Every good matchmaker has a database filled with beautiful, successful, relationship-oriented women who haven’t found “happily ever after” and secretly think that there is something wrong with them. The truth is: There is something wrong with what society taught them. From the myth that women can have a baby whenever they want, to the Prince Charming fairytale, to the patriarchal systems that facilitate the widespread practice of women making men more important than themselves, many single women today have faulty perceptions and twisted priorities.
As their biological clocks tick, they wonder if they’ll have to settle out of fear that Mr. Right won’t come along in their child-bearing years.
But there is an alternate route to creating a family and finding real love. Modern women who are fed up with the time-consuming, emotionally exhausting, and superficial rituals of dating to find “The One” can find fulfillment by choosing single motherhood first and then attracting love later.
In fact, I have done that.
I have recently given birth to a little girl conceived via IVF with carefully chosen donor sperm.
Listen to Rachel on the pregnantish podcast, “How this Matchmaker Chose Her Sperm Donor”:
I couldn’t be more confident that this was the best decision for me and my love life!
As a matchmaker and dating relationship coach with more than sixteen years’ experience, and a clinical background as a marriage and family therapist, I’d probably be the last woman most people would guess had decided to choose the solo mom life. Isn’t it ironic?
The truth is: I’ve had front row seats to the shit-show of the NYC dating scene for all these years. My professional experience, coupled with an eye-opening personal experience with an ex- boyfriend who “changed his mind” on wanting more kids, has given me a really unique perspective.
I’ve seen that most women today are still hoping to manifest their dream of being a wife and mother the same way their mothers and grandmothers did. They are focusing on making themselves attractive to men, engaging in the same dating rituals, getting married, and then trying to have babies. And that is the problem.
Over the years, I’ve met too many attractive, smart, professional, single women in their 40s who wished they had had a child. I decided I didn’t want to be one of them.
I am not saying my lifestyle choice is for every woman. From choosing a donor, to dropping thousands and thousands of dollars on IVF, to months of injecting progesterone with a twenty-two gauge needle, to making all of the parenting decisions, single motherhood by choice is not for the faint of heart—especially during a global pandemic!
I am not saying my lifestyle choice is for every woman. From choosing a donor, to dropping thousands and thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization, to months of injecting progesterone with a twenty-two gauge needle, to making all of the parenting decisions, single motherhood by choice is not for the faint of heart—especially during a global pandemic!
If my story resonates with you, perhaps it is something to consider. There are so many benefits to having a child to raise with love—in whatever way you’d like. I think the benefits of being a parent—like learning the nature of unconditional love, increasing your patience, finding more purpose in life—apply to romantic relationships, too. If you take the non-traditional path, you get the added benefit of the self-respect and confidence that comes only from following your own heart—despite what anyone else thinks.
I believe that if the process of becoming a single mother helps a woman become a happier, higher version of herself, she will unlock a world of upgrades—not just for her and her child-but for her love life.
This is not just a hypothesis; I was obviously willing to be the guinea pig! If you want to give it a whirl, this is how I think it could go down:
Upgrade #1: You’ll Expose Toxic @$$holes and Basic Bros
This non-conventional life choice serves as a built-in screening tool that will help women quickly eliminate men who are narcissistic, close-minded, and toxic in their masculinity. It will repel basic bros who have been brainwashed about gender roles and their “perfect match.” Not blinded by the desire to have a child, women will be better at identifying red flags, faster to get out of unhealthy relationships, and more likely to cut ties with exes that no longer serve them.
This non-conventional life choice serves as a built-in screening tool that will help women quickly eliminate men who are narcissistic, close-minded, and toxic in their masculinity.
Upgrade #2: Your Open Mind Leads to Real Love
When single moms no longer need to look for a man to be the biological father of their child, they can let go of superficial dating criteria like age, height, net worth, and perhaps even race or religion. Like most people, they were probably programmed (by family, friends, the media, etc.) to think they need certain qualities in a match to be happy. They may have been socialized to make choices out of fears around security or loneliness, thinking they need men to provide and take care of their emotional needs. This distracts women from focusing on the important qualities needed to make a relationship work. It does not lead to lasting love, but being open-minded does.
Upgrade #3: Your Confidence Is an Aphrodisiac
Something incredibly powerful happens to a woman’s level of confidence and self-respect when she decides to create a life and raise a child without the help of a man. When a woman doesn’t need anything from a man, she is liberated and does not have to put up with anything she doesn’t want to.
