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Dating in your late 30s - long
Old 11-26-2021, 11:15 AM
  #1

I think I just need to get this out, but also appreciate hearing different perspectives. I'm 38 and single - I've always wanted kids, but I don't think I'd choose to be a single mom (through adoption). I also have endometriosis, which can cause fertility issues, so many doctors have told me for the past 10 years that it's better to start trying asap if I want to have kids. I feel like throughout my late 20s and 30's, I've done a lot of work in holding onto that dream, while still keeping a healthy and realistic perspective. I've also seen some benefits of not having kids.

I'm talking to this guy on a dating app. We seem to have a lot in common, however, he is divorced with kids ages 10-13. I've never dated anyone who is divorced (with kids nonetheless!) and honestly it scares me a bit. But I'm getting older and I'm discovering that many single guys my age are divorced. Obviously the reasons and the situation are something I'd need to talk about. The whole blended family thing freaks me out a bit, too.

In his most recent message, he said that he wants to know how I feel about him not wanting more kids. He said he tries to stay open to it as a possibility, but really thinks his baby-rocking days are over. I'm torn. I want to be realistic. I won't have kids if I stay single! Even if I got married today I may not be able to have kids, so I don't really want to rule him out because of this. But at the same time I have a hard time saying it's not an issue. I basically told him this much. We'll see how he responds.

Any thoughts or perspectives?


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Old 11-26-2021, 11:52 AM
  #2

My perspective is very different because my generation had our kids much younger, but (and you asked for thoughts, this is mine) I would NOT want to be dealing with a newborn at 40 and a teenager in my 50s. I think raising kids is the hardest job on the planetóand it never ends. My kids still count on me and theyíre 37-43. We always put our childrenís needs before our own.

My advice to you is to think ahead. Do you want to have kids at home when youíre retired? Do you know the cost of raising kids these days? I guess Iím selfish in my old age. I love NOT being responsible for kids.

Looking back, if I were your shoes, Iíd welcome a part-time family. Just me.

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:54 AM
  #3

I think if you wanted children more than anything in the world, you could have made the decision to do so when the doctors started telling you to try ten years ago. I understand that your religion is very important to you and perhaps you couldn't envision children without a husband, but many women who want motherhood desperately know what they want and choose to have babies one way or another without a husband.

You've posted about dating through the years. You have crossed a number of guys off your list because they didn't measure up for various reasons. Realistically, a large number of men who are available to single women in their late 30s will have been married and perhaps had children. I don't think the question is about wanting children. I think you need to decide if you really want to be married. You've created an ideal that has been quite limiting for any realistic search.

You can be happily unmarried! I'm not advocating marriage for marriage's sake. You seem to have a full and independent life! It's true that you don't sound like the kind of woman who'd have kids without marriage. I think the real question is if you want to be married. You've thrown up lots of barriers. Ruling out divorced men, men with kids, men who don't want more kids-all of that just sounds like you've added still more hoops that the available men in the supply chain won't be able to jump through.
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Old 11-26-2021, 12:09 PM
  #4

I agree with Amiga. I personally would not have wanted to have a baby in my 40s. I wouldn't rule this guy out because he doesn't want more kids if you click otherwise. Why not let it develop and see what happens? You could also consider adopting an older child at some point.
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Old 11-26-2021, 12:59 PM
  #5

Thank you for the perspectives. Yes, I've thought for a long time now how it would be exhausting to have kids in your 40's. I also don't want to be 60+ at my kids high school graduation. Just to be clear - I don't see anything wrong with being a single parent by choice, I just don't think it's for me. I'd want to do it WITH someone to share the joys and the challenges.

Yep, I know that I'm picky - but I feel like choosing a partner is something I want to be picky with, while also trying to be realistic. It's a work in progress. I'm not against marrying someone who is divorced with kids, but it is a hurdle I need to work through and not something that would come easy for me. I'm trying not to rule it out.

I said that I was still open to pursuing something, so we'll see how he responds.


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I have
Old 11-26-2021, 01:58 PM
  #6

Done extensive on line. Meet this person, in person, asap. Too much energy can be wasted on conjecture.
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Old 11-26-2021, 02:31 PM
  #7

I totally agree with the recommendation to meet the person in real life, truly get to know him--and then decide.

To me, the question would be whether this is someone I might want to spend time with for the rest of my life. If not, then you would be looking at the possibility of being the single parent you already rejected. If yes, then see how the relationship develops.

If at any time, either of you decides that this is not the sort of relationship you want to commit to, then it ends.

Since you are 38 and have some medical issues, you might not ever have your own child. That's a fact. So, the question is: do you want to (potentially) live with this man or not? How can you possibly decide without meeting?
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:21 PM
  #8

What is your number one goal for your future? Your own bio child OR is the goal a life partner? Do you want to spend your life worrying about what ifs or jump into your number one goal? Whatever the goal is.work on that only . Life can pass you by so quickly and change on a dime.

If the goal is bio child,find a a partner that matches your criteria and do that. If the number one goal is a life partner,do that and go from there. LIFE IS FOR LIVING RIGHT NOW.YOU ARE NOT GUARANTEED TOMORROW.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:14 PM
  #9

I think you need to meet him and go from there. You're stressing before there is really anything to stress about. You may meet him and decide you're not at all interested, so there's no need to be anxious about all of these completely hypothetical future situations with him. Or, you may really hit it off, and be glad you took the chance. If things start to get serious, THEN is the time to really think about all of these big decisions. And I'm betting if you fall in love with this person, the practicalities of a blended family will be less important to you.

