Dating Is Hard. It’s Even Harder When You Don’t Want Kids By Danai Nesta Kupemba
… She [Alex] says she’s upfront about her decision to be child-free in her dating profiles and also tells prospective partners about it on first dates. However, the conversation has often been met with shock, confusion, and that question other child-free women know all too well: “Why?”
“I remember one guy who, when I told him I didn’t want children, asked me, ‘Why do you want a boyfriend then?’” she says. “‘What are you going to do with a boyfriend if it’s not to start a family?’”
For women who choose to navigate the already perilous sea of dating, being child-free by choice can come with its own unique set of challenges.
And in a society that already polices what women can and can’t do to their bodies, the choice to never have children is often frustratingly met with disbelief.
Even those in one’s innermost circle—parents, friends, partners—will say, “You’ll change your mind!”
…But many child-free women—myself included, who felt forced into performative motherhood the first time I was given a baby doll I didn’t ask for—know that the definition of family doesn’t have to include kids.
Family is whoever feels most like home, who you want to see at the end of the day. And we are the ones who live with our decisions—not society.
…There are also communities, especially online, for child-free women who are navigating the dating field to help remind them that their feelings are valid, such as We Are Childfree and The Not Mom. Karen Malone Wright, founder of The Not Mom, recommends that child-free women disclose their decision on the first or second date, and no later than the third.
“Don’t wait until one or both of you are emotionally committed to have this critical conversation,” she explains. Also, she adds, don’t assume that a potential love interest who is also child-free is automatically The One.