Women

I’m 30+, Unmarried and Living My Best Life: How to Be Happy as a Single

bySusan Lau
  • Jan 04, 2024
  • 4 mins
woman on laptop

After spending my 20s worrying about my future, finances and relationships, turning 30 was actually a huge relief for me. I (gradually) stopped worrying about what people thought about me, and most importantly, decided to put myself first.

Today, my career is going great in a field I enjoy and thankfully, I’m still in the pink of health to be able to enjoy what I do. I’m proud to say that right now, I’m 35, unmarried and living my best life!

During the day, I’m hustling hard at my job and come evening, I set aside time to exercise or hang out with my close friends. My only commitment is my home and I thoroughly enjoy decorating it with clashing prints and sipping coffee on my balcony ‘café’! But, of course, my life is not devoid of societal pressures to settle down and start a family.

You see, to my elders, my life is often deemed incomplete due to the lack of a life partner and kids. Frankly, I thought these pressures would ease once I turned 30 but till today, my marital status continues to be the start of many conversations at every family get-together.

Regardless, I’ve decided to accept my life the way it is right now and live on my own terms! To instead, focus on my personal relationships, growth and development, and even finances.

Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, my circle of friends have dwindled down to just a handful as I’ve started to prioritise quality over quantity, preferring the assurance that my friends will always have my back.

In saying that, work commitments and more, can certainly make it challenging to stay in touch with loved ones these days, which is a poignant reminder of the need to put in time and effort into nurturing relationships with those nearest and dearest to me. For example, taking time to celebrate each other’s birthdays and celebrations in life, sending each other pastries during times when someone’s had a bad day, and scheduling catch-ups. This is a pertinent aspect in my life as staying in touch with others can help to ease feelings of loneliness or isolation, and instead, positively impact my mental health especially as I live alone.

With that in mind, while I already have an established group of friends, I look forward to forming new friendships so I can expand my horizons and hopefully, learn something new in life!

Another way I’ve been investing in myself is through hobbies. As unconventional as it may be, I have developed a love for Muay Thai and have been actively pursuing it in my free time. Muay Thai has taught me what it really means to be ‘strong’ – not just physically but also mentally. The training can be quite gruelling, and it takes a lot of determination for me to pull through each intensive session.

However, putting in the time and effort into practice and seeing myself improving a little each time makes all the fatigue and bruises worthwhile. Plus, there’s something very empowering about being able to hold my own as a woman in a Muay Thai gym that’s usually male dominated. It also helps that Muay Thai is a form of physical exercise, allowing me to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

The last but most important lesson I’ve learnt from my late 20s up till now is knowing how to take better control of my finances and to put myself first especially when it comes to my financial needs.

Back then, when I first started financial planning, I was at a total loss. Using a simple budget tracker, I was shocked at how much I was spending and it didn’t help that my savings was earning eye-wateringly low interest rates in the bank. At the same time, I didn’t really understand or seek out the many types of investment options available.

It was then that I decided to get up to speed on the basics of personal financial planning. I read several articles, watched videos, attended webinars and even sought advice from my more informed friends. Lest you think social media is only a platform for pretty pictures and vanity, you’ll be surprised to learn that it is also a great place to pick up financial tips these days.

With the help of a financial advisor, I was also able to take better stock of my overall portfolio and receive guidance on how I could better grow my wealth through savings plans and other means, based on my current financial capability, phase in life and ambitions for the future. This really gave me the assurance of being able to be self-reliant and financially independent at all times.

Despite the ongoing societal pressures to settle down, individuals can choose to embrace their independence and forge their own path. The following insights provide guidance and perspective for those navigating the nuances of single life, as they continue on this journey of self-discovery.

group of friends eating together

1. Focus on Self-Development and Personal Growth

The journey toward being happy as a single is a unique and empowering adventure. To navigate this path successfully, consider it an opportunity for self-discovery and skill-building. Here are some specific tips and ideas on how you can achieve personal growth and self-development:

