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Insignificant others: A steppingstone to kids? April 10, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Just Saying., Your Responses Requested!.
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Copious Readers, what does it mean when otherwise Onely people–who don’t mind being single–are looking for a significant other just because they want to have kids? Is this a good reason to look for a significant other? Currently, our world is set up so that it’s a lot harder to raise children if you don’t have a partner. But it’s wrong that our society is set up like that. So are these people supporting a shoddy system when they first get married before having kids? Should more people consider adopting as singles? Or given the current sub-par state of benefits systems for single parents, is that unfair to the children?

My doctor, a single woman, adopted a little girl who is thriving. According to my research (a five minute Google search, ok? it’s the end of the semester and both Lisa and I are going insane), in 1970, the adoption would never have been approved. Nowadays adoption agencies are not supposed to discriminate against singles. But the reality remains that society and government don’t formally support the kind of  extended family and friend networks that help single parents provide for their children. Instead, coupledom is all the rage. So people who would otherwise be perfectly happy staying single, but whose biological clocks are ticking, start dating madly in hopes of finding someone to switch off diaper changing duties with them.

And the plot thickens with single men who want kids–they sometimes look not only for a partner, but a partner young enough to bear their biological children. (In some cases, this equals: yuck.)

Copious Readership, do any of you know someone in the situations I describe? Is it a problem for them? If so, what can be done?

–Christina

Comments»

1. Lauri - April 10, 2009

Oh man, where to start on this one…

First of all, did you know that China, one of the easiest and most popular countries to adopt children from, now does not allow single people to adopt?

WRT your comment about single men- I think I have encountered this a lot in my dating life, especially with guys over 30. I really don’t believe that a lot of them really care about who the woman is that they’re seeing, as long as they can bear children. At first I never understood why, whenever I did online dating, I got hundreds of messages from men old enough to be my father- if you’re going out of your way to search for dates, why not search for someone closer to your own age? Because…women their age can’t (or probably shouldn’t) have kids. Or they already have kids, and the men want kids who bear their genetic material. And there you go.

WRT people getting married just to have kids- well, I think that’s just sad, and I feel kinda bad for these people. Perhaps it is because I feel no urge to have kids myself, I have trouble understanding that other people have these urges. But then I also wonder, if I don’t have the urge, might so many people who claim to have just fallen victim to the societal pressure to want to have kids?

And it is true that raising children by yourself does not seem like an easy task. But I think you hit the nail on the head that the system is so built around couples, the community support needed to raise kids as a single parent is just not there. Single parenthood is, unfortunately, still stigmatized. I think that people assume that single parents are either 1) slutty women who had sex outside of marriage and had an “unwanted” pregnancy or 2) divorced people who have spit in the face of the sanctity of marriage and therefore do not deserve the help. But it’s crazy because single parents are really brave! Whether they are 1) single people who decided to keep an unplanned pregnancy 2) single people who have a planned pregnancy 3) single people who adopt (good lord, especially single people who adopt) 3) people who decide to get to divorced in the face of knowing they’ll have to raise kids alone 4) people whose partners die.

I think this goes back to the whole marriage question in general, and it’s the role of biological/societal clock. So I’m 31 right, and somehow, coincidentally, most of my friends just suddenly and simultaneously met “the one” at age 29 or 30. Now, if we are to prescribe to matrimania, how could be that there are certain ages that almost everyone just “happens” to find their “one true love” that they are “supposed to be with”? These ages differ across time periods/cultures/social class ect., but for any given group, it just seem to be magic that everyone gets married at once. I met my last serious boyfriend just before I turned 29. Everyone assumed we were going to get married FOR THE SOLE REASON THAT I WAS 29. If I had met him when I was 25, no one would have assumed that he was “the one” for me.

