Single and not looking is how I like to describe my relationship status. I am among the few people I know who is okay with me being single. Others are constantly looking at me like I am lacking something in my life. They take some weird form of pity on my fabulous stress and drama free life. Maybe it’s because I don’t date so they don’t foresee a proverbial light at the end of this dark lonely tunnel. That’s not to say I want to be single for the rest of my life, but I am happy to live my life to the fullest until I meet that special someone. I don’t believe in putting myself out there or actively looking. I am a firm believer that when it happens it happens, and if it’s meant to be then fate will play its part.
I often think of my relationship status (or lack thereof) sort of like a piece of produce or dairy sitting on a refrigerator shelf. Let me explain. Most things we consume have a ‘best before’ date. This date signifies that these items are at their finest and best consumed before the said date.The same can be said for young Arab women in Middle Eastern culture. The closer you get to the big 3-0 the more undesirable you become, and it’s safe to say your best days are behind you.
I myself, as a 30 something-year-old single Arab woman born and raised in the West obviously don’t adhere to this same archaic notion. Some may think that I may be sullen or depressed about being viewed as an old spinster destined to live a loveless and lonely life at the young age of 30. But it’s quite the contrary, I find the feeling quite liberating!
What’s so freeing about the prospect of spending the rest of my life alone you ask? Simple. It’s the peace and quiet that comes with seeming undesirable to the rest of your community. Much to my delight, once you have reached this so-called expiry date of desirability as I have put it, the slew of set-ups that come from well-meaning family, friends and acquaintances begin to dwindle.
You see, dating is taboo in the blurred lines between my culture and religion. I should qualify that by saying more so my parents culture as I tend to identify more as a Canadian. So unfortunately, awkward chaperoned meet and greets are the way to go about meeting the potential love of your life. For someone who doesn’t date I have acquired quite a few disastrous yet highly entertaining dating stories. Thankfully, I have come out of it relatively unscathed.
I’m here to tell you that being single and over 30 is not the death sentence some may make it out to be. I am happier, more confident, and finally comfortable in my own skin. I’ll leave you with one piece of advice – Take control of your ‘happily ever-after’.
This article is written by Yusra Salama