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Feeling guilty for not wanting to become a Dad

(93 Posts)
YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 22:42:37

...and am wary of starting a relationship with anyone who might want to have children as I feel it's too much to ask of them. I'm 39 & male.

Are there women of a similar age who don't want children either?

It's not that I don't like children, I love spending time with nephews, nieces, friend's little ones etc., I just don't want to be a Dad to one.

With thanks in advance for any advice.

PosyNarker Sat 13-Jul-13 23:24:06

I'd just be really honest but be a little careful - some people think kids = c

SelectAUserName Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:19

I'm early 40s and have never wanted children of my own. I have stepchildren and love them dearly but have never wanted more than that.

I agree that it's something that should be brought up relatively early - not 1st/2nd date but before too much emotional investment has been made in the relationship, to establish whether you're on the same page or not.

Also agree about getting a vasectomy. My DH was relieved I wasn't hankering for him to start a second family (he is several years older than me so would have been an 'old dad' second time around) and was happy to get the snip once reaasured I wasn't going to change my mind.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:23

This man is nearly 40, complex.

Flojobunny Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:49

Get a vasectomy then, simple. Date women who definitely don't want children or date women who have had children and don't want any more, lots of single mums about.

LadyBigtoes Sat 13-Jul-13 23:29:56

I think there are interest groups and dating agencies for people who don't want to have kids - can't remember the name of them but I have a friend who's involved with one. Have a google - not that I'm trying to send you internet dating if you don't want to! - but it would be a way to get the issue out of the way before you start IYSWIM.

Poogate Sat 13-Jul-13 23:32:11

Ladybigtoes (love the name) that's v interesting, I'm gettiing googling even if the OP isn't !

PosyNarker Sat 13-Jul-13 23:33:30

I'd just be really honest but be a little careful - some people think kids = commitment.

I don't want kids. I think I hang out here in part because all my friends do and I'm a 30-something woman so many posters are my peers (oh that and AIBU) For my I was upfront from date 2. I actually know he'd be up for kids, also know I'd have all the hard work unless massive payrise. I won't lie, it's a worry - he's 31 and do good with others kids (I'm rubbish), so get involved with a woman who's fertile and age may change her mind. Maybe you would too, but I hate it when people say that to me grin so I think the best you can do is be completely honest.

Worth also considering (dark I know, but when I was 21 and met DP I had this clear), is what happens in the event of an accident.

Ezio Sat 13-Jul-13 23:37:39

Im curious as to how a posters friend got sterilised at 35 and childless, when the doctors wont sterilise my sister, at 32 and 4 kids.

YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 23:40:08

Yup, the snip option is definitely coming out tops and I think you might be right. Have heard the odd poor report of side effects (loss of sensation/erectile disfunction) but I guess compared to an 'unexpected' surprise it's a small price.

Not sure what the 'kids = c' means, poseynarker. Like I said, I'm new to all this so forgive ignorance.

Thanks for your feedback Complex. Realised you must have misread earlier on. Also nice to hear male viewpoint.

complexnumber Sat 13-Jul-13 23:41:01

This man is nearly 40, complex.

Sorry, completely misread OP.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 23:43:41

She was in the US, Ezio.

allaflutter Sat 13-Jul-13 23:47:27

I've dabbled in online dating (don't really like it, so very on and off) and I found it impossible to meet men there around my age (40ish) who don't want children, or at least those who haven't already got kids from previous r-ships. That wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but they are normally still considering another child in with a new partner. As a result (I stated there that at 40 I didn't want to start having kids), I get lots of interest from much older men - 15-20yrs older. Hence no joy from the dating sites, as I don't really want a much older bf. Men who are 35-45 and who I like the sound of, invariably put 'yes or maybe' to children, so I don't initiate any contact with them, what's the point?

Where do you meet women? I agree that if you meet the normal spontaneous way, the chances are very small that you meet someone who doesn't want dc and is below, say, 36 - some even want to take the risk at 40. If you do go on dating sites, you can search by this 'box' and see who comes up. It helps if you are in a big city - many single, and more of unconventional women there.

Ezio Sat 13-Jul-13 23:52:07

Ahhhh, that be why then Expat.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Jul-13 00:00:07

You can have it privately done here, too, Ezio. Even in the US, the people I knew who were childfree had to pay for it.

