I Talk About Wanting Kids On The First Date And I Won’t Apologize For It

It’s kind of a faux pas to bring up wanting kids on the first date, but that hasn’t stopped me doing it. I’m obviously not looking to get knocked up by the first guy who pays for my pinot grigio, but I’m also not going to hide the fact that I’m looking for someone to settle down and start a family with. Why is that so wrong?

I’m over the stage in my life where I’m interested in casual dating. I’ve done the casual dating thing and it’s fun but exhausting. I’m past that stage of my life and only interested in something serious moving forward. I’m a relationship person, always have been and always will be, and I’m totally OK with that. If my date isn’t, he’s clearly not for me.

If this is never going to work, I’d rather know sooner rather than later. Having kids is a non-negotiable for me so I won’t even entertain the idea of getting into a relationship with someone who doesn’t want the same thing. The sooner I know where a guy stands, the sooner I can GTFO without risking developing feelings for someone who isn’t on the same page as me. I’m saving myself from the potential heartache of waiting too long.

I don’t want to waste my time or his. I’m a grown woman who’s done enough dating to know better than to waste my time on a hopeless situation, and I have no interest in wasting my date’s time either. As much as I don’t want to risk the emotional investment and potential pain, I also simply don’t have the time or energy to spend on things that’ll never happen. My biological clock is ticking, after all.

Most dates don’t work out anyway—it’s no real loss if this one doesn’t. There was a point in my life where I’d internalize every awful date or failed relationship as my own fault, but I’m past that now. The chances of things working out with someone are slim—that’s simple math. That’s why I don’t feel the pressure to play by the rules or blame myself if it doesn’t work out. I’m awesome and I’ll eventually meet someone else who is too.

If he’s not mature enough to talk about kids, he’s not mature enough for me to date. Regardless of whether things work out or children ever end up being on the cards, I still look for maturity as an essential quality in a potential partner. Being able to have an open and honest conversation about marriage and children early on shows a lot about his character and gives me confidence about how our relationship might progress.

If it scares him off, he’s done me a favor. Ultimately, it’s kind of the reason I’m so upfront about wanting kids. I want to scare off anyone who isn’t on the same page. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than someone who just went along with the whole babies thing, blindly nodding along about definitely wanting kids someday when in reality, he’s not interested. I want kids soon; if he doesn’t, we shouldn’t bother.

I often date older men, which means they may already have kids. Having a proclivity towards dating older men tends to complicate the matter even more, as these guys are more likely to have children already. It’s not strictly a dealbreaker for me, but this can impact their feelings on having more children, so it’s best we both know where we stand ASAP. At least men with children already tend to be better about discussing it earlier on.

I’m not ashamed of the things I want. As a society, we seem to have a pretty depressing view of women who actively want marriage and babies, so we often get painted in a sad and desperate light. I’m not ashamed of what I want—I’ve wanted to be a mother for longer than I can remember, more than I’ve ever wanted to be a wife. What anyone else thinks of that doesn’t really matter.

Ultimately, I can do whatever I want. At the end of the day, I couldn’t really care less about what people think is appropriate or “proper” behavior at the start of a relationship. There’s enough to worry about when it comes to dating someone new without also stressing about whether other people approve of what I’m doing. I’ll do whatever I want, thanks.

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