When I think of my end goal in life, it is not to be married for 50 years or to retire comfortably. It is to provide the best life possible for kids I don’t yet have. Is this terrible of me? Am I selfish for wanting to marry someone whom I don’t love and bring kids into the marriage? — Looking for a Provider, Not Love
You’d only be selfish for marrying someone you don’t love to be a father and provider for your future child(ren) if you didn’t share this plan with him. There wouldn’t be anything, like, morally wrong with finding a partner/potential co-parent to procreate with and share a household with who ALSO wanted the same thing as you and felt as interested and committed to the kind of arrangement you’ve described as you say you are. But . . . if you aren’t interested in marrying for love, why not just skip that part and have a baby on your own? Go to a sperm bank or consider adoption or look into other ways to become a single mother and just do it on your own. That way you avoid what you seem to feel is messy emotional relationship stuff — i.e. doubting someone else’s feelings; thinking you need to be a mind-reader to really know where you stand.
Something tells me though that maybe you really DO want to find love — you want that very much actually; but you’re afraid you won’t find it at all or in time to still have a baby. In that case, I still say you can have a kid on your own now without shutting the door to a potential love match in the future. If you marry someone for the sole purpose of procreating, you take yourself off the market for what could be a loving marriage (unless you eventually fall in love with the father of your child, whoever that might be). But if you remain single, you remain available. You could also consider freezing your eggs, if you have the budget for something like that, and extending your fertility a bit.
And speaking of fertility, do you still have issues with potentially conceiving? You say you went through a period when you weren’t sure you’d ever be able to get pregnant. What, if anything, changed? Were you, at one time, trying to get pregnant and unsuccessful? If so, what was your relationship status like then and do you think this experience and the way you processed it with your partner affected your views on relationships and love?
There’s a lot in your letter to unpack and I’m left with more questions than answers for you, to be honest. If you, too, are feeling as confused, I think speaking to a therapist could help you find some clarity on these issues. The short answer to your question is that: Yes, you can marry someone for reasons other than love. But a remaining question is: Do you really want to?
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.