Here’s my finally comment (I promise) that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I saw this discovery channel about sexuality recently, and I also read a blog on Psychology Today that basically said the same thing: the only reason that monogamy works out for humans is because we stand upright and therefore have small birth canals and we have big brains and therefore more developed babies can’t get out of the birth canal. So our babies are born less developed than other mammals and require more help. But we’ve only really turned to life-long monogamy in the past few hundred years. People used to stay together long enough to have functioning kids and then go mate with someone else to diversify the gene pool. People didn’t have a bunch of kids with the same person. So the reason that people lose sexual interest in their partners after several years of marriage is that they become family. They share bonds with the children, etc., and basically having sex with your spouse becomes more like having sex with someone you’re related to.

And I buy this theory and it’s one of the main reasons I don’t like the idea of marriage for myself. If you have a hot and heavy relationship with someone and then you get married, you change your last name to his perhaps, you now become “husband” and “wife” you pop out a kid or two and now become “mom” and “dad, “sex is now associated with kids…I have a facebook contact that refers to her husband as “daddy” in her status updates…is it just me or is all of that pretty much the opposite of “sexy”? To be honest I can see how people end up with their first kid, but how they get the second is beyond me (possibly alcohol?) and that’s kind of what the evolutionary theory I mentioned above is all about.

onely - April 12, 2009

Lauri, No, my five-minute Google search didn’t tell me that China doesn’t let single people adopt. I should have said “in the U.S.” Thanks for flagging–I want to read up more about adoption in China now. I’m a bit of a Chinaphile.

I’m sure there are interesting parallels to be drawn between singlism and the one-child policy, but I have a headache so I’ll let this blog go on autopilot and let our Copious Readers inject with any comments on China–everyone is being so engaged with this post, and we really appreciate all your thoughtful perspectives.

All, I think this is the post Lauri’s talking about–fascinating.

http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/look-it-way/200904/the-monogamy-hoax

Christina

Lauri - April 13, 2009

oh thanks for posting the link. I was going with a stream of consciousness there and didn’t want to stop typing :).

2. Singlutionary - April 10, 2009

My ex boyfriend was obsessed with having kids. He was totally insane on the topic. He kept almost breaking up with me to get back together with his ex because “family was important to him and she understood that”.

But I think that the way we see the “nuclear family” as the best situation for raising children is not serving two parent families any more than it serves singles-as-parents or children in general. We really are part of a greater community and shutting out all who are not mother/father/sister/brother is eliminating a great deal of potential support and perspectives for children.

Regardless, I am often frustrated by all this panic because if you really want to parent, you can always adopt a child. Of course, the child might not look like you and if you’re white, it most likely won’t have the same color skin.

But I guess that if you really really really want to reproduce yourself and have a genetic mini-me, well, you best find someone to make a deal with.

Last night on Millionaire Matchmaker, there was a woman who was single and wanted to have a kid so she got in touch with a boyfriend from the past and they share custody.

Lauri - April 10, 2009

“But I guess that if you really really really want to reproduce yourself and have a genetic mini-me, well, you best find someone to make a deal with.”

I have to wonder why people go with this solution too though. I mean to me, if you’re going to make a new kid with someone, you’d want them to be someone who you’re not only really into, but someone who’s genetic material you really really want in your kid.

onely - April 12, 2009

Singultionary, I was horrified to hear that your ex hit you with that line about his ex. Oh, below the belt! And I’m sure if he’d gotten back with his ex to have a family, everything would have worked out swimmingly, because that’s an excellent reason to get back together with someone. As we know.

Kudos to Millionare Matchmaker woman for finding an alternative route. Antikudos to her for being on Millionare Marchmaker though.

–Christina

3. bobby - April 10, 2009

“do any of you know someone in the situations I describe? Is it a problem for them? If so, what can be done?”

well, I ended up in a situation where the lady and I fell in love and she had a son. The biological father was scum, so I helped raise the boy. I wasn’t looking for a “ready made” wife with children, but didn’t let that deter me either. Children are children, right?

