Rant: On Men Over 35 Who Want to Have Children Someday
I've now had four conversations with men on dating apps end like this:
Him (Aged 37-45): Oh, you have a kid?
Me: Yes, it's there in my profile.
Him: haha, well, I might want kids someday, I'm not sure.
Me: I know I don't want any more.
Him: Oh. Well, nice talking to you, then.
The logic here seems to be that I'm not dateable (it says in my profiles that I'm not looking for a long-term relationship at this point, by the way) unless I am also willing to hypothetically be a receptacle for the children this man may or may not want "someday".
I don't really mind the rejection as such. I mind the "someday". When is "someday" to a man over the age of 35? When he's 40? 45? One of these men was 44-- will "someday" arrive when he's 50?
Gentlemen, some real talk.
Charlie Chaplin, Mick Jagger, and Donald Trump notwithstanding, when you're around my age the window for you to have children is closing. Not just because women of your own age are reaching the end of peak fertility, but because your own semen are starting to degrade genetically, as a 2014 meta-analysis shows:
"Older males contribute to increased risk of obstetric complications, miscarriage, and offspring disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. In addition, increasing male age may be an overlooked component of couple infertility, leading to our increased use and dependency on fertility treatments, such as IVF."
Also, do you even know whether you have enough of them? Sperm counts in Western men have dropped by 60% since the 1970s, and while the median levels haven't yet left the range considered fertile, there's no consensus as to what is causing that decline (beyond "chemicals used in commerce"), so it's probably going to carry on. Whacked in the junk more than once? Had mumps after the age of about 11, or chlamydia any time? Your odds of being sub-fertile or even sterile are much higher.
If "someday" arrives for you after the age of 40, no matter how much younger your partner is, you could have trouble. And the woman who committed to you in part because she thought you'd be a good dad is now faced with the prospect of having IVF, with its hormone injections, surgical procedures and surprisingly low success rates, as a solution to YOUR health condition.
“The remarkable thing about ART (assisted reproductive technology) is that even when it’s the male problem, it’s the female that has to undergo treatment. What sort of equality is that?”
Many women I know who were still unmarried after age 30 had fertility check-ups to see if they had sufficient ovarian reserve and/or quality to start a family if they met the right man within the next few years. Some even have frozen eggs in storage. You men, while you dither about waiting for "someday" to happen (you're so dreamy and romantic, you silly unrealistic things), are never even bothered to worry about whether you're producing quality material. You just assume your dicks are magic.
If you maybe, possibly want kids "someday" and you're over 35 years old, take a page from the women your own age and pay to have a fertility check-up (yes, pay-- how much money have the women you know paid over the decades to maintain birth control prescriptions in part to ensure your pleasure during underwhelming sex?). That way, if there is a problem, you have time to absorb the ramifications of it while you're still single: How does this impact your perception of your own masculinity? What will your own parents think or feel? Should you save for adoption or fertility treatment? Do you still want to be a father? What kind of father would you actually be, and what kind of partner to a woman?
And when at last Miss Someday arrives (and magically eradicates your carefully nurtured decades-long fear of commitment--sorry, different rant), you can inform her that there May Be Issues Ahead when it comes to starting a family, and work through that together as a couple.
It is LITERALLY the least you could do. Grow up.
Formerly Miss "Someday"