never married, over forty, a little bitter


Jacob, as Atlantic writer Dan Slater frames him, is the embodiment of a new dating market where the allure of “online romance is threatening monogamy.” Whenever he meets another woman online, Jacob (not his real name) thinks: “This person could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two people I’m meeting this week.” Why have a real relationship, Slater asks, when there are so many attractive, successful partners waiting online?

I don’t know—maybe because we’re not all aimless and lazy thirtysomething straight dudes? Jacob may be meeting a buffet of sexy professionals and college students through his online dating profiles, but those women are meeting … Jacob. Slater doesn’t interview the paralegal, the lawyer, the naturopath, the pharmacist, the chef, or the twentysomething about their experiences dating online. They might speak to an alternate narrative of online dating: This Jacob could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two Jacobs I’m meeting this week—Oh, God. Why settle down when there are so many other unsuccessful, unattractive partners with whom you could make a horrific, lifelong mistake?


Wonderful interview here on childlessness:

I think the real question is — what can society do to normalize Elsa’s situation? An urban area is more accepting of non-nuclear families, as well as singles. I think it’s her friends, neighbors, pastor, yoga instructors (who might, for example, address the class as if everyone were a Mom — i.e. — “Moms are tired” … as if no one else had challenging life situations!) Her co-workers who preface every meeting with ceaseless chatter about their children. The women at the gym who turn their back in the middle of a conversation when one of their “Mom” friends comes in. It is truly a social status of second-class citizen…

There is no push button answer. Most books on childlessness are written NOT by people who are childless, but by psychotherapists who are mothers. We need to be able to speak for ourselves, to be heard. The Internet is a great resource lately, but these blogs weren’t around four years ago, when my friend was going through this…

I can speak for what works for me, which might not necessarily work for someone else. First, I write, which is not a replacement for having a child of one’s own, but a distraction, pleasure, obsession, assertion, as well as a way to vent. I am lucky that many of my depressions have been cured by travel, a change of scene, whether a day in New York or a yoga retreat. I get out in nature, I pray and meditate…

In the future I plan to write more for people who live without parenting due to health issues. The media just shows us the woman paralyzed from the neck down who managed to have a baby — with a huge support system, money, etc. Most chronically ill people I know are unmarried and trying to keep a roof over their heads. To become obsessed with having a baby in such a marginal life situation is just madness, but we live in a baby-mad culture right now.

a new year

Having recently stopped my search for marriage and babies and adopted a laissez-faire approach to dating, I’ve found myself almost manic with newfound enthusiasm and interests. I have always had other interests, but with the marriage/babies concern taking up an inordinate amount of space on my hard drive, I was slowed down and distracted. Suddenly I’m speeded up. The pile of books at my bedside threatens to topple over at this point.

Since this may be my last year, possibly even my last few months, in fair L.A., I’ve further decided to explore the city to its fullest, restoring my initial wonder upon arriving here six years ago. I may or may not pick up friends and dates along the way, but I plan to embrace this place in all its weirdness, a la The Big Lebowski. And it is that weird.

In this spirit, I dusted off an old resolution and will push myself to try something new every week. This past week I went to lunch with a few women from a new yoga class. I’d been invited before but had felt shy. I’m glad I went, as two of them are from my former city of residence, two are dancers, and one has my same autoimmune condition, so there was a surprising sense of connection.

In regard to other new beginnings, my single friend who had a baby using donor sperm and elected upon another round has just given birth to her twins. A few years ago I would have been horrified at her hubris, but now I think it could work out, and I mildly wonder if I should have taken the same chances. But it’s too late and I don’t feel much emotion about it. I can now more easily wish her the best.

I also stumbled upon another old acquaintance from high school on Facebook. She was a pretty child, a pretty teenager, and is now a pretty adult. She’s married, in the same city, two kids. A few years ago I would have scoffed at her in self-defense, thinking she must be boring. In fact, I probably would find her a bit boring, but her life has probably been a lot less stressful and in many ways a lot healthier than mine. That gets me to another resolution, which is to keep up my stress-relieving practices and physical activities, since I can overcompensate intellectually for the lack of intimate relations in my life. I also remind myself that all my other less-pretty friends are also married, so in the end, looks aren’t the deciding factor.

Overall I feel ready for a fresh start, as last year was about processing and letting go of my anger. Another great post on Gateway Women about this:

This is what I felt a lot of last year– intensely– but it has subsided:

It’s not fair. It’s not fair. It’s not fair. I get it. Life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. And that bitch got to be a mother and you didn’t.