When you were married, maybe you talked about having kids, but you and your partner never made it happen, for one reason or another. Or maybe you did have a child (or two) but had always talked about wanting to have more. Now that you’re divorced, you may find yourself worried about how you are going to have a child since you are essentially starting over and now are older and are potentially closing in on the best years for your fertility (or your partner is).
Whether you never had a child at all or never finished creating the family you wanted, there are some special considerations for dating again when you want to have a baby.
Here are a few tips:
Have “The Talk” Early
You don’t have to scare away your date by talking about kids and marriage the first time you go out. But you should have the talk relatively early – by date three or so. It doesn’t need to be too SERIOUS – like you’re proposing to get married and have children now. However, you should be upfront about your goals. Something along the lines of “We touched on this briefly, but I wanted to discuss it more. I am in the place where I would like to get married and have a family within the next couple of years, and I would like to know whether you share those goals.”
Keep the talk as light as you can, but also be honest. Don’t make it seem like it’s no big deal when it is, but also don’t make it seem like you are desperate to find a partner and anyone will do.
Believe Him When He Tells You He Doesn’t Want Kids
After you’ve had the talk, if your new date says he doesn’t think he wants kids, or he’s on the fence about it, believe him. Don’t think that he will change his mind – or that he’ll change it for you once you’re in love. He might, but he might not. You can’t assume it will happen and then spend years waiting for the change of heart only to be bitterly disappointed and realize that you missed your last chance at a family.
The same goes for men who are dating women who say they don’t want to have kids. Accept what the person is saying and then move on to find someone who shares your goals.
Spend Time around Kids Together
Even if a person says they want to have kids, it doesn’t mean they’ll make a good parent. Spend time around kids together so you can see how your potential partner interacts with children. Go to family events where children will be, or volunteer to babysit for friends. Though everyone will treat their own children differently, you can learn a lot about a person by how they act around kids.
Talk about Important Issues
When you have children with someone, there are a lot of big issues that come into play. For example, will you raise the children with a religion? If so, what religion will that be? Do you want to homeschool? You don’t need to talk about all the details of how you will raise your children – after all, that will evolve as you raise them – but you should be clear about major issues that you know about now, such as religion.
If you were married for a long time, you may find yourself in your 30s (or closing in on your 40s) and still looking for someone with whom to have children after you’ve been divorced. It’s important to understand how to approach dating so that you don’t waste any of your precious time and miss out on your opportunity to meet these goals. These tips will help.
How did you handle dating when you wanted to build a family? Share your tips in the comments!
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching the culinary institute Houston. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.