How to cope with losing your prime years – best ways to let go of your fears and refocusing your energy.
We aren’t getting any younger, such is life. I try to eat healthy and stay in shape – but even that won’t stop time from doing it’s thing. One of the biggest questions I get asked (especially since I turned 30) – both by me and by people around me, is: “Don’t you want to still be in your ‘prime years’ when you meet someone? Aren’t you scared of not being ‘ripe’ enough for someone? Don’t you want to marry while you can still get pregnant?”
All of these are great questions, and I’ve heard almost any possible variation of them. Heck, I’ve even worn myself down with wondering the same things, replaying them in my head, allowing them to impact and sometimes even leave a mark. Because getting old, losing our figure and smooth skin, are fears we all have as is. When you’re single, it only intensifies, especially if you’ve reached that big 3-0 mark. Under the weight of all the voices and questions, it only gets even worse.
Having people reminding me of this any chance they get, only makes this worse. So for those of you with single siblings, children and friends here are a few pointers to think of the next time you want to make a remark on this regard:
1. It’s old news
Whatever you want to say – they have probably told themselves ten times over. Your words will not be revolutionising in any way, nor are they renewing anything. I find that many times people say it as if I don’t know that I’m getting older, as if them telling me that my eggs won’t last forever is ground breaking. News flash – I know, the person you’re telling knows, and we don’t want you telling us as well.
2. It’s harmful
This is a topic that I avoid even with my bestest friends, because I know how it’s not only super annoying, but also can cause a lot of damage. You never know what goes on behind closed doors and under the surface, your words may cause damage that you’re not aware of and cannot repair. Believe me, this is a sore spot for most people, and they don’t need you to remind them or add on. It will only make them feel even worse.
3. There’s no value
Beside being harmful, there really is no added value or a good enough reason for you to say anything, no matter who you are. There are no benefits or profits to be made by telling people any of that. And if something causes more damage than aid, just don’t.
4. If they want to talk about it – they will bring it up
There are certain topics that are taboo, and yet people still allow themselves to comment. More often than not, it’s even more than just once or twice. No matter who it is, I can guarantee that most of the time (if not always), they don’t want to talk or hear about it. And if they do, they want to be the ones to initiate it, as should be.
It’s one thing to have a friendly conversation and ask if someone wants kids or plans to have them. But it’s another thing entirely to “remind” them, that they’re not getting any younger. That they’re losing their prime years, and shouldn’t “wait” too long. This is such a delicate subject, and throwing around remarks about it as if it’s nothing, as if it’s under their control – is just downright reckless.
Being reminded of this, adds fuel to a fire that’s already barely under control, if at all. There are days where it completely paralyses me, where I can literally think of nothing else. Sometimes I swear I can even physically feel my eggs perish deep within me.
However, I cannot live my life that way, and there’s no point constantly worrying about matters I cannot control. Instead, I try to use different methods to not let it get to me too much.
1. Focus on your career
For many people, this is the main reason why they don’t have kids early, if at all. Despite being frowned upon, there’s nothing wrong with wanting different things out of life. Focusing on your career is admirable and great, if it’s a dream of yours and you truly love it. It shouldn’t be an escape, it should be an added value, just like with having kids. Not everyone wants kids, or finds someone early in life to have them with. For some people their career is their baby. Furthermore, focusing on your career is a great way to help you feel good about yourself, and help you forget any fears you may have. Or at least subside them.
2. Develop and maintain hobbies
I’ve spoken about this many times before. Doing the things you enjoy and love is the key to having a happy single life, and really enjoying your single hood. You need to fill your time with things that bring you joy. You need to make time for important things that will add purpose to your life. I know many singles that are miserable because they don’t have many hobbies or things to do when they’re alone. This is also a great way to refocus your attention when you’re feeling anxious and when your fears start to consume you.
3. Strong support system
Being single doesn’t mean you always have to be alone, no matter how much you enjoy your own company. And having a strong support system is not only key to being single and happy, but also to help you navigate through anxiety and low moments in life. I used to think that leaning on others, seeking help, was a sign of weakness, when really – it’s a sign of bravery. It takes a lot of courage to admit pain and ask for help. Having people in your life that you can count on, that you trust – will save you in these moments.
4. Having a strong relationship with yourself
Learn how to be single and happy! I’ve written about this too, many times. I cannot stress enough how important it is to develop and maintain a relationship with yourself, just like any other relationship in your life. When you have an empowering relationship with yourself, it will be harder to break you, and your fears won’t manage to get to you as much. This requires self care, self love and dating yourself.
5. Stay productive and make sure your life is full and happy
Over the years, through many moments of anxiety and paralyzing fears, I’ve found that staying busy and being productive helps numb the pain. Using the four previous steps, will help you stay productive – You can fill your time and schedule with work, hobbies, friends & family and self dating. The right combination and balance between them, will keep you busy enough that you are likely to think about your fears much less, if at all.
In addition to these five steps to fill your life with, here are a few things to remember, that may help ease the difficulties and struggle in the matter:
1. There’s nothing wrong with you.
2. Each person has different priorities, and it’s okay that yours are different.
3. It’s never too late, and there will always be a way if it’s truly what you want.
4. Comparing yourself to anyone other than yourself, will only make things worse.
5. No one other than you can tell you your worth.
6. Ignore and remove toxic people from your life.
We all want to stay forever young, none of us wants to lose our prime years and youth. But alas, that is part of life which cannot control. It’s also okay to fear this, it’s natural and we all go through it at one point or another. The cruel part is that we spend most of our lives over the age of 30. So we cannot end our life at that stage – which is actually still pretty young if you think about it.
I find myself mourning my prime years more and more often lately, and part of me does so because I still want to be in my prime when I meet someone. It may sound terrible, but I would like to still have something to offer. But then I remind myself, that I have so much to offer, even if I do lose my “prime”. Because at the end, what really matters is who we are inside and how we act. We will all end up old, gray and wrinkly one day, and as much as we’d like to avoid that, we can’t. Which is why looking beyond just the physical attraction, is so much more important.
Wishing you all the best!
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
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