When I decided to undergo reproductive assistance to become a single mom by choice, I thought, "Well, this is the end of dating for the foreseeable future." Simultaneously, men started coming out of the woodwork and I was pleasantly forced to rethink my stance. I was completed nonplussed to discover the ways fertility treatments make you better at dating. First off, I'm pretty up front about my plan, and while I initially thought being honest about my choice would be a How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days moment, I've yet to experience a situation in which a prospective date was sent running for the figurative hills.
As a former party girl and sex columnist, let's just say I've got a lot of dating under my belt. While I've had happy, longterm relationships, I've come to the conclusion that the traditional, "nuclear" family isn't for me. Right now, that is. One of the things I've learned since deciding to be a single mom by choice, is that it's vital that I remain open to the infinite possibilities of the universe. So, although I never dreamt of my wedding day as a little girl, anything can happen. Of course, in order for partnership and commitment with a grown-ass man to be a thing that does actually happen, dating is kind of necessary.
Because I'm somewhat of a dating expert (or, you know, at least experienced), I've been on a boatload of bad dates. To be fair, some of my dating debacles were because of poor choices I made. But you know what? Making the choice to undergo assisted reproduction and fertility treatments has improved my dating game in ways I never fathomed. Now, said bad dates are few and far between, and here are just a few reasons why:
Fertility Treatments Remove The Biological Imperative
First and foremost, because I've decided to go the route of IUI using donor sperm, (and even if I end up "settling down" with a partner in the next couple months) I'm not dating to mate. Can I tell you what a relief that is? Rather than looking at every guy as a perspective father, I evaluate him on who he is as a person and what he can add to my life and how I can add to his. Dating just became a lot more fun.
Fertility Treatments Empower You To Be More Selective
From my mother to my friends, as a single thirty-something woman, I've been told about a million times that I'm too picky about the men I date. (And in some case, maybe I wasn't picky enough. Oh dating, you're so confusing.) Thought Catalog noted that being too picky about dating is an all too common label society likes to give women. I say screw that. After choosing donor sperm, (where it's perfectly acceptable, and doctor recommended, for women to be picky) I've learned that it's totally my prerogative to be selective about the people with whom I choose to spend my valuable time.
And that, in turn, means fewer bad dates.
Fertility Treatments Keep You From Boozing On Dates
As a former party girl, I'm on a first name basis with plenty of bartenders. However, undergoing fertility treatments requires you to keep a "clean" diet. While I am not obligated to stay sober (until I get pregnant) I'm spending a lot of money on my health, including supplements, acupuncture, and those super-pricey fertility drugs. So, it just seems like common sense not to booze it up at this point in my life.
When it comes to dating, however, no one says, "Hey, do you want to meet for a walk in the park?" Rather, most guys ask to meet over a cocktail. In the past, when a date was going poorly, to temper my disappointment, I'd end up using it as an excuse to party. These days, I actually do suggest going for a walk (it's amazing how much you can get to know someone sans beer goggles) or if I do end up at a bar, I limit myself to two glasses of wine max. And you know what? Without the haze of too many vodka-sodas, I can evaluate the dude a lot more coherently. Go figure.
Fertility Treatments Keep You From Rushing Into Sex Too Soon
Another of my dating mistakes was to jump into bed too soon. While, as Huffington Post noted, there's nothing wrong with casual sex, sometimes it can feel underwhelming and lonely, at least in my experience. I actually want to get to know the person I choose to be intimate with, because fertility treatments have helped me love myself the most and ain't nobody got time for casual loneliness.
Fertility Treatments Give You Extra Incentive To Have Safe Sex
Fertility Treatments Make You More Frugal On Dates
Because I'm a feminist, I don't buy the "men pay on first dates," rule. Sure, if a guy offers and refuses my cash, I'll go along with the program, but there have been several times when my date has been more than happy to accept my payment. There have also been times where my pride caused me to declare, "I've got this." Why? I have no idea. Maybe to show that I'm self-sufficient?
These days, not so much. I've got to save every penny for my fertility treatments, because they ain't cheap. When I tell a guy I'm opting to be a single mom, that pretty much covers the self-sufficient part.
Fertility Treatments Keep You From Drunk Dialing Your Ex
Because I'm not spending time getting wasted (see number three) and because I'm being selective (see number two), drunk dialing an ex is pretty much not on the menu these days. I have, however, soberly reached out to former flames and reconnected with the ones who left pleasant marks on my life. One of the perks of being single, as a grown-ass woman, is that you can stay in touch with anyone you want. Hey, pretty soon I'm going to need all the help I can get.
Fertility Treatments Give You An Easy Out Of A Date (Or Relationship)
One of the worst dating situation will always and forever be the moment you say, "Hello," and immediately realize there's zero chance of hitting it off with the person, but you can't be rude and just arbitrarily bounce. These days, not only am I more protective of my time (this lady needs her rest), fertility treatments forced me to make myself my first priority. So, I no longer prolong something that's not working out of guilt. Instead, I'm all good with saying #ByeFelicia.