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I Decided To Be Single Again At 35, When I Had It All…

Posted: September 21, 2020

A young woman dreams of getting married and making a family, only to let it go once her dream if fulfilled…

He said he’d be free this week.

Monday, he didn’t feel too well.
Mid-week, he was busy.
By Friday, he was gone.
This wasn’t the first time I’d waited for someone, perhaps not the last either.

You know what I’m speaking about. We’ve all been there.
Loved, lusted, waited, wailed — you know the feeling.
Love hurts. Totally sucks!

And then as I sipped my coffee and stared into nothingness, I wondered, what was that worth?
And how did I get here anyway?
Wasn’t I meant to be in a perfectly happy marriage?

Okay, so let’s take it from the top.

The fairy-tale I dreamed of

I grew up in a traditional Indian family where marriage was always a priority.

When I was in my teens, I’d tell my sister, “I want to be married by 22. Max 25.”

Having grown up on a generous dose of Bollywood films and watching friends getting married in their early twenties, I came to believe that the whole point of life was to find ‘the one’, and enter the land of happily ever after.

I believed that there was a logical flow to relationships — we went from attraction to love and onto marriage and children. It was unidirectional. It had to be.

If Cinderella and Snow White could live happily ever after, then so could I.
I was intelligent and talented — and my audacious goal was to become an incredible wife!

And as though the universe was on standby to grant me all my wishes, it gave me exactly that.

My wishes came true!

I fell in love at 18 and was married at 23. We had our daughter at 25 and then our son followed six years later.

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It was the perfect life.

I was living the dream and unknowingly, became a role model for many little ones who saw me as their hero believing that it was totally possible to rock an amazing marriage, be super mom and have a cool career — all at once.

It is. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Yet, at 35, I decided to let it all go and be single again. Going from the excitement of selecting the perfect wedding dress and the tenderness of bringing up children, to the pain of calling a marriage to a close, it wasn’t easy.
But nothing ever is.

So the question then becomes — what’s worth the pain? Having taken the journey that I did, here’s my view on what’s truly worthwhile and where we sometimes lose our way.

We‘re obsessed with marriage and weddings

Socially, marriage remains a very big deal for many.As I coach young adults and even teens, I sense the obsession even today.

It’s a beautiful feeling to share your life with someone who means the world to you, but I do feel that we’ll be happier if we obsessed less about the perfect dress and more about feeling complete in ourselves.

Believing that you’re enough is worth a lot.

We seem to have an immense need to convert everything into something tangible and measurable. For example, being in a relationship for ten years, or being married five. We often see it as a criteria for success. Yet, some of the most beautiful relationships I have are those that I can’t give a name to. Valuing relationships for substance over form is worth a lot.

Marriage is about space as much as  about togetherness

There are two things that define a truly fulfilling marriage — to know that you’re loved for who you are and to have the space to evolve.Relationships are never static and this journey needs to feel worthwhile.

Feeling loved and accepted for who you are is worth a lot. Many of us believe that ending relationships is that same as giving up on a person. It think that’s really unfair.

Parting ways is less about avoiding struggle, and more about picking different battles to fight. It’s more about growing up than it is about giving up.

Growing up with grace and maturity is worth a lot.

All in all, I think it’s the love that’s truly worthwhile.

Even though it hurts on some days, there’s a rawness to it and it adds texture to life. But in the absence of love, everything else is just a label. Finding the perfect relationship at the perfect age is totally overrated but to discover what you love and find the courage to express it, that’s worth everything.

Picture Credits: Still from the movie Thappad

First published here.

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Hi, I am Vinita Ramtri and I live in London. You can reach me via

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