I’m a Man Who Doesn’t Want to Have Kids. Who Is Left To Date?


Hi Evan,

You frequently advise singles to reevaluate their list of deal breakers and to shorten that list where they can to increase their options.

How do you feel about applying that advice to parenting preferences?

I’m interested in dating women in their 30’s through early 40’s. I like children, but I am sure that I don’t want to be a parent. It seems likely that women who list exactly how many children they want on Match.com are pretty set on their preferences too.

I don’t want to date someone, grow attached to her and then feel hurt when the parenthood issue sends us off on our separate ways. The option of least risk would be to filter my searches to only return profiles of women who are sure they don’t want to be parents. My problem with that option is that it also returns a greatly reduced number of profiles.

I know you don’t have a magic wand, so I just have to play the hand I’ve been dealt. I’m willing to take a risk by contacting women who list that they are “not sure” about wanting children. I’m wondering if there are other types of women worth taking a risk on. Maybe women who may have listed a less than accurate preference about having children to not scare people away?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,



I’m running your email, not only because you’re a regular commenter, but because it follows last week’s question so neatly.

Steve’s a perfect example of a kind, relationship-oriented guy, who is extremely conscientious about the potential damage of two partners having different long-term goals. Of course, he’s more worried about getting hurt than he is about hurting the woman, but we’ll leave that aside. The point is that he is, as he pointed out, in a position of scarcity. Act with integrity and his pool of dateable women diminishes considerably.

Expecting your partner to share your rare passion cuts your dating pool by 99%.

This brings up a larger point that I’ve wanted to make for a long time:

People who are not “mainstream” have some very tough choices to make in dating. These choices mainly apply to two sets of people:

1) People who are in a minority in their preferences and insist that others share their preferences.

You’re in a minority in your preferences if you were into BDSM, or were an animal activist, or gave half your earnings to the Pentecostal Church.

There’s no judgment against minorities, but we must acknowledge that if you insist that your partner also have your non-mainstream preference, there are going to be far fewer singles from which to choose.

Simple exercise: Ask yourself what percent of people are ALSO (hardcore bikers, jobless backpackers, Buddhists who don’t believe in possessions)? Expecting your partner to share your rare passion cuts your dating pool by 99%.

My advice: find someone who is open to/tolerates your passion. Otherwise, accept the fact that it’s going to be a rare day, indeed, when you find the cute, kind, stable, age-appropriate, emotionally available person who ALSO eats only green foods.

2) People who are in a minority of OTHER people’s preferences.

An Asian man who will only date Caucasian women.

A sixty-year-old widow who will only date men 5-10 years younger.

A Jewish rocker with dreadlocks who wants to be with a Jewish woman.

A man who doesn’t want to have children. Let’s call him Steve.

My advice to you is the same as my advice to anyone who restricts their own choices: open up or quit complaining how hard you’ve made it on yourself.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with these choices, except to point out that they are choices that are self-restricting.

You can probably add other things to this list, including  overweight women, older women, short men, and poor men. These are not choices, but they are groups that face longer odds because they don’t fit into many people’s preferences.

So if you’re in one of the above minorities and you’re faced with a frustrating situation, you have a choice: Keep doing what you’re doing, or change. I don’t judge you either way. I just have to point out the obvious:

If you’re only open to dating 5% of the population – you’re going to have a harder time finding love.

So what changes can be made?

An overweight woman could lose weight. The Jewish rocker could cut his hair to appeal to his demographic. The vegan could tolerate a man who eats chicken and eggs. The shorter man could be open to heavier women, the older woman to older men.

The problem is when we refuse to budge and then complain how hard it is to find anyone. It would be like me saying that I want to drive a car, but I’ll only drive a hot pink Lamborghini that I see being driven down my street. Guess I’m not going to be doing too much driving.

I don’t blame you, Steve, for not wanting to have kids. It’s a huge decision, a life-altering decision, and you shouldn’t do it if it makes you feel profoundly uncomfortable. Just know that the only options you have are to date women in their 30’s who state that they don’t want kids, to date women who are in their 40’s who may be cool with the idea of not having kids, or wait for women in their 50’s whose kids are already grown.

Otherwise, buddy, my advice to you is the same as my advice to anyone who restricts their own choices: open up or quit complaining how hard you’ve made it on yourself.

By the way, thanks for putting yourself on the line with this one – a lot of readers can identify with you.


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  1. 1
    Holly Hoffman

    I just thought I would weigh in from the woman’s perspective. About a year ago I dated a guy who was dear-god near perfection. About a month or so into dating, he brought up something he said was important. He was 99.95% certain he would never want kids, and that he knew this was a deal-breaker for most women so he wanted to be upfront about it.

    I had never really considered NOT having kids before. At first I was dismayed, but after some reflection told him we didn’t need to worry about that just yet and let’s just see how everything else goes. Not all women are looking for the One (or believe in the One for that matter), and not all women have considered the possibilities. He was such a great man in so many ways & his reasons for not wanting kids were so sensible that I was willing to imagine a kid-free future. I was surprised to find that I could be happy that way.

    So, who knows? Why not view it as simply a difference? Besides, if you keep getting older you’ll basically be dating women past that age anyway.

    1. 1.1

      I honestly feel sorry for you Holly. I truly hope you change your mind and kick that guy out of your life. 99% men that don’t want to have kids are basically selfish and self in love f* that aren’t capable on loving anybody except themselves. What happens when he leaves you say when you are 40 for a younger one?what happens after he dies? You will be alone forever. Regrets- that’s what powerful, make sure you don’t have them later on in life sweetie:( every women deserves to have a child, that’s a big happiness. That’s why when we get married, we are suppose to be a family. Two of you is    Just a couple no more

      1. 1.1.1

        “99% men that don’t want to have kids are basically selfish and self in love f* that aren’t capable on loving anybody except themselves.”

