The world is slowly becoming more comfortable with the fact that some people don’t want to have kids. Whether it was just never something you envisioned for yourself, something that you don’t see when you look at your future, or a decision that has been made due to infertility complications- it’s perfectly ok to not want to have kids.
So, how do we communicate this to people, specifically someone we are dating or getting to know?
Read on for three ways you can communicate “I don’t want kids” to a potential partner.
1. If you don’t want kids, be direct from the start.
It’s important for you to feel confident communicating your wants and needs. Especially in early dating, we can sometimes feel this pressure to put out a “go with the flow“ outlook on life. If you have strong feelings about not wanting to have children, now is not the time to be flowing- it’s a time to be direct. Communicating this upfront could save some heartache down the road.
2. Brace yourself for judgment.
There seems to be an assumption that humans have the ‘natural’ yearning for parenthood and if we don’t long to have children, then something is wrong with us. Anticipate that this could be the reaction from a potential suitor when you tell them you don’t want kids. People tend to be critical of others who do not make the same life choices as them or have a difference of opinion. No need to defend your decision- simply continue to be direct and end the conversation if you need to. ‘I don’t want to talk about this anymore’ is a perfectly acceptable response.
3. You don’t have to explain yourself.
“I don’t want kids.” Period. Full-sentence. Remember that you do not need to explain yourself to anyone if you don’t want to. If you do want to, you can! If someone is approaching you in a respectful way, generally curious about what went into making your decision- share away! The more conversations we have, the more normalized not wanting to have kids can become. The most important thing to remember is that you do not owe anyone an explanation.
Deciding whether or not you want to have children is a very personal decision. It can be complicated by societal pressures, expectations from family members, and the constant “when are you having babies” questions peppered by friends. It’s important to remember that your value is not defined by your (lack of) desire to be a parent- it’s perfectly ok to say, “I don’t want to have kids.”
If you’re struggling with communication, whether it’s with someone you’re dating or a long-term partner, a relationship coach can help you navigate the challenge. Reach out today – you don’t have to do this alone.