I’m a 40-year-old woman who has never been married and has no children. While everyone was busy in their twenties finding a partner, I focused on actualizing my goals and dreams. As I get older, I wonder if I’ve made the right decision? I’m happy with my life. I have a successful career, great friends and most of all freedom. My only concern is that I don’t want to regret not experiencing marriage and children. I realize that I’m running out of time.
Dear Biological Clock,
In the movie, My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei expressed your situation perfectly when she said, “My biological clock is ticking, ticking, ticking.” It must be stressful to feel like you only have a short window of time when making a major decision. Try not to feel overwhelmed. You have options. If you discover that you can’t have a child the traditional way, look into adoption, insemination, or find a surrogate. Love is always possible whether it manifests itself in the form of a child or a partner. There is no expiration date on finding a love and creating a family to which you share your life. Slow down and breathe. Take some time to reflect on your value system. Be gentle and patient with yourself.
I think the first step is to evaluate if you really want to enter into one or both of these commitments or you’re trying to avoid the fear of missing out (#fomo). Getting married and having children are major life changing choices that are not for everyone. Remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits all lifestyle. Consider what best aligns with your needs before tying the knot or placing a bun in the oven.
Monogamy is not better than being single. It’s just different. By nature, humans compare and quantify in order to assess value. What works for others, might not work for you and that is okay. At the same time, we always want what we don’t have. Often, our minds convince us that others have it better. You might look at the people around you who are married with children and think that something is missing, while those same people are envying you. From how you described it, you’ve had a rich life. There is value in being able to have the freedom and independence to do what you want. It’s important to note that you don’t need to get married or have children to live a fulfilling life.
Society indoctrinates us to believe that as women we are somehow lacking if we choose to remain single and childless. Our generation was raised on Disney movies that programmed us to think that a woman isn’t enough unless a man chooses her. What is admirable about you, is that instead of waiting for someone to choose you, you chose yourself. So many people enter into marriages for the wrong reasons whether it be financial, emotional or social. Make sure that if you choose to get married, you do it for the right reasons and not because you’re succumbing to societal pressures on what you should do.
The greatest piece of advice I can give you is to take time to soul search. After, just let it be and go with the flow. The universe has a way of giving you what you need and withholding what you don’t.