Lukas Rosenstock's Blog

Lukas Rosenstock's Blog

Last year, I published a few blog posts about being single. Then I stopped. I have started multiple drafts but never completed them. I can’t find the right angle to share my thoughts and tell my story. My mind is full of interconnected thoughts that are difficult to express linearly, and some of these thoughts are uncomfortable to express at all. One reason for starting the series of posts was to clarify what I wanted in this area of my life. Still, a year later, I feel more confused than ever. At the same time, the pressure is mounting because I’m approaching my fortieth birthday at the end of the year. While I sincerely believe there’s no “expiry date” for finding love, there is one for having children, especially biological children. That date is not just about fertility but also about your aging parallel to them. I’m way past the age where I can be a young parent, but I can still prevent being a super old parent by acting very soon if I want a child. Do I want one? Well, I think I do. It still doesn’t seem the primary goal that I can’t stop thinking about, but it’s undoubtedly one goal and one that, unlike some others, I can’t delay.

The default path is to start dating, end up in a long-term relationship, decide to marry, and then have kids and start a family. These steps seem a natural progression. Many people have clear goals and an idea of marriage and family. Still, others first start dating because of sexual attraction, loneliness, or because everyone is doing it. Then, everything else is just the natural next step. They never imagined their wedding, but when the right person appeared, the idea seemed appealing, and then parenthood was just the next level of married life. I might be more of the latter type of person, and I’m stuck at square one because I’ve never prioritized dating.

Many people I know met their spouse in their early- or mid-twenties, married in their late twenties, and started having kids then or in their early- to mid-thirties. The later they started, the quicker they went through the steps. Some even seem to “speedrun” the process, and there’s the cliché of the man who discovers they’re ready for marriage and then “marries the girl in front of them”. And by now, I would have to “super-speedrun” if I wanted to follow the default path. However, my perfectionism and romantic ideas place me too far away from that clichéd man who could date to settle. I know a few single women, but none where I have strong feelings that I could love them and start a family with them. (Also, some have already decided they don’t want kids.)

I see a couple of options in front of them. The first is to continue what I do now, which is mostly nothing. If I do so, I need to accept that I may never experience parenthood or only in a very suboptimal way. It’s not especially appealing. Also, even separated from parenthood, I’m not entirely convinced that singlehood is the preferred state I want to stay in forever. Still, I’ve recently realized that a romantic relationship with someone who doesn’t want to have kids seems somewhat pointless to me, which may be telling.

The second is to start running and making meeting and dating women a full-time job until I find someone to love, marry, and have children. Ruthlessly prioritize hobbies and activities that allow me to meet single women, sign up for all dating apps, optimize my profile, announce my search publicly, involve my friends, and ask them to set me up, etc. I’m sure that’s what most others would do in my position, and I’m also sure that’s what others would suggest to me if I asked them what to do. It is the obvious step, but so far, I have not been able to motivate myself to do it. I want to investigate this further in a follow-up post because that may go back to some of my general ideas and attitudes that hold me back in dating and that I still need to explore.

Finally, the third option is to be open-minded about non-standard approaches to relationships, parenthood, and family life. One is co-parenting, where people get together to have children without being romantically involved. This would suit me quite well, as it’s similar to how I approach work. Finding a woman who I can imagine being a good mother and thinking of it as a project of raising children might be easier than hoping to catch the feeling of wanting to wake up next to her for the next forty years after forty years of sleeping alone. While this path still leaves the possibility of me finding love at an older age, it means abolishing the default path for good. Am I ready for that? Other variants would include multi-parent families, polyamory, and communal living. Still, before considering either of those, I’d need to deconstruct what most people get from the default path that includes a spouse and children, find what is truly missing in my life, and then see what alternative approach to life covers the essence of it. And now we’re back at the point where I need clarification about what I want, and I must also explore that.

Wow! I made it to a point where I wrote down some thoughts in a way that made me feel confident about publishing. I needed to be stuck on a boat with no Internet access and nothing else to do, and I was slightly sleep-deprived. I may write the first follow-up piece on the return journey. As usual, feel free to share your opinions with me in a reply via email or social media.