Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Aging Single Woman's Dilemma

I am still actively searching for a loving relationship with a man who is right for me. But I am becoming less and less able to imagine that happening--at least within the time frame that works for me when it comes to having a family.

Even if I were to meet the man of my dreams tomorrow, it would be months, even years, before we were able to commit. So why should I wait for the perfect man to come along, when I know that I could be a loving, nurturing parent to a child right now? I will never give up looking for a relationship, but in this day and age, do I really have to wait for a traditional relationship while foregoing my dream of having children? The beauty of our modern age is that the answer is no!

I don't "hate men" or "think they are unnecessary" as several people (particularly those who do not know me) have suggested. My problem remains that I am much too romantic at heart to "settle." An article by Lori Gottlieb argues that I will be sorry if I don't settle for someone (anyone?) before I have a child on my own.

Lori wrote that she has regrets about having a child by herself. This deeply upset me, and also rang alarm bells. I hated her article (it was incredibly honest but also presumptuous--as if all our journeys are the same--as if every relationship was somehow in our [the female's] control and ours to lose).

But one thing she wrote did resonate with me: are there men in my past who I rejected, simply because I had "more time" and thought someone better (more passionate, more seductive) might come along? How would those men look today? I'm not saying that I am looking to settle--definitely not--but I can't help but wonder how my outlook may have changed. I decided that, in two cases, it might be worth revisiting and seeing what happens. Evan and Matthew...two old flames...both single.

The question is: what are my intentions? A relationship, or a baby?

1 comment:

Jess said...

Hi, just found your blog. I totally echo this dilemma and these sentiments. Like you, I am educated and have a Ph.D. I am also 37 and single. For me, I have been hurt by past relationships (am still scarred actually), and despite my efforts I wasn't moving closer to finding a healthy relationship. I struggled with the "am I looking for a relationship, or am I going to settle for someone who will make me a mother?" So, after a long time thinking, I decided to go for the single motherhood route.

I am thrilled to be pregnant (yet overwhelmed by every step). But I still feel there is a hole. At times I get sad that I don't have the loving relationship to go along with it. That there isn't that someone who is just as happy about this baby as I am because it is part of them too.

I spoke to a friend about it the other day (she is currently engaged) and she said that we ALL search for the loving relationship and the happy marriage...even those who are already married. Hmm. So it's NOT just me.

The positive thing is that I am feeling like I MIGHT be able to find the relationship someday. It's funny...I have always thought pregnancy was so unattainable...and now, magically, I have this little 20 week old fetus growing inside me. So if that is attainable, maybe (just maybe) a relationship is too.

Sorry to have gone on so long here. I just relate to your post and it got me thinking. Looking forward to continuing to read your blog and following your journey. Can I add you to my blog list?