33, and single.

(25 Posts)
samanthaC15 Sun 02-May-21 23:07:48

Have I got time to meet someone and have children one day?

Not feeling very optimistic at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
Watchingstars88 Mon 03-May-21 02:19:00

Yes of course ,you're still young!

WandaLust101 Mon 03-May-21 11:22:01

Plenty of time!

firsttimedad79 Mon 03-May-21 11:28:31

Of course. I met my better half when I was 36 and then had my son at 38 smile

ChameleonKola Mon 03-May-21 11:43:22

You do, but you have to crack on and be deliberate about it imo. The right partner isn’t going to necessarily drop into your lap, and at 33 if you still need the time to date, find someone, see them for a while, get serious and then try for a baby (which can take time or involve losses) then you have a better chance by being proactive and intentional.

It’s obviously possible but I wouldn’t be happy to sit back and wait and see either.

My advice is to use online dating sites, meet a lot of people, and be upfront within the first couple of dates that you’re only interested in a relationship that will lead to marriage and children within a couple of years, make sure you don’t get sucked into long term dating with no end in sight or tie yourself to someone who wants different things just because you get along and fancy each other. The guys who are also ready for that will find it music to their ears, and the ones who aren’t will run a mile which is what you want.

I was in a similar position at 28 and that’s what I did. Told DH on our second date I was ready for kids and planned on having them within a few years and would only consider a relationship with someone who wanted the same things as me. I think if you’re not fussed about kids or you’re younger it’s fine to have relationships for the sake of enjoying yourself but once you get a bit older and know what you want it’s better to remain single and available than to end up in something with an expiration date.

Never be afraid to take ownership of what you want. I found it was helpful mentally to look into whether I’d consider solo parenting and explore those options too as it took away a lot of the panic around ‘what if I don’t meet anyone in time?’. I don’t think I’d have ended up doing that ultimately for various reasons but it did help me to be very selective when dating as it meant I wasn’t happy with just any random person who wanted a baby, it had to be someone who really impressed me for it to be worth getting serious.

ChameleonKola Mon 03-May-21 11:46:48

Meant to add: if you want kids then your fertility and fertile years are a very precious thing and something you should value highly and guard and not waste on just anyone.

It’d be easy to sit and say ‘ah don’t worry you’re young you’ve got ages!’ but at 33 a solid eighteen childbearing years are behind you and you don’t have as many ahead of you. It’s a popular idea that kids and a happy relationship just happen to you and fall into your lap but they don’t always so you should feel zero shame in deliberately setting out to find that.

LivBa Mon 03-May-21 12:25:27


Meant to add: if you want kids then your fertility and fertile years are a very precious thing and something you should value highly and guard and not waste on just anyone.

It’d be easy to sit and say ‘ah don’t worry you’re young you’ve got ages!’ but at 33 a solid eighteen childbearing years are behind you and you don’t have as many ahead of you. It’s a popular idea that kids and a happy relationship just happen to you and fall into your lap but they don’t always so you should feel zero shame in deliberately setting out to find that.


Also men are very good at getting their desires catered for at all stages of life. Waste time on them at your own peril. They have a very extended time to have kids and settle down and current Western society has successfully brainwashed most women to let men now have all the benefits of relationships without any real commitment or responsibility.

Before men settle down (or at least those who do), they will have no qualms whatsoever using women for convenient sex and relationship benefits in the meantime (and just let the dead end relationships run their course) if you let them. Some will even future fake to ensure they keep a female hanging on fulfilling his needs. But all the power is in your hands as a woman, and especially now at 33 you have to be ruthless with what you want.

coronaway Mon 03-May-21 13:11:47

@ChameleonKola excellent post(s).

AnaViaSalamanca Mon 03-May-21 13:58:42

You have received excellent advice here OP from @ChameleonKola and others. Heed them.

This is an unpopular opinion on MN and I might get flamed for it, but don’t go exclusive amd have sex too quickly. Be wary of the sex-led dating that pushes you to have sex and go exclusive in 3-5 dates. Once you are exclusive and sleeping with the man, he has you where he wants you. Fastest way to a situationship. Either don’t have sex early on until you figure out his character, or don’t agree to exclusivity and have sex with multiple people.

My other advice is to go on dates trying to figure out the man and if he is good for you. A lot of women go on dates to be chosen and they think they have won a prize if some guy wants to be exclusive with them. And don’t live together or have kids if marriage is important to you.

wanadu2022 Tue 04-May-21 09:44:02

Well I'm 35 and in the same boat, so definitely don't think it's too late!

