I’ve not written for a while because I haven’t really had much to say. But there are a few things that sort of made me think I should put pen to paper, finger to keyboard, word to screen.
The first was my monumentally unsuccessful dating life. I online date, I have done for years. I do a job where I’m unlikely to meet a wealth of single straight men, so it makes sense to me to look online. I met S online. I hardly know anyone who is single who isn’t online dating.
But there definitely seems to be a wrong side of 35. And I’m definitely on it. It wasn’t like this a few years back when I was doing it – I had more dates than I knew what to do with. I’d write messages, guys would write back, we’d go on a date. But something’s changed and I put it down to my age. I’ve discussed it with other female friends who agree. Being on a dating site means you have to state your age and usually whether you have or want children. Personally I don’t see any point in lying about these things. The former because I don’t really want to start a relationship lying, and the latter because seriously, why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want what you want?
And I think if you’re a woman between 35 and 40 who wants a child, you are the opposite of catnip. You literally repel men. And the bloody annoying thing is that I totally get it. If I were a guy my age, I’d far rather date someone in their early 30s so we could have fun together without worrying about kids. I’m starting to wonder if I should be boasting on my dating profile that I have eggs in a freezer that are younger than me. Or if I should put my age as the age of my eggs. I’m almost serious.
Anyway, I don’t have any answers to this, it was just a bit of a whinge really. Just like the next thing that I’m going to bang on about, which was a casual email from the husband of a friend reminding me about their Christmas party. He sent it to everyone they’d invited, and I’m sure that, like them, most of their friends are parents, so he didn’t think twice about jokingly saying that there’d be yummy mummies shaking their thing, and drunken dads dancing, and exhorting everyone to beg, borrow or steal a babysitter. And I’d like to pretend that things like that don’t bother me, that I didn’t sigh, grit my teeth, and think “we don’t ALL have children, y’know” in a huffy way. I’d like to be bigger than that, but I’m afraid I’m not. Things like that irritate me, and make me sad, and make me feel that I’m not “normal”.
But enough bitching and moaning. As you may (or may not) have noticed from the title of this post, despite my very definitely single (and non-mother) status, I don’t really feel lonely, or alone. And really that’s – in part, at least – down to you. Yes, you. You, sat there reading this now.
Of course, maybe you’re reading it as an insight into a life that’s very different from yours, or maybe you’re reading it because you’re a journalist who wants to talk to someone who’s frozen their eggs, or maybe you got here by mistake after googling to find out whether it was safe to eat the eggs that got pushed to the back of the fridge and accidentally frozen.
But actually, you might well be reading it because you’re just like me, and there’s something comforting in knowing that you’re not the only one who got dumped in their 30s / decided to freeze their eggs on their own / doesn’t like being single (but doesn’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of it) / is contemplating having a child on their own – whatever. And that none of these things make you defective or weird.
I know you’re reading. Because you’ve emailed me and you’ve commented and you’ve said some lovely things that made me feel that I was right to start this blog because there are people who want the same information I wanted, and a viewpoint that I couldn’t find anywhere else. And that – as I hoped/suspected – I’m not the only one in this situation. (And that’s not about misery loving company, it’s about not feeling like a freak.) So thank you.