded by women. In my clinical rotations, I was surrounded by women and sick children mostly, peppered with a number of nerdy or arrogant (or even worse, nerdy AND arrogant med students and doctors, which is always a bad combination). My focus was on me and my career. Since then there have been a handful of guys I've dated for short periods of time, but does that really count? I fear this puts me into red flag territory. On the other end of the spectrum, some of my friends have almost never been single. They just can't be alone. That's a red flag too.
Now that I have put all of this somewhere, I feel better because, even though I come with a few red flags, I know me and I'm not half bad. If the other single 30-somethings I meet come similarly flagged, I can be ok with that.