All I’ve dreamed of was being a wife and mother

Dan Miller —  February 20, 2013 — 11 Comments

“Dan – Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamt of being a wife and mother.  However, right now I’m single.  I try to get passionate about work other than being a wife & mom, but can never feel 100% excited about it.  What happens if I never get married?  What can I do?  Thank you for your time and guidance!”

Geesh – I get lots of questions about how what book to read or what color shirt to wear to an interview.  And then you throw out this zinger – wow, I could write a book about this topic.

Since Joanne and I are in Nokomis Beach, FL this week I’ll have to save the book version for later, but…………  

I have no easy answers for singleness when you desire to be married.  And yes, it comes up a lot.  However, even with my focus on meaningful work I still see what we do to create income as only one component for a successful life.  Yes, it’s important but work is only one tool for a life well lived.  I would encourage you to be very intentional about making deposits of success in other areas of your life.  Take the pressure off “work” being the only thing that gives you a sense of meaning and fulfillment.  Make big deposits in the physical, social, personal development and spiritual areas of your life.  Be a person others want to be around and to have on their team.  Focus on who you are “becoming” not on what you are “doing.”  Be a person everyone wants to be around – and in that mix you are likely to recognize potential husbands as well.

Here’s a little challenge for you:*

Douglas E. Lurton, who was a brilliant magazine editor helped many people succeed in business and in life.  He always advised them, among other things, to make as many friends as possible. Once he even worked out a seven-day plan to win friends.  He promised all who would follow it that they would not only have more friends at the end of the week, but that they would have a more pleasant week than they had ever known.

  1. On the first day write a letter – write to an old friend or a new acquaintance.  Make it a friendly, chatty, knight in shining armourpersonal letter.
  2. On the second day smile at every acquaintance you greet on the street or at work.  And try to say a few words of praise to at least one person.
  3. On the third day say something kind to every close associate you see.
  4. On the fourth day call up someone you have just met and would like to know better and extend an invitation to lunch.
  5. On the fifth day find someone who is not very popular and pay a lot of attention to him or her.
  6. On the sixth day carry on a conversation with a stranger – a waiter, a waitress, a bus driver, a cab driver or a neighbor.  If possible, praise something that person has done.
  7. On the seventh day encourage two people to talk about themselves.  Say little about yourself.  Get the others to talk.

(*From the Best of Bits and Pieces)

I really suspect that if you do this seven-day plan and do parts of it continuously, you’ll meet lots of interesting people.  Perhaps even a knight in shining armour.

  • Margie

    I enjoyed this post… and tend to do much of what is on the list here and there, but I’ve not made a consistent, daily effort at it. One thing I hadn’t considered is inviting someone to lunch just because I wanted to know them better, though I’m not sure why. I’m going to find someone and invite them to lunch in the next 10 days and see how it goes. Thanks, Dan!

    • Dan Miller

      Margie – Sounds great. I think you’ll be surprised at how well that will work to expand your connections.

  • Dawn

    I had to respond to this post because it’s so near and dear to my heart. I was a first-time bride at age 40 and know the disappointment and frustration that comes from being single when you desire to be married. It’s something that people who marry young really can’t understand. However, I believe that God put the desire of marriage in my heart, and He was faithful in bringing me a wonderful husband.
    In the meantime, though, it is essential this lady be proactive about finding work and activities that excite her. She should make this part of her life as fulfilling as possible. It will help her be a happier person and boost her self-confidence which will make her more attractive and interesting to the people she meets. I was fortunate that I had already found my passion in music.
    Next, it’s not only important that she be “intentional” about the career/hobby areas of her life but also that she become very deliberate about finding a husband. It’s almost a fulltime job. Take time to truly get to know yourself and your needs and desires. I made a list of what I was looking for in a man, what I would accept, and what were deal breakers–from physical appearance to intelligence, emotional availability, values, etc. Then I joined online dating sites and screened potential dates. Did I say screen? I mean it. Be careful and pay attention to your intuition. Yes, God provided me with my husband but I made myself available and we did meet online. As an introvert who worked from home, online dating was the best option for me.
    Remember to take care of yourself physically. If an update in hairstyle, wardrobe or make-up is needed, go for it. Sometimes, we like to kid ourselves into thinking that appearance isn’t important, but it is. How you take care of yourself tells others how you feel about yourself. This is true for careers, friendships, and romance.
    After being married for two years, I can say that marriage brings it’s own set of challenges; it has not been an easy transition for me after being single so long. Note that I do still enjoy the things I did before I was married, and the more I keep up with those things, the happier my marriage. You can’t depend on a husband to make you happy; you must make yourself happy first.
    Best of luck. Don’t give up on your dream of marriage and motherhood but learn to enjoy your own company.

    • Dan Miller

      Dawn – thanks for your clear and specific suggestions. In “The Compound Effect” Darren Hardy writes about wanting to find the woman of his dreams. He wrote over 40 pages of qualities he was looking for. Then he asked himself – “would the woman I describe be interested in me?” And then set out to make himself the man that ideal woman would be looking for. And yes – she did show up.

    • ruis2002

      Dr. Diana Kirschner did a series on public television, and also wrote a book, outlining a step by step plan to find love in 90 days. It does sound like a lot of work, but you’re right, it’s important to be intentional and take action. I think the book is just called “Love in 90 Days”, and it’s written with a female audience in mind, although the chapter on “deadly dating patterns” would be useful for all singles.

    • AlexN

      Love your advice, Dawn.

  • Karen Putz

    I love that 7 day plan– what a great way to reach out to people and expand your circle of friends.

  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    I liked your idea of making friends Dan.

    Being married for 20 years and having four kids, my advice to this woman would be to use this time to set herself up for success in other areas in her life such as financial, health, spiritual, etc. while she is “looking”.

    While being a mom is my most favorite role in the world, it comes with its own set of challenges. I would also say don’t glamorize being a wife and mom so much that you miss the opportunities that are right before your eyes. Use this time as a gift to focus on growing in areas that you may not be able to spend as much time in later. See yourself as being married with a child in 2 years and do the things that you would want to do now that you can’t do then.

    Lastly, be adventurous and don’t worry so much about what others will think. As I would tell my kids, the other person is probably just as nervous as you are…don’t over think the process of asking someone out, worrying if they will call, etc.

    I liked Dawn’s advice of “you can’t depend on a husband to make you happy; you must make yourself happy first and to enjoy your own company.”

    Best wishes,

    • Dan Miller

      Jen – thanks for your solid, practical advice. I agree – being happy and your very best self will be an attraction for lots of potential partners.

  • Brad McCullouch

    I really like that idea for making friends. Much of the time we can get bogged down with self and forget “others.” I love it when a post of yours has multiple applications.

  • AlexN

    Being really focused on marriage and kids is a surefire way to chase a man away. But if you are serious about finding the right man, try looking in the same way you look for work. Do up a list of requirements, and then go places you’re likely to meet men who share those interests. Approach that “vocation” like the pursuit of any vocation.