Category Archives: Dating
When I was in grad school a couple of years back I was part of the university swing dance club and after dancing we’d go out to dinner somewhere. Most of the population at my school and, consequently, of my swing club was Mormon. Well, you know how breederific Mormons are so the other three that went to dinner that night were discussing future kids and whatever while I sat by idly and just listened. Well, that is, until they asked me what I was planning on naming my kids.
I responded that I wasn’t having kids and started discussing why I didn’t want them. Of course, being Mormons they were aghast at such a thought. They seemed to be OK with it though as they knew I didn’t share their religious beliefs (my atheism was common knowledge with pretty much all of them) but I remember the other guy making the remark “I sure hope you’re gay.”
I was surprised by his remark so I asked him why he said that, and he responded with something along the lines of “you’re not going to find a woman who doesn’t want a family.”
Admittedly, I think he is probably extremely sheltered because of his religion, so I didn’t think much of it. Though, I have to wonder at times if there’s maybe a small taste of truth to that statement. It’s obviously not universally true as I know plenty of childfree women and if you’re female and reading my blog, chances are you are too. That said, it probably is easier for gay men who are childfree to find a mate than it is for straight childfree men to do so.
With the exception of two women, all of the women I’ve ever been on dates with have wanted children, and I’ve been on dates with about 10 or so during my time. Two out of 10 (or 20%) I think is about the percentage of childfree adults, so statistically it’s a pretty accurate sample. I think gay men in particular are probably the most likely to be childfree, though many of them do want to be parents too (and I 100% support gay adoption, by the way). Lesbian women I think also probably have a high incidence of childfreedom, but in my experience they’re more likely to want children than gay men are.
I don’t really know to tell you the truth. Perhaps it is kind of strange that I’m remembering this night all of a sudden now, but it’s puzzled me beyond belief. How would things be different if I were gay? Would it be easier to find a mate? Would being gay make my childfreedom more accepted by other people? You know, it’s a complex issue, for sure! I especially encourage childfree gay men and lesbian women to chime in on this, as I’ve never really explored a potential link between being childfree and sexual orientation.
I’m looking forward to your comments!
So I got a comment on my old post about Childfree dating about a childfree dating site. I decided to check it out and it seems legit.
I’m not into dating at the moment. I’m still in my “sleep around” stage I’m afraid (typical mid 20s male, eh?) but I’m linking here in case you want to check it out.
Do a Google search for “childfree” or any variant of the word and you’ll pop up a ton of hits to childfree bloggers all over the net. Also notice that a vast majority of them have one thing in common: they’re all run by women.
All of this makes me step back and scratch my head, because in my experience from people I know personally, of the men I know vs. the women I know, there is a larger percentage of men that identify as childfree vs. women who do so. Now, I know my sample size is teeny tiny and might not be really anything to gauge the demographics of the childfree community on, but I have to step back and scratch my head at this phenomenon.
Is it that childfree women are more outspoken about their childfreedom than the men? Are men ashamed to admit they won’t be passing down their family lineage/surnames? Are men more afraid of the backlash they might receive than women? Are they more fearful of rejection that childfree women?
Whatever the case, I think we need more childfree men to step up and get vocal about their childfreedom. For one, our poor female childfree counterparts need like-minded men for relationships/marriage. For another thing, though we both face many of the same issues for identifying as childfree, childfree men also face a completely different set of issues than do childfree women. Issues that are equally important to the issues faced uniquely by childfree women. However, because men aren’t as outspoken, many of these issues are overlooked or not brought to the attention of the general public. This is not a good thing.
With that, I issue a challenge to all you childfree men out there: publicly make your childfree declaration and make it big and loud! Make sure the whole world knows that you’re CF. Further, I challenge you to start raising hell about the issues that stare you in the face as a direct result of your childfreedom and start vocally fighting to even the playing field, because you know as well as I do this world favors breeders/wannabreeders over the childfree. Every additional able body we can get to step up and fight for our rights (male or female, quite frankly) makes our movement that much stronger.
Are you game?
So I have a friend back in the States who’s really into the GSN’s raunchy “Dating Game” spinoff called “Baggage.” For those who’ve never watched the show: it’s like the dating game, but each one of three potential dates has three pieces of baggage, which can be embarrassing, bad, or just plain disgusting secrets. There’s one small, one medium, and one large piece of baggage, and whoever the contestant selects then has to decide whether or not he/she can deal with the contestant’s baggage.
