Question: I’m in my mid 30’s. My boyfriend and I broke up a month ago. We were together for over five years and had a lot of fun together. We loved each other very much and talked about getting married and having kids. At first I was the one pushing for marriage because I felt that my clock was ticking and if I waited too long I might not be able to conceive. He wanted to wait because he wasn’t yet sure that we should have kids. Our relationship was perfect and we were very happy the way things were. I guess I enjoyed the fun we were having too much that my need to get married and have children gradually changed. When I told by boyfriend that I did not want to get married and was still on the fence about having kids, he said although he wasn’t yet ready for kids, he could never be in a relationship knowing that he will never have kids. I tried to convince myself to want marriage and kids but in the end I could not abandon my truth and live a life I did not want.
I’m still heart-broken about the relationship and miss him so much. I have been out on a few dates with other men but when they hear that “I have no desire at all to have children” they tend to run in the opposite direction and very quickly. Even some of my friends look at me as if there is something wrong with me. Deep inside I know what I want but afraid that I might again change my mind and want to get married and have kids but by then it’ll be too late. What is your personal experience (I read about how you overcame your commitment phobia) and what advice can you give? Will I ever find a man who wants me without the kids?
Yangki’s Answer: I’m not quite sure what this has to do with commitment phobia, but I’ll answer your question about my personal experience. I have written so much about my commitment phobia days and frankly I feel it’s gotten too old. So I will not write any more here.
I always wanted children as far back as I can remember, lots of them. I have three children and have been a mother for more than half of my life. Because I “married” and had children in my early to mid 20s, I have not experienced the anxieties of a “ticking clock”. Sometimes I joke that God suspected I might change my mind about having kids so he gave me just enough but too early – and thank God! I love being a mother more than anything in the world and would never trade my life for anyone else’s.
I do however agree with you that that society puts too much pressure on people to be a certain way and if they are not, they are made to think/believe/look like there is something “missing” or “wrong” with them even when they are not harming any other being or mother earth.
Not everyone necessarily wants to be married or have kids, nor will everyone be able to be married and have kids. Some people derive a lot of enjoyment from being married and having children. Some people derive joy from other things other than married life or having children. Being married or having kids should therefore not be made to be the ideal for everyone or the measure of someone’s value and worth – or happiness and fulfillment for that matter.
The human race has been blessed with many choices and many paths to enlightenment, happiness and fulfillment. We should each make our informed choices, find our own happiness and live the life we want rather than trying to conform to other people’s ideals and definitions of who we should be or want to be.
Whatever your place is right now, make the most out of it. It’s only one life and it’s yours! If at some point later you decide that you want to get married or have children, that should be YOUR choice. If after making that choice and things don’t turn out the way you hoped they would, take responsibility for the choices you made. That’s part of being an actual grown-up individual.
As for the men running in the opposite direction and very quickly, count your blessings. It’s better to find out early than waste more of your life on a going-nowhere-far relationship. There are lots of men out there who do not want to have children either. You just have to meet lots of different men to find that one special one for you. You can also narrow your “search” by joining groups and activities involving like-minded people. I don’t know where you live but here in Toronto, there are meet-ups for what they call “Child-Free” men and women, and I know a few people who met their partners and potential partners in these meet-ups.
Do not abandon living your truth just to meet the expectations of other people. The cost is too high and certainly not worthy it.