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Dating When Biology Is Not On Your Side

Pages: 1 · 2

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/3/2020 20:51 PM

Hey all!

Be forewarned, this is a long one. And my thoughts feel very jumbled. I've tried to edit to make this post make sense, but it started out as a lot of word vomit that I then pieced together, so I apologize if I lose the thread.

I haven't posted much in NB, as I haven't felt ready for that. TBH, I still don't think I'm fully ready. However I'm not getting any younger, and if I do want biological children (which I do), I don't see how that's going to happen unless I get started sooner rather than later. That is the unfortunate byproduct of being a woman with a naturally ticking biological clock who happens to be thrust into single life again right when she was ready to start having kids.

And believe me, someone-to-have-kids-with is not the only thing I'm looking for. I still want an equal partner in all aspects of life, and I want to grow and change together. But you can change a career at any time. You can choose to pack up and travel any time. You can pick up new hobbies any time. Every day there is an opportunity to completely change your life, and you can continue to work on living the best life possible with a partner no matter what your ages. Anything you put your mind to, you can do.

EXCEPT having biological children. That has a time limit. As unfair as it is, it's just not one of those things. So it has to be discussed. It cannot be left open to interpretation, or left for "later." Later is fast approaching. This mentality reeks of desperation, I know. I don't like it. But it is an "is" that I cannot avoid.

I'm 33, I'll be 34 in April. I know that's not "old." But I also don't want to get together and have a baby with someone willy-nilly just because the clock is ticking. I would like to know someone for a while, get married, be married for a bit, THEN have kids. Well, all of that time puts me on the late end of the spectrum for starting to have children. And that's if I were to start dating someone right this very minute, which for many reasons not even including a global pandemic, isn't happening.

Here's my issue. I already did the "right" thing before. I asked multiple times about kids. We discussed it at length on numerous different occasions. He was open about the fact that he had had a vasectomy before, and that the reason he did it was because he had a terrible relationship with his daughters' mother and didn't want any more kids with her. I was open about the fact that I wanted children, and that if a relationship were to continue, a reversal needed to be on the table.

He talked at length about what an amazing mom I was, and how he couldn't wait to "do this the right way," which he explained meant to have children in a loving relationship, after marriage (his first was an accident, they got married after that because it was "the right thing to do"). He would go on and on about how great of a mom I was. How influential I was in the girls' lives. How he couldn't imagine how their lives would have turned out without me.

There was no doubt in my mind that he wanted more kids. Any reasons he gave for postponing the reversal made perfect sense at the time. For example, wanting to wait until the girls were a little older, gotcha, totally understood. Or wanting to wait until after we were married, also understood. He still assured me of how much he wanted kids (specifically a son) with me. We had names picked out. He waxed poetic about all of the things he would do with the kids, and how much closer it would bring us all as a family unit.

It was only after the marriage, and the subsequent push back to any discussion re: saving money for the procedure, researching doctors, booking a consultation etc. that I began to see his hesitance. Saving up the $$ for the reversal became the main focus. It was the sticking point he used to keep saying "not now." Even still, countless texts, letters, handwritten notes about how he was not scared to start over with me because I had completely changed his mind on what a relationship could be like, and he knew in his heart that this is who he should have been having children with all along. How he would be the perfect husband/father, waking up to change diapers, bottle feeding, being totally involved from day 1.

Until after the reversal, approximately 5 months before DDay. Now there was discussion of how much we would be giving up in order to have a child. How we would have so much less time together just the two of us, didn't I want that? How much money it would cost to raise more children. How we wouldn't be able to "start" our lives together until we were much older - as if life with the children wasn't life, it was something we had to push through in order to get to "real" life.

And don't think that I hadn't asked him about all of this beforehand. I had asked him countless times if he was sure he wanted to "start over." If he was positive that he wouldn't regret "missing out" on things because he had spent his twenties and thirties raising two kids (mostly) on his own. The answer was always a resounding "No! Of course not!"

Then DDay, catching him in bed with the mistress, life explodes. I found out he was living a double life the entire time we were together. Escorts. NSA hook-ups. Meth. So obviously I can't believe a word that has ever come out of his mouth, and now I'm forced to look at every conversation through a much more critical lens. And even with the discerning eye, I still cannot see how his professions of undying dedication to us as a family and to having a baby with me were supposed to be interpreted as anything but exactly what he was claiming.

