I am currently participating on a popular online dating site, and each week as a member has its ups and downs.
One man contacted me with so much enthusiasm - I was at once, turned off and flattered. I hate to say it, but judging by his profile and his picture, I wasn't interested. It's a struggle to balance being judgmental, intuitive and open-minded. (more on that later)
Despite my disinterest, I decided to communicate with him on the site until I felt compelled to meet him or certain that I would never want to.
Interestingly, as he sent me multiple messages... even when I was off site for more than a week at a time - I began to delay logging onto the site because I dreaded getting all of these messages from him in particular.
(Funny, as I relayed this to a friend who has not been on any dating sites, she remarked that it was interesting that the same feelings play out, as they do in real life!)
After a couple exchanges, his most recent message to me began with, "It sounds like you want to have children..." he went on to explain that he has decided he doesn't want to have children... AND THEN... he offered the information that, "It is sometimes precarious to have children after age 40."
(I'll let that sink in for a bit.)
Oh yes he did!!
Really? Is that right?
Is this man so ignorant as to think that there is a 40-year-old woman alive in the United States of America, particularly one who has not yet had the opportunity or the good fortune to successfully procreate prior to her 40s, who doesn't know the difficulty, the rarity, the risks, and the likelihood of conception after age 40?!?!
Is he so smug as to think that he can reveal information on the statistics of "geriatric pregnancy" that a woman my age doesn't already know?
I politely wrote back that yes, I do indeed have a strong maternal instinct, and that I hoped to have children whether they be the "homemade" variety, adopted or even foster children. That I know rather well, that there is a chance that I can't have the homemade variety - but that I still think it would be crucial to a marriage to start out with a spouse who is also interested in having children, and has the faith to let the "chips fall where they may." (translated as a faith in God to provide the best for us and our marriage)
Then, after I answered his other inquiries, I offered the advice that he ought not ever feel compelled to inform a woman older than 40 about the likelihood of conception and pregnancy. We know. We've been thinking about since we were 20-years-old. We've been worried about it since we were 25. We've been praying about it since we were 30, and we've been researching it since we turned 35.
I look forward to never hearing from him again.
I dread that I will indeed, have one more message from him before this over!
I promised more on the delicate balance:
It is my nature to be rather open-minded about dating anyone - but experience, while being a harsh teacher, also teaches wisdom. There are certain clues, signals, in what people say, what people do... and sometimes even in their appearance that reveal how they are going to act, and sometimes what is in their heart. (it's long been said that eyes are the window to the soul... which is not so far off.)
It is tempting to be dismissive of those that signal that which repels us. And having been single for so many years, one starts to re-think one's strategy... and give them a chance, just in case we are wrong.
So far, my gut has been right.
Stinking, alone, and right!