both sides of a breakup

She Thought She Could Make Him Want Kids

Photo: Gluekit

For Both Sides of a Breakup, the Cut talks to exes about how they got together and why they split up. Lindsay, 41, a designer, and Rasheed, 42, a photographer, had very different ideas about what they wanted out of life. In the end, these differences proved too much.

Lindsay: We met at a new-business meeting. My design firm wanted to work with his start-up, where he still worked at the time — he doesn’t work there anymore. We didn’t get the business. He flirted with me, which I thought was really unprofessional. But he was pretty hot, so I minded a little less.

Rasheed: She was pitching us, all confident and professional. But then I looked at her when she was kind of like, being normal and not a businesswoman, and I winked at her,  which is so, SO cheesy but was just what my body did. And she laughed and rolled her eyes at me … and that was it. We both knew we were going to hang out another time, having nothing to do with work.

Lindsay: I feel like it’s such a classic situation, but on our first date, he said he definitely didn’t want kids. There was no wiggle room. No kids! I was like, Okay, you do your macho, nonconformist, I’m-so-independent thing. I’ll change your mind; you just wait and see.

Rasheed: Never wanted kids. I like my life. I travel all the time. I love my freedom. I’ll never give it up. I don’t understand what’s so confusing about that. It seems pretty straightforward to me. Lindsay always dismissed this fact about myself. Which was cut​e at first.​ She was all, “Oooh, you’re gonna love me so hard, I’ll have you in the palm of my hand.” But then it got not-cute!

Lindsay: So I was going to freeze my eggs, because I was 35 and dating a dude who didn’t want kids (whether I believed that or not). And at the doctor’s office, I found out that I wasn’t so fertile to begin with. My numbers weren’t great. This really freaked me out. I felt like I had everything working against me. At this point, Rasheed and I had been together a year, so I went straight to his apartment — he’d been laid off by now and was just freelancing as a photographer — and just bawled my eyes out to him. I was really scared for my future and my dreams.

Rasheed: I felt like she was manipulating me. I guess I was being paranoid, but the tears seemed insincere. And I really didn’t appreciate that. After she left my house that day, I was like, we have to break up. This is bad. I felt anxious about dating her suddenly. Like, it all comes down to trust and the whole thing felt staged to me. If I’m being perfectly honest, I didn’t even really believe her about the results from the doctor. I remember thinking: Is she just telling me this so I’ll come inside her?

Lindsay: He was nice, when I went over to his place and cried. It was good to have a “person.”

Rasheed: I was leaving for a month in Paris the next day. There was some photography work for me there. She was going to visit me. I didn’t know if I could go without breaking up with her first. It felt so urgent somehow.

Lindsay: The day he was supposed to leave for Paris, he texted me about getting a coffee. I hoped it was to say we could start trying for a baby. I’m such an idiot!

Rasheed: I told her the baby stuff and tears and doctor appointments  … it was all too much for me. It wasn’t what I wanted in my life. She started crying. I felt really bad.

Lindsay: It was such a wake-up call. He’s giving me this whole spiel about what HE wants and what’s best for HIM, and I was just like … yuck. Bye. You’re gross. I basically stormed out of there and canceled my flight to Paris.

Rasheed: We never saw each other again. It was good we broke up. I have a girlfriend now; we’ve been dating for six months but were friends for almost ten years beforehand. She doesn’t want kids, and we split our time between Berlin and New York.

Lindsay: That all happened about five years ago. I don’t know what he’s up to now. But I got really lucky, with no major fertility problems in the end — I have a baby and another one on the way. My husband is someone I met on Tinder not long after Rasheed and I broke up. He’s a family man and never made me explain why that was important to me. The only unfortunate thing is, Rasheed and I did have a really fun, wild-spirited relationship and it would be nice to remember it fondly. Instead, I look back at it feeling kind of sick to my stomach. But maybe that’s just the morning sickness.

She Thought She Could Make Him Want Kids