So at what age do you become a grown up? Is this the right measure or is it more about the stage that you are in, in your life. This is something that I have discussed with friends recently and it baffles me that at 30 I really don’t feel that I am grown up. Is this because I am behind in some way or is it the social pressure to be settled down with a family or a partner. I know I am not the only one that at 30 and not being in a ‘stable relationship’ or having children I fell somewhat like I am failing in some way. So where are we feeling this pressure from is it our parents / friends or social media?
I speak to my mum who lives down in Essex probably around every other day and nearly every time we speak I get the ‘So have you anything else to report?’ which I now know code for ‘have you met anyone yet?’ Now to be fair my mum didn’t meet my dad until she was 35 and had me at 37, so at 30 going from her precedence I still have a few years to get there. Although my situation is a little different to hers as she was married before (a revelation I didn’t find out until I was 18) and with my mum having incurable cancer I feel she is desperate me to find someone stable to be there for me when the inevitable happens. Unfortunately this seems to scare the bejeesus out of people I date. Now I cannot be certain this is why people I have spoken to about my mum don’t want to date me (it can’t be my sparkling personality), but it seems to make people uneasy and I guess it could be a lot of pressure on that person in the near future. Anywho that’s enough about me. For most of my friends that don’t have children there is a common comment they tend to get from their parents which is ‘well when I was 29 I was married with 3 children’. But I am sure most of you will agree we live in different times now and marriage and kids isn’t necessarily what we all aspire to and what us modern gals measures our life success on.
Have you tried Tinder? I love when I get asked this question from my non single pals. Even my mum gets in on the action with this one ‘my friend has met two husbands on internet dating.’ I also get from friends / colleagues ‘I don’t understand why you are single you have so much going for you? (I am a catch I know). The answer is YES I HAVE TRIED TINDER and it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I might be too picky on Tinder but when you are judging a face and that is all you have to go by its hard. I have met people in real life on tinder and thought ‘yeah ok I will go for a drink with them’ but based on just their photo on the app I wouldn’t have given them that chance. I know it comes from a good place but when you’re married/ engaged friends try and give you advice on dating today when they haven’t needed to in years it is a little condescending. It is hard not to feel pressure from them that you are not doing enough or not doing ‘dating’ right. I am not sure what else I can try apart from dating apps, being sociable and going out so I can meet someone and settle down (maybe my personality isn’t as sparkling as I thought).
I have spoken to many single friends about the constant feed on social media of ‘stage in your life’ pictures like fingers with rings on or scans next to a dog/ another child. Some of us definitely get that twang of disappointment that we are not even close to this stage. Rather than people being happy for each other (and for themselves even) it seems to have become a competition of how elaborate your proposal / announcement was. Generally it needs to be in when on holiday, at Christmas (don’t even get me started on this one) or at another big event of the year. So it seems to me now on social media we need the perfect engagement/ pregnancy to promote but also we have to announce to everyone that we have reached the next stage on the ladder to the perfect life by finding an innovative way of doing it. But what if you aren’t moving in with someone, getting married or having a child what can I celebrate on Facebook so everyone is happy or proud of me?? Have you ever seen as many likes on a post (that isn’t a great meme or hilarious video) as one that is the finger picture or the scan / baby picture…..I know I haven’t. I may sound bitter but I am genuinely happy for my friends who are celebrating news I just don’t like the culture of competition (I am not competitive by nature which could be down to my inability to win anything).
So if you are in a position like mine my only advice is try to think about yourself and where you want or need to be. Don’t take the pressure from outside and even from yourself. At the end of the day there is only so much you can do so maybe we will have to leave it up to the universe for that fictional character (the man of your dreams) to come into your life.
Around 6 months ago I went on a date with a younger guy who told me at 30 I should have my sh*t together. I was initially shocked and thought hey I have a good job and my own home so I am pretty much there…right? I mean yes I like to go out and get white girl waste every now and again but I am still youngish(ish) free and single so why not.
Bearing the above in mind see below some of the reasons others may think I don’t have my so called sh*t together:
- I can’t get a date. (I am trying)
- Can’t even get a match on tinder.
- I never match my underwear (unless I have a date).
- When I do date I make very bad decisions.
- My clock has been stuck at 8.45 for at least two months.
- The light bulb in my lounge ran out maybe 3 months ago.
- I have a rug in my living room I’ve hated pretty much since I bought it 5 years ago.
- Sometimes my hair is more dry shampoo than hair (I think a lot of girls will relate to this one).
- I often have major roots.
- I wear unmatching socks.
- I have a slight phobia of bananas (I accidently once said fetish instead of phobia..awks).
- My bedroom is often more clothes than floor.
- I have held around two babies in my life.
- I thought memes was pronounced me me’s.
- I eat peas frozen from the bag.
- I would happily microwave a cold cup of tea.
- The 5 second rule is true (there is research to back this up).
