One Man's Mindset

Living along the U.S. East Coast, one man writes about those beliefs, hobbies and ideas that mean to most to him. This is not a daily blog - new posts usually only appear when inspiration hits.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Single + Childfree = Still Normal

Just because I’m single at 38 doesn’t mean I’m weird. True, I don’t want to be single forever – I would like to share my life with a great woman and be a family of two…or possibly more if we get pets – but in the meantime I’m doing just fine as is. I have a job, I go out with friends, engage in hobbies, and basically function in society just like any married couple, except that I’m one person.

I’ve been relatively lucky in that I don’t hear much negativity from others when marriage or children comes up in conversation. However, I have recently made a point of watching the other person’s reactions when they learn that I’m still single and in my 30s, especially if I’m talking to a stranger. (Many of my friends, I’m happy to report, are quite open-minded about my singleness and, for those who know about it, my decision to be childfree.)

Tunnel Ahead

Here’s the funny part: Now and then I’ll get a badly hidden smirk from someone I just met. If s/he’s one of the societal “sheep” and believes the incessant, narrow-minded assumption (usually from the media and most industries) that life is always about families, then I have to assume that the smirk is silently telling me, “You’re 38 and not in a relationship? Geeze, you must be pretty bad at finding women / hooking up / relationships!” (Then there’s always, “You’re probably a swinger or a hipster-doofus like Kramer!” but I really don’t think I’m that bad.)

Any way you slice it, it shouldn’t really matter. Their reaction should not matter to me, and certainly my situation should not matter to them. I’m not Kramer, and I’m definitely not a swinger, but I’d also like to point out that “single” does not automatically equal “sexual/social incompetence,” m’kay? Not all of us singles are “40-year-old virgin” types. It is not for anyone else to judge why we are outside of the alleged “social norm”, especially when it concerns our personal lives.

Men at Work

I’m willing to bet that there are almost as many single men as there are single women who end up remaining single longer than most, not because of any great urge to go through life alone, but because they opted to not have kids. It’s true that some people don’t want to get married or be in a relationship, and if that suits them, fine. But me? Even though I am well aware that my childfree decision places me in the minority, I’m still searching, still firm in the belief that one day I’ll meet and fall madly for an educated, insightful, healthy, fun-loving, sensual, green-eyed, wonderful, childfree woman, and she’ll feel the same about me. (Okay, I’ll let the green eyes go, but you get my point.)

We’ll be able to sleep in on weekends; we’ll have time during the week for the occasional four-star dinner, concert, movie, or even a quiet night at home; we’ll have the energy for a mountain hike or beach weekend or a trip to a Broadway show; but most importantly, my lovely future wife will not give one iota about the “beauty of pregnancy” or the rigors of childbirth, and she won’t need to produce her own children to feel complete.


Another important point that I was recently reminded of is this: If, after all of your searching and dating, you do find another childfree someone who shows great “spouse potential”, please remember that your childfreedom is only one aspect of your life that you have in common. Life-changing though it is, being childfree does not guarantee that you will both agree on everything, as much as you’d really like it to. Be smart. (i.e. If I met a great woman who was well-traveled, musical, highly educated and looks fantastic – but smokes – I’d have to think twice, or at least ask her if she plans on quitting any time soon.)

Hmm…I guess it all depends on your priorities.


I know you’re out there, my fellow childfree singles, and if you’re searching for someone to share your great life with, don’t give up! I know how you feel. Let’s find each other already and show the world that childfree couples and singles can donate to the betterment of global issues and enjoy life just as much as any parent, if not more so. Never forget that we’re normal like everyone else!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Purple Men

I've recently been introduced to the group known as Purple Women, which I believe denotes women who do not have children, whether by choice or otherwise. This introduction was made after meeting and becoming friends with Teri, the founder. She and I are both part of a larger organization called No Kidding!, an international club for couples and singles who, for whatever reason, do not have kids.

Okay, enough background using shameless plugs - let's get to the meat of this blog.

As most of us know, choosing to go through life without raising children is not what most people expect or even want to learn about their friends, family or neighbors. Although the concept is becoming more popular, those of us who've made that decision are still well inside the minority circle. We're aware of that.

Women obviously make up a vast majority of those who are preyed upon because of their decision. They hear it from family & friends usually, but sometimes even total strangers get in a dig! It's frustrating (especially to those unattached singles who have no one to fall back on and commiserate with – trust me, I know), but to those ladies who stand behind their decision with a tactful, non-threatening reply and a winning smile: you go, girl! That's exactly the right thing to do, in my humble opinion. And if they've caught you on one of those "get me out of here before I beat the crap out of this idiot" days, well, a good zinger sometimes does the trick.

The feedback from my first blog is starting to tell me something. The comments from those who answered (I love the entire Cooper-load of 'em) makes me wonder why men are almost never challenged on the childfree idea. I stress the word "almost", here - it does happen, just not as often as you would think. Naturally, we don't have to deal with pregnancy, childbirth and the associated events (and I'm not even going to attempt to go down that road), but aside from that, aren't all the other reasons for choosing "childfreedom" the same? Members of both sexes do not want kids because they: enjoy sleep, would rather spend their money elsewhere, have other ways of bettering society, don't like messes...pick a reason.

Now, I'm not saying that all articles written on being childfree focus solely on women. I've seen plenty of men interviewed. And the last thing I want is to drive a wedge between the sexes – there's enough of that already. I'm merely wondering why more childfree men don't speak up about their decision.

Are we inherently lazier than women? Do we not like the limelight and stay in the shadows to avoid ruining "a good thing"? Do the single guys simply want more chances to get laid? Does the press not care as much because we're men? The list goes on...

I'll leave you with this: Kudos to the men and women who stick up for their decision to be childfree. Not everyone does, and not everyone has to. It's okay if you don't, but my guess is that there are probably just as many Purple Men as there are Purple Women out there. (Actually, if "Men are from Mars" as the famous book states, wouldn't that make us green?)

Until Next Time...