Single Black Male: How Do Men Feel About Turning 30?

17 comments
October 8, 2012 ‐ By Dr. J
"Man stressed out pf"

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Last week, I celebrated a birthday. Without getting too deep into the details of a man who is struggling with the fact that age 30 is soon to come, let’s just say, it’s right over the horizon. Many of my close friends, mentors and family began to ask me more this year, “What are your goals for this year?” I’ve never gotten this question as much as I got it this year, but it made me think to myself. What goes through a man’s head when he’s facing 30?

I would imagine this question would be a lot easier to answer if I had hit some of those life landmarks that many others have, but I haven’t. I’m single, I live in an apartment, I still live in the city that I was raised in (despite leaving for college), and it’s becoming increasingly important that I focus on my career as I head into my highest earning years.

Career

In your early twenties, you’re just starting out in your career. You haven’t made any firm decisions on grad school or if you’re actually in the career that you want to stay in for the rest of your life. However, in your late twenties it becomes evident that you’re either in the career that you’ll be in for a long time, or it’s time to get out now in order to avoid being stuck. In my early twenties, I spent most of my time focusing on hitting my goals at work, but also doing just a little less than my ultimate best. Happy hour much? I sure did. Now that I’m in my late twenties and looking at thirty, I’m thinking about exactly who I want to be professionally and what position I want to be in as I reach thirty. This requires that I spend more time focusing on being my best daily at work and sacrificing temporary fun in nightlife for high powered days in the office.

Location

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they start to ask themselves if they’ll ever leave their hometown. It’s a safe network and if your family is around, you’re used to it. Of course, many of us go away for school, but many of us come right back afterwards and settle back into our old routines. I’m originally from Washington, DC, and I love this city dearly. I’ve spent extensive time in New York and Atlanta, but neither fit me the same way that DC has fit. I know that I don’t want to be in DC for the rest of my life because I know there are new experiences that I want to encounter. I also know that this requires that I really begin giving this some thought now. Inevitably, as my family ages, there may be a need for me to come back one day, so it’d be best I leave soon.

Home Ownership

Personally, I think that young adults put too much emphasis on home ownership. I’ve always felt like I didn’t want to purchase a home that was less than the quality of living I desired, just to call myself a homeowner. However, the nature of renting is that the cost goes up every year. At a certain point, you look up and you’re as angered by your rent as the taxes that come out of your paycheck. What does this mean for me? It means that it’s time that I make a decision. Do I want to save a huge chunk of money for a home, or do I want to just YOLO the experience and see what type of condominium my current financial situation will allow me to purchase?

Relationships

As a man reaches the age of 30, we realize that being married by the age of 30 is not all that important. We’ll be just fine if we’re single well into our thirties. However, if we’re smart we begin having a conversation with ourselves about what we really want out of a mate. Whether that is a girlfriend or a potential wife, we have to stop playing games with women we really don’t see any type of future with and focus on substance. That conversation we have with ourselves leads us to an introspective look into whether we want children, and if we think that marriage is a part of that desire. I think that where I am is realizing that I have no intentions of bringing children into a single parent household and that means that I’ll have to find a mate who agrees.

As men near thirty the conversations that we have with ourselves become heavy. They become meaningful and they become conversations that aren’t as youthful as the ones we had in our early twenties. We’re running out of years to make mistakes and have them categorized as excused absences. I think I reached this birthday and I told myself, this is it Jay. I’m not sure many men feel the same way; 30 is not the end of the world, but it is surely the end of your twenties.

Dr. J is a writer for the men’s blog Single Black Male. Dr. J’s inspiration and motivation for writing comes from a desire to provide real and honest advice to all. His approach is no nonsense and rarely sugarcoated.  Follow him on twitter @DrJayJack.

