34 & No Long-Term Relationship So Far: Pathetic or Something Else?

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When you reach your 30’s you are expected, from a societal and sometimes personal POV, to hit certain goals regardless of what your sexuality is.

You should, by this point, have a great job that provides a steady income. You should have a nice apartment or a down payment put on a house that your friends and loved ones will want to visit/be envious of you over. And you should, and this might be the biggest “should” of them all, have found the one(s) you are hoping to spend your life with.


It’s sort of the Carrie Bradshaw philosophy on life if one of those is missing. We tend to become so laser focused on it that we forget about all the good we have going on in our world. In this situation it relates to having the fabulous job and apartment but still being single and at the point where you don’t know if you are ready to mingle anymore.

Quarantine aside, being single is rough for many people out there. Dating has become a word that is so confusing nowadays especially when you hit a certain age range like your early 30’s when some of us are ready to settle down after years of playing the field and having a good time in the bedroom/bar/wherever we can get it.

But what happens if you hit your mid-30’s and have yet to be in a long-term relationship? And by long-term we mean over a year, sometimes two, where everything that has happened in the past was only for a couple of months. Is that pathetic? Is it the kind of people that we date? What is the cause of this and should it give us a great deal of anxiety when it comes to navigating the world of love?

Here’s a plethora of comments that were responses on a recent Facebook post on this topic:


“If it was the right thing, it would last.”

“It will happen at the right time.”

“My longest one was 18 months and that didn’t happen until I was 35, so sometimes it just takes a while. Like most people say, I also wasn’t expecting or looking for it, it just kind of happened.”

“I’ve been more or less single going on 15 years now (with a brief 6-month thing in the middle there) but I’d much rather be alone and happy than settling for the sake of it. Hopefully someone who will truly make my heart quiver and go the distance with me is still out there.”


“I didn’t meet my husband until I was 35 and we’ve been together for almost 20 years. It will happen when it is meant to.”

All of those answers have some validity to them on a case by case basis. There is that later in life thing where people find success in love and many other aspects so the word patience is something that can be used as a positive in this sense.

And no, nothing is perfect, even when you see all those romantic dedications that people in loving relationships post on social media on a daily basis. Some actually mean what they say while others use it to mask what’s really going on in their coupling. In other words they wish they were single and are envious that you get to do what you want when on the flip side you are hopeful to find that person that will give you a good reason to be all over social media with your love for them.

There could be a bottom line to all of this, however. Another person on that same Facebook thread wrote this as they were someone who had yet to find love by their mid-30’s:


“Relax. Chill. No one is judging you but yourself even though you think others are. Be happy that you’re not stuck in something you’re miserable in while also finding contentment in knowing that you yourself are enough. Love will happen when it does. And if it doesn’t its not the end of the world.”

What are your thoughts Instinct readers? What advice would you give to someone who has yet to fall into a lengthy relationship by a certain age?


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