English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I always thought I would have kids, my husband and I planned to eventually have a family, but at the age of 36 I discovered my husband was a closeted homosexual.  My marriage immediately ended and I entered the dating pool past my prime reproductive years.   I knew it would eventually take time to have healthy relationships again, and I definitely felt like my biological clock wasn’t just ticking but banging loudly like Quasimodo’s bells through my entire body.

Because I am over 35, some men view me as a lousy match if they want to have kids.  I didn’t think it would be this bad, but in my age range I tend to find hook-up artists who never want to settle down, men messed up from a break-up or divorce, extremely socially awkward men with no dating experience and the men I refer to as wife shoppers.   A wife shopper is usually the following

  • Over 40
  • Never Married – No children
  • At the peak of their professional career
  • About to buy property or has just bought property

Wife shoppers are men searching for the future mother of their children.  They make no bones about wanting to start a family and many won’t consider women over the age of 35.  Women do lose reproductive capacity after 35, and in health terms pregnancies in older mothers are deemed higher risk.  Yet none of my extended or immediate family members have had to use any extraordinary means to get pregnant.  In fact, most got pregnant almost too easily, my aunt and my grandmother both having babies in their forties.  So do I have to print out my medical history and that of my extended family and bring it to dates?  Should I put it on my online dating profiles?  Something tells me that bringing up fertility on a first date would cause most men to bolt.

I have discovered most wife shoppers through online dating websites.  Something about online sites just make it too easy for them.  Men can sort of pick the traits they prefer, height, build, eye color, hair color, age, and if a woman wants children.  On dates, a wife shopper will bring up reproducing almost before they have ordered their first drink.  One of the habits I have noticed is something I call baby momma math.  My date will look at me, ask me my age again, and then I watch them adding up how long we would have to date before trying to start a family, and they aren’t exactly subtle about it.  I have also gotten questions right off the bat such as

  • What neighborhood do you think you would want to live in?
  • Private or Public School?
  • How much debt do you have?
  • How many kids would you want to have?
  • Do you have a good relationship with your family?

I don’t remember this ever happening to me when I was in my twenties.  Maybe it’s something about the personality traits of any man who waits until they are at the peak of their career before getting married and having kids.  In their mind they have a checklist and once they have gone down everything else they want to accomplish in life they move on to starting a family.

Having my marriage end the way it did has given me major trust issues to begin with, so the idea of running down the aisle with a man hell-bent on becoming a father is terrifying.  Divorce is hell on earth and the thought of having another divorce only the second time with children is especially nightmarish.  Rushing into a situation in order to have children with a partner I barely know seems like a recipe for another divorce.

Of course women have been doing this sort of thing for ages.  It is almost a cliché of the single woman over a certain age talking about eggs, biological clocks and running out of time.  When I meet a wife shopper, at first I think it is a good sign because at least this man isn’t like the multitudes who just seem to want to get laid and nothing else.  But then I start to feel like little more than a womb.  Keeping a healthy marriage together especially one with children is extremely difficult.  The union between the two adult partners should be the most important thing, communication, lifestyles, goals, and temperaments must work in harmony before the added stress and pressures of children are added to the mix.  I have accepted that having a biological child may not happen for me, as I would rather not bring children into a haphazard marriage situation.  I just wish I could find something in between the hook-up artists and the men who think nothing of ordering up a wife they way they would a sandwich.

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7 comments on “Dating After Divorce – Wife Shoppers & Baby Momma Math

  1. decidetodecideetc

    Why don’t you start dating younger men, they probably won’t have so much anxiety about finding the right woman to carry their child. Seems like the older men are looking for their next ex-wife, besides a baby mama – a person to share custody with.
    Or, you could date divorced men in your age bracket who already have a kid or two.

  2. Keethers

    It sounds like you’re a little picky, like most normal women. In fact, like most guys too. I think your problem, if you want to call it that, is twofold: First, to your point we’ve become eBay shoppers. Let’s peruse and click all the items we’re interested in purchasing, then load up the shopping cart at the end of the transaction. Now how much will this cost me? Hence your “shopping” analogy. I think online dating, to a certain degree has contributed to this mentality; though not entirely. We also live in a day and age where people are simply lazy daters. We think we know what we want, so we put little effort into really getting to know people and taking the time to digest some of their not so desirable qualities. I mean, isn’t that what this whole thing is about anyway? Getting to the shit I don’t like, but being able to manage it? Because no one is free of BS and everyone has at least one carry on. So the question is, who’s bullshit are you going to manage with a smile on your face:)

    Lastly, just some good dude advice. I would continue to kick it with the wife shoppers for a bit. That might not be a bad pool to choose from. At least these guys are paying their bills and thinking down the road. Another thing, when you go out with another wife shopper, stick with it for a bit. Maybe learn how to slow him down. Get him to pump his breaks, see the value in patience and living in the moment. You seem like a great catch.

    Good luck!

    1. julietjeske

      I don’t think it is “MY” problem so much as it is everyone’s problem. 🙂 So far the wife shoppers haven’t really found me to be the greatest of matches and I think it has to do with my age. Plus, no one can really understand attraction and so far I haven’t clicked with many men that I have met online, or if I have they are just unavailable. The last guy I tried to date was too busy for me, and I think any woman in his life. I don’t hold it against him, we all make choices and his didn’t include time for a real relationship. He was a single dad, and didn’t want any more children but I figured well he has a couple so I’ll just see how this goes. It is tough out there, especially as we get older. I put myself in the category of “people messed up from a previous relationship”. I know I come with baggage and I know I am past my prime child bearing years. It is my reality and I can’t change either, so I try not to judge guys as harshly as I would have in my 20’s. It is so hard though, for men and women both. I think our consumer driven culture just makes things worse, people just become like any other product.

      1. Keethers

        Fair enough. I think you’re spot on about consumer driven culture. I would add because less people value the idea/concept of marriage, for a variety of reasons, the idea of dating has changed along with it. It is tough our there for sure.


  3. Sergio A.

    Hi Juliet

    You made your points very clear, but you stereotype putting the men around 40 as wife shoppers. I am close to 40 divorced and not kids. Now in my life I am just looking for a woman that sees life in a simple way (always thinking to be happy every day). Life is very short to think what happen in the past, I live my life in present without thinking to much in the future. We worry a lot about our future that is not happen yet. We can control our future if we focus more in our present. I would like to be marry again because I like the feeling of sharing everything with your partner. May be you are searching in the wrong place. I wish you the best and I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Sergio A.

    1. julietjeske

      I am not talking about_all_men hardly. Go back and re-read it if you like I actually go through a whole list of different types of age appropriate men. There are all types out there, and a few of them are wife shoppers. Some are nice guys who may have gotten screwed over in a divorce. I don’t meet a lot of men that are age appropriate due to what I do for a living, so it’s hard. Online dating is a bit of a disaster, so it is what it is.

  4. kate7777

    I’m sorry about your “closet husband” experience. The wife shopper is a profile of men who are succesful in their life, practical, logical and meticulous and they see finding a wife as an investment that involves a thorough study, whether it’s worth taking or it’s risky. Major things in their lives are planned carefully and finding a wife is a real major task for them.

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