I’m in my 30′s and I Don’t Want to Waste Time With the Wrong Men. How Soon Should I Find Out If He’s Serious About Marriage and Kids?

I'm in my 30's and I Don't Want to Waste Time With the Wrong Men. How Soon Should I find Out If He's Serious About Marriage and Kids?

Hi Evan,

My friends and I are all in the range of early to mid- to somewhat late 30′s and this is a very difficult time to find “the one”. When I was in my 20′s, I never worried about having to find out if my date/bf wanted kids or where he wanted to live or if we have the same ideas about money and spending. We would spend 2+ years together (not worrying about future or marriage) and then break up if we got sick of each other or fell out of love.

But now, let’s be realistic, how long do we really have to waste? I am almost 33. If I spent 2 years with someone and it didn’t work out, I would then be 35, and I want kids!

So, at this age, how soon is it okay to have a talk about what we want in life… 1st, 2nd, 3rd date? What if a guy that is amazing says he is unsure he wants kids and I know I want them? I drop him, right? If a guy in his mid 30′s thinks it is ok to date for 2 years and see if it is right, then my instinct is to let him go. By the same token, I feel that it is appropriate to KNOW by 6 months if this person is the one or not. Is this correct? Let me remind you that I’m not talking about people in their 20′s who enter into 5-year relationships. My friends and I want to be smart. I just ended a relationship with a guy after 6 months who told me he had serious doubts that I was the one.

How long until you should know (at this age) and how long until you should be planning to get engaged/married? I know people that get engaged after 6-8 months because they just know. I do NOT want to waste time. I am still considered young, but one long-term relationship that goes nowhere and I am 1-2 years older! If a guy tells me he wants to date for 2 years, then if we are right, he wants to get married, but then travel for a year before thinking about having kids, shouldn’t I run? I hope all of this makes sense. All of my close single girlfriends are in the same boat. We are all in the same age range and try to live by the “rules” of not bringing up marriage and kids and future goals or when we want those things. But shouldn’t we talk about that early on, in order to know we are on the same page? I want to date someone that is also looking for “the one” and knows that he wants it soon, just as I do.

Thanks so much, SK

Dear SK,

I couldn’t be more sympathetic to you. Now that I’m almost 37, most of my friends are in this 35-40 range, and there’s no doubt of the psychological toll that being single takes on them. The window to have kids is a narrow one, and, for that reason, it makes everything feel urgent.

The window to have kids is a narrow one, and, for that reason, it makes everything feel urgent.

I’m confident that just about anyone in your position would feel the exact same as you do. But, like an employee who has to grin and bear it when he’s got to work overtime, you have to figure out a way to smile, breathe deeply, and not get overwhelmed by your feelings. First, let’s try an exercise. Pretend you’re a guy for a second.

Now reread your letter. I’ll wait. Okay. Now that you’ve been privy to this woman’s pain, insecurity, fear and longing, would YOU want to date her? Because while you’re 100% entitled to WANT ANSWERS NOW, most guys don’t HAVE answers now – and they’re certainly not going to feel more inclined to date the woman who demands them. No more than you want to buy the car from the pushy used car salesman who has to make his monthly quota.

While you’re 100% entitled to WANT ANSWERS NOW, most guys don’t HAVE answers now… Playing it cool is still your soundest bet.

I just finished writing about this in my new eBook, “Why He Disappeared”, because it’s fundamental to understanding what makes men choose some women and not others. You’re 33. It’s a great age for dating because you’re young enough to be highly desirable to men in their late 30′s and early 40′s, you’re old enough to be over your twentysomething frivolity, and you’re serious about finding love. But you can’t be TOO serious. The more you approach each man as the potential father of your child, the more each man is going to recoil from your intensity. Playing it cool is still your soundest bet. My best friend married a 40-year-old woman, after two and a half years of dating. She didn’t pressure him once to pull the trigger. They just announced that they were pregnant last week. Another close male friend just married a 40-year-old woman, after two years of co-habitation. She DID put a little pressure on him, but it didn’t help her cause in any way.

Men don’t like to be pushed. My wife was 38 when I met her. If anything, I was the one who felt the need to rush and make decisions quickly, because I want to have kids and didn’t want to waste her time. As you may know, nobody’s cooler than my wife. So as much as you think you’re saving time by putting all your cards out on the table right away, you’re actually sabotaging yourself. There are things that my wife told me after 9 months together that I wouldn’t have accepted after 1 month, and vice versa. Once your guy’s in love, once he’s invested, you have much more power and leverage.

And by the way, your leverage is not in telling him to pop for a ring or else. Your leverage is in deciding whether you have a future, and, if not, walking away with your head held high. Walk away too soon because of YOUR timetable, and you may be shorting HIS timetable.

Learn how to embrace the concept of being cool and letting a man choose you without pressure.

Your concerns are perfectly valid, SK, but your methods for dealing with them come from a place of anxiety. We’re not that attracted to anxiety. So stop trying to figure out how to merge your bank accounts on date 2, stop hinting that you’d like a family on date 4, stop trying to KNOW things about your future when you’ve only been together for six months. YOU might think you know after six months, but if my wife – or my friends’ wives – pressured me or my friends for a decision after only six months together, none of us would be married right now.

You might not like to hear me telling you to just chill out, but it gets far better results than what you’ve outlined above.

Click below to learn how to embrace the concept of being cool and letting a man choose you without pressure. It may not be easy, but for my wife, I’d like to think there are some great rewards…

www.evanmarckatz.com/products/why-he-disappeared.html

Your friend,

Evan

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Curly Girl

    Agree with Jura!! Again, I don’t know why there is this stereotype out there that all women want marriage/babies and that all guys don’t, or don’t want these things in general, but only if they “fall” for some woman who changes their minds somehow.

    As someone who has always been highly ambivalent about marriage/babies and what it offers me in particular, I can tell you that there are tons of guys out there who want marriage/babies–because I have dated them and I am related to several. These men were either disappointed or surprised or put off by my ambivalence toward what they saw as “what all women want.”

    That said, many women do want marriage/children in a general way, and if she dates guys who also want it in a general way, the guy isn’t going to be all freaked out by her clear statement of intent (finding a husband/co-parent)–he’s going to think, “Ah! A real contender! Not one of these ambivalent career women like Curly Girl!”

    So, each to his own. I wish there were a more customized view of dating rather than a one-size fits all (women want marriage/men want sex). I think that a woman who wants children and tradition can approach dating one way, and a woman like me, who would only marry under certain circumstances and would be happy to leave it otherwise, can approach it another way.

  2. 32
    bella

    In response to Karl R.
    Thanks for sharing more about your story.

    My reaction to your original story was more personal than universal. So yes, if I were dating someone for four months before I learned that he did not want kids, I’d be upset.

    I have a feeling the woman who wrote this original letter would be upset too. Hence the original question, how long do you wait to find out, if it’s a very important issue for you.

    But someone else in that situation may find that time-frame very natural. It would still be sad to say goodbye, but no one would feel mislead.

  3. 33
    Curly Girl

    Agree with you, Bella. The guys I’ve known who were looking for a Mrs. were very no-nonsense about it and did not hesitate to put certain questions about deal-breaking issues right upfront. Why should women play coy about what they want? If you want something very badly, who has time to waste? And why bother spending any time at all with someone who isn’t on the same page as you re: relationship? Who cares if some guys are freaked out or scared off by it? It’s not like you’re going to change their minds by holding off asking the big questions until they are more comfortable with a discussion about marriage/children. Maybe they aren’t ever going to be comfortable with it. That’s their issue/problem/choice. But if you’re in your 30s, marriage/kids is a major dating issue to address, and the discussion will happen at some point. It’s an individual thing as to when. Whoever feels more strongly about it will probably bring it up. And if the other person is responsible, he or she will respond responsibly, with honest answers about what he or she wants in that area. Then each gets to decide whether or not to continue seeing the other, based on the response.

    Also, wasn’t I being excoriated before for suggesting that the propaganda for the LTR is a little too heavy on dating sites and in the media–that the reality of marriage/kids is daunting and the odds aren’t great, based on what we see going on out there. And now we have someone being told that her quest for a stable LTR–and the main reason people through history have gotten married–to reproduce in some kind of controlled or accepted way–has a stench to it.

    Why is it so uncool to discuss relationship realities when dating–whether the reality is “most marriages seem kind of sucky and are based on unrealistic expectations,” or “a stable relationship for raising kids is the ultimate expression of male/female love and sexuality”?

    Why all the pretense? Does this pretense get us what we want?

    1. 33.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “Why should women play coy about what they want? If you want something very badly, who has time to waste?…It’s not like you’re going to change their minds by holding off asking the big questions until they are more comfortable with a discussion about marriage/children.”

      Actually, Curly, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. However valid your concerns, the act of putting your cards on the table right away can be taken as a sign of desperation, which will make many men run. It would have scared me and pretty much every relationship oriented guy I know. I would suspect that a guy who plays the marriage card too early doesn’t inspire attraction either. No matter how you slice it, playing it cool is almost always a better bet.

  4. 34
    Curly Girl

    Only up to a point, EMK. All the guys I know who were clear about wanting to get married have gotten married. And yes, they did seem desperate! (Granted, a lot of those marriages occurred under not ideal circumstances and I wouldn’t put money on them lasting, but that’s another issue.)

    Point is, the people who want the same thing have to find each other. I agree 100%, EMK, that you do not go at it like it’s some kind of mission. So I say, be clear on the inside, do not say or do anything that contradicts or violates your inner truth about these major issues (in other words, don’t pretend to want a LTR if you don’t, don’t go looking at houses with someone if you aren’t going to carry through on the promise of what that implies, don’t pretend that you are “casual” when you are not–your advice to the woman on the TV clip, etc.).