But like other posters have said you do need to be clear and upfront about what you want and weed out early doors anyone not on the same page. Men do not have all the control, and you don't have to behave a certain way or do a certain thing to get them to marry you/have kids. With the right guy on the right page, you can be whoever you are and express yourself honestly and it isn't going to scare him off.

Don't be afraid to ask men early doors what they want out of their futures. If they don't want marriage or kids or want to go travelling for a bit or aren't settled into a job/own property or not content with life - that means they aren't going to be ready for a while. Assess men on whether you think they'd be good partners with sharing a home/childcare rather than just whether they're nice or fun. Decide what YOUR deal breakers are for a husband and family and it will make dating easier.

Maybe also check when women in your family have hit menopause to get an idea of how many fertile years you have. You can get a fertility MOT too but it is expensive so a vague idea of if you are likely to get early menopause based on family history will be fine too. The reality is women can and do get pregnant 40 onwards too, so you do have time if you won't hit menopause till your 50s. But obviously you don't want to push it right to the last minute.

Mostly, DON'T panic. I know the feeling, it can get stressful and feel desperate. But it isn't. Keep dating, keep building a life that will attract people to it and don't despair.
There are men out there who want to settle and have kids too, who feel a bit desperate and worried too. Who are fed up of dating too. You just need to find them, and you will.

Read the Panic Years by Nell Frizzel btw. She writes about exactly this. So you know you're not alone!

Disposableplates Tue 04-May-21 12:09:43

Can I ask what sites/apps people use? I’m a similar age to the OP and struggling to meet people, actually having a break to focus on myself and what I want! But when I do go back I want to avoid the time wasters as much as possible since I would like to settle down one day!

coronaway Tue 04-May-21 12:34:49

I just use Tinder. My reasoning being is that has the largest user base. Some people say you should use the paid sites if you want something serious but from my experience they're all pretty much the same.

Disposableplates Tue 04-May-21 13:10:22

Thanks I currently use bumble and tinder, just wanted to know if there were any better alternatives!

anthurium Tue 04-May-21 13:13:33

Lots of helpful advice from @LivBa@AnaViaSalamanca and @ChameleonKola

My story is slightly different but might offer a different perspective.

How important is a relationship to you over having children? Would you consider solo parenting? This is what I eventually decided upon, aged 39, and currently 8 weeks pregnant. After my divorce aged 35/36, I tried to date, set out my wishes early on and went on many dates, however I didn't find a suitable partner. I had one relationship that lasted a year, but it was more of a 'situanship' in hindsight. The dating provoked panic and desperation looking back and kept on increasing as the years went by and no change in my life, until I made a conscious choice to do something that was within my control: in my case that ended up being IVF treatment (intra uterine insemination tends to be recommended for women who are <35 and with no known fertility issues). Of course I'm sad that I've had to get go off the dream of a 'partner and child' the conventional way, but I no longer feel that panic, desperation even, to meet someone with these caveats in mind. Now I just don't care! I'm certainly open to meeting someone in the future, without the pressure of expecting children with them. In my case, I'd probably be too old to conceive anyway, so I'd be looking for someone who wouldn't want children (the opposite what I'd been trying to achieve most of my life, the irony!).

anthurium Tue 04-May-21 14:25:48

I forgot to add, and of course this is my subjective experience only, my dating range was 27-42 quite wide! They were either too young, too old, still figuring life out, divorced (cynical and jaded), or now wanted fun relationships only, had children and didn't want more, or didn't want children at all, working on their careers or wanted to travel. With a number of men there was a spark and chemistry but no long term compatibility. The whole dating experience was getting so soul -destroying that it made me question myself as a person, as a partner. I also didn't have time on my side to 'run the risk' of not having children at all (bar that one year long 'situanship'). Maybe I just had a few years of terrible luck? It's possible. The problem is so much of meeting 'the right' person is down to luck, timing of this 'luck' and it's exhausting having to keep being hopeful while feeling stuck in limbo, feeling like your life is passing you by in terms of marriage and children, watching friends and family move on to the next 'life milestones'. Of course I wish you lots of luck and that you meet someone who you can share your life with, but many people don't or end up settling. If partner is a mandatory component of having children, then going on dating apps is the only option (as well being open to meeting men randomly in real life) and it might be a case of it's a numbers game.. It's frustrating and I sympathise!

coronaway Tue 04-May-21 14:40:36

I think people need to get past the idea of settling as in it being something bad. You just learn to compromise - everyone does. Settling is normal!