The reason for all of that description above is to point out that there was absolutely NOT a lack of communication surrounding children. In fact, it was a frequent topic of discussion. From all angles. And not just one time on each particular topic surrounding it, but numerous times, to be sure there was a consensus. I mean we even went so far as to discuss our feelings on abortions, what would we do if it was medically necessary, what we would do in the instance of different genetic abnormalities. If I were in labor and something was going wrong, how should it be handled, save the baby or me? This was all BEFORE we even got the reversal, just in discussion re: having more kids in general.

I thought I had done everything "right" before, and covered all of my bases. The topic of us having kids together wasn't brought up immediately, but it came up organically within I would say 6 months of us dating, and it just developed on its own from there. It naturally went from "one day, maybe" to "when we have kids." It was everything I thought those types of discussions were supposed to be like.

And yet I still ended up with a husband who used my mothering instincts toward his children, as well as my drive for my own children, as reasons to orchestrate an exit affair. Keep in mind I was 24/25 when we met, so I had previously been in my just hooking up and having fun seeing where things go phase, I had never even had to have a discussion re: kids and the future because I was young enough where it wasn't all that important. So I don't have any practice with this, and really only the one experience, which I thought was ideal and obviously wasn't. I wish I hadn't wasted some of my most fertile years on that asshole, but here I find myself.

Now I struggle with multiple things re: wanting children and dating in the future.
1) I don't have time to fuck around. I don't want to waste even a month of potential emotional attachment to someone if our ultimate goals are different. Which means I need to get to the bottom of their stance on kids pretty much immediately.
2) I also accept that bringing up the idea of kids on a first date can be a HUGE turn off, mostly because it's just too much, too fast. So I find myself in a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation.
3) Even if we were both "upfront" from date 1, I no longer trust the answer. After all, he swore up and down that he wanted more children with me, even wrote poems about our future children, then turned around and said I forced him into it.

I don't really have a preference either way re: someone already having children or not. I have my two step daughters after all. And I bet that in my age bracket, a good portion of the single men will have children already, albeit I would bet they would be younger than mine (21 and 19), which could come with its own set of difficulties re: custody/shared schedules etc., but not unworkable. Their having children is not in and of itself a problem. However, for obvious reasons, I am now extremely gun shy around men who already have children saying they would be open to more.

First off, because I'm not going to waste my time with "open to." It's either, "Yes, I want more children," or I'm out of there. Hedging around the topic won't work for me. Secondly because, in my experience, "Yes, I want more children, and I want them with you!" turned out to be "No, I never wanted more children, and you forced me to get a vasectomy reversal against my will!"

I guess what I'm wondering is, when/how do you bring up the topic of kids with a date? How do I do so in such a way that I'm not tipping off a PD person to just mirror me and convince me that they want something just because I want it? I realize I was likely dealing with someone who is personality disordered, and not everyone is like that. However I can't discount the fact that it seems that I attract/am attracted to this type of person. How does one ward off these types and get straight answers to these important questions?

So, TL;DR is: this concept of my ticking clock has been bothering me as I can't seem to wrap my head around it. Not that it will happen anytime soon due to current lockdowns etc., but in case I were to meet anyone and begin dating, I would greatly appreciate input on how to discuss these things productively.

Guys, how would you feel about discussing these topics? How soon is too soon? How do I make it clear that it's just the idea of having kids in general, not having kids with me specifically, that I need to know the answer to right away? If I date someone who already has kids should I pretty much just write off the idea of them wanting more?

Ladies, how would you approach this topic? Have any of you had to have these discussions in your post-infidelity dating life? If so, how did they go?

I'm just really tired of feeling bad for wanting children. It feels like a huge reason why my marriage fell apart. After he started trying to convince me that we shouldn't have any kids (which I found out coincided at least in part with the affair), he gaslit me about my desire for them. First it was that I only wanted to be pregnant because I had friends and coworkers getting pregnant. I said no, friends and coworkers have only really been getting pregnant in the last year, we've been talking about this for at least 5 years. Then it was my age, he referred to me as "a dog in heat" who only wanted kids because I had turned 30 (yes, those were his exact words, a dog in heat). Again, referred him back to discussions 5 years prior. Then when we were trying and I would take pregnancy tests and they would come back negative, I would be upset, and I was told I was hysterical and blowing things out of proportion. That if trying to get pregnant made me so stressed out, then maybe I wasn't cut out for having a baby.

