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

0
1

Join 5 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (223 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 121
    anita

    Hi all,

    Some really interesting posts here. I would like to add something to the mix. I am 29, was married for five years, divorced at 24. At the time , my husband and myself  talked about having kids as we both wanted them, alas it did not work out and no kids. I have had people tell me that I am lucky i didn’t have kids etc. Sometimes I am not so sure. I am still young but at 29 I do feel worried, as I know I am heading into my 30′s and it becomes more difficult to find what you are looking for. On the other hand, I have a somewhat accepting attitude to life and believe that life will give us what we need when we need it and if kids are not on the agenda for our soul purpose then it won’t happen. I think it is more important to be with the right person, than having kids with the wrong person. I really feel for my fellow females who feel time is running out. It is not easy being single in the 30+ age bracket and watching your friends get married and have children. But I say this to myself as much as anyone else: have faith . If kids are meant for you , they will happen, if not, why not have a heck of great life, travelling, living and loving. There is so much out there to do an be. And many people who need help and nurturing beyond kids. ‘Sigh’ bravo! you hit the nail on the head- hard knocks breed humility and understanding- guys who liken women to Porsche- I am sorry however it was intentioned it comes across as heartless, perhaps more tact and thoughtfulness could have gone into it. And put yourself in 30+ women’s shoes.

  2. 122
    Anne T

    This tread is so old that by now SK has found her significant other …or maybe not. But after reading all these comments I felt the urge to post one, too regardless of its utility. Why this rush into getting married or having kids? It’s exactly like eating fruits before being ripe. Let’s say you like peaches but you get so anxious to eat them that you pick them when they are green. Most probably you will spit them out, without enjoying what they actually would have had to offer if only you had taken the time…Nature has its timing, men’s and women’s reactions to different stimulus also have their riping time. Embrace this fact and enjoy the QUEST rather than spreading the scent of anxiety all around ( i am sure you too had experienced the vibe of  desperateness coming from some guys and hated it). SK, do you actually think you are ready for having kids or do you just fancy the concept of it?

  3. 123
    SS

    Are we seriously asking 35-year-old women if they’re “ready” to have kids nowadays???
     
     

  4. 124
    Xable

    Okay, I just had to comment because this is an issue dear to my heart.  First and foremost, you need to realize that when I ask a guy if he is interested in marriage and children and I am not asking him if he is interested in marriage and children *with me*.
    I simply want to know if that is something he wants and is interested in.  I know many guys don’t want to get married (or married again).  I also know many guys don’t want children (or anymore children).  If either of those are the case, then I don’t need to spend 6, 3, or even 1 month with him to know he is *not* the right one for me.
    If he is on the fence, I’m also pretty sure he is not the right one for me.  Once you reach your 30′s, you should know whether this is something that appeals to you or not, regardless of if you are a male or female.  I actually would like a man who is as interested and excited about marriage and starting a family as I am.
    Or, maybe it is something that he would consider, but not right now.  Maybe it is something that he sees happening way in the future.  This is another case of probably not right for me because, factually, I can’t wait 10 years to start a family because by that time, I’ll be physically unable to.
    As others have have pointed out, if marriage and children are something a guy wants, usually a woman mentioning such things is not going to spook him.  If it does, that is a good sign that he is not ready and/or interested in such things.
    I don’t think is has to come down to pressuring a guy or asking if he wants to marry me or have kids with me.  It is simply about finding what his own personal relationship desires and goals are at the moment.  Could they change in the future?  Sure, but with so many guys out there, why in the world would I hedge my bets on a guy who is not on the same wave length as me right now – in the present?
    I also find it rather illogical to be concerned that a woman who is interested in marriage and a family is only looking for a man to be a baby maker.  If a woman doesn’t have any children of her own by her 30′s, it is a pretty safe bet that she is looking for the whole package: love, a great man, marriage, and then children.  If she just wanted children, there are a million easier ways to get children than to date around to find a man to marry.  And, if she is only looking for a man to marry for children, most likely she could have been married many times over prior to this point in her life.  That simply fact that she hasn’t, should reassure you that she wants to do it *right*.  So, men, chill out a little. =)
    I think 3 months is more than enough time to determine if a guy is on the same wave length with you about marriage and children.  6 months is more than enough time to determine if he is interested in those things with you.  And 1 year is more than enough time to start discussing it seriously.  If he hasn’t place a ring on my finger and set a date by the 2 year mark, I’m walking because I simply, physically, don’t have enough time left to allow him to get his stuff together and make a decision.  I also, personally, feel that if a man (or a women) isn’t certain about a person at the 2 year mark, then that person probably isn’t the right one for you.
     