        Really? Is that a fact?  That suggests to me that if a woman doesn’t want to have  kids, that’s the power of choice yet when a guy doesn’t want kids, he’s “selfish” (your word).

        Obviously you have never considered the possibility that for some guys choose not to be fathers. To me that’s far better than having kids and becoming a deadbeat.

        1. Desmond

          “99% men that don’t want to have kids are basically selfish and self in love f* that aren’t capable on loving anybody except themselves.”

          I cannot believe you fixed your fingers to type that. Let me tell you I’m part of that percentile of men who DON’T want kids and it offends me to see that quote. Contrary to popular belief Lisa everybody doesn’t come from a loving fairy tale family. I’m a 27 year old man who’s established himself have a career and travel often as possible and mentor young adults. I do a good deed every day and would gladly give the shirt off my back for ANYBODY in need of it. But i come from a family of women who could give 2 shits about me, hell my first memory is my grandmother telling me how much she despised me at 4. I’ve always excelled in school been a good person and have NO criminal record. My only desire is to find a woman on the same wavelength as me so I can give her the world….you stereotype and judge yet have NO ideas what you talking about

        2. melanie

          agreed 100%

        3. Cassie

          Well, if he was 99.95% certain he would never want kids and “knew it was a dealbreaker” for some women, it WAS a little selfish to wait “a month or so” to let her know that.   If someone knows something could be a dealbreaker, whether it’s kids or something else, it’s in the best interest of both parties to bring it up sooner rather than later, like within the first few dates.   Unless I was DEFINITELY sure I didn’t want kids, I’d break up with him just for keeping mum about it for so long.   Communication is key.   I’d wonder what other dealbreakers he was also keeping quiet about.

        4. Karl R

          What are your thoughts on people who hold blatant double standards? Because, in the example you describe:
          1. Both people are aware that kids (or no kids) could be a dealbreaker.
          2. As you said, “it’s in the best interest of both parties to bring it up sooner rather than later, like within the first few dates.”
          3. Both people kept mum mum about it.
          4. You would break up with him for keeping mum about it, because you’d have no idea what other deal-breakers he was keeping quiet about.


      2. 1.1.2

        A child is a human being NOT A TOY, and is a lifetime commitment and not everyone wants to have them. Children are optional, NOT mandatory.   I honestly feel sorry for you. Unlike you, childless couples will never have the inconveniences of children and will always have the option to be free and enjoy each others company and do whatever they want whenever they want. If women were supposed to have children then there wouldn’t be a need for men. Once you have children, you’re person life, freedom, privacy, finances, go out the window. Judging by you’re comment, i’m assuming you have kids and you already know the sacrifice that is needed once you have a child. You’re entire comment was based off of no facts and was totally biased and all you did was attack someone instead of taking the time to think about what you were going to say and educate yourself about the benefits of not having kids.

        1. Beth


      3. 1.1.3

        Sorry but many women feel the same. I don’t ever want children either. I never have. It’s not selfish as my eggs are just eggs. There is more to womanhood than procreation thank you! I’d rather make money and travel and have a great supportive partner with lots of great sex!

        1. Hopeless1

          Oh my god, can I date you? <3

        2. Sarah Mahoney

          Amen, sister! I 2nd that.

        3. Alison

          I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        4. Edgar A Brown


      4. 1.1.4

        Wow Lisa, you have issues. You sound VERY selfish as a woman. You are giving horrible advice here. I am a man in my 30’s that has had very mutual loving relationships. I don’t ever want children. Think about it from a man’s perspective. If things don’t work out, we ALWAYS lose in custody battles, even if we are better parents, we lose in divorce cases because we are the man, and children strain relationships. Two people can have very happy and full lives without children and have wonderful lives, emotionally and financially.

        1. Letty

          I can’t believe you said that Lisa, that is very rude!. I am a woman in my 30s who doesn’t have kids at all. i’ve made my decision in my early 20s, no one is selfish. think really hard about what you said.

      5. 1.1.5

        I’m 28, and I’ve firmly decided that I don’t want kids. Is it because I’m selfish? No, it’s because motherhood is just not for me. I do enjoy babysitting and volunteering my time to children’s activities, but it’s just not me. And as someone who travels frequently for my job, I’d rather have the ease of movement than worrying over childcare. I give my life to my friends and family, but motherhood is just not for me. And I’ve seen some terrible mothers out there. And when divorcees use their kids as weapons, that’s frickin selfish if you ask me.

      6. 1.1.6

        “…every women deserves to have a child, that’s a big happiness.”(?!) What absolute rubbish and how utterly  sexist.  Your life experience must be relatively narrow else you’d know that not everyone wants the same life plan; everyone (male or female)  defines happiness in their own way – that plan may or may not involve  children. Neither choice is wrong or right for there will always be those  like you, who believe it is your duty to breed. People like you who make gross  generalisations based on their own social programming are genuinely dim.  

      7. 1.1.7

        Wow Lisa you really know how to roll on with te negative what if’s, and I assume seeing as how you are generalising about all men who don’t want kids, what’s your impression of women who don’t want kids? As far as I can understand each person has an intrinsic feeling which sometimes can be changes by outer circumstances. I Love kids and am a very honest and good person and would happily be with a woman till she’s over 40. Everything in life is a scary gamble if you keep you mind on the what if’s, just be smart and Honor your own feelings if they are pure.

      8. 1.1.8

        I know plenty of selfish men who treat their wives like rubbish and have kids. So not true.

      9. 1.1.9

        I’m a woman. I don’t want children. What does that make me?

        1. cheryl

          it makes you just like me, and I’m pretty awesome 😉

        2. rosh

          I’m a woman and I don’t want children either. I don’t think I’m selfish, I just want to be spontaneous and do things you cant when you have children. and what really pisses me off is when people say “ohhh you’ll change your mind when your older” or ” you’ll be all alone when your older” because the perfect guy for me wont want children either. and there are plenty of people in care homes who have children, so having kids doesn’t guarantee you wont be alone

      10. 1.1.10

        I would just like to say: how dare you? There are many justifyable reasons not to have kids! In my case, my family has a serious genetic disease. I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want anyone else to suffer the the way my grandmother did. She passed away a little more than a year ago because of said disease. Are you calling my a selfish f*? Do you really think that what you’re saying can be a broad generalization of men everywhere? Absolutely not.