    And also, be very aware of the clues that the other person is putting out there. If I want to be married and some guy drops one comment about how marriage sucks, my little red light ought to go on. Do you ask directly at that point what he means by that? Maybe. It’s harder to break away if that little red light goes on after you’re in love. And you may end up compromising yourself into misery if that little red light goes on too late.

    This is a very difficult issue. In my POV it’s the people who want an LTR or a family who are more vulnerable and might get toyed with–not by SOBs, necessarily, which would be easier to spot—but by a decent person who holds out a lot of promise–just not to you. He or she has no reason to end the relationship and can coast forever, but the person who has the most to lose is the one who will pay for the other person’s ambivalence.

  5. 35
    girl-with-glasses

    @Curly Girl,
    With respect to upfront and forward men, the dating situation is different. If they were so keen to start a family, they have a whole wide number of applicants to choose and sort from.

    A woman in her mid 30′s is different. If her heart is set on getting married and having children, her appeal to mates is already compromised to a certain extent. Men do exist that want family and kids, but won’t those men be more attracted to 20′s than a 30′s women? For women at her age, it isn’t exactly a *feature*. It isn’t a deal breaker either.

    I think Evan’s point is that if men were more emotionally into a woman, the age won’t matter. But having some 30 +year old woman come forward right off the bat to a perspective date is off putting. She’s only hurting her own chances.

  6. 36
    Curly Girl

    @GWG: I’ve seen it happen, though. I’ve seen women in their 40s do it. They just say, nope, I only want a serious relationship and I’m only spending a very short period of time with a guy before I walk if he doesn’t come through. In the two very specific cases I am thinking of (one is my sister), she was very clear with the guy. Not on the first or second date, but pretty soon into dating (I never said to get down to the nitty-gritty right off the bat).

    In all of the cases, though, the guys wanted to be married, too. Also should mention that these folks were divorced and didn’t want to remain single. Divorced people often get remarried very soon after the divorce–how does this happen if the topic of marriage isn’t out there?

    Also, I’m not a big believer in “your chances are better if you’re younger” and I’m not into the desperation thing. I know people who married for the first time at all ages and women who have had their children at all ages. One of my coworkers just had her first at the age of 48–no donated eggs (lots of intervention, true). One of the women above who was pretty upfront about wanting to get married/have a baby did so at 42 and had her first baby (no intervention at all) at 43. These are just two stories among many that have shown me that there are many ways to date & mate & procreate.

    I still say ya gotta suss it out in some way–whatever works for you. Being direct, paying attention to certain indicators, going to sites that cater more specifically to what you are looking for. For instance, if you’re Catholic and you go to a Catholic site, you probably aren’t going to find many guys who are surprised or put off by a woman’s desire to have children–it’s a big part of the religion.

    I was raised Catholic and this colors my thoughts about this issue, that’s true. Practicing Catholics who don’t want/expect kids or who would be put off by someone stating marriage and kids as a life goal are something of an anomoly. You’d almost have to leave the religion over that issue. As I did. :)

    1. 36.1
      girl-with-glasses

      Thank you for your reply=). I have to say it’s probably because I’m of asian american descent that I over do the passive-aggressive feminine seductive thing with respect to men. To me, playing coy is part of the charm of my interactions with the opposite sex. Men do know it’s just a pose, but it’s still enjoyable. That’s why sometimes I find the direct state-what-you-want tactics of other women to be a bit bewildering. However, ultimately, a woman has to do what she’s most comfortable with and believes is right. You have to do what work for you right? Everyone has their own particular circumstances; it was good to hear your views.

  7. 37
    -NN-

    Karl K said:

    You mean like Hugh Jackman (40), Will Smith (40), Jeffrey Donovan (41), and Brad Pitt (45)?

    —————–

    I am talking about real men who are single – not filmstars who have an added interest keeping themselves in shape.

    Single men are in 2 categories at their 40′s
    1. eternal playboys, who think too much of themselves and behave like there are no social roles that they need to remember.
    2. those who have totally given up, and think they should be accepted as they are..

    There are few exceptions, but most of the men (at least online) tend to fall to one of those.
    Thanks but no thanks.. if I want something that is missbehaving – I get a dog.

    What you Evan spoke about “compromise”.. I don’t mean those kinds of things.. I don’t care about religion, nor about how much a man earns, not even what his educational level is.. His personality and our chemistry is enough.
    Ands those are the ones lacking!

    Very simply put; I have to feel sexually attracted to him.. and that is where it ends, since most men just don’t have it. Mentally the spark of lively curiosity in them died a long ago and now they know everything, and I should believe them that that is “all there is..”
    Still I say, if that is “all there is”.. then I am rather without, and enjoy the life I have.
    If someone who is different comes along (I do meet new men every couple of weeks), then I look at him again.

  8. 38
    -NN-

    Karl said:

    You mean like Hugh Jackman (40), Will Smith (40), Jeffrey Donovan (41), and Brad Pitt (45)?

    —————–

    I am talking about real men who are single at their fourties – not filmstars who have an added interest keeping themselves in shape.

    Single men are in 2 categories at their 40′s
    1. those goodlooking eternal playboys, who think too much of themselves and behave like there are no social rules that would apply to them.
    2. those who have totally given up, and think they should be accepted as they are..

    There are few exceptions, but most of the men (at least online) tend to fall to one of those.
    Thanks but no thanks.. if I want something that is missbehaving – I get a dog.

    What you Evan spoke about “compromise”.. I don’t mean those kinds of things.. I don’t care about religion, nor about how much a man earns, not even what his educational level is.. His personality and our chemistry is enough.
    Ands those are the ones lacking!

    Very simply put; I have to feel sexually attracted to him.. and that is where it ends, since most men just don’t have it. Mentally the spark of lively curiosity in them died a long ago and now they know everything, and I should believe them that that is “all there is..”
    Still I say, if that is “all there is”.. then I am rather without, and enjoy the life I have.
    If someone who is different comes along (I do meet new men every couple of weeks), then I look at him again.

    1. 38.1
      Karl R

      -NN- said:
      “I am talking about real men who are single at their fourties – not filmstars who have an added interest keeping themselves in shape.”

      I could name a number of “real men” (not celebrities) in their 40s, 50s and even 60s who stay in shape. However, I don’t think you would know any of them, so it would be rather pointless.

      “There are few exceptions,”

      Which means there are exceptions. And if you’re not finding those exceptions online, figure out where you can find them.

      And as long as you meet the criteria that you set for the men (sexually attractive with a spark of lively curiosity), you should be able to find what you want.

      (I feel it necessary to make that point, after the time I listened to a woman rant for 20 minutes about how she wasn’t attracted to men who had pot bellies … even though her gut was hanging over her belt in front too.)

  9. 39
    Ellen

    What mystifies me is that in all other areas of life we are encouraged to be clear, upfront and goal-oriented. No one would suggest we be coy about whether or not we want a job when we’re pursuing one. Since a spouse is often regarded as more important even than other life goals (work, house, etc.) and hopefully will last a lifetime, why on earth would we need to be so cloaked about what it is we want or need for the betterment of our lives? For example, I don’t necessarily need YOU to be my husband, but I’m not afraid to be clear that a husband is something I want – NOT because I’m desperate, because I’m smart!! I’ve done the research: people in good marriages are happier, healthier and live longer than these oh-so-cool, can’t-mention-I’d-like-to-be-married singles. I think “playing it cool” so as not to have men think women are desperate is the lamest of game playing women can possibly do. And it doesn’t serve us at all. Oh, honey, just be patient. How many guys simply DON’T get around to it, are willing to string a woman along, and end up wasting each other’s time to the tune of 2-4+ years. The OP has extremely legitimate and intelligently articulated questions that deserve a more thoughtful and even respectful answer than to “be cool” and don’t act desperate.

    Oh, and while we’re at it – what’s up with exclusivity while waiting for some dude to make up his mind, anyway? If (some) women want to be married and (some) men want to have time to figger it all out, then being exclusive while waiting for that to happen gives a man 100% want he wants (time) and only 50% of what she wants (engagement/marriage). Sounds like a RAW DEAL to me. How about we make that 50/50 or at least a win-win. Evan – what’s your take on Rori Raye’s Circular Dating? ;) Can you be objective?

    1. 39.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Rori’s a friend of mine and super intuitive, but I’m not on board with the concept. If you see fit to date other men while we’re in a relationship because you don’t have a ring, I guess it’s okay for me to date other women, right? I didn’t think so. Fact is: dating while you have a commitment is also known as cheating. But if calling it Circular Dating makes you feel better, I’m all for it.

      By the way, no man can waste your time unless you let him. You never heard me say to stay with a guy for 4 years without walking away. You heard me to resist the temptation to get answers in the first 3-6 months because your pressure is going to drive even the good ones away.

      You can tell yourself that if he runs, he was never serious, but if you actually LISTEN TO MEN, they will tell you what I’ve told you – we don’t always have answers when you want answers.

      1. 39.1.1
        Helen

        Evan, I don’t entirely agree with you on this. I don’t think it’s as black-and-white as you portray.

        Consider this quote from Elisabeth Elliot’s book “Passion and Purity”:

        Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.

        Yes, she is old-fashioned and Christian… but there is a great deal of sense to her words.

        1. Bob

          All I can say to this Helen, is if I can’t consider a woman “mine” before I propose, then I’m free to go have sex with any woman I want. After all, if I don’t have the right to her exclusive attention, then she doesn’t have a right to mine.