     

  5. 125
    chiefnavarro

    i want kids and i will find it very hard to ever date a women over 25 for the simple fact that i want a nice long relationship with a solid foundation before doing something as life changing as having kids

  6. 126
    Lorianne

    Um, the point that the men on this site who talk about a so-called “double standard” and age are missing is that the women who complain that men refuse to date them because they are supposedly “too old” are talking about men who are (and this is important) THEIR OWN AGE. On the other hand as a woman in my early 30s  I have ZERO interest in men in their late 30s, let alone their 40s or God forbid, their 50s.  They are TOO OLD for me.
     
    See the difference?
     

  7. 127
    KalipsoRed

    I feel a great deal of similarity with SK. I’m 30 and have wanted a serious relationship leading to family for a while now. I’ve dated, long-term, some very wonderful, loving men. Yet, either they tell me after 6 months that they don’t want kids or that they don’t want to be married. I’m tired of putting myself out there over and over and over again while putting the time and effort into becoming intimate with someone just to have to break up with the guy. Even after 6 months or a year of dating with these good men I had to drag the answer of their desires out of them. They didn’t want to break up with me and I didn’t want to break up with them, but we weren’t going in the same direction and there is no sense in staying with someone for years on end just having a good time if it doesn’t help me achieve my desires in life. If they would have given in to me they would have lost their free life style and I don’t wish to be with a man just to make my self happy. I want someone who wants to be my partner in life and help me achieve my goals. 
    This is a common theme in ‘good relationships’. Partners helping each other reach their goals…but for it to work out the two people generally have to have same goals on the high priority items in their lives. Thus, I don’t feel like asking a man earlier in the dating period if he truely desires children and family in his near future to be desparate. SK doesn’t want to “use” the man just to get pregnant. She desires a family life that involves children. Yep, she can go have kids on her own…an idea that I always have in the back of my mind as well, but she wants a man that wants to have children WITH her. That is her priority goal in life. It is a vaild point of common or uncommon interest in a potiental relationship. I would say that any man that can’t give you a strait answer about if he wants children and family life in the next 2-5 years is not worth wasting your time on. I think it is important that you specifiy when you breach this topic that you are not trying to corner him or have any expectation that this future life will be with you, you just want to know if he has thought about it and what his desires are on the subject.

  8. 128
    Anonymous

    In the book “Why men marry bitches”, the author says that the less you talk about commitment, the more you get.

    I find this to be true, as a woman.  My girlfriends will say that you should announce that you want a serious relationship, which I think produces the opposite of what you want.  The simple fact is that men don’t like to be pushed into an agenda.  When you say you’re looking for marriage or a serious relationship ASAP, the man will think you are just looking for someone to fill in the position.    He wants you to like him for HIM and he wants to be a part of the decision.

    The man who was the most crazy about me and wanted to marry me was the man that I didn’t mention anything to.  I kept things relaxed and elusive.  That way commitment and the future was his idea.  

    When I did announce that I wanted a serious relationship when dating a guy, guess what?  The man would try to manipulate me into a booty call. You would think that the players and the users would be turned off at a woman wanting marriage, but they enjoy using that agenda to prey on a weakness.  They will tell you what you want to hear to get what they want.  

  9. 129
    Michael

    In my opinion, ask during the first date.

    I take women out for cofee/drink(s) on the first date–cheap, and local. All I want to know is, Is this woman worth another date? I just want to know if there’s any potential for chemistry.

    Usually, during this first date, a woman will ask me what I’m looking for. I’ll flat out tell them that I’m looking for the love of my life.

    No sense in wasting each other’s time and (my) money.

    Ask the important stuff as soon as possible.

  10. 130
    SS

    Loriane @208
    On the other hand as a woman in my early 30s  I have ZERO interest in men in their late 30s,


    And you’re probably missing out on the men who are most likely to want to marry you and have kids then.

     
    I was 31 when I met my husband. He was the super-ancient age of 37. We married about two years after meeting and now are trying to have kids… but I guess that mere six year age difference would be too much for some folks to handle. Shrug.

  11. 131
    Ray

    It’s not that complicated…

    When interviewing for a job, lots of employers ask what your 5 year plan is and where you see your future with the company.  This is no different.  I find it ridiculous that men think that just because a woman is seeking marriage that she will just glom onto any man who happens to stroll by. 

    If he’s worried about producing a family prematurely, he can wear a condom. Every time. Simple.

