never married, over forty, a little bitter


Thanks to Gateway Women Daily for this one:

Because it’s not simply that a baby puts a whole person-ful of problems into the world. It takes a useful person out of the world as well. Minimum. Often two.

…every woman who chooses — joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of her own free will and desire — not to have a child does womankind a massive favor in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people. …


If this worked out, our relationship would redeem all the lazy cruelties that had come before:  in the light of something that proved so right, I could look back and justify everything else as a necessary prelude, like Elizabeth Gilbert and the dashing Brazilian guy.  But if there was no trusting rest to look forward to, no shelter to hope for, what were these years in the desert for?  — Gideon Lewis-Kraus, A Sense of Direction, p. 193.

Michael Cobb would argue that the “years in the desert” are in and of themselves the point.  In his book Single, he devotes a significant amount of text to the (literal) desert as a place to connect with the universal, away from civilization and the confines of couplehood.  His thesis brings to mind kundalini yoga, and Nietzsche, and his own example of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man.


Having had more than a few dates this past year that were okay, even nice and enjoyable, but that didn’t seem to leave any toes tingling, oh how I can relate to this.  My (paranoid?) suspicions have been that while I haven’t been enormously interested myself, the men have decided I’m not worth the bother due to my age:

I’m guessing he once was keen but is as fickle as me and hot and cold.  But probably more cold, having concluded that I am too old or unappealing, or fat or thick, and that, after the investment of a few gettings-together and a hundred quid or so, he has found that plankton, and more specifically I, just don’t do it for him.

Now I am going away.  He knows when I am back, so we shall see.  No idea whether or not I shall ever see him again.  Which is fine; just slightly odd.  Middle-aged dating is just so peculiar; just so extraordinarily nebulous.


Now that the games are underway, the mom props have really been rolling in…there’s a subtle undermining at play in these kinds of stories, the message that no matter what else a woman achieves in her public life, she is always going to be first and foremost defined by her children. That if she attains anything else, it’s kind of a neat trick.


I just finished reading Single:  Arguments for the Uncoupled by Michael Cobb.  It is a dense, academic treatise of the subject with an interesting thesis that a “couples culture” projects its anxieties and unhappiness unto single people.  I liked this line, p. 31:

Singleness is currently not compatible with a society in western Europe, North America, and probably other locations that wants people to feel desperate, lonely, fearful of death, and ready for toxic forms of sociality.

To whatever extent this is true, it offers another explanation regarding the ridiculous amount of time and effort I put into dating in my thirties.  I recall, in my late thirties, telling a friend that while I did have some life options as a single person, none of them were particularly good or appealing.  The friend disapproved of what she thought of as my “whining,” preferring to project an upbeat outlook on the single life.  If the above statement is true, however, is it “whining” to want to be in a couple, or was I simply intuiting that life in this society is difficult to impossible alone?

To a large extent being single still limits my options, as having someone to split the bills with would be a huge help in terms of funding my dreams.  Had I been living with a partner for the last five years, for instance, I would now have approximately 25k more in my pocket.  On the other hand, perhaps I would not have had the time and space to dream.

As far as a partner providing me with intimate connection and social viability, however, I am starting to balk at the idea that a partner is necessary for those things.  Not that it isn’t true, I’m just tired of trying to accommodate that truth.   I’ve had some intriguing developments on the romantic front lately, but they have all come with challenges, whether it be geographic distance, a big difference in age, or a racial divide that would kick up a certain amount of political dust and family drama.

I feel like I should be willing to do whatever it takes for “love,” but despite all my whining on here, I am starting to question that paradigm.  Whenever I have insomnia or feel uneasy or wake up dreading the day, I now imagine feeling that way with a partner, and it helps me realize that a partner won’t solve everything, and could potentially cause even more problems.

And surely having children gives one even more reason for sleepless nights.