Well, my friend yesterday just had to IM me and tell me what went down on yesterday’s episode. The contestant was a woman, this time going through three potential men. At the end when she selected her date, she of course then had to reveal her baggage. Her piece of baggage was essentially that she didn’t like kids and did not want them. Ultimately, the man she selected said he couldn’t deal with her baggage and after the show said he’d always dreamed of having a “large family.”
This really brings up two things I wanted to address in today’s blog, and I wanted to address each one, so here we go:
To the lady: kudos to you for being so upfront and honest about being childfree. For you, and most other CF people, this is a very important aspect of who we are and how we identify ourselves. I think it’s better for you to be honest and lose out on a date than to wind up dating someone who has different visions than you do. Quite frankly, if that’s the worst of your baggage feel free to look up any CF dating site and find the CF man of your dreams. We do exist, so please do not get discouraged.
To the man: kudos to you for saying you couldn’t accept her baggage. It says something about you that you’d be willing to turn down a date with a CF woman instead of pursuing her and trying to manipulate her into having children and/or trying to forcibly change her mind. In that regard I have a lot more respect for you than a lot of other people who desire children. However, I do want to suggest that you think long and hard about having a “large family.” I hope you have a financial plan and a way to support them before you do. I bet you could find any number of Catholic women who could make you happy, so that’s not an issue whatsoever.
I’m a firm believer that couples should both be on the same page concerning children, whether you’re CF, desire children, or a fencesetter (seriously, I think it’d be better if two fencesetters married than a fencesetter marrying someone who has a firm decision on children). So in that way, I’m glad that they didn’t go on a date or pursue a relationship, because neither one would be happy with the other’s child status.
That’s just my take though. Did any of my readers watch yesterday? What are your thoughts?
Another thing that pisses me off is when breeders ask the very question above, or some variant of that question. Are they seriously implying that the only reason to get married is to have children? If that’s not their implication, then they SERIOUSLY need a reality check and they don’t know what marriage is all about.
I personally can think of many reasons why you’d want to get married even if you don’t want children, and I think many people can. In my opinion, the only reason to marry someone is because you are madly in love with them and you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Of course, the tax breaks and other legal benefits you get with being married are an added bonus and add incentive to go ahead and tie the knot (as opposed to having just a long-term relationship), but the reason you should marry someone is for love and no other reason.
Further, as is evidenced by all the illegitimate children out there, you don’t have to get married to have a kid anyway. People have casual sex and/or premarital sex all the time. It’s not like you have to be married to have sex. I’m not against premarital sex, don’t get me wrong, but all it takes is one time to get pregnant. Granted, one way or another, it is favorable if the kid has access to both parents in the home, but I’m just making the point marriage isn’t necessary to have a child.
Oh, and here’s another reason that question pisses me off: what about those who CAN’T have children? If these people had their way, would there be some sort of required fertility test to get married? I absolutely cringe at the thought! If they really think breeding should be a prerequisite for marriage, then that’s the only way to go about it. Talk about a serious infringement on personal autonomy and rights!
One last thing I will mention about this ridiculousness. The lack of breeding potential is a common argument against gay marriage. In that light, you can see mainly where the whole argument comes from: religion. Laws against gay marriage are stupid and so is any religion-based legislation (well, religion is stupid too but that’s beside the point).
Breeding should NEVER be a reason to get married. That’s just stupid. Marry because you love a person, not for their fertility.
I’ve read several studies now that all conclude that childfree couples (interpreted: never have had children) tend to be happier than couples in any other child status, including so-called “empty nesters” (those whose kids are all grown and gone). I’ve often wondered to myself why that is. What is it about the childfree way of life is making these couples happier?
In thinking about it, I’ve come up with a number of reasons that might explain this phenomenon, some of which are probably obvious, others of which are not so obvious. We’ll deal with each one of my thoughts individually, but please keep in mind much of this is just speculation on my part, and I’m in no way going to claim any of this as absolute fact.
