In less than three months, I will be 37 years old. I am currently single, actively dating (unsuccessfully), and have not attempted parenthood yet (by choice). I live in the large metropolitan city of Chicago. I have a great job and work in an industry I love and feel passionate about. I have an amazing family, parents, and siblings. I recently became an aunt for the first time earlier this year. I deal with very little drama, chaos, and am healthy otherwise. This is me … counting all my blessings and things that I know I should be thankful for while wrestling with my future choices.
From the outside looking in, it would appear that all is well in my world. However, I spent most of Father’s Day in bed, trying to sleep as my poor attempted to not check social media or be online. I couldn’t think of another way to spend the rainy Sunday afternoon that would distract me from dealing with this strange anxiety and thoughts surrounding how Father’s Day seemed harder to deal with then Mother’s Day this year.
All my life, I have had an incredible dad by my side, who I can count on, adore, and admire. He is an amazing human that I’m so blessed, privileged, and thankful to call my father. But something is missing … like a big gaping hole. Despite having a great relationship and friendship with my dad, something is just not complete.
Unlike so many of my friends who are grieving this Father’s Day, due to losing their parent way too soon, I was grieving in a different way. I was particularly sad about the fact that I had not found my partner .. my husband .. my teammate .. the future father of my child yet. Parenthood has always been a dream of mine, under the right circumstances of course and in a healthy relationship, but I have not been able to find that yet.
I live in a day in age when literally anyone can meet someone new hourly or daily or however fast they can text .. and where people do take advantage of this opportunity. I often wonder about the long-term effects of social media on our society. I’ve seen first hand how it has changed dating. I am also acutely aware of how I could become a single mother by choice or attempt to get pregnant in any given month, but none of those choices feel right for me at this time.
Meanwhile, I finally forced myself to roll out of my blanket cocoon of a bed and broke down to go online to pay tribute to my father. As I post the old family photo, it suddenly dawned on me that I couldn’t imagine going throughout the day without pay tribute to this special man who gave me so much. He instilled wisdom, drive, entrepreneurship, and hard work ethics I can never thank him enough for. He has shown me what kind of guy I hope to marry someday.
As I scrolled through other’s posts, the gulp in my throat continues to get thicker. With each passing picture and post, I tried to shake it off, but I couldn’t help and notice how many women I knew posted about their children’s dad (ie: husbands). I was slightly jealous and envious of them all. I desperately wanted to join that club.
Women have to wrestle with the family future choices long before men have to come to terms with the topic. It feels biologically unfair to say the least. While I’m thankful for scientific technologies like egg freezing and fertility treatments, I can’t help but wish for a partner to do life with. Why is that so challenging to find?
All the work I have had done on myself over the years is preparing me to be the best partner I can be. I am ready for this next chapter, yet it hasn’t manifested or come to pass. It is like being in church when you have to be quiet, still, and respectful, but just don’t have the patience anymore and fidget uncontrollably. I want something to happen, something to change. I’m just not sure how to make that my reality.
Dating has proven to be more disappointing than I can ever remember. The endless first dates, the random received booty calls or texts, awkward conversational starters, uncomfortable dance around who pays for the bill, or the wasted time and energy attempting to get to know a stranger all has me discouraged for the future. Will I find my match – my teammate – my partner in crime to do life with, start a family, live happily ever after? I’m not sure and losing hope, especially when people I try to date are emotionally unavailable, stuck on exs or the past, or dealing with low-effort men who are ultimately just not a good match.
Where have all the good guys gone? This is why Father’s Day has been harder to deal with than Mother’s Day. I know I will be a good mom someday. That is in my power and control. I only wish and desire that I could find an equal partner who challenges me, shares different strengths, and willing to work together towards our life goals. I realize that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, in the meantime, I will keep searching for my needle in the haystack. Wish me luck because I definitely need it.