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Meet my biological clock!

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 2, 2009 10:18 AM

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I think this woman speaks for many, many women. And many, many clocks.

Q: Hi Meredith,

How do you go out on new dates when your biological clock is screaming? I'm about to turn 40 and am awkward enough on computer dates, and this elephant in the room makes it a million times worse.

I would like to say to all my new dates: "Ok, now, I'm totally NOT going to fall in love with you or any male with a pulse just because I want a baby. HOWEVER, should we discover that we like each other and possibly have a future together, I totally CANNOT afford to wait too long, and I cannot, CANNOT have you line me up or string me along, or let me think things are going better than they are because you don't want to hurt my feelings. This last one has been particularly hurtful in my past; I lost a few years due to this issue. I can't read your mind, and if you don't envision a future with me, you need to tell me IMMEDIATELY, no matter how much you're enjoying the sex and/or companionship. And if we do perchance get married, we're going to have to work on kids right away. I wish it weren't that way, but unfortunately it is."

Obviously, I can't say all that to someone on the first or second date. However, it's the truth, and it will come up eventually, and I don't know how to get around it.

How do men and other women deal with this issue? I can't be the only 40ish woman with this problem. Thanks!

-- Dottie

A: Dottie, you’re not the only person with this problem, for sure.

The truth is, you can’t get around this. As you date, you have to be up front about the fact that you’re looking for a long-term partner and that you want kids. That disclosure alone will filter out some of the suitors who aren’t serious about you. After that, it’s a gamble. You can’t rush someone into procreating with you. You can’t get a guarantee that someone wants a baby with you after 10 dates, not even 20.

If you’re dating online, that’s a plus. There are men out there who want kids soon. They’ll be attracted to a profile that says the same. Put it all out there with confidence.

Also, I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need a plan B. You’re turning 40, and biological clocks are real, despite all the People magazine covers that show 50somethings with babies. You may want to look into freezing eggs to reduce some of the stress you’re putting on yourself to find a partner immediately. Freezing eggs is expensive, but so is divorce. So is being miserable.

Readers? This is a real issue for many women, especially as folks get married later and focus more on their careers. Share your advice here -- and for the love of Twizzlers, be nice and empathetic. Think to yourself, WWTFD (What would Tina Fey do?), and then respond accordingly.

-- Meredith (Twitter here)

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167 comments so far...
  1. Hmmm...i wonder if Dottie really wants kids, or if she just feels like she needs to have some before her eggs hit the expiration date.

    Dottie, I hope that you're aware that as a woman approaches 40, the chance of chromosomal abnormality in the fetus goes up dramatically, right? have you thought out this NEED to pop out a crotchfruit, or is this simply some kind of biological urge you can't resist?

    And I can't help but wonder, if you're so desperate to find a father for your not-yet-conceived child, are you going to end up selecting someone who hasn't had the benefit of months or years of pre-screening to see if they'd actually be a good parent? If you're having a child purely to satisfy your own desires, please make sure you're bringing that child into a situation that isn't going to cause them emotional pain down the road. I think you really need to ask yourself some questions and consider the well being of your future child before just popping one out cos you NEED to.

    Posted by Schlippo June 2, 09 10:47 AM
  1. You can adopt whenever. Then you can get all of the glories of parenthood without being dependent on biology.

    Twentysomething women who "aren't ready to get married even though I'm dating a great guy, but my life plan says I should get married at thirty, so I'm going to dump him to have some fun and work on my career" should print out this question and keep it close. Biology doesn't giver a damn about your career, your life plan or otherwise. And being married doesn't mean you can't do things like travel, work on your career or have fabulous times with your gal pals.

    Posted by K June 2, 09 10:53 AM
  1. You can not build a meaningful relationship when there is this much pressure on having children right off. The importance is not on meeting someone you can fall in love with. You're just looking for a means to an end.

    You need to adjust your approach or chances are pretty high you're going to be a single mother. Sounds like that might not be there worst situation for you though.

    Posted by doubtful June 2, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Rico likes Twizzlers...no fat and tasty. Anyhow, Rico digresses and now for his real thoughts on this:

    Rico thinks this is a serious problem, one that needs further review. Lets back up about 20 years or more? Get back to the root of the problem. You are now approaching the age of 40 which you feel is right about time for the alarm to go off on your bio-clock. Back when you were dating other guys the past 20 or so years was when you should have been thinking ahead. Maybe you were too busy trying to find the right guy on paper? Rico is not trying to be mean or disrespectful, he is just pointing out a fact of life whether you like it or not. Many women approaching 40 are in the same predicament as you are due to looking for the perfect guy or being Career-focused. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but at the same time we all make decisions in our lives and need to deal with the consequences of those decisions for the rest of our lives.

    Rico thinks at this point freezing eggs, using a sperm donor, finding a "friend" to have a child with etc...are all options you can look at. rico also thinks the dating should continue but you need to stop thinking baby and start thinking perfect guy for you. What good will it do to meet a guy, date for 4 months, get married and pregnant, buy a home and then begin divorce proceedings a year later because he wasn't "the one"? This is a common problem and one that should not be taken lightly.

    As Rico has said, it is the past 20 or so years you need to look at and realize it is your own fault for being in this position and you are the only one who can resolve it. Rico feels it is a lot of pressure to be putting on your dates as well as yoru self worrying about whether this "date" is the father to be of your child. Maybe just continue to date and meet a nice guy you love and if the timing is right then you have a baby together and if timing is say 5 or more years from now then there is always adoption.

    Dating on-line is fine but also remember that people tend to LIE. Rico suggests a dating service with real people to help the process might be a better route if this is really what you want. Otherwise Rico suggests you need to reassess your life and where you are going. It is your decision and one you will have to make and it will have consequences you need to deal with, now and forever.

    Rico will check in later for your response, for now have a good day.

    Love always,


    Kick Gas, Walk or ride, reduce your carbon footprint...

    Posted by Rico June 2, 09 10:56 AM
  1. Going on 36 and not having been in a relationship for years, I know where you are coming from. Remember there are other options available these days as well, that may or may not appeal to you - like sperm banks and adoption. That being said, I feel that if I'm meant to have kids, I'll meet someone to have them with. If not, then it wasn't meant to be. We can't have everything we want in life.

    Posted by 35 going on 36 June 2, 09 11:02 AM
  1. This is exactly why I, a guy of perhaps the appropriate age group for Dottie, prefer to date younger. Relationships take time to develop. It's not going to be clear where it's going at the beginning. If you think everything is crystal clear, chances are you're going to be wrong. Starting off dating trying to decide whether someone is an appropriate sperm (or egg) donor is like building a house from the roof down.

    Posted by DM June 2, 09 11:04 AM
  1. This is a situation without a good answer. Love happens when and how it wants it can't be forced or on a clock. Having said that Mere is right in the best you can do is present your wants and expectations to your potential mates in advance and hope for the best. Good luck and even if you "just" find someone that you truly love and never have a family you are still better off than you were.

    Posted by techdood June 2, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Remember last week's Mr. Right or Mr Right now? The LW knew that he wanted marriage and children (she, not so much), but many posters still suggested enjoying it while it lasted. I disagreed, and your quandary points up the reasons why people should be upfront.

    Meredith's answer is straightforward and honest. I've been through this with several friends, and I HATE to say this, but only one ended up with a child, and he is her stepson. If the child is the main reason you want to get married, maybe you should just focus on having a child instead. and see if the husband comes along at some later point.

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 2, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Remember last week's Mr. Right or Mr Right now? The LW knew that he wanted marriage and children (she, not so much), but many posters still suggested enjoying it while it lasted. I disagreed, and your quandary points up the reasons why people should be upfront.

    Meredith's answer is straightforward and honest. I've been through this with several friends, and I HATE to say this, but only one ended up with a child, and he is her stepson. If the child is the main reason you want to get married, maybe you should just focus on having a child instead. and see if the husband comes along at some later point.

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 2, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Wow, she is a little nuts.

    So what happens if he likes you at first, he is willing to enter into a committed relationship, and then a year goes by and he doesn't want to continue?

    Guys don't like to be put on a schedule, and if you are going to place this ultimatum on them, they will either just leave immediately (as Meredith had said), or they will decide that they want to invest some time into you.

    But just because a guy may put in a year or two, that doesn't even guarantee that you will be having his kids. You need to be more realistic. What did you do in your 20's and 30's? Did you just live it up, living the single, professional, sex in the city female lifestyle, shunning long term relationships?

    If you want a kid and don't have a man lined up, just adopt one or get artificially inseminated.

    You should think of having a kid and having a husband as two separate issues now.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 2, 09 11:12 AM
  1. This is a matter of clarifying your priorities and not pretending they are the other way around.

    From the tone of your message, it sounds as though kids are more important than partnership. Which is perfectly fine as long as you are willing to acknowledge that reality and move forward accordingly. If your biological clock is priority #1, prospective partners have a right to know.

    People can smell desperation. I'm 36 and single, and I've been out on dates with men who are CLEARLY more interested in an available uterus than a life partner. Sorry, I'm not interested in being a mere vessel through which your blessed children are conceived.

    Meredith is right that you need to explore Plan B and fully expect that to become your Plan A. Go to an adoption seminar hosted by ACONE. Meet with someone at your local sperm bank. Decide whether you need to move closer to family to make child-caring more affordable.

    One you start making concrete plans to have/adopt children, perhaps you’ll relax enough to enjoy your dates without freaking out about the timeline. In other words, once you’re concretely addressing priority #1, then you can focus constructive attention on priority #2.

    Posted by 40ish and dealt with this problem June 2, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Of course, there are all sorts of reasons we feel compelled to have biological children -- perpetuation of the species tops the list. But, perhaps you should consider the possibility of adopting once you finally find Mr. Right. First off, it will take the panicked edge off your husband search. Secondly, over-population is a very real, very serious problem. Finally, there are a lot of kids out there desperate for a good home.

    So, not only will the decision to adopt solve your problem by removing the "sprint to the finish line" feel to your courtships, but a deserving child will be able to lead a safe life full of love.

    Posted by Beth June 2, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Dottie, own your ambition, own your desire to be a mother. Adopt a child or get inseminated. If becoming a mom in this lifetime is what you want, do it, and do it now. Separate the two goals that you have for yourself: Wife is one, Mother is another. People are attracted to others who are fulfilled. Fulfill yourself first!

    Posted by catherine June 2, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Dottie - What would happen if you married because you felt in a rush to have kids and then found out that you or your partner could not have biological children? Or, what if you marry (or not) and have children and then find out that the person you married was not right for you? I know someone this happened to and it was a very messy divorce and the custody issues still continue 5 years later; a horrible situation for all - but none more so that the child.

    If you really want to have biological children you should probably go and get tested to determine your fertility now, that way you can weigh your options (sperm donor, freezing your eggs, etc.). You don't need to have a partner to have children, and if biological children are that important to you, there are other ways to achieve this goal.

    I was married at 40, and we tried to have kids (before and after we were married) and could not; we even tried IVF and were not successful. But, I love my husband with all of my heart and I am so glad that I found him and have him to spend the rest of my life with - with or without children. He is a blessing and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have found my partner in life.

    Am I disappointed that I cannot have biological children, sure - but to be honest, after 40 the risks of genetic disorders and miscarriage increases so much in older mothers that adoption looks more and more appealing to me.

    Posted by XZ7 June 2, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Dear Rock Around the Clock:
    You’d be surprised how many men have issues with clock size. Edith is right; you want to play with the boys who want kids. At 40, you’ll find a large pool of guys who have been married and also have kids. Many of them are done, snipped and cauterized. Others are looking to find someone who wants what you do: A family. Direct marketing would be the best approach. Because of your eagerness, please be careful of gay men who are looking to hide inside a heterosexual marriage and family. You can’t even imagine the enormous number of gay men in straight marriages who are unable, because of family, profession or religion, to live life as an open homosexual. At your age I would not be shy about divorced men with kids who share custody equally with their ex. They are looking to provide a family situation with a man and woman under one roof. Sure, it can be complicated, but love conquers all. Introducing a “half” sibling into that scenario is a nice way to bring it together for all parties and may satisfy your needs as the clock strikes midnight.

