One of the Biggest Cliches of Them All

Let’s confront one of the biggest and baddest cliches about single mothers out there – that we all women with all-consuming, high paying, fulfilling careers that just never made time to focus on relationships.


We’re not all straight out of an ’80s movie, wearing boxy suits and one-inch pumps and trying to get ahead at the expense of the evil male coworker who wants to put us in our place. We are regular, ordinary girls who just didn’t find “the one” in time.

As for me – yes, I did become a lawyer in my mid-20s and yes, I had the high paying job at a big law firm. But even then, I knew I wanted the whole package of marriage and children. I was ALWAYS ambivalent about being a lawyer – although I really and truly enjoyed law school, I never wanted to practice law and frankly, once I was in it, never enjoyed it or thought of it as my first priority.

I spent the second half of my twenties working at a corporate law firm and “semi-dating” a coworker. This guy was gorgeous, well educated, and a bit mysterious. He was a single parent at the age of 26, which actually was a huge turn on for me, as I didn’t know any other young people with families and even then, I knew I wanted one. Well, it turns out he wasn’t so mature, and frankly I wasn’t so mature, and let’s just say I spent (wasted?) a couple of years of my life pining over this totally unavailable man.

After a series of personal crises and a couple more failed relationships (let’s just say my judgment in my 20s wasn’t so stellar), I left the law firm life and headed back to grad school at the age of 32. Happily, the tables turned and I got more male attention than I gave, and even had a guy or two pine over ME for a change. I met several gorgeous, smart, funny, talented guys during that time, and had several short-term relationships with men who weren’t “the one”. As I approached my mid-30s, the panic set in and by age 39 I knew I was not going to find someone in time to have a baby.

As for me now, I have been TTC for the better part of two years while simultaneously trying to jump start my new career. I try to date but my heart just isn’t in it. I’m actually quite content being single at the moment, and with the exception of the financial factor, am totally at peace with becoming a single mom.

My point is that we aren’t all career-hungry vultures trying to break through the glass ceiling at the expense of our personal lives. We are human women who for whatever reason haven’t found a mate in time, and whether or not we all have successful careers is irrelevant to this process.

And anyway, boxy suits just aren’t my style.

7 thoughts on “One of the Biggest Cliches of Them All”

  1. Thanks for telling it from this side – which is also the side I’m on. I tried, I looked. True, it was NOT the most important thing in my life to be in a relationship, but, yes, I would love to find a loving partner who wants to stay. It didn’t happen so far and I think it’s just right that I – and many of the beautiful, smart, loving, caring women that I know – do not stop their lives and resign themselves to being alone forever because the partnership plot didn’t work out for us. To giving love and receiving love in our lives – in all the forms that it comes!

  2. Yes, I agree with Jen. It is often not our fault that we have not met “Mr Right”. We are just smart because we have not decided to settle with whatever it is that life serves up on a platter.

  3. It is so nice to hear from like-minded women. I get so tired of hearing from my married friends that I work too hard and have been too picky and that is why I haven’t met Mr Right.

  4. Thanks for writing this!

    I really believe that most women focus on their careers, in the first place, because it’s nice to eat food and have heat in the winter. And a vacation doesn’t hurt. It’s not because one has been busy doing a Diane Keaton in Baby Boom impression, or missing a soul. I’d have loved to have met someone great ten years ago and been all minivanned up by now, but it just didn’t happen. Okay, maybe not REALLY minivanned. But you know what I mean. I thought I met someone who was great about five years ago, but he turned out to be a man-child. Um… no. So what am I supposed to do? Be like my maiden aunt, who spent her life watching her brothers and sisters live their lives while she got to bunk with mom till she was 60? Or am I going to go get out of life what I want?

  5. Well put, Nicole. I’m a corporate lawyer (in-house) myself, but the notion that I focused only on my career at the expense of my personal life is just silliness. Sometimes you just flat don’t meet Mr. Right. I did think I’d met him a couple of times, but let’s just say I was incorrect in those assumptions and leave it at that.

    Oh yeah, and no boxy suits here either! I only own two (totally non-boxy) suits, and they are pretty much reserved for funerals and interviews.

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