April 22, 2006

My Quest for a Childfree Man

In the process of writing the outline for my book and documentary, I was forced to recall the years I was a single woman, dating. I hated dating because those first dates where so damn awkward. The only way I could endure them was to go into the first date with such low expectations of how it might turn out that it would be impossible to be disappointed.

I never expected to be swept off my feet. I never expected a phone call the next day. I never thought of these first dates as a way to qualify a future husband. It was just an opportunity to spend time with a guy who seemed interesting and fun.

That strategy seemed to work. Usually there was a second or third date, time to assess if this guy was going to be someone you wanted to keep around. Some were keepers, some were not.

I knew at 15 years old that I did not want to be a Mom, so when a relationship got serious, I felt compelled to spill the beans. That was usually the end. And, rightly so. I knew I could not marry a man who wanted children of his own, and I wasn't going to pretend otherwise.
So when I finally found a guy who was in his thirties who didn't care if he had kids or not, I was thrilled.

I knew that life with a childfree man was going to be very different:
--I was never going to be pressured into having a child.
--I would be his partner, rather than the mother of his children.
--I would be free to pick and choose just how I might want to express my femaleness, outside of the prescribed role of Mom.
--We would have the time to nurture each other and our relationship.
--We could take risks, financial and otherwise, without risking a child's future.

I also knew that if I married a childfree man:
--I would likely never experience the challenges and joys of being a parent.
--I might be alone later in life.
--I will have no excuse not to do all of those things I dreamed of doing as a childfree person.
--One, or both, of us might our regret our decision not to have a child.

This July we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. Regret-free.

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Anonymous said...

LauraS -- Ahem, you mean a Purple Man (tee hee).

Thanks for sharing your personal journey to Mr. Right.

Please tell us more about your project when ready so we can celebrate your milestones with you. Are you still looking for childfree adults to interview?

Boxing Tomboy said...

That is such a blessing. Kudos to you!