“Without good communication, a relationship is merely a hollow vessel carrying you along on a frustrating journey fraught with the perils of confusion, projection, and misunderstanding.”
~ Cherie Carter Scott
Women are whole and lead fulfilling lives on their own two feet. As a proud feminist, I am a firm believer that we as women generate our own happiness and sense of worth.
If we are at a place in our lives that we are desiring a partner to share our lives with, and we feel as though time is running out, and we begin to panic. Don’t.
A choice to share our lives with someone is arguably one of the most important decisions one can make in their lifetime. A trajectory of positive or negative experiences can come from making one decision about one person.
Stop. Breathe. Be.
Please disregard the old paradigm that women are something if only they have someone.
One essential question to ask ourselves when it comes to big decisions in our lives is if we are making a choice based out of Love or Fear.
A fear based choice is coming from a primal and triggered part of our brain. Fear produces a freeze, fight, and flight response. When we are fearful, we are not in a balanced and grounded state. Our worth and identify could seem to be wrapped up in being married.
Please identify if your desire to settle down and get married is coming from a place of fear.
- Are you being influenced by outside people?
- Are you feeling shame?
- How is your self-worth?
When we make decisions from a love based place, we activate our prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain is responsible for problem-solving and executive decision making.
When we are in a state of relaxation, we feel safe and happy in our own skin on a cellular level. This is when we attract positive people and opportunities into our lives. Actively build and shape your life.
When we make decisions from a love based place in our lives, we attract more joy and more love.
If you love a certain hobby, choose to pursue it. If you love to travel, go on an adventure. If you love nature, go for that walk. Go towards your big loves. Make it known what you love and what you value.
Make big, bold choices when it comes to what you love and stand for.
The ”who”will come and appear in the places you organically are. Choose to live from a place of love.
Brooke Campbell, M.A., RDT-BCT, LCAT – www.creativekinections.com
As a Professional Counselor and Holistic (Inner) Life Coach as well as a woman who very much felt her biological clock ticking and made some interesting choices (and learned from them!), I want to offer guidance on how to maneuver through this time. Guidance I wish I was offered or at least that I had chosen to listen to.
First, practice self-compassion DAILY.
Being single and wanting to become a mother can be a lonely, depressed place to be. Friends are coupled up and moving into starting families. The mental math you are doing to stay “on-track” with your life has you needing to meet your person today. It can be really hard to not get sucked into anxiety and panic and bad relationship choices.
Make a commitment to care lovingly for yourself.
I highly encourage you to visit and get very familiar with Kristin Neff’s work. Self-compassion will help move you forward wholeheartedly on your journey to becoming a parent.
Next, work on your resilience to rejection.
You want to meet someone wonderful and the path to this person might have a number of false starts. Know this: research has shown that even the slightest rejection is felt in the body similarly to the pain experienced from being punched.
Often we respond with negative self-talk, depression, rebound relationships, and even self-harm. Have a game plan for lovingly countering rejection to keep you from losing sight of your authentic self out there in the dating world. I highly recommend this book by Dr. Guy Winch.
Self-compassion and resilience to rejection are wildly important tools.
Add in a mindset shift, though, and you will dramatically improve your experience with your ticking biological clock and finding your person.
- How do you react internally when you see a happy couple?
- When you walk by a pregnant Mama?
- When your friend announces she is getting married?
- Do you experience jealousy? Anger? Comparison? Rejected by life?
These, while super normal, are all low vibration feelings (i.e. they make you feel bad).
A mindset shift into joy and trust would shift your energy toward yourself and the happy couple (I love that they are happy! This is coming for me, too!), the pregnant Mama (I’m so happy she is pregnant! I wish for her a healthy baby.
This is coming for me, too!), your friend (It is awesome to see couples so deeply in love! This is coming for me, too!).
Joy and trust connect you with your authentic self and raise your energy vibration.
From here you can move into manifesting the man of your dreams! Check out Super Attractor by Gabby Berstein.
Do this work so you can stay connected to your Authentic Self during this journey! Your future thanks you!
Sue Bruckner Engstrom, MA, LPC-IT – www.suebecounseling.com
If you are feeling pressure to find a partner because your biological clock is ticking, you need to be gently aggressive in your approach to dating, and make sure you don’t waste too much time with people who don’t share your values.
While you don’t want to appear desperate or needy, you do also want to be honest and clear about who you are, where you are in life, and what you ultimately want.
This does not necessarily mean that you put it out there on the first date.
It takes time to get to know someone and assess compatibility, but it doesn’t take forever.
Remember that you are not just looking for anyone who will have you, you are looking for someone that you want to share your precious life with.
The partner that you choose is probably the most important choice you will ever make in your life.
It can determine whether you have a fulfilling life, or a miserable one.
You don’t necessarily need to settle for the first opportunity you have to have someone who wants to have a baby with you.
Make sure that you are compatible in many ways – emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, spiritually, financially, and sexually.
Most of all, you need to have shared values in order to form a solid and long-lasting partnership.
Just as women feel a biological imperative to have children before it is too late for their bodies, many men also feel they need to have children while they still have the time and energy to do it. They also don’t want to be too old to parent well.
An intelligent and forward thinking man will plan his life, including when is the best time to have children. This can often depend on establishing his career first.
