Updates: “Desire to Sire” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Desire to Sire?,” the 50-year-old man who was trying to choose between “Woman A,” who’s 40 and wants kids, and “Woman B,” who’s 45 and likely cannot have bio kids. “The main issue at this stage is whether I want to have kids or not,” he wrote. “There is no point in continuing with woman B if I want kids. There is no point in continuing with woman A if I don’t want kids.” My response to his letter inspired this reaction from one reader, and now the LW has an update for us, below.

Before I provide an update on the 40-year-old woman (Woman A) who wants kids, here is a brief history of our relationship: She first contacted me on an online dating site two years ago. We exchanged messages, but she didn’t reply to my last message. I figured she must have met someone else. She then contacted me twice last year and I never replied. Then she contacted me this year, which led to our finally dating.

We met up for a coffee six weeks ago. After 45 minutes of pleasant conversation, I told her I wasn’t sure about having kids. She wants a man to say “I want kids” because she absolutely wants kids. I just don’t know if I’m passionate about having them at my age. I told her that I had just turned 50 (my online profile says I’m 48). She accused me of lying, but I told her she wouldn’t have gone out with me otherwise. In the end, I don’t think the age difference bothered her too much. She predicted I would end up a lonely old man if I don’t have children. I excused myself to go to the bathroom. When I returned, she had left her money for her coffee on the table, and we decided to leave. I suggested we talk about this further, but she replied “not with you” and drove away. There were no goodbyes.

From my understanding – but I could be wrong – most 40- to 45-year-old women want a partner first and if they can have a kid, that’s a bonus. It’s more important for them to find a partner than to have a child. I mean, can a 40-year-old woman even fall pregnant easily? Woman A is open to trying with IVF, but from what I’ve read, that’s not cheap. This woman makes me feel like she’s looking for a sperm donor. But what happens if we’re not compatible? Has she already made up her mind that I’m ‘good enough for her’? I like her but…she wants what she wants and I’m not sure, so I did not contact her again.

Also, things fizzled out with Woman B. I eagerly await your thoughts, Wendy…

I think if you don’t want to find yourself in this kind of predicament again — meeting a woman who passionately wants kids and is only looking for a partner who feels the same – you better stop lying about your damn age on your dating profile. Most women looking for a “sperm donor,” as you so delicately call it, aren’t looking for men 50+. You know that, which is why you lie. Don’t act all turmoiled and bent out of shape when your lie backfires and you find yourself on a date with a woman who says she’s looking for a man who wants kids. You could also be specific in your profile and explicitly say you don’t have kids and don’t want kids, because, spoiler alert: you don’t.

Also, PS: Yes, women who are 40 CAN and DO “fell pregnant” easily. Women who are 45 have a harder time, naturally, but it still happens. If you want to play it really safe, you could limit your search to women who are 48 and over. But that would mean actually dating women close to your own age, and I can guess how you probably feel about THAT.


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.


  1. Allornone says:

    Ugh. I felt something off about this guy in his first letter; this second one seems to confirm it. LW, you are kind of a douche.

  2. dinoceros says:

    Why did you even write in about the first woman if you’d only had one date that ended badly? She’s not an option for you anymore, so I don’t understand why you even asked.

    I’m not even going to address the dumb things you said about women in their 40s. You’re a perfect example of why a single woman would probably PREFER a child over a partner at that age, if this is what’s available.

    1. “She’s not an option for you anymore, so I don’t understand why you even asked.”


  3. I don’t think he needs to worry if someone wants kids or not since with his lovely personality no one will be wanting to sleep with him anyway.

    1. Right? This sounds like a problem that will neatly solve itself.

      Honestly, between this guy and the retiree who dumped his girlfriend because she wouldn’t give up her health insurance and disability to get a job and prove her love or whatever, Wendy’s list of fabulous things to do if you’re single over 45 looks better and better!

