I feel too old to 'start over'

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    Hi everyone,

    I’m having a bit of a panic attack about my current situation. My boyfriend and I of 2.5 years broke up a month ago (for the best).

    I’m extremely stressed out right now that I’m currently 34, single, no prospects, and no kids. Girls around me at work are all in their 20’s and have boyfriends, and a life ahead of them, and I’m feeling so jealous.

    I have wanted a family and kids for as long as I can remember..and that idea is turning into a fantasy that may never come true.

    I feel like I have baggage, am damaged and too old. I dont know how to be positive right now…and on top of it, a guy that I was finally interested in at work, turns out has a girlfriend. It was nice to have the feeling again, of excitement, but now I’m back at the bottom. 🙁


    First off, I am so sorry about the breakup, those are always tough. My best advice I can give you is to stop comparing yourself to other people as nothing positive can come from it (this is something i struggle with!). People may look like they have the perfect life from the outside, but everyone is on their own journey and at some point in the past, future, or present they have dealt with hard times. Also, 34 is very young! I know a lot of people who would kill to be 34 again (haha), it’s NEVER too late to “start over”! I have found that true love/happiness doesn’t come when you’re searching for it, you have to be happy with who you are as a person, alone, first and stop worrying about the future. Just focus on the present, let go of expectations, maybe try meditating and journaling (i have started writing down things i am grateful for each day, it really helps), and be happy with who you are, “baggage” and all. You are a beautiful soul and someone will be very lucky to be your significant other one day. When that day will be, dont worry about it!! Enjoy the journey, best of luck to you.


    Dear heartbrokengurl:

    Starting over implies there is the beginning of a relationship and the end: marriage, children and they lived happily-ever-after.

    I claim not only isn’t this beginning-end the normal, but it never happens. Not even once in the whole wide world. Not even once. Can it be? All those books with “and they lived happily after”- and it NEVER happens?

    Never, I says.

    In two hours I will go to bed and sleep sometime later. In the morning, if I am alive, I will start over another day. One day, one night at a time. We have nothing but this moment, maybe the next, and we all start over and over and over and over again…

    Focus on the moment, focus on the life you have, learn all you can, be curious, be engaged. Don’t use life as a means to an end that, I say, never happens.



    Dear heartbrokengurl

    I am very sorry to hear your story. It’s very hard to adjust to it while you see everyone around you have ‘achieved’ a certain stage in life.
    I am also single at 33 and turning 34 soon. I just had a very bad breakup last year when my partner cheated on my with my very good friend.
    I guess i had my part too, i was not very into my partner for a while and just string her along.
    In any case, I feel the same as you do from time to time, getting a bit lonely and jealous of other people, but once you focus a bit more on how to make yourself happpy, try to commit to it, you will turn things around.
    And I had a dream of having a happily ever after family when I was younger, some people have that chance but some don’t. and in fact, who knows what’s the best, they probably fight every day while you don’t notice only(I admit it’s kind of evil to think people aren’t doing great but thinking that kind of make me feel slightly better)
    And part of the duty as a adult when we grow mature is to understand how to re calibrate your life, it’s hard, but that’s a way to attaining happiness I think
    and yes, it’s not too late to start things at 34. I just did my 2 months backpacking alone and it instills new energy into me. some people think it’s too old and too tiring to do so but I try to do it anyways, and I am now safe home, proud of myself than ever.
    I hope you will be at peace with your situation very soon.
    All the best

    Nina Sakura


    It’s been a month since the breakup. For now, please stop these unhelpful, hopeless thoughts. Your concerns on being older are real no doubt but comparing yourself to others will eventually push you into depression.

    Here is the deal – yeah having babies after 35 gets harder. Even harder after 40. But there are modern fertility treatments available which are available for many working women who have decided to have children later. There is also adoption bdw which is frankly a really beautiful idea.

    All you can do for now is to ensure that you are at a healthy body weight, are physically active, do proper strength training and eat right. There is no substitute for exercise especially.

    The next thing would be to find your center outside boyfriend and baby. What is it in life you look forward to outside these two things? What gets you excited? What are your hobbies and passions?

    After a few months, ask your friends to set you up when you are emotionally ready. Try online dating. It is perfectly normal to want a family but be willing to work on you as well. Read good books, do deep breathing, journal when you start feeling overwhelmed by misery and despair. These emotions will come on and off post the breakup but you gotta ride out this dragon.

    Thats ironically the starting over.

    For now, clean up your life-style and find a new activity to keep you engaged.

    Never too late. Always a way forward.



    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I honestly don’t know what I would do without this site right now!

    I know I need to gain some self esteem, and just go through the motions and feel everything, its just so hard sometimes.
    Im not sure why it just seems I keep picking the wrong guys, hoping that they will change, and it never happens. My internal clock just seems to always be screaming at me…and there is a real possibility that kids will never happen for me, and Im trying to make myself ok with that.

    Im in no way ready to really date yet, but I suppose I need to be more picky the next time around.

    Harmen Breedeveld

    Dear Heartbrokengurl,

    First the most important thing: a very warm hug from the Netherlands. You are worth that.

    I wanted to write you because I felt much like you do when I was 35. I was struggling with my work and relationships were not working out. I got depressed and was in a dark place.

    Now will not follow a story of me finding a great job and the perfect partner. Life is not a movie.

    But, life can be much richer and more interesting than a movie.

    In the past five years, I have slowly begun to give my life new meaning. I have developed a passion for sports. I have made new friends in New places (in the Couchsurfing community, for example). I have lived some of my travel dreams. And I have worked abroad several times. Something I wanted to do but was so afraid of doing.

    This all was not easy. I am now not a Zen-master fully in balance with life and the universe.

    I have no idea where I will be in five years time, and whether it will be with someone.

    I still have dark days sometimes.

    And yet … These past five years?

    They were the best in my life. I am proud of the things I have been able to do. I am grateful for the things my body, my soul and the world allowed me to do. And I am hopeful for the future and looking forward to it.

    I do not know where your life will lead you, and where you will lead your life.

    I do know that you may very well surprise yourself. There is strength, the ability to wonder and to empathize, to dream and to dare, in you.

    I would not be surprised if, five years from now, your life has changed and developed in ways that will make you look back in wonder and smile.

    Love from the Netherlands. I believe in you.



    Dear heartbrokengurl:

    I like your last line: “I suppose I need to be more picky the next time around”- it takes less time (which is important to you, time) and way less energy long term to prevent a problem than it is to try to solve the problem once you are in it.

    It will benefit you greatly to evaluate a man before getting into a relationship with him, be selective and choose a compatible man, instead of not being selective at first and then trying to change a man who was not compatible with you to begin with.

    It may help for you to write down what a compatible-man looks like, behaves like, lives like to you, at least, what the necessary ingredients of such compatibility, so that you will have those standards clear in front of you next evaluate a candidate for a relationship.


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