I have known a few guys that wanted their “seed” or “name” to be carried on. I don’t judge, but believe this is the wrong reason for a relationship. If a guy finds a gal with a like mind, God bless them, as long as they are ready for the commitment.

It can be a problem if there is no sincerity and real love in these relationships, but that goes for any relationship I believe.

With the right reasons, live and let live I say :)

onely - April 12, 2009

Oh, I definitely judge. = )

Thanks Bobby! Can you please spread the word among the rest of your gender?
CC

4. autonomous - April 10, 2009

Wow, nice Friday topic! I too went through a spate of weddings about the time I hit 30ish. Many are already separated or unhappy. Lots of kids though! Also, I work in family law and seems to me, the messiest divorce/custody battles are between couples who married because: it was the next step; seemed like the right thing to do; unplanned pregnancy etc. etc.. More than one person has admitted that they knew before the wedding it was a mistake, but were too afraid to back out, thinking it would be nice to have a family…..

Once upon a time, my own sibling broke up with jackass boyfriend, then found out she was pregnant, married the guy, had two more kids, and after ten years of total drama is wending her way through the divorce court now. And it’s ugly and I’m tired.

Another scenario is unfolding right now with a friend whose bio-clock is ticking loudly- but she is emotionally and financially prepared to have a child on her own. Her boyfriend is freaking out about the kid thing, so she’s making plans to move forward on it in the next few months, including moving out. I admire her courage and we joke that she wants a child as much as I don’t. I thought I remember reading in Singled Out that kids of single parents usually can count on a broader support group than isolated marrieds?

I believe that the volatility factor in bad relationships is often what messes kids up, so if someone can raise their child in a chaos-free environment I say right-on. Much better than marrying for the purpose of having children and playing house, then realizing you can’t stand each other and the kid/s get caught in an emotional war-zone. That seems to me to be very selfish on the part of the parents, especially because those same kids are occasionally used as pawns for emotional blackmail.

onely - April 12, 2009

Autonomous,
“It’s ugly and I’m tired.” Indirectly, you make an interesting point–when social expectations push people into shoddy relationships for the wrong reasons, those people end up paying an emotional price–and so do their loved ones and extended social circles, to whom the victim looks for support. Which is ironic because if the person had stayed single, they’d have been looking to their friends and extended family for support anyway, but not necessarily in the draining way that a person coming out of an ugly relationship does. (Caveat: I’m all about supporting friends during a bad relationship time, but the problem is 1) sometimes it goes on for ten years, as in your case, and 2) sometimes people get melodramatic about little breakups over and over with different unimportant people, and that’s exhausting.)

Christina

5. SingleWomenRule.com - April 10, 2009

Good comments!

Lauri, definitely agree with your theory on the evolution of monogamy.

We see what happens when people let their biological clocks rule their actions.

Need I say it?

OctoMom.

—Keysha

onely - April 12, 2009

I think the problem with Octomom (oh, I forgot, I was trying to use her name Nadia to avoid monstrousizing her) extends way beyond her bio clock. Lisa said it’s documented that she got her lips done to look more like Angelina Jolie. That’s not biology, it’s, well, monstrosity. CC

6. Singlutionary - April 11, 2009

People seem to be hell bent on having a kid that has their genetics. I agree that if that this is the case wouldn’t you also be hell bent on having the other half of that kid’s genetics be from someone you love and admire?

Honestly, I have a very hard time relating to people who are so hell bent on passing on their fabulous genes but at the same time I understand that *most* people have some built in deep seeded biological DESIRE to do so. And I understand that people are blessed by their children.

But couldn’t they be just as blessed by adopting someone else’s children if they could just let go of their ego?

I really appreciate what Bobby had to say. Children are children. If you want to care for a child there are plenty of ways to do so without a) finding a sperm donor or b) marrying a sperm donor.