I have three different friends who have married divorced men that had children from previous marriages. For all three women it was their first/only marriage. One was in her mid-20s when she did this. I thought she was nuts at the time, but they've been together for 10 years now and she seems very happy. So do the other two. I don't think people envision this scenario when they're thinking about the perfect happy ending, but it's just the way it works out for some people.

I also think you need to be realistic about options for having your own child at this point. FWIW, I don't think there is anything wrong with having young kids in your 40s. I think I will likely not have children, but if I did I would be glad to have them later in life, and have gotten to enjoy my 20s-30s without having my identity be "mom."

But, you're 38 now and you haven't met Mr. right yet. Say you meet him tomorrow- you date for at least a year (more realistic is a few years, these days, but let's say things move faster for you), are engaged for 6 months-1 year, and then you're a minimum of 40 before you're married and will start trying to get pregnant. It's not medically impossible, but highly unlikely that you're just going to get pregnant right away. You're likely looking at several rounds of IVF which may or may not be successful, and costs a ton of money. If you don't meet Mr. Right tomorrow, all of this is pushed back even further. Completely hypothetically, your best chance at having the traditional family life, if that's what you want, may be finding a guy that already has kids.

Adoption is a possibility, but it's HARD. I actually have another friend who did the single mom by choice thing. She gave up on adoption after years of trying, and ended up doing IVF.
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:25 AM
  #10

Most of my friends had kids in their late 30s. A close pal is 64 and has a 22 year old and a 27 year old. She's never had issues with being an older parent.

If you want to be a mother then you may not want to get involved with someone who is uninterested in becoming a parent.


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Old 11-27-2021, 04:18 AM
  #11

I see your dilemma. I say meet the guy and see if you hit it off.

Having children is never a guarantee so if you hold out for a 30 or 40-something guy who embraces the idea of a newborn then you may find yourself with neither the relationship or the child 10 years down the road.

As for being an older mom, I love it! I got married at 23, we started trying to have kids before I was 30, and here I am at age 50 with a 6-year-old. My husband is 57. It's not what we planned (infertility is a beast) but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
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Old 11-27-2021, 05:54 AM
  #12

I agree to meet him and see how it goes. You don't want to miss out on someone who you really connect with, and you may find yourself really enjoying his kids and liking him so much that the rest doesn't matter.

I dated 3 different guys with kids (all elem. age) and I adored the children - more than the guys apparently. I didn't marry any of them, but it had nothing to do with the kids, them being divorced, or them wanting/not wanting more.

The big question is if you truly want a biological child. If it's a deal breaker, then don't meet the guy. If it's still "iffy" then meet him and see how it goes. He sounds like he's on the fence as well, so you just never know.

It's never a guarantee no matter the situation. You could hold out for a single guy who wants kids and then never be able to conceive. You could hit it off with this guy and realize his children fulfill your desire for children. You could really connect with this guy and he decides to have another child.
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:53 AM
  #13

Yes, I'd love to meet him! I'm just not sure what he's thinking. Because he came right out and asked so early on, I'm not sure if he's not even interested in meeting if I say I want kids? I think I made it clear that I want kids, but as I get older I am willing to accept that I may not and am starting to be okay with that. He wrote back that it's fine to want kids, he just doesn't think he wants them. He then said he will write more later. So who knows if it's a deal breaker for him to even meet?

If we did meet really hit it off and it's amazing, I think I'd be willing to let the kid thing go, due to my age and the circumstances.

I know that some may interpret my wishy washiness on this issue as not sticking to and follow my dreams. But truly, I firmly believe that I can trust God's plan for my life, as well as His timing, to bring different people and orchestrate different circumstances as He sees fit, and work all these things together for good. Often times we can't see what that looks like in the moment. I know that not everyone shares those views though, and I respect that.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:42 AM
  #14

For what itís worth. I married at 36, my husband was 32 at the time. I was very clear that i would not be going through any extraordinary measures to get pregnant, if it happened great but I wasnít going to endure extra interventions. I am the oldest of 8 and had done my share of child care already. I had my first child at 39 and my second at almost 42. I was 63 when my youngest graduated college. Did I love my years of child rearing, honestly not really. But I have raised two amazing young people. You have to decide whatís important to you, children are not the be all and end all of life. Itís more important to find a partner to go through life with, thatís the challenge.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:40 AM
  #15

PEPteach,

It's interesting to hear about all the different ways people have made families. I've had friends go through many different ways as well. There is no one way. There was a teacher who always pointed out when talking about students "They have older parents." I frankly don't get the ageism because one person's 40 is different from another person's 40. So don't let age stop you.

However, as you've stated, age does play a part whether we like it or not. As you get older, you've had to adjust your priorities. Your faith is important to you. Although you are trusting in God, you're also doing your part.

I agree that you should meet the guy in person. There may be sparks or not. But go in believing what he said, he doesn't want to make babies. Don't go in thinking you can change his mind. If he were to change his mind, consider it a bonus. I'd also encourage you to keep looking around on the dating app. You're at the very beginning of your potential relationship so it's okay to keep your options open.

We're all rooting for you and want only the best for you...whatever that turns out to be!
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:44 PM
  #16

Quote:
We're all rooting for you and want only the best for you...whatever that turns out to be!
Thanks so much! That means a lot to me!

Well apparently my explanation on the kids question didn't scare him away. We've been texting back and forth quite a bit today. He seems very nice and seems to have some great qualities (as much as you can tell via text). I hope to meet him soon.
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