          How then does that approach promote a monogamous relationship?

        2. Karl R

          Elisabeth Elliot’s book asks:
          “Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention?”

          If a woman (or man) can’t be monogamous prior to being engaged, why would any sensible person assume that they will suddenly become capable after the proposal?

  10. 40
    vlh

    Has everyone forgotten about fertility drugs? Yes, even a 60 year old woman can get pregnant these days, so relax. Science has made advancements that make the old timeframe for having children (more or less) obsolete. If you’re only 33, you have another 20 years to have kids, if you want them that badly.

    1. 40.1
      Jennifer

      I think this is what lulled some women into a false sense of security. Yeah there are fertility drugs and treatements but they are very expensive, often uncomfortable, emotionally draining, and have fairly low success rates, particularly as you age.

      If a woman wants to carry her own biological children she’s working within a timeline, and it really doesn’t extend to her 50′s and 60′s. This doesn’t have to be a scary or ‘bad’ thing either, just something that has to be taken into account when making life and relationship decisions.

      1. 40.1.1
        Steve

        Amen.

        Life circumstances turned such that my sister tried to get pregnant at about 45. She was willing to go through the hassle of adoption but couldn’t afford the costs. She owns her own home in a suburb of New Jersey we will not mention.

        The drugs were expensive and really screwed with her body. She eventually gave up much poorer, heavier, and exhausted from the physiological rollercoaster from the drugs.

  11. 41
    Newbie

    I just finalized my divorce last week. I figure in about 2-3 months, I’ll start dating again. I’ve given a lot of thought to this over the last year while my divorce was ongoing.

    I am 46 and have 4 children. My eldest is 24 and will soon be married. I love all my kids, and I think my wife was a fantastic mother to them, and I was a great dad.

    I will probably be dating women aged 34 to 48. Most women I date will be of child-bearing age, then, and I know I’ll have to keep their needs in mind as relationships deepen.

    Regarding my own needs, I realized that I missed having a wife while we were raising our children over the last 15 years. We had difficulty carving out time for ourselves. I then began to take solace in work. We grew apart and the relationship became loveless.

    I realized subsequently two things about myself and who I would want to marry the second time around if I had children with her.

    1) Somebody who shares my values regarding how children should be raised, and which values the should be taught (in this regard, my ex and I were very similar)

    2) Somebody who agrees that my relationship with her is a priority and that we will never lose ourselves so totally in raising children that we lose each other (we were not similar in this regard).

    Those are huge issues. They take time IN ADDITION to the time it takes to see if we’re compatible as a couple to resolve that. Time you seem very anxious spending.

    To reply to the question you had, let me start by saying your questions are legitimate and important to ask. To understand how a man might think, though, ask yourself as well then, how much time do you think a man needs before he feels you confidently fit the bill regarding being both a spouse and a mother.

    I am not a man who is afraid of commitments at all. But as a divorced man, with a single relationship in my life, I am not confident I know enough about women to “just know” after a few months whether we can parent together. I don’t suppose I’m alone in this, and I think many men need the time you want to deny them. Maybe even a couple years. I’ll know much sooner whether we can be a couple in a long term relationship, but it’s not a sign of me not taking parenthood seriously if I take time, it’s the opposite.

    Men ALSO don’t want to squander their lives. They want to be in a relationship that suits their needs for growth, not just yours. Men who’ve already raised children might feel they’ve already “been there, done that”, and want to minimize the errors “next time”. But even so, many like me would be willing to do it again WITH THE RIGHT WOMAN. But again it takes time to discover who she is.

    So if the time I spend being careful bothers you, it shouldn’t be interpreted that as though I am not committed. It’s that I’m watching. I will take my time, probably at least a year (most likely more), before I would feel confident committing to being both a spouse and a father. If that leaves you 2 years older with the prospect of having only me for the rest of your life, and no children, maybe we’re not right for each other.

    To add to the above, what would I be looking for in a mother who is also my spouse? I’d like to see how you are around kids. Are you kind even to animals? To elderly? You might get bonus points for being a teacher of young children, or special ed teachers, or a psychologist – as I’d sense you’d be a nurturing person. I’d want time to confirm it.

    I’d be wary if you’re an attorney (sorry – divorce did that to me) or a stock broker or the like. I am just saying regarding the latter two, if you didn’t want kids, I probably would find lots of ways we’re compatible as a couple, but I would assume less compatible as parents. I will need time to be proven wrong.

    I know it’s hard to be patient – but it’s really necessary.

  12. 42
    Ava

    @ Newbie

    This isn’t to say that you wouldn’t be a great spouse, but If I was a 30-something woman who really wanted a family, a man who had just finalized his divorce after a lengthy marriage and already had 4 kids would not be my first choice in a partner. I’d probably be looking for a guy closer to my own age with no children, who was not at all on the fence about wanting them.

    The men I’ve dated who don’t really want kids have been very clear with me about that, usually within the first month or so of dating. Conversely, the men I’ve known who really did want kids have been just as clear with me and with my friends, or at the very least, “open” to having them.

  13. 43
    Curly Girl

    @Newbie: Yeah. I’ve dated many divorced guys and the errors they have made in dating are this:

    1) Talking ad nauseum about their ex, their kids, their past experiences with some woman who is not me. I was alive with a life before I met these divorced guys, and their traumatic married experiences do not trump my less-traumatic single experiences.

    2) Thinking that they know all about relationship when they were the ones who had failed marriages and I dodged that particular nasty bullet.

    3) Thinking that I am some kind of plaything because I am single and dating and they are now free to “play” after years of being “trapped.”

    4) Expecting me to pay more than my share because they have a whole host of financial obligations to their “real” relationships and I am, you know, just one of those career women who isn’t kind or nurturing because I’m too busy chewing people up and spitting them out to notice anyone else.

    5) Thinking that women who are much younger are going to be falling all over themselves to go out with them, because they are suddenly available to date much younger women (now that they’ve gotten rid of the ex who was probably age-appropriate–well, they’ve gotten rid of her physically, at least, though neither emotionally nor financially).

    6) Thinking that a woman with many options is going to be waiting for them to make up their minds.

    1. 43.1
      Newbie

      CG, thanks for the heads up. One reason I’m on this site is precisely to gain perspectives like yours. A reply:

      1) Why someone would want to talk about their past relationships, I don’t know. Only after a few dates do I think it’d be appropriate to discuss “relationships” in general, and of course a lot of what we know about relationships will come from our experiences. Is this wrong to your mind? It seems so, but I’m just feeling my way through this – so I’m not sure

      2) At this point, I prefer to date a divorced woman for the reason you mention. Generally, it seems many singles think that a person whose marriage ended after 2 decades must have “failed” at relationships.

      Ever try to maintain a relationship that long? It’s no failure at all. It’s a success for anyone who can, and do so faithfully as I had. The failure in my case as I see it was in how it ended not in how it was maintained, but I know I did my best and that’s going to have to be good enough.

      That said, I agree that I don’t know as much about relationships as a single would. I’ve only had one in my life, but I have to start somewhere. I’m looking for a woman with enough patience to realize that I have to spend some time filling in the blanks, and I’m just fine not having relationships with others who can’t do that. They probably wouldn’t be right for me anyway.

      3) I know men like this and can’t relate to them at all. It’s another reason I’m on this site – Evan’s is one of the only site’s I’ve found that is well-rounded enough to treat meetings between men and women as a beginning of a relationship rather than of a “pick up”. I just can’t wrap my mind around how men can do this.

      4) I don’t understand at all what you mean by this.

      5) I think this odd. Why can’t a person just date someone because they’re compatible as persons? Some of “compatibility” will be age related. And, I have my own preferences, not more than 4 years younger than me, and not more than 2 years older. The women who’s profiles I most prefer are between 41 and 46 (usually toward the older end of that range).

      But if I and a woman are compatible and she’s younger than that (within limits) or older (within limits), why do you think that a man is thinking women are “falling all over themselves” for them? And why do you think that a man who divorces a woman who’s “age appropriate” was looking to rid themselves of them so that they could get something better “physically”? This is just patently untrue.

      From what I can tell, most women have no problem with an approach from a man even ten years older than them – and some will for reasons I can’t fathom accept it from even older men. I am careful to not approach women who’s age range in “ideal match” is not suited to my age. But the tone of what you’ve written sounds too judgmental, as if all men looking at a younger women as a prospect don’t see her as a person rather than a statistic. People are just looking for companionship, CG, and age isn’t really that important a factor in that UNLESS one or the other wants children. That’s the only reason I brought it up, if you look at my original thread.

      6) It’s a free market, so to speak. Nobody should wait if they’ve got something better. But if the pickings were so abundantly good, everybody’d be married or in LTR’s, am I wrong? Food for thought.

  14. 44
    Newbie

    Ava, hi

    Similarly, I’m mostly interested in women closer to my age – about 42-46, who prefer not to have children. I’m open to younger women who prefer having children ONLY because I want a relationship with a woman who’s right for me. So, I am expanding the population of my search. But essentially, I agree with you, for someone in your situation we would likely never meet.

    I don’t know (and am curious myself to discover this) whether having been with only one partner for 26 years, “just having finalized it” recently and having had 4 children already (though they live on another continent, sadly) makes me a less desirable choice. I can certainly understand why one would think that a single man closer to your age would be a better “first choice”. This assertion makes a lot of sense, even though there are some advantages to men who have experience parenting – but on the whole I don’t disagree with you.

