35 And Single: Top 5 Challenges And How To Navigate Them

For a lot of women, being 35 and single can be a very frightening stage of life to be at. This is basically due to societal pressures that have been imposed on women, especially surrounding the biological clock, whereby women are expected to have kids by the age of 35.

Therefore, when women are still single at the age of 35, it puts a lot of dilemma and pressure pertaining to their lives in the future.  

When will I meet the right person? When will I have children? Will I ever be able to have kids on my own? Should I freeze my eggs right now? Is it too late to freeze my eggs? What options do I have if I end up being single all my life? How will I find a dependable companion in the future?

Should I think about old age nursing care? Do I need to think about buying a house? All should I just live my life renting a place and living a carefree life? Will I have enough friends to hang around with when I’m older? What will I do when my parents are no longer around?

Does any of these dilemmas sound familiar to you? If yes, you’re not alone you trying to make sense of life and figure things out as soon as they can. I am one of those people as well and I’m here to share my thoughts on how to navigate through these uncertainties.

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I’m Jasveena and I have been blogging since 2013, documenting my experience as well as helpful professional resources and tips I found online in seeking meaningful relationships and connections, and I am here to share them with you so that you are not alone in cruising through this journey called life that may seem like a lonely path.

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Me at 35

35 and Single: What Does It Mean For Women?

Ticking Biological Clock

While it is true that a lot of women continue to have children in their late 30s and also throughout their 40s, over the past decades, this is society has been telling women to have kids before the age of 35. In fact, mothers delivering children after the age of 35 are said to have had gestational pregnancy. 

Despite advancements in technology, the taboo around the biological clock still remains prevalent in a large part of our society. This is because, it is in fact true that as we age, our bodies age together with us and we no longer have the energy and youthfulness to procreate and take care of our children to the best of our abilities.

Generally speaking, you will have more chances of conceiving children when you are younger and you could also live longer in order to take care of them. Although today, women may not be bothered by the biological clock, the thought of having kids and by when can be something disturbing especially when women do not know how to move forward without having a partner.

This is largely because having kids comes with huge responsibilities and financially, women should be able to cover the responsibilities of both parents if at all they want to have kids just because the biological clock is ticking.

Shrinking Social Circle

When you are 35 and single, it is safe to say that a lot of your friends from your twenties would have settled down with their partners and have kids by now. If back then you used to spend at least a few hours a week meeting your friends and catching up with them, now, you could be lucky if you could meet your friends at least once a month.

This is largely because of changing priorities in lives, leaving you feeling very empty as your social circle shrinks. If you have a few single friends with you around, all of you would be on the waiting list, and before you know it, one of you would be chatting with a stranger on a dating app and soon finding the love of her life.

If that one person is not you, you would feel devastated as you now have one friend lesser in life to talk to and hang around with.

Let’s talk about siblings or even cousins. If they are all your age, just like your friends come up they are too well occupied with the kids and family members, and will not have as much time as they had in the past to give you.

While some of us find it really easy to find new friends, a lot of introverts find it really difficult to make new friends, especially single friends.

When was the last time you met your friends or siblings?

Do I Want a Kid?

A lot of us in our 20s would have assumed that we want kids when we get married one fine day. The assumption would have been true even when you clock 30 as you would have thought that you still have time to have kids. Maybe one or two.

However, based on my own experiences, as I was approaching my mid-30s, the men that I was dating were at least in their mid-30s, and most of them were already approaching their 40s. A lot of them were not sure if they wanted kids and quite a few of them actually already made up their minds that they did not want to have kids even if they get married one fine day.

This is also true for women, especially after 35, because life’s priority has changed quite a bit and we now feel that it is a huge deal to have an understanding partner, and therefore we are not bothered about whether or not we want to have kids.

For some other women, having kids is a huge deal in life and they now contemplate freezing eggs. While a lot of women have started freezing eggs in their 20s, for a lot of reasons, especially because it gives women time to focus on careers, for many women, freezing eggs may not be an ideal option due to the cost of it.

Even if you freeze eggs, what happens if you hit your 40s and you are still single?

Single Mother By Choice

Here comes the option of becoming a single mother by choice. This is a path that a lot of women are taking at this point in time thanks to the advancement in technology related to fertility.

Being 35 and single for women means that they are running out of time to become a mothers. While a lot of women finding the right partner is the utmost need in life some other women find fulfillment in becoming a mother.

For women who are self-sufficient and are not looking at dating men as a priority in life, becoming a single mother by choice is something that runs in their minds. Where do I find a donor? Is it legal to have a child without getting married? How much will it cost?

Can I even have a kid on my own and handle it well? What would my support system look like then? What if I want to date after having kids and would it be okay to find a partner afterwards?