I just feel it's such an unfair position to be in, because men my age don't have to worry about this at all. I know I can't change the injustice of it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel overwhelming. And I would like to push past those feelings of overwhelm because good decisions are not made out of desperation. I want to be clear-headed and rational, not acting from a place of fear.

Thoughts?

AnnieOakley posted 12/4/2020 00:08 AM

HH,

I canít speak to some of your most specific questions, but I wanted to give perspective of another opinion. Sperm bank. One of my besties did this when she was 34, her clock was ticking. Hard. She eventually married/divorced a NPD (hell!!) so there were a few years of a blended family but the majority she has been raising a beautiful soon to graduate nurse as a single mom.

I met them when she was 13 and she met her birth father at 18. Her mom would only pick a donor that had signed for that potential. They have a really good friendship.

Mom and daughter have an amazing relationship. She has had the financials to carry on her own, but the accolades are all just theirs too. Donít let the lack of marriage or a committed relationship be a barrier.

The1stWife posted 12/4/2020 05:49 AM

You donít need a H to be a parent.

I want to be 5í10Ē and gorgeous and sing like a superstar too. Reality is I canít sing and Iím 5í3 but I made the best of what life handed me.

You are looking to fit a stereotypical life into your reality. When you should be looking to fit your reality into your desire to have a baby.

You want a child? Plan to have a child in one year. Solo. Alone. What does that look like? How will you manage financially and emotionally?

Not everyone has a spouse who is a good parent. You can be married and still be a single parent if your spouse wonít participate. I had a friend of a friend marry. Her H could not wait to start a family. Two kids two years apart.

Except he did nothing. Nothing but hide in the basement and play video games until 4 am. Every night. 24/7 on the weekends. The mother raised her kids alone. They eventually divorced b/c he never did one thing with the family. Attended no events. Never went to a family holiday w/ his wife and kids. And he was the one pushing for children right after they married.

wildbananas posted 12/4/2020 14:36 PM

I also have a friend who used a sperm donor. She got tired of waiting for Mr. Right and at age 37, took matters into her own hands. Her boy is now 3 and while single parenting is hard (and it is!), she's the happiest she's ever been.

Cooley2here posted 12/4/2020 14:52 PM

When you read enough on here you find parents who end up as single parents because their ws are idiots, jackasses....take your pick. Sperm bank.

secondtime posted 12/4/2020 17:25 PM

I'm another one for having a kid on your own.

I mean, in the short term it is more expensive. I think I bought a three pack of IUIs for a couple thousand (I don't remember anymore). You may need to take some fertility drugs, but that isn't awful.

In the long run, having my IUI+injectibles kid is far cheaper than divorce...soo....

You also have years yet. Unless you have a family history of going into menopause early...or you know already that you have diminished ovarian reserves..Then, I would probably worry about it more.

You can also probably see if you can get your eggs retrieved and preserved until you meet Mr. Right. That buys you at least a decade, if not more.

I have family that did IVF when the wife was 42 and 44. They do implant embryos in women later than that.

Growing up, I had a friend that was born when her mom was 48. My friends' mom thought she was in menopause after 9 months of not having a period. Turns out, her ovaries thought it would be fun to ovulate one last time..and volia, my friend came into this world.

Sure. There are some things about having a baby in your 40s that stink. In my 40s, I don't pull off all nighters as well as I did in my 20s. I personally have less patience, because I'm less tolerant of bull shit. And, I could be a grandma before my last child reaches a legal age.

But, the rest..meh. Being older when you procreate doesn't automatically mean that you are going to have a kid with health issues, etc.

Sometimes we don't get our preferred path in life. I'd never, ever choose my current life right now. It's not what I planned on. I've had to let go and and learn to be more flexible.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 12/4/2020 22:02 PM

If I was looking for a husband who wanted kids, any man with a vasectomy would be out. Men don't get vasectomies lightly. Most who are positive they don't want kids or more kids won't get one. I think it's safe to say one who has had one doesn't want more, and will blame you for forcing them to get one. Too bad your ex had his reversed since he sounds terrible.

Anna123 posted 12/5/2020 08:55 AM

Or --- the combo approach. Knowing you have the option to go it alone in a few years time, but taking a few years to date. You still have time for the natural approach as well. I think going into a new dating situation with an all-out kids or no go focus may scare some otherwise nice guy that honestly does want children away. If the potential partner feels the children aspect is more important than them in growing a relationship, it would be a turn-off.

