Dating After Divorce – The Elephant in the Room

April 7, 2013

In case you missed it, I’m writing a series – Dating After Divorce – about the lighter side of weird post-divorce dating.

Someone requested that I blog about how to handle dating within the constraints of infertility (so this post will not be so “light”). At what point do you mention to your date that you are reproductively challenged? If things get serious you absolutely HAVE to talk about it. But will your partner think your timing is too late if you’re already serious? Or too early if you’re not serious enough?

Certainly your infertility is very much like an elephant in the room. To YOU. It’s huge. Lurking. Following you around. But this huge, lurking, stalking elephant is completely invisible to your partner until you tell him about it.

Decisions, decisions.

In my personal experience I didn’t have to deal with this very much. I’ve known about my endometriosis since I was 20 but I never knew whether it would actually be a real obstacle. Not every woman with endo has trouble conceiving (or so my rose colored glasses told me). I think I generally told partners about it at the point when the kid conversation happened. The one where you feel each other out about who wants to have kids (or not) and how badly or to what lengths they would go to make that dream a reality or crush it entirely. If you’re having sex, you should be having these conversations. As laughable as it sounds to me right now (cuz you know it’s practically impossible), the “What if I got pregnant right now?” question is absolutely a must in a sexual relationship.

[As an aside I will say that I almost married another Wrong Guy way too young simply because I knew my chances for kids were better then they would be later. I guess I made a mistake marrying Wrong Guy but the guy before him would have been Wronger in many ways.]

Even after my divorce I didn’t know if I was truly infertile. I thought it likely. But I DID know that HE had a low sperm count. So my elephant was a little smaller. And my heart was so shredded that I didn’t think it would ever be an issue. I never thought I’d be in a place where I felt comfortable enough with a partner to TTC before my (potential) reproductive years were gone.

Little did I know how right I was.

It was only when I was told that my reproductive years were coming to an early end that I felt like I might be able to go there with Right Guy. Talk about bad timing. He knew about my endo. But when it came to now or never I pretty much told him to get with the program or leave. OK, it wasn’t quite that black & white but I did make it clear that I was going to pursue kids with or without him. His participation would only dictate *how* I went about it. I also wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a deal-breaker for him. Sometimes I still feel like he should just walk away from me.

In short, I never had to face a brand new relationship knowing for sure that I was infertile. Everything has played out a little more in the gray areas for me. But that’s my story… for what it’s worth.

See you all next time for Dating After Divorce – When Your Date Gets Hijacked.

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