    I think if men (and women) are open about what they want regarding children, that’s great. These seem to be the men you’ve met, and they’ve told you within a month. That’s reasonable. All I’m really saying is that both men and women don’t really understand (and it’s probably a good thing they don’t or there’d be no children) how important it is to assess a spouse as both a partner AND a parent, and to gain a establish clear ground rules about how each of these values (couplehood ad parenthood) will be treated when they conflict, which is A LOT of the time. And it takes a LOT of time before you know someone well enough to do that, unless for some reason you know you share most of your values (as many tight religious communities do, for example). I was just offering friendly advice, and I was only trying to explain why someone who actually experiences the clash of values (it could be even the child of a divorce) would be a bit ambivalent about committing up front. I think those are the kinds of men you’ll confront, and they are such a large part of the “dating pool” now that to focus only on men your age who’ve always been single may work now, but in a few years it’ll become less easy to find them.

    Good luck with your search, Ava – you seem like a very nice person. :-)

    1. 44.1
      Diana

      My former husband and I were very much in sync on how to raise our children, the amount of family time spent together, etc., yet absolutely nothing could have prepared us for what parenthood is like. We discussed our parental ideas before we married, too, and while we were and continue to be great parents, we sometimes wondered, “What did we do!?” [LOL]

      Parenting is hard work, and of course, exceedingly rewarding, too. But yes, it’s a good thing our perceived ideas of what parenting will be like are not the same as the reality. ;)

  15. 45
    Ava

    @ Newbie

    I am actually over 45, don’t have kids and don’t want them. But I’ve dated a lot, and so have my friends, and am simply relating my personal experience. Most men I date don’t want kids, or don’t want MORE kids, and they have been very clear up front about that. Of course, it takes some time to know if another person is right for you. My point is, knowing early on whether or not someone wants to be a parent at the very least puts you both on the same page. And for a woman (or a man) whose clock is ticking, that is half the battle.

    BTW, have you considered dating someone who is actually a couple of years OLDER than yourself? (Not me, I’m dating someone)!

    Good luck to you also.

    @ Curly Girl

    Your post hits the nail on the head!

    1. 45.1
      Newbie

      Yes, Ava – actually in my first comment I said I was considering dating women from age 34 to 48 – that’s two years older than me. The woman I was married to is 3.5 years older than me. Older women aren’t the problem. The point I was making is that sometimes we (I suspect at least this will be true of me) need to expand the dating pool to find the right person. All I was saying was that I would consider dating younger women than my ideal range (say, younger than 40) and being a parent again IF that was the only way I could find a partner that was suitable for me.

      It’s true that we could find someone just right – in your case someone who wants to be a parent and is compatible with you. My priority is to find someone compatible with me, and if they want to be a parent (which they probably will if they are younger) I’m just saying it would take me longer to make a decision to enter a marriage with them.

      So I’m not sure how to answer your question if you were to ask me. Do I want to be a parent? The answer is I’ve not decided – with the right woman, I’d agree to have one or two more children. That sounds too squishy an answer to satisfy someone who needs to know in the space of a month, which someone who’s over 45 would probably want.

      Which is another reason that I’d only date women who are age 45 who do NOT want to have children or more children. I just need time – and at that age, they won’t feel they have it. Most women I see at that age either do not or are not sure if they want more children, and that’s one reason why I prefer dating women older than 40. But this is all theory for me at this point – maybe I’ll change my mind when I start dating in a couple months. :-)

  16. 46
    Honey

    I was having an interesting conversation with some friends today about how, before marriage, there should be a prenup – to ensure compensation for whichever partner is going to stay home and be the primary caregiver. That person is not only giving up his/her income during the primary caregiving years, but may never have his/her income restored to the levels it would have been had he/she not taken time off.

    I found this particularly interesting because, prenup or alimony, it comes to the same – the partner giving up his/her earning power is compensated appropriately. A prenup would obviously be better because the deal would be negotiated in good faith prior to any relationship problems, whereas alimony is often determined in…acrimony.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Obama and Sarkozy Staring At Hot Chick’s Ass =-.

    1. 46.1
      vino

      Whoa, Honey. I’m gonna have to disagree with you here.

      The law already provides what you suggest. There are a couple of things in play here.

      One, the current ‘family’ laws already compensate by imputing 1/2 of the income of each spouse to the other. So the primary caregiver IS compensated for staying home. The husband who earns $120k after taxes ($10k/mo) only gets $5k of the $10k per month. The stay-at-home caregiver by law is imputed to receive the other $5k. From this flows 1/2 of all property purchased during the marriage, etc.

      So stay-at-home IS compensated. Otherwise she/he would have to work, find and pay for housing, transportation, food, clothing, etc…

      Isn’t that why women generally seek marriage prospects with decent financial prospects?

      Or do you suggest that the stay-at-home receive more than 1/2???

      Two, what you suggest is absolving people from choices and consequences of their decisions.

      “That person is not only giving up his/her income during the primary caregiving years, but may never have his/her income restored to the levels it would have been had he/she not taken time off.”

      - But they DID take time off. They placed a higher value (opportunity cost) on having kids than staying in the workforce and current in his/her field, therefore EARNING that income. Your phrasing suggests that one’s income can simply *poof* be restored after taking years off. This not only demeans those who stayed working 40, 50, 60+ hours per week, it unjustly enriches the person who was not working those hours and staying current in their field. Quite frankly, it sounds worse than Marxist.

      You have to make choices in life, and bear the consequences of those choices. Honey’s approach is a consequence-free to the chooser, placing the burdens on the poor spouse and others in the workforce.

      Now, were the government not so intimately involved in family affairs by redistributing income and assets, you could have more of a point.

      Personally, I think gov’t should not be involved in such a manner, and the current state of the laws are an anachronism . It should be out of the divorce business completely. Consenting adults who can both go into the workforce and earn equally can structure their affairs as Honey suggests via a simple contract. Such a contract would be enforceable in civil court, not ‘family’ court.

      1. 46.1.1
        Kristyn

        I think Honey’s point is very valid. When my kids were little, my then husband and I both thought it better to have one of us at home instead of raising our kids in child care. Not only did I lose out on years of investing in my career for something we both thought was beneficial to our family – I also am just starting to save for my own retirement. I’m not saying I should be making as much as someone who has been working and being promoted during the years I was at home. I’m saying that “we” made a choice together and now I am the one who has lost more. FYI – I didn’t get alimony.

        1. Jennifer

          Thanks for mentioning this Kristyn. Alimony is far from a foregone conclusion.

  17. 47
    Honey

    The example that this conversation arose out of is a woman who was a trust-fund baby wanting her husband-to-be to stay home…it was suggested he get a prenup because he would be the one whose income would be lost. So it’s certainly nothing to do with gender roles.

    And while BOTH people choose the “opportunity cost” of lost income to start a family, it is the person who leaves the workforce who experiences a lifelong loss in income/standard of living if anything goes wrong with the relationship.

    Also, while if (for example) the BF and I were to get married, yes, the money would be 50/50, so I’d be “entitled” to half his income (not that I like that choice of words). However, our combined incomes would decrease by about 1/3 – so to say I am entitled to 2/3 of the income that we would receive if we were both working is some fuzzy math, indeed.

    Personally, I find it interesting only from an intellectual perspective, since we are not having children and I don’t ever anticipate not working. But since many men pressure women into being the ones to give up their work to have a family, I could certainly understand that the one making that compromise would want something in place to protect his/her income loss in the event that things didn’t work out. Of course such an agreement (since it would be negotiated in good faith during the happiest part of the relationship) would include an agreement determining the threshold after which additional support would no longer be necessary.
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..Obama and Sarkozy Staring At Hot Chick’s Ass =-.

  18. 48
    vino

    “And while BOTH people choose the opportunity cost of lost income to start a family, it is the person who leaves the workforce who experiences a lifelong loss in income/standard of living if anything goes wrong with the relationship.”

    - Um, that isn’t accurate. The laws give spouses 1/2 of the property acquired during marriage, and most alimony provisions take into account maintaining the ex’s standard of living. Not to mention the payor of alimony and child support’s standard of living ain’t exactly ‘enhanced.’ Can’t ignore that either, tempting though it may be. Or doesn’t that count? Or if so, only marginally in relation to the stay-at-home martyr?

    Let’s be clear. The stay-at-home person chooses to stay home. If she/he doesn’t want to, they don’t have kids. They aren’t enslaved. It’s that simple. No gun is held to the head. So please don’t shift that choice (and attendant responsibility) to both parties suddenly. Again, when one chooses to leave the workforce he/she also chooses to leave the the skills, effort, and time that EARN the paycheck. But they should still be paid for that, right?

    No mention of already being ‘paid’ via imputed income during marriage, I see. This is why, all else being equal, women generally want to marry up economically, and detest marrying down economically in general. I’m not knocking it, just calling it for what it is & how it works. Or is it just pay me more? Blech.

    The ever-increasing number of single mothers who do not stop working refute your assertion.

    - The thought occurs – the stay-at-home gets paid to stay AND gets paid to leave. What a win-win for her (since it likely ain’t gonna be him, looking at alimony stats)! Holy entitlement, Batman!

    “The example that this conversation arose out of is a woman who was a trust-fund baby wanting her husband-to-be to stay home it was suggested he get a prenup because he would be the one whose income would be lost. So it’s certainly nothing to do with gender roles.”

    - Actually, it does. While you cite this example, it is far and away less frequently occurring. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I’m also guessing that husband-to-be will never have access to the trust funds, as a trust is designed (a good one is, at least) to prevent spouses from getting the money her dad/grandfather/mom/etc. worked for…

    “Also, while if (for example) the BF and I were to get married . . . so to say I am entitled to 2/3 of the income that we would receive if we were both working is some fuzzy math, indeed.”

