I’ve read about your religious beliefs in some of your previous threads, so I’m not sure if this is something you’d be willing to do, but let me tell you what helped ME immensly when I broke up with an ex when I was in a previous relationship. For short background, I dated someone for almost 7 years, from the age of 23 until 29 1/2 or so. I would not say I was ever in the “waiting” category, exactly, because I used to fancy myself being “not the marrying type”–hindsight tells me this is because I was with the wrong man–but I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew is that neither one of us was particularly interested in marriage and at that age, I felt like I had a lot of time.
But when we broke up–I was almost 30, and it was like I *finally* realized that maybe, just maybe, I would want to marry and/or have kids one day. So, I decided I would not wait on a man to make that happen for me. I have too many female friends who are my age, desperately want to get married/get a house/have kids, in that order, and ASAP. And in spite of the fact that they are great girls, that desperation just radiates off them and I think it honestly scares most men away. Even if they are men who want to settle down. I didn’t want to go down that road. So I decided I would make the life I wanted to have–on my own. I love kids and knew I wanted kids in SOME capacity, but I wasn’t set on having my own biologival children. So, I decided at the age of 30 to start my adult life–without a man! In less than 1 year, I finished grad school, got a raise, bought a house, and prepped my family that I was going to look into adoption/fostering as soon as I had enough money saved to be a single parent.
I think this decision reallllly helped me (emotionally, and mentally) to stop focusing on men as a means to my adult life. I dated, but really just for fun–no one I would consider marrying–but I had a blast! I rediscovered that people think I’m attractive, I realized that being with a guy I felt so-so about was not something I was willing to do, and that I would rather have a full life “alone” than with a guy that wasn’t just right. I cultivated an awesome group of friends who were my age (and older, and younger) and I did things like yoga, I traveled, I baked. I basically had an amazing year 1/2.
And then I met my now fiance. Funny how these things work. As soon as I figured out my own future, he came along and “messed it up”, and now I’m living in another state halfway across the US, planning a wedding, looking for a job, and am blissfully happy.
But I would have also been happy stayng there, in my little house, “alone”, adopting a kid. I really don’t think there’s one path to happiness.
And maybe there’s a different path for you, too.