I agree the timing is so stressful and makes it awkward. I wish you the best in navigating this.

Cooley2here posted 12/5/2020 09:06 AM

One more suggestion. Freeze your eggs. Actresses do this all the time.

WhoTheBleep posted 12/5/2020 14:29 PM

Another vote for sperm bank. I have several friends who have gone this route. Have your baby as soon as you are ready. Then you can totally take your time finding Mr Right. With zero pressure and no clocks ticking.

Take it from someone who had three beautiful kids with an absolute douchebag. Seriously, if he dropped off the face of the Earth and I never even got a dollar from him, the kids and I would be much better off. He really is nothing but a sperm donor in my eyes.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 2:31 PM, December 5th (Saturday)]

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/6/2020 02:23 AM

Thanks for the replies all!

I just want to preface the below by saying I am not trying to be defensive. I really am taking all points into consideration, and everything below is me trying to make sense of it all. In fact I had another conversation with a good friend about IUI yesterday after reading some of your posts, and have also reached out to a couple I know who used IUI to conceive their two boys (they are a lesbian couple who used sperm donors for both of their sons). Nothing is off of the table. And I know I long post. It's just how my brain works. I've tried to split this up into topics and bold each one to group/separate it. Hopefully that helps. Anyway, here it goes.

Current Financial Status
I'm not currently in a place financially where I can even have a child, so first thing's first, I need to get that straightened out. It's just something I'm thinking about, and considering it was such a huge factor in our split, I figure it's best to get a handle on how to address it before I even start dating.

The split left me screwed financially. I had to put a lot of expenses on credit cards just to get out of there, AirBnBs I couldn't afford in order to stay in LA while I was finishing up jobs. I also had to pass on several union jobs when I was living with my parents several hours away, which meant I drained my savings/ran up cards to pay bills, and in turn lost my health insurance. Got my own place and started getting back on track, then the pandemic hit and we all know how that went. Had to defer payments on the credit cards while I was on unemployment. I'm working on it, but it's just the truth of where I am right now.

Egg Freezing/Eventual IVF
Cooley, I've done research into freezing my eggs. One of my best friends had it done a couple of years ago, paid for by her sister as a thank you for donating her eggs so her sister could have a baby. That shit is insanely expensive! It's at least 10k, if not more, plus the storage fees every year. And that's if you do it on the cheap, and I'm of the mindset that if you're going to go through all of that, you'd better do it right and if that means paying more for better doctors, then so be it. It's not covered by insurance because it's an elective procedure, even with my really good union insurance - I had checked into that back when we were trying.

IIRC all told her procedure ended up costing $20k with the procedure plus the cost of medications etc. And that's just for one round. Some people don't get enough eggs the first time around and have to do it again. She was supposed to start medication for a second round of harvesting because she didn't get enough eggs the first time, then found out she was pregnant so she obviously couldn't.

I know that raising kids costs money, I've already lived that life. But that's monthly expenses in bite size portions - groceries, new clothes, insurance, child care, school supplies etc. it's not $20k in one pop! It would take me several years to save up for anyway. I've run the numbers and it's not in the cards for a while. I'll keep working towards it, but it's absolutely not something I can do right now in order to create a backup plan for myself while I entertain the idea of dating again.

General Finances/Career Change
Truth be told I don't really see how raising a kid on my own is financially viable anytime soon either. I live in a high rent, high expense city, but it's where my job is, in a career that I've spent the last 10 years moving up in. Sure I can move somewhere with lower living expenses, but that would mean a change in careers, which means my earning potential also drops significantly, so the drop in the cost of living is kind of irrelevant.

Child care is also expensive. I've run the numbers and realistically I would need to live closer to my parents so I could still work and be able to rely on my mom for help during the day. There's no way I could currently afford bills + childcare on a single income. I had run a budget for us back when we were trying, and we could have made it work. But with my current income, it just doesn't add up. My friend and her husband who live here have two kids, and even with their dual income they are barely scraping by. They've discussed moving further out, but her income is dependent on being in LA as well. This is the unfortunate plight of many below-the-line entertainment industry workers - we make what would be considered "good money" pretty much anywhere else, but the cost of living in LA is so high that we are all basically living month to month.

I've thought about commuting as well, but I had to do it for a week when my daughter was staying at my place to isolate for covid, and honestly I don't see how that would be sustainable long term. My working hours + commute meant each work day ended up being approximately 16 hours, and I absolutely could not hang.