    Posted by valentino June 2, 09 11:28 AM
  1. I agree. Have the child on your own (ie sperm bank or have someone knock you up) and THEN go looking for a man to share your life with, maybe even a divorced man with kids or whatever. By trying to first find a man and then have children all in the whirlwind time left for your fertility your chances are minimal if not zero. Just have the kid, be a mom, and let a future relationship work itself out. Obviously the children part is what you are really after - you even state that love is an afterthought. So go ahead, break out the turkey baster and put a bun in your own oven! (crude, but you get the point)

    Posted by icpshootyz June 2, 09 11:36 AM
  1. I am 41 and never wanted kids, never even occurred to me really, so I find this hard to understand ( I am female)...another thing I do not understand is people's NEED to have a child of their own eggs/sperm, this seems so narcissistic to me....why not adopt? so many kids need a good home.
    Speaking of narcissistic, Rico, I don't read your comments anymore, they are really annoying. Speaking about yourself in the third person very annoying. I suspect you frequent here as you desperately need dating advice.

    Posted by kxs999 June 2, 09 11:39 AM
  1. This woman is CRAZY!!! She just wants kids. Nevermind the fact that she isn't willing to date for a long period and really get to know the guy who could be a psycho. Also her kids could be "challenged" at her age. Some people should not be allowed to reproduce and she is one of them. If a guy hooks up with her after hearing all this than he is pathetic and deserves the inevitable divorce and loss of half of his worldly possessions.

    Posted by Beantwon13 June 2, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Meredith,
    I think you should say exactly what you said here to every guy you date on your first date. So what if most of them never want to see you after again? That's exactly what you want. Don't waste time with anyone who is not as serious about this as you.

    To all the guys out there who wait too long, you also have biological clocks and they are not any quiter. Most women in their 20's and early 30's don't want to date guys who are in their 40's and if they do, it's most often for the wrong reasons. If men wait too long, the older they get there are fewer and fewer women to choose from later on so the same applies to men (I gave my husband an ultimatum when we were 26 and 10 years and three kids later we are happily married with a great house and excellent careers, while his guy friends who were too picky in their 20's and early 30's are now miserable because they let a few good oportunities get away).

    Posted by MVJ June 2, 09 11:40 AM
  1. K's point needs to be repeated:

    "Twentysomething women who "aren't ready to get married even though I'm dating a great guy, but my life plan says I should get married at thirty, so I'm going to dump him to have some fun and work on my career" should print out this question and keep it close. Biology doesn't giver a damn about your career, your life plan or otherwise. And being married doesn't mean you can't do things like travel, work on your career or have fabulous times with your gal pals."

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.....

    Posted by Mistral June 2, 09 11:40 AM
  1. Meredith got this one right.
    Dottie needs to get a Plan B-look into preserving fertility and explore other avenues of motherhood besides the biological.
    If Dottie comes to every first date with the baggage of "I need a baby and I need to have it right now!" she will not be able to truly evaluate a man for his potential to be her life partner, all she will be looking at his "daddy potential."

    Posted by Miss J June 2, 09 11:41 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith’s answer and the only thing I would add is that the writer needs to be cautious not to make "having kids" her life's mission and sole purpose.

    Now some general comments about Love Letters, if I may:

    1. Not every letter is worthy of a “nice and empathetic” response/comment. Some people need to be told the straight truth and sometimes the bluntness of the message makes it more effective. We are all adults and at this point, should all be familiar with how things go on this blog. If people don’t want honest, wide ranging, and also entertaining comments, then they shouldn’t write in. If this forum turns into a “play nice and don’t risk hurting anyone’s feelings” deal, then I’m ghost. Gone. Adios. I’ll march over to Rico’s fund accounting office, jack his bike, take off the streamers and flowered basket, and then ride off into the sunset.

    2. Anyone notice a trend? The primary advice I have for every letter writer (including today’s) is to communicate directly, honestly, and respectfully with their spouse/partner/blow up doll. Ask Meredith for her wisdom, read through our mixture of nonsense, personal experience, bias, and opinion, and then sit down with the person you are writing about. Have a discussion. Acknowledge your own faults and contributing role in things. Take a deep breath. Then show them a printout of the Love Letters blog and you can both laugh at it whilst imbibing on an adult beverage or four. Relocate to a position enhancing location. Enjoy yourselves. Rinse and repeat as needed.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss June 2, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Why is it so important to procreate? Why can't you just be happy in your life as it is? Why are you placing more importance on a hypothetical child that may or may not come into existence than you are on the potential for a loving, life-long partnership?

    Posted by Janna June 2, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Agree with the advice to handle the mommy track separately from the Mr. Right track. You're asking way too much to have any chance of success in your search to kill two birds with one stone. You have a good chance of losing out on both. Pursue AI and adoption and financial independence.

    Posted by Spuckey71 June 2, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Just to clarify, not all women still searching for "the one" were focused on their careers. As a later in life bride there was no deliberate plan to wait. I was working on myself and that is more important than finding, or birthing, another to fill the void.

    I agree to take stock at what is more important for you - having a child or finding a partner. Merging the two is only a recipe for disaster as previous posters have outlined. You don't even know if you and/or he can make babies. Having a marriage based on love for another, not for your intentions, is the only way it's going to work out in the end.

    Posted by shebop June 2, 09 11:44 AM
  1. If her clock is running out, Dottie should seriously consider becoming a single parent - sperm banks exist for a reason.

    Posted by The Dude June 2, 09 11:45 AM
  1. I really think that there is a second elephant in the room -- that you allowed yourself to be strung along for a few years without commitment and are now kicking yourself for allowing it to happen. Not all guys are like that, *BUT* you will need to be clear that after a year (or whatever timeframe you choose) you will expect to be engaged or you will break up with the guy. Stick to this but don't nag. Be clear up front about your expectations. Guys which don't like this condition are the very ones that you want to avoid. You will also need to change your dating strategy to find the guys who are as interested in children as you and to stop dating the guys who aren't.

    Posted by A guy who was there is is now happily married June 2, 09 11:48 AM
  1. Go on the computer, advertise and respond to ads on craigslist. Maybe you can meet a nice Med Student and see about getting knocked up instead of spending money on a sperm-bank or dating or adopting.

    Thats all for today


    Posted by hoss June 2, 09 11:51 AM
  1. Oh my God, lady, you are out of your mind... Another female psychotic moron that is not thinking of any of the consequences of this situation. GUYS, RUN AWAY FROM THIS ONE AS FAST AS YOU CAN

    Posted by sj June 2, 09 11:53 AM
  1. There are plenty of men who voice their desire to have children right from the get-go too, but, more times than not, women give excuses "need to play", "don't want to be like my/your mother", "need to chase my dream jobs/careers", "need to find Mr. Perfect", "I can't leave my friends or parents". It's all about honesty. If someone lies about the simple things, they will certainly lie about all issues.

    Dottie, try finding a man who has a "clock" as well and knows that life is short, and it is better to love what you have instead of thinking there is something else out there better than what they have staring them in the face. Kids are the best, and makes every day worth working hard to make the world a better place to live.

    Posted by Bob June 2, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Hi Dottie -
    I think it possible to find love and have a baby at your age. I would address it with the men you date maybe on the second date. I asked my now husband on our second date what exactly he was looking for. He responded "a wife and many children". And now, he got his wish. But for me, a third date with a man who wasn't interested in those things would not have happened. Its about being aggressive in your search but being open to the men you meet and their wants and desires. Take care!

    Posted by Sabs June 2, 09 11:57 AM
  1. I just want to point out to Rico that being single at 40 is not necessarily indicative the she's done something wrong in all her relationships in the past. This may be hard for some to believe, but you can go twenty years without "clicking romantically" with someone of the opposite sex for no reason other than you, well, just didn't click romantically! Some people live in an area where dating is sparse. Others are shy. And yet others don't feel a strong drive to couple up with just anyone and would like to actually LOVE the person they marry (lifelong commitment is a long time to promise anyone you only feel "ho hum" about.) In fact, the OP even admits that she won't fall in love with someone just to have a child....she's just wondering how to bring up the fact that IF she does HAPPEN to fall in love, how to approach the fact that she will want to rush the childbearing.

    Rico's making it sound like he knows for a fact that this woman has had endless intense romantic relationships with willing men and that's she's blown them all. She only admitted to be strung along once, and that sounds like HIS issues, not hers. Please. Routines happen and years get away from you. I know a man who just lived his life day to day, didn't date much most of his adult life, and didn't meet and marry the love of his life until his forties (and his wife's story was very similar.) It just doesn't happen all that fast for some people, and it isn't always some big "personality flaw" preventing it.

    Talk about ignorant assumptions...

    Posted by Jaycee June 2, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Relationships take time and to try to rush into one only for the sole purpose of having a baby does not guarantee happiness. Unfortunatley, not all people are meant to have children and sometimes life just unfolds differently.
    Take time to choose a partner you really enjoy and you really want to spend your life with. This may take time and your biological clock may stop ticking. Ask yourself - will life be so bad if you don't have children?

    Posted by cy0908 June 2, 09 12:00 PM
  1. I'd just like to point out something to the smug 40-something men who think that biological clocks don't apply to them: recent research has suggested that older sperm may be responsible for autism in children.

    Posted by Just sayin June 2, 09 12:01 PM
  1. Valentino,
    Dottie, asks for advice about dating/relationships while her biological clock is tic-tocking away, and you warn her about homosexuals looking to hide in a straight relationship. Are you kidding me? Me thinks you speak from experience. Maybe you should come out to your fiancee before its too late.

    Posted by QueerToday June 2, 09 12:02 PM
  1. This question reminds me of my first experience with match.com. A very nice gentleman who might have been a good match for me told me in great detail how he married someone much older, she was the love of his life, and when he was ready to have children she couldn't conceive so he divorced her. I ran for the hills. Conditional love is a pretty scary concept.

    I am also 40 and had a marriage fall apart at the time we were trying to conceive a child (thankfully we figured out we weren't right for each other before we brought a child into the world). I thought long and hard about my choices in that time period and I am so glad that I decided that I would not bring a child into a family unless I was reasonably certain that he/she would grow up in a loving, stable home.

    For me, it will be either adoption or step-parenting and I couldn't be happier with my plan. I will wait untl I build a solid foundation with the right guy. It's liberating to be at peace with a plan that allows fate to take it's course

    Posted by 40 and single and loving it June 2, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Jaycee...Rico made no assumptions whatsoever, I read it and see his saying that she needs to look back over her past 20+years of dating to see what or if there was a problem in her thinking.

    I will assume that you are a totally angry female in Boston that has "bad luck" with men due to your lack of reality just like most women that seem to be writing here. When is your clock finished? I'll assume you hit snooze for too long and now are going through menopause with no child and no man for you to cry to.

    I love this blog, so many morons, just shows why people think Boston is a shallow pool of idiots.

    Posted by Another fan of Rico June 2, 09 12:12 PM
  1. why do you want to have a child so bad? yes, i'm female, i have one, became a single parent at 27 (sponges don't work), stayed a single parent, took in a niece when my daughter was 13 and the niece was 11, both are gone on there own now, i'm soon to be 51, they are 23 and 21 respectively -- if you really "need" a child i would suggest doing it now - adoption or "accident" or whatever - but don't wait for a guy and don't wait too long -- there's more than just the obvious biological stuff that can happen to a child when the mother is older -- do you want to be 55 and have a 10 year old -- i think not

    Posted by Laurie June 2, 09 12:15 PM
  1. This probably won’t be the popular answer, but here it goes: Dottie, sounds like you want kids more than a husband. So….have the kids. Go to a sperm bank or go the cheaper route: a series of one night stands until you get pregnant (OK, I’m just kidding about the cheaper route). Or adopt a kid. No one said you had to follow the steps: date, fall in love, get married, have children…unless your religion dictates this, then skip to the final step and have kids. But here’s something else to think about: why do you want kids? Do you simply love children and can’t wait to have one of your own, or do you want to breed before your unable to? Remember, once you have kids, your life is over – but a whole new wonderful life begins.

    Posted by yoshimi June 2, 09 12:18 PM
  1. Wow, after reading comments 1-12 I have nothing left to say except applaud these responses, especially numbers 10 & 11.

