Triggered by Questions about Whether I "Have a Family."

I had two Cs recently that both brought up similar triggers that I want to explore.

C1: Last Friday, I had a sales call with a potential coaching client. When I got to the offer, she started asking me questions about the people I coached before and then asked me if I have a family (she told me she had 3 kids). The last part surprised and triggered me a bit. I thought “What type of question is that?” I answered without sounding triggered by explaining that I don’t have kids but I have a brother who has 4 kids. She ended up not buying and I ruminated about how she didn’t think that I could relate to her or help her because I don’t have a partner and kids. That brings up a whole host of Ts about how I haven’t dated since ending a serious relationship nearly 3 years ago, how it’s definitely my fault because I have completely avoided doing TW around it and blamed COVID for not dating.

C2: I’m planning brunch with two of my girl friends who are married with kids. One texted in the group chat today, “Do you want to do just girls or families, too?” There’s that damn word again! I thought “Why would she ask that if she knows that I’m the only one that has no one?” And I felt sad and hurt. My other friend replied that she wanted it to be a girls-only outing, thankfully.

C1: During a sales call, K asks “Do you have a family?”
T: She didn’t think that I could help her because I don’t have a partner and kids.
F: Rejected
A: Ruminate about how unfair it is for people to judge you based on their subjective definition of “family.” Wonder how many other lawyers with families will reject to me, too. Think about how I haven’t done the work to get a partner and how that may be negatively impacting my business.
R: I’m making the fact that I don’t have a partner and kids mean that I can’t help her or myself.

C2: Text from R asking “Do you want to do just girls or families, too?”
T: She knows I’m the only person who has no one.
F: Hurt
A: Don’t respond. Hope E says that she wants it to be just a girls’ outing. Feel relieved when she does. Ruminate about how inconsiderate R was for saying that, knowing that I don’t have a family like she does.
R: I make her question feel like an attack when it’s really just my thoughts.

Now, I’m thinking about starting to deliberately do the TW to start dating again, but I don’t want to go towards that goal as a way of changing the Cs. There’s not a magic land where I find the perfect partner and then I no longer feel rejected or hurt by peoples’ comments about familial status. So, I want to do this work first before I take any dating action.