Dear Anon-O-Box: Please Say You Don’t Want Kids

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I’m a straight male who doesn’t like or want kids. Ever. I’m 32 and I’m not likely to change my mind about this. That said, finding women who think similarly has been extremely difficult and I’m wondering if I’m coming to the point where I can choose between being unhappy by having kids/seeing someone with kids or being unhappy from being eternally single. Any advice on what I can do or where I can go?

- Childfree, Please

e answers:

Dear Childfree,

You picked the right geek girl to write with this question. I’ve known for quite a few years now that the life of a parent isn’t the life for me. I spent nearly 7 years in the public education system and while I love kids, having them 24/7 isn’t my idea of a good time.

I will hand it to you, dating as a childfree female is much easier than dating as a childfree man. It seems there are far more women out there who actively want children than men. (Though I do know many guys who are dying to be daddies one day. Emphasis on the one day.)

Whether you like it or not, you have chosen to saddle yourself with a dating dealbreaker for many people. When you have a dealbreaker, you need to put a little more effort into online dating. You need to take the initiative.

Here are the steps you’ll want to take:

  • Pick a dating site where more open-minded singles tend to hang out. For example, last I heard, eHarmony won’t let you select for people who don’t have or don’t want children.  OkCupid, on the other hand, is where the hip and cool folks are. You’ll find more childfree folks there. (And poly folks, for that matter, if that floats your boat.)
  • Be sure you’ve selected “Don’t Want Kids” in your preferences, but don’t mention it in your profile. It’s better to be mistaken for someone who wants kids than to be mistaken for an ass who hates children.
  • Set up your custom searches and target people who also want to live the childfree life.  Yes, this will narrow the field quite a bit.  You may want to consider opening up some of your other preferences. Could you deal with someone a little shorter/taller/fatter/thinner/richer/poorer/educated/not-so-educated than you normally like if it meant clicking 100% on the childfree issue?
  • Write REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good first contact emails. Remember, you don’t have enough available matches to do the “shotgun method” of sending out 50 cut-n-paste emails hoping for 2-5 responses.  (And even if you do, you shouldn’t.)
  • Be prepared with a polite stock response for those who email you mistaking you for someone who wants children. Something like:  “Thank you for taking the time to write me, but I have decided that being a parent (or step-parent) is not in the cards for me. Best of luck in your search.”

If you find yourself low on available options online, it’s time to take it offline! (Scary, I know.) Check Meetup.com for any Childfree Meetups in your area. Remember, even if you meet couples or other men, you’re still widening your social circle. This puts you at the advantage to meeting someone who is single. Never turn down a new acquaintance. No Childfree Meetups in your area? Not a big deal. Check out some Meetups that fit your other interests. You never know where your childfree love may be hiding!

Happy dating, fellow childfree geek friend.

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