Dear Abby: I am almost 30 years old, not married, no kids. I am a workaholic. I love my nieces and nephews to d*ath, and being an aunt is one of my favorite things. My problem is this: I don’t want to have children.

I started dating again a few months ago, and it seems like any guy I go on a date with thinks he can change my mind about kids. I have personal medical reasons for infertility. Of course, if I meet a man with kids, that would be perfect. I will be a great mother.

So why am I being called dirty names because I chose not to have children? Everyone says I’ll change my mind once I meet the right guy, but that’s not a negotiable issue. If we want to adopt or consider other options for children, I’m more than willing. There are children who need a home more than I ever brought into this world to pass on my DNA. Please help me understand what I am missing. — Atal in Idaho

Dear Unshakable: Not every woman wants to have children. This is a fact. For someone to call you “nasty names” because of how you feel is judgmental and arrogant. Motherhood should be — and is — a personal choice, and birth control gives us the freedom to exercise that choice as we see fit.

It’s possible you’re dating the wrong age group. If you focus on older men who already have kids, I bet you’ll get less criticism and a better result. There are also dating apps for couples who want to be child-free or for those who are already parents. Check them out.

Dear Abby: My girlfriend loves long stories, many times over the phone, that are trivial. This morning, he called and proceeded to describe, in detail, a nightmare he had last night. I try—I really do—to listen, but I usually wind up thinking, what’s the point of having a long conversation about a nightmare?

Since I was bored, I started using the computer to find some food coupons. When I found them, I interrupted his monologue, which led to a back-and-forth exchange of accusations, “I stop you, you stop me,” etc., etc.

I have always been easily bored by long conversations about trivial issues or non-issues. People sometimes criticize me because it’s obvious that I’m not paying attention. How do I fix this so that people don’t get offended for continuing these rubbish stories? Today I had to hang up because our “discussion” was escalating. – Bored easily in Las Vegas

Darling easily bored: If this happens regularly, the problem may be that you have a short attention span. However, if not, then it’s time you realized that relationships are based on people taking the time to communicate with each other. It involves listening and speaking as well as listening. If you value your relationship with your girlfriend, try to put in more effort. And help her compromise by explaining how she can edit some of her longer monologues.

Dear Abby: This may sound morbid, but I want to know if I should write a letter to my daughter and son that will be read after my d*ath to tell them how proud I am to be their mother. Is it okay to do this? – Grateful Moms in the Midwest

Dear Grateful Mother: I see no harm in that. However, even better would be to convey this message to your son and daughter often while you are still alive.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jane Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address plus a check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keeper’s Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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