    I’m rather tired of the lame excuses given here for men’s immaturity and lack of responsibility.  Playing along and giving a guy sex and your time for however long is the game alot of men play.  Tell ‘em to stick it… to some other woman who is more stupid than you.      

    Men who are afraid of the ‘M’ word and women who have that as a relationship goals should be ditched ASAP.  There ARE men who are commitment minded and are actively seeking similar.  Don’t waste your time with the indecisive.

            

  12. 132
    John

    @Ray # 213
     
    So, you see this as men interviewing for a job? Well, you just gave a perfect example of why men are turned off by such approaches-you clearly are more interested in filling the position than in finding a partner.
     
    I searched for years to find a great woman, but I always knew that to find her required patience and acceptance (acceptance of where she was in her own life), because doing otherwise (setting an agenda) creates an an unnatural pressure that makes people on both sides skittish.
    I met many women who stated very clearly up front they were looking for marriage…for all of those I walked away quickly. “Marriage” was more important to them than finding the right man, and I didn’t want to be just a checkbox on her score sheet.
     
    I wasn’t “afraid” of the “M” word (as you so condescendingly put it), but rather understand that having the correct goal is crucial. When marriage is the primary target, picking the right partner is automatically secondary.
     
     
     

  13. 133
    Dagaz

    SK – no worries, there are plenty of men out there, i can assure you, who wants to get married and to have a kids, literally after second date. no matter with whom – just FINALLY to have kids and wife.
    for some reason i’ve met quite a lot of them, they were telling me right away about their intentions and basically proposing to skip the time of courtship and getting know each other. today – ring, tomorrow – working on descendants.
    frankly speaking, i wasn’t flattered a bit after such offers. because for them it didn’t absolutely matter who am i, what i like or don’t like, how good (or bad))) person i am etc etc. i felt like i am a breeding mare to be picked from a catalog.
    but i’m not looking for the breeding stallion, thank you.
    so, you can hook up with one of those guys (choosing him among others), you can get married next month and to have a baby within a year. check.
    but would it be a family?

  14. 134
    Nasser

    I would advise her to get a guy (someone she trusts) to talk to the other man interested in going out with her first. It’s traditional to some but less time wasting involved. Let him find out about the guy, his interests, goals, and this avoids attachment to build up. If he stacks up, have a few dates along with the guy who interviewed him, then set a deadline. This can all be done in about 4 weeks.

    Why waste time you haven’t got dating for 3-6 months? At least figure out you have a serious buyer.

  15. 135
    Baseball11

    I think it’s better to be upfront. I was the girl who was always in long term monogamous relationships with guys and finally I felt like it was just a waste of time. I would invest all of this effort and time (years) into these relationships only to end up not being married to the guys that I gave my heart too. I finally met my husband when I stopped being coy about it and stated what I wanted. I went on match (first time I dated online) and decided that by date three I would let the guy know that I’m “marriage minded” and I’m not willing to date anyone for years only to get my heart broken. It worked like a charm! I was on the site for six months, I went out on three dates a week and after meeting my now husband dated him for 5 months before he proposed. I think I really weeded out all of the time wasters and let me finally find someone who is not only an amazing person but had the same goals in life. Yay for being up front and honest about what you want and need.

  16. 136
    John

    I am not the same John as posted in #214. I am a mid 40s guy and this happened to me 2x in the past month. On the first conversation with one woman I met online and another first conversation with a woman who had a mutual friend, they brought up the kid issue. Both women were 42 years old. Neither had been married. Both of them asked me after about 30 minutes of conversation if I wanted kids. They both wanted them by the time they were 45-46 yrs old.
     
    Since I didn’t, it was a dealbreaker for both of us and we never bothered to meet. Here are my thoughts on the issue of women asking the question right away:
    1. Both never married. So now they expect to meet a guy, fall in love, have kids all within the next 4 years? And they were unable to do that in their prior 20 years of dating? They have an agenda to hit those milestones. Made me want out real quick.
     
    2. Even though I knew they had an agenda, I did appreciate they let me know upfront. I have no problem with a girl mentioning that in a first conversation.
     
    3. However, if I was a douchebag, I could have taken advantage of the situation. Both ladies were very attractive. I could have said “Oh yes I definitely want kids” even though I don’t just to play along. If I told them what they wanted to hear, then if we hit it off, I could have enjoyed the honeymoon sexfest for a few months and then dump them.  But since I could tell it was important to them, I didn’t want to lead them on just to get laid. So by coming across desperate that their clock is ticking, they are really making themselves vulnerable for players who want some good sex for  a few months and then will move on.