    - This (and its math) makes no sense whatsoever. You aren’t “entitled” to 1/2 hubby’s income. It IS yours by law. You can’t option out of that unless by prenup or postnup. Vice-versa, too.

    Sorry, I find the whole premise of nauseating and selfish.

    1. 48.1
      Jennifer

      Not everyone gets half, Vino.

      1. 48.1.1
        vino

        VAST majority do. Ya have to look at what happens most often, not what happens rarely. Of course, it’s human nature to only want to focus on facts that support their preexisting conclusions, rather than let all of the facts drive the conclusions. Kinda puts the cart before the horse.

        1. Jennifer

          If im not mistaken, the majority of the time when you talk about women getting half you are talking about women who were stay at home Moms for the majority, or entirety, of the marriage. There are enough women who don’t do that and don’t get half that I feel they should be factored into what a man considers when considering marriage. Marriage doesn’t automatically mean losing half his income if he divorces and i think that’s worth saying.

        2. Bob

          Well, then, you’ve just agreed with both Vino and me regarding women getting half a significant majority of the time.

          ‘Nuff said.

        3. vino

          @Jennifer

          Educational primer – married couple. He earns $100k, she $50. The law says she receives 1/2 of his $100k, or $50. It also says he receives 1/2 of her $$50k, or $25, giving each of them $75k. That is how the 1/2 income operates. So she does get 1/2 of his income regardless. Also, in this example she gets more than what she economically brings into the marriage. Again, a windfall, if you will. He necessarily keeps less of what he earns, and she receives more.

          So while married, she receives 1/2 of the income & assets. This is how it functions if one stays home and doesn’t work or does work.

          In the case of stay-at-home, he absolutely does lose 1/2 of what he earned and purchased. In the example above, it’s a 1/3 loss.

          In any event, she does receive more. The stats bear this out. Per census & IRS data, women earn more than men in 30% of marriages. Guess who pays the alimony? Yep, men. To the tune of 96%. Looking at these numbers, it means that women who earn more only stand about a 10-11% chance of really paying alimony, while his odds of paying it are nearly 100%.

          I’m going to requote something from that Gottleib article I noted above to bring it back around:

          So if you rarely see your husband but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear, and he provides a second income that allows you to spend time with your child instead of working 60 hours a week to support a family on your own how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?

          It matters to me, as the one likely to pay in the end.

          Therefore, if you are evaluating a 30 something woman as marriage and mother material, it is relevant and critical to evaluate her choices and behaviors in deciding whether she is suitable. I submit that spending over a decade in pursuit of sole self gratification (job, partying, sex, etc) ill prepares her for motherhood and marriage. The quote reveals a happy obsession with only her wants and a shocking indifference to hubby’s or anyone else’s.

          This decades-long self-centered practiced behavior isn’t something you suddenly change overnight at age 35 when you realize the biological clock is banging away like church bells.

          Just because you can have kids, doesn’t mean you have the skills and behaviors to successfully marry, bear and raise kids.

          That’s why it’s relevant. Because when it blows up, the guy is likely to pay, nearly 100% of the time.

        4. Jennifer

          @Bob- you seem to think i’m trying my hardest to disagree with you and vino and prove some type of personal point. that’s not the case. I’m simply pointing out that women don’t always get half in a divorce, and it ‘s even less likely that they get half if they weren’t stay at home Mom’s. That’s it.

          @Vino- You said ‘the law says she’s gets half of his 100k’- that’s where I get tripped up. I get what you are saying, but i’m not familiar with that law.

          As i understand it there are various calculations made to determine who gets what in the dissolution of a marriage, and whether or not a spouse was working, and for how long, is a key factor in what type of alimony/support, if any, they receive. That’s all I was trying to point out.

          I know a couple that recently got divorced and everyone just *knew* he was going to be taken to the cleaners but it wasn’t the case at all, and their income disparity might as well have been what you outlined in your example. This is one thing that leads me to understand that ‘she gets half’ is not a written in stone, gonna happen no matter what type of event, even though it definitely can, and does, happen.

        5. vino

          Jennifer, there are 2 things to keep in mind – during marriage & after.

          During she most assuredly gets 1/2. They buy a house – She gets 1/2. Schwab account – 1/2. 401(k) – 1/2.

          Upon divorce the acquired assets are split 1/2. So she got 1/2 of of all income and assets during marriage.

          After divorce alimony can be a bit more complicated, and varying by state-to-state. In my above example, she’d been working for some time, so he wouldn’t have to give 1/2 of his income, but I bet he’d have to give SOMETHING, which is nonsensical when you consider she’d been working.

          It’s more complicated when the higher earner owns their own business, for the assets to divide, and income/alimony are harder to differentiate and explain here. But when you own your own service business (dentist, dr, cpa), you get royally screwed and end up forking over over 50% of your income later more often than not.

          The salient point is that the higher earner has far more to lose economically, and almost always does. With ‘no fault’ divorce, it is in the lesser earner’s (or no earner’s) interest to put some time in and then leave, taking with them 1/2 of everything acquired during marriage, and often alimony.

          Again, this is the backdrop against which you have to evaluate your potential mates as marriage and mother/father material. Selfish people going in will likely be more so coming out….

        6. Jennifer

          I understand your point vino.

      2. 48.1.2
        Bob

        No, not EVERYONE gets half.

        But if you go read the stats (and are honest about what you read), you know VERY well that it’s a RARE circumstance when a woman doesn’t get 1/2 his income afterward, PLUS support/alimony…basically a majority of his income.

        Even in cases where the woman has been clearly demonstrated “at fault” (in “fault” states), it’s still largely this way.

        A woman has to demonstrate some very eggregious behaviour for this to not occur…while a man merely has to say “I do”, and the deal is done.

        Not very “equitable”, eh?

  19. 49
    Selena

    I had my son at 22, thereby avoiding the biological clock angst in my 30′s. As a single mother when in my 30′s, curiously almost all the men I dated were childless and of the “I might want to have kids… someday” bent. Never bothered me, but I can see how it would have if I wanted a child. ‘Someday’ is so vague as to be meaningless. Is someday 35? 38? 42? 45? Older than that? Are these ‘someday’ guys now the one’s in their mid to late 40′s on dating sites seeking a 30 – something woman to procreate with? Could very well be.

    At 37, I met a guy I really clicked with. In that magical, “I never thought this could happen to me” way. It seemed to be mutual. He was also 37 and childless. Someday had come for him – he wanted to get married and have 5 kids, but told me he would ‘settle’ for 2. But by then my son was 15. I was looking forward to being childfree in 3 years, I didn’t want to start all over “from scratch” so to speak. I had already put in my time in terms of childrearing.

    We went back and forth a bit with each other about it, but it just wasn’t something either of us could *compromise* on. So, he told me we shouldn’t continue to see each other. He said, and I will never forget this, “I’d rather hurt you a little now, than alot later on.” I was very disappointed at the time, but he was right. And honest. It was THAT important to him and by continuing to date we would have been wasting each others’ time, as well as preventing him from his search for the woman who wanted to be his wife and mother of his children.

    SK, I’ve read Evan’s response as well as all the other comments on this thread and I think if having a biological child is THAT important to you, you are best off laying the card on the table early on in whatever fashion suits your personality. You might scare off the “on the fence” guys, true. You might miss out on guys like Evan and his two friends who needed a year to decide to commit. But you may also be able to weed out the ‘someday’ guys before becomming attached, freeing you to meet the men who really do want to have children within your time frame.

    It turned out to be a good thing it never worked out with the ‘someday’ guys I dated. I started menopause at 42.

  20. 50
    hunter

    Selena, men always pick on the woman that doesn’t want what they want.

  21. 51
    Diana

    Alimony laws vary by state, but I think that unless alimony is requested as part of the divorce decree, there is no law that says it MUST be included. I had no desire to request alimony, though I lost 50% of our family’s household income when I lost my husband. People thought that I should request it because given the circumstances for the divorce, and our very long-term marriage, it was presumed to be a given by the judge. But I did not want to financially destroy him.

    1. 51.1
      vino

      @ Diana,

      I know divorce lawyers. They request in IN EVERY CASE and fight like hell for it. Failure to request and fight for it is malpractice.

      While it is laudable that you did not want to financially destroy your ex, you are citing the rare exception, not the rule.

      Try googling H. Beatty Chadwick. He’s a guy who was finally released this week after 14 years (let that sink in a moment) in jail on a contempt charge for failing to pay alimony. No trial, just 14 years in the pokey. In divorce, wife received substantial assets (in millions). All wife had to do was say “No, I don’t want the alimony. Let him go.”

      She didn’t. Let him rot, she did. Even after getting millions.

      Rare? Yes. Extreme? Yes. But citing the rarely occurring examples doesn’t mean it occurs in every case (or even a majority of cases), which is what I’m saying about your example above. I look at what happens most.

      Again, you have to look at people’s selfishness in relation to their suitability to be a wife or husband to avoid these results.

      My point is that women like the OP who have spent their entire lives only caring about themselves (and boy, does that letter show it) are more likely to act as the former Mrs. Chadwick did.

  22. 52
    hunter

    I have always wondered why some women, while in their 20′s, would not worry about the future or marriage. It would make sense to start early.

    1. 52.1
      vino

      I hear ya. The thought also occurred…. why spend 10+ years on a career only to leave it to have kids & stay home? Career re-entry, while not impossible, is often exceedingly difficult. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend the best child bearing years doing actually that – bearing kids? Provided that’s what they want.

