Yet, for some women this is not a situation they chose, but rather one that they’ve ended up in because they’ve made intelligent, honourable choices and behaved with decency and morality towards others.
You’ve even tried some of the stuff you thought you’d never do.
Now, astonishingly people are suggesting you ‘do it on your own’ as if it were an ambitious DIY project that you just need to pluck up the nerve for.
And whatever piece of brilliant advice it is that you think you’ve got for your single friend, your daughter, your sister or your colleague – just don’t.
Only for this week if that’s all you can manage, but preferably never again.
The fact of having never been married or in the kind of long-term partnership in which the opportunity to try for a baby arose, seems to be a their stories because they don’t feel ‘entitled’ to their pain, grief and despair compared to those women who’ve suffered miscarriages, failed to conceive or who have experienced unsuccessful IVF.
There is sometimes a sense of deep unworthiness, of being right at the bottom of some invisible pecking order of childless women and not quite ‘full members’ of the childless club, and so therefore not quite due Whereas just a generation ago, being an unmarried mother was to be the social outcast, now it’s the single, childless woman over 40 who carries the weight of shame.Friends and family tell their single friends to just ‘get out there’ and suggest ever more and more bizarre (and undignified) suggestions of how to meet a partner (things that they would never dream of doing) without realising that they’ve tried it all.For me, once I accepted that I was never going to be a mother, I lost interest in dating for a few years.I did meet a couple of interesting men but one was too ready and one not ready enough and well, that was that.As someone who works for herself and runs a women’s organisation, my life is pretty testosterone free and very nice that is too!Although not having a partner features in many of the stories of those of us born in the 1960s (like myself), it doesn’t compare to the frequency with which those born in the 1970s seem to be experiencing it.