As female, it means many things. In your teens, it means you have a future. In your twenties it means you’re an independent woman. In your thirties it means your running out of time.
Many online dating sites have questions that, depending on your answer, match you with other people looking to find a similar relationship. Do you want a family is one of those questions. At first, it may seem far off. There are many women I know who do not want a family right now, but will say ‘yes’ because down the line, they may change their mind. Although they may continue to not want kids, their partners, in part, are still matched with that question in mind.
But what if you found someone who said they wanted a family in the future, but then decided they didn’t want one? Would you consider changing your mind if you really loved that person? Most people wouldn’t know unless they were in that situation.
I know I don’t want a family. Not now, not in the future. I was so sure I didn’t want children, that I had my tubes tied in my twenties. “It will limit your options,” I heard from doctors. But in my twenties, they were wrong.
Guys were still interested. I didn’t worry about committing long term because I figured, a family is more a make-or-break issue for women than men. I was wrong.
In my small college town, there are lots of people in their thirties. However, working as a writer can be a lonely job. My friends are in relationships and marriage is becoming the norm. With every pregnancy I see, I am faced with the fact that not only will I be losing a friend, but my life will be so different from theirs that it’s almost like living in another country.
So where do all the childless people go? Which city is flooded with the silence that comes from no babies and an absence of loud toys? Surely people must know by now the statistics for having children and a happy marriage aren’t in our favor. Surely women don’t still buy into the idea that having children is the best, most fulfilling experience in everyone’s life. Surely men, after chipping in a little more than the previous generation, understand that long nights and constant sacrifice doesn’t always make for a great future.
So where are they?
And where am I in relation to them?
Bio: Coles has published in a variety of magazines and journals across the world. She used to write for Skirt Collective and now focuses her energy on opinion pieces.