Wow. I am so glad to get that off my chest. Most of the time I get raked over the coals for saying things like that.

onely - April 12, 2009

Singlutionary,
I too feel this is one of the few coal-free spaces where I can say I HATE FERTILITY CLINIC ADVERTISEMENTS. They are all over D.C. radio for some reason.

CC

7. Shannon - April 12, 2009

BOBBY – Please start a class up to teach all other men what you know. I hope your lady well appreciates you, because men like you are few and far between. In my experience, a lot of guys aren’t willing to raise their own children, let alone someone elses.

Mind you, I’m a single mum to two kids with different dads, (a 1) according to Lauri – in both respects. I couldn’t have an abortion because of my religious beliefs (life is sacred blah blah) but instead of people saying “wow, you fucked up, but chose to face the consequences, which is more than the dads did” they are more likely to say “wow, you’ll never get married now, you should have aborted them”) so I’m a little biased.

Monogamy is completely unrealistic and outdated. I like to think that in another 50 years or so, humanity will laugh at monogamy the way some people laugh at ‘virginity until marriage’ do now. Even the term virgin is wrong, as it was originally coined to mean unmarried woman, (basically, someone who could do whomever she liked) not an untouched woman.

Conversely, I think that adoption should not be the focus of the issue as much as providing birth control to third world countries. Adoption cannot possibly address the option of all the unwanted children in the world – look at places like Romania where some children in orphanges are irrevocably damaged by bad conditions and ill treatment (I know of this first hand. not saying all romanian orphanages are bad, but the child I know personally was adopted at 2 years old from one of the understaffed orphanages and he is seriously mentally damaged. It’s not the fault of the workers, it’s just a bad situation) and places like China where they have a billion unwanted children, but such strict standards for who can adopt them.

Instead I think the focus needs to be shifted to providing birth control – condoms, optional sterilisation (oooh, THATS going to open a can of worms), diaphragms etc. Even abortion.
Also, people need to look at adopting children, not babies. I know it’s easier to bond with a cute baby whom you’ve had from birth, but what about those unfortunates who were born three years before a potential adoptive parent decides to have children?

As far as ‘getting married for the kids sake’ is concerned, when are people going to realise that the concept has never worked, will never work and is really just an expensive and stupid idea? I am of the opinion that a marriage for the kids could work if people were actually in it for the kids. But people are selfish and things go haywire and then the kids end up fucked up. My parents stayed together ‘for the kids’ and I’m of the opinion me and my brother would have been much better adjusted if they had just broken up and we didn’t have to deal with the years of depression and adultery and arguments and the final break up.

ok, end rant.

Once I read about a tribal society where it was the brother’s duty to raise the sisters offspring. Mostly because they didn’t have crap like mongamy and DNA testing, the sibling relationship was guaranteed to be real (at least matrilinally. that’s so not even a word). I would love to go back to a social system where EVERYONE looks after the children, not just the people who are ‘supposed’ to.

8. onely - April 12, 2009

Shannon,

“Even the term virgin is wrong, as it was originally coined to mean unmarried woman, (basically, someone who could do whomever she liked) not an untouched woman.” This is so interesting. I did not know this. Did you know that “spinster” used to mean an independent woman who supported herself by spinning? It originally did not have negative connotations.

Also, I was interested to read about that tribal society’s system.

I wonder if people would say something like “you’ll never get married now” to a MAN who had two kids.

Christina

onely - April 12, 2009

No — that A-hole from the Bachelor, Jason, had a kid and he was apparently “top-notch”!

Boo :{

– Lisa

9. bobby - April 12, 2009

Thank you Shannon. I’m not sure that I have all that much to teach, but sticking with what seems right is a good start. No lady at the moment, I’m stuck in the dreaded “Nice guy” category. I accept it though, it’s better than many of the other categories I could be in :)

Nice rant by the way!