      Then again, maybe some want time to ‘play the field’ prior to settling down, staying home and having kids. While I don’t condemn that in the slightest, I think you have to evaluate that for what it is. As I noted above, many guys don’t want to buy that used car.

      If they want to have kids so badly (as careerist women), I have no issue with that analytically. There are sperm banks to realize that goal. I come back to the Gottleib article quote noted above. If I’m going to be viewed as a sperm donor, wallet and occasional babysitter that allows her to spend more time with her child while being unloved myself, I’m out ’cause I deserve far better. All men should approach it this way.

      I trust I need not mention that what I say does not apply in every case, but a whole heckuva lotta them.

  23. 53
    downtowngal

    A couple of thoughts:

    (1) Evan, shame on you for your sarcastic response. She’s asking how to read guys and you’re slamming her for the desparate tone of her letter. Women are told we have a smal window of time, and dating advisors like yourself keep telling us how guys like younger women, so you could be more constructive in how we should approach the ‘next step’.

    (2) Many women would love to settle down in their 20′s, but many guys at that age aren’t emotionally ready. Also, many women have careers and marriages – actually almost all of the women I work with are married. Maybe it’s the guys who need to heed some advice.

    (3) I don’t think it’s wrong to have expectations for life goals and discuss them. As long as it’s communiated properly. After a while, if a guy doesn’t seem to know what he wants then there’s your answer. In my expereince if a guy says he doesn’t want to have kids, he probably doesn’t. You could ‘accidentally’ get pregnant (which some women do to get a guy to commit) but that’s not a way to have a trusting relationship.

    And, yes, there are guys who ademantly say ‘no’ yet embrace the situation when faced with it. I’ve known guys who just can’t get off the pot end up as ‘proud’ family men after the girl they’ve been schtupping on the rebound ends up preggos.

    (4) When I was in my early 30′s I was approached by many men in their 40′s and thought it was creepy. I also felt I had little in common with them. Now that I’m older these same guys are still single and creepy.

    Bottom line: Go with your gut. If a guy’s intersted in marriage & kids you’ll know based on his actions.

    1. 53.1
      Jennifer

      Excellent point Downtowngal about many men not being interested in marriage in their 20′s. I’m sure there are plenty of 25 year old women that would love to get married and have kids, but if the guys their age aren’t willing to do that yet and they don’t want t odate older men, what are they to do? Great point that is often overlooked.

      1. 53.1.1
        Bob

        “…many men not being interested in marriage in their 20′s. I’m sure there are plenty of 25 year old women that would love to get married and have kids, but if the guys their age aren’t willing to do that yet and they don’t want to date older men, what are they to do? Great point that is often overlooked.”

        What are they to do?

        They are to date the men who ARE interested in having a family, or not have a family yet…that simple.

        If they aren’t willing to date the “older” men (whatever definition that is), then obviously age is more important to them than having children.

        When men express a preference for women of a different age-group, (either older or younger), they’re accused of being shallow…why the double standard for women who disdain men as potential partners and fathers simply because of their age?

        A trite phrase comes to mind when thinking of such women: “It’s like looking to the east for a sunset.”

        1. Selena

          Perhaps some young women don’t want partners for whom the sunset is fast approaching.

        2. Jennifer

          So Bob, I’ve never accused anyone of being shallow for their preferences. I don’t do that in general, so i’m pretty certain i’ve not done so on this thread. For what it’s worth, I think it’s odd when people refuse to date people their own age, but it makes perfect sense to me that people wouldn’t want to date people much older than them.
          My point is there is more than one reason a woman would not start a family in her 20′s- being a ‘selfish party girl’ or ‘selfish career-focused woman’ (as was presented earlier in the discussion) don’t cover all of the bases by a long shot.
          Why do you keep trying to fight with people when ain’t nobody trying to fight with you?

    2. 53.2
      vino

      “(2) Many women would love to settle down in their 20′s, but many guys at that age aren’t emotionally ready. Also, many women have careers and marriages – actually almost all of the women I work with are married. Maybe it’s the guys who need to heed some advice.”

      - Again (not that dtg has done it repeatedly, just that many others have) with the unprovable ‘not ready to settle down’ swipe. Perhaps b/c generally women expect guys to pay for them (ladies) to stay home and bear kids (for the 1st few years, at least), the guys in 20′s who aren’t ‘emotionally ready’ are working on their careers to pay for such an eventuality, the very definition of ‘emotionally ready,’ IMHO. Of course, when women use their 20′s to work on their career, they are ‘empowered.’ When guys do it they are ‘perpetual adolescents’ or ‘not emotionally available.’ Curious. I say this by way of contrast in an effort for other readers to see more sides….

      “Women are told we have a smal window of time, and dating advisors like yourself keep telling us how guys like younger women, so you could be more constructive in how we should approach the next step.”

      A small window???? Not to be snippy, but a decade+ or – isn’t exactly a small window. Suddenly, a guy meeting this 30-something has to determine he wants to have kids with this person within 90 days or less (closer to 30 days, in all reality)? Sorry, it looks like the 30-something is like the student who didn’t study, and is cramming for the test, panicking they’ll be able to know enough in time to pass…. Hell, she’s had a decade, for godness’ sake. Why does he get a month and a half?

      “I don’t think it’s wrong to have expectations for life goals and discuss them. As long as it’s communiated properly. After a while, if a guy doesn’t seem to know what he wants then there’s your answer.”

      There’s the rub…what is awhile? 30 days? 90? 180? Communicated properly? I have to tell you, I have been on 1st dates with women in their 30′s where the entire goals and expectations (particularly vis-a vis kids) are laid bare. Let that absorb a minute…1st dates. Talk about not wasting time…. and crass.

    3. 53.3
      Diana

      I just want to add that guys being interested in you who are significantly younger is creepy, too. Unless, of course, you are a cougar.

      1. 53.3.1
        Bob

        Just because you find it “creepy”, doesn’t change the feelings of those involved.

        Who are we to judge the happiness of a couple…if the age gap works for them, why is it our issue at all?

        If you are uncomfortable with an age gap in dating, then don’t date older men. But don’t judge others as being unable to deal with it.

        At 40+, I have met some young women (in their 20′s) who’ve been surprisingly bright and full characters. Unfortunately, I too prefer to not date someone that young. But it’s not my place to condemn others for whom it’s not an issue.

        1. Diana

          Bob, whoa. I didn’t realize I was condemning anyone. I wasn’t judging anyone for who they choose to date.

          My point was that guys who are barely out of their 20s being interested in women in their 40s and 50s is creepy to “me.” I thought the me part would be a given. The use of the word “cougar” was meant to clarify and recognize those women who “are” interested in dating significantly younger men. It is no one’s business who dates who.

    4. 53.4
      Karl R

      downtowngal said:
      “Many women would love to settle down in their 20′s, but many guys at that age aren’t emotionally ready [...] Maybe it’s the guys that need to heed some advice.”

      You’ve really missed the point of every piece of advice Evan has ever written.

      Let’s say you have your home arranged/decorated precisely the way you want it. One of your friends doesn’t like the feng shui of your home, so she gives you some “advice” on how to “improve” your home. What are the chances that you’re going to spend a lot of time, effort and money to change your home from something you’re happy with to something you’re less happy with?

      The guys in their twenties feel exactly the same way. They’re happy with their lives (and not settling down yet). They’re not going to make changes that will make them less happy.

      Bob stated it perfectly. The women in that situation have to decide which they want more … to start a family soon, or to start it with someone their own age.

  24. 54
    Bob

    @Selena

    Wow…talk about a glib response.

    Complain all you want, but as Mark has pointed out many times, there are things we don’t get to choose about the world. It’s up to us as individuals to work with what is available out there.

    So go ahead and deny yourself the opportunity to have the children you claim are so important, because you are unwilling to compromise on his age.

    Again, when men won’t date women because they’re too old, they’re denigrated as being shallow.

    I guess those children weren’t more important than your ego after all?

    You can complain about “young” men being non-committal about kids/marriage all you want, but it doesn’t change the facts of the circumstance. These men are living their lives for their own benefit, not yours, as they should.

    This is a simple case of supply…men in their 20′s who want kids and also have the ability/preparedness to marry and shoulder the responsibility will be far more scarce than men still developing on their own security.

    I praise such young men who prudently bide their time until they’ve grown comfortable in their own skin, and built a stable career before they decide to have kids. It’s these men who will make better fathers who will have the patience and liberty to focus on their children. Unlike the men who marry and breed quickly…we see these characters on daytime TV all the time.

    1. 54.1
      LK

      “I praise such young men who prudently bide their time until they’ve grown comfortable in their own skin, and built a stable career before they decide to have kids. It’s these men who will make better fathers who will have the patience and liberty to focus on their children.”

      Right. That’s what I have done too though, as a woman. Why is someone in my situation being criticized for taking the exact same approach? I feel ready now, at 32, to have a family. I don’t think that was the case when I was 25.

      Vino criticizes women for expecting men to support their childrearing. But then he also says that women who take time to establish their careers and maintain some financial independence are selfish and unqualified to put family first when the time comes. I feel like he is framing it as a no-win situation for women. Are we supposed to leave ourselves financially vulnerable and not take responsibility for ourselves in that dimension? If so, then why is he so concerned with the financial ramifications of divorce? Either women should also have time to build a career, or else they should be entitled to alimony. Otherwise there is a considerable risk of poverty.

      Personally, I’ve chosen the former so that I don’t have to date a guy for his money and make the relationship all about that. But I still want a partner and, ultimately, a family because I think that will be light years more fulfilling than a paycheck.