      11. 1.1.11

        So not wanting to bring more children into an overpopulated world full of suffering and hate is selfish. But having a child so you don’t get lonely isnt.. Riiiiight.

        1. drew


        2. melanie

          yes!!! date me lol

        3. Beth


      12. 1.1.12
        Bill D

        What a sad narrow minded person you are to this k that way.

      13. 1.1.13

        “99% men that don’t want to have kids are basically selfish and self in love f* that aren’t capable on loving anybody except themselves”  

        I see so me not having kids makes me selfish and a worse person than a father who beats or sexually abuses their children?  Am I worse than  parent’s who have kids while taking  illicit drugs  or  are alcoholics which results in the child having mental, emotional issues or substance abuse as they grow up?

        A family can consist of just two people there isn’t a minimum number of people to consist of a family and you just highlight your narrow minded views. I’m fed up of selfish people like yourself demanding that people should just be like you.

        1. Chris P

          Pot meet kettle; demonizing substance abuse problems and throwing out semi-unrelated extreme examples for shock value? It sounds like you think you are unbiased, but clearly you are not.

      14. 1.1.14
        mickie P

        That’s baloney! Please they are smart because they know of all the potential troubles and heartaches child rearing can bring. There are also men and women with a child who do not want anymore! I am avidly looking for men who are sterile, as I am a woman who does not want children! I am not selfish nor have I ever been! I came from a big family and I have plenty of children around me constantly. I am good. I love my freedom! Do not judge!

      15. 1.1.15

        Lisa, you’re clearly uneducated on what men think. I chose not to have kids because I allocate all of my time to my philanthropy and volunteering for disables veterans. People like you disgust me because you have a preconceived notion that all men are pigs. I strongly suggest that you reevaluate your life and any choices that you’ve made.

      16. 1.1.16

        And having children so that you’re not lonely at a later age in life is a valid reason for brining new life into the world? I think not.

      17. 1.1.17

        Hi Lisa,

        I’m sorry you feel this way about men who do not want kids.   I can tell you from my perspective why I’m not sure, but am leaning towards no kids:

        1. Fear that my kid my not like me, or that my kid doesn’t identify with his father.

        2. Fear that I may not like or accept my child.

        3. Battling my own self esteem issues and scared that my child may see the demons in my closet.   I feel that maybe I may not be ready for kids because I have to fix myself first and do not want my child to see my flaws and be affected by them.

        4. Fear that I may not be ready for the lifestyle change.   I know it sounds stupid, but I fear that what if my partner forgets or no longer cares about me because she is tending to our child 100% of the time. -selfishness on my part I know.   But it is a fear I have.

        5. The cost of buying a house in a nice school district in California, day care, baby-sitter, college, etc…

        6. Loosing the freedoms that come with not having kids, such as going out to eat, movies, vacation, etc…

        7. always being on your best behavior so that you don’t accidentally blurt things out that you may regret in front of your kids.

        8. Fear of what if my child turns out bad and a detriment to society rather than a benefit to society

        9. Fear of how my child is being treated by teachers, and peers at school, whether or not my child is being treated fairly.

        10. the constant responsibilities of Screening and making sure my child is not exposed to bad or negative things on tv, internet or whatever that will hinder the positive development of my child

        11. fear of not being able to provide for my child if I loose my job in this tough economy.


        These and many others are just a few reasons why I may not be ready to have a kid.   Yeah, maybe some of my reasons are a little selfish, but I don’t think all of them are.



      18. 1.1.18

        So I’m selfish to not want kids?

      19. 1.1.19

        “99% men that don’t want to have kids are basically selfish and self in love f* that aren’t capable on loving anybody except themselves.”

        That’s one of the most ridiculous  things I’ve ever read. We live in a world of over 7 billion people. People starve because they don’t have access to resources that are rapidly depleting. That fact that there are so many of us is leading to climate change, mass extinction, and sterilization of the oceans. I have to sit in traffic for an hour and a half just to make it 20 miles on my morning commute. And taking all of that into consideration, you’re so much a slave to your instincts and desires reproduce that you don’t give a damn that the world is too crowded, you’re gonna exascerbate the problem by pumping out more people that don’t need to exist. Try having an original thought, lady……

      20. 1.1.20

        You are very judgemental Lisa and   I hope you don’t have any kids yourself so that you don’t pass on that terrible attitude. Plenty of women regret even having a baby…plenty of kids grow up and move away and never visit their parents. A lot of women are also are incapable of having a child. Stop painting people with your broad brush and worry about yourself.

      21. 1.1.21
        The one

        Feel even more sorry with how judgemental you are, shame on you for telling her that!

        1. Jurelle

          Are you replying to Mary? I do not see how your comment makes sense?

          Lisa does need to look within herself as to why her mind is making baseless labeling as she has.

          There are any number of reasons why some people don’t or can’t have children.

          She doesn’t seem to think beyond what hormones do to keep an extremely over-populated speceis (homosapiens), procreating. Just because we (can) does not mean we should. We are capable of critical thinking, and reasoning. Therefore, I think people who choose not to procreate (going against hormonally driven impulse), are quite the opposite of selfish. *This is not to say that having children is selfish either.

          But judging and labelling other people negatively, without knowing their situation, or walking ‘in their shoes’…that is selfish.

          Kudos to those insightful enough to make well thought out choices (on either side of this) for making deliberate, healthy ones, rather than impulsive, sometimes regretful ones.

          Finally, just because someone chooses not to have children, does not mean that it was easy to come to that, nor that they did not make a compromise or two.

          Again, maybe I misunderstood to whom you were replying as Mary’s comment seemed logical.


