My Fifty is Different

So far everything that I have seen online regarding women in their fifty’s has been about starting over after divorce, having empty nest syndrome, being a grandmother or being a widow.  There’s not a magazine, blog or book that doesn’t have the word Menopause in it when talking about women over fifty.  Don’t get me wrong – these are important topics but what about women like me who, a) have never been married, b) don’t have children and c) still get a period?

My parents did not have a good marriage. Okay, who am I kidding? My parents had a lousy marriage and our household was riddled with dysfunction. It is no surprise that by the time I was a teen I already knew that marriage was not going to be at the top of my list of things I needed to do. But even with all the odds against me, I still had love in my heart with hopes of meeting someone I could love and for them to love me.  Oh yeah, I found love alright but just like a chapter in a Psych 101 textbook, I didn’t have the tools that would allow me to tell the difference between love and abuse (in my case it was verbal).

I would have been the mother or 5 children but an abortion in my early 20’s and 4 miscarriages put an end to that. It took years to finally make peace with myself over the abortion. My boyfriend at the time was in school and did not want a baby. His college career was his main focus and I was ruining his plans. Never once did he think about my feelings about it.  Everything was about him.  I didn’t have the emotional support I desperately needed at home so I turned to my then, high school best friend for advice. Since I had just started a new job and my boyfriend did not want any parts of becoming a father, my friend and I both agreed that it would probably be best not to go through with the pregnancy. There were many dark days after that but I just thank God that I was able to make it through it and most importantly, I was able to forgive myself for what I had done.

I never had dreams as a little girl of being married or to be a mother. You know how you hear women say, “Since I was a little girl I have always dreamt of being married and having children.”  Uh, that wasn’t me.  My thought process was always “okay, if I get pregnant I’ll keep it” (except for that one time) but children were not something that I needed to have. Or so I thought.  With each pregnancy I was filled with the excitement of becoming a mom and when I lost the baby I would be devastated.  I know that this may sound weird to some but it wasn’t until I was fifty that I really grasped the reality that my child rearing days were over – that made me sad.  Suddenly, it was all so final.

Several years later my niece and nephew came to live with me due to some difficulties their mom was having at home.  They were in their very early teens at the time and they taught me something very valuable.  They taught me that although I didn’t have children of my own, my motherly instincts kicked into full gear.  I had become a single mother without even thinking about it.  I loved those kids as if they were my very own.  They are grown now but the love I have for them has never changed.  In my eyes (and theirs) they are the kids that I never had.

Today, I am 52 years old and although I am still not interested in getting married, I would love to have some companionship.  I mean come on, even I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.  When my father died in 2006, I went into a deep depression and became celibate. It wasn’t something I had planned to do but I was simply mentally drained and cut off all connections with men and dating. I was celibate for 8 years when honestly – I just couldn’t take it anymore! I needed to get laid! I hit online dating sites with a fury. After sifting through a lot of losers I actually met someone I actually liked and was instantly attracted to. That doesn’t happen often with me. We dated for about a year and although it didn’t work out, we still talk as friends today.

I’m over the online dating scene now and am ready to look into other ways to meet people.  At my age there aren’t a whole lot of choices.  Think about it – guys my age are either married/divorced and are not looking for anything serious.  I have never liked dating men much older than myself and have almost always dated guys who were younger than me.  I’m not saying that this always worked well but guys my age tend to look much older than I do. Sorry fellas but, I don’t want to date someone that looks like he could be my father.  I’m thinking of trying out speed dating or maybe taking up a cooking class. Who knows, I might just meet my future husband. Now wouldn’t that be something!