I just got back from having lunch with a friend. She’s someone I have known for many years and who I love and who would be considered a “good catch” in terms of her eligibility. She comes from a good family, she has a good circle of friends, she’s a good mum, she knows how to have fun. She loves to have someone to love. She’s good people. And she’s been single awhile. A few short lived relationships. Some a year or so long. And today, she talked about possibly wanting to have another baby. To give her already 5 year old a sibling to count on…no matter what.
She isn’t in a relationship right now, and while there are a lot of viable options for her, including adoption, she wants to have a baby. But not with some anonymous sperm. She wants a baby to co-parent with someone she loves. Not necessarily someone she is in love with, but who she has a relationship with. Someone she cares about. She has 2 men in her life who she has known a long time who she has asked, and they both said that they are in love with her, so would absolutely do it but only if she were willing to be in a relationship with them. They both would love to be parents, but they are choosing no kids over this “opportunity”.
I think this is such a mind blowing idea. Both of those men are willing to forego having a family, because they are committed to something else. I get it. I wouldn’t want to be a parent on my own. I’ve thought about it. Over the past few years especially, as I inch my closer to the no-go zone. Sometimes, I find myself wondering what would’ve happened if I’d just gone ahead and stayed in the arranged marriage. I would’ve maybe had some kids by now so I wouldn’t have to spend my time thinking about who’ll take care of me when I can’t take care of myself.
Here’s what my lunch time conversation made me realize. There was a time when the statement “These times, they are a’changing” would’ve been accurate. But I realized that they are no longer a’changing. They’ve a’changed. And nothing looks as it should. At the encouragement of a friend, I have now started having conversations with friends who aren’t necessarily in my closest circle, to see if they might know some fabulous single men they might like to introduce me to. I’m calling it Rita’s Referral Program. What didn’t occur to me until just this minute is, isn’t that kinda the same thing as how an arranged marriage gets started? Someone’s parents knows someone who has a boy of marrying age…Okay. So, maybe a little bit.
So my friend and I were joking that she might start a referral program of her own, to see if she can find someone who would like to have a child and co-parent with her. Not someone completely anonymous, someone who is clear he wants to be a father, but not full time and maybe without all the commitment.
Then, there’s the whole online dating phenomenon. I have spent the majority of my adult life dating online, or otherwise. When I first moved here, 20something years ago, the internet wasn’t a thing, so it was newspaper personals. That was fun. Talk about blind dates. Total randoms. But I sure did have fun, and I met some really great men. I remember there was a plethora of men to choose from back then. Men were single, and not jaded or cynical. They hadn’t had their guts punched out by their last marriage, or the ex who cheated on them. So they were still fun and caring and were considering relationship options.
This morning, I received an email from someone on Plenty of Fish, who has a profile claiming to want to meet someone to marry. Yet he sends me an email and says “Gee you sure are pretty but I’m only looking for friends with benefits.” And when I politely said that perhaps he could change his profile so women would know clearly what he was after, and that perhaps he should look elsewhere…” he swore at me in his response. Because I rejected him I suppose. But here’s the thing, men reject me online all the time. By either not responding or by giving me some lame a** excuse. I get it. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But 20something years ago when I first started dating, the haystack was just that. A haystack, filled with hay. And somewhere in there, there was a needle. NOW that haystack is laced with all kinds of other “my girlfriend cheated on me and I don’t trust women”, “i’m not taking care of you” “you better not be looking for a sugar daddy” “i’m mostly just looking to get laid even though my profile says i want to get married” bullsh*t, that the needle has become virtually impossible to find.
I sure do miss the days when a haystack was just a haystack.
So what are fabulous, single amazing women like myself and my friend supposed to do? I suppose writing about it helps. But mostly, I’ll be honest…I’m a little perplexed. Especially given I know that the majority of the men (and women) who claim to be looking to get laid, actually want nothing more than to have someone to come home to. So why can’t we just admit that to ourselves and then to each other?
I’m not yet sure why I’m writing this yet. I’m not sure what my next move is. I’m not even sure what my next sentence is…but I think there’ll be a part II. Just let me leave this with you for now…