      22. 1.1.22

        That’s not true. There’s is nothing wrong with a man or woman not wanting children. I am a 34yr woman and I don’t want children, not because I’m selfish or a bad person, I just don’t want them. Quit making women sound bad with your nonsense!

      23. 1.1.23

        Shame on you Lisa for putting Holly down especially in a moment of growth. If a woman does not want to have children like myself then They shouldn’t be shamed for it. There are lots of women who do not want to have children and whatever their reasons are that is for them alone. Women are awful to each other more awful then men are to them and I am sick of seeing the hatred and putting down that happens so much with women. I am happy for you Lisa for making your own thought out decision to have children and happy for Holly on making hers. My own two cents: thank god not every woman wants to be a breeder because there are far more enjoyable life altering things to do with your life and just because you have kids doesn’t mean you won’t be alone. Take a look at your local nursing home…where are those children that should be taking care of their parents…

      24. 1.1.24

        Well excuse me – I am a woman in my early 30’s and I have always known I do not want to have children – since I was a kid. So no, I do not “deserve” to have a child. And I wish I would meet a man who shares my wishes. And no – people who don’t want to have kids are not selfish. At least not more than the ones who do.

      25. 1.1.25

        People have different paths in life and not all paths include family and children.   Many people are unable to create a meaningful life for themselves outside of a child.   They don’t take responsibility for their lives. The child often pays the prices as they are expected to pay back. Don’t be so judgemental.   Some would say having a child is self serving and selfish…..mini me.   It all depends.

        There loving kind women with no children and there moms that are awful.   Reproduction had nothing to do with love.

        I have friends that don’t want children because their parents were so horrible.

      26. 1.1.26


        The having kids to not be alone is a very stupid concept.   Kids are a huge responsibility and it is highly selfish to have a kid just because you don’t want to be alone.   Guess what!   There is something that is called people skills.   There are friends and there are people you can date regardless of your age. Heck instead of having kids you can help a lot of people and contribute to this already overly populated hellhole we call earth.

      27. 1.1.27

        Yes! Because Holly needs to find a man who wants kids so she can chain him to their marriage! All men are obviously just evil souls who don’t feel true love. It’s not like some of us men have personal issues that we fear would be detrimental to both us and the kids that we would have. Also, there’s no such thing as career goals or aspirations. Men and women who are too focused on their career that they’ve dreamed of having since they were young, they’re just purely selfish for not wanting kids.

        As we all know, all women want kids, and some men do and some men don’t, but all men are loveless demons.

        Cant marriage just be the bonding of two people who love each other that have decided after years of searching that they have found the one that they want to end it with? Is literally the only benefit or mission of marriage is to have a family? My parents were almost 50 when they deserved, and now, they both have met someone 10 to 15 years as young as them. Me? I spent forever looking for someone, but I found a sweet, beautiful, and ambitious lady who also doesn’t want kids. She is an aspiring artist, and I, a teacher/professor. I’m not the “man” of the relationship. I don’t “wear the pants” and she isn’t my caregiver. We are partners. We are two people who found each other and submit to one another. Love isn’t falling in line with everyone else having a family. Love is magical, spontaneous, and unforgettable.

      28. 1.1.28
        Nicole Marshall

        You have no idea what you are talking about.

      29. 1.1.29
        Family Terminator

        I had only one woman in my life (for 45 years), she died last year, at 63, I am 65 now and WE never wanted kids. It was a relief when she told me that she would never let me go if this turned to be a difference between us, meaning that if I wanted to have kids she would have them for me, but she really loved the fact that we were on the same page about that (and about everything else, as is turned out!). She was 18 and I was 20 when we met, and one year later we knew  that we were soul mates, and still by then we had not yet  brought up that subject. So, once we got over with it, it was a relief. 44 years after we had that conversation  I still don`t believe that it was so easy! I really thought   at the time that I would lose my love because of that. I knew plenty of men as well that would let a woman go if SHE  did not want to have babies (actually, I knew one that went as far as to want only a woman willing to give him 10 kids!!!). You must be a christian, right, Lisa?

      30. 1.1.30

        From a female :

        I have lived

        I have been through high school, collage, puberty, and working life.

        You have done the same.


        Of course you would, because misery loves company you sick f***.

        You want me to have a baby?

        You take care of it

        You feed it

        You tell them the world is beautiful and forget to mention how crushingly cruel and apathetic it is.

        You tell it to “grow up” when it stops being cute

        Im so angry right now, so angry

        I have to breath.

        Theres no point in arguing with someone who isnt there

        Why do you want other people you dont know to have children? It creates compitition for your own child. Shouldnt you be discouraging them?

        I think the thing that most upsets me is the complete lack of both logic and empathy in your statement. It sounds hollow and soulless.   Like a robotic parrot or a commercial. “YOU NEED THIS OR YOU WILL BE SAD. OBEY.”

        That blind repitition is… Disturbing.

        If you read this far, thank you for your time.

      31. 1.1.31

        The most selfish thing a person can do is have children when the population and planet doesn’t need it.

        Get a grip.

      32. 1.1.32

        Jeez, who hurt you?

      33. 1.1.33

        Please don’t feel sorry for women who are child free.   I am  very happy and   have a great life.   My husband has two adult children who have given him more headaches than you can imagine.     And for wanting them so that they take care of you in illness and old age, that is not a given.

        Women need to stop shaming other women for not having children.   We need to be supportive of each other.


      34. 1.1.34

        Goodness you are ridiculous and wrong. I’m 36, female, and don’t want kids AT ALL! I’d be happy to date a man who didn’t want them and that doesn’t make him selfish at all. It’d be selfish to date a woman he KNEW wanted kids, and not tell her the truth that he was never going to give them to her. There’s nothing selfish whatsoever about not wanting children and being honest about that.

        NOt every woman wants kids. I don’t, and quite frankly I think you sound very unintelligent.