    As a psychologist who works with mentally ill children (mostly autistic/developmentally delayed), I obviously can't conclude that a parents age or technique (IVF) is the only reason for their child's difficulties, but it is definitely a factor. I agree with Beth - overpopulation is a huge problem leaving many unwanted and/or ill babies without a home. If you definitely want to have a baby on your own, then do that now w/other available options and keep dating to meet the right guy for you - not the right potential sperm donor.

    Good luck.

    Posted by alipie June 2, 09 12:21 PM
  1. what does this reader want, a husband or a baby?
    if she wants a husband, then the baby thing has to go on the back burner while they build a relationship. if she wants a baby, then there are multiple things that she can do - sperm donor, adoption, foster parenting that can lead to adoption, egg freezing have all been mentioned. if she wants a husband AND a baby, well, good luck.

    Posted by Anonymous June 2, 09 12:21 PM
  1. @34. Ya-ya, guys here that bit about older dads and autism, which is usually, like it was by you, brought up as sort of a "tit-for-tat" remark.

    Here's the autism breakdown, by age:

    Fathers age 15-29: 6/10,0000
    Fathers aged 30-39: 9/10,000
    Fathers aged 40-49: 32/10,000

    So a dad in his 40s has an approximately 3/10ths of 1 percent chance of fathering an autistic child Hardly something to get "her-sterical" about, but nice to sooth the hurts of aging spinsters.

    Posted by Nice Try June 2, 09 12:24 PM
  1. It comes down to how important it is to you to be a biological mother. At 40, the ticking of the clock is indeed incessantly loud, but the harsh cold reality is that there is no time to wait as the window is closing rapidly. Although not ideal to be a single parent, perhaps the child needs to come before the relationship. You can explore immediate options such as IUI and IVF, either with a donor you know or an anonymous one through a reputable program.

    Men (and women) can be unpredictable and unreliable, and even if you find "the one" who says he's interested now, he could still bail on you a year or two from now when the immediate options mentioned above are no longer viable.

    If the biological thing doesn't pan out there are a lot of children needing homes through adoption, or you could find a mate who already has children--options for which you can take time to develop a relationship without the pressure of the biological clock.

    Posted by yupokay June 2, 09 12:28 PM
  1. After wasting 20+ years of you dating life, you are now looking for a "sperm donor" more than a "soul mate"....how sad.

    Nothing in life is guaranteed, and finding a good person to love you and spend your life with you is one of those things. If you find a great man who treats you well and loves you to pieces, but is not ready or doesn't want to have kids...does that mean you will discard him in favor or a mediocre guy who is ready to have kids in 3 months?

    Children outside of love are nothing more than an expression of the selfishness of the parents. Sounds like you want a child more than a meaningful relationship. Again I have to say, how sad.

    Posted by Patrick June 2, 09 12:29 PM
  1. Poster No. 6 hit the nail on the head-- this is why men date younger women. Older women go crazy.

    I'm also in Dottie's target male demographic. I want kids too. I'd want to start working on that as soon as I marry someone. I wish I found Ms. Right and started having them earlier. You know what? *That's life.* If I don't find the right opportunity to settle down and I have kids, I'll have to deal with it. I'm certainly not going to rush into bringing new human beings in this world.

    Dottie's attitude makes about as much sense as me going around willing to knock up any woman who offers, just because I want kids. Everyone citing all the possible ways a relationship could go wrong-- divorce, unhappiness, unfaithfulness, abuse-- is exactly right. I'm not going to risk that for myself, let along a new human being who gets no say in who is parents are. Neither should she. If having a kid is so important, go adopt.

    Posted by Joey June 2, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Are you telling me there isn't already a website to hook people like this up?

    Posted by Chuck June 2, 09 12:35 PM
  1. I have two friends that since they were in the early 20's said to themselves, "by 30 no matter what I am going to have a child. If the man can't stick around, so be it." They said this with conviction because they wanted to be a mother more than anything else in the world. Now both are happy moms with beautiful children, although one is happily married and the other is still single. Both are around 36...

    Like someone said, separate your goals, they do not have to go hand in hand.

    Posted by Anonymous June 2, 09 12:37 PM
  1. Dottie, I'm about to hit forty like you, w/o kids and the clock is really, really loud at this point. But biology and reality are two different things. Do you have nieces and nephews? If there is one thing that takes that biological pressure off me it's spending time with, and being close to my nieces and nephews... Thanks to them, I know my genes are going into the next generation.

    Your relationship with your significant other is the priority. Ask yourself this, is it better to be loved w/o children or not loved w/them? Do you want to bring children into an empty relationship?

    Posted by lolipopp June 2, 09 12:43 PM
  1. Dottie, there are so many variables that you are not considering. What if you start dating someone and fall madly in love pretty much right away, and he is as open to having children as you are, and then.....you.....can't. Not for lack of trying or for desire but simply because you can't. So when Meredith suggests having a plan B, I suggest that this Plan B also applies to Plan A not quite going according to how you think it is going to go.

    I was 36 when I started dating my husband. We got married when I was 38. At the time, we were both open to having children but it just didn't happen. So we decided that rather than adopt, we would love our life together and be the best aunt and uncle we could be. So far, so good (I'm 47 now and that ship has long since sailed) and while I do wish we could have had kids I do love our life together quite a bit. I'm suggesting to you that you not be so dead-set on having kids that you overlook other avenues that also could make you happy.

    Posted by Happily Married, No Kids June 2, 09 12:47 PM
  1. #34 "smug 40-something men who think that biological clocks don't apply to them..."

    Which men would those be on here? I don't see any. The men are just saying that none of them want to be sought out only because of their ability to reproduce. When entering into a relationship they want to be valued as an individual.

    Posted by doubtful June 2, 09 12:47 PM
  1. Hi,

    As a matter of fact you can in fact give someone the facts as you have written them right off the bat. I did a similar thing as I was dating and scared off many a men until I met my husband who got the same lecture as the rest. The difference was my husband was fine with what I said and actually liked the fact that I was honest from the start of what I wanted and did not want. We were married two years later. Good Luck

    Posted by Honest and Upfront June 2, 09 12:52 PM
  1. "I'd just like to point out something to the smug 40-something men who think that biological clocks don't apply to them: recent research has suggested that older sperm may be responsible for autism in children."

    It's hilarious how women are eating up this incredibly incomplete "study" with such glee. Sorry ladies, but while you may hold all the cards in your teens and 20's by flaunting your tight little bodies, men have the upper hand when it comes to dating after 30. We can wait, you can't. All the small sample studies in the world won't change things.

    Posted by marvcook June 2, 09 12:55 PM
  1. Thank you, Jaycee, for posting that comment. As a never-been-married/no kids woman who is also approaching 40, I was offended by Rico's comment. I have not spent the last 20 years "working on my career" or not wanting to commit so I can pursue other interests. I've also wanted to be married, and for whatever reason, I just haven't met the right guy. I'm sane, attractive, honest, intelligent, have a good job that I don't have to give my whole life to, am involved in volunteer work, etc. Almost everyone I know says they can't understand why some guy hasn't "snatched me up". I make myself available, and meet new people when I can, but it still hasn't happened. I really resent people assuming that I'm still single because I've had wrong priorities in life.

    Back to the OP - I feel your pain...you're in a tough place. I personally have resolved to wait for a loving relationship, and if that happens I will consider adoption. I don't want to be a single parent - I know too many of those, and it's just not for me. You have to decide what's best for you!

    Posted by almost40too June 2, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Or ask a male friend to "donate" his seeds, if you don't want to go the way of the sperm bank. Or as Hoss suggested, have a one-night stand. Lots of options out there - where there's a will, there's a baby. You just need to be psychologically open to being a single mom.

    Posted by The Dude June 2, 09 01:03 PM
  1. I'd tell this woman it's too late. By the time you meet a nice guy, wait to pop the question, get engaged, get married, and move in together, it'll be too late. Time for plan B now.

    Posted by Bee June 2, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Think of this Dottie, if your kid is anything like you: YOU'LL BE DEAD BEFORE YOU EVER SEE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN. I hate to be rude but BUY A CAT.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 2, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Maybe the universe, or whatever you believe in, is telling you that you were not meant to have biological children. There are too many foster kids and abandoned orphans in the world. Rethink your life plan and stop being so self-centered and selfish.

    Meridith, I know you asked us to be kind but I am 39 and am sick to death of hearing about this "clock" issue from other "40ish" women out there. Here's your reality slap. Take inventory and have a Plan B like you said...

    Posted by AWS June 2, 09 01:10 PM
  1. This is what her letter looks like to me. "ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, I want, ME, I want, ME, NOW!, ME, ME, ME, who cares about him!, ME, ME, ME!

    This girl sounds incredibly selfish. (typical female behavior though) It's all about what she wants. She sounds like she'll marry anyone to get what she wants. After she gets the marriage and the kids, she'll wake up and realize she doesn't even like the guy and make him miserable for several years before she leaves him and takes all his money. Think about someone else for once. If you want a child do it alone, go to a sperm bank find an anonymous donor. Don't ruin some poor guy's life for your own needs.

    Posted by WhatACrazyBroad June 2, 09 01:12 PM
  1. Rico is awesome and should have his own column. Good sound advice that is always respectful.

    Posted by Rico Fan June 2, 09 01:15 PM
  1. No guy should ever date this crazy women.. She's not looking for a man, but a spream donor... No way to start a relationship.. Just a bad idea. Typical selfish woman.

    Posted by #9 June 2, 09 01:15 PM
  1. The last several men I dated said they were looking for something long term and would like to get married and have kids too. They are the ones who always bring up the subject first....then they drop the bomb a few months later and say they aren't ready for it. It kind of blows my mind that they would have to lie in the first place and be so hurtful.

    Posted by CC June 2, 09 01:16 PM
  1. Dottie:
    You should have been thinking about that clock for the past 20 years not just the last year. All of a sudden you want a child, to get married?
    You expect the perfect donor to jump out of a cake?
    You are not going to be able to do this the right way, because your planning was not good.
    Sit back, have your child, then go look for the guy, maybe you and he can have more, but at least you will have taken care of your "immediate need".
    Good luck

    Posted by RedSox13 June 2, 09 01:22 PM
  1. A few things:

    Many people have commented on her age and egg quality. The same is true of the man. By age 40, 50% of men’s sperm is abnormal. Older men are more likely to produce kids with disease and mental illness. I assume that the poster is looking for men in her own age bracket. This is something to consider. (Also, it’s something for you older men who think you have all the time in the world to settle down to keep in mind.)

    Did you readers even read her post? She is not single due to focusing on her career, so those comments are moot. I find it funny that people like to blame women for that. She is single due to a series of failed relationships, often being misled. This happens more than you can imagine (and is done by both men and women). I have had guy friends tell me that even though they knew the person they were with wasn’t someone they wanted to be with long term, they didn’t tell the women that because they still wanted companionship. So they would lie.

    To the writer of the letter, I do wish you would consider adoption. I know, that’s easier said when you want a biological kid. But ask yourself: do you want to have a child because you truly want to raise a kid? Or, do you just want a mini me or feel the need to spread the seed. There are so many kids out there who need homes, especially in other countries (before everyone yells at me, orphans in America are guaranteed food, education and shelter. In other countries they are not).

    Posted by beantownbaklava June 2, 09 01:25 PM
  1. I agree with everyone here that is saying that this is something you might have to do on your own. There is nothing wrong with that! Waiting to meet someone that may or may not be able to fulfill your dreams is too risky...make them happen on your own.

    PS....did anyone else read "pearls before swine" in the comics in the Herald today??? looks like someone used Rico as the inspiration for it. made me laugh.

    Posted by sm1231 June 2, 09 01:25 PM
  1. I was 39 when I met my husband and I told him I wanted kids etc. After 3 mos of dating I asked him how serious he was about our relationship, he knew my timetable and wanted to continue with the relationship. At 6 mos I had the same conversation and we actually got engaged. Married 10 mos after we met, 10 mos after that we had our daughter and 14 mos after she was born our son. Some men do know what they want and don't need a year or more to figure it out.

