Most young professionals opt to focus a few extra years longer than our parents did when it comes to settling down, getting married and having babies. Especially among us career-focused YPs, there is simply so much to do before the time comes to focus on someone else’s life (or lives) in addition to our own.
For most of us, however, there will be a time for when that maternal or paternal instinct kicks in, the late nights don’t seem so fun anymore, and we want to find that special someone to share our lives with. We come to crave normalcy and the feeling that someone else has our back though any of the successes, challenges, disappointments and milestones that life may bring.
The perpetual bachelor or bachelorette, whose personal life is either characterized by a series of one night stands, serial dating or short-lived relationships, is no stranger in YP social circles. For some YPs, this is just fine, thank you, and he or she would prefer to live their life on their own schedule with only his or her own needs and desires in mind. Such YPs don’t need a wedding ring on their finger and nieces, nephews and their friends’ children provide more than enough child intake.
But what about those YPs with dreams and aspirations of getting married, who wake up one day to find themselves many years past the time in their life they once imagined themselves married, have very few single friends left and look in the mirror and wonder why? Sure, the right person may not have come around yet and we don’t advise settling just because “it’s time,” but there could be other factors affecting the designated status of a perpetual bachelor or bachelorette.
The Never Settling
We aren’t called the entitled generation for no reason and social, successful and driven YPs are always in pursuit of the very best when it comes to our careers, nights out and relationships. One of the reasons a YP could find him or herself alone one day after all of his or her friends have paired off is because they refuse to “settle” and believe that there is always something better out there that will come along. They are unable to appreciate a potentially promising relationship right in front of them, perhaps living on the fantasy that the perfect Prince Charming or brainy model-esque dream woman will one day come along. Reality check: perfect doesn’t exist. By a certain age, after failed relationships and dating disasters alike, most astute YPs should realize this and determine what he or she is and is not willing to accept and deal with in a relationship. And yes, the grass may always look greener. We have had countless conversations with YPs who have ended relationships because they thought something better would come along...years later they are still waiting.
There is nothing pleasant about heartbreak. It sucks. Especially for those who have had his or her heart broken more than once, it may be almost inevitable to feel jaded and unable or unwilling to open up to anyone new in fear of repeat luck in love. As a result, the jaded YP is often guarded with his or her emotions and may not even have the capacity in their heart to fall in love again. A jaded heart and pessimistic outlook on life could also be the result of witnessing a series of failed relationships with friends, colleagues or parents. The best way to combat this is to evaluate what went wrong in the failed relationship – was it timing, bad choices or one counterpart’s behaviour (and the partner’s subsequent reaction) that was responsible for the demise of the relationship?
Of course your career is important. We know that. But life is all about balance. If you know that one of your goals is to have a successful marriage and children, then this should be incorporated along with your career goals. Many powerful and successful people, from President Obama to Kelly Rippa, have managed to have children at a relatively young age, progress professionally and maintain thriving careers. We have seen countless YPs pass up potential partners and end relationships in favour of his or her career. It is possible to have both.
Some YPs take longer than others to grow out of that “party person” stage. Well into their 30s they can still be found at all the city’s night clubs and bars, often intoxicated on both weekdays and weekends. Many professions call for nights out in terms of client dinners, networking events and other events, but strategic YPs possess the ability to maintain a balance of the “work hard, play hard” mentality. It is when the latter takes over that potential opportunities are lost. If you are seen as a party person, potential mates may see you as fun for a night or a few months, but not as husband or wife material.
Some people may self-sabotage relationships the same way they sabotage their professional success – something we recently reported. He or she may not feel worthy or deserving of a healthy and respectful relationship and may either consciously or subconsciously do everything to result in a failed relationship. This could include things like repeatedly going after the wrong type of person, ruining things with the right one by sabotaging the relationship with inconsiderate and jealous tendencies or indulging in reckless behaviour that will inevitably affect the functioning of any relationship.
So, if a healthy, stable relationship and marriage is what you desire (not because your mom wants it or you feel you should), take a step back and evaluate why this isn’t happening for you. It could require just a few minor adjustments.