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AIBU?

What would you tell your mid 30s friend?

21 replies

YaWeeFurryBastard · 13/09/2022 21:35

I have a close friend who I love very much, she is one of the nicest, kindest people I know and has been there for me through several bereavements/life changing events just being an all round supportive and lovely person.

Shes’s turning 38 next year and despite a few failed relationships (the last being an affair with a married man) has yet to meet a man to settle down and have a family with. Of course there’s no problem with that but she often talks about how all she ever wants in life is to have a family and how life is almost pointless without one.

I’ve tried to encourage her to try online dating but she understandably prefers to meet men in real life, however she works in the NHS and the men at work her age tend to be either arsehole workaholics or already married.

My question is, knowing how much she wants a family and biological child do I gently mention considering sperm donor parenting if things don’t work out or do I keep my mouth shut? For context she is quite naive about things like IVF/egg quality (discussed because one of my lesbian friends is undergoing it).

Sorry if this comes across as really insensitive but I’m trying to do the best by someone I really care about. For context I am younger, married and hopefully about to start TTC so not something I’m able to bring up in context of my own situation.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

84 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
73%
You are NOT being unreasonable
27%
YaWeeFurryBastard · 13/09/2022 21:36

Sorry voting should have been

YABU - say nothing
YANBU - gently suggest potentially looking into lone parenting

OP posts:
Comedycook · 13/09/2022 21:37

No don't suggest sperm donation.

No need to suggest anything. Just nod along

Changingusernameagain · 13/09/2022 21:37

I think say nothing. I doubt she is clueless.

Elfandshafty · 13/09/2022 21:39

If she is a close friend why are you even asking this?

Most would chat shit like this over well before their friend reached 38 with no kids but wanted them

Although she sounds like one of those people who will moan, you give advice and then will never take it so prepare to be frustrated

YaWeeFurryBastard · 13/09/2022 21:41

Elfandshafty · 13/09/2022 21:39

If she is a close friend why are you even asking this?

Most would chat shit like this over well before their friend reached 38 with no kids but wanted them

Although she sounds like one of those people who will moan, you give advice and then will never take it so prepare to be frustrated

Because for years she’s been telling me it’s all she’s ever wanted and I don’t want to piss on her chips by reminding her of the harsh reality it might not happen ☹️

OP posts:
TheChosenTwo · 13/09/2022 21:43

Oh god please don’t bring up sperm donation, I’m sure she’s aware of the concept!!

5128gap · 13/09/2022 21:48

When she next mentions it just say something like 'Have you considered all the options?' and see where the conversation goes.

surreygirl1987 · 13/09/2022 22:02

Of course you don't say anything! That would come across as incredibly patronising!! If SHE brings it up, you can ask her what other options she has considered, but I seriously doubt she's that clueless. And I'm sure she can use Google if she really wants to look into anything further!

PinkRiceKrispies · 13/09/2022 22:05

I agree with asking if she has considered all her options.

WaveyHair · 13/09/2022 22:10

Be more general and just ask her if she has thought about what her plans would be, or considered other options, if she does not find a partner to start a family with. Maybe not go straight in with lone parenting.

cantseeme · 13/09/2022 22:13

speaking as a single mum by choice (sperm donation) who started ttc at 39 and gave birth at 42... yes, definitely talk to her. In my experience, many (most?) women don't properly know the details about fertility, when it declines, what that actually means in terms of how long it might take to conceive, miscarriages and so on; likewise most people don't really know about the process of sperm donation, and options for getting pregnant that way unless they have some reason to know. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but at 38, she's likely still in with a good chance of conceiving, but she should really be starting now if she wants to ttc as a single mother. Leave it a couple of years and the odds get much more slim. I know too many women who left it till their early 40s because they didn't realise that for most women that is too late, then were unable to conceive at all.

I have spoken to quite a few women of a similar age who want to ttc as single mothers by choice, and one thing I always point out is that there is really no harm in checking out the process. You can always decide not to go for it, but it takes quite a while to get all the tests done, get appointments and so on, so if she's thinking about it it's better to start making appointments now, knowing she can always cancel if she decides not to go ahead.

Good luck to her - if she decides to go for it there are lots of good groups on the internet for support.

OnTheRunWithMannyMontana · 13/09/2022 22:16

She's 38 and hasn't settled down or had children (which she has expressed to you that she wants)..... I'm pretty sure she already has a list of options. I would keep it zipped if I were you, I cannot see a way for you to instigate this conversation without sounding insensitive.

LuvSmallDogs · 13/09/2022 22:40

Depending on the level of closeness, then yeah, I would say something like "If you want kids, you'll need to do it sooner rather than later, have you thought about this?". Close friends aren't just yes men.

JaceLancs · 13/09/2022 22:42

I would say ‘have you thought about going it alone?’ and see what response you get

Speedweed · 13/09/2022 22:43

Say nothing. You're about to cross over to the other side, and making 'helpful' suggestions about sperm banks because you 'want the best for her', then going home to have lovely sex with your wonderful husband is at best a bit patronising, at worst a shortcut to causing her pain and ending the friendship.

She knows what she needs to do if she makes that decision, and you're probably not her ideal confidant given that you're in the situation she wants, so she may be making plans without telling you.

Kanaloa · 13/09/2022 22:46

She works for the NHS so I’m sure she has the mental capacity to realise she’s getting older and if she wants to have a baby her clock is ticking so to speak.

If she’s a good friend I’m sure you could just wait until she says she wants a baby/life is pointless without a family and mention ‘you’ve always said that, I think you’d be a great mum. Have you considered any of the options/do you have any plans?’

Kanaloa · 13/09/2022 22:47

That’s not me saying she’s stupid by the way, just that I think it’s a bit patronising to assume a woman who works for the NHS is too naive to comprehend that you can have a baby via IVF/speed donor.

sunshineamongsttheshitstorm · 14/09/2022 07:51

I just couldn't get past describing her as the nicest kindest person you know who is just sooo lovely and then 10 seconds later just got out of an affair with a married man. Oh yeah a real sweetheart 🚩 🫤

bodie1890 · 14/09/2022 08:54

I wouldn't mention it. She'd have to be living under a bridge to be unaware that there are other options for starting a family. She works for the NHS.

If she brings it up, you could elaborate and say you know someone who has done IVF etc. - but I don't think you should initiate it, it could be very painful for her.

bodie1890 · 14/09/2022 08:58

LuvSmallDogs · 13/09/2022 22:40

Depending on the level of closeness, then yeah, I would say something like "If you want kids, you'll need to do it sooner rather than later, have you thought about this?". Close friends aren't just yes men.

I think I would find this extremely patronising and would hate if my friend said this to me.

"Have you thought about this?" implies she might not have... she's likely thinking about it a lot.

It's kind of like asking an obese person if they have thought about losing some weight.

I'm pretty sure she knows her own life better than anyone else.

Xmasbaby11 · 14/09/2022 09:19

You could mention it when it comes up - if nothing else, you'll know where she stands. Chances are she has thought about her other options, but she hasn't talked them through with you so it's not insensitive to ask her feelings about this. This is what friends do IMO - discuss how you feel about things, especially about big life decisions.

I have several friends who don't have kids (but wanted to) who are in their 50s now. When they were younger, in a similar situation to your friend, they talked to me about various options and how they felt about them. As it turns out they all came to terms with not having kids and making their lives fulfilling in different ways, but they certainly considered other options.

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