Cover Photo: Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Family, Fate, and Fortune Tellers: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Just Want a Baby

I didn’t know, anymore, how to date like a normal person—how to give a potential relationship the space to grow into the family I dreamt of.

This isMy Future, My Fertility, a column in whichKarissa Chenwrestles with her questions about fertility, motherhood, and future-planning after thirty-five.



shouldn’t This probably isn’t true anyway.


feelingDo you want children, soon? Do you want to get married, soon? Are you financially stable enough so that we could raise a family together, soon?

moreIf it turns out any of your answers are “no,” what am I even doing here?


. The future you want is the future I want, too. The worries you have are my worries to share. You are not aloneWe’ll figure this out together.

as soon as possible


quite right



Karissa Chen's fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Gulf Coast, PEN America, Guernica, and Longreads. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan in 2015-16 and received a 2019 Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and  is a proud Fellow of both Kundiman and VONA/Voices. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief at Hyphen and a Contributing Fiction Editor at Catapult. She is working on a novel.