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28 going on 29, Never Been Married, No Kids

Men think about this sort of thing too. You know, the kid stuff. A lot of it is hi-fiving each other on father’s day with roars of congratulations on making it another year without the burden of having a kid. A lot of it is fronting like we’re relieved to not have the stress of raising a family, when deep down inside, we know some of this young man’s life is getting old.

Make no mistake about it, I love my life as a bachelor, but I love it because it’s the life given. No reason to wish it looked any different, not when it’s as blessed as mine. But I would be lying if I told you I always knew 28 going on 29 would look like this because the truth is, when I was 18 going on 19, I could have sworn 28 going on 29 was going to include a family to call my own.

When my sister was pregnant, it took my mother a good week to come around. But when she finally did, one of the things she told me was, “A part of me is happy your sister is pregnant now because it’s harder to have children the older you get.”

No new information there, but it was  a surprising statement coming from my mom who never once expressed the same concern about me.

Meanwhile, as my biological father was nearing his final days, every time my brothers and I would visit him, he would always ask, “When are one of you all going to give me a  grandchild?” This is not to say he was rushing us to have children before we were ready, but I think what he did want to experience was the same joy he saw in other men who were grandfathers.

Just yesterday, for what is probably the 1,000th time, a person on my formspring asked me if I really want to get married. And I suppose my blog is a natural setup for such a question to be asked, but I think even if I didn’t have the blog, I would get this question because plenty of men my age do.

I think most women and even some men don’t believe men want to settle down and have a family, but to me, this is short sighted thinking. Some women think just because a man hasn’t asked for their hand in marriage, he doesn’t want to get married, and some men think just because their boy is having the time of his life being free from the responsibilities of fatherhood and husbandry, his life is complete.

Both couldn’t be more wrong.

When I first started telling people my ex-girlfriend was pregnant, some congratulated me for dodging a bullet. Others took it to the other side of the spectrum and asked me if I wished it was mine. Neither of those were the right things to say because I never look at another person’s life, even of those who I once shared a life with, and think what I would do if I was in their shoes.

The truth is, all I know, and all I know is as I see friends and exes of mine settling down, doing things like getting married and having kids, I think to myself how odd it is I’m not a part of that right now because when I was growing up, I most definitely thought I would be. I thought by the time I turned 29 I would have some kids, a wife to come home to, etc. Instead, this weekend, my boys are coming into town, and my 29th birthday is going to be celebrated like my 24th, except without the girlfriend.

But here’s the thing, I’m totally fine with that. Sure I may want more, but that isn’t because I think I have less.

All I’m really trying to make clear to people is, this whole thing about men never wanting to grow up and get married and have kids, it’s not absolute. I strongly believe men struggle with getting older too even if they are acting like 30 is the new 20. There are plenty of men out there who want to get married and thought they would be by the time they hit my age. There are plenty of men who want to have kids, who don’t look at it as some curse. They don’t want to be some old ass dad and they actually never thought they would be. I always tell people one of the things I find enticing about marriage is that even if it ends badly, that man and that woman once experienced what it was like to meet someone with whom they wanted to spend their whole lives. Pretty powerful stuff, if you ask me.

If high-fives caused death, I’d be dead by now because every year as I get older, I hear more and more people tell me I’m doing the right thing by staying single, by not getting married, by not having children. They say, “You’re only 28 going on 29, you have plenty of time.” Well, maybe I do, but plenty of time has passed as well, more than I thought actually would.

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  • http://www.modelmayhem.com/KaijaMarshe KaijaBelle

    Long time reader, first time commenter…first on this post! Whoop! Whoop! LOL…great post jozen! I definitely agree that people tend to think that young, successful men run at the thought of sharing there lives with a wife and kids, which I believe sets a predetermined attitude for the dating scene. Women will go into a courtship with a man like yourself already thinking that she needs to trap you into the family life or that the relationship is only going to last for as long as she keep your attention. Wrong! Men, give themselves timelines just like women do and get anxious when those deadlines are missed. This post is a great insight to that.

  • Patty

    This post brought tears to my eyes because it’s a universal sentiment any human being can feel, whether you’re a girl or a guy, which is the point you were trying to make and accomplished quite beautifuly. I really appreciate your insight on life, your craftmanship of putting feelings into words is amazing. Keep it up Jozen. You make my day everyday.

