A lot of my girlfriends and clients in their late 20s and early 30s have shared the same experience with me. They’ve gotten in deep with a dude, brought up their timelines for having kids and the guy said he doesn’t want kids. By that point, the ladies have wasted months, if not years, of their time dating someone they could never end up with and they feel terrible about it. But, when was the right time to bring having kids up? It only makes sense to ask about kids when you’re serious about the guy, right? Wrong! Don’t waste your time (or his) by waiting to ask about having kids together. You should do it way earlier, no matter if you want kids or don’t. Here are the right times to ask if he wants kids.
Before you ever have sex
I know, this is early in a relationship. I’m not saying you two need to commit to having kids with each other. But, I do think you should wait until you two have discussed monogamy before having sex. In that monogamy conversation, you should talk about your ideas for where you’d want this relationship to go in an ideal situation. Again, this isn’t about the two of you deciding to have kids together before you’ve had sex. It’s about knowing that you two are both on the same page about wanting or not wanting kids. Why get monogamous with someone you absolutely can’t build a future with?
Before you meet his family
When it comes to big life decisions, people need more than one check in. This is especially true with men. It’s smart to follow up on the kids discussion more than once. Post sex baby talk, the next time you should bring up kids is before you meet his family or he meets yours. Bringing family into the mix is a huge milestone for the relationship and you two should only consider family meets if you could potentially be part of his family and vice versa. Your perspective on kids is a big factor in the potential there, so it’s a good time to check in and be certain you’re on the same page. And this time get more specific. Talk about having kids together and what that would look like. I know it feels early, but it’s actually the right time to be doing this.
Before every step
Like I said, big choices require a lot of discussion, so I think it’s smart to talk about big life goals, including having or not having children, each time you consciously take a relationship step. Talk about how you see your near and distant future before you move in together. Before you talk engagement. Before marriage. Before buying real estate together. Each big relationship step should be a forum for big relationships conversations. With each conversation, get more and more specific about your family planning. Talk about timeline, core values in raising a family, finances and childcare. These conversations might not be easy, but they’ll certainly be worthwhile.
Single ladies, I hope that gives you confidence to bring up baby making early and often. It’s not an easy thing to talk about, especially the first few times, but the small discomfort of a conversation is so much more tolerable than the massive heart break and regret of wasted time on the wrong relationship.