10. Therese - April 13, 2009

Hmmm. I broke up with an ex over the kid issue. I think it is insulting to be in a relationship with someone where breeding is a condition of staying together. Also I was always ambivalent about marriage, so that was kind of a turn off for me as well. Although I had asked him to marry me on a whim, just to hold onto him for a while, which was a reckless thing to do. He ended the relationship because I wasn’t the traditional “wife and mother” type woman he was looking for and he knew I never would be. It’s OK for some men to “date” a “modern girl” but never to marry them – this was his mother’s attitude. I was very angry with him for a long time, but after a while I was relieved. Dodged a bullet.

Now that I am older and a bit wiser (hopefully!), I feel like now I am more open to the kid possibility because I think about it independent of my relationship status. If I ever do decide to become a parent (it is unlikely, but you never know), I feel confident that I can do it either on my own or with an unmarried partner. I don’t feel like I have to compromise my views on marriage in order to be a parent.

onely - April 13, 2009

I have dodged bullets too. But I always wonder why I was standing in the line of fire in the first place. = ) Sounds like you dodged a bullet with your potential mother-in-law, as well. Charming. Stay modern, Therese! = )
–CC

11. Singlutionary - April 14, 2009

I am really enjoying this conversation. Mainly because in all my other circles, I am the ONLY person who feels this way and I try to be respectful of other folks by shutting up (even if they are only marginally polite in regards to my “strange” lifestyle choices.”)

Here are some of the things I wonder (based on Therese’s comment):

I’ve always felt like MY reluctance to have children had to do, in great part, with being female. There are really really good men out there and really good fathers BUT, not only does the biological stuff happen to the woman when it comes to reproducing but I have NEVER seen a man care for an infant from day one (I know it happens, I have just never seen it).

This is what I have gathered from hearing every woman I have known who has given birth tell me:

There are all these hormones (something which you can’t understand unless you’ve hand a child in which case you suddenly become a saint/enlightened person) which help the mother to care for the child. Men don’t have these hormones, nor do they have colostrum or a placenta, and so they just don’t know what to do.

Oh helpless men!

So biologically, the work really falls onto the woman and by the time the hormones have retreated, the woman has taken over the care of the child and the man has gone back to work.

My ex boyfriend was so into having children but he had never changed a diaper in his life. He though having kids was this walk in the park in which he (because he was so wonderful) wouldn’t have to sacrifice. I, however, have cared for a lot of children and for a lot of adults in my life and I know that caring for another person, especially a child requires immense sacrifice. He thought I was just making a big deal out of things. He scoffed when I insisted he change his nephew’s diapers for a day (and not turn the kid back over to its mom when he stopped having fun) before we continue the baby conversation. (This never happened.)

So I wonder: do other Onely/Singlutionary thinking women feel that their reluctance also has to do with their gender? What do the Onely/Singlutionary men think about this?

Seems to me that if you’re a woman and you have a kid you DEFINITELY have to become a new person. Some people welcome this challenge. I welcome other challenges which (also) make me a new person. But it seems that if you’re a man in a monogamous hetrosexual relationship, you have the OPTION of becoming a new person when your child is born.

Also, if we remove the biological aspect and talk about adoption, the thing I can’t stomach is the “mommie” culture. I think I would enjoy being a dad. I could still go to work and do my hobbies and care for my children and teach them how to use power tools (when they were old enough) but I wouldn’t ever be made to feel guilty. I would be an upstanding person! And the other dads wouldn’t talk about me behind my back. My uncles wouldn’t talk about how I struggle with spending time with my children when I also have a career. Oprah wouldn’t send me to the spa with my boyfriends because I needed “boy time” mainly because I’d never be expected to loose my sense of self in my child.

Therese: you wrote “I think it is insulting to be in a relationship with someone where breeding is a condition of staying together.” And I feel the same way. But I know that most people partner for this very reason. I call it “need to breed”. It is typical for people to want the spouse/kids/whole-9-yards. That is their life’s vision.

