Being single in New York City is no easy feat. It wasn’t easy in my early twenties when I was broke and going on dates to have a nice dinner, rather than out of any real interest in someone. It wasn’t easy in my late twenties when I could finally buy my own dinners, but was working and traveling too much, and meeting all the wrong men. And I can tell you it’s not easy now.
Most people assume I’m a pretty good catch. Sure I’m going through a divorce, but I look decent, I don’t need anyone’s money, I’m not entirely insane, and I can be kind of fun when I want to be. But there is still this perception of dating when you’re a bit ‘older’ and childless – people assume we want to catch someone, anyone and quickly, because of course, our clocks are ticking and we need to get married (or re-married) and have a baby, like, yesterday! I assumed this was an antiquated perception, but it turns out, it’s not.
I haven’t dated much in the year I’ve been seperated, but the little experience I’ve had confirms that some men, even seemingly mature ones, still assume we all just want to ‘trap’ them. And I get that that’s a scary notion. Nobody wants to have a baby with the wrong person, at the wrong time. And yes, these guys are probably right about one thing: our clocks are ticking, but the thing is, if we’re just ‘dating’, most likely, our desire to have a baby does not equal wanting to have a baby with you.
So, one question I’ve grappled with is when, or if I tell guys that I eventually want a baby badly enough to freeze my eggs. Obviously, it’s not first date material, but once I’ve been out with someone several times, do I share this information?
I did actually share this information with someone I had been seeing for a couple of months – he seemed like he could handle it. But soon after, he started tracking my period. App on the phone and all – no joke. I thought it was a bit weird, but I was smitten, so I let it go. And I also let it go because I didn’t actually want to have a baby with him, so it didn’t matter if he was tracking my cycle or not. However, as I think back on this experience, it’s not only insulting, but quite arrogant.
First, I was married to a very decent guy, and obviously our marriage wasn’t perfect, but if I wanted a baby at all costs, I would have just stayed in that marriage and continued with my fertility treatments. Clearly, I’m being very thoughtful about whom I choose to have a baby with. So, chances are, if I’ve only been out with you a few times, I don’t want your seed.
Second, I’m freezing my eggs precisely so that I don’t feel like I have to rush from one relationship to the next in hopes of finding a baby daddy. While this procedure doesn’t guarantee that I’ll have a baby, it will make me feel better, and I thought it would make the guys I date feel better as well. Afterall, if I’m freezing my eggs, I’m proactively avoiding having a baby with you right now.
Last, it’s 2015. While I would prefer to have a family with a mommy and a daddy, I can have a baby without a man – well, not entirely without a man, but you know what I mean. In fact, there’s something very attractive about being able to pick out my specimen without actually having to get to know him as a human being.
What I’ve found in my limited experience of dating after marriage is that when a man finds out that I want to have babies, they take that to mean I want to have THEIR babies. It’s a common and unfortunate misconception, but there you have it. So, my advice, probably don’t mention it until you’re well into a trusting relationship with someone, and even then, know that it may freak him out a bit.
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