PosyNarker Sun 14-Jul-13 00:03:25

By kids = commitment what I mean is that in both directions people make assumptions that is committed, will wanted children, but also if willing to have children (or mon careful sex) also committed.

For me I wanted to be absolutely clear that I was committed to the relationship but would not commit to procreate. When we got engaged (after 10 years, we're slack and had do many house expenses) I was absolutely clear about this because we are broadly the same age do clearly he has longer than me.

StuntGirl Sun 14-Jul-13 00:04:01

I agree a vasectomy + condoms is the bare minimum. And just be honest with the women you date. I'm a woman who doesn't want any children too, I don't think we're such a rare commodity, there are plenty of us about.

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 03:10:48

allaflutter I've generally read 'mabye wants more' children option on online dating (OKCupid) to mean that they would be willing to have more children if their partner did.

I can't imagine any scenario where waiting until you've spent time getting to know and like someone before tell them that would be better? If you use online dating put it on your profile. Saves everyone time. Maybe it narrows your pool of potential dates but it narrows it in a good way.

GetStuffezd Sun 14-Jul-13 08:15:23

Have to say, I find it quite frustrating when people say "you'll change your mind" with regards to not wanting children. I may only be 28 but I do know my own mind. I work with kids in my job every day and although I think they're wonderful and often heartbreakingly sweet, that's enough for me. I have never felt any maternal desires and if I was in a LTR with a guy who then decided he wanted children, it would be a deal breaker for me.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sun 14-Jul-13 08:43:00

You're perfectly entitled to feel that way of course. The route of vasectomy plus dating through sites that are geared towards those who don't want kids would make the point absolutely clear. But I think the OP would also be wise to be on the look out for signs that a woman he is dating has ignored what he has said and thinks she can change his mind.

We've all read those heartbreaking threads on here, either about kids or marriage. The man (because it usually is) repeatedly says no kids/no marriage and the woman hangs around for 5 years hoping that he will change his mind.

Of course, if a woman with whom you've been perfectly clear does wilfully ignore what he's said, it's not the OP's fault. But it would be as well for him not to be wilfully ignorant to the "warning signs", for want of a better expression. A lot of men seem to choose to ignore the evidence and avoid having the conversation because they feel (quite rightly) that they were upfront at the start of the relationship.

YouSirName Sun 14-Jul-13 09:21:45

Seems like some of you have an insight into my last LTR!

Started when I was 30 and my choice of no children was accepted. All was great in every department for a long time but a few years later any humour about benefits of being child free were frowned upon. Probably should have nipped it in the bud then and there.

It didn't work out in the end for a number of reasons. She's now happily married with a 4mth old which pleases me as she'll make a great Mum.

Thanks for more good advice. Nice to see a chat room arena that doesn't regress into either right wing militancy or irrational hate male.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 14-Jul-13 09:24:06

I know plenty of people who dont want kids ranging from 23 year old to 40 year old.Nothing wrong with that,they dont hate children but they dont see children as part of their everyday life.Honestly is the best thing.I think its a wuse thing to know if you want kids or not dont agree with people who nag their partners for babies because its so life changing x

TroublesomeEx Sun 14-Jul-13 09:39:44

How would you feel about dating someone who already had children?

Not all mums are looking for someone to be a dad to children they already have. I have 2 children 15 and 7 and although I wouldn't expect anyone to step into the role of being an extra parent .

Any relationship I have would be between me and the man. My children have a dad and don't need another. And a lot of women feel this way.

So is that something you'd consider?

I'm the same age as you, so young enough to have more children, but I absolutely wouldn't even consider it.

ARealDame Sun 14-Jul-13 10:06:43

I think its good that you are clear about this! There will be women who don't want children or can't have children, as well as women who already have children! So, obviously this will only be an issue for women who do. And Expat's practical advice might be helpful too.

Trills Sun 14-Jul-13 10:08:53

It's silly and unreasonable to feel guilty for not wanting children.

It will of course limit your pool of potential partners, but every preference does.

BlueStones Sun 14-Jul-13 16:17:29

I'm a similar age to you, OP, and I've always known that I don't want kids.

I'm single, and I was interested to read what allaflutter said. Whenever I've tried online dating I find I only get approached by much older or much younger men. Hadn't occurred to me that the reason may be that my profile states "doesn't have kids, and doesn't want any". Maybe that's it ... interesting!

Anyway, we DO exist! Best of luck: I know it's not easy.

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