Will a Baby Fix My Love-Life?

My original thought was to say the word “no” as an answer to the question in the title of this post in as many languages as I could think of to make the point.

But for brevity sake I decided against that. You can’t fix your love-life by having a baby, no exceptions. Here’s why.

Let’s start by laying out the four primary reasons for having a baby: to celebrate this act of creation with someone you love that loves you, to grow a separate human being, to get the love you need, and to hold onto a man’s love. The first two reasons are the best.

Reason number one is your standard, we’re having a baby because we love each other reason. Where a baby is a symbolic representation of a couple’s love for each other.

Reason number two is centered on the experience of growing an infant into a fully grown man or woman. A wonderful achievement launching a maturing person into the world. Both of these reasons are great, and when both of them exist at the same time that’s the ultimate best for the baby and the couple.

Reasons three and four are problems. If you are having a baby because you are hoping secretly or not so secretly that your baby will cure your loneliness and need for love, you’re in trouble. You see babies grow up.

They start getting independent and start separating. This would go against your agenda to stay in control because you’re trying to get your emotional needs met by being your baby’s mother.

Your unresolved disappointed childhood needs for love cannot be satisfied in your relationship with your baby. And if your baby grows up believing it’s his or her job to try to meet those needs in you, growing up will be made more difficult because of conflict between his or her needs and yours.

If for whatever reason you did not get your childhood needs for love met, you probably have a feeling of emptiness about that. You can’t fix this by having kids. A little self-exploration, grieving for a unexpected loss, and a self-esteem repair are in order. Whether in a psychotherapy or on your own. That’s what can set you free of past love-life disappointment.

If you’re trying to hold onto a man by having his baby, by hook or by crook as they say, you’re in trouble again. First and foremost, people don’t like to be forced to do things especially in their love-lives. They characteristically resent and rebel.

In many instances you’ll be left holding the baby, so to speak. If your lover doesn’t love you enough to have a baby with you, trying to make a baby happen will inevitably make the both of you miserable.

By the way, if you meet someone who doesn’t mind having a baby because it’s his semi-conscious intention to make you pregnant then leave you, you’d do well to recognize that at the beginning and send him packing. You can do better than that.

You can be a parent and a lover. You don’t have to give up being a lover to be a parent. If you’ve decided to have a baby because you want a baby and you plan to raise the kid on your own, I’ll be writing a post about your love-life at some point in the future. This post is not about you.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. T. Jordan


Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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