I want to get married & not have children

I went on a date the other week. I have a “no dating” rule in place while I grieve and try to heal a broken heart, but there was a spark and energy that made me really want to go out with this guy – a flow of cosmic energy from the universe encouraging me to meet him and open up to him.

He was nice. It was a good date and I stayed up well past my bedtime to keep talking with him over cocktails. Although I had moments of wishing that I was with the boy who broke my heart instead, for the most part I was present and lighthearted.

At one point, near the end of the date, he mentioned that he’s looking to get married and have children.

“I want to get married and not have children,” I said. He stuttered a little.

“I definitely want kids,” he replied after brief silence/obvious choking on air wondering what to do next.

We both nodded at each other, understanding.


There are points during dates where both parties know that this can’t go any further.

There was a time when I was on a date with a guy and he revealed that he was moving out west in a few months.

“Well what the hell are we doing here then?” I retorted, a few cocktails in and obviously very moody about him wasting my time.

There have been dates where men have told me that they’re not looking for a relationship. Those obviously haven’t continued. (I completely cannot understand why you’d be on a date in the first place but that is rant for another time.)

There was also the Friday evening last year where I flatly told my date, after he waxed poetic about smoking weed every day, that I couldn’t date someone who did drugs every day. He decided to argue with me about it, despite my warnings that my ex was a heroin addict and that mood or personality altering drug use isn’t something I want in my life. Eventually I straight-up yelled, near-tears, voice-wavering (he kept talking over me & ignoring my obvious discomfort & pain at the subject), “I am getting up and leaving right now if you don’t drop this.” The waiter came by shortly afterwards and asked us how we were doing. I glared, nostrils flaring. My date said, “That remains to be seen.”

(An aside: That same guy sent me a condescending text later that night as I sat on the couch feeling absolutely shitty about myself, saying that I will never find “Mr. Right” if I close myself off to “new experiences.” Drug use in relationships isn’t a new experience, but thanks for the swell dating advice Mr. Obviously Not Right!)


There are so many different experiences, values, or goals that someone might hold that just are not compatible. I always like getting them out on the first or second date, before anyone gets too involved. Having kids is a major one. I might at some point want to have children. I might accidentally find myself with children. But I have absolutely no goals or absolute wish to have children, and it isn’t fair to myself or the other person to date someone who very much wants that life experience.

I can’t date someone who is flat out not looking for a relationship, because obviously I am. Luckily this usually comes out on the first or second date – in fact, typically I very willingly bring it up on a first date. (Why are we even on a date if you’re not looking for a relationship or open to that possibility??????? [Beginning of angry rant.])

I can’t date someone who does drugs/drinks every day because I like to live my life in full clarity and free of daily use/dependence, and wish for a companion who shares that same set of values. (Please don’t take personal offense to this – I don’t scorn people who choose to live their lives this way – it simply is not for me.)

And there are other things – travel is a big one. I love to travel and explore and have dated people for whom travel just isn’t a big thing. I get four weeks of paid vacation and it is the best job perk because it makes travel so much more accessible. Exercise and eating reasonably well is another value that I need to share with someone. (That said, I dated a guy who threw my pizza bagels in the garbage and yelled at me for treating my body unwell. Yupp. Too far. Especially as I was on my period.) I am a Christian and need someone who is okay with that – I don’t care about their religious beliefs as long as they don’t mind mine. (The same guy who threw away my pizza bagels – and who dumped me on Valentine’s Day – also would tell me about how garbage my religious beliefs are and that I’m wasting my time and brain-space with religion. Whoo! What a winner of a boyfriend!)

And then there are the obvious ways in which I probably infringe on others’ values or goals. I’m very career-oriented. While relationships (family, friends, & otherwise) always come first, I definitely have career goals and objectives and work hard. I volunteer a lot of my time as well. I will never allow myself to get to the point where work keeps me from having a fulfilling relationship, but I’ve dated people for whom my career & volunteering took up too much of my time.

I also have been told that I struggle to make another person feel needed. I’m a pretty independent woman (or so I’ve been told – I really have no idea how I am more so than anyone else but according to many others, I’m on a whole other level!). I’m hard-headed, fierce about my convictions, know how to care for myself, and enjoy my time alone…and my time individually with friends, away from boyfriend/person I’m dating. I am not looking for a relationship so that I can take on every characteristic, interest, or hobby of the other person…and sometimes I think I’m so independent that I come off as uninterested or non-invested. I retain a lot of balance in my dating life, and I’m sure it’s a balance that doesn’t suit everyone.

I can be really blunt and inappropriate. I’ve had boyfriends tell me that it’s to a degree of embarrassment, and they couldn’t bring me around their friends or family anymore because I obviously cannot control myself (sarcasm on my end….not on theirs). I have a crass sense of humor and tend to say whatever is on my mind. I’m not passive aggressive and I confront things head on, which is not a Minnesotan way of life.

I’m sure I have a dozen other qualities and characteristics that are wholly incompatible with what someone is looking for in a partner. Just ask any of my exes. And I know that I have a handful of things that I cannot be compatible with – some of them listed above. What are the things that deter you?

3 thoughts on “I want to get married & not have children

  1. I don’t want kids, never have done. Marriage I’m not looking for either but if it happens, that’s fine. I share the sarcastic sense of humour that not everyone gets. A friend of mine dismissed my friendship years ago because of it. Just got to muddle through and learn from my mistakes and see what happens


  2. It sounds like I’ve actually had a pretty similar dating experience to you and for the same sorts of reasons! I’m not super into the whole “soulmate” idea but almost every day I am grateful for the fact I got out of a shitty relationship and made room to meet my current boyfriend, who loves the things about me that past boyfriends have hated! Word of warning: people’s reactions to you not wanting kids get more and more frustrating the closer to 30 you get! I am constantly told that I will change my mind or regret my decision. I’m willing to accept that that may be the case, but I am with someone who definitely doesn’t want kids and I’m not going to give up on an amazing relationship for the kids I might maybe want one day possibly. Anyway, I’m rambling!


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