Ryan Shea's picture

I’m 32 and Haven’t Experienced an LTR: Cause for Concern?

Living in the digital age that we are in, many of us are constantly bombarded by endless “love” related social media posts. No matter what you identify as on the LGBTQ spectrum, it’s something that we see all the time (relationship, engaged, married, adopting, buying a house, etc).

So, what happens when you are in your early 30’s (for me, 32) and have never been in a long-term relationship? Does seeing these posts only intensify your desire to want to find that true one in hopes that you’ll eventually make your loved ones jealous of your own romantic success?

I know many people who have treated finding love as an Olympic sport. At the end of the day, they want that metaphoric gold medal in finding their true soul mate of sorts to spend their life with (or more than one, if polyamory is your thing). For me, I treated my 20’s as a way to build my career, as writing is something I’ve always wanted yet finding a full-time job in it was incredibly difficult to do.

I climbed up on that ladder of journalism success over the past decade and made that my true focus. Love was something I was also desiring, but when you live in a big city like New York, sometimes you can find yourself thinking elsewhere in terms of how you are going to pay next month’s rent as opposed to finding the man of your dreams.

My love life has not been a total fail up to this point. I have had some great relationships that have come and gone, many even hit the 3-5-month mark. My longest relationship was around 10 months, and it happened when I was 20 and the other guy was 21. It occurred at college in New England, where I met the guy off a bear app for a one-night stand that turned into something completely different.

We said, “I Love You” to each other on the third date, so that shows just how ready I was for an actual relationship. The two of us ended things around the holidays that year and I haven’t heard from him since, but it broke me in on the do’s and don’ts of finding your mate. Saying “I Love You” within a week of knowing each other: bad (IMHO). Making time for the guy you think could be something special: good. Life is really all about learning from your mistakes, so you don’t take them with you.

The 3-5-month relationships all ended for different reasons. One guy I wanted to marry, yes actually marry, as the feelings between us were so intensified that I felt that he really was the one. Then a lot of baggage and bulls**t got in the way, and things ended. I still think about him to this day as “the one that got away” but am fully aware that the timing and many other factors were off, so I had and have to let that go.

The others ended basically because we weren’t right for each other. I don’t speak to any of them anymore, but I do wonder if these short-term flops I had has caused me to be jaded when it comes to the world of love. Does it really matter that I’m at the age that I am and haven’t found anyone yet?

I asked my friends that same question, and here’s what they said:

My longest relationship started when I was 32.

I’m 30. Same boat

No. It’s about 32 or so that I met my first long termer after a decade of Six Monthers. And it wasn’t till the second one that it really took.

Nope. It’s who you’re with not when that really matters.

Nah. When you hit 48?

It bothers everyone *but* me that I’ve never been in a relationship. Not sure why they care so much

There is no should or shouldn’t. Don’t put unnecessary expectations on yourself. It’ll happen when it happens.

Not at all - I was much older before I had a proper relationship. Better to wait for the right man than just mr right now

Do you feel lonely? Are you seeking companionship? Do you feel the need to love and care for another beautiful man? Then that's when you're ready

I entered my first long-term relationship at 53. Now I'm 59 and happily single. Don't rush into anything.

Nope. Too many people grab o to anyone and hold onto the relationship because they are afraid to be alone or they don't enjoy their own company. That's not a relationship; that's fear. If you want to meet the right person, keep being yourself solo.

I think the consensus from all of this is to not worry, don’t let social media bug you, and let it happen when it does. Bottom line: focus on what’s best for you and let things happen naturally.


This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

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I was  27, he was 35...that was the start of a LTR that lasted 32 years until his death from cancer.   That was 7 years ago.  I sometimes wonder  if I will find someone special again.  I have friends in the next town over, they met when they were teenagers and have been together 52 years.

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I was 40 before I entered into an LTR. It lasted 15 years, has taken years of therapy to get over and it took a year after the breakup to get myself back. I loved the movie of Sex and the City, because everything Charlotte, Samantha, Carrie and Miranda went through that year, I went through. Some people just aren't made to be in an LTR and turn their energies to other things.

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A real writer should proof read before posting... Several errors I noticed before I finally actually stopped reading on the 5th paragraph which is the worst in grammar of all.  Anyone can be a journalist these days and journalism IS for sure dead as everyone has been saying these last few years.  Sad but true.  Very odd writing style from the get go.  Does not flow remotely and certain words don't fit and shouldn't be used.  I couldn't finish the article.  Sorry

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I'm 44 and never been on a date let alone an LTR.  Join the club. 

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I've never been in a LTR either and I'm 39.

Does it bother Me? It does at times but if I can't find what I'm looking for I'll sleep around

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