        PS. As far as being alone later in life–so what? Not everyone fears being alone.

      35. 1.1.35

        How is it selfish?   We don’t owe it to anybody to have a kid.   We’re not trying to repopulate after a nuclear disaster.   Selfishness is if you short somebody something in favor of doing something for yourself.   I don’t see how that’s the case here.   Also, regrets are a double edged sword. There are PLENTY of people who regret giving up the childfree life. Wiping asses, overseeing homework, bickering, and not being able to take a proper vacation for 18 years (because travel with a child is NOT vacation) aint all its cracked up to be.

        Frankly, you come off as a small minded egoist.   Also, “That’s why we get married”?   Some of us marry for love. Imagine that.

      36. 1.1.36

        Sometimes people are not cut out for parenting and if they dont want kids that doesnt mean they are selfish and self centered! Sometimes they might have issues that would not be good for a child ( ptsd for instance) and they are doing the child a favor for not bringing him/her into a world not good for that child. I told my son to not let any women talk him into something that he knows is not a good idea for any of them… Wife, child or himself

      37. 1.1.37

        Hi,my marriage of 20 years is ending due to me not wanting kids my wife and i never talked about it much when we were dating she knew it wasn’t for me but she married me anyway our marriage was great otherwise, then my nephew and his wife had a baby and it all came crashing down.now I’m 50 yrs old and totally lost about how to meet anyone else.i knew in high school being a dad wasn’t for me I had a good childhood my dad was the best.im probably destined to be alone for the rest of my life,only because I stuck to my beliefs. So I say be right upfront about it,maybe before you start dating. I will probably never find another woman as good as my wife.

      38. 1.1.38

        That’s one of the most selfish things i’ve ever heard why don’t you take that finger you’re pointing and point it towards yourself. The fact that he’s looking for somebody to share his love and life with excludes him from your so called incapacity to love. Marriage is more than kids, sounds like you’re just bitter with men. If you’re married it leads me to think that the only reason you decided to stay married is because of the kids, or maybe he has a good job.

      39. 1.1.39

        Wow. You’re a piece of work.

        And somehow the droves of people who only have children because they fail at birth control and want to see a little version of themselves running around – regardless of the fact they don’t have the emotional maturity or financial means to care for them AREN’T the selfish ones?

        It’s all about perspective.

      40. 1.1.40

        The most selfish thing is to bring an inocent soul in this f…. up world JUST FOR YOUR OWN FUN!Wherever I look, everybody speaks about a woman or a man not wanting to have kids, but gues what, maybe that child would NEVER choose to be brought here!
        I will spare mine, that’s for sure and I will never feel selfish for doing so!

      41. 1.1.41

        That seems excessive.




      42. 1.1.42

        You dont know wht you are talking about, there are miliions and millions of married couples who have no kids and dont want any. And you contradicted yourself anyway. You said he wasn’t capable of loving? Then how is he inlove with her? I don’tlike kids at all, their expensive, noisy, rude, loud, troublesome and so on plus the world is so overpopulated already. But, I am a loving person who will show everyone around me with high respect and joy in mind, but i wont acknowledge kids around me but i wont say or do anything disrespectful to them either its wrong to disrecpect something just because you dislike it/them. However, people who meet me are usually shocked at how patiant, honest, loving, kind, respectful and generous I am,, so dont go saying that I or anyone who dislikes children is selfish, because that is a down right 100% lie.

      43. 1.1.43


        I find it interesting that you think having children will keep ones husband from running off with someone younger one day, look around you there are plenty of examples of this happening to marriages with children.

        Also, I have known of older folks and have friends that work as elderly caregivers whose clients often are never visited by their children near the end of their life…so end up being alone regardless.

        If your intent in having children is to make you happy, ensure your husband stays with you when you get old and so you’re not alone in old age – that could be construed as selfish in nature.

    2. 1.2

      Holly #1, my relationship was the mirror-image of yours. I am a woman who never wanted children. I’m in my 60s now and I have never regretted my decision. Lucky for me that wasn’t a deal breaker for my husband.

      I can’t believe that anyone would say as an argument for having kids “if your husband dies or leaves, you’ll be alone forever.” That is not what children are for.

      1. 1.2.1

        Well said, thank you!

      2. 1.2.2

        All children were ment for was to populate the earth, thats all. Thank you for setting that forth.



    3. 1.3

      Holly I applaud you for being your own person for not being a robot who conforms to the Society. To the hypocrite who browbeat you because you made a choice she wouldn’t make is monumentally idiotic. I had never planned to have children so I understand not having that drive to procreate very well. I do have a daughter who was not planned but very much a blessing but it doesn’t change find decision do not have more children. I love my daughter very much . Having children is a choice not a mandate. I find it appalling that we still live in a society that judges others for their own decisions and brow beat other for not conforming by making their own choices. The decision to have or not have children can never be claimed as selfish as a hard heartfelt decision that is not for everybody whether you are for or against having children. I believe that the decision to have children is in my opinion decided to lightly. Way too many people have children you have no business we don’t have it in them to be parents. To scorn those who make a God given decision is a mindless parrot who cannot think for herself .

    4. 1.4
      Moni D

      I have one better for you. How about 5 months into total perfection he tells you that you’re perfect but he doesn’t want to raise kids(You already have kids by the way).

    5. 1.5

      Just going to put my two cents out there. I am a 23-year-old man who never wishes to have kids. The main reason for this is that I am a scientist, a biologist to be precise who Is looking to go into genetics. I suffer from Depression and Bi-Polar, conditions that have caused me a great deal of distress and suffering in my life and conditions that, in all honesty, I would not like to pass on. I have a two-year-old sister who, given the age gap, can basically be considered mine anyways and my priority is getting a good career so I can help my mother raise her. I don’t think I would be a good parent. It is a lot of hard work and I already have to keep medication to be able to keep on top of my job. I need a lot of me time to be able to overcome my problems. I know I would not be a good father and in that light, it would be irresponsible for me have one, even an adopted one.

