Childfree and Fickle as Can Be

Love Love Love

Image by Gregory Jordan via Flickr

Many of my nearest and dearest are aware of the fact that I do not see motherhood being a part of my future.  Perhaps maybe adopting an older child way down the line or becoming a study abroad host mother someday, but not necessarily having my own from start to finish.  There are several reasons why I do not have a desire to have children, which I’m sure at some point I will list for you, but we’ll save that for another day.

I hear about more and more couples these days deciding to be childfree, so what  makes me different from them?

I’m still single.

Some may think that being single would make it easier for me since the decision is mine and mine alone and there is no compromising or pressure or uncertainty from any other party.  However,  uncertainty wiggles its way into another area instead – dating.  Given that not having children is not yet the majority opinion in society, finding a man who also does not want to have children may limit my dating pool significantly.  But knowing which men in the dating pool to eliminate may be a bit complicated.  And, truth be told, a bit scary.

It becomes complicated because you don’t want to get attached to a man who shares different ideas about the future; however, it might be a little blunt to start the first date, pre-dinner convo with “by the way, I don’t want kids.”  Online dating does un-complicate the process slightly by giving you a checkbox to click if childfree is your preference, but it still doesn’t help you decipher the dating fate of the hot guy you randomly meet in the produce section.  Nor does it help with the slew of men who simply don’t know yet if they will want children in the future.  That could lead to a messy break up 3 years later when you are co-habitating and he gets the fatherhood itch.

It becomes scary in that some men seem to be afraid of a woman who says she doesn’t want children as if she is plagued with a disease or too different from the norm to be marriage material.  What if stating this decision of mine too soon drives off an amazing man?  Then a couple years later, in my true fickle fashion, I decide maybe I do want kids and I have lost that opportunity with Mr. Perfect.  I don’t call this blog FickleFolly for nothing.  I am very fickle and it is the personality trait that I struggle with the most (look forward to a blog post on that someday too).  Right now I do not see myself having children, even when I imagine myself married and a bit more settled someday…yeah, it does not appeal to me at all; however, I can’t say never because I know that feelings and times change and who knows how I’ll feel in 5 or 10 years…or even how I’ll feel next time I’m in love.  I know many of you will think ‘well, if you lose that guy, then he just wasn’t meant to be,’ but I want you to think about someone in your life who is a great match for you.  Someone who complements you, who makes you feel loved and special, who has seen you at your worst and still loves you in spite of it.  Now imagine if you had missed your opportunity to be with that person for whatever reason.  It’s a little hard to chalk it up to ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’ right?

I have someone like that.  Someone who I have strong feelings for even though we are not together at the moment (long story).  I don’t know if we ever will be together on a long-term basis, but the romantic in me likes to imagine the possibility.  And to be honest, I am scared to bring up the subject of kids with him because I don’t want to hear him profess a strong desire to have a house full of them when I would prefer quiet nights, just the two of us, seeing the world and enjoying the freedom.  And if that is the case, I don’t want him to end up with someone else and then I later decide I do indeed want children after all.  So I stand in the land of the unknown, wanting to ask, but afraid of the answer.  Can you see all of these thoughts circling round in my head?  It’s quite dizzying I assure you.

Needless to say, uncertainty has certainly weaved its way into my single life in full force.  Dating is tedious enough without adding a life changing decision to the mix.  I’m predicting that many of you will tell me to just go with the flow and let things happen as they will, and you are probably right, but that, my friends, is easier said than done.

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