    Posted by beentheredonethat June 2, 09 01:30 PM
  1. I was in your same position. So I took a step back, prioritized, and now am a happy single parent of a beautiful boy. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.....and now look forward to dating without an agenda. If having your own child is truly what is important to you then there are ways to do it.

    Posted by happymom June 2, 09 01:30 PM
  1. Dottie, There are many ways to be involved in the lives of children. First, I echo others - why not adopt or IVF? What about being a foster parent? There are so many children who need loving mothers. What makes you feel a father has to be in the picture? You could become a teacher; a nurse; or expend the time to go to medical school and become a pediatrician or a pediatric psychiatrist. Coach your local kds teams; volunteer to tutor. Or - date, be careful of your partner's medical history, and become pregnant without your partner's further involvement. You don't need a man to lovingly raise a child.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 2, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Think about this: If you've been single and childless for all this time, are you ready to give up the freedom you can take for granted now, with a spouse and kids? Will you resent either or both of them? Will you have the stamina at 59 1/2 to deal with teenage issues? Ask youself this serious question.

    You may have to give up much of who you are today to hit this goal. My wife has experienced some of these things, marrying at 35. No more diving trips to the Caribbean, no overnight backpacking trips. The boring details of teen and pre-teen taxi service is the reality. Sure you want to spend your early AARP years doing this? Be sure. Be very Sure.

    Posted by LeftOut June 2, 09 01:33 PM
  1. Think about this: If you've been single and childless for all this time, are you ready to give up the freedom you can take for granted now, with a spouse and kids? Will you resent either or both of them? Will you have the stamina at 59 1/2 to deal with teenage issues? Ask youself this serious question.

    You may have to give up much of who you are today to hit this goal. My wife has experienced some of these things, marrying at 35. No more diving trips to the Caribbean, no overnight backpacking trips. The boring details of teen and pre-teen taxi service is the reality. Sure you want to spend your early AARP years doing this? Be sure. Be very Sure.

    Posted by LeftOut June 2, 09 01:33 PM
  1. Why do people assume that AI is any sort of solution in this case? I'm sorry, but that is automatically giving the child a father s/he will never know. If you're going to be a single mother, PLEASE adopt.

    Posted by rws June 2, 09 01:38 PM
  1. I don’t understand why everyone on here is touting Sperm banks. There are so many children in need or Foster Parents, or someone to adopt them. Dottie, I believe you could find a lot out about yourself and what you truly want by dedicating your time to a good cause. And in the process you may meet someone who shares the same thoughts, opinions and wants as you. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true!

    Posted by Shouldbeworkin June 2, 09 01:40 PM
  1. Dottie: take some time to figure out what it is you really want, as many of the other posters have pointed out. You seem like you are in a fevered, obsessed state about the baby issue and that is never a good frame of mind in which to make decisions (and it's certainly not attractive in a date I wouldn't think; a few years ago in my late 30s, I dated some guys who's clocks were ticking and as much as I wanted kids, that kind of desperation and self centeredness in that it was all about their needs and desires from the get go, was deeply unappealing and I wanted no part of it). You also sounds a little passive and unwilling to face facts that may be staring at you in the face - you lost a few *years* to relationships you didn't realize weren't going anywhere? That sounds like being willfully self-delusional. If a baby is the most important thing, go to a fertility clinic and start looking into adoption. If it’s a relationship that leads to a family, work on finding the love of your life or at least someone you adore who adores you; the family will follow (even if it’s not your own genetic material, you can have a baby with a donor egg) That kind of relationship isn’t going to happen on the 2nd or 3rd date. Rushing it to get a kid out of it is deeply unfair to all concerned. It’s absolutely true that time isn’t on your side, at least for one version of happily ever after that is defined by a decent period of figuring out that the person you’re madly and deeply in love with is really the one for the long haul but you’ve got other choices that will be just as good depending on what your priorities are. Right now though, you sound like a child who’s whining and stamping her feet and making everybody else cringe because she wants C when the only options on the table are A and B. You have plenty of options, do some work to figure out which of them aligns most closely with what you really want. I started an adoption and only then, to my great surprise, realized I didn’t want to be a single mom so withdrew my application. Then two and a half years ago I met and started dating the guy who turned out to be the love of my life (but it took a while to realize it.) We got married 10 days ago. About 6 months ago he asked me what I wanted, what would make me happy: did I want to go to China to adopt a baby, try in vitro or a donor egg, did I want a puppy; he wanted to do whatever he could to make me happy. For now, I realize I want him and to be a good step-mother to his two wonderful children. Three years ago, I would never have thought this would be my choice, that it would be enough. And certainly, it wouldn’t be everyone’s choice and it doesn’t sound like it would be yours. But the point is, there are a multiplicity of good options, some that will surprise you. You need to calm down and be a little less obsessive, crazed and desperate about what you see as the only possible option, not only because you might miss the less obvious ones but also because if you don’t get that one, you might be setting yourself up to be bitter and unhappy quite unnecessarily.

    Posted by newbride at 43 June 2, 09 01:44 PM
  1. Long time reader, first time commentor.

    The following sentence from #4 is without a doubt, the most absurd comment in the history of Love Letters. Bar none.

    "As Rico has said, it is the past 20 or so years you need to look at and realize it is your own fault for being in this position and you are the only one who can resolve it."

    So, let me get this straight. The person asking for advice is responsible for her current situation and she will be the one who will have to resolve her current issue? She needs to look back at the past 20 years to understand where she is right now? Wow. What insight! Thanks for the enlightenment, Capt. Obvious!!

    No wonder you don't use your real name and spend every day condescendingly lecturing someone looking for help and interjecting your own agenda into Meredith's blog.

    Posted by Dr. Tom Davis June 2, 09 01:44 PM
  1. Gee, and here I always thought it was possible to be both straightforward and kind at the same time, to speak with both compassion and moral clarity. I guess King, Ghandi, etc were mistaken: one can either be right or "play nice" -- not both.

    More and more it occurs to me that many of the problems in love relationships these days is the way we have framed the equation: we meet someone, settle on them as a potential partner after a few weeks, settle into an exclusive relationship and see if it works out. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have an older aunt who said that when she accepted my uncle's proposal she had to write three "Dear John" letters. She had been dating (openly) four men at once. NOT sleeping with them, dating them, because dating is supposed to be about learning about the person and figuring out if he/she is a good match or not. That takes time, and the only way to invest that much time in someone else and not become desperate or allow the time invested to convince you of things which are not real, is to either be young (so that you have years ahead of you) or to have your options remain open while you do.

    Posted by Sigh June 2, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Run, fellas.

    Don't consideer it.

    Just turn and run.

    Posted by prairiemike June 2, 09 01:46 PM
  1. While single parenthood either through artificial means or adoption is a possibility for the letter writer, may I make another suggestion ~ temporary foster parenting. That would be a win-win for all involved. The letter writer could find out if she really does want to parent, it would be a very easy way to let potential dates know that she is interested in parenting, and a child would get a stable and involved adult in his or her life, even if for only a short time.

    I say this as a woman who has had a baby but has also adopted older children (ages 3 to 7) in her early 40s. A child is a baby for such a short time but a child needs parenting for his or her entire life. If she just has a hankering for interaction with a baby then find a friend who has an infant and set up a regular time to babysit on a weekly basis ~ another win-win-win situation.

    Posted by Lain the Blunt June 2, 09 01:52 PM
  1. Wanted kids even in my twenties. Married at 28 and had kids at 30 and 31. Got divorced at 35, got custody, provided them with full support (except for my ex-husband's contribution of $35/week), nurturing, and Ivy League education, and remarried to my present husband. Now I'm in my sixties, and, thanks to not the best influence by my ex and by my son's wife (whose family my son sponsored for citizenship by the way), I essentially only have one of those kids, with the married other one not wishing to communicate at all. Planning to catch my son and his wife outside his multimillion dollar gated home 2,500 miles from here and throw raw eggs at them (the only thing I can think of to express my anger/depression, not set too bad an example, and not wind up in jail).
    Be careful what you wish for. Good luck.

    Posted by Eva June 2, 09 01:53 PM
  1. Bio-clock is broken for many men/women. It's not a case of denial or trying to look through rose-colored glasses. It's a case of putting what you want or need in its proper perspective.
    Examine your dreams.Dreams are an access to parts of yourself you don't know.
    Some women/men might see images in their dreams that indicate they are having difficulty accepting the breakdown of their biological clocks-perhaps the appearance of an evil or who was rejected by everyone she met.
    The point is to bring these feelings out into the light, where you can evaluate them instead of having them subconsciously determine your attitude.The truth tends to be more obvious.

    Posted by Eddie Gilbertine June 2, 09 02:02 PM
  1. If you've done things that you're proud of :raised a child, supported family through life's crises, volunteered at a local hospice,then "it's simply a matter of saying 'Well, I like what I've and I'm looking forward to having more children.' "
    Many people who have difficult times accepting their own are the ones who believe that they have done little with their lives and are just now realizing that there may not be enough time left in which to do anything they consider significant.
    "That's terrible.". Make sure it doesn't happen to you by taking stock of your life now and establishing goals that, once attained, will give you a sense whenever you look back. Be outright HONEST to yourself and others who are involved.

    Posted by Veeko Norby June 2, 09 02:03 PM
  1. The question is not whether life would be bad without children - she wants them, period. If you use computer dating sites, I would not hesitate to put in your profile that you want children and look for someone accordingly - maybe you could be a stepmom?

    Posted by sparky June 2, 09 02:13 PM
  1. How hipocritical is it that we are demonizing Lance Armstrong for being honest about not wanting to have kids with Sheryl Crow, but Jennifer Aniston gets no criticism whatsoever for stringing Brad Pitt along for 7 years, and constantly saying she wanted to have babies! Brad Pitt was 41 years old!...but no one seems to have sympathy for HIS biological clock which prompted him to come to the realization that jen wasnt ready....HELL, SHE STILL HAS NO KIDS!!! Adopted OR BIOLOGICAL! What a double standard! Most of the people are HIPOCRITS !

    Posted by Lance June 2, 09 02:14 PM
  1. Why all the Lance hate?? Because he actually said that they weren't in the same place or because he said her biological clock was ticking?? They've moved on. She adopted a son and then went on her stoopid toilet paper rant.

    Posted by michele June 2, 09 02:17 PM
  1. I hope Dottie has given some good thought into why she wants to have a child. If she has good parenting skills, is willing to put in the work, understands the life-changing stress this decision entails, and has the proper perspective on what being a mom is all about, then it may be worth rushing through the early stages of a relationship to marriage and childbirth. If she is craving a baby because she thinks it'll bring her unconditional love, sees a baby as a way of contributing to society, or wants the kid to take care of her in old age, then someone needs to tell her that there are no guarantees and she may be sorely disappointed.

    Posted by hajjah June 2, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Let's be realistic. If you found Mr. Father-of-my-future-children next week and married him in 6 months, you're already 41. This would be a rush job at best and you wouldn't have the time to see him through a series of life challenges so that you would know how he handles himself when things do not go according to plan. This means you'll be putting the both of you through a high risk situation, hoping that this is Mr. Right, but in the end he may not be. If he's not, then you know the rest of the situation as it would de-evolve.
    I would be speaking w/ my Dr. about egg viability and potential birth defects before going any further down the dating- to -find -Daddy road. Get the advice of medical professionals as to whether or not this is a wise direction for you to take given your health and age. If not, then you will be in a better position to decide what your next course of action would be.
    I hope you think carefully and pro-actively about this instead of from a place of panic and fear. What's the worst that can happen if you don't have biological kids, really? It's really no big deal. I did not have biological children because I never found the man who I thought would be a great father to my children. But I do have the kids I used to babysit for back in my 20's, who are now getting married and having children of their own. I am happy to be their special friend, be a "Grandy-buddy" to their kids. It's all good, really.

