For them, it’s just not an option to grab the nearest man in a desperate bid for kids (“I call them sperm-donor weddings,” says one single mom) or to get pregnant “accidentally” by a man they don’t love. But they’re still hoping to meet the man of their dreams, so they keep their profile up and their fingers crossed. “I usually find a way to tell the man what I’m doing within the first date or two,” she says.

Could you be among their ranks right now—or perhaps in another few years? “I don’t want to leave them in the dark, and I want to see ‘what they’re made of’ before a real attachment is formed.

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Says Annie, the new single mom of a nine-month-old boy: “I was straightforward with no hint of shame or apology or discomfort. One first-date disclosure came up in the context of acupuncture (which I was doing for fertility reasons).

I had been telling him a goofy story about acupuncture, and he asked why I was doing it.

Then he says, “Just to get this out of the way, do you want to have kids?

” Um, actually, yes, you do—so much so, in fact, that you’re going in to your gynecologist’s office tomorrow morning to be inseminated with anonymous-donor sperm.

” Ultimately, if a guy’s really the right person for you, he may well stick around, even under these unusual circumstances.

Jill was closing in on 40, so she didn’t stop trying to conceive as a single mom when she started dating someone new.But she’s glad she used that condom instead of risking pregnancy with a guy who might not be husband or father material.When it comes to intimacy, honesty is key, if you want the relationship to have long-term potential.The key thing is to remember that a guy’s reaction is about his goals, needs and attitudes—not about you! Having sex with your date while trying to get pregnant at the doctor’s office can feel emotionally alienating, even if it does make logical sense.On the weekend of her third insemination attempt, Michele, 36, used a condom for a Saturday-night date with a boyfriend.He dumped me without a word when I told him how old I was.