I find it interesting how things NEVER turn out the way you think they will. I feel like humans spend a lot of time anticipating things and the ease with which they will happen some strange day in the future…
As soon as I get out of school;
As soon as I get into school;
As soon as I get married;
As soon as I get divorced;
Or in my case, as soon as my kids grow up and move out.
I have a relationship history, baggage let’s say. due to the fact that I am apparently old… I have more than the average of marriages/divorces under my belt but that average was from before I was 23, I am a very different person now and like ALL OF US, with what I know now, of course I would make different choices. But then, I made some pretty grown up decisions that have somehow, made my life easier then, and decidedly more complicated now. What vexes me is that I always thought it would be easier now.
What I am finding however, is that most everyone within what I find to be a comfortable dating age range either has very young children or wants to have them. Many who approach me right out the gate make it clear they are looking for a stepmom not a partner per se (mostly the freshly divorced). It is frustrating. Not to mention, the job I have now is less than encouraging when it comes to parenting or co-parenting. I see the worst in people as it relates to parenting and children. So, there is that, too.
I could have more children; if I got a $7,500 surgery or did IVF, I have checked into it, as recently as two years ago. I have been curious about it a long time. I was even going to do surrogacy until I turned 37, which is the magic age that makes it unprofitable. I am at a point in my life, professionally, psychologically, financially, etc. that I would probably be a really good parent (not to say I wasn’t before, but hey money and education really do help.) I envy some of my friends who are just having their first. My family members, too. Meanwhile, I’m expecting grandkids any day, at the ripe old age of 38. But I really don’t think I would want more of my own; that being said…
I’ve never had kids with someone who wanted kids. I’ve never had kids when I wanted kids. I’ve never really co-parented longer than a couple years. It is all very tempting. Truly. I had my tubes tied at 21? 22? because I love kids. I just couldn’t afford more of them and without support, couldn’t parent more than the two I had, alone.
Once upon a time, I thought that would be attractive to someone. No ticking biological clock. No concerns about a pregnancy oops. No reason to use protection in a relationship. You know? Alas.
Instead, I find that really amazing connections and potential connections, are lost because of it. Sigh. Patriarchy wins again. And I didn’t even get to participate in the conversation, it was just a decision they made. (At a point in dating that had I, as a female, brought up having children, I’m sure it would have been weird…)
Men have no real shelf life when it comes to producing children.
*yes, yes, #notallmen are fertile. I know.*
But in general, if a man can find someone to get pregnant, he can until he dies.
We women, we are burdened with the choices that we have to make to raise the kids we have. We bear the main burden and decisions to keep or not keep a child. Yes, men might participate but we bear the brunt privately and publicly. We are burdened with a window of time to procreate.
We are burdened:
Be pretty. Be young. Be fertile. Be smart. Be humble. Be a feminist (but not so much that I can’t open a car door for you or be manly).
Be what I want or need in my idea of how things should be.
I wish people could communicate better, I am very upfront about not looking to have more kids or get married.
Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, just that I am not looking for that.
There are always ways to make a family. Family isn’t always about marriage or genetic children. And hey! Technology has made all sorts of things possible. People are having children in their 60s. Men are having babies. Nature and technology can find a way.
Meh, I digress. This post wasn’t meant to be about that particular piece. But regardless, of my ability/inability to breed, navigating online dating is much more difficult than I ever imagined.
Maybe I am too hypervigilant. (*Just because I am hypervigilant doesn’t mean I am wrong… Just FYI)
Maybe I am gunshy. Maybe I don’t know the new world rules of what is appropriate now in nonorganic database dating regarding contact, texting, amounts, context. I never really “dated” before. I was married at 16. I have randomly been with other people over the years, but usually it was friends of friends or friends that I became romantically involved with. The first time I online dated, I got lucky. I ended up spending the larger part of 5 years with the first person I dated from okcupid. So, my experiences have been limited. And everyone seems to have a different idea of what “normal” is.
This dating go round, 25% have been amazing, too awesome, probably. 25% have been boring beyond belief. 25% have been aggressive and controlling. And the last 25%? Oh yeah. Sex offender. Woot. Hell of a learning curve there.
Way to go, filters.
So I will just sit here, like the memes say, and wait for mr/mrs right to break into my house, I guess. Huzzah.
*I might have agreed with them in said conversation which never took place. Or maybe I’d have wanted to have a baby. Who knows now.
But you know, I just wanted to know they knew what it felt like to be thirsty. I didn’t want a glass of water.*
Bonus points if you get the reference.