June 10, 2024

Let me Celebrate why I am Single & Childless even though it’s not what I Wanted.

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It’s almost summer.

It’s warm and there is a light breeze caressing our skin; we got the table with the view of the lake. This guy is smart and elegant, and I really like him.

Then comes the question, the eternal question, even now at midlife o’clock:

“How come you never married and had kids?”

It’s the “how come” which ruins it for me.

“How come” sounds like “this is not normal,” “what’s wrong with you,” or “this is not something to celebrate.”

I still feel it in the pit of my heart, this burst of shame. It was a volcano in my 30s; now in my late 40s, it’s a tiny bodily reaction.

The impulse to justify myself disappeared; instead, I ask a question back:

“Are you curious about how my life was ?” 

A question like this would sound better to me.

But the man insists, “I mean, was it a choice?”

No, it wasn’t actually. But the problem, if I just say “no,” is all the preconceived ideas that will be packaged with this “no, ”and it will brand all my life with a failure’s logo.

So I answered:

“No, it was strength.”

The man was puzzled, but he was smart and he seemed genuine.

“Can you tell me more about that?”

Sure I can. There’s a lot to say. But where to start so that it doesn’t sound like a justification, or like a “I am living my best life as a single person,” which is the other side of the coin regarding society’s expectation. How can I convey a narrative uncoupling being single and childless at midlife from being a failure, even though it is not what I wanted?

Because, you see, what I would call my success is rarely celebrated in that world. And my success is: even though I wanted a partner and children badly, I was clear I wanted the soil of this to be what I would call big love. By this, I mean: I am in love with you, I feel it, no doubts, and I feel as well that you’re in love with me. And despite life bumps, this is the foundation of our relationship.

And this, my dear, didn’t happen. And because compromise would kill me, or worse, make me a bitter person, I had to be strong.

I didn’t compromise my life force for something mediocre that would be resembling the story I expected to live and society expected me to write. My vitality isn’t sucked out of me by a partner I don’t love that much, financial agreements with someone I don’t want to have sex with anymore and I feel trapped with, or family/society/religious expectations for me to stay put in a life I find boring, to be recognized socially as successful because partnered.

And before I go on, my dear, I am not judging women choosing this either because I felt the pressure was high, and I know the challenges of lonely nights, lonely weekends, lonely travels, lonely Christmas celebrations, and birthdays with no presents. I know what it is to be constantly questioned about your love life, your choices, because our society tolerates that you make single people’s private lives entertainment in your conversations, where questioning partnered people would be so rude.

I know what it is to not be invited because you are a single woman therefore dangerous. To have your behaviour or what you wear commented on through the filter of, “She wants to be noticed because she needs to find someone,” and hearing constantly, “Did you drink to get loose and get laid?” and “Sexy dress, where are you going like that?” to the point of not wanting to leave your home.

I have gone through it all, and I wish it to no one. It’s f*cking hard. That’s why I am saying it from my bones: “it was strength.”

I am not sharing my life story as an example or to say “I did better” than others. But if I can challenge some narratives about single and childless women for them to be perceived differently, and participate in relieving them from the pressure to conform when they don’t feel it, then it’s worth it.

So now, let me break some myths;

1. I have been loved, chosen, wanted.

I have my dear. I am not standing like this in front of you because no one loved me. Some men wrote me poems; some crossed the planet to visit me. I have been proposed to three times. Each time, I said no because I didn’t feel a love big enough in my heart, and I know myself enough to be certain it wouldn’t come with time, which would have led me to be a nightmare with this nice person. I didn’t want the first cell of my kid to not be essentially made from this big shared love. Yes I have a poetic heart, and that’s how I see things.

2. I want to be loved, chosen, wanted.

Then, there were the times where I was madly in love. Sometimes the person left me, so end of story. Sometimes, I had the immense courage, yes immense indeed, to leave. I left each time I felt that, for various reasons, this person would stay with me, but was not that much into me.

I haven’t dreamed of being a commodity. I don’t believe it can shift with time if it’s not there since the beginning. I have felt ghosts from their past haunting my relationship, I have felt like a furniture in the room, I have felt like I was the only nurturer of that relationship, all these situations that were dimming the light inside me despite my love for that person. Each time, I left, I cried, I hoped this person would stop me and realize, and of course it didn’t happen. It took me a lot of honesty and integrity, my dear, to make that kind of choice, but it allowed me to keep a sense of dignity, and I enjoy feeling that power.

3. My erotic life is rich.

I don’t care about disconnected sex, and thankful I have a tantric practice. So my sex life is quite textured, and I realize, through my clients and friends, that there are so many sexless relationships. And I like to think at least mine was so far qualitative, creative, and sometimes ecstatic. I like the freedom of thinking something exciting can show up every day. I can smile thinking about lovers I met in different countries as I travelled a lot. I can still have a chat and a laugh with some of them at times. And I have a lot of fun and spicy stories that I’ll keep to myself.

4. My purpose matters.

There’s another thing I didn’t want to compromise: my purpose. I travelled the world to find the best teachings to create my dream job. I left a secure government job in my mid-30sto become a tantric yoga teacher, and then shifted into a power and sex coach for women. I lived in many different countries. I never stayed with any man who wouldn’t support my choices and believe in me, which happened a lot. Especially when I stopped being a primary school teacher. Had I not left them, I wouldn’t have lived two years in Australia, four years in Thailand, almost one year in India, and 10 years in Bali. The magic I experienced in those places is, from my point of view, now in my cells and irreplaceable.

5. My physical health and mental health are great.

And, that’s wealth my dear.

Staying in a toxic or just-not-good -enough relationship can have a huge cost. I observe it through my clients and good friends who are in that situation; it’s not often talked about, but it’s more common than you think.

Women having fibromyalgia because they carry all the mental charge of the household, taking anti-depressants otherwise they can’t cope with their life anymore, women aging fast because they put themselves always last and their life force is leaking, women in psychiatric hospitals because of physical or psychological violence in a relationship, women not enjoying being mothers but having no safe place to share their struggles without being judged, women renouncing a career that excites them for their partner and feeling resentful, women being cheated on and closing their eyes because they are afraid to be alone.

I bleed for these women as I think a lot of them wouldn’t stay as long in situations like these if being single wasn’t seen as much as an anomaly in our society, and if women were taught to reconnect with their power from a young age.

If it’s you, I want to tell you you are stronger than you think; if you remove that aging bullsh*t capitalist society wants you to believe to sell you stuff, you will only become more powerful and wittier. Wonderful people will want to be around you.

With the opportunities I have been given so far, and certainly because of where I started my journey emotionally, I feel I am standing exactly where I should and have zero regrets about my choices. I am designing the second half of my life, and with what I know now, I continue to honour my desires, to say no to crumbs, and I am going to have a ball.

And this feels powerful. I hope my words help you to acknowledge that power, in me, and in other single and childless women, whether they chose it or not.

To conclude, I celebrate all the waves I surfed, the love villages I created in different countries, and the ones about to be created.

I celebrate the people in loving and nourishing love relationships because you inspire me as well to not settle for less than epic love.

That’s where I am going.


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