Why do Men Keep Trying to Convince Women They Want Kids?

Emma Lindsay
6 min readFeb 6, 2024

So, against my better judgement, I got pulled into a fucking rabbit hole conversation with some guy on the internet about WILL WOMEN REGRET NOT HAVING KIDS WHEN THEY ARE OLDER?????

And yes, I know better, but we all make mistakes and so here I am.

But, it really gets to the heart of the question, why does he care? Do I really think this (I think, young based on his photo) internet man has the best interests of middle aged and elderly women at heart? Is he regularly volunteering in retirement homes, and after having seen a tsunami of later life female regret, has made it his mission to come back into the daily world, to help younger women from following down this terrible path?

Like, no, right?

Honestly, what I think his motivation is, I assume he’s anxious about his own prospects of finding a partner to have kids with, and is projecting this out on the world.

Because this is the thing, the type of men who keep hollering on about YOU’RE GOING TO REGRET IT IF YOU DON’T HAVE KIDS…. they tend to not be feminists. They tend to not be people who are listening whole-heartedly to the difficulties women are facing in their day to day lives, and then working constructively with women to find solutions for them.

They tend to be men who want things from women, things that in generations past, they would have gotten by default. And now, he doesn’t get that by default. He doesn’t get to just follow the typical path, and end up with a wife, 2.4 kids and a house, and that’s scary.

And you know what? I get that being scary. I get why it’s hard, to really need something from someone else, and not know if you’re going to be able to find it. And end of day, one of the biggest things that men tend to need from women is the ability to incubate and birth a child.

But here’s the good news! Lots of women still want to have kids! You don’t have to pressure women who don’t want kids to have kids, you just need to find a woman who wants kids!

Or, a woman like myself, who was open to either having kids or not having kids — which brings me to an interesting point. Why did I decide to ultimately not have children? I mean, I froze my eggs so I guess I could still change my mind, but I don’t think I’m going to have kids, and the main thing I think my frozen eggs will give me, is the absolute certainty that this decision was my choice.

Ultimately, why I decided to not have kids, was I figured raising one alone would be too hard for me personally, and that most people I dated made my life worse, so I didn’t want to tie myself to them. That’s it.

I am bi/pansexual, but I have dated more men than women in my life, and dating men almost universally, tanks the quality of my life. I just feel worse, all the time. Now, maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my attachment wounds, etc. but… there has been a lot of internet buzz around how single childfree women are the happiest and honestly, this kind of fits my experience. Culturally, what we expect women to provide in heterosexual relationships is so taxing, that many of them are happier being single. Effectively, I didn’t want to have kids, because dating men was so terrible, I didn’t want to tie myself to a man via a child.

However! This isn’t actually bad news if you’re a man.

Let’s flip this around:

If you are a man who makes a woman’s life better when you date her, you are extremely likely to be able to find and keep a partner, because so few women get this this from their partners. SO MANY women are used to having MISERABLE relationships with men, that if you can manage to NOT BE MISERABLE, you’re going to be a fucking catch, ok?

So, what should you do if you’re a single guy who wants kids?

Ask the women that you go on dates with, what they’d need to be happy in a relationship, and what they think they’d need to be happy having kids with and see if this is something you’re able to provide. And, if it’s NOT something you’re able to provide, don’t get upset, just realize, you’re not a match.

For instance, if someone’s like “I’d need a man to make at least half a million dollars a year to have kids with him” like… don’t stress it if you don’t make that much, just don’t date that person. It’s a wide world out there, and people have all sorts of needs and requirements around kids.

Now, I don’t think I’m going to have kids, but I can get into my own needs about having kids. My #1 fear of having kids is…… (drumroll please) boredom. That’s it, I’m worried I would find them boring, and then I would be trapped doing boring things for like, 20 years.

So, what would I personally need from a man to have kids? (I’d consider kids with a woman, but I’m answering this from the straight perspective, but the requirements are very similar.)

  1. I’d probably not want to be the stay at home parent in the long term. That said, I do have a decent salary, and would be ok being a breadwinner when the kids were young.
  2. While I’m ok being the primary breadwinner for some of my life, I’m not really ok financially supporting someone for like, 20 years. So, I’d really want to date someone who was maybe down to be primary parent when kids was young, but was looking to get back into the workforce fairly quickly.
  3. I would appreciate that this stay at home parent may have taken a hit to their earning potential, and I would expect to be a financial support to them while they got their career back on track.
  4. I personally like to take time off of work sometimes, and so if we were relying primarily on my income, I would like to be able to live more simply to build up some savings so I could take periodic 3–6 mo break from work throughout my life.

Are those reasonable requests? No idea! Maybe not, which could be why I probably won’t end up having kids, but you notice that it’s basically gender reversed. I am someone who would have probably been happy being in the male role of childrearing, but the female role is off putting, so I tend to get very unhappy in straight relationships where I am pigeonholed into the heterosexual mold.

This is by no means universal; many women out there are miserable about having to work, and desperately want to be stay at home moms, but some (like me) are absolutely terrified of how dull that sounds. But! I think some women (and men) genuinely don’t find it dull! Whereas, I like reading articles on tech and AI, and some people find that boring as toast. People like different things, and the key to dealing with this, isn’t to try to bully people to be different from their nature, but to find people whose nature is compatible with yours. Probably for some people, a financially providing less emotionally involved parent (as I imagine myself to be) would be exactly what they want in a partner, and for others it would probably be terrible.

Anyway, all of which is to say, there is no plan anymore. If there was one skill that men (or anyone!) should learn today, it’s the skill of getting to know people, and understanding their needs and desires better. If this is something you have trouble with, I highly recommend looking into non-violent communication which has an emphasis on emotions, empathy and needs, but approaches it in a highly cognitive way.

However, raging against women, trying to convince women who want to be child-free that they’ll be miserable if they don’t have kids, trying to pressure women into children by confidently assuring them “you’ll regret it if you don’t” while obviously not having the best interests of women at heart… none of this is really going to get men what they want, which is, presumably, a happy traditional life.

If you’re a man who wants kids, figure out what women who want kids need. If you’re with a woman, figure out what she would need in order to have kids. And, figure out what you would need from a partner to be happy having kids! Again, the real skill to cultivate, is the skill of understanding people and learning about what you need, what they need, and how you can provide for both sets of needs.