  • **inquiring mind**

    Like @Patty said… I think it’s in our nature to question the whole marriage/parent thing as we get older… I mean is it not what we were placed here for in the first place? To Procreate! However, I am learning not to worry about the time constraints so much as they come, you know, the when I’m 60 they’ll be 20 (hell naw!) but instead to consider these things:

    1. People are living a lot longer healthier lives so while I may be old as dirt, I can still enjoy their youth without the back pains and bad knees… IF I’m taking care of myself that is.

    2. I’ve never wanted to be one of those mothers who felt motherhood cut her dreams short. I’ve grow very wary of the stories told by mothers (one of them being my own) on how there was A LOT, I mean A WHOLE LOT, more she wanted to do but her family came before alladat… and with that my everelasting debt to her- I digress…

    3. I, I mean YOU Jozen, obviously just aren’t there yet. I believe in God. I believe He makes no mistakes. #FIN

    4. Is it possible that some of us just aren’t meant to have children/get married? Well is it?

  • http://liferequiresmorechocolate.com Tiffany

    There is one def thing. You are not getting younger, you are getting older and there is something to be said about having kids further along in age. Part of me is happy I have had my kids at the age I did because I have been able to truly enjoy them. People always ask if I would have another at 35, I guess that depends.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

  • http://www.thechicagosupperclub.com Alana

    You ever notice that the folks tellin you, that u have time have been married for at least 5-8yrs and the have 3.5 kids…While I dont believe in rushing marriage and children(I think its the biggest mistake u could ever make), I totally understand where ur coming from.In a way i guess it is kinda dissapointing to look up and realize that you dont have one of the things you were looking most forward to in life.Rest assured God has a plan for you.At 24 yrs old I thought for SURE I would be married,or certainly at least engaged,nope, nada,zilch!!Thats just the way my cookie has crumbled,fortunately its not quite done crumbling.Remember Jozen men dont really have any problems re-producing till their about 45ish,its women who have problems around35ish.Marry someone 5yrs younger and you should be good!:)

  • Tee

    I reflect on the same things with every year I’m blessed with.
    I just assume, its not my timing.Good to know its not just us
    ladies.

  • Theryl

    Oooohhhh weeee! This one hit me like a pile of bricks! I’m in the same age group as you, and was actually engaged before. Never did I dream that I’d be the one bringing up the rear in the hubby-kids dept! I feel like my eggs are drying up and no one in site to wife me up and give me black, ashy babies! Le sigh. Guess I’ll be 28 going on 29 and waiting on my hi-fives.

  • http://facebook.com/yesip621 Yesi Jukebox

    I think the idea that we just live longer now gives people a little security in getting older and waiting to get married and have kids. By the time my mom was my age (23) she was married with two kids, but when I was younger I never saw that for myself and still don’t for a long time. By the time I do hit 30 though I would like to have things settled but if I don’t I guess that’s just what it is, women are having kids at an older age nowadays anyway – even though I wouldn’t want to look like a grandma to my kids lol.

  • http://shardonaysays.tumblr.com ShardonaySays

    I completely understand what your coming from. I try my best not to compare where I am with my friends so I’m not over-thinking my situation. Everything happens for everyone when it’s supposed to.

    PS. Love the blog!

  • http://yesijukebox.blogspot.com Yesi Jukebox

    I think the idea that we just live longer now gives people a little security in getting older and waiting to get married and have kids. By the time my mom was my age (23) she was married with two kids, but when I was younger I never saw that for myself and still don’t for a long time. By the time I do hit 30 though I would like to have things settled but if I don’t I guess that’s just what it is, women are having kids at an older age nowadays anyway – even though I wouldn’t want to look like a grandma to my kids lol.

  • taurusitalia

    I know plenty of men & women that feel the way you do. I think we put pressure on ourselves wondering “why I am not going through that stage in life…” So we panic. I had a friend (a guy friend) put in perspective for me, when I get down on my singledom situation…He said, “would you really want to be with someone, only to divorce them a few years later?” It was a very powerful statement, because I want to only get married once. And some people take a very nonchalant approach to getting married nowadays. A lot of my friends that settle down in their 20’s are getting a divorce. Not all of them, but enough. There is no answer that is comforting for this situation, the only one that makes sense…is timing. But it would help to know how to speed the time up LOL

  • AlongCameStacey

    I think the common misconception is that women think about these things often. The idea of getting married gives me heart palpitations and induces hives. Sure one day I’d like to experience it but it feels like I’d do it just to see if it felt any different than dating. Don’t even get me started on kids. I’d have to meet one bad mutha (shut yo mouth) who manages to convince me that having his children would be like recreating the sun and the moon.

