This came up in the comments the other day, and then again yesterday. And it’s one of those evergreen topics. At any given time you can find an article about it in one of the girly mags (this morning I found one in More).
Here’s yesterday comment to get us started,
“I had to break up with my still-new girlfriend tonight essentially because I lied. Her profile had said she’s looking for someone who is ready to settle down, get married and have children. While I’m open to that, I also am recently divorced and am still very much in exploratory mode. Knowing that, I should never have contacted her in the first place. But I did, there was chemistry and we spent a lot of time together the last few weeks.
I really like her, but I don’t think I’ll fall in love with her, and even if I did I know I’d be wondering “What if…” So I broke up with her tonight. To continue seeing here would be almost cruel.”
I know a few men who’ve been in his place (not about the lying, but the not wanting to date a woman who they like a lot but who desperately wants to settle down and have kids because they are not ready for that). And one couple were together for over a year, who loved each other dearly (still do, but are now trying to find a way to love each other as friends only) because it became clear that the woman wanted kids and the guy didn’t. And I know a couple of married women who married guys who couldn’t have kids (vasectomies from earlier marriages). And even though these women had always dreamed of becoming moms they didn’t. In both cases they could’ve done the reversal surgery or adopted but the guy didn’t want to. In both cases the women say they are happy, and who am I to question that?
Love, marriage, kids – it’s all pretty freaking complicated. Lots of women choose to skip the love and marriage and go straight for the kids. Some people skip the love and marry because they want children, thinking that the better path. And yes, there are people who marry because they love each other and have absolutely no desire to procreate.
But more to our point, today, sometimes people meet and they really like each other but because of where they are in life (nearing the end of their reproductive years) they realize that it’s not fair to either one of them to be together.
Where do I fit into this?
Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have some health issues. I am relatively healthy as long as I see my doctor often, take care of myself and take a few handfuls of pills each day (I have no ‘issues’ that are contagious in any way). As a self employed person in the US, I spend enough money on health insurance + medication and health services each year to purchase a new car. I found out, in my early 20s, that it would probably be difficult for me to have my own kids. That it would take medical intervention. I didn’t really think too much about it at the time because I was about to start grad school and then, after that, spend the next decade focused on my career. But in my mid 30s I started to wonder. I was in a relationship with a man I cared deeply about and I was at that age. So I asked 2 of my doctors and from them I was given a scary (and conflicting, which made it even more scary) picture of what it might be like for me. And I decided then, on my own, to take that option off the table.
I was 35 and decided that my body just wasn’t made for baby-making. Ever.
I have said, in the past, that for the right guy I would reconsider that. But I haven’t yet. And now that I am 39 I feel safe in saying it’s not going to happen.
And that decision came with a lot of baggage. I do not date men who say, in their online profiles, that they want a family, I’ve been out with guys I liked and then realized I had to stop seeing them as I listened to them talk about how much they want babies (I’m talking 4th or 5th date here, men who I was already growing attached to).
It’s one of the reasons I date so many single dads. They are less likely to want me to have their babies. They already have some. Plus, I really do love children and wouldn’t mind being a stepmom one day.
The baby bomb goes both ways, you see. Some people assume it’s all about women my age being desperate to reproduce. But it’s so much more complicated than that.
Tags: babies, Baggage, biological clock, fertility, health, love, marriage