    Posted by exvermonter June 2, 09 02:22 PM
  1. I think at some point dottie needs to draw a line in the sand and decide at what age she is willing to have a child without a husband. I think having a plan will give her some comfort. Maybe a plan for adoption if she doesn't want to do the sperm donor thing. But I would never advise forcing a relationship becaues you want to have kids. Kids STRAIN a relationship. Fact. I would also say date alot of men, at the same time. No kidding. Take nothing for granted. Dont assume they're seeing only you unless they ask YOU to be serious. If they do, then you're getting you know for sure they are seroius about something long term. Do not ASK THEM FIRST! The way to know they want you is to see if they pursue you and want to stake their claim without those pathetic "what is our future" questions. If they're not asking you to get serious, or asking you if you stopped seeing other people, then I guess that means he's not interested in knowing, or cares enough to make sure you aren't. So many women use WAY too many excuses on men . What they are NOT saying actually says volumes. Take a hint. I think if you thought this way before, it would have saved you alot of heartache, no? Date any man you want, until one makes a point to say he wants you for something bigger and more serious. And in the mean time, give you self a time table, if I'm not married by, say, 45, I'm going to adopt. And at least then you know, at 46, you WILL be a mom. And by the way, dont forget to enjoy life. Life is good. At XXX you WILL a mom, so relax.

    Posted by another 40 something mom June 2, 09 02:41 PM
  1. Agreed with Meredith - you can't get around it.

    What you're suggesting is to pack up the dating, courtship, engagement and marriage processes and squeeze them into a comparatively small amount of time. This is a disasterous idea. Your letter says two entirely different things. It says that you won't marry any guy with a pulse just to have a kid - but it also says that kids are, essentially, your driving force right now.

    Which is it? Are you willing to go childless if you don't find the right guy? Or do you want a kid period, end of story?

    If the answer is the first, then you wouldn't be writing the letter. If the answer is the second, then I agree with the other posters - make the kid the priority and decide what your options are, independent of having a man in your life. If you have a traditional Mom/Dad/child family stuck in your head, then you're stuck with what you've got.

    Remember though, just as it was unfair for your previous relationship to string you along, so too, is it unfair of you to put that kind of pressure on a decent guy. But put it on you must.

    So yes, speed up the dating process. Give the guy a few dates. Be forthright, honest, and tell him (as soon as appropriate) that kids are a priority and you'd like to have them as soon as you can. No way to say that nicely. If the guys spooks and bolts? Well, you weren't interested in him anyhow. No need to worry about it.

    As far as those who are getting defensive at the idea that single, unmarried women of 40 spent their younger days on their career and other things and is now scrambling to fulfill this long ignored part of their life - well, okay, perhaps a mildly unfair assumption. But in defense, let's be honest - most people who want kids find a way to have them by 40 - happy marriage or not. Most of the people I know are that way, I think that's probably the same for just about everyone reading this. I mean most people think to themselves, in the two decades between 20 and 40, you never had the inclination or oppertunity to have a kid? Not once in 20 years?

    Like I said, perhaps not the fairest of things to say - not to everyone. But there are plenty of women who are very cavalier about their time - and now that they're coming up on 40, are finding themselves... well, exactly like Dottie.

    Being a 39 year old, single, childless male myself, I've had my fair share of being strung along and failed relationships - as well as being a little cavalier through my 20's, so I actually identify with Dottie. I do realize that men don't have the same 'clock' that women have. I'd love to have a kid - but I can't lie, I really don't care for the idea of running around after a toddler at the age of 55. But I also don't care to be someones "insta-Dad".

    So I guess I just have to accept that I'm probably going to be "Uncle Ceej" for the rest of my life. ~shrug~


    Posted by Ceej June 2, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Just have the baby (now). Forget a Plan B. You can work on the relationship later - that is your plan b. You have the rest of your life to find a relationship. Your window for having a baby is closing. Sounds like the baby is what you really want anyways, be honest.

    Posted by cav June 2, 09 02:48 PM
  1. Let's get real about several issues...

    (1) Men generally do not seek women with which to have a child with that are over 35. Mostly because they want a solid relationship to develop (2-3) years before they may be ready to assume the risks to the marriage and shoulder the responsibility. And they certainly don't want to be a means to an ends. Men know that after 40, it is unlikely that a woman would have a child and unless they are really committed to it, they don't want all the drama associated with exhausting all the fertility treatments. Men know that these types of pressured marriages have a high risk of divorce and they will likely be devastating for a man, particularly financially, whether or not a child comes along.

    (2) Children are done a disservice when a father is not involved in their lives. Women who choose single motherhood commit one of the most selfish acts possible, murdering their father at birth. Interestingly, men become devalued when women do this and are less likely as a group to take responsibility for parenting. Most women don't say they would choose to be a single mother of a rebellious teenager. Think about it!

    (3) If you desperately want to be a praent, I would hope that you would choose the unselfish route of adoption. There are thousands of needy children (particularly older children) who would love to have even a single parent that would call them their own. I can think of no more honorable gift to a child or to humanity. Or try foster parenting.

    (4) Grieve the loss of having your own biological child. No one gets everything in their lives. Children don't give much love to you, rather they need an abundance of love from parents. Most women who seem committed to having their own biological child seem to have a yearning for the love and nurturing that they didn't receive as a child. If you grieve that loss, it is possible that you MAY have a very small remaining chance at a parenting option with a partner. Otherwise, you will likely drive many really good men away in your search for perfection, to get everything that you want. Men know that in a woman's chase for motherhood, they can certaingly justify "using" a man and his resources. Men are not meal tickets. Fairy tales are just that!

    Posted by secure123 June 2, 09 02:53 PM
  1. If you go into any date with this attitude, we are all going to be sitting here reading another message from you 10 years from now about your Biological clock as you approach 50 because you will still be alone. If you ONLY want to have children, there are other alternatives such as adoption and artificial insemination. Children shoud be the product of a relationship, not the reason to have one.

    Posted by Kay-Man June 2, 09 02:56 PM

    Posted by steve June 2, 09 02:58 PM
  1. So many of you told her to just "go have a kid" like it's the equivalent of stopping at the store on the way home to pick up a gallon of milk.

    Whenever I think I've seen how truly shallow many people are, more selfish, ignorant people come along and drain a little more water out of the pool.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff June 2, 09 03:02 PM
  1. This woman represents so much of what is wrong with women today.

    Posted by GimmeAbreak June 2, 09 03:08 PM
  1. Forty is too old to be having kids anway.....

    Posted by DrK June 2, 09 03:12 PM
  1. I can't believe how many people want her to just sucker some guy into knocking her up. You want her to lie about being on birth control, or poke holes in the Condoms. That sort of behavior should be a crime. Anyone who feels this way should be ashamed of theirself.

    Posted by IhateDbags June 2, 09 03:14 PM

    Posted by F Rico June 2, 09 03:16 PM
  1. Dottie,
    do you already have a child ? how and when was the first child conceived ?
    was it under major tension /circumstances or major crisis like in fear of going to jail, THEN you CAN create the same scenario in having another child - try it , YOUR OWN PLAN will work for sure, or comment here, whole Boston can create unwanted fission !!!

    Posted by Nonsense June 2, 09 03:18 PM
  1. Think some more. Do you really want to be 60 or older with a kid halfway through college?

    Posted by bartkat June 2, 09 03:21 PM
  1. Secure123 (Comment #88) said it best on all fronts.

    One specific thing I would like to expand upon is the cavalier attitude that women seem to have about raising a child. Men have been so devalued and dismissed as irrelevant dolts (i.e. the Everybody Loves Raymond / Homer Simpson / Al Bundy stereotype) that it's feed the selfishness of some women who think it's fine to have a child on their own. The child is not the priority or the focus, rather it's the mother's quest to check "Have baby" off of her 'To Do' list in an effort to somehow give more meaning to their unfulfilled lives.

    I know, I know, the divorce rate is high and some men are useless in terms of fathers, but why start with a zero percent chance? If you want to do that, adoption is clearly the best way. Stop being selfish.

    Posted by JAG June 2, 09 03:27 PM
  1. Rico loves all the comments...He especially loves it when the comments are ripping into him...The fact is that Rico must have touched some nerves today and for that he is not sorry one bit. Rico really did read all your comments and has this to say:

    Rico still thinks this woman with the ticking clock needs to take a look at her life and who she is and how she came to this point in her life...YES THAT IS STATING THE OBVIOUS!!! Apparently to the writer it wasn't so obviousa otherwise she would not have written in. Rico also would like to say he doesn't care if you are offended by the fact he said that at age 40 if you are not married then you need to figure out why. One writer here said she is such a great catch her friends don't know why she hasn't been "snatched up" yet...well, here's a guess...Rico thinks you probably think a bit too highly of yourself and therefore are looking for something that is unattainable. Rico thinks you are trying to play in a league far above your abilities. He meant to offend you, that was not a typo!

    Bottom line is this...Adoption, Foster care, sperm bank, etc...are all options at this point. If you are at an age that you feel you should be married and/or have children but aren't it is OK but just understand that it is your past that is the reason for this. Look at where you made mistakes and see about correcting them. To ignore history is ignorant and will make you an angry person. Rico thinks you need to figure out who you are and go from there.

    Rico is HAPPILY married, has a child, a life, friends, and plenty of wonderful family. He is happy about who he is, where he is and where he is going. He enjoys dispensing advice and reading the columns and he enjoys reading others comments. If this makes Rico better in his relationships by reading other peoples advice then that is a great thing. Rico thinks ignorance is no excuse. Rico is going back to his work now (not fund accounting as hoss seems to think/I don't sit in the cube next to you). Rico will check back later to see what his haters have to say to this post.

    Love always,


    Rico loved the copacabana post yesterday...he says Thank you.

    Gears not Gas

    Posted by Rico June 2, 09 03:28 PM
  1. Ugh some of you are so nasty!! Dottie, I don't think you have ridiculous expectations, and the right guy will understand your priorities. I'm in my mid-20s, and during one of the first few dates with my now-bf, we talked about wanting children. It's a major life decision that doesn't need to be (and should not be!) tiptoed around. Don't be apologetic for asking for what you want!!

    Posted by emmj June 2, 09 03:32 PM
  1. "Just have the baby (now). Forget a Plan B. You can work on the relationship later - that is your plan b is nuts." A VERY unrealsitic expectation and obviously NOT from a woman who has a child. Working full-time and single will leave you with no time or energy, particularly in your early-40's for dating. The vast majority of men aren't attracted to this formula either. It tells them that the woman is so selfish that she intentionally deprived her child of a father. If you go the intentional single mother route, it should be with the expectation that you will be single always.

    Posted by secure123 June 2, 09 03:37 PM
  1. #34:
    Good thing one can't detect any jealousy in your tone......................... But keep selling that propaganda -- I'm sure it will swindle some poor sucker into your grasp. Oh, and it will also achieve your goal of making all the men in the world stop and say, "REALLY?? Wow, I'd better go procreate right now!!"

    Um no, you're: wrong! We have a much longer clock to play with, and most of us could give two sheets about running up against it anyway. Any guy who does care already has kids! Yeah, sorry to say, but if you're a guy who wants the family thing, there's really no shortage of options... So, nope, sorry -- this is indeed yet another topic that oh so many women stress over and oh so few men could give a damn about. (And doesn't it seem to just ruffle your feathers??)

    Oh, and #6 is dead on. Men can smell that angst on the 35+ crowd, which is why many prefer younger women. It's not the looks or the maturity. They're just not looking to date somebody who is acting in the manner of a bear trapper...

    As for the letter writer's "issue" -- With so many adoption options and children who could use a solid home/family/connection... really sad that people are so demented.

    Posted by DJMcG June 2, 09 03:39 PM
  1. While you continue dating and trying to get into a serious relationship, I urge you to ger a puppy and a tiny handbag to put it in. Then you can fawn all over it and prance around the park and have people notice you, and you can put pictures of the dog up at your workplace and be able to talk about your "baby". Basically, you won't feel left out and ineffectual while you look for Mr. Right for the remainder of your 40's and into your 50's.

    Posted by Asked and Answered June 2, 09 03:46 PM
  1. Dottie,

    If you really wanted children, your biological clock would have started ticking a long time ago. Have you talked to a dr? I hope you have a lot of money for fertility treatments with or without Mr Right. I would give up on the kid and just find the right person. If its meant to be it will happen, or you can adopt.