Many men are reluctant to start a family unless they are financially able to support one.
Thus, if a man has not figured out his career, you may want to keep on looking if you are feeling the pressure of your biological clock.
This is not always the case, as some women are the breadwinners of the family, and their partners have made a decision to be a stay at home dad. In today’s world, this happens much more often than in previous generations.
If you’re supposed to have a child and find someone, it will happen.
If it doesn’t happen, remember that it is not the end of the world. There are many childfree people and couples who enjoy life abundantly with more freedom in many other ways.
Do your best to create the life that you want, but if it doesn’t happen, it may be something you can learn to accept.
Hinging your happiness on one thing or one person can be a setup for unhappiness.
Change the things you can, but accept the things you cannot change. And always remember to have the wisdom to know the difference.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
This is particularly true when you feel you are short on time or don’t necessarily have the same goals.
I think a lot of people fear the loss of a relationship if they are too honest. I don’t think there is any such thing as “too honest”.
I think that someone who is serious about you and your relationship with them will listen to you and see if you can’t find a compromise, even if they don’t agree or don’t understand what you need.
Telling someone you’re just beginning to date what your ultimate intentions are may scare them off, but they’re in the relationship for different reasons than you are, and it’s doubtful it will work out in the end.
There may be a better moment to breach the subject, but how many dates do you want to go on, and how many months do you want to be putting energy into a relationship that isn’t what you want or isn’t going to be what you want in the future? (Isn’t that the point of relationships?!)
If you love yourself and trust yourself, you know you need to talk about this, and there are any number of ways this conversation can go!
You might find that your partner is on exactly the same page as you are, or you might find out that they are close to you, but need a little more time to catch up. You might also find that their timeline is really far from yours and you have less in common than you thought.
But before you have this conversation, know a few things for yourself:
- What do you want from a relationship?
- When, exactly, do you want that?
- Is this the relationship you want that from?
- And what are you willing to compromise?
Knowing your own expectations allows you to communicate them clearly and allows the other person to fully agree or disagree.
And knowing exactly what you want will allow you to make better choices about what is acceptable or unacceptable. Good luck!
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.com
What do you do when you are seeing someone for a while and the relationship seems to be stagnating.
Yet you’re getting older and are concerned that if you wait any longer, time may run out for you to start a family.
Your biological clock may cause you to make some unwise decisions, so be careful.
Here are some things to consider:
1. You do not want to view your partner with rose-colored glasses if the relationship isn’t already solid and secure.
Your need to have children should not override your need to be in a healthy, respectful relationship.
2. Stay true to yourself and ask yourself if “this is someone you can see spending the rest of your life with?”
“Is he the type of man who is good with kids and shares your ideas on how to raise a family?” Be honest in answering those questions.
3. Don’t be afraid to talk with your partner, because even though starting over is scary and time consuming, it is better to know now where you stand, rather than later.
If the conversation doesn’t happen, then consider whether you want to stay or move on.
4. Try not to panic since that will cause you undo pressure.
That means pressure to meet someone so you can have a baby, pressure to move your current relationship ahead sooner than it should be and pressure to force what should come naturally. Be patient and enjoy where you are right now!
5. Figure out what you need and listen to your body.
- Are you noticing any significant changes, like your cycle is starting to shift or become erratic?
- Are there new aches and pains you never noticed before?
Now is the time to pay attention to your body and make some changes, whether it’s adding new vitamins, exercising differently or eating better.
The most important thing to remember is to not judge yourself or compare yourself with others.
Everyone progresses through their lives at their own pace. Your biological clock is a part of you that lets you know the state of your physical body. Set realistic goals and when the time is right for you, you will know. Just be open to all possibilities.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
Are having children important to you? Do you find your biological clock ticking?
There are two recommendations I have for assisting YOU in finding a partner who can meet this need.
My first request is I want you to let go of the societal message around fertility.
You know the one-“that the age of 35 is the cut off if you want to conceive a healthy child.” In reality that number should be closer to 40 and within that I even know women who are in their mid-40s who have had healthy children without any fertility treatment.
Stop allowing society to drive your stress and anxiety about having children!
I can personally relate to this because I am currently pregnant and will be having my first child at 36. I remember the pressure setting in when I hit the age of 30.
It wasn’t uncommon for me to hear, “Shouldn’t you have partner by now if you want to have children? That clock is ticking you know.” I met my husband at the age of 33 and we will be welcoming our first child this fall.
My second recommendation is that you do let potential partners know that you want to have children.
- Do you want to waste your time on dating someone who does not see children in his future?
- Does this mean that potential partners may not be interested in you?
- Of course it does but then is this partner that you want?
At least then you know up front and don’t waste time or energy in a relationship that ultimately will not be right for you.
When discussing children don’t interview your potential partner on the first date, which is just a plain turn off. But instead keep it conversational around desires and wants for the future.
Here is an example of what you could say,
“Where do you see yourself in five years”.
- Is your potential partner including children in this statement?
- If they are not perhaps you say, “I see myself in five years with a family is this something you want as well?”
It creates a less intimidating approach to the issue without putting your potential partner on the spot.
I hope that what I have stated above assists you in finding the right partner!
Lyndsey Fraser, MA, LMFT – www.relationalconnections.com
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