What's your man backup plan?

Mar 29, 2010 at 8:04 p.m. ET

Life doesn’t always end up the way we expect -- and the trip down the aisle doesn't always happen. Here are four spunky women who share their man backup plans, just in case they don't end up with Mr. Right.

Woman on vacation

The adventurer

Cynthia Clampitt, author of her Waltzing Australia book and blog, is already reaping the rewards of her backup plan. Clampitt explains, "As I approached my 30th birthday and was faced with the realization that I might actually be planning a life for one, I realized that the corporate world, despite my success there, was not where I wanted to stay."

With no one tying her down, she decided she wasn't waiting for anything or anyone. "I kicked off this new life with a six-month, 20,000-mile journey around and across Australia," she says. This escapade turned Clampitt into an award-winning author. "Writing was not the only change to my life. I returned from Australia transformed: I was now an adventurer, too."

Clampitt adds, "Life is good. Plan B turned out to be an amazing adventure."

quotation mark open I do meet men and date often but don't feel I should 'settle' just to 'settle down.' quotation mark close

Single parenthood

Pamela Raymond, owner of The Raymond Experience, a niche firm specializing in pubic relations and more, has spent her adult life focusing on and building her business. Today she has a specific backup plan in mind: Starting a family:

"My plans have been in progress for the past two years, as I haven't found the right 'one' yet and decided that at 40, I should consider the option of becoming a single parent. I have investigated artificial insemination and spoken with friends who are conceiving using this method and plan to embark on that opportunity by my 41st birthday.

"I do meet men and date often, but don't feel I should 'settle' just to 'settle down.' I was previously married when I was 23 and realize that happiness isn't always about having a partner but about the friends and family surrounding me. I would rather have healthy friendships than bad relationships any day. My goals are to have one child and adopt another by 43. I always have hope that the next date could be a keeper, but it doesn't keep me up at night if he isn't."

Pairing platonically

Wendy Braitman, author of First Person Singular: Notes from an Unmarried Life, didn't plan to live the single life, but it seems to have panned out that way. She's not alone, though: Braitman lives with her longtime male friend in a non-romantic relationship, and their pets.

Braitman says, "The backup plan is the plan you use whenever life doesn't give you what you expect. And not finding Mr. Right doesn't mean you can't have a wonderful, satisfying life. It just takes planning, determination and a sense of humor."

The plan: no plan

Then, there are those whose backup plan is not having a plan. Melissa Galt, chief prosperity catalyst at Marketing to Make You Money, is in her mid-40s and says, "My backup plan is simply to continue leading an interesting, full and satisfying life."

Galt says, "I'd love a happy, healthy relationship and am confident that it will come along, but certainly I'm not in waiting mode. I can't imagine putting life on hold to find 'Mr. Right for me' and if he didn't show up, I'd move to a backup plan. Instead, I live engaged, connected, tuned in and turned on every day as I imagine that makes me far more attractive, interesting and dateable than sitting at home waiting for him to show up!"