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I’m now 41 years old and I’m regretting my decision. I’ve changed my mind and now I’d like to have a baby. I see that Eric is still online shopping for the compatible connection. About a month ago, I clicked an icon to “like” his profile, but he clicked an icon to say he didn’t like mine. If he had clicked on the icon which I was expecting, we could have chatted. In hindsight, I should have sent him an email direct via the dating site, but I wanted to gauge his interest first.
How do I tell him I’m interested (in him and in having a baby)? I don’t have his phone number, but I have his private email address. All I want to do is find out if he’d like to continue where we left off 16 months ago. And to tell him I’d like to have a baby. Should I send an email on the dating site? Send him a private email? What do I say?
I don’t want to have regrets, so what have I got to lose, right?
Any advice would be helpful. — Ready for a Baby Now
Here’s the thing: You didn’t make a decision to regret. You told Eric on your second date that you were undecided about having children. That wasn’t a decision — that was a statement, a true statement. HE made the decision – the decision to not see you again. At fifty years old, he decided that the desire for a baby superseded any interest he might have in you and decided not to risk investing time in someone who wasn’t sure whether she wanted a kid or not. At best, he hedged his bets, hoping he’d find someone else young enough and interested enough in having a baby with him, with whom he also felt a romantic connection. At worst, he wasn’t all that into you in the first place and the bet he hedged by giving up a potential future with you for a potential future with someone else wasn’t a very risky one. The bottom line here is that his interest in having a baby superseded his interest in you, period.
For argument’s sake, let’s say your scenario was the best of the two options and he WAS very interested in you and rejected you only because of your indecision about wanting a baby. You might still have a chance with him if this is the case because now you’ve decided that you DO want a baby. But…do you want to have a baby with a man like Eric? Think about it. To be fifty — and, now, at least 51 — and reject a woman more than ten years your junior because she’s not sure she wants a baby is an audacious move only a specific kind of man could get away with (and, yes, I can’t help but think about Robert here). It suggests either a cockiness that one has so much to offer that even a much younger woman who is still in her child-bearing years would be interested in procreating with him, OR a desperation so strong to have a baby that it matters more than having a romantic connection. Either way, I can’t imagine a man like him is going to be a great partner for you — especially after already rejecting you now twice — let alone a supportive co-parent.
If you are hellbent on reaching out to him though, I suggest sending him a private email and saying something like this: “Hi Eric, I saw recently that you’re still on [name of your dating app/site]; I am, too. I remember our dates together fondly and thought we had a great connection. I know, at the time, our future goals didn’t quite mesh. You were interested in having a child and I wasn’t yet sure what I wanted. In the past 16 months, my feelings have changed, and I am wondering if you’d be interested in seeing whether we might be better matched now as a result.” This way, you are still framing your pitch for a potential relationship as a connection between the two of you vs. “WE BOTH WANT A BABY, SO LET’S GO HAVE A BABY!” You hint at maybe wanting a baby now without making it the thesis of your argument, which is how I think you should approach any potential romantic relationship, whether it’s with Eric or with someone else.
In addition to pursuing a relationship with someone based on mutual attraction and interest and not just a mutual desire for BABIES!, I urge you to really think about how important being a mom is to you. Is it a bigger priority than making a romantic connection? Can you be happy in a long-term relationship that doesn’t result in a child together? Would you consider single parenthood if you don’t find a partner with whom to have a baby? What if you aren’t able to have a biological child? Would you consider other methods to become a mom? These are all really important questions to be clear about as you pursue dating/ searching for a partner. If making a love connection is a bigger priority than becoming a mother, I hope you won’t pull an Eric and reject someone who isn’t interested in parenthood. And I REALLY hope you don’t convince yourself you do want a baby when what you really want is a boyfriend. You can certainly have both — even in your 40s — but being really clear about what is most important to you will help you make decisions you won’t likely regret.