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
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)