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  • Darrk Gable

    As a man, I can say that what Dr. J is saying is true. I hit my point a little after 30, but 30 is a milestone age. I was married before 30, but the other aspects are so real. It took me until 31 to figure out what I’m doing isn’t what I want as a career. Whether a man is single, married, or in a relationship, he’s got to reach a point where he knows himself. Careerwise, datingwise, spiritually, and financially. It just so happens that 29-32 is when we normally do it.

  • glad-b

    I cant speak for both men and women out there. However personally as a woman, I think that as I approach 30 the less I sweat the small stuff and am able to discern what is important for me and my future. My early 20s were frivolous and very much self indulgent, I would not change those experiences for anything, I really enjoyed that period i.e. the clubbing, being the number 1 intern at work etc. My early to mid 20s were riddled with mistakes in my career, on the romance front that make me smile ;) today because in hind sight, I don’t regret them. I also found myself consistently explaining my decisions to anyone and everyone that would give me the time of day and listen, because I was insecure.

    In my 29th year on this earth, I am enjoying my increased focus and direction in life as I get to know myself more and more. I find that my friends are going through the same experience. Our paradigms are geared towards more quality life experiences as opposed to fleeting sensory overloads i.e. meeting that guy at the club, hooking up, dissecting every single details of that experience in order to cause some drama to “shake things up a bit”.

    I look forward to next year (the year I turn 30) and new things I shall discover about myself and my future. Furthermore, God places before you potential learning experiences every single day in order for us to live up to our potential. You don’t sweat the small stuff! Drama was a turn on for me then but not now, I avoid it like the plague.

  • Adrina

    “30 is not the end of the world, but it is surely the end of your twenties.”
    I’ll be 30 in 2 months and it’s definitely a reality check, but it’s not the end of the world. And I’m definitely not ready for kids. But marriage yes…and my career is almost set in stone, but I hate NYC lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.f.vorhees Jason Fangz Vorhees

    Whats not to love? Im having way more fun in my 30s than i did in my 20s. biggest reason….money! Better job, more money for travel and play!

    • TRUTH IS

      …and run games…lol

  • TRUTH IS

    Why would men care when they dont have a biological clocks…..the games continues way into the 30s

    • Yay!

      Men do have biological clocks. There is an ideal age range for them to reproduce and recent studies show that some developmental conditions of children born to older mothers can also be attributed to having an older father.

      • TRUTH IS

        Tell that to Kelsey Grammer, michaal douglas, etc…lol

    • Adrina

      You have one but it’s more focus on appearance and just age period. Eventually, you won’t be the hottest thing on the block anymore. Young girls won’t want you, for real…and older women will turn away bc they know your game..and refuse to invest any time in a man who still plays it. Eventally loneliness will get you.

      • KIR12

        If a man takes care of himself and works out this won’t happen until his mid 40′s/50′s. Average to attractive physically fit black women in their teens and twenties pretty much have their choice of black men. After 30, it’s a (working) man’s world.

        • IJS

          Cosign. I’m a guy in my late-30′s, and I get much more attention now from women in their 20′s than I did when I was in my 20′s.

          • Adrina

            Are you more established? Make more money, etc? Have you ever thought maybe it has nothing to do with your looks even if a woman tell you that? And there are beautiful middle age women who get just as much attention, gentlemen…so stop it. smh

          • KIR12

            Right, black women in their teens like guys in their 20′s. Black women in their 20′s like guys in their 30′s. Same with 30′s and men in their 40′s.

        • Adrina

          So do women of other races have their choice of blk men after 30? (just asking your opinion) Do you have stats or studies to back this? Or is this your opinion because it’s happening to you. The same for women…I don’t’ understand why you would think otherwise. How many “cougars” are out there pulling these young dudes off the bench.

          • KIR12

            What does white women have to do with this? Most white women and women of other races get married before they’re 30. While they have the most options ie choice of men interested in them. You know this

            • Adrina

              Dmn I can’t ask a question lol. and to @dr. dubya

          • Dr. Dubya

            What do women of other races have to do with it? But I co-sign KIR12…