Is there still hope for me to meet someone and get married? - or - What should I do?

Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds to me like you have already made your decision. You just want us to assure you that, yes - end the relationship, despite the sorrow factor, and yes, there really are guys out there who want to commit and would love to have children.

Age 36 is a fine age, but as you seem to be aware, you are bordering on the end of childbearing years. Do you do it yourself (sperm bank), or hope to find someone who will be there from inception until death do you part?

Ending this relationship is a given. He doesn’t want what you want, and while you are still civil with each other, this is a good time to part friends. Who knows, you might get back together at a different stage of your life, depending on how things go.

Finding the knight in shining armor who will whisk you away to a new family and a house with a white picket fence?

That is up to you. A nice 50 year old guy with a stable life and career? A hot young 23 year old who makes you feel young again? Are you living in an area that has opportunities to meet both types of guys? Are you able to go out there and take the time and make the effort to meet them?

But my real advice is this; is this what you really want, or is this what you think you want? You are not the first 36 year old who has the dreams of a 20 year old…but considering you seem to have done very well with having one child, and seem to have been happy up to now with your living arrangement, are you really ready to commit to a lifestyle that, to be honest, is foreign to you?

Not everybody is cut out for the Leave It To Beaver, Ward Family way of life. It sure does look pretty from the outside, but sometimes the worst thing to ever happen in life is to get your wish.

Single men in their mid-30s aren’t that rare. :frowning:

There’s a lot of good advice been given, so I won’t repeat it.

It’s unfair, it’s sexist, but you do have a biological clock ticking within you: you need to act - or decide to not act - now, not later.

Why is getting married so important? I can’t speak for the US, but in the UK, a lot of men are scared of it from the divorce angle: the courts are perceived as being extremely sexist - typically the wife gets the children and the house and leaves the husband in penury. This is changing, but slowly.

How ya doin’, ggurl?

Shayna, thank you for the great story. Congratulations! I do really need to hear that it happens.

DMark, you are very insightful. I suspect that in my heart of hearts I am already out of this relationship. My S.O. and I have had some very long talks and it seems to be the direction I am heading towards. Also, you ask the very important question again - is the conventional life really what I want? A lot to think about, there. And yes, I am partly seeking the sort of reassurance you thought of - that yes, there are men who will commit and create kids.

Also, qts, thanks for the reassurance as well, and a how you doin’ too. :)That’s very sweet of you.

I really don’t regret throwing my problems to the mercy of Dopers. This is helping me to think more clearly and consider more aspects of the situation than I initially was able to. I’m better able to navigate the wreckage of my jumbled feelings with the impartial ideas of others to consider.

I guess I really don’t want to stay in an inadequate situation out of fear or compromise, but it’s scary to change. I can only hope there is someone out there who would look at me the way I am and say “You’re perfect for me- I want you to have my babies - Let’s stay together forever.” And that’s not what is happening with my S.O. As much as it hurts to want someone who doesn’t want you the same amount, I don’t believe I can stay in this situation forever. I’ve already spent years waiting for things to improve - they won’t.

:frowning:

As much as I hate the idea of being “alone” (which you really never are, in some sense), I hate the idea of staying in an unrequited situation even worse. In fact, when rereading my posts in this thread, I am almost embarrassed by the pathetic-ness of some of this. But if I act, all kinds of new possibilities open up. And it’s no longer “pathetic”, hopefully.

Oh, and qts, the divorce factor does play a part, I think, in my S.O.'s thinking at least. He got a vasectomy in the midst of a divorce, partly because he can’t afford any more child support. He feels that our legal system also cheats men in divorce situations until they are impoverished.

And no, I wouldn’t necessarily need to get married, but at least be with someone who wants a forever type commitment. Although if that type of commitment’s what they really want, why would a piece of paper be such a big deal? I’d also be willing to enter into a prenuptial contract (I’ve even offered this to my S.O.) to help assuage fears like that.

I guess I want marriage partly because I idealize it somewhat (people who want only each other, and are willing to work through life’s problems together! How refreshing!), and also because I really don’t want another baby-daddy situation where children are being raised without every possible support. My daughter is loved and provided for, but with no dad; I wonder if things would be better for her and in what way, if there were two parents present. Coupled with the fact that I would really like to have two more kids, it seems that marriage would be the most secure way to hopefully prevent the baby-daddy situation thing from happening.