So I'm working on figuring out career moves I can make to get myself into a better financial position. I've done the research on different career changes and what it would take. All would require a significant step down in income for a time, and possibly even the added expense of more schooling. Suffice to say, finding a new job is not a quick fix, nor is it even feasible with the job market as it currently stands. With the pandemic, I just cannot see myself taking those kinds of financial risks right now. I'm focused on earning enough to survive, and that means saying yes to any union gig that comes my way, trying to pay down debts whenever I can, but really just staying afloat while I make plans for when things stabilize a bit.

Vasectomies
Thanksgiving, re: men who have had vasectomies, I see the problem with that now. I have a former boss and friend who married a man who had previously had a vasectomy, then he had it reversed and they had a beautiful baby girl together and have a blended family with his two sons from his previous marriage. So I had already seen that play out, I didn't see why what my XH was telling me would be any different. Say what you mean, mean what you say, right? Not with the personality disordered, unfortunately.

Also when we started dating I just thought of him as a fuck buddy, so it wasn't even like his ability to procreate mattered to me. Things developed naturally over time, as did the discussion re: kids. I didn't know what I know now about mirroring and future-faking etc. to understand that I was being mislead.

Of course now men with vasectomies are a definite no-go. I won't run that risk ever again. I do fear that even men with children who do not have vasectomies have similar views, they just haven't bothered getting the procedure done. I know that not every man thinks that way, this is my trauma speaking. I don't want to catastrophize, but I also want to be realistic. That's why I'm looking for ways to open up honest communication about the topic.

Shitty Partners

Not everyone has a spouse who is a good parent. You can be married and still be a single parent if your spouse wonít participate.
Oh I know, 1stWife, you can have a kid with someone and they can turn out to be a shitty, non-involved parent. Trust me, I know that's always a possibility, I basically lived that already. Sure he would make dinner most nights, and he drove them to school every morning. On the surface he was "involved," but I took on pretty much everything you would actually consider raising a child, not just providing for them. He could deal with the basics of making sure they were fed and clothed, but he was ill-equipped to handle much else. Especially as they became independent-thinking teenagers and not obedient little followers. His ability to do the basics diminished significantly over time too as he decided he "deserved" to shuck those responsibilities because he had worked so hard. Sex and drug addiction aside, nights spent awake playing on his phone, painting, or watching cartoons were routine. Helping with homework, budgeting to make sure we could afford to send them on school trips, get them braces etc. was like pulling teeth, and he only ever seemed to be happy when things were "fun" - watching movies, going to the beach, the park etc. But hindsight is 20/20 and that's not something I knew until we were already in the thick of it. I think I have a better gauge now for the emotional, social and overall immaturity that lends itself to being a bad dad, or a bad partner for that matter. At least I hope I do, I've worked hard to cultivate that knowledge.

Lifestyle Choices/Dating/Deal Breakers
Anna, re: them feeling like kids are more important than them in a relationship by emphasizing my desire for kids up front, this is exactly my dilemma. If I met someone and began dating and they told me that they absolutely wanted to travel for the rest of their life and never have kids, that would be a perfectly acceptable choice for them to make, and nobody would question them for even saying that and sticking to it. It's a valid lifestyle choice. So why is me saying I absolutely want children not the exact same thing?

It's a "turn off". It's thought of as "not considering the other person." Well, that person who wants to travel and not have kids isn't "considering" me either, but that's not a "turn off," that's just an incompatible lifestyle choice. Better we find that out up front and split before it becomes a bigger issue where one of us now has to sacrifice our true desires for another person and ends up resenting the hell out of them.

This works with so many different choices. Like if I knew I would prefer to live in CA and they knew they eventually wanted to move home to the midwest - sure, it might work for some couples to maintain a long distance thing, but that's incompatible for most people who want a lifelong relationship. So either one of us sacrifices, or we split up. I also want to put down roots and own a home eventually. If someone would rather pick up and travel whenever they want, never staying in the same place for long, then I'm not the right person for them and they're not the right person for me. If someone wants consensual non-monogamy, that's great for them! However I will not share a romantic partner with someone else, ever. That person is free to go live that lifestyle, but it won't be with me.

So why does the same line of thinking not apply to the concept of having children? It's unfair that I'm not allowed to define what I am and am not ok with in a relationship long term. I want kids. Period, the end. I'm allowed to want that, and I'm allowed to decide that being iffy about kids is a deal breaker. Not bringing up the fact that I want children feels totally disingenuous. Like I'm supposed to play it cool and pretend like it's no big deal to me in order to convince someone to be with me.

