Have you ever considered that women are not the only ones who worry about not being able to find a partner with in time to start a family? Men have an equally large portion of worry as women do: major fertility issues and the ‘social biological clock’.
As a dating psychologist, I often hear my female clients worry that they come across as too needy. This worry stems from the whole ‘limited eggs’ thing, where some women in the past have been so driven to have a baby, that it superseded whether the father had any say in the matter, or indeed whether he was daddy-material in the first place. Stories of entrapment has shuddered the male population, resulting ostensibly in men being afraid of women who want a family. Who wants to partner up with someone for their ‘function’? Men and women, want to be loved, adored, respected, not just serve as a breeding programme.
But have you considered that men may be ‘needy’ too? In the last 40 years, male fertility has declined about 60% in the western world. Sperm donation is no longer accepted for men over 40, simply because the quality of the sperm is poorer. Studies have shown that the older a man gets, the more likely their offspring will suffer ailments. For example one study, on 5081 men in the US, found that men over 45 are 3.5 times more likely to have a child with autism, and 25 times more likely to have a child with a bipolar disorder, compared to a 24 for year old father. Regardless of the mothers age. Age does matter for men too.
There is also well known phenomenon called the ‘social biological clock’. This is when men reach around the age of 40 and they begin to worry about not having a family. The worry predominantly revolves around the idea of being an old dad. Many men don’t like the idea of being an aged father and thus have an urge to do something about it. I have know men to have serious conversations with their younger partners, in one case it came as an ultimatum. He is around 7 years older and said straight up to his, at the time, 32 year-old girlfriend “If you don’t want kids in the next couple of years, I will seriously have to consider finding someone else”. Thankfully, they are still together, with two gorgeous children, celebrating their 10th year wedding anniversary this year.
I think it’s high time to change the narrative that it women are needy. “Needy” is a terrible word in this context, it implies that someone is desperate, emotionally unstable and somehow a lesser being. It’s like saying to someone without a job, they are being needy for wanting one. Not everyone wants children, and that is fine, but for those who do, it should be ok to be clear about it. For those women who worry about getting rejected for fear of coming across as needy, consider the men who do want children. Go find them, date the guys who want a family. There are plenty out there. I see them in my practice too and they can be just as confused in their search for a partner as single women.
Madeleine Mason, Dating Psychologist & Director of PassionSmiths
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