  • Remone

    Jozen, from starting to read this blog to your early stuff while we were @ Howard definitely wanted to say I feel ur writing.
    That said this was for real the truth. I’m turned 28 on the 13th and in alot of ways I’m not where I thought I’d be, but mostly in the family/kids things. I felt happy younger cuz my lil bro had his 1st kid @14 but now I think about all the abortion I paid for and the bs I put myself through and wonder where I might be with motivation from kids and a wife instead of just career and play

  • http://thecandyshoppe.wordpress.com Ronnie6676

    I’m 34 and have a 7 year old son. When I had him at 26 it changed my entire life, into something that I could never have imagined. I’d never been the type to dream of marriage and kids….so my life from 26 to know bears no resemblance to what I thought it would look like when I was 18 or 19. The best part though is that even if I couldn’t imagine it back then, its pretty darn great in the here and now.

  • http://potholesinmyblog.com/ soulsupreme

    “Sure I may want more, but that isn’t because I think I have less.” People look at being single, dating and marriage in these weird absolutes. Sure there are sacrifices in every scenario but like anything its what you make of it. Getting married & having kid’s isn’t the worst thing. Its also ok if you don’t see that for yourself. I’m a guy my early 30’s I’m feeling that pressure now because I know want kids/marriage. Good read.

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    “But here’s the thing, I’m totally fine with that. Sure I may want more, but that isn’t because I think I have less.”

    I LOVE YOU! That is all.

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    @**inquiring mind**
    4. Is it possible that some of us just aren’t meant to have children/get married? Well is it?

    Of course it is sis. The thing is that people who are self aware knows this about themselves. Our lives are not meant to be the same. We also have to have the courage to say what it is we want.

  • mariebella

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and I appreciate the fact that you write honest and heartfelt posts, I like that you state what’s on your mind and don’t hold back. You definitely do make people think and examine different issues that you discuss and I enjoy reading your posts every morning, thanks for your dedication and honesty that you convey through your posts and it’s nice to get a better understanding of a males perspective when it comes to certain issues that women don’t really understand. This post made me re-examine my life and wonder if i still want to get married, which is a topic I am afraid to address because of past experiences and the amount of infidelity that has been on the media. It makes me question if there is a point in getting married and I also wonder why it seems so easy for men to cheat even when they have everything they always wanted. I just wonder about men a lot, with you turning 29 I think this post was a great part of your life to examine, but take your time and the right person will come at the right time. Great Post.

  • http://www.youtube.com/remthemulatto RemTheMulatto

    Sounds to me like ur not a planner. Maybe it’s a male female thing, cuz my lady always tells me how she had planned to be married by now, and I tell her we’ll see what happens like tomorrow is promised.. Some people are in too much of a hurry to grow up, get old and die.. and some people are getting older and holding on too tightly to their youth. U and I, my friend, we fall in the middle somewhere. We’re gonna get that whole married with children thing figured out this next decade, I promise.

  • MultipleHeart

    I think I bought into marriage and kids once my mom died, even though I never really saw myself doing either. At 21, I felt kind of lost and I thought marriage and kids would give me that anchor back. Now I’m 32,I’ve been to hell and I am now finding my way back and there are a lot of things I still want to do with my life…my single life.
    I know far too many people that get married and have kids because it is what they are “supposed” to do, feel like they have to do, pleasing family, church, to help further their career. But at the end of the day they end up unhappy.
    I’m lonely at times, and at times it feels like I am unhappy but when I step away and really look at my life I know that I am doing exactly what I should be.

  • http://reformedsoutherngal.blogspot.com KitKatCuty84

    “They say, “You’re only 28 going on 29, you have plenty of time.” Well, maybe I do, but plenty of time has passed as well…”

    Great line.

  • http://casaraelgibson.squarespace.com casaraelgibson

    “They say, “You’re only 28 going on 29, you have plenty of time.” Well, maybe I do, but plenty of time has passed as well, more than I thought actually would.”

    I am in this same moment at this time. While I have my career on track, I continue to watch the years go by where I think about marriage/kids. Since I am the first in my family to reach at a high level of success, I feel like sometimes I’m pressured to achieve the career goals while sacrificing my social life. My family encourages me and I think that since I’m not settling for marriage and kids to complete my life or a relationship for that matter, but, I still stick with my goals…I think this is what my family most admires.

    I believe that God will provide you with moments in your life like these where you will be able to reflect on good/bad times so that when you do find that right person to share your life with you will be mature and responsible to handle the commitment.