  17. 137
    Katarina Phang

    John, that’s what happens when women apply a goal-oriented approach (masculine energy) when dating because “they don’t want to waste their time,” they actually are more likely to waste their time that way.  
     
    That’s why I always advise women to take “process-oriented” approach (feminine-energy) instead.  It works much better and it’s much more attractive to men too.
     
    I’m in my mid 40′s, just a year or so ago I never thought I would meet a man who would want to have a baby with me that soon and I was prepared that I might never become a mother and I made a mental note that I would be okay either way.  But my bf of 7 months and I are now talking about it often.  He’s crazy in love with me.  Meeting a man who wants what I want just happened when I least expected it, because I let go.  I don’t practice nor advocate agenda-driven dating to my readers/clients.  
     
    My way of living and loving is surrendering to the moment, going with the flow and accepting what is. Control is an illusion. Being controlling is the antithesis of getting what you want. Struggling is hard to do and it makes you recoil in your fear and resentment. That is a very low energetic vibration. If you don’t get results in your love life, it’s because you are emitting that low frequency that attracts the same frequency. When you are soft and pliant, nothing can break you. You are like the bamboo trees that sway and swing to whatever direction the wind blows.

  18. 138
    Dina Strange

    Evan, perhaps you should not compare yourself, a guy who has integrity to other men who perhaps don’t mind wasting a girl’s time as long as its convenient for them.

  19. 139
    Angie

    Just saw some comments about older men and want to share my opinion..this may get about chaotic + English is not my mother language so try to understand..
    I think one of the clearest sign a man is/might be ready for kids is if they are at least 30 years old and above. They are often balanced and know where they stand in life. Am not saying all men above 30 might want kids, but its more likely older men want bcz they are in their middle age, where most of them want to settle down with one woman. Younger than 30 are often immature, selfish, man-boys with uncertain life direction and is still in high school mentality f***ng around, they’re still “finding themselves”. And hey, nothing wrong with that, thats how real men did too to grow..but that’s why women in their 20s have hard time finding “men”=boys their own age who also wants marriage and kids, women mature much earlier than men..also I know some boys never grow into men, and some boys under 30 are already mature men(very good!), I just generalized that its more likely, naturally, that men above 30 are often fully grown up boys hehhe!
    ..so my “advice” is, if young women(20-25) wants something serious maybe they should consider going for someone older than them..maybe even 10 years older.. am definitely going for someone 10 years older than me..and for women 30+ it’s wise to go for older compared to their age..
    I am 21 years old and I attract mostly guys my age, younger than my age because I don’t look older than 18(it annoys me bcz I feel like their mother), but also older men from 30 to even 45. I am never attracted to BOYS..but say if I go for someone even up 45, then the man *might* go for me because he might have “lolita” issues, and people may think I have daddy issues lol. Although that’s not true for me, I like older men bcz of the whole maturity,security thing, and they are often real MEN, not boys toys..
     
    But the sad thing that happened with modern women is they fell into career thing, they’re busy from their youngest, most fertile age, and when they suddenly become 35+ they reflect on what just happened. I’m in such a dilemma myself and afraid of falling into the same trap, I go to school bcz I once wanted to become a strong independent career woman, but lately I dont know how far I want to take my education (because I got curious about love)..wich direction and which “career” I should take..if I become too focused on work I will never have time for love..but I do it anways just in case I never meet HIM, so that I have a life of my own until if he ever shows up, but once I meet him I dont want to continue work..but if I do school/work I will not meet HIM anyway..vicious circle..
    I like the good old traditional gender roles, where man does the outside manly work, and woman leads the house..
     
    I think modern women should take a look at this..might help :P
    http://wwnh.wordpress.com/
     

  20. 140
    Julia

    @Angie
     
    A couple things you might consider. People in their twenties have a much higher divorce rate than people in their thirties and for every year a woman delays child birth she gains wealth in her life. The second one is very important considering the first. If you decided to marry someone 20 years older than you when you are 23 and have a child, stay married for a couple more years then divorce, you’ve decreased your earning potential substantially which impacts your ability to care for your child. You should never consider a man’s income in raising a child as a single mother as men can with hold payment of child support. So you might feel like you are ready and very mature but the lack of consideration of your chances shows you probably aren’t as mature as you think.
     
    I was 21 not so long ago, certainly not so long that I forgot that I also though I was ready for marriage and children. You change a ton in your twenties. If you get married to an old man (a 45 year old man is very old comparatively) you will regret what you’ve missed out in self discovery and growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>