Details ran a great article a few days ago entitled “The No-Baby Boom.” If you’re interested in the full article – and it’s great! – go ahead and read it and then come back. I’ll still be here.
For the TL;DR crowd, I’m going to pull out the parts that are relevant to singles dating online. (But definitely go to the article and check out the pretty infographics!)
The Four Types of Childfree People
Laura S. Scott, who surveyed 171 subjects for her book Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice … claims that there are four types of child-free couples: Early Articulators, who made the decision early in life; Postponers, who perpetually put off having their baby; Acquiescers, one of whom accedes to the other’s desire to be child-free; and Undecideds, who say they’re still thinking about it.
Which type are you? I’m somewhere between Early Articulator and Acquiescer. I grew up wanting to have children; I’d even picked out names for them. But the older I got, the more I realized that the life of a parent just wasn’t the life for me. I taught in the public school system for seven years and while I love kids (especially teenagers), I also loved being able to give them back to their parents at the end of the day.
The Early Articulator
Early articulators are the folks who have no qualms about putting “I don’t want kids” on their dating profile. If you’re an early articulator, chances are the baby issue is a dealbreaker for you. Don’t be afraid to come out and put “I don’t want kids” in your stats, but don’t spend even a sentence of the body of your profile asserting your views.
Nothing turns off a potential match more than seeing negativity in a profile. Focus on the great aspects of your life – your career, your activities, your interests. All the things you’re doing because you’re not busy parenting!
The Acquiscer, The Postponer, and The Undecided
These folks are a little harder to pin down in a dating profile. Some of them may list “I don’t want kids” but others may have “Unsure” or “Someday” or even “Yes.” If you’re in the camp of folks who might end up childfree or might not, please do your fellow singles a favor and put your Waffle Flag out there for all to see. Tag yourself as “Unsure” or whatever the flip-flopper tag is on your particular dating site.
If you’re childfree and have exhausted your list of Early Adopter matches, extend yourself into the waffle crowd. You’ll have to breach the topic of children at some point before things get serious but for now… it’s just an email. Send it!
A Note To The Childfree Ladies…
In our society, we often hear of women convincing their husbands to have kids. You don’t often hear of it the other way around (though it does happen!).
If you’ve run out of Early Adopter guys, be sure to extend your search into guys who say they want kids “Someday.” Many of these guys are Acquiescers, and that means that if you don’t want kids, they’re cool with that decision. Again, this is a topic you’ll have to bring up with your new beau before things get too serious.
How About You?
Are you childfree? What influenced your decision to not have children?
Have you read Havi’s piece on being childfree, entitled Bolivia?
Do you have any childfree dating adventures?