never married, over forty, a little bitter

Category: blogs

the hermitage

I haven’t been a complete hermit lately but I’m still at the stage where spending time alone feels like a treat. The women I have hung out with recently are distracted by burgeoning romantic relationships or actively searching for them; our time together is oriented toward those conversations and pursuits. I don’t blame them for this, but I’ve got other things on my mind these days. In lieu of people to discuss them with, I prefer to spend time alone, roaming around my own head.

Although I’ve always liked having a social life I’ve come to accept, especially as I get older, that I’m a pretty big introvert. If I do end up with a partner, it will probably be a fellow introvert. I liked this blog post:

The older I get the more I like being on my own. This is not a bad thing as I spend the vast majority of my time actually alone. I work from home and I live alone. I am single. I’m an introvert and find large groups of people exhausting (one-on-one I love). I’m not particularly shy, and can be downright gregarious in the right situation, but on the whole, I prefer my own company.

selfie motivations

Obviously, not everyone wants to partner up and make babies; I’m not saying that is the literal end goal for all of our social media ego building. I’m talking about our primal motivation, before you account for all the conscious decisions about our individual lives we each make aside from that. When you really follow the motivation behind every single post down to its source, you will always, always find a desire to connect, to be loved, to have sex, to be seen and known and desired and valued by another person. The only question is why are we so afraid of that? (Answer: confronting the basic human underpinnings of all of our daily actions would mean existing in a permanently vulnerable state, and I think we can all agree when I say, “Fuck that.”)

No matter what social media vessel you feel most comfortable with, be it pouty-lipped selfie or 2,000-word essay defending selfies, we’re all perpetually striving to put together all the pieces that give the impression of our best vision of ourselves, cast forth in the hope that someone will notice and love us in whatever way it is we need to be loved. The only reason we hate on selfies is because they are way less subtle about it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to, literally or figuratively, put your best face forward. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be loved. Maybe if the rest of us weren’t so strangely opposed to admitting that that’s why are on social media in the first place, we would be less judgmental of the selfie-takers who aren’t afraid to wear their approval-seeking behavior on their sleeves.


LWB: What’s one thing you want other people (moms, younger women, men, grandmothers, teachers, strangers) to know about your being childfree?

Justine: I think a lot of times we are considered to be sad and bitter women, or people feel major pity for us. I think after we do our work of recovering from struggles we can actually have better and happier lives. It took major work to get to this side. My sad and bitter moments are few and far between, but I have to stay on top of my recovery.


Some excellent answers here. That is all:

getting over it

By my reckoning, here are some things I have “gotten over” in the past decade:

1. Getting over the need for a social scene, getting over the need for a social group, getting over the need for a best friend. All while getting over the idea of a close and supportive family of origin.

2. Getting over the idea that there is an ideal place to live. Some are more suited to me than others, yes, but all seem to involve significant trade-offs.

3. Getting over the idea that there is an ideal job. Again, some are more suited to me than others, but all involve the daily grind of solving one problem after another, eight hours a day, and all involve a certain amount of indignities suffered at the hands of the public, bosses, and co-workers.

4. Getting over the realization that I have ended up becoming the type of person whom, at least in some part of my youthful psyche, represented the worst sort of loserdom: single and childless and without some sort of glamorous career to compensate.

5. Getting over the idea that I am guaranteed to find a satisfying romantic relationship, despite being just as able to engage in one as the next person.

6. Getting over the idea that I can truly rely on anyone but myself.

These are pretty big things to process, and it certainly took some time, time that others were often too impatient to grant me:

Being told to “just get over it” is devaluing. It implies that I am making a mistake in processing an event. It indicates that something is wrong with ME because I am in still confused about something that has not been resolved. The statement is emotionally abusive. – See more at:


Here’s the problem: While “childless” means the condition of being without children, it implies that everyone who does not have children would like to have them. However, being “childfree,” like Mirren—and like me—means that one does not want to have children at all.

The implications of using these two terms interchangeably reach beyond celebrities, of course. People (not just women) can be childless for a lot of reasons—reproductive and financial challenges among them—but, like being childfree and not wanting kids, it’s a deeply stigmatized experience, accompanied by shame. Both groups of people are in search of a community, and finding that can be incredibly difficult, particularly when you might be looking in the wrong place.


What do you wish people knew about infertility/involuntary childlessness?

That the pain never truly goes away. You may react less viscerally to certain things than you once did, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t still shed a tear each year at your niece’s dance recital because it’s always going to be a reminder of what you’ll never have, you’ll never be. And that there truly are few things in this world more painful than not being able to make your dreams of a family come true.

the brazen

You see, Im single, and thirty and sometimes I just feel really alone. This is a world built for couples, for families and I am tired of being just me.

There was a time, and not so very long ago that I would have been a little ashamed to admit that so openly and brazenly. But its true. Somehow its easy to feel ashamed of those desires as though by saying that I want to be married I am admitting to being a mindless knit wit of a girl who sees value in herself only if she is loved by someone. It’s not that I feel that I am getting so old, or that I see all my friends married and feel left out, it’s not that I feel that I must be unlovable if I don’t have some man doting on me and getting down on one knee to propose. It’s not even that I am often lonely, although I am. It’s none of those things.


I’m talking, of course, about marriage. As a little girl, a teenager, a young adult, marriage was a given. There was never an if, but rather a when — when I get married, when I have kids.

Now older, I see a bigger picture with more possibilities. And one of those possibilities is that I will never get married. It’s hard to swallow, but if I’m being a realist, I have to consider it. My parents refuse to believe it. Apparently if I pray hard enough or expand my horizons or agree to date someone I’m not interested in, love will blossom.

behind the walls

My biggest lesson from access into the Mommy Club is this: Being a mother does not make you automatically connect with another person. I’ve found the same holds true for infertility. It just might give you something to talk about for a few minutes or a few get-togethers. We are more complex and interesting than our children. Or lack of them. I choose to instead consider that we are all part of the Human Club. And for that, there is no special admittance required.