- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
This post was indirectly inspired by a response I made to another thread. It is largely cathartic, but any commiseration and/or advice is welcome.
My partner and I are Childless by Choice. We have never wanted to be parents, and never expect that to change. Our decision is compounded by the fact that, with the exception of close relatives, we do not enjoy being around children. Frequently, we find ourselves wondering what will become of our friendships down the line. I am in my mid twenties, my partner his early thirties, and we realize it is only a matter of time before our friends start procreating.
I am not so shallow as to excommunicate someone for having children, but I also understand the need to surround oneself with people traveling a similar life path. Years ago, when I left college, began working fulltime, and moved out on my own, I had trouble relating to other 18/19 yr olds; we had entirely different sets of priorities. I still remained friends with a few, but the dynamic of those relationships noticeably shifted. Similarly, as people begin having children, we suspect they will prefer to have friends who are also parents…especially considering that my partner and I have never sugarcoated our aversion to kids (maybe we should have?). We fear that most if not all of the relationships we’ve cultivated will be lost upon reproduction. In fact, being a bit older, it has happened to my partner twice already.
My best friend has a child from a previous relationship, but she shares custody with the biological father, so it is fairly easy to schedule adults-only time with her. However, she and her current husband recently decided to begin trying to conceive. My reaction to this news, while supportive, was less than enthusiastic and I did admit to some concerns. She of course assured me that I had no cause to worry, but I have some lingering apprehension.
I feel there will come a day, sooner than I’d like, when our CBC lifestyle is incompatible with many of our friends. And that saddens me. I see myself attempting to maintain these relationships, but imagine I will ― perhaps selfishly ― mourn the frequency and ease with which we used to spend time together. I’ve never had a large circle of friends, so the prospect of being “outgrown” by even one worries me.
Don’t misunderstand me, I do not begrudge anyone their personal happiness, but this is a very possible consequence of the choice we’ve made, and it has been on my mind.