Is it personality or perspective or ambition or WHAT that makes my life vision (and the life vision of many of the participants in this conversation) so radically different?

onely - April 15, 2009

Singlutionary, you say “So biologically, the work really falls onto the woman and by the time the hormones have retreated, the woman has taken over the care of the child and the man has gone back to work.” Thank you! This is exactly what I said to my last boyfriend when he told me he would help take care of any kids we’d have. Realistically, the bulk of the work falls on on the mom. That’s just the way it is. And I don’t have the stamina for it. So I think my stance has a LOT to do with my gender. As you point out so well in your “I would enjoy being a dad” paragraph and the one above it, men usually have more options for carrying on with other aspects of their lives. That’s how it seems to me. –CC

Lauri - April 15, 2009

Singlutionary- my reluctance to have kids has pretty much EVERYTHING to do with both my gender and my sex.

wrt sex- As I have commented here before, I am repulsed by pregnancy, and I have been for as long as I can remember.I didn’t have sex until I was in my mid-20s partly because I was terrified of pregnancy. I feel uncomfortable all day after I’ve eaten greasy food or maybe gained a pound. After a lifetime of suffering horrible menstrual symptoms, thinking about how heavy my uterus feels during my period, how my hormones fly out of control, etc, I can only imagine that pregnancy must be utter torture. I can’t describe it, it’s on a visceral level, I just can’t stand the idea. Obviously, if I were a man, this would not be the case.

In terms of gender, I totally agree with your assessment of the mommy culture. Facebook has really stunned me in this regard. I can’t believe how many girls that were so cool in high school are now popping them out like jellybeans and posting status updates upon status updates of who took a nap, who has what disgusting childhood ailment, who successfully used the potty, etc. And the fact that almost every parent in my network has a photo of their kid rather than themselves as their profile- and this seems to be sooo much more common among the female parents-just speaks volumes to me.

Mommy culture is so narcissistic and self righteous too…”most important job in the world”…yeah right, because that kid YOU’RE raising will turn out to be so much more special than the other billion people on earth. blegh…

I think you can easily summarize the situation:
Man has sex. Man does not suffer nine months of torture. Man does not force a giant human being out of his orifices at the end of said torture. Man does not suffer pain and discomfort of breast feeding or the social suicide of choosing to forgo such pain and discomfort. Man, not breastfeeding, does not reeeallly need to get up at 3am. Man does not bond chemically with baby. Man, not reeeallly needing to get up at 3 am, still has job and career six weeks later. Man, not bonding chemically with baby, has convenient excuse for rest of baby’s life. Man now has mini-me with whom to toss football. Man’s last name is carried on.

Dude, if I were a guy, I’d probably be procreating all over the place.

onely - April 16, 2009

Lauri, that’s strange, I don’t remember you commenting about being repulsed by pregnancy–at least not so vehemently?–and I would have definitely honed in on that because I (shame on me shame on me!!) have a very aversion to pregnant women. I don’t like to look at them, in pictures or in person, and if I do I get weak in the knees and feel faint and shivery. I can’t stand to hear people talk about belly buttons popping and ab muscles spreading–urgh I’m getting queasy now. My friend P said I have this phobia because I died in childbirth in a previous life. I can buy that.
–CC

12. Lauri - April 16, 2009

omg, me too Christina, and you the ONLY person (woman at least) I have ever heard of who feels the same way. I thought I had mentioned that here before, maybe not. I hate looking at pregnant woman too- when an ad comes on TV showing a bare pregnant belly, I close my eyes. It’s not just one thing. I hate the belly button thing too-I think that’s the most disgusting to me. I don’t like the idea of the skin stretching tightly over the belly, I don’t like watching people struggle to function and be comfortable carrying around this giant extra body, I almost feel myself getting muscle atrophy thinking about how hard exercise must be. The whole breastfeeding thing and what happens to your breasts grosses me out too. And the idea of something moving around inside your abdomen (omg, at the end of Knocked Up when you can see like a foot pushing against her stomach, I almost puked in the theater)…

I have a really hard time pretending to be all excited and happy when someone tells me they’re pregnant- my gut reaction is more like “ew.” I’ve never heard of explanation your friend gave you, maybe I died in childbirth once too. All I know is, it is totally unacceptable for a woman not to think pregnancy is beautiful, but I can’t see one beautiful thing about it.