  • **inquiring mind**

    @Natasha
    hmmm… interesting. I think I’m pretty aware (I think), but does one ever really know they’re the chosen “not to be chosen”? I don’t think we know, we just convince ourselves (a defensive mechanism of sorts maybe). I’m getting up there myself in age and this comes from an honest place when I say that I am growing more comfortable with the idea that I may not be meant to be someone’s mom/wife. At times it saddens me, others it liberates… but regardless I think it’s made me even more difficult to date, this acceptance I’ve begun to acquire. A catch-22 it is.

  • Don’t know it all

    Wow Jozen even as a woman this post spoke to me on so many levels….. You can really be a softy sometimes! lol Great Post and Happy Pre-Birthday!

  • Maria

    As always, great post.
    I wondered if guys felt the same type of pressure us woman do when it comes to marriage and children, I guess the answer is yes. Every time someone in my family/friend circle gets married or has a baby, I feel like my parents wish it was me instead. I always joke and tell people “I haven’t seen Europe, the great wall, etc so no babies for me”. I constantly remind myself and my friends that we have to find happiness in the place we are currently in and make the best of it. This is something we should want to do for a lifetime, not just for a moment in time. When the time is right, everything will fall into place. If it doesn’t, than it wasn’t a part of God’s plan.

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpess.com Alisha

    I never thought that men didn’t want to be married with kids. I talk to my male BFF enough to know that that’s something men want. I think the major difference between men and women (correct me if I’m wrong) is we tend think of these milestones in time. Men don’t as much, so it comes across as they NEVER want these things and have no concept of time. I know plenty of guys who are “waiting” until they “establish” themselves further. The only problem with that is, how long will it take for that to happen?

  • Lyoness

    Great Post!! It’s refreshing to know that men out there think about marriage and kids in a positive, healthy way as well. Popular culture always depicts bachelors as men being dragged unwillingly to the altar, husbands as sad shells of their former selves, and wives as joyless shrews.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and this post hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m 28 and about to turn 29 in a few weeks. I’ve spent my 20’s focused on school and career and as I look forward to my 30s, thoughts of marriage and kids are starting to slowly move their way to the front of my mind. I’m not obsessed by any means but the thoughts are there. I am beyond happy and blessed with the experiences I have had in my 20s and wouldn’t trade them for anything! They will have made me a fuller, richer person when I do enter that next chapter in my life.

    For now, my parents are proud and happy with what I have chosen and like to spoil their “grandpuppy”. They’re not in a rush…

  • http://www.twitter.com/EbonyLolita EbonyLolita

    I just turned 31 and am single…..not even dating b/c I haven’t found anyone worth the effort. I have no kids & I feel like the WHOLE world wants me to have children. Yet, no one has mentioned marriage. I feel that at this age & stage I am in control of ME only. I try my best to improve on ME and when “HE” comes along I pray that he’s done the same and is marriage minded. If it’s meant for children then I’ll have them w/my HUSBAND. Not “some dude” that I chose b/c I thought I was getting “old.” Jozen have patience, it’s hard, trust I know. When you find the right woman you’ll know it & take the opportunity to explore marriage then. Better to wait then to rush & be disappointed. I only want to get married ONCE :)

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    @**inquiring mind**

    WOW! First give it up to you for figuring some things out. That’s big sis. You sound like you already know what you want:) I don’t know, call me crazy, but I believe that GOD speaks to us. The voice within gives me peace when I am not sure of my future. That peace is where “knowing” is. Your right, no one knows what the future holds that’s why we have faith. But that blind faith that I think you mentioned about looking past the obvious is not good. I had to accept that my life was going to look different years ago. It’s still tough. When we are at peace with the situations in life that we are given , everything opens up for us. When I decided to wait to have sex until marriage everything changed for me as far as dating. That change has been positive for me because my peace has kept me.

  • http://womanofcolor.wordpress.com brownivyx

    Amazing post. I got a little misty-eyed reading it. Though I deduced that men were just as eager to plant roots as women (why else would they eventually “acquiesce”?), it’s really cool to hear someone say it. Everyone, ultimately, wants to be loved…passionately, unconditionally, timelessly. And I hypothesize that no one wants it more than those involved in the arts, because they idealize it on a monumental scale, even in (or perhaps because of) it’s absence.

    I enjoy reading your blog. And I’ll definitely be among the first in line @ my local B & N when your first book comes out :-)

  • http://www.ashy2classy.net Darryl Frierson

    This one definitely hit home since we are the same age. Sometimes I feel like I am in the male version of 22 dresses or something!!

