Single Mom By Choice: Terry’s Awesome Love Life

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Terry, a 59-year-old computer software designer from Palo Alto, California claims that she has always been single. “My last long-term romantic relationship lasted around 4-5 years,” she remembered. “It was fun. The guy was more laid back than I am and I enjoyed the lack of pressure being around him. It broke up when we went separate ways. I was ready to make a family, whereas he was divorced and had kids and didn’t want to do that again.”

“The people that I’ve met and that I would like to be with are already taken,” Terry admitted. “I’m too independent to settle. I have a pretty happy life, so I’m not placing a priority on finding a partner. I’ll probably get back to making that more of a priority when my daughter leaves home, but I still won’t settle for something not so good.”

Does she ever feel pressure to be married? “Nope. I have what I want without it,
Terry said. “A satisfying job that makes me enough money, a wonderful kid and friends that I enjoy. A life partner would be a wonderful thing, but I don’t feel pressure about it.”

“The best thing about my life is my kiddo,” Terry recalled. “She’s wonderful, and it’s fun seeing her blossom into a young woman. I’m very proud of my decision to adopt her. When I was in my late 30s, I was living far from any relatives and had some friends move away. I felt like I wanted a stable connection in my everyday life – family that lived with me. Then a single woman that I worked with adopted a newborn, and it suddenly hit me that I could be a single parent, too! The relationship I was in was drifting apart, and as I mentioned below, the guy didn’t want to do the parenting thing again. So I started seriously considering becoming a single parent. Since I didn’t have a lot of experience being around kids day to day, I joined Big Sisters to get a taste of having a close relationship with a kid. That worked out very well. I also found out about Single Mothers by Choice (SMC), and made a decision to go ahead.”

”At first I tried to conceive a child, both the old-fashioned way and with the help of a doctor,” she continued. “I had an ectopic pregnancy. In the year after that, my body quit responding to the lightweight fertility meds, and being more aggressive would have been very expensive and didn’t have that great a chance of succeeding in those days. A woman in my local SMC group adopted from China, and that seemed like the perfect route for me. China was just opening up for adoption at the time. The process was bureaucratic but fast. The kids were mostly healthy girls, which I felt more qualified to parent than a boy. I’d had an affinity for China since I was a kid, had had a Chinese BF at one point, knew some Mandarin, and had been to China shortly after it opened to Western visitors. Eight months after I submitted the first application, I was on my way to China to pick up my daughter. She was a sweetheart, 5 months old, and pretty easy to parent.”

As luck would have it, Terry was laid off from her job just before the adoption. “That turned out to be wonderful luck in disguise. I stretched the severance package and used some savings, to be able to be with my kid for the first year. I was with her full-time for the first 3 months, and then I worked on a project part time and hunted for a new job for the next 9 months. I ended up moving back to California, where there are more computer jobs so another on. I’m also proud of completing my degree in school even though I ran into difficult times,” Terry said.

It’s not wrong to fantasize about love, is it? “Absolutely not,” Terry confirmed. “Romantic love would be wonderful. My partner would be someone that I feel an equality with, that I can work together with to create wonderful things, and who has a give-and-take with doing nice things for each other.”

For women who are frustrated by their lack of love Terry said, “Quit focusing on that. Focus on making your life into what you want to do with it. Then life itself will be fun for you. The people you meet will fit into that, and will make life even more satisfying. If one of those people becomes your life partner, so much the better.”

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