Some men are attracted to a single mom by choice. I’ve seen how becoming a single mom by choice raises a woman’s vibration and may even lead to others wanting to set her up, as they admire her brave decision and want her to find love, too.
Throughout my pregnancy, there were several men who reached out to me complimenting me on my “badass” choice, calling me “a trailblazer,” complimenting my “glowing” look, wanting to help me, send me gifts, and ask me out on dates!
I am not alone in this experience. I’ve heard incredible stories of women finding their match during pregnancy and in the early days of single motherhood. One matchmaking colleague told me of a single mom by choice who met her husband during the second trimester. He was there in the delivery room and became her child’s dad from Day 1.
This may not be everyone’s experience, but it is a real possibility!
Upgrade # 4: You’ll Date Less and Have More Meaningful Relationships
The compulsive dating that defines today’s app-driven dating scene leads to more dates but fewer relationships. With limited time—and having to get a sitter for their child—single moms will choose their dates more wisely than ever. They’ll avoid dating burnout and take every option more seriously—instead of treating their dates like they are disposable, as many singles do. They will suffer less from the consequences of being in a dating culture where the overabundance of options is toxic and male “ghosting” is prevalent.
Upgrade #5: You Won’t Be Anxious When He Texts You “K”
With a child on board, single moms won’t have the time or energy to obsess about why some guy hasn’t texted back in hours and what his last text really means. With the focus on parenting and less time spent on analyzing the stages of dating, those with even the most anxious attachment style will soon become more secure. Becoming a single mom can help a woman let go of the anxious thoughts and behaviors that sabotage relationships. Of course, a more secure attachment style is better for the mom, her child, and, of course, the relationship.
Upgrade #6: You’ll Keep Him—Without Losing Yourself
Most women feel pressure to conform to men’s desires in a relationship. From being his sexual fantasy, to cooking, cleaning, and taking care of him and his kids, to relocating for his job, some modern women do it all—while maintaining their own career. Some women habitually lose themselves in unbalanced relationships by making their partner’s needs more important than their own. (Been there.)
Single mothers by choice will naturally put their children first, and, consequently, themselves. Without receiving child support payments or having a co-parent, it is extremely important for them to focus on their health, finances, and parenting.
Of course, being a mom, in general, can be hard. Having a partner doesn’t always make it easier; sometimes if a woman is in an unhealthy relationship, it makes motherhood worse! However, at certain stages in a child’s life cycle, if a single mom lacks a strong support system or if a child has special needs, parenting can be more difficult without a partner.
Some single moms may go longer than they wish without a romantic relationship. They may see no option other than to develop a fierce, inner strength that helps them get through and care for their children.
But, when they do enter a new romantic relationship, they can be clear that their man is not their priority, and this, paradoxically, leads them to be healthier and happier in the relationship.
So basically, single-motherhood-by-choice might just be some women’s best choice.
There are no guarantees in love and life, but I doubt I’ll ever have regrets about making my baby dream come true.
Whether my journey will lead me to real love sooner or later is to be determined. I’m hopeful that it will happen sooner, but I’m also a realist. There are no guarantees in love and life, but I doubt I’ll ever have regrets about making my baby dream come true! I think it is possible for myself and for many single mothers by choice to eventually have it all.
I already feel an internal shift that is making this possible for me—in the form of a transformation of my mindset. I chose to put my dating on hold, in favor of using the time to focus on my health and well-being, especially during the pandemic. The temporary pleasures of a fun date night, a hook up, or allowing myself to get emotionally entangled with a man who was anything less than “The One,” were not worth any risk to my baby and me.
I refused to see men I would have seen in the past. (Trust me, that was for the best!) Truthfully, I wouldn’t even think about letting any man get close to me without showing a Covid test and full STD workup! I felt my confidence grow as I said “no” to things that didn’t feel comfortable. I haven’t needed an ounce of validation from any man—something that I admit was not totally foreign, but still a bit new to me.
Deciding to become a single mom by choice, pursuing a new “happily ever after,” may be the fantasy-meets-new-reality story some women will be thrilled to tell their children.
Rachel Russo has sixteen years experience as a matchmaker and dating & relationship coach, including with her consultancy, Rachel Russo Relationships. She is the author of two books: How To Get Over Your Ex and A Fab Job Guide To Become A Matchmaker. Rachel's life's work is to help people find and keep their best relationship. Follow her @rachel.russo and listen to her story on the pregnantish podcast.
Listen to stories, share your own, and get feedback from the community.