Conditional Baby Making

Let me give some background, before I ask for opinions. I have recently signed up for a popular, well advertised online matching service that rhymes with tFarmony. I’m apparently at an age where men’s biological clocks are ticking (something I never knew men had), and some of the men I’ve been matched with indicate they want children. That being said, I learned very quickly to weed those out, however, a conversation I had with a friend indicated that perhaps I shouldn’t have been so hasty.

I got married very young (16) and had two kids and was divorced by the time I was 20. I had another kid at 27 and basically raised the Hallkids by myself. It wasn’t easy, but we did okay. Now, HallGirls are both in college and living on their own, and Hallboy is a great kid at 11, and I’m fast approaching 40. I’ve had some female problems in prior years that would make carrying a pregnancy to full term somewhat iffy, not to mention actually getting pregnant at almost 40.

The thought of “starting over” with kids sounds absolutely exhausting to me, and the thought of raising them on my own (again) should something happen to a relationship makes me want to crawl into a hole. I would also shudder at the thought of dropping my 8 week old baby at the sitters because I need to go to work (been there and one that one and would never want to go through it again). That being said, though, I like kids, I’m a great mother, and under the “right” circumstances, would consider trying to have another child. The “right” circumstances though, I doubt exist.

I think it would be unfair to enter into a relationship with someone who wants kids with my set of conditions (especially since I have little doubt that they’d be in a position to actually bring those conditions to actually happening). My friend says that I should at least give a guy the chance.

So, would male dopers want to enter into a relationship with a “maybe” hanging (especially something that may be time sensitive and have the weight of reproduction), or would you rather have someone tell you upfront that the chances of you having a child in this relationship would be slim, very slim?

Well, I’m of the female persuasion, so I don’t want to speak for the men, but upfront, always. It’s the better choice, really, if you’re certain you don’t want to have any more.

I’m confused as to why it always has to be you that has to do the rooting out, however. Can’t you specify in your profile that you have children and don’t plan on having any more, and let prospects decide whether they want to contact you, in addition to however you structure your own personal searches?

If you’re upfront with that information, I can see that men who want to have children, but who are open to acting as stepfather to existing youngsters (like your Hallboy) as well as (or maybe instead of) having their own biological children, might contact you.

I think it’s better to be upfront and honest, than have to play that game later. Yeah, you might be weeding out some gems now, but if those gems are really set on having children and you meet up for a date, you’ll just lose them later anyway. After you’ve already psyched yourself up for the date. Honesty is best here.

I would go ahead and let them know that reproduction is pretty much out right up front. I am female, fwiw. I know that men resent women with biological clocks essentially demanding children, and I would very quickly come to resent a man who basically wanted a walking womb for his biological clock at this late stage in my life. You have reproduced enough already … let the guy go for a 20ish breeder if he demands kids. A marriage is between 2 people, not an arrangement for a womb on legs.

It took class to say all that and keep any air of lingering hostility out of it. :dubious:

I have a male friend that has a child and wants no more, under any circumstances (existing kids are ok). I think people post what they truly want in those profiles. I’d have to honor that as the truth for that person and be upfront with them.

Are there seperate boxes saying “Wants kids” and “Wants to Make Kids?” If there aren’t then they may be putting “Wants Kids” down as a way to say that if you have children from a previous relationship then that is OK with them. I don’t really know, but I’m assuming that if you are interested in women in the 30-40 year old range, you have got to assume most have been in a serious relationship before and at least a few of them have kids of some age around. Just MO.

I would guess that listing yourself as having children who are grown and moved out would tend to select for guys that aren’t looking for new kids. But certainly, if a guy doesn’t indicate he’s gotten the clue, tell him sooner rather than later.

Regarding guys having a biological clock… I’ve been thinking this is kind of true for a while, ever since I read the theory that teenagers might behave the way they do because their biology is saying that they need to establish their own territory and impregnate some women. They can’t do that on Dad’s turf, because he’s bigger, so they begin to act up in hopes of getting kicked out into the world. I looked at that process from my current perspective of turning 45 this week, and thought, “If I start another kid today, that kid will be a teenager when I’m in my sixties…

No, thank you.

Re: the OP - it’s your right to decide that it’s too late in life to have more kids; no argument, no question. Just be unequivocal about it, and seven times never make like there’s possibly a 20% chance you might be swayed when you know perfectly well that’s 19.99…% too high. You may filter out some guys that way, but it’s no loss in the long run - not when considered against the bad alternative of a committed relationship dishonestly begun.

/aside. Why can I touch-type about 90% but never the word “relationship”? Freudian or something?

What? I didn’t make it plain enough that I had a few too many run ins when I was single with men who wanted a womb with a view? Does’t every woman want to be chosen specifically because they have a good body and can pop kids out with great regularity?

I really loved the guys who after 4 or 5 dates and the inevitable ‘when we are married and have kids … what, you can’t have kids? sorry about that dump’ occurs never stop to think that not every female in existance wants children or is physically able to have children - as if the be-all, end-all of the female existance is to be a good looking arm decoration that pops kids out. Some of us can’t have kids, and actually want a man to fall in love and marry US, not a womb with a view.

Hon, you’re in the wrong pond to be fishing for sympathy, since I had too many run-ins with females who wouldn’t countenance even a second date, a first date, or five minutes civil conversation with me, on grounds a sight more trivial than “No bio-kids for you for the rest of your life, buster!”. I don’t know about “specifically”, but I imagine childbearing potential is part of the package for women, just as earning potential is for a man - should I complain about being viewed as a wallet on legs?

And good for you for finding one. But en route you don’t get to rewrite the life goals of every man you deign to find attractive, or castigate him for wanting to father children, the vile unnatural hound. :rolleyes: What, you figure after finding out that something he’d viewed as an essential part of his future for his whole life can be kissed goodbye if he marries you, he should keep up the relationship anyway until you’re tired of it?

Whew … Back to the OP …

Male here. My overal view of match-making questionaires & profiles & such is that folks start looking at dating like car buying: i.e. I want these features, don’t want those features, and don’t care about some other features. Consumerism run rampant.

In reality, almost everyone’s tradeoffs are more subtle than the profile would suggest. People who think they want kids, or won’t date divorcees or want/don’t want XYZ, can change over time.

If you are drowning in offers for dates, you can use your “no kids no way never” situation to drive off the uber-Dad wannnabes to thin the herd. But if you’re not overloaded with good guys yet, give some of these folks a try.

Sure, you don’t want to deliberately mislead over the long term, but there are probably many men who’d give up wanting kids for the right woman, given a couple months to let the relationship blossom. Ignoring that population may well be throwing out your real “Oh, Baby!” with the bathwater.

In my personal case, I’m still married to my first wife & after 20 years we find ourselves childless. We hadn’t talked about kids too much before we got hitched, although we’d talked about everything else to the max. What talking we did had the standard assumption that we’d have kids. Had either of us been militantly anti-child, that might have been a deal breaker then. And we’d both have missed out on the perfect mate. And childlessness turns out to be just fine.

Your situation isn’t exactly analagous, but my point still applies: don’t be too eager to cut something off before it sprouts based on pre-conceived expectations that may or may not really be permanent.

Finally, at least you hold the bio trump card. He may want kids, but you’ll be unable to oblige. How often is the shoe on the other foot, where she wants kids and the only way the un-enthusiastic husband can reliably avoid them is by being celibate?

There’s a big difference between being unable to deliver something your spouse wants and being unwilling to deliver. One is a bad break in life, the other a betrayal.