For the best advice on sex, love, dating and relationships we ask two experts with personal experience. Cathi Hanauer is the author, most recently, of Sweet Ruin, a novel about love, marriage, and adultery. Daniel Jones is the editor of both the "Modern Love" column for The New York Times, and Modern Love, an anthology derived from the column. They've been married for 15 years, and together they provide a his and hers take on relationship questions. This round: pregnancy and dating.
Question: Entering my forties as an unattached woman, I decided to try to have a baby on my own. Weeks after starting an artificial insemination program, I've met a really great guy. When do I tell him about the A.I.? Odds aren't great that I'll actually get pregnant, and it could end up freaking him out for no reason. —O.S., San Francisco, Calif.
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Cathi: The easy answer is "right away." Who wants a relationship founded on dishonesty? And if he really loves you—or could in the end—it won't damage what you have. (I could fill a book with the clichés.) But really, who am I—with a husband I met in my twenties and two kids who followed in an almost scarily timely fashion—to preach an ideal of blunt revelation to someone in a very different position? Thus, my more realistic answer is that you should think twice before saying something that might freak him out too soon. No doubt you both have a lot of history to cover, and who's to say it shouldn't unfold gradually?
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That said, I now go partway back to my first instinct: Witholding major information and having to be constantly on guard is not healthy. Plus, you'll miss out on the comfort you get when you reveal yourself to a guy and he sticks around anyway.
If things continue to progress between you, your desire to have children—and his similar wish, or lack thereof—will be a topic that can't be avoided and shouldn't be lied about. If he won't date someone who's considering having a child, better to know that sooner rather than later, since you'll then be faced with deciding which is more important to you: having children or having this guy in your life. So don't wait too long.