Singles Over 30 Took This Survey. Here's What It Revealed.
For the past two months I've been in the throes of constructing a better blog and business for The Tended Garden.
Building something that's meaningful to readers, specifically my target audience: single people over 30, starts with actually talking to them.
Inspired by Toni Morrison's advice to write what hasn't been written, I created this platform to not only tell the truth in a fresh way about single life, but to also neutralize loud, shallow pieces packaged as "real talk" that I was frustrated with.
I belong to the audience I create for, but we're all different. Some of us aren't scared of long-term singleness. In fact, it's what some of us want. Others want nothing to do with indefinite single life. "Boo me up, stat!"
The purpose of the survey is to get to know you individually to understand your daily life, interests, hopes, and frustrations to create relevant pieces, write better copy, and focus my time and energy on what matters to you. For example, this survey saved me from writing a lengthy piece about solo dining. Like, zero of you were interested! So for now, that idea is safely tucked away on my things-people-couldn't-give-two-sh*ts-about shelf.
Over the past week and a half, I've conducted one-on-one telephone interviews and gathered responses from a survey that I posted on Instagram, Facebook, and emailed directly to Subscribers.
The survey is still open, but so far, here's what it has revealed:
Nearly 40% of you who took the survey say that freedom and financial independence are what you love most about your life. But watch what happens when I ask you what you love most about being single.
The percentage of you who mention freedom and autonomy jumps up to 83%!
I understand. There's nothing like doing what you want, when you want. I wonder how attached you are to your freedom and if you're willing to have less in exchange for a long-term committed relationship. Let's talk about that later.
For now, we'll make the most of our freedom.
Women Are More Open To (Or Comfortable With) These Conversations
94% of survey respondents were women. 94 percent! I wrote about this in What Men And Women Really Want. If you have time, it's worth reading.
In short, last year I participated in 2 separate relationship panels, one targeting women and one targeting men. Both events were overwhelmingly attended by women, which made me curious.
I did some digging and here's a stat that I found and shared in that post:
"According to dating coach, Evan Marc Katz, the self-help section of any bookstore is 90% geared towards women. He says, 'This is a market reaction to the demand for this kind of advice. Women ask for dating advice, men generally don’t.' "
To be fair, these are two different subjects. My survey is about life for singles over 30. The panels were explicitly about relationships. What links the two subjects together are knowledge seeking and exchange, which women are more receptive to.
Based on numbers, men who are receptive to personal conversations with strangers, both openly and anonymously, are anomalies.
In fact, there's a survey going around now about...bushes. Bush maintenance. Bush care. Bush grooming. I think you get it.
The owner of the survey said so far she's received over 2,300 responses from women and 180 from men (that's less than 1%). Click here if you're a dude and want to take the survey. It took me more time to go through my mail than it did to take this survey.
I have definite ideas about this, but I'll save that for another post on another day.
Real life vs what everyone thinks
Remember that juicy, lustful scene I painted in the opening of Peep Show Vs. Privacy? The life that everyone thinks we have because we're free to mingle? All that sexiness, the blindfolds, and multiple dates? Yeah. Ain't none of that happenin' in real life.
Here are the top five activities in the typical day of a single person over 30:
work, exercise, tv, read, sleep (in no particular order)
As far as typical days go, after a hard day's work, we're happy to go home, watch tv, and sleep in our hair bonnets in peace.
"Solocationing" won as the most interesting topic of 4 listed. Apparently a gang of y'all are ready to set sail by ya damn selves. "Side Businesses For Singles" came in second. Trailed by "Writing A Perfect Dating Profile." And as I said earlier, not one person was interested in "Solo Dining."
I don't know if that means that you don't need advice on how to walk into a restaurant, plop your hungry self at a table, and dig in! Or, if it means that you absolutely refuse to do so. Either way, your disinterest is noted, so we're moving on.
By the way, I love solocationing, so I'm all in. In the meantime, check out this interview I did with Ana Rivas about international solo travel on a budget. And watch this video of my adventures from L.A. to San Francisco up Highway 1.
Mainstream Dating Advice
You're not here for any of it! In fact, someone said they don't even bother with it. I do believe I found my people because neither do I.
You're over mainstream dating advice. Not because you're disinterested, but because you say it's mostly negative. When 90% of dating and relationship advice is geared towards women, that means that women are bearing the brunt of that negativity. Here's an exhaustive list of tactics used in mainstream dating advice.
Contrary to popular topics targeting singles, whose authors I believe do an excellent job writing for their conventional audience who find comfort in tradition, there are those of us who are disconnected from antiquated mores and find these subjects uninspiring.
But just when you think you're less traditional than your parents, sex and religion enter the conversation. Let me tell you, this survey confirmed my suspicions about single sex over 30! Some of you are conflicted because of your religion or spirituality and some are not conflicted at all--it's either, "I'm clear about my limitations" or "I like sex. I want sex. The end." So far, one group is larger than the other. But you guessed it. That's for another time.
Leave a comment below if you want to know what other interesting things I learned about singles over 30, including: most used social media platform, feelings about online dating, what's liked least about single life, the effect religion and spirituality have on sex, and more.
If you want to weigh in, it's not too late.
You have two options. You can take the quick survey or we can chat one-on-one.
Photo credit: Unsplash via Pexels