Sorry, as you can tell this is a very passionate topic for me. Of course I want to prioritize my partnership as well, that is a given. It's not like all other requirements for a healthy relationship would go out of the window just because they said they wanted kids. I just don't see how downplaying my desire for children will end well for anybody. I'm not saying the first sentence out of my mouth will be "So, if you don't want kids let me know now because I do and if you don't, fuck you." But kind of like you might say you are seeking someone who is family-oriented. This kind of reminds me of the boundaries vs. ultimatums discussion going on in another thread. This is a clearly defined, boundary, but it's calm and well thought out. It's not an ultimatum meant to manipulate someone into giving me something I want or else. It's simply saying "this is what I want" then following up by asking, "Is this also what you want?" If so, awesome, we are compatible. If not, also fine, we are not compatible, I wish you all the best in your search.

IUI/Having A Kid First
Now I'm slowly working on figuring out how to pay things off. At that point IUI might be the best option. Secondtime, I haven't tested my ovarian reserves yet. I have regular periods, and I know due to all of my tracking while we were trying that I do ovulate regularly. I do have a longer than average cycle length, anywhere from 33-36 days, and what could be considered a "short" luteal phase, neither of which is "ideal," but luckily not totally terrible. I went in for an initial exam with my OBGYN before he got the reversal, and based on the ultrasound he did say I might have mild PCOS, but he was confident that diet and lifestyle could help with that, as well as with the cycle length/luteal phase. He wanted us to try for a while before we went into more involved testing, and unfortunately we only really tried for about 2 or 3 cycles because it took me a while to get the hang of when I was actually ovulating. Then he blew our marriage up and that was that.

WhoTheBleep, I have thought about how already having a child might make it "easier" in the sense that this isn't some abstract concept of another life, it's a child that is already in my life and not going anywhere. It would kind of naturally weed out people who didn't want that.

However I'm also considering that I absolutely wouldn't want a rotating door of men in and out of a child's life, especially in their early years. So dating would not be an option for me for years after I had a child. I saw the negative effects that had on my step daughters, their inability to trust that people would stick around because the girlfriends always left. My therapist and I have talked extensively about how a large part of the reason I stayed with my X was because of this - I didn't want to be another person who left them. Of course I wouldn't be running around introducing my kid to any old guy who came around, but obviously things would get to a point where introductions would need to be made. I wouldn't want someone to be testing out whether or not they could handle being a dad, then bail when things get hard. I know you run that risk when you have a kid with someone anyway, it just feels like an extra factor to consider when actively choosing to be a single mom first.

And yes, I know this is my anxiety talking, but I also know that sexual predators seek out single women with children because they know these children are more vulnerable. I would like to think that I've fixed my picker and wouldn't end up dating someone like that, but let's be honest, my track record isn't so hot on that front. Of course this isn't the first thing I think about when contemplating having kids, but it is something to consider.

I also admittedly want a partner, so a) knowing how much work having a young child involves, which would mean no time for dating for the first several years anyway, plus, b) not wanting to intro them to new people and create instability = c) having a child first means I would be taking having a partner off of the table for quite a while. That's a choice I'm willing to make down the line if nothing is panning out, but I would like to explore finding a compatible partner first. Which is why I'm trying to figure out how to even have those kinds of discussions. Like I said before, I thought I asked all of the right questions and approached this in the right way. I was obviously wrong. Maybe it was more about the person I was asking the questions of, and not the questions themselves. But I'm trying to consider that it wasn't just all him, and maybe there is a better way to address it to get authentic answers.

And this isn't one of those situations where I'm just desperate for a relationship. I'm fine with being on my own. I function on my own, I'm independent and I'm an introvert who loves her alone time anyway. I love myself, I love my friends, my family, my pets. I have good self esteem, I'm not looking for a relationship as a source of external validation, I just truly want a partnership. I don't need a relationship, but I want one, eventually. Just as choosing to remain single is a valid lifestyle choice, so too is owning that I would really like to be in a committed, long-term relationship. And I don't want someone to have kids with me just because I want it, or because it's what you're "supposed" to do as you get older, I want to be with someone who actually wants to take on that challenge and rise to the occasion. It's a big responsibility, it's not something to take lightly. I've done a lot of work to figure out exactly who I am and what I want, I'm not going to turn around and reject that now. I want the freedom to be authentically myself, and the most authentic version of myself desires children, a supportive, monogamous partner, and a stable home life. I know that's not what my life looks like currently, but I'm acknowledging that it's what I want to work toward.