- One drawer in my chest of drawers has been broken for circa 3 years.
- I killed a house plant and it’s been sat there for months all dead.
- I often have single dinners (a bowl of cereal or alike).
- I’ve never had a pedicure.
- I often get to work and realise I have toothpaste/ a stain on my clothes (toothpaste on my boob today….looked slightly suspicious).
- I eat pickles gherkins/ onions from a jar.
- I’m my twenties (apart from student days obvs) I didn’t go in my overdraft. Since being 30 I have been for a good few months.
- I don’t feel confident in my job (its new so hopefully I will get there).
- When I go home to see my parents I have the ability to turn into a hormonal teenager within minutes.
- Last month I stole a succulent plant from a bar when drunk (what am I a student!?).
- Pick and Mix is almost as enjoyable as (good) sex.
- I dislike my own company (I thought by 30 I would be able to tolerate my company…not so).
- I still watch Hollyoaks.
Hopefully you have related to some of those on that list and agree that we all have flaws and at whatever age we all have some secret single behaviours (well mine aren’t so secret anymore).
So you’re single and you have just moved to Manchester what do you do? I was in this position myself almost 10 years ago and wish I had made a bit more effort in getting out of my comfort zone and making some new friends in this great city. When you are away from your family and single a new city can be daunting and also lonely (I know I have been there). Now I am not going to focus on the trying to find a lover side as to be honest this is something I am failing miserably at currently but as we should know our BFF’s are worth more to us in the long run. So if you are looking to make friends and get to know what is going on in this city I have tried to set out three pointers below:
Get involved at work
This may seem obvious and to be fair it can depend on your workplace as to how social people are but some of the best friends that I have made in Manchester have been through work. Now ‘getting involved’ is not just heading out with people if they offer when they are going to the pub on Friday as you will only meet a certain few (the most social may not be the best quality). Also some people have other responsibilities so they cannot always get to that Friday drink. I would think about taking a role like a Wellbeing Champion or maybe something like the Employee Committee, yes it might sounds bit lame but you are likely to meet a wider breadth of people. When I first started my most recent role I was quite shy with a lot of the girls in the office and some people called me stand offish (the cheek…they know who they are)!! But now I have been here a year I am really good friends with three! I cannot stress enough just try and get talking, ask people out for lunch, see if they go to the gym and join them. If I had made that effort back then it wouldn’t have taken us so long to be friends.
You can swipe for a best friend and not just a potential romantic partner (be that forever or just for a night). It’s a little odd swiping through pictures and trying to decide from a picture whether you would get on someone rather than being attracted to them because let’s be honest we don’t really look at the persons interests on a dating app. I swiped right on quite a few potential friends but I did not get a match for days. I was starting to get a little offended I mean I think I look pretty friendly but maybe not! Alas after a couple of days I got a match and we have been chatting about festivals (my favourite past time) and we are going to arrange to meet up so a win in my book. When looking through the profiles a lot of people have moved with partners to Manchester for work so might not be single but if they are up for exploring like you then what does it matter! Take caution though (talking from personal experience) on the ‘normal’ Bumble side I have met males that want to be friends but let’s just say this had only been after they had got something else that they were after first. I don’t want to feed a stereotype and I know some people are genuinely looking for love but I can only go from personal experience.
This is something that I have just started to do and I really think it is the thing that will help you immerse yourself in Manchester and hopefully make some new friends on the way. Unlike some other cities in Manchester I have really noticed a comradery between the bloggers in my adopted city. Maybe it’s because we are up North and generally more friendly (I grew up down south so I am allowed to say this) or it’s smaller so it’s easier to get a community feel, I am not quite sure. I have only been blogging a couple of weeks and I have already been to an event, got this great collab and been messaging about meeting some other bloggers for a get together. The thing with blogging and blogging events is it is something that you can do on your own but can be very social. A lot of bloggers will attend and speak to each other online before they go so they feel they know someone once they are there. This is great if you are single as you are making connections online that can then manifest in person. If you are keeping up on social media with other bloggers and following bars / restaurants you will get to know about offers and also events that you might not have done otherwise. I find that blogging gives me a hobby to fill the time that might have been otherwise filled with a partner and also has brought me new friend opportunities and I have learnt about new bars/ events in the city.
So those are my three tips to surviving a new city like Manchester when you are single. Don’t be put off if you struggle to love it to begin with as I can safely say I have been here nearly 10 years now and I wouldn’t want to choose another city to spend my time. The people, the social scene and the general vibe really does challenge any other city in the UK….and maybe even the world.
Day 1 back at the gym – epic fail.