  1. Embrace Continuous Learning: Enrol in courses or workshops that align with your interests. Whether it's learning a new language, honing a creative skill, or delving into a subject you've always been curious about, continuous learning adds depth to your personal growth.
  2. Set Personal Goals: Take the time to identify short-term and long-term goals. These goals could span various aspects of your life, such as career, fitness, or personal development. Working towards these goals provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  3. Travel and Explore: Use your freedom to explore new places and cultures. Travelling solo can be a transformative experience, allowing you to step out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and gain a broader perspective on life.
  4. Volunteer and Give Back: Engage in volunteer work for causes that resonate with you. Contributing to your community or a charitable organisation not only makes a positive impact but also provides a sense of fulfilment and purpose.
  5. Build a Personal Brand: Focus on building your personal brand, both online and offline. Showcase your skills and passions through a blog, portfolio, or social media. This not only boosts your confidence but also opens up opportunities for networking and collaboration.
  6. Network and Form Connections: Attend events and networking gatherings to meet like-minded individuals. Building a strong social circle can provide support, inspiration, and valuable connections that contribute to your personal and professional growth.

By actively pursuing these tips, you can make your life a rewarding adventure filled with self-discovery and personal growth.

2. Create a Supportive Social Network

One of the keystones to unlocking the secrets of how to be happy and single lies in the cultivation of a robust and supportive social network. The significance of building and maintaining strong connections with friends cannot be overstated.

These relationships become the pillars that support and uplift us on our journey. A supportive social network provides a sense of belonging, understanding, and shared experiences, mitigating any feelings of loneliness or isolation. Whether celebrating victories or navigating challenges, friends offer companionship and emotional support. By investing time and energy into cultivating meaningful friendships, individuals can embrace the happiness that comes with being single.

3. Prioritise Wellness and Self-Care

Amidst the hustle and flow of life, prioritising your wellness and embracing self-care becomes paramount whether you choose to stay unmarried or not. Begin by establishing a routine that includes moments dedicated to self-care – whether it's a daily walk, meditation, or indulging in a good book.

Consider adopting healthy habits, like maintaining a nutritious diet and ensuring you get enough rest. Don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep in rejuvenating your mind and body. Also, try incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine. Whether through meditation, yoga, or journaling, these practices can enhance self-awareness, reduce stress, and contribute to your overall well-being.

Surround yourself with positive influences, be it through uplifting literature or supportive relationships, and be intentional about carving out time for activities that bring you joy.

4. Get Your Financial Planning Right

Managing your finances well is a key part of finding contentment in life, regardless of whether you're married or not. Start by crafting a budget that aligns with your unique goals and lifestyle, ensuring you allocate funds for both necessities and the little joys that make life vibrant.

If you haven't already started, start investing – take advantage of compound interest by starting to invest as early as possible.

Consider exploring insurance savings plans and investment-linked plans (ILP) to secure your financial future.

Insurance savings plans offer a safety net for unexpected situations, a crucial element even if you don’t have dependents right now. The insurer may periodically declare bonuses, which are essentially a distribution of a portion of the profits from the Life Participating Fund to the policyholders. Additionally, these plans typically come with a guaranteed cash value, ensuring that policyholders receive a minimum amount regardless of the fund's performance.

Meanwhile, investment-linked insurance plans (ILPs) not only provide an opportunity to increase your wealth over time, but they also offer the flexibility to adjust insurance coverage based on your changing financial needs with regular premium plans. However, it's important to note that ILPs do not typically come with a guaranteed cash value.

These two distinct financial products cater to different needs, ensuring both protection and growth, which is especially beneficial for those who are single and independent. Explore Income Insurance’s savings and investment plans now. Don't shy away from seeking advice from financial advisors who can help tailor a plan to your specific needs and aspirations.

Building a solid financial foundation not only fosters independence but also offers a sense of security, empowering you to live life on your terms. Mastering financial planning isn't just about the numbers; it's about securing a future where you have the freedom to thrive and enjoy the moments that matter most.

No matter your relationship status, the most important thing to do is put yourself first and plan ahead so you can financially support your future decisions.

Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but what I do know is that whether unmarried or married, I’ll be capable of striding ahead confidently and taking control of my own happiness. So I encourage you to take the first step to living your best life today!

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