40, Single and Wanting a Child
Suddenly one day you’re 40, single and wanting a child. Maybe you’ve put off having a child because you concentrated on your career or maybe you just never found the right partner. Now you feel time is running out and this scares you.
I appreciate how you feel because I was in your shoes. I found myself at 40, single and wanting a child. Then I met and fell in love with a man who had two grown up children. He’d also had a vasectomy. I was 40 and he was 48. A reversal was not something he would even consider as he did not want any more children. So my choices were to:
- remain in the relationship with the wonderful man I had met who could give me everything apart from a child, or
- I could leave him and try to find someone just like him, minus the vasectomy.
I believed my chances with number 2 were pretty slim to none because it had taken all my dating life to find him. So what was I to do?
I decided to stay with him. I look back now after almost eight years together and I don’t regret my decision one bit. Time for me to have a child had definitely run out and I closed that door and moved on. I would rather have him by my side every day and night than be alone.
Some of my clients in their late 30s and early 40s would still like to start a family. I ask what the most important thing is for them, is it finding someone to share their life with or having a child? Most will say finding someone to share their life with as they understand it may not be possible to have both.
There is Living Proof that Women Over 40 can have a Child
It’s a medical fact that your chances of conceiving at 40 is 20 per cent falling to less than five per cent by mid 40s – http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1013991/getting-pregnant-in-your-40s. This is something that men in their 40s are acutely aware of and will specifically say they only want to meet ladies in their 30s if they are planning to raise a family one day. However, a woman over 40 is still capable of falling pregnant. Halle Berry fell pregnant at 47 with her second child and Cherie Blair at 45 with her fourth.
Is it too soon to talk about wanting a baby on the first few dates?
It is difficult when you are technically running out of time and this can cause some people to bring up wanting a child early on when dating, sometimes even on the first date. Some experts would tell you to lay your cards on the table about marriage and babies on a first date and if he runs off then he wasn’t the right one for you.
But is this really good advice to take heed of when you’re at such an early stage in dating?
It depends on whether you come over as it’s a real need or perhaps something you hope for one day.
You must remember that you are on a date which is a setting for you to get a better sense of one another, talk about your favourite places, what you like to do for fun and see if there is any potential attraction between you. The first few dates are really about getting to know one another a lot better. It’s okay to say children are something you hope for one day but a real neediness is likely to make him sense your desperation which is very likely to make him run.
Your burning desire to have a child is something he should hear about later when your relationship is developed and strong. You may argue that time for you is running out and you don’t want to waste your time. You may feel that you’re too late in life not to discuss this but you really are too early bringing it up during the first few dates. Alas, none of your situation is his fault.
People can change their minds for love
He might not even have thought about having children. Some men say yes straight away when I ask them if they would like to have a family and others are ambivalent and say it’s about meeting the right partner first. And just because a man says yes or no to having a family it doesn’t mean that he can’t change his mind either way later on. For example, I know one man who has two grown up daughters. He did not plan on having any more children and so had a vasectomy. He met a girl in her late 30s when he turned 50 and they fell in love. She wanted a child and he had a reversal of the vasectomy for her two years later. This proves men can and do change their minds about having children.
Your date cannot tell the future and after a couple of dates he’s unlikely to have fallen in love with you so much that he sees you as the future mother of his children. Once a man falls in love anything is possible. Whilst on a first or second date he may say no to having children, a year later when he has fallen for you he could change his mind and say yes.
If you find yourself at 40, single and wanting a child you really need to ask yourself what’s more important to you, is it finding love or having a child?
Everyone is different but for me it was about finding and keeping the love of my life.
Author: Tara McDonnell, founder and owner of South Downs Introductions. Tara is a trained certified matchmaker from the Matchmaker Academy. She is also a proud award winner at the UK Dating Awards 2015.