      I can barely look after one brain much less another. Whilst my intention is not to be promiscuous, If I go did chose that lifestyle, would it matter? So long as they were not manipulating people or leading them on in any way. I have an amazing circle of friends, nieces and nephews who I cherish. I don’t need to procreate just to feel like I’m part of a family. Raising children takes a lot of effort and I would much rather be that uncle figure who can look after other children than have them of my own.  

      I lived in a girl at uni who was very adamant about never wanting children, and how she was sick of all the societal pressures she faced. I never took it seriously but recently I have started to notice the pressure and condescension placed on people to have kids whether they want to or not. The world is overpopulated as it is. so surely allowing people who do not want children to make that decision is the better option than coercing them into a situation whereby they make unfit parents?

      1. 1.5.1

        There are tons of childfree meetups and Facebook pages. I see posts every day about women who want to find a childfree man. Check it out!

  2. 2
    Dana Palumbo

    I must admit I admire someone who knows what they want. And because parenthood is something no one should ever enter into unwillingly, because innocent children will suffer, I appauld those who decline.
    That said, realize there are many younger women who already have children and may not desire more. Stick to your principles or you will regret it.
    If you are worried that your dating pool will shrink, so what? It only takes one. The “one” is always worth waiting for.

  3. 3

    You’re in a minority in your preferences if you were into BDSM, or were an animal activist, or gave half your earnings to the Pentecostal Church.

    Hey…, I never gave half my earnings to the Pentecostal church. 🙂

    1. 3.1

      I don’t want to have children and am yearning to meet guys like Steve. How do we meet each other? I’m also over 40 but very youthful, so I guess at least two strikes against me. What a bore! So much conventionality to deal with and so little time to waste.

      1. 3.1.1

        I am in the same boat. I know I don’t want children, just turned 40. I Still look and feel much younger. All my friends are either married and/or having kids. I am tired of dating 20 somethings! Where are all the fun 30-40 yr old women who still look and feel young like me and do not want kids either?   You are my unicorns.

        1. Crystal

          We’re out there! 36, single as fuck, don’t want kids. I’ve found others who don’t want them either, but never anyone compatible with me in other areas. It’s frustrating finding someone compatible, which is one reason I choose to just be happy on my own.

          For example, I met a childfree guy a while ago who was a few years older than me, nice, etc. But our sense of humor really clashed, and he did not want to travel! That was one of the first things he told me about himself… that he hates this thing of travel being the ultimate dream for people and he has no desire to travel ever. Immediate dealbreaker. :\ Travel is one of my biggest goals and main interests in life. I pretty much want to travel indefinitely.

          So yeah, it’s not just finding other childfree people, it’s finding other childfree people who are compatible in lifestyle/humor/sexuality/spirituality, etc. I’ve accepted it might never happen and that’s okay.

    2. 3.2

      Steve, I am 32 and I do not want children. I am finding it so hard to find men who don’t want them! It really is very hard. I hope one day I can find one. It seems nearly impossible. So I feel your pain! 🙂

      1. 3.2.1

        I am 36 years old and i do not want to have children. Its something ive been struggling with for years because so much of society has drilled it into our heads that it is frowned upon for not wanting children,   but choosing to have or not have children is not something that can be nagotiated. But it is nice to know there are other people out there who feel the way i do. My fear of ending up alone because i dont want kids just lessoned a little bit. Thank you.

        1. Jenny


        2. Alison

          Im 28 and feel the exact same way! I have never and still never want children, iv just come out of a long term relationship and i fell like il never find a man my age who feels the same way about this…its a scary thought at my age to b honest 😕

        3. Eddie

          Your grammar was correct the first time Jenny 😉 but you’re right the spelling.. Well you’ve got that covered now. Good Job.

        4. Dan

          All of us men and woman who have don’t have that burning desire to procreate struggle with dating. Either they pretend to accept my decision and constantly hit about kids think I’ll change my mind or they are like oook   and go ghost on me. I’m 32 years and I’ve made my decision. As I said in my post before I do have a 7 year old daughter I’ve even had woman pull the “you have a daughter how can you be against having one with me ” reading your messages give me hope I’m not alone thank you all!!!#

      2. 3.2.2

        If you ask me, I would tell you, that’s me, I am 35 male and don’t want children as I like a comfortable life for me and my partner and want to enjoy life together 🙂 Travel etc… I already started travelling on my own whenever I have the occasion.

      3. 3.2.3

        I’mthe same. I don’t want children. How you can compare not wanting children to other deal breakers for some such as height. Just rediculous. Having children or not is somuch more of a big deal than everything else listed here it’s compared to. It’s a life. Not a fashion or dietry choice!

    3. 3.3

      Steve, you might be in minority and I might be a Buddhist and a woman but I absolutely support men who are honest and courageous enough not to play the majority’s games. It’s just that people like us need more sites specifically for child free dating. I don’t want to have kids and I never wanted them and I never regretted of not having them. So search for your muse and you’ll find her, if there is you there has to be her. Don’t settle in for life time slavery, preserve your integrity, health, passion and your freedom. Preserve yourself.

  4. 4

    Well, first I want to say that the BF and I are both in our late twenties and are atheist vegetarians who don’t want kids. By EMK’s measure, our dating pool was pretty small, and while we were both optn to dating outside our preferences, we found each other. So it can happen.

    One thing that neither Steve nor EMK mention is where Steve lives, which is a HUUUUUGE factor. If you live in mapdot, KS, then you’re probably SOL. However, if you live in a major metropolitan area, then your odds go WAAAAAY up, just because dating is a numbers game. So if Steve lives in an area where the dating pool is pretty small, then perhaps he needs to consider relocating to an area that would give him more options.

    Tough in this economy, I know. But them’s my two cents 🙂

  5. 5

    @Holly Hoffman, post #1:

    Not all women are looking for the One (or believe in the One for that matter), and not all women have considered the possibilities.

