Being right on the line for Gen X and the Millenials, I've heard the phrase, "I'm single because I've been working so hard on my career" often. It's staggering how many women are so focused on their career yet America is in the middle of a depression. Their self described hard efforts alone should be worth 3% GDP growth. How do they find someone when working 40 hours per week? It's amazing that any woman can marry before 30 while working 40 hours per week. The mysterious way that men do it and have done it for years is a class in Patriarchy 101. In the spirit of helping women, I've been searching my soul to solve their conundrum. Then my mom visited. It all fell into place.
My mom went to college, got an office job, got married, worked her tail off, had two kids, worked hard before the days of flex hours, and eventually made it to VP of a S&P 500 company. She was a good mom, and her kids grew up, never committed crime, never exhibited social dysfunction, got college degrees, married and most importantly, her daughter married, had 2 children well before age 35, and makes over double the average working woman's wage. My sister has it good. See, my mom instilled a set of beliefs and values to balance work and life with focus a holistic view of both; plus she handed down good genes to my sister. A family was always part of her life approach. A 'career' was a means to set up her future children with a childhood better than she had. Career was a means to an end, not the end.
You, younger Gen Xer or Millenial are approaching or are beyond 30 with virtually none of those things (worse, you may have a kid but no man). Without a 'serious boyfriend' (I love that phrase), you're 18-24 months away from being married, because you'd need time to make sure he is right, and then plan the wedding you've always wanted. I got a news flash: if you're over 30, single and childless, you might as well adopt a cute Chinese baby now. You worked hard in your 20s as if that would pay off, but you're stuck in a shit job or one with limited upside. You should've met the guy, had the kid when you were 22-29 and taken time off earlier in your career. Taking time out at 35 at mid-level or after a decade in a field will hurt worse than earlier in a career track or just before you're too locked in to change industries. Here's the other thing: you're old to play new bride. Sorry, Mr. Right got married to a woman 5 years after you rejected him to a woman 5 years younger than you. I'm not sorry to rub salt in the wounds, but he found the younger girl while working hard at his career.
Please don't blame it all on your mom. Sure, your mom probably was a Boomer psycho who spoke bullshit to you about half baked women's lib, waiting for a family or '90s girl power repackaging of women's lib, but you didn't have to listen. You could've learned from her mistakes. You could've also rejected consumerism. You didn't. They sold you lies, sure, but you still ate them up. You could've looked at the carnage of your mother, aunts, older siblings and rejected it. It's been going on the last 30+ years. Maybe I'm being too harsh. You've truly built a majestic career as the fundraising coordinator at the American Red Cross of Punxatawny, the director of social work at the United Way of Fall River, and the drone, replaceable worker at XYZ interchangeable company. I'm sure you are single because of all of those hours you spent on Facebook bitching about how slow it was at work. It's not the men, it's you. Life is a series of choices, and you're living the life you chose. Just keep in mind, employee of the month and quarterly spot awards don't visit you in the nursing home.