Is it normal for a 40 year old woman to be single and childless? - HEALTH PLUS MAG

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A single XNUMX-something woman is already starting to hear the clock ticking, even from people who are kind to her. The latter inquire about their love life even if it means being intrusive by pushing the potential “unhappy” to meet people in order to be able to correspond to the pattern that is familiar to them.

A woman all alone worried

After the age of 20, questions are already beginning to playfully. "So when are you gonna find love?" "Do you have someone for Valentine's Day?" "" When are you inviting us for a wedding? "Yet, you have everything to please" are all words that can be considered embarrassing for a single girl. Even during childhood, cartoons instill the idea that Prince Charming is a providential man who will come to save a woman who has only one idea in mind: to find love. If the woman ends up building a relationship, her quest for turnkey happiness is not over. Then it remains to change his marital status with a serious man. At that moment, another step comes to complete the destiny of a woman: to have a child. Without even knowing your aspirations, those who see you "delay" in conceiving will make it clear to you, eager to see you living a family life. If this is often the case, it is because it is a fear registered in the collective unconscious. Few lonely and happy women are represented, and those who make this choice or not are often treated as "old maids", excluded outcasts about whom many like to gossip. As women are more and more free to choose every day, it is still rare that single men are questioned about the search for love. Better yet, a hardened bachelor is seen as a Dom Juan that many envy. Discrimination that still lasts at a time when women also want to be fulfilled in professional life.

Expert reveals woman who remains single with no children is happier

Questioned by our colleagues from Guardian, Paul Dolan, a behavioral science professor at the London School of Economics has long worked on the issue of happiness. He thus breaks the neck of traditional conceptions of fulfillment, namely the couple-marriage-children rail. He explains that married women say they are happy only when their husbands are nearby. “When their spouse is not present, they feel miserable,” he notes. He adds that this institution only benefits men since it soothes them. "If you are a woman, don't bother" he laughs. If married men are happier in a marriage, it is because it gives them security, money and better longevity. Conversely, their partners die sooner than singles of their gender. Those who advance in age are more prone to suffer from mental disorders than the latter population. Only one conclusion then: a mature woman who remains single has not made such a “bad choice of life”. The human behavior specialist is rather categorical. “You see a 40-year-old single woman with no children. You say to yourself: it's a shame, isn't it? Maybe one day she will meet the perfect man and that will change. No, maybe she will meet the wrong guy and that will change. Maybe she will meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy and she will die sooner ””. There are many reasons why women without husbands and children are happier than others.

To be married, yes, but not at any cost

If this sociological analysis is pessimistic, a young single woman who wants to meet the right person and have children is not dismantled. Only, to assimilate the message according to which one must marry and give birth to a baby in order to be happy is toxic. And for good reason, to be in a hurry to find the blind soul mate. And for good reason, fulfillment can only be achieved when we meet the right person, the one who helps us to be happy and not the one who transforms us. We attract what looks like us and if we absolutely seek to get married until we are not thoughtful enough, there is a risk of committing children to divorce. A marriage is not only a question of emotions, but also of common values ​​on which you will know how to base your bond.

Being a single mother is possible!

Living alone is not inevitable when you want to have a child. Single women or women in a relationship have a whole range of technologies to conceive on their own, even at an advanced age. Some do not hesitate to pass the course or to resort to adoption to achieve this aspiration. However, the latter must be personal because bringing a being into the world is a gift of love but also a series of daily sacrifices. If a woman has not met a sincere man on her way, she can freeze her oocytes if the choice of giving birth to a baby is an intimate conviction. Being a mother is not the consecration of a woman's life, others find their happiness by focusing on their career, their relationship or their freedom. Others just don't feel ready or want to have it and that's not to blame. Those who make this lifestyle choice are just as happy as those who have decided to become mothers.

Do you absolutely have to be in a relationship?

While some women wish to meet true love consciously or not, others are not excited about having a first date, signing up on dating sites, or having serious relationships. Singles want to meet several people and forge links without necessarily becoming attached. Not being interested in finding the right person does not mean that life should be all about despondency. Life is punctuated by intellectual stimulation, travel and interesting encounters which do not result in finding the rare pearl. That doesn't mean, however, that a single woman can't have an exciting destiny. Forging affinities and making friends is also the spice of life!

Why is a woman who is always single stigmatized?