13. Singletude - May 24, 2009

This post pretty much sums up my thoughts on the intentionally single parent, particularly the single adoptive parent.

Personally, I didn’t want kids for a long time, partly because, like Christina and Lisa, pregnancy terrifies me. Then I gradually began to want kids and convinced myself that I could put up with pregnancy as long as I got to have an elective C-section in the end. Now I think I’m okay with whatever happens. I am open to the prospect of children and think I would enjoy mothering but won’t freak out if it doesn’t happen. Who knows? Maybe I will be one of those who adopts one day.

Btw, I’m still horrified by the thought of being pregnant. I don’t find pregnant women disgusting, but I abhor the thought of my poor belly stretching out like that, I dread the cramped bladder, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and other destruction of my body, and I refuse to fathom vaginal delivery. Not happening. Ever.

14. Bedstorms - June 1, 2009

I came across your website while contemplating the upcoming nuptials of a dearly loved niece who has become distant and disrespectful towards her single, childless aunt since meeting her significant other. I find the whole marriage/kids/nuclear family thing to be society’s attempt to force us into conformity and into what, from my observation, is an unnatural state of being. When my niece, who hates her job as a day care provider, told me she plans on having kids, I called her on it. “How can you have a kid when you can’t stand to be around them and have admitted to me that you are not cut out for motherhood?” Her pat reply was “I will have the kid for H” (her intended). A shiver ran up my spine at her answer. Has society conditioned her, even in this post-feminist time, to go for the package of marriage and children, to the extent that she has forgotten who she is? It doesn’t help that her future in-laws are banking on her becoming pregnant. (I think the in-laws will put a down payment on a house and quite possibly draw up a pre-nup for her to consider, as well.) I see a lot of unhappiness in her future and it breaks my heart.

On another note, I think about the mutual sexual chemistry I experienced with my married-with-two-children former boss, and how I wisely did not encourage anything beyond a smile and a wink (I have since moved onward and upward in the organization). Before I left, we had a conversation in which he, a guy that I would describe as completely domesticated, declared that he would miss me, and that he had developed deep feelings for me. He extolled all of my virtues, and even revealed to other people in the office that he would miss me. I “did it” for him. I was “everything”, and “would be his choice if he were still single”. The guy was obviously unhappy in his marriage but he was very reluctant to do anything to improve his situation — probably fear of being taken to the cleaners, and a creeping resignation that it would be easier for him to remain with his wife. I mourn the loss of what might have been an exciting sex partner who had a similar world view to mine.

As a society, we really have to stop buying into this culture of coupling, matrimony and children and examine where we are going. So many people wind up unhappy and divorced while lawyers and the bridal industry grow fat and rich. We have forgotten the old, but true cliche that it takes a village to raise a child, and that there are too many unwanted children in the world with no parents and no hope. In view of all this, I think it is an extremely narcissistic and desperate thing people commit when they marry just to fit in or to pass on their genes. Especially when deep down, they know they are not cut out for it. We need to re-define and shake up our society, because it is going tits up. The divorce rate is around 50%, our courts are tied up tragically with people in default of their child support payments, and our children are exposed to uncertainty and a hell of a lot of bitterness and acrimony from the adults in their lives.

These are the same people who look on us childless singletons as sad, pathetic, sub-human creatures with no self-esteem, no sex drive and no willingness to “do our part”. I am so insulted by how these people rub it in my face that I am single and therefore not important. It’s gotten to the point that the next time I am subjected to their pity and condescention, someone is going to be on the receiving end of a very articulate and well thought out rant, and when my rant is finished, they will feel very sorry and very embarrassed to have spoken to me the way they did.


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