    Posted by PennyDreadful June 2, 09 03:47 PM
  1. I'm almost 42 and just having my first baby. You wouldn't believe how many people are having babies safely in their forties. In many ways you have more to offer as an older mother, so don't rule out meeting a partner and having a biological child in your mid-40's. I empathize with how you feel as I dated forever before I found my husband. It's a frustrating process. I didn't get married until I was 41. It can happen to you! Try to enjoy who you are and consider that if you do find a partner a little later in life, you can always choose to adopt or be a foster parent. Having a biological child is great, but so is being a great aunt or mentor.

    Posted by Kristen Paulson June 2, 09 03:52 PM
  1. Go to the sperm bank, have your kid, and then work on a relationship in a few years. It's the only way it'll work... anything else is way too much pressure and, quite frankly, unfair.

    Posted by Edzo June 2, 09 03:57 PM
  1. My mom felt that her clock was ticking when she started dating my dad at the ripe old age of 28 (he was 25). After a few months of dating (maybe 3 or 4?) she just laid it on the line and said something like "I am at a point in my life where I am only looking for someone serious as I want to get married and have children soon. If you're not on the same page, let me know so that I can move on." They were married 13 months after they met, had five kids in the next six years and just celebrated their 37th anniversary. The right guy will be equally as serious and will get where you're coming from. If you're dating within your age range it will probably come up within the first few dates. Pass on those who are just out for companionship and fun, concentrate on those who want the same things you do.

    Posted by Jen June 2, 09 03:57 PM
  1. Dottie,

    Rushing to find a mate is no way to start a stable family. You might get Mr. Right off the bat, be very happy, have cute kids, the dog and the white picket fence. Or you could end up with "Mr. Rockefeller" who looks good in the start but turns out not to be who he says he is as the relationship goes on. Now you have a kid in the middle of it all. Sounds selfish to me.

    If you truly really want kids I think you need to put the husband/father thing on hold and work with a donor. If you are willing to be the single mom in order to fill the want of a child then go for it. If not then keep dating, but don’t rush it. When you find the right partner then the two of you will make the choice to have kids together. This should never be one partner’s choice unless you are intending on being a single parent.

    If you start down the donor route, you don’t need to stop dating or looking cause there might be a match around the corner for you, but you do need to be honest with them on your intentions in having a child. Trust me not everyone is scared off by a woman who is looking to have a child on her own. I have a few friends who have done it or are in the process of doing it currently.

    Good luck. I do hope you really think this through and don’t follow a timeline that society and your “biological clock” has set for you.

    Posted by my2cents June 2, 09 04:25 PM
  1. #5 nailed it - "Going on 36 and not having been in a relationship for years, I know where you are coming from. That being said, I feel that if I'm meant to have kids, I'll meet someone to have them with. If not, then it wasn't meant to be. We can't have everything we want in life." Wow. Someone with perspective!

    Nobody should give up on their dreams. Realistic dreams. But don't you have to kind of play the cards you've been dealt? I would think that you would be more concerned with finding a relationship that would be fulfilling and satisfying even with out children.

    Posted by Joe June 2, 09 04:27 PM
  1. Do what make you, don't live with regret; and you can't force someone to do something they don't want to do. Life is way too precious to supress your needs.

    you donot want to have any more of your hubby's children ? but from someone else? did your hubby tell you he doesn't want anymore children? is this a decision both of you agree on together ?Sometimes, the bonds we may desire are just not meant to be. Is he selfish or a constant liar which is something you never wanted to be a part of ?

    Posted by crsyatl June 2, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Number 37 (another fan of Rico) oh PLEASE...I was talking about someone close in my life. I gave no history of my own, and don't try to guess (your guess as it was had me laughing hysterically; you couldn't be MORE wrong, hahahahahaha....)

    I'm just wondering why the "default" has to be "married by 40 or something is wrong with you." So the default for proving you are a good person in life is to be MARRIED by a certain age? Wow...(and like there are no dysfunctional married people--another hysterical concept.)

    You know, there was a time when people wondered what was wrong with those who weren't married by 18.

    As for the LW, I think her (and many like her) need to come to terms with the fact that not every family desire will be realized for every person in the same way, and that there are other life avenues that are just as fulfilling. Adoption is only one such option.

    Posted by Jaycee June 2, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Dottie, I want you to log off after reading this and call your insurance company to find out if they cover fertility treatment so you can make an appt. to get your FHS levels measured along with some other tests to find out if you can even have a biological child at this stage.

    I am 43 and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl this past summer and she's the love of my life. I never wanted children all through my 20s and 30s until I volunteered at a hospital at age 39 and took care of infants through five-year-olds with serious conditions including cancer. I felt such a tremendous sense of love and
    satisfaction taking care of them - and truly understood for the first time the worst that can happen to a child - that I knew in my soul that I was ready to become a mother. I happend to meet a guy four years older than me later that year who was very eager to start a family. I was the one who actually slowed things down to make sure we were a match. But while I got pregnant at 42, I know a number of women who also tried at our age and found it was too late. So make that call today. It may take months for you to get in anyway so why wait? I'd also recommend attending an open house at an adoption agency - I know people who have raved about Wide Horizons. Adoption is much more involved than the flippant 'just adopt'. It can be expensive, and even domestic adoption is much more complicated than people realize. (Although I know friends who have done both - some with tremendous success stories, others who are stilll dealing with children's emotional issues.) I'd also suggest talking with some single moms for tips and insights into this reality before committing to it. Find out about networks, support groups, day care options, mothers groups ahead of time. If you do indeed become a single mother in your 40s, it'll be helpful to have your network in place ahead of time. The point is, you really need to research all your options so you have a plan in mind versus going into the dating pool with all these your needs and expectations. It'll take the burden off, and better positon you to deal with whatever happens. In short, you'll have more control and be less emotional. I love being a mother more than I ever could have imagined so I highly recommend it. But don't have any illusions, unrealistic expectations, and get your ducks in order now. Have you logged off yet?

    Posted by Tricia June 2, 09 04:36 PM
  1. This reminds me of a former co-worker who would suddenly remember there was a project due by the end of day. Then eveyone would have to drop whatever they were doing and rushed in to help because we needed to work as a team.

    Seriously, I think Dottie should freeze her eggs now to take away the pressure on her and her potential partner. It is ok to ask if the date is interested in having kids. But to request him to work on it right away will sound an alarm in his mind. Most guys are looking for a meaningful relationship. They don't want to be used as a sperm donor.

    Posted by TakeItEasy June 2, 09 04:44 PM
  1. Separate the issues. 1. Baby. 2. Significant Other. Sorry, but you don't have the time to gamble away anymore. If you truly want a child, then have a child. The posters have all listed numerous options from adoption to sperm bank, to my personal favorite- the "oops" sperm donation. Anyhoo, I'm thinking that you are looking for the white picket fence, 2 1/2 kids, and a golden retriever scenario here. There's no reason you can't raise a child yourself and keep the child-bearing qualification out of the dating requisites. After you "have" a child then you can take all the time you need to let relationships develop and determine if someone is a suitable partner and potential step-dad.
    Unfortunately, I think that the number of men around your age who (still) want kids is low, and will continually decrease as you age. Many men in that age are either a.) divorced with kids from previous marriage and have no desire to go through the baby thing again, or b.) realize they're too old to start having kids, or c.) Just plain don't want kids.
    So figure out what you want, but please don't rush a relationship to get to the sperm donation. That's what the "oops" pregnancy is for. ;)

    Posted by Yo Momma June 2, 09 04:49 PM
  1. Two words for the poster:

    Priority Issues

    1. Job
    2. Fun
    3. Home
    4. etc...

    Now at 39:

    1. Baby
    2. Man
    3. ???

    Truth? She has her Priorities F-ed up and now is a miserable angry woman wondering what went wrong and how to find a man to make her the happiest married mother of 2 in a house with a white picket fence with a cute dog...




    Posted by Married with Children...Almost 40 June 2, 09 05:01 PM
  1. A lot of great comments! You need to remember that it can be really difficult to get pregnant at 40, and that fertility treatments can be quite stressful and not a lot of fun -- not sure you want to subject a fairly new relationship to such stress. I've been there, done that. As more than one reader suggested, if becoming a parent is really important to you, focus on making that happen (adoption, insemination, IVF). If/when you meet Mr. Right, if he's right, he will love your kids however they came into your life.

    Posted by Older single mom June 2, 09 05:28 PM
  1. Rico, I love how you make assumptions about people you don't know. What is offensive about your comments is telling the poster that it's HER FAULT that she's not married. You have no idea what's gone on in her life, or mine for that matter. You assume arrogance where there is none. You assume mistakes have been made, when you know no such thing. Timing in life is different for everyone. And please don't assume that I am some miserable single woman. While it is true I want to be married, it is not the end all/be all in my life, or in the lives of the many older, single women I know. There is more to life than being in a relationship, and it's up to the individual to make the most of what they do have, rather than focus on what they don't. And to write with the intent to offend someone is just rude. Grow up.

    Posted by almost40too June 2, 09 05:53 PM
  1. I would encourage Dottie to reflect first on how/why she came to this place in her life. What feelings does she have about her situation and past decisions not to have children up to this point? I believe there are many folks who have waited until they reach the red zone (not to mention the statistics that are beginning to show higher rates of disabilities with mothers (and fathers) who become parents in the 40's. This is problematic on many fronts......
    I will admit my bias here: we cannot postpone having kids for over 20 years and then immediately want something that was denied for so long. This is the first generation in human history which sees so many individuals in this predicament.

    Posted by bob June 2, 09 06:21 PM
  1. There is value in being honest upfront. When I first started dating my man I was 37 years old. He was 45 and a divorced father of four kids. On our second date he asked me how I felt about children. I was startled by the question (our second date!) but I replied truthfully that while I was not aching to have a child, if he wanted to start a second family we could certainly TALK about it. Turns out he definitely did NOT want to become a dad again, but his Mom warned him that dating a 37 year old was like dating a biological clock and that he'd better be upfront with me right off the bat in case I had a desire to have a baby. Don't be surprised if someone you date asks you the question - you may not have to bring it up at all.

    Posted by J Bar June 2, 09 06:27 PM
  1. One more thing - it seems like the Love Letters replies are split into two camps - those that offer thoughtful reasoned responses, and those who are either Rico or Friends of Rico. Dear Blogmaster, it is ok to hit the Mute button on Rico once in a while. I for one am tired of his (her?) endless rants, third person egomania, and hurtful comments made with no regard for anyone's feelings. Rico, I know someone loves ya, but it ain't me. Please take a break from the blogosphere, go ride your bike or...I know...get a job!

    Posted by Tired of Rico!! June 2, 09 06:36 PM
  1. Hey #116, amost40too,
    you clear or come clean what are those assumptions about HER ?
    so anyone can comment in a rather grown up way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    try to throw in your own advice for HER when you KNOW ALL about HER.

    Posted by much ado about nothing June 2, 09 06:40 PM
  1. Hey #119 tired of rico,
    will you care if there were 4 camps - one for you and one for HER!!!!!!!!!
    Blogmaster , PLEASE MUTE on unwanted comments - when there is no comments on dottie. Rico doesnot love ya either,OK. SHUT UP if you have nothing to say. Go get a life !!!!!

    Posted by Rude Boston!!!!!!!!!!!! June 2, 09 07:07 PM
  1. secure123 - male chauvinist much? and what century did you say you lived in?

    Bleako, I mean Rico - Emotional masochist much?

    hoss - stunted much?

    Bleako and others - you expect people in their 20s to have the same self-realization they gain through their 30s, 40s and beyond?

    Tricia - Right on!

    And what's with this "if it's menat to happen? stuff? No - things CAN happen, period, with planning and effort. I for one don't put it all in the hands of a "deity" that doesn't exist.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 2, 09 07:09 PM
  1. 119,
    Rico or camps are sorting out and called

    Posted by Anonymous June 2, 09 07:22 PM
  1. Dottie,
    You're an idiot. You really don't need to have any kids because your mentality makes YOU a kid.

    Posted by HopingYouNeverReproduce June 2, 09 07:23 PM
  1. @53. I hate to break it to you, but your friends who say, they can’t understand why some guy hasn’t “snatched you up” are being kind. If you were “all that”, you wouldn’t be single. So there are 3 possibilities:

    1. Your standards are way too high.
    2. You’re a psycho, and no dewd wants to be anywhere near your 2 kinds of crazy self.
    3. You are butt ugly.