Questioned by Psychologies, Marie-Hélène Brousse, psychoanalyst, laughs at the question: "How to be a free woman?" ". The expert explains that freedom does not exist but that we adhere more to less to the discourse that weighs on us and that the stake is particular for the female sex. The psychologist explains that for a long time, the woman assumes a double position: that of object of exchange and of subject, which attributes to her a role in the foundation of the family. “Some men also experience it when they are reduced to servitude. For the vast majority of women on this planet, this is still the rule, ”she laments. Despite years of struggling to achieve emancipation from a male-dominated society, there is still a remaining willingness among women to live on their terms without being judged or frowned upon. Difficult to detach from an unconscious patriarchal program even if one theoretically wishes the opposite. "" The master's discourse imposes a relationship of domination and a mode of enjoyment which, with regard to women, is roughly translated by "Buckle it up and give birth" »She emphasizes. Psychoanalyst Anasthasia Blanché adds that women confuse their ambitions because they are rarely freed by several fears: that of not being legitimate, in their place or up to it and the guilt of not being present for their partner and children. And for good reason, many injunctions weigh on women and this is essentially based on the balance between professional, conjugal and parental life, an injunction which weighs less on the daily life of men. This responsibility to think about everything is bad for psychological health. This mental load weighs particularly on single people who are constantly reminded of this "failure" with guilty remarks about romantic encounters. Celibacy is still seen as something to be remedied and coupled with this underlying guilt, it can lead to isolation. Getting the love of a single man at any cost can be the deleterious result of this stigma which can impact all areas of our life.

Mental load - Source: France Inter

"The tyranny of the superego"

Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve, psychiatrist, gives leads on what alienates young women and those older to follow the beaten path according to which it is necessary to make a serious meeting, to get married and to have several children. “Many express a lack of self-confidence which contrasts sharply with the responsibilities they are capable of assuming” analyzes the doctor. She adds that the challenges they face are impossible because they are compared to masculine codes. “This is all the more unbearable for them as they themselves know a real tyranny of the superego: they set themselves the bar very high and have a strong sense of duty that pushes them to be good little soldiers, to the detriment of their own needs ”observes the expert. Male domination is not the only parameter that bogs women down in this servility with regard to what is expected of her. May 68 and its feminist demands led to a myth that adds injunctions to women today. The missions to be accomplished? To be a productive woman, with a perfect body, who commands and who happens to be a good mother. Pedestals which, instead of freeing her, add to what was expected of her before sexual freedom: that of being a mistress of the house, a mother and an accomplished wife. If today the life of a couple is more balanced, more things are expected of women in the management of the household such as the planning and organization of everything related to the management of the house. Fears which, from day to day, can lead to maternal burn-out, a syndrome of exhaustion due to all the responsibilities incumbent on a mother.

Mental load for women - Source: For them

How to break free?

Faced with all the “duties” that weigh on a woman, that of making a romantic encounter, of having a well-paid and rewarding job, of succeeding in building a lasting relationship, should we say “stop”? This is what Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve recommends. ". Let them stop tiptoeing forward, apologizing for being who they are, with their appearance, their biology, their personality, their priorities ”insists the expert. This also applies to the fear of not having a romantic relationship, even at 40 years old. Waiting to find true love in order to be able to realize yourself from a global point of view adds lead to the wings of women. The psychiatrist recommends to those who feel helpless in front of so many points to check off in their life "To examine what prompts them to believe that it cannot be otherwise". For the psychoanalyst Anasthasia Blanché, the best way to do this is to find sources of inspiration but also women who you don't want to be like. The specialist also advises for this, to evaluate his relationship to the mother to overcome everything that limits us in life. “You cannot access your freedom without doing some work on the relationship with your mother, the one you had, and especially the one you would have dreamed of having. Because to free oneself is also to free oneself from the “I am not good enough” in the mother's gaze, and from the repercussion of this judgment on our relationship, our way of being a mother, our relationship to work, to life. ambition, seduction, ”she adds.

"Reflect on what constitutes a successful life"

As you will have noticed, a successful life is based on injunctions that are as paradoxical as they are unrealistic. Being a femme fatale and a good mother, an accomplished woman at work and orchestrating her home with a masterful hand, having a dream body while being discreet are all subliminal messages conveyed by the media and all that we do. receives daily. Can we have it all? Yes, says Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve, which gives a condition. "Women can only find a way out by trying to 'reflect on what constitutes a successful life. according to their own wishes »Affirms the psychoanalyst who recommends them to concentrate on his real priorities without feeling guilty. Because by sacrificing ourselves, we involuntarily harm our loved ones because we unconsciously want them to have limited us. For the expert, becoming a mother completely changes a woman's life and her ambitions. “At the risk of appearing reactive, a woman who has children is no longer the same. To her own concerns is added the concern she has for them. I am not reducing the feminine to motherhood. But maternity must not constitute a handicap in the pursuit of their career, ”she adds.

Dare to be yourself

To be “selfish” by really reflecting on what drives us as a being is more than ever necessary to aspire to well-being regardless of age ”. "Everyone can find a small gap in her life to approach the woman she would like to be" says Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve. Allowing yourself to be yourself is a journey that is based on benevolence, patience and optimism. At 40, it is possible to have more confidence in your choices thanks to the maturity that results from experience. Dissociating yourself from what is expected of us and from the eyes of others is the first step towards wellness. If you have "suffered" the choice to be alone, no age can limit towards meeting the love of yourself and others. It is also possible to dare your wildest dreams by taking action without needing to find love. Being honest, listening to your heart and to what really makes us vibrate is a beautiful school that will make us learn every day about ourselves and our desires. Because if having a successful professional situation is rewarding, happiness begins in oneself and is intangible.

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