    1. I do not think he’s getting any.

    2. I’m always fascinated by men who are adamant that they don’t want children, but yet don’t do anything about it. I had this conversation with a male friend of mine once. He was absolutely sure he didn’t want kids. I asked him, “What have you done about it?” Blink, blink. “There are ways, you know, to make sure it doesn’t happen if that’s what you want.” It’s all fun and games til you suggest getting snipped.

  4. “I like her but…”

    I believe this translates to “she’s attractive”, never mind that they clearly had no meeting if the minds. Good for her for bailing on the jerk.

  5. Bittergaymark says:

    Odd update. Though I am intrigued to learn that 48 is apparently a whole world away from the dreaded doomsday age of 50. Yikes, I guess I’d best enjoy these last 21 months before I cross THAT threshold of no return.
    PS. LW, after somebody leaves money on the table and then brilliantly exits on a bitchy line like, say, for random example: “Not with You!!” — this a subtle way of the universe signaling You NOT to ever call this person again. I know, I know, it can be confusing, but… trust me on this.

    1. ele4phant says:

      Never having online dated before, perhaps he did it so he wouldn’t get excluded from searches that are for <50? Which is kind of sort of understandable because if you're willing to date a 49 year old, why not a 50 year old?

      But, I'd also assume that people are pretty liberal with their age range searches and actual set them higher and lower than they'd naturally think they'd prefer, so perhaps he's already well outside of what most people would want?

      I don't know. It's weird, he's weird, Woman A is weird, its too bad they aren't on the same page on kids because it would be better for everyone if they could just take each other out of the dating pool.

  6. Fall Pregnant is UK english. It’s like saying jumper instead sweater, bonnet instead of hood, boot instead of trunk, etc. I know in North America we say “get pregnant” but that’s not the case in the UK. So, I’m getting sort of tired of seeing it quotes or people making jokes like “What, did she trip and fall on a dick?”

    To fall pregnant is perfectly normal British english.

    1. Uh ya, we know. No comment mentions confusion over that.

      1. Wendy: Also, PS: Yes, women who are 40 CAN and DO “fell pregnant” easily.

        Obviously people don’t know, because I see people making dumbass comments about this in forums often enough.

      2. dinoceros says:

        I’m not sure they are dumbasses for not knowing. I don’t encounter a lot of British people throughout my day, and if I do, they don’t usually talk about someone else’s pregnancy.

    2. I tend to notice the dumbarseness comes out when they get snide over perfectly usable terms that don’t happen to fall neatly into their preferred local lingo.

  7. Lying about your age, or anything else, is not justified by the fact that you wouldn’t have had a chance with this woman otherwise. The truth will inevitably be discovered, and the lie itself will become the deal-breaker, not whatever you lied about. Dishonesty is a very unattractive quality. I’ve immediately walked out of every date where I discovered the man lied in his profile, no matter how innocuous the lie. Sure, I could get past the fact that a guy is shorter than me, but I can’t and won’t get over the fact that he tricked me into a date.

  8. Ugh, lying about the age. I just turned 36. Do a lot of men want a woman 35 or under? Yes, yes they do. But if I lie and say 35 (or younger, as I’ve been told I look much younger) once they find out they wouldn’t be able to trust me AND ALSO I don’t want a man who wants a woman younger than I am, because it won’t work. And yeah, if I went out with a guy who said he was 38 but was actually 40 I’d be pissed. That’s two less years I get that I thought I had. It’s the principle of the thing.

    Also, LW, this woman is no longer an option for you so everyone else is correct in asking why write in about her at all? She’s removed herself from your life, so update your age and try to find someone else.

    1. So, I think the hard thing about online dating is you lead with stats rather than an overall view. And you can limit people based on that. So if you met a guy at a bar and clicked, you clicked before you knew his age. Same with height. You might think, that person is a little on the short side but can easily reject them for being 5’8 instead of 5’9. I think this is why it is harder for everyone. I think lying shows insecurities more than deceitfulness.