  • ThatOneAKA

    Great post! Glad to see that brothas do care about that sort of thing :) Being a mid-30’s, career, no child(ren) as of yet woman, I do feel and understand the dilemma that alot of women have after reaching a certain age, and they are yet childless. My own mother recently remarked to my sisters and I, how she thought she and my dad would have had grandkids by now. However, what we have to realize, is that some of us were totally raised with HUGE double standards: we were told not to get pregnant, get your education, focus on building your career, and leave them no goods alone! Now that we have attained all those goals EXPECTED of us, now folk want to question your sexuality since you don’t have kids!?!?! WTH? *had to pause and vent*
    Anyhoo, I’ve resolved that while I may not physically bear a child/children, I will be a mommy. And I’m cool with that :)

  • lild

    I always told myself and everyone around me that if I didnt have kids by the time I was 30, I wouldnt have any. So here I am at 31 and 2 months (lol), no relationship and definitley no where near having kids. Its very weird, especially since all my close friends had kids in their early 20s.

  • L. Dejean

    I understand how you feel…i’m starting to feel the same way because a lot of people i know are having kids or getting into relationships but what i’m seeing more of is people having kids and not being in a stable relationship or married…i want to be married & have a stable home before i bring a child into this world…it seems like that is a far fetched notion these days though…*deep sigh*

  • Lyoness

    @ThatOneAKA – I completely agree with you on the huge double standard. If you wait, your sexuality is questioned. I had a friend recently talk about an incident with her GYN. My friend is 32 and the doctor asked when she was going to have children b/c fertility starts to decline in your 30s. My friend says,”Well I’m not married.” You think that would be the end of it. Oh no…The doctor just looked at her like she was an idiot for saying that and said, “So.” Needless to say my friend found a new doctor. :( Good thing this isn’t an issue with men. You guys are really lucky in that respect.

  • **inquiring mind**

    @Natasha
    Without getting all mushy *shivers* and sh*t I commend you on that. THAT is big sis ;), you’ve obviously learned something… however don’t give me anything just yet… I @Don’t know it all (LOL, weare hella emotional aren’t we?ugh… I hate when that happens) or even part of it…

    Yesterday I got 2 phone calls. 2 guys. Both talking bout babies UGH! (not necessarily with me either- SIKE, who are we kidding-ha!- but trust me it’s complicated) How ironic to get calls like that after a post like this? They’re right in our age 25-35 group too and the convos kinda made me romantacize the idea of a little one… just when I was feeling so liberated here come “happy thoughts” weighing me right back down again. F!CK! I should change my number… I know I’m not ready to be an adult yet.

  • http://pigtailstostilettos.blogspot.com Nicky

    Every Mother’s Day, my friends and I toast in celebration of not having children not just because we’re relieved to have dodged the burden of mommy-hood, but because we KNOW that we’re not ready. As humans (or animals…it’s your belief) it is inevitable that we will reporduce. It was what we were created for. Children will come. Falling in love creeps up on you. I think we’ve become so fixated on a piece of paper that has wrongly become the foundation of two people deciding to spend their lives together. To me, marriage is spiritual…no certificate can define it. Stumble upon that one person you don’t want to live without and keep them…that’s just my take…

  • http://untiligetmarried Marnay

    I can relate. I AM 24, I am a lady with no ring and no kids. I will persevere. Just kidding. (a lot of prepositions) Nonetheless, whatever takes place in the next 80 years as far as my marital status goes, if not it is not the end of my world. I am in the military and they snatch and grab when it comes to making the commit of marriage and kids.

    “Marriage is not to be entered into lightly”
    – old chinese proverb (I think, sounds good though).

  • http://twitter.com/negresse82 Stephanie

    I am on the same page as you regarding this issue…. your quote sums up my feelings on this entire thing: “they say, “You’re only 28 going on 29, you have plenty of time.” Well, maybe I do, but plenty of time has passed as well, more than I thought actually would.” I’m 27 going on 28 and I feel like…I love my life but when will it be supplimented by the husband and children??? Glad that you made it clear men have the same worries…. Enjoy your birthday!!!

  • Everybodylovvesme

    If anyone can feel ya, I can feel ya! There are so many people around me who are getting serious and plenty more enjoying (or not) being single. I’m fine with it, for now but I do wonder when my time will come. Great read (by the way)

  • http://www.manhole.com designer

    self-indulgent drivel. Get a life.

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  • http://www.lesliearnelle.com leslie arnelle

    I dig you sir!! Good blog. Your GG profile pic caught my eye…I just did a shoot/styling similar to that before even seeing your profile pic…nice!! Keep up the great work.