I get it! These are all the questions that are running in your mind if you are 35 and a single woman reading this right now.

Top 5 Challenges When Being 35 and Single

  1. How To Decide If You Want Kids

Whether you’re married or not, if you’re contemplating having kids and afraid of running out of time to have kids and raise them well by the time you are old, Ann Davidman has excellent tips on how to find out if parenthood is for you.

Firstly, ask yourself if you value the presence of a partner and a companion more than having kids on your own. Do you want to become a mother? Do you want to do it only with a partner?

What if you have not met the right person by the age of 35 – do you still yearn to become a mother even without a partner?

If you want to freeze your eggs for the satisfaction of mind that it brings about, you have to understand that if you do not use them, you may not be able to become a mother when you are much older (due to age factors, etc).

Will you regret spending money on freezing eggs if you end up not using them?

As for me, I value the presence of a partner more than having kids on my own. I have been thinking about freezing my eggs, but I do feel that I might as well act upon it right now if I want to have kids on my own.

The single most important need in my life is to have someone I can share my life with, and I know that even if I have kids, the need will still be there.

On top of that, I have always not been much of a children person. I do not become close to kids that much. I do, however, create a business that would help me live a balanced life if I have kids as I want my kids to have a mom who is resilient and self-sufficient.

Secondly, will you be able to handle the task of raising kids on your own? Are you mentally prepared for it, you need to have a support system, at least, things like daycare facilities nearby so that you can work and tend to your kid afterward.

  1. Loneliness

Loneliness at the age of 35 can be very crippling, especially if you do not have somebody to come home to every day after work, and someone that can understand you deeply and give you the time when you need them.

We are social creatures of all and we need companionship. This is especially true if you are single and living alone. When you’re not married and you’re living alone it takes a toll on your health, when you do not have a social circle around you.

Your friends may not be there to listen to you every day or they may not even be prioritizing you at this point in time when they already have a family of their own.

  1. What Are My Priorities In Life?

A lot of us would have grown up in a situation where we used to think that we would find the love of our lives, get married, and start a family. If you are close to your family members, your family can be an integral part of your life. 

Therefore, having a family of your own can be something equally important because when the family that you came from is no longer around, you will only have the family that you created to rely on.

If you are 35 and single, not having a family by this time can be very stressful because you now do not know where your priorities lie in life. An existential crisis can also happen at this point in time because you lose motivation to work and do the things that you used to love doing.

  1. Coping With Dating Scene That’s Changing

Another challenge that comes with dating as you age, is the changing landscape of dating for those after 35.

A lot of people after the age of 35 have lost hope in love, and therefore finding someone who could deal with their baggage and also accept them for who they are can be something extremely challenging because people are now extremely tired of talking to strangers, getting to know them and repeating the process again and again.

Ever noticed that you wanted a tall, dark, and handsome guy in your 20s, but all you get nowadays are guys with graying hair, baldness, and significant signs of aging? 35 and single women need to change their expectations in relationships because as we age, priorities in relationships also change.

Some people have decided not to have kids. Whereas, a lot of men out there in the dating pool actually divorced with kids. Therefore, even if you have not considered divorcees, at this point in life, you will find yourself asking if you have a chance.

  1. Filling The Void In Life Due To Absence of A Partner

35 and single women will finally extremely difficult to fill the void in life that is brought about by the absence of a life partner. Talk about sex, physical intimacy, and also emotional intimacy that is largely lacking in single people’s lives –  women will find it extremely difficult to cope with the desire to have a partner.

Here comes the challenges of bumping into situationships, wishy-washy men, and manipulative people in the dating pool. Navigating through these situations can be taxing but what is more troublesome is not finding a permanent solution to the problem.

How To Handle These Challenges? 

Do You Want Kids or Not?

Ann says that we need to first put that decision-making pressure aside temporarily and focus only on our desires.

If you are not chasing timelines, and comparing your life with that of the others, do you still want to have kids? Would it feel okay not having kids?

You have to stop making a pros and cons list of having kids and accept that indecision is more complex.

Next, make a list of three times where you made significant life decisions that made you feel good genuinely. If you are saying yes to becoming a parent, it should give you that feeling.

And then, in order to know what our deepest desire is, she suggests we make a list of fears pertaining to the decision of wanting to have kids or not wanting to have kids. In a separate list, write all the aspects that drive this fear. For example; age – hitting 35 and running out of eggs to be pregnant having healthy kids, money – not having the financial stability to freeze eggs and do IVF. Then, put the lists aside and do not look at these lists until you have made your desire clear.

  1. Using these prompts, write your thoughts down:
    1) “I’ve always thought that by now my life would look like …” How does it feel like?