      1. Yeah, it’s tough, but that is the way online dating works which is why it’s good to be open minded in online dating. Ironically, I’m also 4’10” and a few years ago I rounded up to 5′ on my profile because I figured if men searched by height they wouldn’t put in 4’10”. I went out with a guy who was 5’8″ or thereabouts and he realized I was 4’10” and was LIVID. I mean he could not let it go. So now I just say 4’10” because I never want to deal with that again, even though I really don’t think there’s a huge difference between 4’10” and 5′, especially as a woman. I changed it because I didn’t want to lose opportunities based on something I thought was insignificant, but…*shrug*. If a guy doesn’t want me as me, then there’s no real point anyway.

      2. I don’t think it’s the end of the world to say 49 instead of 50 or say average weight but show an accurate body shot, or say 6’ if you’re 5’10. It’s about showing up in searches. And then you disclose quickly. I didn’t do this when I dated online, but I wouldn’t have been super pissed if someone did, as long as it wasn’t that far off the mark.

      3. I think rounding up or down a little on height is different from lying about your age. I’ve found a lot of people don’t seem to know their *exact* height (I fall somewhere between 5’2″ and 5’3″ – I don’t feel like I’m lying if I pick one for simplicity). You KNOW how old you are. Is it a huge stretch to say you’re a year older or younger than you are? Eh, no. But with online dating and having very little context about who that person is, even a small lie would be very off-putting to me.

        I did date one guy I met online for over a year several years ago. I’d listed my preferred range and he was 1-2 years above it. He would’ve been filtered out of my searches because of this, but I didn’t weed him out because of this when he contacted me. It was just a year.

      4. Yeah, I added height preferences to my search after I realized after a first date that there was such a thing as “too short” for my personal preferences. I had an ex who was 5’10”, and that was fine, so I set my low limit as 5’10”.

        My husband’s profile popped up with those filters on, having listed himself as 5’10”, and I messaged him, and off it went. Turned out he’s actually 5’9″, but that one inch difference would have meant I never met him, if he had been strictly accurate. So I’m glad he fudged a tiny bit.

      5. Re Maggie’s story, if it’s an inch, or a year, and it makes you show up in more people’s search results, I don’t see it as dishonest or insecure, but a smart use of the system or application.

      6. dinoceros says:

        If it didn’t bother her, then why did she call you out for lying?

      7. dinoceros says:

        Ugh. Sorry. I was trying to reply to the LW, but I couldn’t figure out which Reply button to use. Disregard.

    2. dinoceros says:

      Good points. Also, some people are pretty generous with their age ranges, so 48 may have been well over a person’s preferred age on its own. Add in the lied-about years and you may be even further over their limit. Could be a waste of time for both parties.

      Even if it’s a minor thing, finding out someone lied within the first date is going to give me a bad impression of them. So desperate you have to lie to get a date? Not a good look.

    3. Did you read my letter to Wendy?

      That fact that i lied about my age didn’t bother her that much.
      I mean, it’s not like i’d been dating her for 6 months. It was only our 4th date and i revealed my real age.

      It’s because i told her i wasn’t sure i wanted kids – that’s not what she wanted to hear!

      1. ele4phant says:

        I mean, okay.

        It’s weird though, you know? Why does your account say you’re 48 when you’re actually 50, and you acknowledge its not a big deal.

        Anyways, yeah, no shit she’s more upset that you weren’t super upfront about the fact she wants kids and she’s just now hearing that maybe you don’t. After she’s invested in multiple dates and who knows how long you two corresponded.

        Sure, it’s only four dates but *you* knew months ago kids were high on her priority list when you first wrote in. She lead with that, you knew it and you wasted her damn time anyways. You could’ve saved both of you the trouble if you passed, or disclosed on the very first date. Should she have insulted you and told you you were going to die alone? No, but you know, don’t waste women’s time next time.