I mean we're still in the middle of a pandemic, it's not like I'm about to go within six feet of a new guy right now, let alone have sex or get pregnant. But now is the time to have these discussions so when it becomes safe to date, I can do so confidently.

I'm trying to take charge of the things I actually have control over. I'll keep working on getting my financial shit together, as well as creating these backup plans. I certainly won't deny myself children just because Mr. Right hasn't come along, and if I have to cross that bridge alone, I will. In the mean time, any advice on how to broach the topic when dating in your 30s is appreciated.

WhoTheBleep posted 12/6/2020 06:51 AM

In the mean time, any advice on how to broach the topic when dating in your 30s is appreciated.

Do you plan on using dating apps? I don't have a ton of experience with those, but I know that you can put that right in your profile, that you definitely want kids. That should weed out the bulk of men who don't before you even communicate. And yes there are men who will lie just to get laid, but go slowly, and as you are getting to know them, you can clarify that stuff.

The1stWife posted 12/6/2020 10:44 AM

Your ability to look at this from every Angle is a good way to evaluate your options.

I trust you will make the right decision. Youíre a smart person

AnnieOakley posted 12/6/2020 12:40 PM

I agree with your point of putting things up front/on the table in todayís online dating world.

I am very clear that I am 1000% monogamous and looking for a LTR. I understand that every relationship starts off ďcasualĒ at the very beginning....but today.....with CV19, I feel that too has changed.

Just last night I exchanged a few messages with a man-his profile indicated ďsomething casualĒ. On the surface he could check several boxes, but I specifically addressed casual vs. my desire for a committed, monogamist LTR, so why did he reach out? And that I had no interest in changing a mans wants.

He said that I was very attractive and that he traveled a lot for work. He agreed that it was a good thing since so many women tend to want to change what a man wants.

My basic response was that I was not going to change my mind either. Duh.

He got the message and we wished each other well in the dating journey.

There is the bazillion age perception (and varied truths) that men get trapped into attempted marriage because of pregnancy. Does it happen? Iíve seen it...I believe it failed all 4 times. They should use a condom if they are concerned and be consistent. Every time. You should also use BC of course, until there is an agreement. I know Iím stating the obvious here!

It sounds to me like you covered every conceivable (?!? Play on words!) question with the exdouche. Will it scare the next guy off, maybe? But do not let them back you down from asking questions that are importantómaybe not date 1, but I would make it clear that having children is important in your future in your dating profile. Iíve seen it with men in my age range 50+. (Seriously WTF???) And I hit it straight up...if that is important to them...my time is long gone!

Good luck!

phmh posted 12/6/2020 14:10 PM

I was 33 when I was suddenly single again, but on the other side of the coin as you - I always knew that I didn't want kids. I had assumed that men who would be age appropriate for me that didn't already have kids didn't want them. Boy was I ever wrong. I met a quite a few guys that really tried to change my mind. I write this to give you hope - I found quite a few good guys -- guys that I could have had a long-term relationship with -- that didn't have but really wanted kids.

If you are going the dating profile route, I'd be careful about revealing too much about things that are important to you, lest someone alter their actual response to be more in line with what they think you want to hear. I noticed this when I had put something about how being faithful was extremely important to me. A couple of guys in their messages totally agreed with me, but on our date, after a beer or two, would talk about how it's totally ok to cheat if the partner isn't meeting your sexual needs, etc. I took that line out, and would let the subject come up more naturally in the course of the date (if I was potentially interested in more) and seemed to get more honest responses. Same thing with kids - I wanted to be with someone that didn't want kids either, not someone who was changing what they wanted in life to try to be with me.

I went on slightly more than 60 first dates off of OLD, and while this topic didn't come up on every date, I'd guess there were upwards of a dozen guys -- none of whom already had kids -- that told me they really wanted to have kids of their own.

Don't fret! There are plenty of good guys out there that want kids, or who haven't given it much thought but would step up and be a good father, given the opportunity. Focus on getting yourself to the place you want to be, and you will attract good men.

marriageredux959 posted 12/7/2020 21:31 PM

{HeHadaDoubleLife}

I'm being super glib here- GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. AS CHARGED. GUILTY OF GLIB.