      1. 54.1.1
        vino

        LK, you are leaving out certain critical aspects of what I am saying.

        I am saying that a 30-something woman who may not really love you (See earlier noted thread), views you as a sperm donor to realize HER overriding baby goal, wallet and occasional babysitter that allows her to spend more time with HER child while being the unloved (and likely not respected husband – after all, you are stupid enough to marry & impregnate someone who doesn’t love you), is a bad choice for a wife.

        To the extent that working women who want kids so badly only view the guy as a wallet, babysitter & sperm donor, I am criticizing them. It is disrespectful & shows them to be parasites. Those who want children so badly, go to a sperm bank. In effect, put your money where your mouth and desires really are. Don’t try to deceive someone into believing you love them and want to have kids with them. To that extent, I am criticizing women for expecting men to support (financially & emotionally) their childrearing.

        “I feel like he is framing it as a no-win situation for women.”
        - Hardly, the reality is that it is a win-win for women. Heads, you win; tails I lose is the reality.

        “Are we supposed to leave ourselves financially vulnerable and not take responsibility for ourselves in that dimension? If so, then why is he so concerned with the financial ramifications of divorce? Either women should also have time to build a career, or else they should be entitled to alimony. Otherwise there is a considerable risk of poverty.”

        - First, let’s put down the victim card to analyze this coldly. Let facts drive your analysis, not what you feel SHOULD be the way of things. BTW, this quote also sums up why I and increasing numbers of guys are not interested in marriage. It simply isn’t worth the cost.

        - You SHOULD take responsibility for your own financial affairs. Every ADULT should. This takes time, usually the 20′s & into the 30′s.

        - I love the above quote. It states in effect, ‘I want to be financially responsible. Until I don’t.’

        - He’s concerned with the financial ramifications of divorce because those ramifications fall on him 96% of the time. In some states alimony is lifetime (Mass.). That’s a hell of a bill to pay for a 10 year marriage. What’s the avg. length now? 8 yrs?

        - Entitled to alimony? You are kidding, right? 60% or more of college graduates are women. Women earn the same as men for the same work (Don’t argue. It’s true. Look it up). So after making the voluntary choice to leave the work force, you still want to be compensated. Another reason to vigilantly avoid marriage, particularly to someone so entitled.

        - If I quit my CFO job making $250k/yr to go teach math to 3rd graders for $35k/yr, I have financial risks too. Who’s gonna compensate me for my choice to do something good for kids? Oh, that’s right – no one. But that’s precisely what you advocate. Just as long as you have no risk…

        What I am saying is that sometimes you can’t have it all when you want it. Of course, you don’t want to hear that. Actually, judging by the things I and others previously wrote that you’ve ignored, you only hear what you want to hear. That kinda makes a previous point or 2 of mine regarding inability to see beyond one’s own wants… but you probably ignored that.

        1. LK

          “Entitled to alimony? You are kidding, right? 60% or more of college graduates are women. Women earn the same as men for the same work (Don’t argue. It’s true. Look it up). So after making the voluntary choice to leave the work force, you still want to be compensated. Another reason to vigilantly avoid marriage, particularly to someone so entitled.”

          I think you misunderstood my point. I read your comments in aggregate as saying that women who focus on their careers during their 20s are selfish and therefore make a poor choice as a spouse/mother.

          My point is that in order for a woman to build a sufficient career to be financially responsible, she probably needs to focus on that for some period of her 20s, just the way a man does.

          I guess I just don’t understand how both of those statements are true. If a woman is “unselfish” and focuses on being family-centric in her 20s, then she is shortchanging her long term earning potential. So, then she is more likely to be financially dependent on her husband in the case of divorce or otherwise. That is the scenario in which I was implying that alimony makes sense.

          Maybe I misunderstood what you wrote.

          You definitely misunderstood what I wrote, but I’m a math person and not a writer. So, maybe I was unclear.

          Do you think that only women want to have kids? I guess your perspective makes sense in that context, but I just assume that a man wouldn’t enter into a relationship with the expectation of having children unless he was on board with the concept and level of responsibility required. Maybe that is the difference.

        2. vino

          Let’s back up. I think there is a lack of ‘seeing the other side’ going on here.

          Since you are a math person, let’s look at it this way. Woman, now 33, spent the last 10 years working building a career and now makes on, $100k/yr. Now she wants a family. Likeliest scenario is that she’ll seek to marry someone who makes approx 2x (more is better) what she makes. After all, on 1 income, if wife’s to stay home, she’ll not want her lifestyle to drop now that she’s no longer bringing in $100k.

          Notice during the time she stays home her bills are paid, roof is there, etc. In short, she has no economic risk at this time. That burden is on husband. She is subsidized. I’ll grant this is financially responsible in that someone else is paying the bills and she isn’t. I’m looking at it from they payor perspective.

          A few years down the road, the likelihood (over 70%) is that she’ll want to leave. Now here you advocate alimony, a further subsidy, because she gave up a career to have the kid(s). Again, he pays. Where is the risk to her? There ain’t.

          Look at the result. He pays during (more reasonable) and after marriage (wholly unreasonable). She’s really in no worse position. She bears no risk, while he bears all risk. This is asinine for a woman with an education and a career SHE walked away from. The financial burdens of her desire to have kids and leave career are magically transferred to him.

          You may think this financially responsible. I happen to think it selfish and unjust, expecting someone else to subsidize your choices without risk to you and all risk to them.

          If a guy wants to have kids, he can. Just don’t marry for it.

          - First, we are talking about the OP and similarly situated ones, in their 30′s and looking to settle down & have kids NOW. Not focus on career for some period of the 20′s, as the continuum’s now slid to according to your post.

          - Second, here’s what I don’t get- being ‘financially responsible’ until it’s time to have a kid & stay home, having someone else pay all the bills during that time. How is that responsible? I know it’s no extra out-of-pocket to her to stay home, but why ‘build a career’ only to leave it? Does not compute.

          - Please don’t miss the Gottleib article’s impact – settling for a guy who’s a sperm donor, diaper changer and wallet that enables HER to spend more time with HER child. This short shrift to him is what I detest. A few years of marriage, not working, then divorce and *poof* she gets the substitute, alimony, w/o having to have him around. Kinda makes him disposable, except for $. Odious.

          “I just assume that a man wouldn’t enter into a relationship with the expectation of having children unless he was on board with the concept and level of responsibility required.”

          - Problem is he bears far more risk & more responsibility – at her whim, while she bears little.

        3. Honey

          vino,

          I don’t know anyone in their thirties, guy or girl, who makes $100K. Most people I know make less than half that (I’m 30).

          It’s my understanding that most married guys who want a family either agree wholeheartedly with the woman’s desire to stay home, and will actively pressure women to give up their career and do this, even if they don’t want to.

          Third, quitting your job and trusting that the other person will support you is the riskiest undertaking I can possibly imagine. Well, maybe not as risky as needle-sharing. But still.

          Also, FWIW, most people that I know who are my age and have kids live practically at the poverty line, whether 1 spouse works or both. I don’t know any woman “living it large” on her husband’s dime. In fact, both of the friends who immediately come to mind have significant others with freelance work, and it is the wife who has a steady job that provides insurance, etc. for all parties. One couple makes about $90k/year (she makes more) and the other about $50k/hear (she makes more).

          Obviously I am not claiming that anyone’s particular circumstances is reflective of statistics. But for someone so invested in numbers, you’ve got a whole lot of selective interpretation going on.
          .-= Honey´s last blog ..Drinking, Cheating, and Other Concerns =-.

        4. LK

          Who said anything about taking off any more time beyond maternity leave?????

        5. vino

          @ LK:

          If only maternity leave is contemplated, why bother with marriage or that 2nd income? I don’t get it.

          @Honey

          While you may not know people making $100k & up, where I live, I see plenty of them. This is the frame of reference I use.

        6. A-L

          Vino asked, “If only maternity leave is contemplated, why bother with marriage or that 2nd income? I don’t get it.

          1) So the kid has a father. A male role model who will play with them, listen to them, help raise them. Assuming the husband is a good guy and not some jerk, these are huge benefits to children (and moms).
          2) Kids are expensive, so a second income is very useful. Daycare costs can eat up a good chunk of one person’s salary, plus all the diapers and other stuff. As the kids age there’s the piano lessons, swimming classes, etc to pay for. Then insurance/car, and college as they get older.
          3) So you have a partner. Someone to talk with about your day, someone who knows your passions, fears, and dreams. Someone who works with you toward common goals. Someone to snuggle up with at night.

          In terms of the percentage of stay-at-home moms, I think there are geographical tendencies. (Also indicated, I believe, in one of those links I posted below.) My sister was living in Maryland and most all the mothers in her neighborhood/workplace returned to work after maternity leave. She moved to California and it was the exact opposite. Her income/quality of neighborhood weren’t that different from one another either, but the cultures were vastly different.

        7. Honey

          Well, vino, according to the US Census Bureau, only 15.73% of HOUSEHOLDS earn more than $100K per year. Additionally, most households in that bracket have two wage-earners in the home. Finally, though I couldn’t find the statistic for what proportion of those households had the man as the primary wage-earner, it certainly isn’t all of them.

          So it would seem that your use of numbers is selective – when someone disagrees you throw numbers out the wazoo and when it supports your point you’re content with “see[ing] plenty of them.”

          The example you use above would seem to apply to a 10% minority of the population at best.
          .-= Honey´s last blog ..Pick Your Path And Take It To The Max =-.

