Even at the zenith of your aesthetic existence, casual sex is a minefield. It’s hardly surprising, then, that when you chuck a couple of decades on top of that, you have some kind of Hunter S. Thompson recipe for fear and self-loathing.
Or so you would think.
The truth is, however, that being the wrong side of 30 and single, despite what the rom coms would have you believe, isn’t that bad. That’s not to say there are no complaints, but as the well of ancestral knowledge that is Reddit’s r/sexover30 community reveals, bachelorhood in this modern era holds some tantalising features.
So: whether you’re happily hitched or whether you sense greener grass on the ‘man pad’ side, the ‘freedom vs. commitment’ debate is likely to pique your interest. Even if only to know what your mates are up to.
Enter: the Reddit thread, “For you single men here in your 30s or 40s, how is it? Is it wonderful to be free (and sleep around casually) or are you lonely and desire a relationship?”
The answers are as varied as you might expect from a 99.8k community, ranging from the stereotypical to the strange, the hilarious to the meh, and everything in between. Thus, here you have it: the brutal reality of being a bachelor in your 30s and 40s.
It’s not as glamorous as you might think
Much as we try to put words to it, this sentiment cannot be better expressed than it was by the following comment: “I play video games on the nights I don’t have my kids and my roaring sex life is usually tugging one out in the shower.”
“Yeah. I’m living the life.”
Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you’re searching for a relationship
“31. I feel like I’ve sort of ‘arrived,’ one guy said. “I’m totally content with where I’m at. I’ll shoot my shots but, truth be told, when I do I’m half hoping they don’t take me up on my offers.”
Commitment-phobes still want intimacy
“Casual sex is cool I guess, but intimacy is what makes it really satisfying, and you don’t get that from hookups. Like, empty sex is fun but it isn’t worth spending time or energy chasing. Not even gonna lie, intimacy itself arouses me,” another man admitted.
“The other day a girl was joking about wanting to steal my heart and marry me and I got really turned on haha.”
Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you’re more lonely than anyone else
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about the single life is that it is inherently less emotionally satisfying than the married one. But as one Reddit user revealed, this is not necessarily the case: “I don’t think real loneliness comes from not being paired with someone. I’ve been in multiple relationships, even married once, and I was still just as lonely during those times.”
In fact, true loneliness comes from emotional isolation
As the same Reddit user continued, “Real loneliness is emotional isolation. I’ve found a number of ways to deal with isolation that have mostly taken care of any stress that being single has caused me in my past.”
“Missing your partner hurts, your partner being inconsiderate hurts, fighting with someone you love hurts, breaking up hurts a fucking lot. But being single doesn’t hurt at all.”
The grass isn’t always greener, though
Another user then chimed in, providing the other side of the coin, so to speak: “As someone who is married, has a couple kids, and occasionally fantasizes about being single and sleeping around….I’m going to answer this question.”
“It [being single] isn’t better. You know how I know? The reason I fantasize about it is not that there is something so inherently bad about being married, it’s that over the years I have let things slip, and the cumulative effect of those things occasionally makes things unpleasant.”
“Fixing those things is hard work and so I dream about not having to worry about them and meeting random women who would be more interested in sex than my wife is,” he continued. “If that really happened? It would probably be a big reality check to the extent that the things that are not great in marriage are not great because of me.”
“Avoiding fixing those things doesn’t mean that the root causes of them go away.”
“So for a time maybe you’re happy. Eventually, though, there are no shortcuts. You’ve got to fix what’s jamming you up in your marriage or it will jam you up dating just as easily,” he finished.
Being single will not necessarily result in all your fantasies coming true…
“This is exactly what I am learning after leaving a 6-year relationship,” another man commented. “The two of us had run our course – I did not break things off with the intent of sleeping around. However, I am noticing that women are 100% not interested in me this time around. I wasn’t fighting them off in the past, but I was often at least flirted with to some degree.”