Rich |Location: New York , New York |Question: Hi Moxie. The other day
you said that men say exactly what they think at the time. Does that go
for women as well? I just started dating a woman who is 36 years old.
She's made a few comments about not wanting kids. While I'm not set on
having children, I would like to know it is an option. It's only been a
couple months but she's managed to work her opinion of having kids into
conversations a few times. Is it too soon to bring up the fact that I
may want to have children? If not, how do I have this conversation?
Rich |Age: 38
the reason why I told the woman in the previous letter, who broke up
with the man after dating for two months because he said he didn't
think he'd ever get married again, that she should have given the guy a
little more time.
When we find someone that we truly love and
care for and are in to, we usually want to make them happy. That means
giving in and doing things that we swore we'd never do. Lots of men
tell themselves they'll never get married or marry again as a defense
mechanism. Same thing for women who say they don't want children. Women
sometimes say that so that the man doesn't think they have baby fever.
Sometimes they mean it. Sometimes we, like men, just can't bring
ourselves to ever believe or hope that we may find love again. So we
tell ourselves that we really don't want to be married or enjoy being
single or don't ever want children. What we say when we're single often
times changes when we find ourselves in a relationship that makes us
over the moon happy. I hate using celebrities as examples, but Howard
Stern comes to mind. He said over and over again that he never wanted
to get married again. His girlfriend Beth never pushed him or pressured
him. Guess what? They got married. If Beth Stern wrote a book on
relationships, I'd buy it in a second.And she wasn't some young woman
in her twenties. She's in her late thirties.
When women get in to
their late thirties, we start to accept the possibility that we're not
going to have kids. We start doing the mental calendar in our head.
I'm 35 now. If I meet someone this year, we'd date for at least a year,
then get engaged, then get married a year after that. I'd want to be
married at least a year before we start trying to have kids. So that
brings me to 38. Hmmmm..." And that's if we fast track it and meet a
guy who is on our schedule.
It's a coping mechanism to tell
yourself you'll never marry again or never have kids. At least I think
so. You're just so banged up and you can't bring yourself to hope
anymore that you can't muster the energy to be optimistic. But all that
can change in an instant when you meet the right person for you.
do you ask her outright how she feels? First, make sure she's someone
you actually see yoursel;f being exclusive with and with whom you see
the possibility of a future. I guess you'd have to bring it up
casually. "You're really set on not having kids, huh?" Wait for a
moment when you two are in a good place mentally and emotionally and
where she feels safe to let down the walls. I'll bet she'll expand on
her lack of desire to be a Mom and it really won't have much to do with
not wanting kids as it will about her own personal belief that it isn't
likely to happen. But if she flat out says she doesn't want kids, and
she might, I'd still say to stick it out a few months and then bring it
up again. 3-6 more months tops. No change in her opinion? Then you have
to walk away.
The other thing to remember is that these "goals"
we set of marriage and kids....sometimes they take a back seat when we
find someone that we truly connect with. Suddenly they aren't as
important. You find yourself willing to let go of these ideas you have
about wanting children or having a wedding because you're just so damn
happy with this person and your life feels complete. You may find that
you don't "need" a marriage license or that you don't "need" to have
kids. It's rare to find someone with whom you share a deep and solid
connection. Sometimes, especially as we get older, we have to let go of
these absolutes and the "musts."
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