• Neenah Pickett

September 4 - When You Can’t Have His Children



I went on a date this week with a guy who asked me something I’ve never been asked before on a first date. He said, “Do you want to have kids?” It’s not particularly alarming question under normal circumstances. But it wasn’t a discussion I had planned to have on a first date. Besides, most people that you meet online generally know the answer. Almost every dating website includes one or all of the following questions: Do you have kids? Do you want kids? Are you open to people who have kids?

I’ll admit, if you look at my online profile, my answer to the middle question is vague. I give the “not sure” or “open” without offering more clarification. As I mentioned several times on my blog, I’m open to having kids, but at my age, it probably won’t happen biologically.

It wasn’t a discussion I wanted to have on a first date. I’d much rather figure out if I even like you before we talk about our offspring. But since he asked, and I’m not one for mincing words, I answered. By the look on his face, he didn’t much care for my answer. But we both put it behind us and had an enjoyable conversation for the rest of the time. Since then, I haven’t heard from him. Not a big surprise. But it made me realize a few things. One was a startling revelation.

I’m a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t something I thought much about. Now I think, duh, it explains a lot. I’ve stated before that when I turned 40, the number of suitors decreased drastically. I’d say where I had maybe 8 or more men contact me a month, when I turned 40 it decreased to 1 or 2 and steadily declined. What I realize now is that 40 was so magical (or so unattractive) because for those men who still have hopes of having children, you don’t want to start a relationship with a 40 year old. More than half of the men who were asking me out did want to have children. But we all know the state of the eggs of someone my age. So my pool decreased. Yes. I can see many of you shaking your heads and saying, I can’t believe you didn’t think of this before. I guess I’m little slow on the uptake. There was another realization that happened as a result of this date.

I should be a little more selective myself concerning who I agree to see. If a man clearly states in his profile that he wants kids, especially if he doesn’t have any, he may not be the best selection for me. It’s like me agreeing to see a man who says he wants a woman “fit and trim.” I exercise 5 times a week, but I know what he’s really saying is, “I want someone who is a size 2.”

I have several friends in relationships where he wants kids and she doesn’t, and he wants kids, but she can’t have them. It’s a difficult situation no matter why you find yourself facing that challenge with your partner. I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I bring to a relationship. I also have to be realistic about what I’m offering, as well. So I actually learned quite a bit from an awkward moment during a date. Perhaps I’ll suggest to Match.com to add the question, how viable are your eggs or sperm. It will save us all from future awkward moments.


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