EDITOR’S NOTE:  Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view.  If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

 

 

QUESTION:  How does a single let go of the parenting dream?  I am never married and have always wanted to be married.  I will soon be 46, so I am letting go of the parenting dream.  Those around me won't let me.  Is it so wrong to say I can be happy on my own without a child or that my future husband and I (wherever he is) could be happy as just a couple?  How do guys feel about this?  I know biologically speaking that men have so much longer to make babies.  There are no books on this or Web sites with this kind of information.  I feel so lost and so alone on this.


HE SAID:  The greatest human tragedy is to give up the search.  Nothing is of greater importance than the life of our deep heart.  To lose heart is to lose everything. 

— John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire

I would venture to say most singles have the desire to be married and have a family at some point in their life.  My desire started somewhere around the early days of The Brady Bunch.  Although I have yet to find my own family drama/comedy, being single hasn’t deterred me from experiencing joy and finding happiness.

It sounds as if you are letting go of more than just your dream of being a parent.  You have lost the joy and happiness outside of being a parent.

Is it wrong to say I can be happy on my own without a child?

YES, it is wrong to say, “I can be happy…without a child,” only for the reason you would even ask yourself that question.  In case anyone hasn’t discovered the fact that things (including spouses and children) do not make a person happy, they don’t.  I have neither had a spouse nor a child, but I have reason to believe that if I am unhappy without them, I would be unhappy with them (and they would not be happy with me).

If having a child made someone happy, why would we have so many children aborted, abused, and abandoned by a parent?  If having a child made someone happy, why are there so many marriages (with children) ending in divorce?  If having a child made someone happy, why are there so many unhappy and messed up children?

Is it wrong to say that my husband and I could be happy as just a couple?

If the woman I was marrying (or dating) asked, felt, thought or even entertained this notion, I would RUN!  If there is any question in your mind that you won’t be happy in your marriage unless you had a child, forget the marriage thing all together.  What would marriage be like until you had a child?  What if you couldn’t have one?  What is marriage for, only to procreate?  Nowadays, you don’t even need a man to do that.

If your dream is to be a parent, the only aspect of your parenting dream that may be in jeopardy is the birthing part.  Your goal can be reached in a number of different ways.

Adoption is a wonderful option in becoming a parent.  There are thousands of children in the United States and around the world who need a loving home and parent.  Single parenting presents its own set of challenges, but it is possible to be a great single mom—especially with the support of family and friends.