At 32 you do things that your 20-year old self would have scoffed at. You spend time creating inspiration boards, setting goals, taking life coaching classes and getting excited about the book club you joined. You do these things because they make you happy. When a 25-year old Hipster calls you lame, you just laugh because they haven’t figured out that being your authentic self is way more important than being someone’s definition of “cool”
After a very brief flirtation with the couch potato lifestyle, you wake up one night – on the sofa with your hand inside a bag of rice crackers – and realize that something has to change. You’ve been athletic your whole life. As a kid you swam, ran track and danced ballet 4 times a week. Your body and mind runs best when it’s getting intense, sweaty exercise and not just of the amorous variety. When you cut out the gluten, lower your carb intake & start hitting the gym again, you feel awesome. Pushing your body and being active isn’t just something you need to do, it’s part of who you are.
You’ve always been petite and your body didn’t change much throughout your twenties. However, when you try on the size 0 cocktail dress you wore to your 28th birthday and you can no longer zip it up, you frantically run into the other room and ask your Mom:
“Is it possible that my rib cage expanded over the past year?”
Yes, yes it is.
Your body changes at 32. Your rib cage expands and your hips widen. Your bust increases, you go up 2 bra sizes and your boobs become a force to be reckoned with. You go from 105lbs to 120lbs in just over a year. Although it’s a bit weird adjusting to these new curves, for the first time in your life you no longer feel like you’re going to float away, you feel grounded. When you see one of your best friends in Toronto she says, “Are you sure you’re not pregnant? I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that your boobs are huge and you’re positively glowing.” You just laugh and smile.
You start understand what Audrey Hepburn meant when she said “happy girls are the prettiest.”
At 32, Divorced is the new Single. Half of your friends who got married in their twenties are now split from their original spouses and are exploring relationships with new partners who are a much better match. Some of your friends start to get married for the second time – which, you’ll admit feels a bit weird & deja-vu-ish, but also kind of awesome because you’ve never seen them this happy before.
When it comes to sex, you and your friends start to see the effect exposure to porn has had on the male population. For example: Gents, if you want to have anal sex with a woman, do not spit on her ass-crack while having sex with her doggy-style and just hope she takes the hint. It’s likely she won’t want to have any kind of sex with you after that move. To be safe, just don’t spit on women… ever. Unless she asks you to do it. If she’s in her 30’s, she likely knows what she wants in bed and whoa, hormones be crazy at this age. Just roll with it. Unless it’s anal sex – you should always talk about that first.
At 32, if a man has a full head of hair, it’s an asset. Furthermore, you never thought you’d reach the point in your dating career where you become attracted to men with grey hair. Around 31-32 you start to appreciate a little salt and pepper action. It’s to the point where you don’t even notice the grey hair and you just think “that man is fucking hot.”
You realize the importance of pheromones – those invisible love chemicals that lead to sexual attraction. A man who smells good for no apparent reason makes you weak in the knees. It’s this very powerful sensation that leads you to have a steamy two night fling with a guy that you meet while you’re on vacation.
The chemistry is great and you just want more, more, more. However, when he drops you off in the morning, and you kiss goodbye, making vague plans to see each other again (that you both know probably won’t work out because of geography), you suddenly feel this aching sense of loss in your gut. This leads to the realization that maybe you’re not as thick skinned as you once thought. That maybe casual sex isn’t for you. That although you’d like to deny it, your heart lives in your vagina.
27 years of friendship, and your best-friend is still the person who always makes you feel better.
“I did something last night that I’m afraid to tell you about”
“Oh god, did you have an orgy?!”
“What?! No! Although I’m kind of impressed that you actually think I’m the kind of person who would do that.”
“Well, I dunno. You never know”
“I just slept with someone I barely knew and now I feel weird about it.”
She laughs and says, “Oh, Simone. That’s OK! Did you have fun?”
“Yes, very much so! But now I have all these weird feelings that I don’t know what to do with”
“It’s Ok, it’s just a shock to your system. You went from living with your mom, not dating, to being in another city and…..”
“Full out sex, drugs and rock-and-roll?”
The ache in your gut eventually goes away, however it leads to another important realization:
You love sex but you also need to feel safe and protected. You want someone who will rip your clothes off, throw you down on the bed, say and do dirty things to you, but who will also hold you afterwards because they think you’re lovely & special. Someone who smells good, holds doors open, and loves it when you read stories you’ve written outloud because they love it when you do all of the different voices.
After a year of being happily single, of not wanting to be attached to anyone, you come to the conclusion don’t want to date and/or sleep with a bunch of different people, you just want to just spend time and sleep with one special person. Oh wait, there’s a name for this kind of person! It’s called a boyfriend.
Does this mean…. you want to be in a relationship?! I think it does.
And at 32 1/2, you decide this isn’t such a bad thing.