Also no offence to the PP but I think it's very selfish choosing to have a child solo. I think too many people want a child but don't want to be a parent.

AnaViaSalamanca Tue 04-May-21 14:55:12

@coronaway having a child is a selfish thing whether you do it solo or in a couple!

Do you think people who have children with a partner are somehow doing it for the greater good?

anthurium Tue 04-May-21 15:13:07


Thanks for challenging the previous PP comment! If I listened to comments like that I'd be left infertile and barren, and why should women like me have to forgo experiences of motherhood simply because we didn't meet a suitable partner?

@coronaway Some women do settle as in truly choose partners simply because they get desperate and run out of time to find a man they love and would much rather have a family with. I would have liked to have found a man I was in love and compatible with, not just use him as a free sperm donor more or less because I had no other choice. Compromise on fundamental levels such as approach, attitude to life and feelings towards someone for me and for some others I'm sure, are too much of a sacrifice.

bitheby Tue 04-May-21 21:00:51

You do but don't just assume it will happen. Make it happen. I tried to meet someone to have kids with and didn't and it's been heart breaking. If you decide to have kids by yourself then start that before it's too late too.

Naimee87 Wed 05-May-21 17:00:51

I'm 34 and i think it is still possible, i just think it probably needs to be made quite clear when you do meet someone that you do 'really' see yourself falling for, what you have in mind for your future. In some of the relationships i have had i made the mistake of assuming we're on the same page only to find out we really aren't. Looking back I think i was a bit afraid of having the discussions and just thought if the relationship was this good surely our futures will match up too. Also having read on here and hearing from friends in couples when they reach the 'milestones' like moving in together or getting married or having children they turn out to be on different pages... then its tough especially if the relationship itself is good. I think the power is in your hands as you know what you want and can weed out the ones who are just looking for a 'good time'. I think the more pressure you (we) heap on yourself (ourselves) the more impossible it may seem and although it sounds very cheesy patience is so difficult but usually so worth it in the end.

FarmerJo2020 Wed 05-May-21 17:34:20

I met DP at 32, had baby at 37. Very happy! Met online, on an app that I think doesn’t exist anymore. My advice would be to stay positive, put the effort in (OLD etc) but stay true to yourself. Also, have a back up plan. My backup was to make sure I had the best life I could have if the man and kids thing didn’t work out, so I changed career and retrained so that I had a job I was really really happy with, for others the backup might be freezing eggs or whatever. I hated being told ‘don’t worry it will happen for you’, because although I was lucky and it did, what if it hadn’t? I knew I had to turn my life into something I would be happy with even if my dream of a family didn’t work out.

SofiaJessica4 Wed 05-May-21 18:03:15

34 and 2 and a half years divorced here, just gotten out of a one year relationship with someone I really loved. We have time (I think!). My mum went through menopause at 50+ which gave me some comfort, although I have had suggestions I should freeze my eggs.

I'm more interested in having a life partner I will be happy with than having a child, I had a very chaotic upbringing and am still on the fence with it. Every time I walk past babies I get a bit of baby fever though!

I would agree with others that - like anything in life - the key is to be proactive and also to focus on values, and someone's character together with if what you want aligns. Many things can be compromised on, but if you have someone with a good character, that should (theoretically) help get you through difficult times.

Also anecdotally there are plenty of good, single men on dating apps. Keep at it. I've given up temporarily as I'm licking my wounds from this breakup but I reckon we still have a good 5-7 years left to meet someone and get pregnant.

2021mumma Wed 05-May-21 18:18:47

Yes but invest your time as you would finding a new job, date a few at a time and don’t be exclusive till you know he has the same goals as you.

Dogfan Wed 05-May-21 19:47:39

@anthurium I totally agree. Once I realised I could have a baby on my own it totally took thr pressure off. You could also freeze some eggs if you don't want to go ahead yet / alone. Being divorced and thankfully not having a child with that dickhead, i would say choosing the wrong person and having a baby with them is the worst mistake you can make. I have a lot of friends that are stuck trying to co parent with their shit ex husbands and their lives look impossible. So I would say consider going solo and if you don't meet the the right person in say a year or so, go it alone if you're up for it.

321zyx Wed 05-May-21 19:51:24

Yes, I met DH at 34, married at 36, had DS at 40

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