What if you never find that special someone?

We often talk here about having found a partner who is great in every way except for being unable or unwilling to have children. But what about those people who don’t find that special someone? I just read an article by Mandy Appleyard from the UK that talks about her experience with this. I really recommend you read “The Love I’ll Never Know.” Appleyard talks about the cruel comments people make. They assume that she chose career over family and that’s why she has neither husband nor children. But her relationships never worked out. She was even married for a while and had two miscarriages before that marriage failed. People don’t understand. She talks about how she copes by enjoying her career and transferring her love to her godchildren. I think we can all identify with a lot of what she says. Read the comments, too. It’s unbelievable how thick-headed some people can be.

Most of us somehow find a partner along the way, but not everyone does. Among the people I interviewed for my book was a nurse named Barbara who had never married. Yes, she had a career, but that career didn’t fill the empty place in her heart. For a while she worked in the maternity ward and she would weep as she delivered newborns from the nursery to their mothers. Would she have liked to have a family? Yes. But it just didn’t happen.

I was lucky enough to be married twice to men I loved. At least on the surface, I had the beginnings of a family. If we had agreed to have children, we could have. The problem was that we didn’t agree.

There’s no guarantee in this world that we’re going to find that special someone. I’m amazed that most of us do end up getting married at least once. But what if it never happens? What if every relationship goes bad and we’re still alone as our fertility dries up? Use a sperm donor or adopt, some people suggest, as if those are easy options. They’re not, and I don’t think we can blame anyone who decides not to try single parenting.

For those of us who don’t have children but do have partners or spouses whom we love, I think we should give them a big hug and thank them for being there. It could be worse.

What do you think about all this?

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5 thoughts on “What if you never find that special someone?

  1. Thanks Sue for posting the link to that article. I can relate to that a lot.
    What i don't understand (same thing i don't understand in my own life….) is why she is saying that she “started too late” and in the end of the article, that she “made bad choices” . When she gives us her life story it's just clear she has been let down by the men in her life, even cheated. I just can't manage to see how that is an actively bad choice or if it's just harder to face the fact that yes, we are the victims, of decisions and choices other people made for us, against our will sometimes.

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  2. I struggle with the “choices” vs. “victim” battle.

    On one hand I have chosen to stay in a marriage that has been proven, time and again, to be difficult and unsuitable for family life. Looking back I can recognize that I have made decisions, that put me further away from the “safe” family scenerio. Staying in a 10 year marriage because it's finally turned a corner and seems hopeful has been my latest gamble. At this point I almost turn a victim and think, “what else can I do.”

    But I'm smart and reasonable and even I have to admit to myself that I do still have choices. I could leave and find someone else to start a new life with. Someone else who might be more emotionally and financially stable and even if we miss the biological boat then he'd be a better adoptive parent candidate. I mean there are no guarantees I'll find him but I do have that choice.

    So if I CHOOSE to stay I can hardly be a victim. It's my choice.

    On the other hand – “what the hell!” Why aren't things working out? Why is God testing me so much? Why did God decide NOW to transform this shabby husband into someone good and wonderful? After years of living on a roller coaster the ride is now smooth sailing. However, I still look like that photo you can buy at the end of the harrowing ride – white knuckles and still hopeful terror written all over my face.

    What does He (God) want from me? Is this turn of events a reward for the bad years? Or another test to see if I'll stick around only to get shafted again?

    All around me good things are happening to people I know. Career changes, engagements, babies (ohhh, the younger set in our wide circle of aquaintances are popping like crazy). I find my self to be angry, jealous, envious and mean. Not at all happy for these perfectly nice people who deserve these perfectly nice rites of passage in their lives.

    I HATE feeling this way. I'm ashamed of my negative inner voice. I don't get it. My life is “okay” now. My husband is perfect, patient and happy to wait for my true forgiveness for his many transgressions. I have good things happening in my career and honestly I don't particularly long for children until someone else announces their news.

    It suddenly occurred to me that I don't so much long for children as I long to be a child myself. To start over and make better choices so that at 38 I'm not this bag of sorrow who doesn't know how to be truly happy. I still feel like an unsure 20-something. And I'm running out of time and wasting what I've got. A year flies by in an instant and I keep thinking that I have plenty of time to get it together and to heal. I'm finally realizing I don't. I've made myself into a victim and I really, really want to change that.

    But I'm not sure how. – Anon S

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  3. I too had thought that way for years. I yearned for that special someone and really put myself out there to me a variety of men. I had a few long term relationships with men that wanted to have children with me however these were men that I could not see any sort of future with let only choose them as the father of my child. Then, my incredibly awesome husband walked into my life. He is a wonderful, sweet man who is an incredible father to his children. Unfortunately, he came along a bit too late for us to responsibly make babies (We feel I am too old and the risks would be too high). While I am ecstatic to finally have met that special someone, I carry a certain sadness that I will never bear him a child.

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  4. Anonymouses, (mouses?), this is such a sticky subject. If you can find the guy, can you have the kids, too, and if not, what do you do? Sigh. I'll be talking about this in the blog again tomorrow, looking at it from something like Anon S's viewpoint. See you then.

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