        And it’s very condescending that you tried to get her to “talk about it” after she made it very clear she is no longer interested as she now knows your priorities don’t align, and its very condescending that you think you know what she (and other women her age) should want and accept.

        The ship on this one has sailed buddy, leave her alone, and be upfront (about everything – your age and what you want out of life) with future women you date.

  9. He thinks he still has a chance with Woman A or is just trying to set her into a category that something is “wrong” with her as to why she won’t date him.

    Eh, guy is a jerk.

    Dudes – if you don’t want kids it’s far easier to get snipped than it is for a lady to get a ligation.

  10. ele4phant says:

    How odd.

    I mean she’s a dick for lecturing you about turning into a lonely old man, but you also have this attitude about what 40-45 “should” want out of a partner, which is weird.

    And don’t lie on your profile. Honestly what’s the difference between a 48 year old man and a 50 year old man, really, but then it’s even weirder that you lie about it. Just say you’re 50 man.

    1. Hey ele4phant,
      What’s so weird about lying about your age on an online dating site?

      Guess what? Women lie too. Women have lied to me about their age online and in person.

      You haven’t done online dating have you? That makes you ignorant .The reason people lie about their age is that it makes them more MARKETABLE!

      And she wasn’t lecturing me that i would end up a lonely old man. She just made a comment. She was trying to sell the idea (to have kids).

      1. ele4phant says:

        Hey, I’m not saying women don’t do it too or that that it’s okay for women to lie but not okay for men, but you’re the one that wrote in today.

        And does two years really make you more marketable? 5 years, down to 45 sure. But two? It’s like what’s the point even, you’re just lying for no gain. That’s what makes it bizarre to me, your lying about your age.

        You *both* apparently need to learn to not try to talk people into major life decisions (you can’t talk someone into or out of wanting kids, nor should you try). But again, you are the one that wrote in, not her.

        Unlike you however, she was upfront all along about how the fact that she wanted kids. You are the one that took your sweet time letting her know that, actually nope, that’s not on my agenda. Only you can shoulder the blame for wasting each other’s time by not being upfront about where you stood on kids.

      2. Yes, it makes you more marketable in the sense that you’ll show up in search results for people who set their min age to 49, so a 50-year old wouldn’t show up. I’m not sure why you fudged by 2 years instead of 1 though.

        The thing is, if you do that, you need to disclose it right away. Don’t wait until the 4th date to tell someone your real age and that you don’t want kids. On the first date, you need to be like, btw I’m 50, not 48. If your profile says you’re unsure about kids, you don’t necessarily need to have the kid conversation on the first date, but soon. If your profile indicates you want kids, or says nothing about kids, but you’re pretty sure you don’t, then you’re wasting women’s time and should knock it off.

      3. *their max age

      4. I’ve online dated plenty and do not lie about myself. I’ve never felt I had to, and I think it’s weird. The point of online dating (and dating, really) is to find someone who likes you for you, not to mislead people over the course of multiple dates with the hopes they’ll like you enough that they won’t care when they found out you fudged the truth. You seem pretty unpleasant, though, so I wish you luck with this approach.

  11. Well, LW, she accused you of lying because you DID lie. It’s sad that you feel like you have to bend the truth about yourself to get a date. With online dating, you have so little context for the vast majority of the people you meet that even lies that may seem innocuous like this one matter a lot.

    It’s also pretty weird to generalize what women in the 40-45 year age group want, so you should stop assuming that children are just some bonus the lucky women get if they’re still looking for a partner at that age.

    Update your profile to be truthful. I’m not sure which site you’re on, you should include in your profile that you do not want children. You’ll waste less time that way with the ones who do, and won’t find yourself trying to negotiate the issue like you seem to have tried to do with Woman A. (If one person knows they want kids and the other knows they do not, there’s really not much left to talk about further, as your letter implied.) I’m sure there are single women in your age range who also don’t want children, or who have children who are grown and out of the house.