    Holly, I didn’t get any surprises with Evan’s answer. You can only cut things so many ways once you look at reality with your eyes open.

    The reason why I sent my email in and quoted your comment above is that I am a bit confused by women on match.com who list themselves as “not sure” despite being in their late 30s or even mid 40s.

    Aside from issues of the “biological clock” adoption is a significant expense and often requires years of bureaucracy. That isn’t even considering the time it takes to raise a child to adulthood….and fit a romance in before doing that.

    Evan pointed out that I’m an oddball ( I am, no sweat ), so perhaps it is silly/hypocritical of me to be amazed that there are women in their mid 30s – mid 40s who have never REALLY gave the issue serious thought.

    Since it is less common for someone, especially a woman not to want to be a parent I was wondering if these women who are at a more developed stage of their lives put down “not sure” to avoid seeming like odd balls?

    1. 5.1

      I am 33 and genuinely unsure. I was a 99% ‘no’ in my 20s, and then a couple of cute babies got me thinking that I do like kids. Since then my desire to have kids has varied depending on everyday experiences (e.g., a crying baby on a plane vs. a beautiful moment involving a child). Trying to give the issue “serious thought” in a rational way hasn’t helped. I have tried this many times and with different techniques (e.g., spending time with kids; a pros and cons list; attending evidence-based lectures on the topic), since I wanted to clarify my thoughts to give a previous partner who wanted kids an answer and would really like to know how I feel myself to avoid mismatched dating in the future. Sometimes you can’t force the answer to something, and you just have to wait and see. Replying to let you know that at least some women may really be uncertain.

    2. 5.2

      Hi Steve!

      Thanks for your post – really appreciated it and relate.   I’m 44 and do not want to be a parent, although I like kids too.   So…maaaaybe you can start a dating site for this purpose?   🙂
      And…if still single and interested, let’s get to know one another!   Why not?   You never know…  

      1. 5.2.1

        I am one of those guys who doesn’t want kids…i found it really difficult finding women who shares my falue..as soon as i let them know they run away and never come back..i would love to find love some day..

    3. 5.3

      I am dating an older guy and he also quoted on his profile “not sure” of having children.
      I may have to talk to him   what he really means by that.


      1. 5.3.1

        “Not sure” usually means no.   Sorry, just speaking from experience=(

    4. 5.4


      Yes, I believe that could be the reason.    Men do it too.    I am very unique in that I have never been afraid to tell people about my decision to not procreate (to potential boyfriends or anyone else).

      I am now 36 and single.    I have known since age 13 that I would never want children.

      I hope you are having more luck with your search now 😊

  6. 6

    Here’s part of my post (#7) on the previous thread about the girl whose boyfriend wasn’t sure he wanted kids I wrote:

    “I’m one of the not sure people concerning having kids. I don’t feel any burning desire to have kids, but at the same time I think I’d make a good parent and if the dad was super-involved, it could be fun My future spouse’s feelings will probably be the determining factor as to whether or not I end up having children.”

    I’m not in my 30s or 40s yet, but I’m 28 and I don’t see myself changing my position in the next 5-7 years. But the older I become, the less likely I think I’d be to want kids. Then again, my older sister was like me and she ended up really wanting them. Go figure.

  7. 7


    Having myself put “not sure” in my profile, I can assure you it is not because I haven’t thought about it. I would definitely like to have children but ONLY with the right man. It’s a big decision and one that should be made jointly.

  8. 8

    I don’t think that “not sure” necessarily means these women haven’t given the issue serious thought. It could mean that the woman will decide based on the circumstances she finds herself in…she’s flexible.

    I also think that some women may opt for “not sure” for different reasons. Like you suggested, if they really don’t want children, they might say “not sure” so as not to seem like odd balls or worse cold-hearted woman. However, women in their late 30’s and 40’s who actually do want children may say “not sure” so that men won’t think they are the desperately seeking motherhood type of women and avoid them/write them off.

    As others have said, I just think you should try to find out what the deal is early on so if she really does want children, neither of you would have much invested time in a relationship where on such an important matter both partners can’t be fulfilled.

  9. 9


    You don’t mention in your letter whether your searches also exclude women who already have children from a previous relationship or not. If so, then that would further narrow your options, especially for women in their late 30’s/early 40’s.

    As for myself, I’m in my early 40’s, and I have put “not sure” or “maybe”, since I have two teenagers and currently do not plan on having more children. However, if I were to meet someone who felt strongly about us raising a child together, then I would definitely consider adoption.

  10. 10

    I had my son when I was 22. In my 30’s I dated men around my age, older and younger. Many said they were unsure if they wanted kids of their own, or thought they would want them “someday”. The older my son (and I!) got, the more I felt I didn’t want any more. I didn’t want to start all over with pregnancy, birth, diapers, spit up, babysitters, daycare, school and the whole long process involved in raising children to adulthood. Fortunately, in the last 10 years my 2 serious relationships were with men who already had kids of their own and didn’t particularly want any more either.

    Steve, are you open to dating women who already have kids? Would you consider someone whose kids are in their teens, or college age? Less years spent helping ‘raise’ them the older they are. I think you are about my age 47, no? The women I know in their 40’s have already had all the kids they want to give birth to. For some, (like me) their kids are already grown and out of the house.

    If your preferred age range is 30’s to 42, you may be limiting yourself. Expanding it upward would give you more choices. As certainly would dating women who’s children were older, grown, or nearly there.

  11. 11

    I’m another “not sure”, early-30s woman. As a few others have mentioned, it really depends on the potential daddy. In someways I do envy my friends who have always known either way. I’m a little concerned that at 40 I’ll change my mind and desperately want kids. Or meet the right baby daddy too late. But, either way, and unlike most choices in life, I’d rather regret not having kids and being the fun, involved Aunt (bio or honorary) than regret having kids.