But Sweetheart, seriously?

Thirty three going on thirty four?

YOU ARE A BABY YOURSELF. <3

IMHO, you know what you need to 'worry' about right now?

Are you contributing enough to your retirement account(s)? Because, compounding interest. <3

You are being serious beyond your years. Your life isn't over by a long shot.

Take off your mourning wear. It's way too early. Go forth and live your life. <3

BraveSirRobin posted 12/8/2020 05:29 AM

Thirty three going on thirty four?

YOU ARE A BABY YOURSELF. <3

No, she's right -- her clock is ticking loudly. I remember the shock I felt when my pregnancy was assigned the code "advanced maternal age" at 35. (At least this was an improvement on another common term, "geriatric pregnancy.") The life schedules of the 21st century diverge from what our bodies have evolved to expect. And while yes, it's easier than it's ever been to have a baby later in life, that doesn't mean it's "easy." It comes with increasingly significant costs and risks.

Sorry, HHADL, I don't mean to stress you out more with this comment. I want to validate that posting these concerns at 33 is very, very different than if you did so at 23.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 6:52 AM, December 8th (Tuesday)]

Rideitout posted 12/8/2020 06:25 AM

Guys, how would you feel about discussing these topics? How soon is too soon? How do I make it clear that it's just the idea of having kids in general, not having kids with me specifically, that I need to know the answer to right away? If I date someone who already has kids should I pretty much just write off the idea of them wanting more?

This is a tough one. Despite being a general s**t in my dating behavior, this is one thing I wasn't willing to lie about, I never would tell a woman I wanted kids. I might leave it open to interpretation, but even I felt that this was just too big a lie and too damaging. That said, I know plenty of men who have no such reservations and will happily lie about this to get someone in bed, so, it's a bit of a double edged sword, I wouldn't care if someone brought it up early, and I wouldn't say "Sure, let's have kids together" but, at the same time, I know plenty of guys do/will.

This is one of those areas where compromise is just not an option. You either have kids or you do not, there's no "middle ground". So I tend to think that it's something to bring up early and really feel out prospective partners. Guys who are lying to get laid, once they get what they're after, will probably move on and self-select out, so you may be able to sort that way too. I have to say it, but this is a perfect example of why "Lying is bad", and, if you know a lot of people are going to lie about something, it becomes difficult to trust the truth!

I agree with others though, in general, if you want a child, you should plan to have a child. Women have the ability to do it solo with a donor; I'd spend my energy in that area rather than trying to find Mr. Right and rush the process. If you're goal is "child" then, well, at least for women, dating/sex/men are basically entirely optional and barely have anything to do with the goal at all. It's just a question of money at that point, can you afford it (both the initial and ongoing expense) and if not, how are you going to get to a place to be able to afford it.

I won't sugar coat it, at your age, it's going to be a bit of challenge; your going to be dating in the 35-40 range (I expect) and men who make it to that age without children, well, there's typically a reason (either they can't have kids or don't want kids). It's going to be much easier to find a guy with 1-2 kids already who would be open to having another, I know a few guys who've gone down that route. And it's not to say they aren't out there, guys who are 35 and just haven't found "Mrs. Right" yet but really want to have kids. Also, while there's less of a biological clock for men, don't think there's "none". Older men, like like older women, often lead to more complicated births and higher likelihood of something "going wrong" (autism is highly correlated with the age of the man, for example).

JanaGreen posted 12/8/2020 09:06 AM

I'm sorry if this has already been addressed, but HHADL, you might want to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist and just have some tests run to see where you're at as far as your fertility. At 33, many women have a lot of fertile years ahead of them and there isn't much of a rush. For someone like me, I already had insufficient ovarian reserve at that age. For me it did not cause infertility, but it caused recurrent miscarriage. It's simple blood work to test for that, you want to have your AMH levels checked. I think getting a good handle on what your "real age" is from a reproductive standpoint will help you to create a workable plan moving forward.

fooled13years posted 12/8/2020 10:52 AM

HeHadADoubleLife,
The type of guys you are looking for are out there.

After my divorce I dated several woman but never made it past the 3rd date because on the 3rd date I would let the women know that I was not looking for something casual.

I told them that I wanted to be married and have children and raise a family.

While I had fun with these women I knew that they deserved the truth because if you can't be honest right from the start you should consider ending it with that person on good terms.

There were never any hard feelings, that I know of, it was just that we were both looking for different things at that point in our lives.

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