    It’s gotta be one (or more!) of those things, period. If you were sane, attractive, honest, and intelligent, you *would* have been snatched up by now.

    @34, @53. Get over yourselves, ladies. Trying to argue that men don’t have a longer time horizon than women for reproduction is laughable, and, as it has *zero* to do with Dottie’s situation, it smells strongly of bitterness.

    Posted by The Cold, Hard Truth June 2, 09 07:24 PM
  1. 119, it is soooo true , you are capable of ONLY making rude, sarcastic comments on Rico,friends of Rico, thier mom,family , thier advice, argue or comments and not about letter, NO comments or advice to HER or yourself while you tighten your braces and get a knee cap surgery , is there nothing left for you to talk about valuable you or HER ???????? let's see if you can share your advice to HER and come clear on assumptions about HER and YOU !!!!

    Posted by it's boston marathon dude June 2, 09 07:43 PM
  1. I am 36 and would love to find a woman that wants a kid right away after marriage. I wasted away my last 15 years working to build my career/bank account and not giving the same effort to build a family. It's just been difficult & frustrating to find a woman who wants to be in a relationship with me. To younger people that read this, don't waste away your 20's at the office. You only live once.

    Posted by LeBron June 2, 09 08:04 PM
  1. Remember there is a genetic male biological clock and it would be wise for older women to date younger men because by 33 the risk of autism etc. begins to rise due to sperm mutations that begin to accumulate. The biological clock goes for both sexes.

    Posted by Les June 2, 09 08:46 PM
  1. Do not have sex with any of the men you are dating. This only complicates things for you. Most men will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you in the sack. The man who cares for you and is in love with you will wait till you are married or engaged. This way you wont waste any more time with the pretenders.

    Posted by Anonymous June 2, 09 08:56 PM
  1. To Dottie, Almost 40too, and many other of his readers....Rico has time for one more post today. Contrary to what you suggest, Rico is NOT making assumptions, Rico is going on what the letter writer (Dottie in this case) supplies to him.

    Rico does not imply arrogance from Dottie, but Rico CAN see where mistakes have been made. In this case, it is important to recognize whatEVER is the hurdle, barriar, etc. to the relationship that Dottie wants. Is she waiting for Mr. Right? Mrs. Rico didn't do that, she recognized some issues with Rico, yet together they overcame these and created a beautiful child and life together. Is she letting herself go? Then she's not going to find Mr Right, is she? Is Dottie looking in the wrong places? Dottie should get out and find people with her same interest's, whether they are outdoors, cooking, museums, etc.

    Rico's advice is given with love and experience. He appreciates his fans and just as much appreciates his detractors, m#&%#$ though they may be. Rico respects Merediths' advice but also respectfully disagrees with it at least a couple of times a week.

    Now get a good nights sleep, grease up your bike, and face tomorrow with a smile.

    Love always,

    Posted by Rico June 2, 09 08:59 PM
  1. Why do so many women wake up at 40 like this? I would bet for most it is because they agreed to move in together, the biggest time waster and phoney "try before you buy concept" ever, and mostly benefitting the guys. Moving in prolongs the dating period from weeks/ months to years, and all it takes is a few of those and you've run out your clock. If you can't figure it out while dating for months and/or a year or two, forget it. Maybe not this woman's issue, but surely for many, many like her.

    Posted by 2easyfor2long June 2, 09 09:29 PM
  1. Dottie,
    I agree have a child if that is what you really want. Also, have you considered being a fosterparent? Or adopting a child from social services? Lots of wonderful children that need loving homes out there. I was a social worker and saw it first-hand. On the giving-birth-yourself front, you might want to check with your OBGYN to see what your FSH levels are ensure that if you did meet Mr. Right or decide to go-it-alone that it is biologically possible. For those recommending adopting cats because of your age, I had a baby at 42 (4 months shy of my 43rd birthday). I have more energy than mothers half my age and am better at parenting than many younger mothers because I had completed my education, traveled the world, was financially stable and was absolutely ready to have children.

    Posted by Bambinosmom June 2, 09 10:14 PM
  1. Yo, newbride at 43:
    By the time you finished your novel, your time ran out. I mean it must have taken the entire gestation period. No wonder meeting your prince took 43 years...HS!!!Let's make Thursdays "50 Words or Less Day".

    Posted by val June 2, 09 10:24 PM
  1. ahahahaha an anonymous poster telling a 40 year old woman to WITHHOLD SEX! priceless. And the other one saying that moving in is a bad idea...

    BOTH of those are bad ideas. How the hell do you know you can share space with someone if you don't see them in the standard day in and day out. As for the sex, you don't trust someone enough to think that sex isn't all they are after, but YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY THEM?!

    Yes ladies, blackmail and threats, that's the way to keep a man.

    Posted by tickled pink June 2, 09 10:55 PM
  1. It seems that most commenters here didn't bide by the "twizzler" bit. This is my first time commenting here and it always strikes me how eager folks are to be mean.

    It seems to me that your question is a reasonable one, Dottie, that does not need imply a dichotomy between your desire for a man and your desire for a child. You can appropriately disclose these without being a fanatic; in fact, these instincts are only natural, after all, and some men are looking for a family life too. The only question is if you can have the faith to wait for the right father and whether or not you'll both be capable of conception. That is to say, perhaps it might also be reasonable to think of adoption or step-motherhood as viable (and beautiful) options as well. If you put the child before the man, however, it seems to me that your throwing in the towel too soon. You're still of reproductive age and there is still hope for any of the child-rearing options.
    That said, relationships that involve children are almost also more effective when the love between a mother and father comes first. If the love between a mother and child supersedes that between the parents, then the man could easily feel just as invalidated as you might have felt these past few years. And if you choose to put finding him first right now, there's nothing more off-putting for a man than anxiety. So do what you must, be clear about who you are, but buy yourself time and peace of mind by keeping an open heart too.

    So go ahead, look for both desires, without feeling the need to choose between them soon. I genuinely hope you will find what you are looking for.

    Posted by Danielle June 2, 09 11:16 PM
  1. I certainly don't have any answers but if she does chose to parent as a single mother, please find a way for the father (genetic) to play a meaningful role in her child's life. Don't use an anonymous sperm donor...don't go through a sperm bank. There are so many really good/great men out there who also want to be a parent but don't have a love interest to parent with. They ARE out there...you just have to look. My parents used an anonymous "sperm donor" to conceive me and although I had a very loving relationship with my dad, I deeply mourn not knowing or being allowed to have a meaningful relationship with my bio-father/dad, half siblings and grandparents. It became even more pronounced after I had children of my own. It is not just my loss any more, they share it too.
    It might sound politically incorrect to say that you don't have a right to a child and can live a very happy life without children but ironically, when people who are intentionally conceived without their bio-genetic fathers in their lives say they are upset and/or hurt by the circumstances of their conception, most are dismissed as ungrateful.

    The priority should be on the pre-conceived child's best interest not the mothers or fathers desire to fill a baby void.

    Mothers and fathers matter. Biology matters.

    Posted by anonymous June 3, 09 12:23 AM
  1. Comment I knew someone who said pretty much exactly those words to someone she was dating. They ended up getting married later.

    At that age, people have been around the block enough times, grown into mid life, matured to an extent that they trim away some of the verbal baloney in conversation that would be there in youth.

    You actually can bring that kind of stuff up with a guy at that age relatively early on in the dating process and not have to worry about it sinking anything substantial.

    Posted by Mike June 3, 09 12:29 AM
  1. I agree with those who have said being single at 40 doesn't necessarily mean she did anything so bad. For example, some women end up single longer than we expected because guys have led us on for years then let us down. Maybe these women should have made different decisions and not been so trusting, but it doesn't mean our priorities were out of order or we had commitment problems like others have suggested.

    I also agree with kxs999 that it seems narcissistic to need so badly to have biological children. Don't freeze your eggs or go to a sperm bank. If you really need kids then look into adoption.

    Posted by M June 3, 09 02:01 AM
  1. Ohhhh I know so many women like this!!!! All they focus on is baby, baby, baby ... gotta have a baby... and they end up in nasty, miserable relationships, some which end up in divorce. Yeah they get their baby but at what cost TO said baby? If you were meant to actually HAVE a baby, it would have or will happen. To focus on that 'clock' means you will never find your soulmate or true love because you can't see through the whole 'baby' phenom.

    Posted by KimberlyM June 3, 09 07:37 AM
  1. I'm 36 & "single" (not married but dating someone). I've always wanted kids, but I hadn't found the right guy - what can ya do, right?? if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't & I'll be ok w/ that. But - if having a baby is your #1priority, make it happen on your own! Own it, girlfriend! I'm dating a man now w/ 3 kids & it's great - they're a lot of work, but on Sunday at 6 - they go home to their mom & it’s the best of both worlds. Like zip car - kids, when ya want 'em :-) my friends think I'm nuts for not rushing the relationship, marrying him & starting a family immediately -- but its only been a few months…. Just b/c your clock is ticking doesn't mean you should rush the most important decisions of your life!!!

    Posted by Polly21 June 3, 09 08:11 AM
  1. I agree that relationships take time to develop, but I don't see why Dottie can't just speak her mind on a first ot second date. Most men who are dating women in their late 30-ies are also seriously thinking of settling down. As a guy I think there is nothing wrong with asking for honesty and early on. If I am thinking about not hurting someone's feelings, then this would help me know what feelings have priority ...

    Posted by Anoni June 3, 09 08:34 AM
  1. Hey Laurie,
    Did you just tell this woman to have a baby by "accident" Huh ? That is the most insane , irresponsible advice I have ever heard. Is that what YOU did ? I feel bad for both of you. If Dottie is going on dates looking for a father of her unborn child - she'll be single forever. Dottie, enjoy your life will ya ? There are PLENTY of men out there in the city and we RUN from women that walk around with a ticking sound in their pants. I got advice from someone a long time ago " Don't force it"....If you force ANYTHING that is not a fit - it usually breaks or doesn't work right. - RIGHT ? - Good luck.

    Posted by Cappy68 June 3, 09 08:58 AM
  1. I've been married twenty five years, and the difference between me and my sister, who is nearing fifty and never been married, is in what we were able to tolerate. I've been able to tolerate a real nerdy guy, a shy smart, competent engineer who didn't smoke or drink or swear, but also needed kissing instructions, and he sometimes falls asleep at parties. My sister found guys like my guy unsexy. She was only able to tolerate suave funny ego-centric jerks who were apparently very flattering and excellent lovers in spite of their inability to actually be responsible and long-term loving . I suggest if you are looking for a father for your children, you need to LOOK for "good" men. Really prepare yourself to open your arms and your heart to a "fatherly" sort of dude, rather than looking for your own sexual fantasy fulfillment. Is it that hard to tell who is potentially good father material, and who is not? Don't screen out the wonderful, socially awkward, shy and sexually slightly inept men (who grow and blossom in the context of a loving family), in favor of those sexy yet ultimately time-wasting assholes (who have the maturity of coffee beans).

    Posted by Jenny Ruth Yasi June 3, 09 09:11 AM
  1. Male perspective here. Guys hate feeling like they're being interviewed or sought out as sperm donors. It was a total turnoff for me to have a woman ask me about such things...plans for kids, etc... on first meeting, whether a hike, sailboarding, meeting at a coffee house, whatever. Same as to questions re finances. Even the third or fourth date is too early.

    After ignoring these women, I found a woman who just wanted to hang out with me because she liked hanging out with me. Five months later we were pregnant. Five years later we are now parents of two, and have a wonderful time together.

    Putting the child bearing before the relationship, or even on par with the relationship, ruins everything. And really turns men off.

    Posted by just another guy June 3, 09 09:18 AM
  1. Male perspective here. Guys hate feeling like they're being interviewed or sought out as sperm donors. It was a total turnoff for me to have a woman ask me about such things...plans for kids, etc... on first meeting, whether a hike, sailboarding, meeting at a coffee house, whatever. Same as to questions re finances. Even the third or fourth date is too early.