I like the way you thinnk :slight_smile: Although I think it’s more than just a peice of paper. In a wedding, you also, in front of your friends and family (or if you elope, then it’s just a Justice of the Peace I guess) recite your vows commiting yourself to each other. Also, won’t it be nice to have a huge rock on your finger to show off to everybody? :smiley:

I’m so glad to hear a woman say that. A father is so important in a child’s life. I say this a someone who only visited my dad, when he was alive, from time to time. Although people do turn out all right being raised by a single parent, a two parent household is still the best.
It seems like there are so many people today who think that the only thing the man is good for is being a sperm donor, and that his involvement in his child’s or children’s life isn’t important. I find that line of thinking to be bullsh*t, a father is as every bit as valuable and needed as the mother. And I’m glad that you seem to think so too.

What I’m getting out of this is that your SO doesn’t foresee a “forever” type of relationship with you. His actions are not those of a man making plans to protect himself if you should split up, but rather those of someone making plans to protect himself when you split up. I’d guess that’s also part of why he went from “well, maybe” to “oh, hell no!” on the subject of marrying you.

In my experience, divorce-shy men are more likely to go in the other direction. When they find the right person, the bitterness and fear left by the divorce start to melt away. Likewise for commit-phobes. My brother, for instance, used to announce on the first date that he was never going down that road again, anyone looking for marriage, babies, etc. was barking up the wrong tree, and they should both just go home before the dinner orders had even been placed. (My wonderful sil, thank OG, just laughed at this speech and told him to get over himself because she was having dinner with him or without him.) He progessed to thinking living together would be okay, just as long as she wasn’t expecting to get married, then to saying they weren’t getting married any time soon. Then he proposed. Their second anniversary is next week, and their first baby was born Friday night.

Overall, I get the feeling that he doesn’t want forever, at least not with you. I also get the feeling that deep down you already know that.

In my social circle, I’m the anomaly. Most of the people I know are single, child-free, and in their 30s, so I’d refute the idea that most men of your age have already been there, done that.

Having said that, there are no guarantees in life. You could leave tomorrow, meet someone wonderful, and find that you can’t have children together (naturally or with assistance). You could leave tomorrow and end up meeting nobody.

I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic: many of my friends are trying to reconcile the ticking of their biological clocks with relationships which are firmly on the no-marriage-no-kids level, or even on the marriage-and-kids-but-is-he/she-the-one? level. I know how painful it is.

Whatever you do, you have to be commited to it. You have to make a decision, and know that you did it for a valid reason, and that you made the best decision you could under the circumstances. You don’t want to live the rest of your life wallowing in regret, so whatever you do, make up your mind that you’ve done the right thing.

Think of the bottom line: You stay, and feel unhappy about his level of commitment, and regret not having more kids, versus you leave, and end up not having love or more children.

Think about the top line, too: You stay with him because you love each other, and he gives you other things which are important to you, versus you leave, and have a chance at getting the things you think you want.

I think the others have beaten me to it, save to say that there are no pre-nups in the UK, though that too might change.

I’m not going to go Dr. Laura but I might wax Dr. Phil.
Look, you knew before you got involved with your S.O. that he had a vasectomy and a few children by as many previous wives and that he didn’t ever want to get married again. I think you set up relationships with men that match your own notorious emotional unavailability.
(Bitter fan).

Whoa, devilsknew. Look, not everything you say is true, depending on what you mean by “getting involved”. I knew about his kids (second date), the two exes (about a month into it), and the vasectomy (just prior to moving in). However, he did say he was open to the idea of marriage and that he viewed living together as a trial period before getting engaged. There was never any mention of not wanting marriage, suspicion towards it yes; total aversion, no. Not until last summer/fall.

I’m trying to make it so you don’t kill this thread! :confused: :smiley:

Advice from an older woman:

  1. Often it’s good to do the things that we are afraid of doing.

  2. Remember that marriage is not a guarantee of stability or forever after. The person you marry may not be as committed to you as the person you live with now.

  3. If you choose to move out, make plans for a happy life lived as a single woman.

  4. Expect periods of doubt no matter what decision you make.

  5. Learn to live in the moment with sometimes long periods of “not knowing.”
    I identify with your needs and goals very much. My second marriage was to a widower when I was 42. I have no children, but my step-children have blessed me with grandchildren. What wonderful surprises life can offer!

(aside)

Hi, John Carter! Been wondering where you were…

ggurl, others have given insightful and helpful advice. The only thing I’ll say is that life is not a dress rehearsal, you have to live it NOW. Deep inside you, you already know the answer to your question. You can’t do things by halves, you have to choose a path, then jump. And don’t look back :slight_smile: