Dilemma of a 30-something Woman

**Taking a break of regaling you with news about my Cambodian trip, by talking about my dinner last night with Angela (name changed).

Last night, I had an amazing dinner with a friend. Let’s call her Angela. Since she said she hadn’t been on a date for the past 6 months, I decided to treat her out to dinner. 😛

And no, I’m only interested in men.

But still, it was all in good fun.

And there was great conversation at the table.


Last night was the first night she went out after her surgery. She recently discovered that a cyst in her breast had turned malignant and had an operation. Good thing, she is well in recovery and the tumor was caught in time.

She had a new hairdo and looked great! I thought she looked very elegant and beautiful, although she looks more down than her old more-positive self.

We had dinner at the Mesa Grill, which is located at Li-shui street (near Alleycats). It’s authentic Californian cuisine at quite reasonable prices, and I myself had a nice chicken roll with blue cheese and asparagus. Yummy.

We talked about her life.

She had just quit her job because she wanted to take more rest, especially after feeling overworked and underappreciated at her job.

I thought that was a pretty good idea because she needed time to recover and rest, and with over 10 years of PR experience, I didn’t think that she’d have trouble finding another one. In fact, I referred to her another job opening at BenQ which I believed is the right fit for her.

She’s also worried about her age.

For some reason, a lot of Taiwanese women start to think a lot once they hit 30. There’s just too much pressure for women here to get married… and at 34 and single, she’s not willing to waste any more time.

I don’t feel like going out that much anymore,” she said. “I’d rather spend more time with my close friends. Maybe that comes with age, but if I go out, I’d rather have it with the intention of finding a prospective mate, like in a date.

That was very blunt… and honest. A sentiment shared by many Taiwanese women over their 30s.

Back in my 20s, I spent all my time working and my career bloomed,” she explained. “But I didn’t really spend a lot on my social life… 16 hours of the day, I was at work, striving perfection in what I did. And I was very good at my job.”

Now, I tell my younger sister, who is at your age,” she continued. “Not to focus too much on her career and have a wholesome life. I don’t want her to be like me still single and alone at 34.”

I looked at Angela and I see a wonderful woman. Smily and cheeky most of the time, she usually exudes positiveness and optimism. I think she’s a great woman and have nothing to worry about. I told her that she was at the peak of her life.

She disagreed. She wanted someone, a companion to share her life with and she hasn’t found anyone else yet. She wants kids, and yet, feels that she’s running out of time.

Honestly, though I understand (and may understand even better when I’m in my 30s and single), I still found it sad that such a happy woman would crave for marriage and a family as much.

Angela said that she now feels complete, though this is lacking.

But I told her that one is already complete, and men are just the icing on the cake.

It reminds me when I was talking to my guy friend earlier last week. He said that it scares him to talk to women in their 30s because they’re all so “desperate” to get married. “You can just sense it,” he said.

I could sense it in Angela, and I’m not even a man. 🙁

Yes, I don’t want to die alone… but I don’t think a marriage is an end-all, be-all of all problems. At 34, I think Angela still have loads of time (I have actually hoped to be like her if ever I reached 34), but she disagrees. She believes that it’s more difficult to compete with younger and beautiful women, which guys in Taiwan prefer.

I disagreed. I think there is beauty and maturity that comes with age. And if those men are out looking for sexy, hot bodies… then, they’re not really guys you’ll want to be in the long run. And after knowing that a great guy is key part for a successful partnership, I’d rather wait and take my time than to rush it.

I tried to boost her confidence, as I know she has a lot to offer.

As I’ve said, she’s very pretty with a great smile and wonderful personality. Geez, if I was a guy, I’d go after her, 34 years old or not!

But it’s amazing how she could see herself differently. I could sense that she was being discouraged by all competition available out there, and feel that she’s got to go for that last train, or else.

Which made me realize, and correct me if I’m wrong… a lot of women here have huge bouts of insecurity (myself included, of course).


Over the past few days, I’ve come across women who seem to have everything, but are insecure looks-wise or whatever.

At first glance, they seem to have it all. But once you talk to them further, you realize that they’re not so sure of themselves as you think. And it saddens me, because I have come to realize that one should have confidence on oneself to make it in this world.

I admit, I am insecure too. My post, “My Bad Side :-(” clearly shows that…

And though I will not delete that post, frankly, I look back and laugh on how insecure I can be. Only insecure people can be truly jealous, because if one is sure of himself/herself, what’s there to be afraid about?

Thank God I got out of that phase… and again, a confident me has come back again (Thank you Cambodia!).

Seriously, I feel great right now… of course, everything’s up and down… but right now, I’m on the upswing. Maybe it’s with conversations with my girl friends that boost my confidence. By talking to them, we realize our own value and theirs, and it helps a lot.

Anyway, I felt that Angela should have more confidence in herself. At 34, she’s on top of her career, and yes, a family would be great right now… but I think she has enough oomph to have that “take it or leave it” attitude.


We also talked about her ex, whom she broke up with 2 years ago.

She said that he was her first boyfriend… and there was no one who have ever pursued her so fervently like he did. For 4 months, he sent her flowers, picked her up from the office and just swept her off her feet. However, after going out for 4 months, he broke up with her, citing “you have no self-confidence around me” as an excuse.

She said that it was probably because his parents didn’t really like her because she didn’t have the right family background, she was a year older than he was, and she was vertically-challenged.


Everyone knows that family background isn’t important… the right upbringing is. And as a guy, he should’ve defended her from his parents!

Unfortunately, you and I all know that that’s more of the ideal, than reality. Not a lot of guys have the balls to defend someone from their parents’ ire.

Anyhow, it’s quite obvious that she was very much affected by this relationship, despite her insistence that she’s finally over him. I find myself finding so many similarities with her story and mine, and I told her how.

She advised me to quit cold turkey and not be a friend to my ex because it would hurt me so much once he starts dating another woman. In reality, she had explained, she agreed to be friends with him because she was still very much in love with him and wanted him back. Unfortunately, her heart was torn to pieces once he started dating somebody else.

It’s sad though… it’s already been two years. 🙁

I think her story is similar to a lot of 30-something year old women in Taiwan.

Here, everyone expects you to be married or attached once you reach your 30s. Angela said that she’s sick of hearing people ask her if she’s finally found anyone else during family reunions.

Maybe I should make a big poster saying that yes, I am single… I am not attached or dating anybody,” she bitterly said.

Sigh. This is the reality that we live in.

Society teaches us that we need a man in our life to be happy.

We need to have family and kids before we are ever complete.

This got me thinking, is this really true?

Yes, I admit, I crave companionship too. I want a stable partner to share my life with. But if it doesn’t happen, then what?

Coming back from Cambodia, I’ve come to the realization that no matter if I have someone by my side or not, I’m still great. I have a great life, with a nice job, down-to-earth colleagues, a blooming social life, and more. Whether a man is there or not is unnecessary.

And that’s really empowering.

In fact, I’m looking forward to living a more independent life from now on.

Case in point, tonight, I have Toastmasters. After that, I’m thinking of going to the gym for some indoor wallclimbing exercise.

I don’t know who’ll be there or who’s going… but who cares?

I want to go, so I’ll go. Whether someone is there or not is unnecessary. I’ll just find someone to belay me, that’s all. I don’t need anyone in particular to be there for me to have fun.

Piece of cake.

So till tomorrow!

C’est La Vie!

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6 thoughts on “Dilemma of a 30-something Woman

  1. Raven, I feel girl-power brewing in this site! Whatta great posts you have around here.

    I’ve just hit 30 myself. I admit that I dreaded the day when I reach this age. To my surprise, I felt like I’m just starting out on almost everything – career or otherwise. I used to be like our Angela here not so long time ago when I was desperately rooting for the corporate ladder. I had occassional flings back then but nothing really serious, then there’s the “reluctant” ex to deal with as you know. I was not really under pressure to get married and produce an offspring all the time that I was fighting tooth and nail to stay climbing on that proverbial corporate ladder. All I was telling myself at that time is that this life is a journey for me and it’s my decision how it will turn out eventually. When I started thinking that I am the one in charge and not my parents, not my boss, not my friends and colleagues; I started living my life! I mean really living it without worrying what anyone thinks. That was kind of liberating for me which made me cautious as well coz this time I’m in-charge thus I’m taking full responsibility for my actions. And I guess that attitude helped me made an objective decision to marry someone whom I think can share this life and empower it to make me an even better person.

    And that feeling of being in control and happy about it never left me eversince. I guess, at this age and time I am what you call a late-bloomer when it comes to self-confidence development.

    Nevertheless, the issue is on one’s self to get hold of. When we’re 20-something and worrying too much about one’s image and prospects the future can really look grim and intimidating. BUT, when we start living for the moment and have fun on what’s going on – we won’t notice that we’re hitting our 30’s.

    Trust me. 🙂

  2. Inday, thanks for the compliment. *blush* You’re SO right, regardless on what age you are in, it’s so important that you focus on living your life than worrying about your career, your lovelife among others. As they say, things always work out in the end! And that take-charge attitude is really very empowering.

    Thanks for that reminder. I’m more than focused now on living my life and enjoying every bit of it. Single, attached… well, who cares? Regardless on which stage we’re on, it’s important to be happy!

  3. “Society teaches us that we need a man in our life to be happy. We need to have family and kids before we are ever complete. This got me thinking, is this really true?”

    Partly. Bearing a child is one of those “fulfilments” for being a woman, yes?

  4. Not true. Motherhood can offer a sense of fulfillment but bearing a child necessarily don’t. Meaning – not all biological mothers are fulfilled and some adoptive moms are.

    Being whole as a person is a spiritual journey, i believe. Nothing and nobody really determines how long it will take, all one is aware of is that slowly slowly everything falls into place and comes full circle. One friend attended a funeral and came home a different person. Another just woke up one day and felt complete. Being complete and feeling such is an entirely different level of reality, that one has to step back and take in all in.

    I think this explains why some people are ready to die and move on to a higher/different phase of existence but still breathes and walks among the living. I call these people “angels” because they have understood humanity and such exists at an elevated level.

    A woman fulfilled is a woman complete and more. She is full of her being that she oozes with the urge to give and to give more. She can’t stop giving. She can’t go back to not giving at all. She gives of herself like her cup runneth forever. Can you imagine a woman like that? Have you met a woman like that?

    When you’ll meet her, you’ll know.
    She’s what we call a “goddess”. And she might be lurking within…

  5. Another wonderful, insightful post Inday! Yes, it would be great to feel complete, regardless of external factors. Hope to unleash that goddess lurking within! 😀

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