    Right now I’m dating someone with a 10yo daughter who lives in another state. He’s pretty sure he doesn’t want to have anymore kids (he’s 45 and worried about being too old, plus, he may not want to go through all that again). So, we’ll see where that goes. There are good and bad points about being childless (and perhaps wanting to stay that way) and dating someone with a kid.

  12. 12

    I’m an ‘older’ woman who prefers to date younger men. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to meeting someone my age or a year or two older. It does mean someone significantly older isn’t even a blip on my radar. That being said, I realize it significantly lowers my potential matches and I can accept that. It just means I have to be patient as it will probably take longer to find just the right guy that’s into older women.

  13. 13

    @Glenda & Selena.

    Yes, I am open to dating women with grown children or children who don’t “live at home” as match puts it. As I wrote, I like kids, my preference is simply to not be a parent.

  14. 14

    At my age, 63, I get 3 or 4 new hits per week. I respond to 1 or 2.
    I usually date one new person per week. I have been dating a couple of the same people for 6 months and 2 months, respectively.

    I think this is good since most men my age are dead or married, and if not, why not??

  15. 15

    Hi Steve,

    Absolutely nothing wrong with being upfront about not wanting your own children. Because having children / not having children is not one of those issues/topics where you can compromise easily – it is pretty much one of those “you both have to be a YES or you both have to be a NO” situations in order for things to work out.

    I’m 43 and as much as I do love children (I have a horde of nephews, nieces & god-children) I never got around to having any of my own, and at this stage of the game I’ve pretty much decided that I won’t be having any of my own.

    So if you live in the Boston area & are partial to tall blondes with a foreign accent, we should talk… 🙂

  16. 16

    @Robyn post #15

    I live in the D.C. area, but if you find yourself traveling down here or find me traveling up there you are entitled to one free night out 🙂

    1. 16.1
      Corrinne H


      What about a 32yo in New Zealand?  

      I definitely don’t want kids 🙂

      1. 16.1.1

        I live in New Zealand and I don’t want kids and yet people always say that I will change my mind. I’m 35 now and I still wont change my mind 🙂

      2. 16.1.2

        According to stats, more and more people are delaying childbirth or opting out altogether. It seems like now should be the best time ever to maintain a child-free lifestyle.

  17. 17


    I’m totally late answering this because I don’t drop by regularly these days. However, if you think you’re an oddball–I’m a 39-year-old woman who has never for one moment wanted to have a child. My online profiles state this clearly. I think it’s far more acceptable for a man to want to remain childless than it is for a woman. As someone mentioned above, it’s perceived as cold. Whatever.

    I tend to agree with you about not wanting to go down the path with someone who’s stated goal is to be a parent. It IS the ultimate deal-breaker. Perhaps I could learn to live with a smoker, but you don’t bring a human into the world just to make your man happy. You might be surprised how much this limits my dating options. At this point, I’m just ticking off the years, waiting for the childbirth thing to be off the table. Or at least for no one to expect that from me.

    Incidentally, I live in San Francisco, but will be flying home to DC for two weeks in November. I might suggest getting together, but it would make my mother too happy. 😉

    Good luck to you, Steve!

  18. 18

    Hi Steve,

    I am looking to date men who don’t want kids. I like them but due to lifestyle choices, I do not want to take the traditional path.
    And let me tell you, a woman who does not want kids is judged twice as harshly as a man who does not, in the dating scene.

    Having said that, parenthood is something that is a life time commitment. To be anything less will be unfair to all parties concerned. So I hope you keep your stance and persevere.

  19. 19

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, since you are sure you do not want kids, your dating pool will be smaller, but I have faith that you will meet the right girl with the same preference eventually. I say this because I am one of those women, and I have more than just a few friends that feel similarly about the whole children topic. So although yes, we are in the minority, there are plenty of women and men who don’t want kids, so just keep lookin!

  20. 20

    I can only concur with what the other non-kid-wanting women have said. I honestly believe I would scare fewer men off by saying I was a Satanist than by saying I, at 35, don’t want children. “What’s WRONG with you, you freak???” is the usual reaction… more or less politely phrased.
    And I have to take issue with the analogy offered here. People into BDSM or Pentacostalism have places they can go to meet like-minded people. For those who don’t want kids, there are no such venues.
    It’s also rather insensitive to equate veganism or smoking with having children. Deciding to compromise on those issues affects only the person making that choice. But bringing an unwanted child into the world affects that child’s whole future, being raised by someone who didn’t really want him. Not cool.

    1. 20.1

      Thank you Erica!! Um, having kids is a BIG DEAL and it’s a complete dealbreaker to not be on the same page as the other person. It is absolutely NOT the same thing as an eating preference or even a religion.

      I knew I didn’t want children as a 7 year old- and I even told my mom and she said she would just love any fuzzy, four footed critter I had as a grandbaby instead (my mom is awesome btw)! You can’t tell someone who doesn’t want kids to just consider “changing their mind”. Nah, we’ve probably put MORE thought into our choice to not have kids over people who have. I’ve talked to so many women with kids who secretly regret it but are so ashamed to admit it, that they only feel comfortable talking to me about it because they know I won’t judge them for it. It’s ridiculous!

      So, no. Do not compare it to something that can be easily changed like someone’s food choice or even their religion. As Erica said, it’s a choice that effects no less than 3 human lives and you get the reward of being in prison for being a bad parent, so if you want to opt out- do it! And guess what, if more people actually thought about this topic, maybe there would be a bigger dating pool for us childfree by choice.

      I’m 34, been single for 10 years now because I haven’t met a guy who fits my criteria of three things: doesn’t want kids, we’re mutually attracted to each other and he treats me as well as I treat him. I don’t think that’s me being “too picky”, but apparently in a society where kids are the default and you have to try really hard to NOT be a parent it is “too picky”. But, Evan, don’t tell me not to complain because it IS frustrating. That’s like telling a parent to never complain about their kids because, after all, it was their “choice” to have them! Ugh.

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