First things first, a recurring theme and mention that has come up on my blog throughout the post: finances. There’s no way to deny that children are expensive. Even one child is enough to put financial stress on a couple who’s already struggling to make ends meet. Each additional child further stretches the budget. What’s ironic about that, though is that I’ve read a number of studies that have determined that people who identify as childfree as a whole tend to have higher gross incomes than those who either want or have children. Financial stress can and does put a strain on a couple’s relationship (and the converse is also true), so this absolutely makes sense.
Then there’s the issue of freedom. Couples without children are obviously more free to do stuff on their own accord or with each other than if they had children. Freedom to travel the world, engage in interest and hobbies, go out at night, among other things. They are more able to totally immerse themselves in their interest and hobbies. This is good for mental health and happiness as well.
It’s been conjectured that childfree couples also tend to have better sex lives. While at first I had trouble understanding the reasoning behind this initially, I slowly started climb on board with this theory. Having children around can really mess up spontaneity. When you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood. If the kids aren’t in bed yet, well, it’s hard to just get it on without them the wiser, unless you just leave them by themselves, which is a mess. Also, kids can interrupt sexy time (especially babies if they wake in the night), which is frustrating. That can lead to all sorts of problems. Well, I think I rest my case here.
I think there are some other minor factors that might come into play. More time for one another, more education (childfree couples tend to be better educated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a correlation between education and happiness), more time to advance one’s career, among other things. I think we could conjecture all day as to the reasons as to why childfree couples may be happier, but I think extensive research would have to be done. I’d be interested to see how such studies would come out.
What do you guys think?
If it’s one thing I’ve found being childfree really complicates it’s the dating scene. With a vast majority of people (men or women, it doesn’t matter) being either fencesetters or wannabreeders, it’s difficult finding Mr. or Miss Childfree in the crowd, sometimes.
Both of the relationships I’ve been in I was with childfree women, much to my pleasant surprise. I just happened to meet the right people at the right time, maybe that was a stroke of luck. It’s too bad neither one of my relationships worked out, for that reason (though now that I look back on them, it’s probably better they didn’t).
My personal policy on dating is that I don’t even waste my time on wannabreeders and most fencesetters. I just don’t want to wind up in a relationship with and potentially married to someone who wants children and would try to manipulate me into it or a fencesetter who later decides she wants children, and again will try to convince me.
I’ll consider dating a fencesetter if she indicates to me that she more than likely will not want kids. That’s the only exception I really make to my rule. However, if it’s a toss-up on whether I want to go on a date with said fencesetter or a completely committed childfree individual, I think it’s clear which one I’ll choose.
What’s been your experience as a childfree individual trying to find a partner? Did it take you a long time to find that childfree person? How soon do you bring it up? Do you have any set policy you abide by in this regard?
Right after I had my vasectomy my now ex-friend Faith asked me this very question on Facebook in response to my first post-op status update. For the record, faith is an ex-friend because she got a massive case of placenta-brain and wouldn’t stop posting about her damn kid (which she had out of wedlock, I might add). Well, that bit of history aside, it’s a question I’m frequently asked and I think it’s one worth addressing, because it’s rather interesting.
Every one of us, regardless of our sex, orientation, etc. has certain things we look for in a mate, and there are other things that are absolute dealbreakers. There’s nothing wrong with it, but that’s just the way it is. We all want different things in a significant other. Some things we might be willing to compromise on a bit, other things would make the relationship just absolutely not work. For me, having children or the desire to have children is one of those things.
My #1 requirement in a mate is childfree. The only exception I’d be willing to consider is if the person had children that were all already grown and out of the house. I don’t waste my time dating those who desire to have children or even fence-setters. I want an absolute commitment to the childfree way of life before I will commit to someone else.
Has this cost me a lot of second dates and potential relationships? Absolutely. Most women in most of the places I’ve lived want kids more than anything (or say they want to, but I already addressed that). If that’s the case, more power to them. I’d rather us not waste each other’s time and just move on. There’s no use for her to be with someone who won’t give her what she wants, and likewise there’s no reason for me to be with someone who will try to force me to have something I don’t want. It would be trouble from the start.
In essence, though there are some issues you could reasonably compromise on, I don’t think this is one of those, and that goes for everyone (not just me). I think the children issue is one that both you and a significant other absolutely have to be on the same page on before you get married. If you’re not, disaster will assuredly result. Stick to your guns on this one and don’t waver for anyone, regardless of how charming and attractive they might seem to you.