There’s this shit on Captain Awkward:
I have a 40-year-old friend who’s very open about his frustrations with internet dating in our geeky friend circle, and recently he went on a date with a 32-year-old woman who, during their date, said that she is looking to have a couple of kids in the future. She didn’t want them straight away, but she’s looking for a relationship that would ideally end up there.
One of the cool things about online dating is that you can state in your profile that you definitely do or do not want children, and you can see how other users answer the same question. If this woman didn’t put that info in her profile, then he’s fortunate she put it out in the open on their first date.
He was appalled by this, and says he feels a) like he was being assessed for fatherhood, and b) that it was unfair that because he doesn’t want to have kids ever, (and I’m sure for other reasons,) she wouldn’t have another date with him – he thinks they’re compatible in other areas, so could have a lot of fun.
Yeah. Um. “Compatible in other areas” doesn’t really add up when one of you wants children and the other one doesn’t.
Most of our friend-group seem to be commiserating with him, but I think he’s out of order. He’s saying that there’s time for her to have a fling with him,
NOPE NOPE NOPE.
It keeps getting better, folks.
I seem to be in an extreme minority – as a gay woman who’s 40, apparently I don’t understand these things. […] But he’s being given sympathetic suggestions like he should have said he wasn’t sure about kids, and string her along for a bit, or do that AND try to persuade her she doesn’t want kids after all, which is despicable to me, or that this woman was some kind of crazy person who was only after his sperm and he had a lucky escape.
HOLY FUCK ALL THE NOPE I CAN’T EVEN.
Do you have any suggestions, or resources, to help geeky guys understand that for some (not all) women in their ‘30s, dating can be more serious than for the 40-year-old guys? I’m obviously not getting through – and given he only wants to date women in their early 30s (if a woman’s still single over 40, she’s got too much baggage, or something something? I KNOW! Why AM I friends with him?) this is unlikely to be the only time this will happen.
See what this dude’s doing here? See what his friends are encouraging him to do?
Guys, don’t do that.
Compared to a man of any age who definitely does not want children, ever, for a woman over 30, who definitely does want children, all other emotional factors being equal, dating is inherently a more serious endeavor. Why is this?
Do I really have to explain why? You know our fertility has a hard limit, right? You know there comes a time at which we can no longer conceive, at all, yes? And well before then, there comes a less certain time at which getting pregnant becomes very difficult and carrying to term gets especially dangerous? And you may have noticed there’s a lot of cultural/medical pressure on women to get our baby-having done before a certain age? Because if you haven’t noticed that pressure, trust me: it’s there. All women who want or might want kids, and have made it past 30 without having any, have noticed that pressure. Advanced maternal age becomes an issue starting at 35. If we finally start trying to conceive at 40, it’ll be really difficult-to-impossible, and that difficulty is all our fault for waiting too long. That’s the message behind the bulk of media attention to the prevalence of infertility: it’s OUR fault if we wait too long.
With that in mind, guys, lying your way into a “fling” with a 30something woman who wants to make babies is a really shitty thing to do.
You do not lie about what you want and string her along. You do not try to persuade her she doesn’t want kids after all. You definitely do not complain about sperm-jacking (which is hardly even a real thing), you do not entertain any suggestions that she might be trying to sperm-jack, if you’re trying to get her to ignore or postpone her plans for motherhood. What the woman is doing in this case is basically the very opposite of sperm-jacking, to the extent that it happens at all.
Think about this: if you’re a dude who
thinks sperm-jacking is a thing that might happen to you doesn’t want to be a father, and you’re afraid some woman might disregard your choice in the matter, then…you want to keep your pants firmly on around any woman with a stated interest in procreation. Don’t complain that she won’t go for a second date.
I am telling you all this from the perspective of having been that 30something woman who wants babies and is trying to find a family-making partner. I’ve since changed my mind, and realized that I actually like my selfish, hedonistic existence and don’t want to fuck it up with any defenseless mini-humans, but still, I’ve been in that position of trying to find a partner of the “spouse and co-parent” level, and from that mentality, dating is very serious business. My last boyfriend might have eventually made a good co-parent—who knows, he might be on his way to becoming someone else’s co-parent now!—but our relationship simply wasn’t life-partnership material. I won’t go into detail about how I ultimately decided to break it off, but I will tell you this much: when I finally reached the point where I realized that our relationship just wasn’t serious, and he wasn’t interested in getting serious, then I found that I didn’t want him in my life even as a friend. I had just turned 33, he knew I wanted children (I did, at the time, and his dating profile said he wanted kids too), and he was happy to keep taking up my time indefinitely for a relationship that was going nowhere. Once I put that together, I didn’t feel very friendly to him, and in the months that have passed, my feelings toward my ex haven’t improved. (I didn’t quite see the heights of his disrespect for me until after I broke it off, but that’s another issue.)
It’s possible for two people who both want children to date for a while and still find that it’s not working out, and that’s fine. If they’re really making it work, it’s not necessarily going to reach the kid-having stage as quickly as either of them may have wanted, and that’s okay. The fact that most relationships don’t get that far, and those that do, generally need some time to get there, is why it is really, really unacceptable to say “she has time for a fling with me” when she’s 32 and knows she wants children. No. She has time to let a relationship develop. If she’s willing to say, in as many words during the first date, that she would like to have a couple of kids, then she does not have time for a fling.