Ben and I recently had a falling out, which has given me pause for reflection.
I would like, very much, to get married and start a family. This is something I've wanted and been open to doing since I was 24. I've been in a handful of serious relationships that have gone on for at least two years, but none of these men have asked me to marry them.
The reasons these relationships have not worked out have been varied. However, one feeling that all of these guys seem to have shared is that they couldn't tolerate the idea of settling down with someone who wouldn't be able to be highly deferential. They weren't open to relocation. They weren't open to the idea of a girlfriend or wife who would work long hours. They couldn't see why I wouldn't want to take a 50% paycut to relocate to their choice of town as soon as possible. Even when I told them I didn't want to have the sort of job I currently have in the long-term, they couldn't (or didn't want to?) think creatively about a future family life. [ETA: Maybe they just didn't believe me based on my behavior.]
I'm responsible for my decision to stay in long-term relationships with guys who were not open to being true partners. I think this happened because I am open to and interested in the idea of being a full-time mom. I wasn't prioritizing selection of guys who were going to be supportive of a wife with a demanding job, even though I was clearly headed down that path, because (if I'm being completely honest) I didn't want to have a demanding job outside the home in the long-term.
There are consequences. I spent my most precious years dating these guys. Now, I can see fine lines on my face and bags under my eyes, and feel like I don't have strong cards to play with. I do believe that I have a nice personality and am interesting to talk to. I know that I'm financially responsible and well-educated. But it doesn't feel like those qualities matter (especially in Southern California). I'm 32, but I already feel invisible to men my age.
One of the core problems is that I don't have the time: the time to spend on doing what it takes (and I don't really know what it takes or where to go) to cross paths with single guys who are about my age; or the time to look my best. I cannot remember the last time I was asked on or went on a date. I often seriously think that I need to quit my job in order to have any hope of finding a partner.
I recognize that I am failing in my personal life, but I'm not sure what to do and I'm running out of time to figure it out.
As you can probably tell, I am having an especially low moment. I go back and forth between the thoughts I express in this post and focusing entirely on my job (because I have at least some control over that aspect of my life).