For example: I’ve always thought that by now I would have been successful in my career and married a man with the same vision in life, with kids, and raising them in a healthy environment. 

It feels sad and I feel like I am not there yet in life. It feels like that image of life has always been the ideal life I wanted to achieve. But it also feels that it is okay because I feel like I am accepting life as it is right now.

  1. What societal norms regarding parenthood were you raised in?
  2. Make a decision to have kids and pretend to live with it for 5 days. Every day, write down how that makes you feel 
  3. Make a decision to not have kids and pretend to live with it for 5 days. Every day, write down how that makes you feel.
  4. What do you need to have in order to say yes to parenthood, and feel good about it?
  5. What do you need to have in order to say yes to child-free life, and feel good about it?

While going through the prompts, I already feel that I actually want to have kids as a single person to have a sense of belonging and family when I am older and someone to depend on, but if I have enough friends or support in other forms, I may be happy being child-free, or I may adopt a kid, as I always find adoption more meaningful.

Nurture Current Relationships You Have In Life 

Although it is never going to be close to having a partner for yourself, what you can do is nurture the current relationships that you have in your life. As a 35 and single woman, I stay close to my parents and also keep my circle small but valuable.

I have a couple of friends that always check on me and I make it a point to prioritize these people that I have in my life and also spend quality time with them.

At the same time, it is also crucial to make new friends. Identify a few people that you could organically vibe with, and make it a point to meet them in real life and spend time together.

Be Okay With Uncertainties

I used to stress this a lot in life. I wanted to know the purpose of my life so badly that I read “Man’s Search of Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, and even thought that I would gain inspiration after my unplanned visit to the Nazi extermination camp in Auschwitz.

Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz
Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz

However, we need to understand that inspiration and the light-bulb moment are not something to be chased after. I learned that it is okay to not know the purpose of life, and perhaps that the purpose of life is life itself and to live life as it is.

It is usually our inability to sit still with stillness and the unknown that will drive us to find a sense of meaning.

Change Your Dating Priorities As You Age

It can be actually sad to let go of some of your wants and needs in a relationship. You may have wanted someone youthful and a few kids. By now, if you are 35 and single, you know that some of these expectations may not be met.

It is okay to grieve. It is okay to be sad. However, make a list of what you really want out of a relationship. Is it someone caring that would listen to you and give you emotional support? Is it someone who could share your financial burdens?

I’m not asking you to settle for the less, be realistic about relationships and understand that everyone’s needs will change as they age, and find someone who is on the same page as you at this point in time.

Take The Good You Find In People

Whether it is a temporary casual relationship or an activity partner, find what makes you feel good. Since you do not have a partner who could possibly give you everything that you’re looking for in a relationship, try to make the most of what you have right now, like friends and family for emotional support.

Self-pleasure and sex toys are some of the ways you can pleasure yourself and you should always remember that it is your responsibility to find pleasure in life, your pleasure still is your responsibility.

Be hopeful and date people that you find interesting as this would keep you rolling in the dating scene and ensure that you do not lose hope.

My Experience

When I hit 35 in January 2024, I told myself that I would stop worrying about finding the right person and live my life to the fullest. I simply do not want to wake up having the burden of not having a figured out by now. 

It gives me a sense of liberation that I have finally hit 35 and the thing that I feared the most had arrived, and I am still alive and I do not have anything else to be feared of.

As a result of it, I am more mindful about dating. I no longer date people who suck the energy out of me for stop I actually also do not worry about having it all figured out by the age of 35. I am more comfortable with not knowing what life has to offer me and therefore I am living in the present moment.

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Is it OK to be single at 35?

Just because someone is single after 35 does not mean they should put themselves on a shelf. While it is okay to be single after 35, as it is the personal choice of people, it is also not something to be frowned upon, because people can find love at any age, and being 35 does not mean one is not date-able.

Is 35 too old to start a family?

Pregnancy after 35 is safe, although generally complications may increase after the age of 35. If you are having a healthy lifestyle all these while, you still stand a good chance of starting a family after 35. As a matter of fact, both parents should be healthy equally to have a healthy child.

Is 35 too late to find love?

It’s never too late to fall madly in love even if you are 35. Love comes at any age and it takes you by surprise when it happens, and that is the best feeling ever. A lot of people in this era are single at 35, and almost half of the marriages end in divorce, leaving some people back in the dating pool again.

Is it possible to date at 35?

Love can happen at any age and therefore, dating at 35 is very much possible, as people are now taking time to find love and build a family. Therefore, there are more single people now than ever. It is usually the challenge of finding the right person with the right intention at the age of 35. However, it is still very much possible to unexpectedly find love at 35.

3 thoughts on “35 And Single: Top 5 Challenges And How To Navigate Them”

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