Hello everybody, welcome to episode 181 of Optimal Living Advice, the podcast where we take any questions you might have about the many struggles of life and get them answered for you here on the show. Today's question is on dating with a biological clock ticking.
I’m your host, certified life coach Greg Audino reminding you before we begin that if you have a question you would like help with on the show, we welcome you to email it to us at advice AT oldpodcast.com
My friends, we’ve got a question today that I’m really looking forward to. Our asker is in a tough spot concerning her future both as a romantic partner as a parent. There are some changes she feels she should make in order to insure a successful future in both areas, but are they the right changes? Let’s take a look at her situation and see if we can help her out. Here’s what she has to say…
QUESTION: “I struggle with the reality that I may not have another child due to my biological clock. It’s been a while (9 years) since my divorce and I’ve sorta stopped dating for fear of falling in a similar dating pattern where I can’t be myself or keep my ambition momentum w/o being interrupted by drama. I think “my future self” would appreciate me finding a solid relationship now and me having another child (as well as my son).“
Forget Your Future Self
All right, fair warning I’m answering this one at midnight which is outside of my usual time. Is my brain going to be up to par? We’ll see. I think you’ll be ok, I’m feeling very alert right now.
Look, across the board, I think you need to forget about your future self and what you think she might want. What does your present self want, right now?
Let’s start with the thought of having another child.
The Reason for Another Child
Some parents out there might drop their jaws, but I want you to ask yourself of what value another child is.
Maybe there is high value in it, maybe it’s something that does mean a lot to you for the right reasons. But maybe it’s also something you want to do to celebrate and make use of your remaining child birthing years.
If you’re feeling stumped by that, it’s ok; it could be very hard to tell the difference. It’s just that to me, when I hear you say things like “due to my biological clock” and “my future self would appreciate,” these things make me worry that you’re doing it just to say you could or guessing too much about your future feelings.
Words like those do not warm my heart or convince me that you’re as in love with the idea of having a child as you might want to be or think you are.
They make me feel like you’re just taking your best shot at avoiding regret, and no one ever had a fully healthy relationship with their child if they brought them into this world just for the sake of filling a void, whether they realized it or not.
The Issue of Dating with a Biological Clock Ticking
But maybe my instinct on that is wrong. I trust you to take a hard enough look in the mirror to come up with an honest answer.
For the purposes of this episode, the good news is that, future child or not, the issue about dating needs to be addressed all the same.
This one seems more raw and emotional to me. I’m going to reread part of your question, and I want you to take note of how your language differs from the terminology you used regarding having another child. I also want you to tell me where the problem is.
Here we go: “I’ve sorta stopped dating for fear of falling in a similar dating pattern where I can’t be myself or keep my ambition momentum w/o being interrupted by drama.”
Fear. Being yourself. Ambition. These kind of words matter to me, and I think that they matter to you too. I’m more convinced of your desire to date and feel love again than I am of your readiness to have another child.
And what do you notice that’s wrong with it? Where are you going wrong?
Fear, Pain, and The Future
To me, it’s clear that your fear is your biggest problem, and it’s the same desire to avoid a painful situation for your future self.
Just like with your child birthing concerns, I think you have a little more assumption than is ideal. We both know that your fear is preventing you from taking action which is preventing you from finding someone.
Love isn’t just going to fall into your lap because that’s what happens to nice, ambitious girls like yourself in the Disney movies. You need to play a part in this by approaching the dating scene.
We also both know that your fear is irrational (as a lot of fear is). Why will it have to be the same dating pattern? Why can’t you just go out there and be yourself, ambition and all, from the get go?
If you find someone and there’s drama or they don’t like who you are, then see ya later. I can only assume this has been how the relationship with your ex-husband or other dating partners has gone, but as you make good adjustments to yourself and entirely different people come into the mix, there’s no reason for it to be the same outcome with anyone you may try dating in the future.
Listen to Evan's thoughts on why a man would date you if he doesn't think you're the one on Episode 863 of the podcast Optimal Relationships Daily.
Conclusion: Dating with a Biological Clock Ticking
It sounds like at the core of this question, you’re just afraid of getting let down – either by having to deal with a bad date or a future without having another child. And I know you’re trying to think ahead and do what you think will be best in the long run (I do more than my fair share of the same thing).
But you’re clearly shooting yourself in the foot right now by playing this guessing game and trying to cover your bases. I worry that you’re detaching from yourself and who you are in this moment. You’re more than someone who happens to have a few years left of fertility.
Let go, be you and spend some time with the parts of you that just enjoy things as they are right now. By my estimation, that part of you needs to breathe not just for your own happiness, but secondarily, if you can ever reasonably expect to find the right person; someone that could make having a child with completely worthwhile.
You wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors by bringing an incomplete version of yourself to a romantic or parental relationship.
To the woman who sent this in, thank you dearly. I really appreciate it and I apologize if I seemed a little curt in my answer. Call it nighttime grouchiness.
But I firmly believe that your desire to plan for a fulfilling future has gone past the point of reasonable planning and into a point of too much assumption. ‘
There’s a fine line there in all of our planning that, when crossed, can really harm us not only in the future, but where we are right now. I tell you this because I love you. So I hope this episode helped and I hope you can go on to date bravely, learn from some almost inevitable bad dates, and come out on the other side of it confident in your ability to fulfill yourself, whether it’s just you, you and a partner or you, a partner and another kiddo.
That’s all for me, everyone. Thanks a lot for stopping in and listening until the end. Within you all a wonderful rest of your day, and I’ll catch you again in the next one. Bye guys.