I’m taking a short but much-needed vacation this week and, although I had planned to write a set up a full week’s worth of posts before I left, my dear friend Kathleen suggested that it might be more sensible to cut myself some slack, rather than tripling my workload! Thank goodness for clear-headed friends! So this week, I will be recycling some old favorite posts. I’ll be back next week, refreshed and ready to talk about National Infertility Awareness Week!
Recently, a reader posted this comment:
“Do you have any tips on how to find people without kids? I went to a RESOLVE meeting once and made friends with a fellow infertile… who got pregnant the next month.”
I suspect we’ve all had that feeling of being cheated on by someone we hoped would be an ally, while at the same time being glad the person got what she really wanted. So how do you find other childless people to spend time with?
Here are a few of the ways I’ve found kindred spirits:
Activities at non-kid-friendly times
I go to an early morning exercise boot camp three days a week. It starts at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. which is a tough time for anyone, but especially for people with very young or school-age kids. Most of the people in the group don’t have children and I’ve been going for long enough that I’ve made a small circle of childless friends. What’s great is that our primary connection is exercise, not childlessness.
Stealing or borrowing other friends’ childless friends
Quite a few of my friendships have come about through mutual friends. I’ve been invited to a dinner or barbecue, made my way around the room, making polite conversation, until I’ve met someone I’ve clicked with and discovered they don’t have children either. I have several childless friends who were introduced to me by mutual friends with children. In some cases the original friend has drifted away and the new friend and I have grown closer.
Groups and clubs
Just getting out and meeting people in general is a really good way to ultimately meet other childless people. Joining a group or club relating to your interests or hobbies means you automatically have something in common. I’ve been in book clubs, running clubs, and various classes. Over time, I’ve attached to certain members of the group, and just because of schedules alone, the childless members have ultimately gravitated to one another.
Childless and child-free groups
I haven’t actually tried this yet, but I’ve considered it. No Kidding! is an international social network for people without children. They have chapters all over the country and arrange social events regularly. If there’s one near you, this seems like a great way to meet people.
Another idea is using Meetup.com. You can sign up and state your interest in meeting other childfree people in your area.
We also have a Groups page on this site. Try starting a group for your local area and see if other people join. Hopefully you’ll find at least one other person who lives close enough to meet in person, and our membership is growing daily.
If anyone else has ideas on how to meet other childless singles or couples, please post them. I know that there are several other members who would love to find people they can connect with in person as well as just here online.
This post is so timely for me! My husband and I have been talking about having a child-free cook-out this spring. When we mentioned it to a couple of friends (without children), they reacted like we were being rude to our friends with toddlers. They tried to talk us in to inviting them. I would love to read a post about how to explain this desire to friends who might not understand. Thank you so much for this!
Kathleen Guthrie says
Try not labeling it a childfree event. We like mixing up our guest lists, bringing new people together each time we host a small dinner party in our home. No one else needs to know you have an agenda. If the friends with toddler say something about feeling left out, let them know you’ll invite them to the next small gathering.
I’m really active in my hobbies and it puts me together with a lot of people who don’t have (young) children or else at least the group activitiy isn’t about the children, the children aren’t involved and we don’t talk about them.
But it turns out that often those acquaintances tend to be people “past (or before) child-rearing age”. So, women some 10 years older than me and just going through/recently divorced, looking for groups and hobbies to build up a “new life”; people 20 years older than me whose children have already left home (or at least don’t need constant care anymore) taking more time again for their old hobbies; or people 10 or 15 years younger than me who don’t have children YET but lots of time and energy for their hobbies (because they’re students or don’t have so much responsibility in their jobs as me yet). It’s fine, i’ve made many friends, but sometimes it feels very strange to get invited to a friend’s birthday party – 60IETH birthday…as tonight…