    After ignoring these women, I found a woman who just wanted to hang out with me because she liked hanging out with me. Five months later we were pregnant. Five years later we are now parents of two, and have a wonderful time together.

    Putting the child bearing before the relationship, or even on par with the relationship, ruins everything. And really turns men off.

    Posted by just another guy June 3, 09 09:19 AM
  1. This is so hard, but I think you have to decide, "Do I want to get married in order to have kids, or do I want to have kids, and therefore I must get married immediately?" Marriage isn't just something you do in order to have kids, or at least, I don't think that is the way to create a bond between two people. From my observation, my friends who have gotten married ¡¥to have kids¡¦, ie, had kids immediately after they were married, don¡¦t seem as happy as my friends who married the spouses because they just wanted to marry them and then had kids (if that makes sense- I¡¦m not trying to say that the ones who had kids right away didn¡¦t want to marry their spouses, but they seemed to want kids more than the marriage.)

    There is no guarantee that 40 is a safe age- I've had friends have major problems getting pregnant in their twenties, but a friend of my Mom's accidentally got pregnant (without trying, but was very happy about it) at 52. If you aren¡¦t happy with who you marry, and then you find out you can¡¦t have kids for any one of a million reasons, then you¡¦re really stuck. I¡¦m not advocating single motherhood, but I¡¦m very wary of marriage-for-kids as well. You might want to consider fertility testing for yourself to see how fertile you are right now; that way you can possibly freeze your eggs or at least know what time it is on your biological clock.

    Good luck- I hope you find the man of your dreams and happily reproduce with him ļ

    Posted by Emily June 3, 09 09:27 AM
  1. Lots off judgements about personalities on this blog. Better off to stick with the points made.

    Sorry women, men do not have the same clock thing going. Yeah, by the time a man becomes 50, the chance of fathering a child without autism goes down from 99.9% to 99.7%. Still pretty low chances in comparison to what happens with women. The chance of a woman being able to have a baby plummets from 90%+ at age 30 to perhaps 30% at age 40 to effectively 0% at age 44.

    Trying to scare men into hurrying up to have children isn't going to work. Withholding sex isn't going to work. Rejecting living together isn't going to work. All these things seem to be ways to try to manipulate men into marriage and kids. Perhaps younger men aren't that smart. Men that are in their 40's are wise (may have been screwed in the divorce system) and understand these games and know that it is MUCH more important that they take plenty of time to understand just exactly who they are marrying and what the woman's motivations truely are. Particularly since there is so much at stake for them. It takes at least a couple years to REALLY know someone. Men with any kind of love for themselves aren't going to put themselves in the situation where it is "hurry up I want my baby".

    Another interesting question for all the women out there... Do you honestly think you would promote intentional single fatherhood, where a man chose to have a surrogate mother that would not be involved in the child's life? Let's start hiring out those wombs! Children don't need mothers! It seems pretty absurd doesn't it?
    Fathers are as important as mothers.

    People cannot have everything and are responsible for their choices. Childlessness at 40 can be due to many reasons, but it is likely due to a combination of choices made by that woman and life circumstances. It ain't fair, but that is real life. I don't think that looking at the past helps anyone unless they are looking for opportunities to change themselves.

    Posted by secure123 June 3, 09 09:29 AM
  1. Rico is an egomaniac, Rico is a Masochist, Rico is mean, Rico is Rude...Mute Rico, Rico take a break from the blogosphere, Rico get a job...

    Rico loves the comments, please keep them coming. Rico notices the comments are coming from mostly those older women. Did Rico touch a sore spot? Rico meant to offend a few people, that is correct, he wanted to make a point and in doing so it was a consequence. Rico says too bad, suck it up and stop your whining/crying.

    Rico wants to refresh people on a few things: Rico hates cheaters, Rico is tired of whiners, Rico loves the environment, Rico has a very good job and is highly educated, Rico has a style that is not going to change but it may evolve. Rico stands by all of his earlier comments, if the assumptions made hit where it hurts then it most likely was true. Get over yourself and look in a mirror and figure out just who you really are and why you are where you are. IT IS HER FAULT, SHE HAS CONTROL OVER HER LIFE AND IT IS HER THAT DECIDES HOW SHE DATES, MEETS PEOPLE ETC...Yes that probably hurts to hear but it is thr truth. Rico made decisions as a young adult that got him to where he is today, that is not his parents fault, his friends, teachers or some ex girlfriend that was mean to him...IT IS RICO'S FAULT. So people, Rico says stand up for yourself and start being responsible for yourself and stop whining!!!

    Love always and looking forward to the day...back to work...

    Love Rico

    Great day for a bike ride!!!

    Posted by Rico June 3, 09 09:34 AM
  1. oh please....its her own fault she waited too long...she should have been worrying about this ten or fifteen years ago...its unfair to children if their parents have them late like that...she'll be what, 60 (or more) by the time her first child even finishes high school...ugg....

    Posted by Octo June 3, 09 09:39 AM
  1. I feel for Dottie. I had that discussion with the two men I dated after my divorce. Thankfully the second one was okay with it (and the first was kind enough to be honest that he didn't want that.)

    And please, for the love of Pete, Meredith... not all women who marry late do so because they have been focussing on their careers. Some of us focus on our education and careers to kill time until we find someone with whom we want to have a family.

    Posted by HollyP June 3, 09 10:02 AM
  1. Give Dottie a break! This is a very real situation and you should not apologize for what you want, nor should you be made to feel guilty about what has happened (or not happened) in your life up to this point. I think it is both commendable and practical to be upfront and honest about your needs.

    I know many women who have had children later in life, and there may be more stress because of the higher risk of genetic abnormalities, but it is doable. The bottom line is there is no guarantee at any age that a pregnancy will be problem-free. And as you know, adoption is always an option.

    Best of luck to you and don't listen to some of the cruel posts from the crazies on here.

    Posted by Etak June 3, 09 10:03 AM
  1. You can adopt. We did. Keep in mind that you can't adopt "whenever" as suggested by Post #2. Many countries have age limits; usually mid to late forties. I suggest that you gather information for your Plan B. Good luck.

    Posted by Linda G June 3, 09 10:11 AM
  1. I think it might be time to decide what your true desire is: to have kids or have a relationship. If it were me at 40 & I wasn't in a relationship but my urge was strong to have children, I would go ahead and have the child by sperm donor, adoption, a "friend", etc. Then if a relationship is meant to be, then that person will accept your life as it is up front, without any pressure or worrying about having children because you already have one. You have years ahead of you to have a relationship, but only a short time of being a mom (especially if you want a biological child). Also, people who are getting "older" (I use the term loosely) might find that they will have a hard time adopting.

    Posted by the7thstranger June 3, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Be kind. There are so many reasons that people find themselves at 40 and unmarried. It is also quite normal to want to have a child. Through history, most people married because they wanted a family. It's normal and reasonable and not "using" someone to want the spouse and the children, too.

    I'd just say, keep dating, don't date exclusively til you are pretty sure that you this is the guy, wait on the sex til you know it is time to be exclusive, and be clear with the men you date as to what you eventually want.

    I'd also suggest that you reconcile yourself to the idea of adoption as a likely alternative to biological children, whether you decide to do that with a spouse who wants the same, or on your own, so that you don't need to rush things with a man. Time probably is already up on the biological clock but I know so many loving adoptive families who are just delighted that they took that route. Your life is far from over. Enjoy it.

    Posted by Sunflower June 3, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Dottie, you need to come to terms with the fact that at 40, it may not happen for you, whether or not you find Mr. Right. Even if you met Mr. Right tomorrow, would you be ready to have a baby right away? So you're looking at likely another year or two before you'd even try, right?

    I agree with Sunflower, you need to start reconciling yourself to the idea that if you ever do have a biological child, it will be happy happenstance. Take the pressure off yourself and off your possible partners. There are many ways to make a family.

    Posted by suz June 3, 09 12:27 PM
  1. Dating at 40 is just great ! Women from 33+ are so desperate to be in love and have a baby that you feel like they'll say or do anything. Stop looking at me like you've known me for a lifetime - it's been 10 minutes. I can smell desperation from a mile away. Suggestion - how about fixing all the problems that got you into this predicament to begin with like being a social drunk for 20 years, having bad manners, being a fatty and not giving a damn about it, that sexy low self confidence, your crappy job, your loser friends who bring you down and it shows when we're together, having sex on the first date because you think I'm stupid enough to think sex and love are the same thing, staying in a 5 year relationship living with a pot head who plays video games on the couch all day. Now you want to catch up for lost time and need to find a "baby maker" to make things right ? I see it all the time in my office - it's a sickness with the 30 something women here - got to catch up and get married, buy the house and have my baby at any cost - I'll deal with relationship problems later and lie to my new BF about by true feelings and overlook anything because he's close enough to a soul mate for now. Hope you gave being a single divorced mother some thought in your planning stages. I'd worry about fixing yourself before you try and ruin 2 other peoples lives.

    Posted by notyourbabiesdaddy June 3, 09 12:52 PM
  1. You can have a baby now, or you can have a baby later....both times without a husband. If you want the husband AND the baby you can still have the baby now or you can have the baby later. You can have whatever you want if you are flexible. But do not, and I repeat, DO NOT go hunting for the father of your child on a series of dates. Find a life partner if you can and be patient about it. Have your own baby if you can't wait. You have obviously not had any luck with the "dating" to find a father plan in the past. Perhaps despite your saying nothing about your plans your aura says you have them....and your anxiety is showing. Leave it at

    Posted by Alison Badger June 3, 09 01:01 PM
  1. PLEASE...NO MORE RICCO!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Anti-Rico June 3, 09 01:22 PM
  1. You don't have to have kids to have a wonderful life. Consider that the world and the United States are overflowing with children and the future is going to be very grim for most of the kids born in 2009, with a middle class life rapidly shrinking.

    Posted by Gennifer J. June 3, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Rico, I am disappointed in you today.

    "As Rico has said, it is the past 20 or so years you need to look at and realize it is your own fault for being in this position and you are the only one who can resolve it."

    Not everyone finds a soul mate/spouse in the time they are on this earth, and there are many singles in this position. Is it better to get married to someone you know you won't stay with just to do it? Are we too picky to want to find the right person? You are lucky you have found your mate, please don't tell others it is their fault for not finding one - at any age.

    Posted by JC June 3, 09 02:18 PM
  1. There are many kind comments in this thread, and some not so kind. But I think Meredith's are the kindest of all. We may not all agree with her, but she has no agenda other than to help people.

    Thank you for facilitating today's chat, Meredith.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 3, 09 06:35 PM
  1. What man worth having, who wants kids, is going to marry a 40 year old career woman? There are much better options available. A younger woman is more likely to conceive, is less likely to marry out of desperation, and many of the younger women actually want to care for their children (unlike many 40+ feminists).

    The other challenge, men in their 40's have learned what a racket marriage and divorce are in this country. As long as the family law and divorce courts remain as biased as they are, dating women is like selecting your future executioner. By the time men reach 40 they have figured it out after observing what has happened to their fathers, uncles, and brothers.

    Get a cat and be happy with your feminist nirvana.

    Posted by Keith June 3, 09 07:59 PM
  1. Have about 14 kids by insemination and fertilizatino treatments. Then have a reality TV show. Octo-Mom needs some competition, she's getting all the press.

    Besides, if another crazy woman comes forth to give nadia a run for her money, maybe her 15 minutes will be up and she'll fade away.

    Posted by S June 4, 09 09:43 AM
  1. Whats the saying, something like having your cake and eating it too?? Its obvious you put your career or lifestyle ahead of child bearing....for 20 yrs. Now you decide you need kids. There is no way I could have a kid after 40. Nothing sucks worse than being mistaken as your childs grandparent.

    Posted by jay June 8, 09 06:48 PM
  1. HA HA HA HA HA HA I bet she gets a grilled cheese!

    Posted by JoJo June 13, 09 04:08 AM
  1. If you are looking for a sperm donor, a surrogate mother or a co-parenting match: this website to find your co-parenting partners (gay, straight, singles, couples...) www.co-parents.net

    Posted by erik June 17, 09 02:27 PM
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