        8. vino

          @ Honey,
          It may be that nearly 16% of all households earn $100k or more. Since I and nearly everyone I know fall in that category, that is where I focus. Also, what I say still applies on the lower end of the spectrum also, just that the numerical disparities aren’t as extreme.

          @A-L

          I approach starting a family from a different paradigm to most, I suppose. See, to me, a family is built upon the foundation of the man/woman relationship. So, the approach I as a guy would want to hear is something like “I want to have a rocking, solid, deeply loving & fulfilling relationship with my guy first. For if that doesn’t exist, the chances of our success long term are compromised. Then have kids…”

          In other words, if the foundation ain’t solid (or in existence), you shouldn’t build the house on it.

          When I read many of these posts here and in other threads (not necessarily yours), the OP’s letter, friends’ experiences, and in my own dating experiences, I simply do not see such an approach in nearly every instance – quite the opposite. Usually the answers are like Gottleib’s approach (Man = wallet, babysitter), some version of “I just want a kid(s),” with a rare passing reference to someone to help share life’s struggles.

          In other words, there seems to be very few who share the philosophy of ‘build the foundation first.’

          One may say that it is assumed, but the answers usually refute that assertion.

          While I do have some sympathy for the biological imperatives, I think as a guy it is folly to marry someone who doesn’t share that same philosophy (or has any, for that matter), for the odds of failure increase, and you as a guy are simply reduced to being a wallet and occasional babysitter. Whenever I hear women talk about someone to share parenting duties and finances without referencing the bond 1st between man & wife, I think that is how they view men, relationships & marriage – as a means to their end. Unfortunately, I seem to see this almost exclusively.

          And you may be right re: geographical tendencies – I’m in a stay-at-home area. Hell, it seems as though there’s a lot of stay-at-home even w/o kids…

        9. Honey

          Well, we agree on one thing, vino – the bond between the man and woman (or w/w or m/m, if you are on that side of the pendulum) should come first.

          The BF and I are not going to have children, which is why our bond is probably the single most important thing in our entire lives.

          And I also agree that everyone on this board cherry-picks life experiences and statistics to fit conclusions they’ve already drawn (not the other way around). You included.

          So we’re on the same page after all :-)
          .-= Honey´s last blog ..Random Thoughts On A Pickup Convention =-.

        10. vino

          “And I also agree that everyone on this board cherry-picks life experiences and statistics to fit conclusions they’ve already drawn (not the other way around).”

          - Orwellian doublespeak has nothing on you Honey…

          “So we’re on the same page after all ”

          - Probably not, but if you are happy, I’m happy for ya. Just don’t mis-paraphrase. It takes away from the often good things you say.

    2. 54.2
      Selena

      Wow Bob.

      My glib comment was in response to your glib quote.

      The rest of your entire post does not apply to me at all lol! You might want to read my rather long post about my own experience above.

      Thing is Bob, just because older men may want younger women, it doesn’t always follow that younger women will want older men. Despite how better prepared they might be for child-rearing.

      You may want to start watching less daytime TV as well.

      1. 54.2.1
        Bob

        @Selena

        Perhaps it is you who should “read my…post”. I was responding to DownTownGal (as indicated by the nested commenting system).

        I acknowledged that “Looking to the east for a sunset” was trite. You calling it glib is 1. argumentative and 2. inaccurate (triteglib). It is a well-worn quote that has lost it’s impact due to over-use, NOT superficial/insincere as your glib comment was).

        But the bottom line is it doesn’t matter that younger women may not want older men. What matters is the choice they’re faced with.

        Let’s make some assumptions:
        1. Assume that most men in their 20′s are not prepared to settle down and raise a family right away (for whatever reason).

        2. Assume more (greater percentage) “older” men are prepared (again, for whatever reason).

        3. Assume “younger” woman wants to have a family (get married, have kids).

        4. Assume “younger” woman doesn’t want to date/marry “older” men

        IF all these are true, some or many women win this circumstance are going to be faced with making a choice between having husband/family with older man, or not having husband/family now.

        None of these are absolutes…all groups exist on a sliding scale. I would venture that many-to-most men in their 20′s not even considering marriage/family (yet), while the inverse would be true of them in their 30′s.

        So again I say, complain all you want about these men not being ready, but it doesn’t change the facts of the situation.

        If faced with the choice of older man or no kids, a woman will have to decide which is more important to her.

        1. Selena

          Gee Bob.

          If your comments are directed to downdowngirl, why are you starting these tirades @ Selena?

          *I* am not and have not complained about men in their 20′s unwillingness to settle down. It’s irrelevant to me. My 25 yr. old son settled down last year a had a baby 2 mos. ago. Two weeks ago, I went to the wedding of my 22 yr. old neice and her 27 yr. old groom. I know many, MANY people who settled down in their 20′s without a gun to their head.

          You Bob, just seem bound and determined to argue with many of the women on this blog for some reason.

  25. 55
    Bob

    @Diana

    Clarification understood, and appreciated. But I must point out that calling people “creepy”, is condemning.

    American society tends to be rather critical (and hypocritical) about age differences in couples. And I tend to be a bit reactive to the appearance of this condemnation.

    Do I think that generally speaking it’s preferable to have a minimal age difference? Yes. Is it a requirement? No. Just because it would be difficult for me to sustain such a relationship, doesn’t mean others aren’t perfectly capable of maintaining them.

    To me making a stink of age difference just muddies the water…it’s something that a couple may find interesting in their circumstance, but not necessarily significant, especially if they don’t make it significant.

    1. 55.1
      Diana

      Bob, I think I need to clarify further. Referring to the significant age difference as creepy does not mean I am defining or labeling the individual as creepy. It’s about the feeling that I have when someone who is by far young enough to be my son showing an interest in me. While this may be flattering to some and an ego boost, it is creepy to me. I am sorry if others find this offensive because that was not my intent.

  26. 56
    Steve

    I think Evan’s crew of blog commentator regulars should be nicknamed

    The “We’ll argue about anything” gang.

  27. 57
    A-L

    It seems as though we’ll read what the other gender writes, but then can’t acknowledge any of its validity and just keep hammering home our own points. Here is what I will acknowledge as mostly correct:

    From the men:

    1) Most men are financially hurt if they get divorced
    2) Many women in their 30s (though not most) seem more concerned about having children than the person with whom they are marrying. (My own note: there are men who are also just like this, more concerned about having kids than with whom they’re having kids.)
    3) Many women expect to be financially supported by their husbands, at least while the children are young. (My own note: many men expect the women to take on this role, regardless of whether or not the woman has stated a preference for this.)
    4) Men should get more than a few months to decide if they want to make someone their lifelong partner.
    5) If a woman is interested in marrying someone in her 20s and having kids, then her choices will mainly be guys who are 5+ years older than her who are more financially prepared or guys around her own age who have less financially.

    From the women:

    1) Most guys in their 20s aren’t interested in settling down (be it they don’t feel ready emotionally or financially).
    2) Most people know if they want kids or not, and an approximate time frame for them (1-2 years, 5-10 years, whatever). Letting a date know early on in the process about your views on kids does not mean that you envision having kids with that person or that you’re getting serious immediately.
    3) Despite all the medical advances, the chances of birth defects start heading up around 36 and skyrockets around 40 (mother’s age). So for a woman in her 30s who wants her own biological children there are very real repercussions for staying in a relationship for too long that doesn’t end up at the altar.
    4) It’s as much in a guy’s interest to find a woman who has a successful career as it is for a woman. If a woman takes 5 years off to help raise the kids when they’re young, think of all the other years that she will be earning more money for the family. And if you end up divorced then the child support/alimony is likely to be significantly less than if you married a woman with a less stellar career.
    5) Just because a woman spends her 20s developing her career and exploring the world and having fun does not make her a selfish being that will be an unfit parent. Just as a guy who focuses his 20s on the same things won’t be a bad father.

    And yes, #4 was pretty much my creation, but I’m sure other women were thinking it.

    1. 57.1
      Michael

      It is also true that most women in their 20′s are not settling down and having babies.

  28. 58
    vino

    A-L

    I don’t want to nitpick too much, as I like your post. but re: #4, I think you’re missing it a bit. If a woman takes 5 years off to help raise the kids when they’re young, she more often than not doesn’t return back to work, and certainly not at the same level if she does. I look at what happens more often than not. So the child support/alimony is likely to be pretty close as if she’d never worked.

    “5) Just because a woman spends her 20s developing her career and exploring the world and having fun (higher sluttiness factor? -vino addition) does not make her a selfish being that will be an unfit parent.”

    - I didn’t say it did. It just means she’s more likely to have those traits guys prefer not to have in the mothers of their kids, particularly when they are paying for it. So you have to screen for that.

  29. 59
    A-L

    Vino, within a certain segment of society there are probably a great number of women who never return to work once they have a child. That segment, however, is quite small. Since I know you’re a fan of facts and figures I did a quick search and here’s what I found. (Links and quotes to be posted directly after this since this blog sometimes never posts e-mails with too many links.)

    -Women produce 35% of their family’s income. (And we’ve had the equal pay for equal work discussion on a different thread, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree here.)
    -In families where both spouses work, 25% of the women earn more than the men.
    -55% of mothers work while they have an infant child (51% within 4 months of the child’s birth)
    -80% of mothers work whose children are no longer in elementary school.

    So obviously the majority of women do go back to work once they have their kids. Would you rather have the doctor’s salary (even part-time) or the salary of the secretary who works for the doctor? And for what it’s worth, one of those would have needed to spend far more time on her education & career and wouldn’t have been having children at the pinnacle of her childbearing years.

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