    Also, LW, although I think you seem like kind of a douche, Woman A doesn’t sound that great to me, either. Telling you you’re going to end up a lonely old man if you don’t have kids? Yikes.

    1. dinoceros says:

      I don’t know. If he talked to her the way he comes across here, he might have sounded so obnoxious that she felt justified in talking to him that way.

      1. After his update above, I’ve changed my tune and have decided he IS that obnoxious and the sole problem here. Haha.

    2. She was telling me that i would end up a lonely man if i don’t have kids AFTER i told her my real age.

      At the end of the day, the age thing wasn’t an issue – it was because i wasn’t sure about having kids…

      I’m a douche for what reason? Because i told her i’m not sure about having kids? Gimme a break

  12. I think the biggest deal here is that he seems to think he should be able to argue her into changing her mind that the areas in which he doesn’t match what she is looking for (too old, doesn’t want kids, is a jerk) shouldn’t matter to her, even though she has told him that they do matter to her and she is leaving. I agree with the poster who said he likes her, because he finds her attractive. How would he feel if he went on a date with a woman who used somebody else’s photo and wasn’t attractive to him? Could she argue that inner beauty is what should matter to him, that at age 50 he should be more interested in good companionship than in sex or an attractive partner? If she had said that she didn’t think a lot of guys his age could get it up without Viagra, anyway, so what should it matter how attractive he was. She wanted the natural him: very, very flaccid.

  13. “Most women looking for a “sperm donor,” as you so delicately call it, aren’t looking for men 50+.”

    Why did this woman old go out with a 48 year old (really 50 year old) ?
    Does 2 years really matter?

    I think she went out with him because she’s desperate and she thought a 48 year old (50 year old), he would be in a hurry too.

    Over to you Wendy…

  14. Forgot to add – I know a man who is going to be a father at 55 and his wife is 46.

    1. My gut feel for a situation like this is that being this old when you become parents is kind of selfish and not fair to your child. The kid starts with the threat of genetic diseases from his ancient sperm and her barely still fertile eggs. Then it’s like being raised by your grandparents, although he will be an older grandparent. Then he’s got not much better than 50-50 odds of being alive for the kid’s college graduation.

      1. I don’t know. A young parent could die prematurely – in an accident, from a heart attack, cancer, etc. I think it’s more important that a parent love their child and raise them well. I’m sure any child would prefer a kind, supportive older parent who passes away before their college graduation than a young, alcoholic, abusive one who is still around when the child turns 50.

      2. Ele4phant says:

        Umm, I think the genetic risks are *higher* when you are older, but that still doesn’t mean they are likely much less guaranteed. Assummming both parents are in good health and there is good care throughout the pregnancy, in raw numbers the vast majority of older parents have perfectly healthy children too.

        And with medical advances, older parents can expect to live longer and be active for much longer than every before. Being 60 now is nothing like being 60 50 years ago.If most people are expected to live into their 90s then ever before, these parents could have 30 or 40 years with their child.

        And there’s also an argument to be made that fiscally they will be better able to care for this child than will younger parents as their careers are set and won’t be as disrupted.

        Point is, it seems like there’s never a great time to have kids, there will always be risks, but I don’t think it’s fair to beat up on older parents. Most will have healthy children, be more than able to care for their children without assistance, and will live into their child’s adulthood.

      3. dinoceros says:

        Just because younger people CAN get sick or die doesn’t mean it’s as likely. And it’s also not a choice between having an abusive younger parent and having a loving older one.

        I’m not saying someone SHOULDN’T have a kid if they are older for that reason, but it’s something to think about. It’s like saying someone who financially may not be able to support a kid shouldn’t worry about it because a rich person could lose all their money in the stock market. I think a person does need to consider practical factors when having children, like their finances, age, health, etc., because as important as love is, there are other things that are important too.

