by: Meg of Debatably Dateable
The Obstacles of Modern Dating and Being Childfree
I know you’re supposed to have fun while dating but finding a life partner is no easy feat. Now picture modern dating and being childfree. Things become even more difficult- your dating pool shrinks in half. Then add in factors like age and location and you can just forget about it; there are a measly six people left in that ‘pool.’
In order not to waste too much time getting to know people who want a different future – one that involves having kids- you might include your childfree stance on your online dating profile. But that has its own problems. Every man who began interacting with me by asking, “Why wouldn’t you want kids?” has been looking for an argument. He is not looking to get to know me or understand me, no. Instead, he’s looking to tell me how to live my life. It’s these interactions that make me so hesitant to be public about my childfree choice.
The Selection is Small
The best way to avoid this judgment is to find a childfree dating site. Here you can freely express why you don’t want children and share other hobbies and interests you value. Unfortunately, these sites are few and far between and not many childfree people know about them. The selection is small here with many potential suitors being in different states or countries. Of course, matches have been made but it’s not ideal for everyone to start out long distance. Eventually, you find yourself back on the more popular sites.
You might decide not to mention your choice to be childfree in your profile but you still don’t want to start really falling for someone if your futures don’t align. So you make sure to ask your potential suitors early on how they feel about having children. A few are positive about their future as parents but most daters in their early to mid-twenties haven’t really considered this question. In fact, they forgot there was a choice at all; doesn’t everyone just have kids?
This is where I tell them some of the reasoning behind my childfree choice. All the men I have interacted with have been respectful of a new opinion and some have even agreed with the logic enough to say they also don’t really want kids. And you think, “Yes! This is finally it. I found the one!” You two start dating and things progress, – you meet his mother and he hangs out with your friends.
“What’s Wrong With Wanting Kids?”
Then, one day you’re at a family party and your pregnant cousin is talking about how the baby is always pressing on her bladder and that she can’t see her aching swollen feet anymore all while saying,“Just wait till it’s your turn. You’re about to tell her to keep dreaming when your significant other wraps his arm around you and replies to her, “I think we’ll be ready in five years.”
“I thought you didn’t want kids?”
“Yeah, I don’t want kids…right now”
“But in five years you will?”
“Yeah, of course I’m going to have kids eventually. What else would I do with my life?”
And then friends think you’re absolutely crazy for breaking things off because he’s such a great guy and “What’s wrong with wanting kids?”
Nothing. Nothing is wrong with wanting kids. Just like nothing is wrong with not wanting kids. They are just two different choices and one you can’t really compromise on. It’s okay to end things with a nice person because your life choices and values lead you to different paths. It doesn’t mean you’re difficult or undateable. You just weren’t meant for each other.
Being Childfree Presents New Obstacles
Some people are true fence-sitters, unsure of where life will take them and how they will grow as a person. You can have a perfectly healthy relationship with a fence-sitter but you may worry that your opinion will influence them or drown out their own thoughts. You may worry that down the road they could resent you if they truly did want children. Others, like the guy in the scenario above, pose as fence-sitters but instead only stick around because they thought you would change your mind. They only said they could live without kids because they never thought it would actually become a reality.
Unfortunately, you will have to muddle through a lot of failed relationships before finally finding the right fit. But I suppose that is true for nearly everyone, childfree or not. Dating and relationships are difficult in general, being childfree just sets new obstacles. Whether your dating pool is filled with millions of fish or just a measly six, you only need one to really be happy with in the end. Preferably one who’s been snipped.
Meg’s passion for creative writing first began at age 12 with poetry. Her poems and articles about her dating adventures can be found on her blog, Debatably Dateable. When not writing, Meg can be found eating cheese with her Shiba, Maverick or playing trivia with her two sisters. Meg can’t wait to have her pack of furbabies once she finds Mr. Right.
Feel free to leave some kind comments for Meg!