So I have been struggling with getting on with my second post as I was worried I might have peaked too soon it would be flaccid from here on out. Hopefully this will be half as entertaining for you! I have been really struggling lately to get back into exercise. The combination of not having the threat of someone seeing me naked and just generally being a bit down in the dumps has meant a gym hiatus of around 3 months. I switched gyms also which meant I was a little nervous to get back into a new environment filled with buff young beauties, when if I don’t wear make up I literally look like a beetroot on legs. I had a little mix up also when filling out my application as I ticked that I had accessibility issues so that took a few calls to explain I didn’t have a disability (apart from shocking life skills). Luckily this week I have moved offices with work where I have some buddies to force me to work out with them. I find my motivation really increases when going with others.
Fail numero uno – Couldn’t even get through the doors
As I rocked up I was pretty confident that I knew what my pin code was as I had been a previous member and it’s reasonably close to my date of birth. I whacked it into the key pad and nothing. I tried again. Nope entry denied. There was a gym guy/ personal trainer (you know the type that likes to talk to you when you’re huffing and puffing on a treadmill) who came to my rescue when he could tear himself away from saying hello to every lady that walked in. I was searching embarrassingly through my emails not able to find my pin for a few minutes but luckily found the email and yes I was right in the pin I had entered. Rather condescendingly he told me to put my pin in, I did and nothing again. After a few seconds he then in a firm tone said THEN PRESS OK. Damn it I had just not put in enter. Sometimes I am not sure how I get through life.
Fail numero deux – Padlockgate
Once I had been allowed entry I opted to get on the treadmill as have a half marathon booked for October so I really need to get my fat ass running. It was lunchtime break from work so I only had around half an hour for a workout. I haven’t done any running since I bossed a 9 mile run in January so was not hopeful for how I would do but I managed to do 2.5miles in half hour which isn’t all bad. I wondered back into the changing rooms feeling a little pleased with myself and embarked on getting ready to head back to work. But guess what my padlock was stuck. I had a good wrestle with it for a few minutes and got my friend to have a go. F*ck it was definitely stuck. My friend commented that this sort of sh*t always happens to me (she is right). I had to go search for someone to help me but there was no one to be seen in the downstairs cardio area so I was going to have to brave the free weights area (or the roid room as I like to call it). I of course managed to find the most gorgeous, muscly tattooed specimen obviously to embarrass myself in front of. After a brief conversation around my issue he said the best option was for him to get his plyers. I then had to shout round all the ladies in the changing room to explain that a guy was going to have come in. After a blur of boobs and legs flying everywhere I checked with everyone and I was able to let the guy in to snap off my padlock (almost sounds like an innuendo).
As I write this I am just preparing to head to my second session back for a PURE RIG class. I am not sure what it entails but makes me feel like I am going off shore to search for some oil. I am feeling quite horrific after bank holiday shenanigans so I am thinking there could be another post to follow on my second day gym fail.
So here I am dirty (I wash daily…promise), 30 and within a crisis. I turned 30 around 6 months ago and recently I have felt that I didn’t exactly make the most of my 20s and here I am regretting it. It seems I am not alone in this feeling as there is a new mid-life crisis on the scene the quarter or third life crisis. I don’t know about you but with my current partying habits I will be lucky to get to 60, which would make this my actual mid-life crisis rather than third life but that’s by the by. Recent conversations with fellow third life crisis sufferers has made me come to the conclusion that by 30 people expect you to be somewhat of a grown up and not going out getting white girl wasted every weekend. But if you’re young(ish) free and single why should I not be going out and enjoying myself. So what do I do bow to peer pressure and settle down with Mark from Accounts. Or go out meet new people from different background and ages and really know what I want when I do meet this fictional character people go on about (the man of your dreams).
You might be thinking why start a blog? Apart from (hopefully) some freebies and meeting new people I hope that others will get comfort in the fact they aren’t alone in this ‘not being where you should be’ category. Also I will be seeing this blog as a viable hobby and even a potential ‘find myself’ experience fitting for a 30 yr old. Apparently my two current and most favourite hobbies (d*ck and drinking) aren’t acceptable of someone over the age of 29 so I must channel my efforts somewhere else. There is of course all the time I have free due to not having one of those life sucking accessories that so many women seem to live with (a man). Just to clarify I am not a man hater, the exact opposite to be honest but as a single woman of nearly 18 months I have met the good, the bad and the ugly.
My lifestyle in general is trying to be healthy (often failing) during the week and letting myself go at the weekend. I try to eat organic along with keeping gluten, dairy and refined sugar free (yes I am THAT c*nt) so this may well feature. If I can I try to keep to natural / organic cosmetics without the dreaded SLS and those bloody microbeads. The search for a natural deodorant was certainly a smelly one so apologies if you were around me for that time!
I think one of the main feelings that has got my third life crisis spiralling is not getting out there travelling while I was in my 20s. So this summer I plan on doing a Trek America trip and hopefully I will get to Asia in the near future!! It might not quite be the experience you would get being a gap yaarrr youth (sh*gging anything in a hostel with a pulse) but I am sure I will find ways to misbehave.
Basically from my blog you can expect an honest and most likely sarcastic take on being 30, single and female in Manchester. I hope you enjoy!