        I”d say that someone who has kids as an older person needs to be in extremely good health. Otherwise, they will very likely be shouldering a young adult with a burden that most folks don’t have to deal with until they are older. (I say this as someone who’s mom had her when she was close to 40.)

      4. anonymousse says:

        As far as the older/younger parent debate… I would suggest younger is a perhaps a slightly better idea because of the amount of energy and stamina you need to keep up with children. I’m 35, physically fit and athletic and my kids are exhausting. Although, I also think a slightly older “young” than previous generations would be ideal, like lates twenties, thirty? Then you are also emotionally mature enough to handle being selfless, etc.

      5. ele4phant says:

        “I’m not saying someone SHOULDN’T have a kid if they are older for that reason, but it’s something to think about. ”

        I mean everyone, regardless of age, should think before having kids.

        Sure, there are some 45 year olds who will not have the stamina to have kids. But by the same token, there are some 28 year olds who have nascent careers that will be irretrievably disrupted if they have kids now. Maybe it would be in their future children’s best interest that they wait 5-10 years so they are in a place where they have more flexibility in their career and straight up have more money to care for said children.

        Everyone’s circumstances are different, and you can’t really just make a sweeping statement of “45 and 50 is too old to become a parent and people who do it are selfish”. People know their own lives, resources, and abilities best and should be able to make their own choices without comment.

        And also, even if there’s an ideal time to have kids and that window gets missed, it doesn’t mean that anything outside of that is a catastrophe.

      6. dinoceros, I didn’t mean that it’s a choice between an abusive younger parent and a loving older one. I was just pointing out that there are other, more important factors than age that determine whether someone will be a good parent. Likewise, I didn’t mean to imply that it’s just as likely that a younger parent will get sick or die as it is for an older parent, I just wanted to point out that youth is no guarantee of good health. I have an uncle in his sixties who is still running marathons, and a 37-year-old cousin who just had a double bypass and has been told that if he doesn’t stop smoking and eating a family-size bag of chips every night, his next heart attack will kill him. He can’t even play catch with his kids without getting winded, but my uncle plays tackle football with his grandkids.

        I think it’s rude and presumptuous for anyone to look at a new or soon-to-be parent’s age and pass judgement on whether or not they should have children, especially without knowing anything about that individual’s health and circumstances.

  15. This over-heating planet is over-run with people. Reproducing is no longer a virtue for societies at large or for Earth. As BGM says, many people who are not prepared to raise children have all too many children for the wrong personal reasons and the children suffer. To have children, you should really want children, as should your partner if you have one, and partnered or not, you should be prepared and able to love, nurture, and raise your children to a successful adulthood. And yes, there are bad parents of all ages.

    The guy that david writes about will likely be 56 when his child is born. That’s old to be a parent. He’ll be in his 70s when his child is a teenager. I’m 71 and know full well that I would not be capable of full-time parenting a teenager.

    He and his 46-year old wife may be healthy, but the parents’ health is not a proxy for the health of their eggs and sperm. DNA errors accumulate over time, even in healthy people. Your age 46 and 55 egg and sperm have far more of these DNA errors than 25 or 30 or 35-year old egg and sperm.

  16. Bittergaymark says:

    Indeed. Our planet has turned to shit because apparently only 1 out of 1000 straight people fucking know how to use a god damn condom. And pretty much everybody now pops out a litter of brats to mark each about to fail relationship.
    Enough! Eh, nevermind. You’ve all already wrecked / doomed the planet. (Don’t believe me? Ask any scientist.) There’s no saving it now. So go ahead and fuck Fuck FUCK. The sooner the earth as we know it is destroyed — the sooner it will slowly come back to life somehow. Maybe the next creatures to replace us as we replaced the dinosaurs will do a better job of creating a sustainable world.
    Somehow, I doubt it.
    But mankind truly deserves this constantly quickening march to destruction that man alone is responsible for. Oh, well. The carnage will be interesting to watch, I suppose.

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