Ah, the newlywed’s least favorite question. So, when are you going to start trying?!?!
I got asked this question at work pretty much immediately after returning from my honeymoon. While my sweet coworkers were probably just curious, I was horrified – since when was it appropriate to ask about my sex life in the workplace? I don’t have much of a filter so I quickly responded without thinking, telling them that my husband and I were more focused on celebrating how we successfully didn’t get knocked up before the wedding (it’s true, that is the only conversation we had about the topic immediately after our wedding). My coworkers stared at me, baffled, so I kept talking. Oh you know, I’ve spent so much of my adult life worrying about getting pregnant before marriage, it’s such a relief that it’s not an issue anymore*. We’re pretty excited. Then I stared back. Thankfully, no one has been brave enough to ask about my sex life at work since.
That brings me to my point. If you think it is inappropriate to ask about someone’s sex life, then it is also inappropriate to ask if they’re trying to get pregnant. Let me be clear, these are the same question. When you are asking someone if they are trying to get pregnant, you are just asking if they are having unprotected sex, and that is absolutely none of your business (unless you’re really close friends that share these sorts of things, then this article is not really about you**).
If you are uncontrollably curious, the better question to ask someone is “do you want to have kids?”. This multifaceted question gives them the opportunity to share as much, or as little, information as they want without making any assumptions or blatantly crossing personal boundaries.
However, this is still a very personal question, and it is most appropriate only after the other person brings up the topic themselves. For example, if they ask you about how you selected a daycare provider, then it would be appropriate to ask if they want kids themselves. However before you ask if someone wants kids, it’s important to consider all the possible responses they might give – such as infertility, miscarriages, financial issues or simply being disgusted by people with children. There are some things you can’t “un-know”, and there can consequences to that knowledge.
Just In Case
Of course, I doubt everyone will follow this advice, so I also want to provide a few helpful responses for all of you, just in case someone asks if you’re trying to get pregnant.
Blunt responses that make everyone uncomfortable
These are best used over a glass of wine. Or three.
Well, we do have sex a lot.
Well, we rarely have sex.
As soon as we figure out how, any tips?
Clarification responses that make it awkward
These usually come out of my mouth when I really am confused about why someone would ask such a silly question. Genuine confusion helps, but is not required. Be prepared, there will likely be an awkward pause.
Trying what? To learn how to cook? Actually, I’m pretty good at cooking already.
Why are you asking? Are you trying?
Why do you want to know?
Funny responses that will make you laugh
Depending on the person’s sense of humor, they may laugh at these as well.
Why? Are you looking to adopt?
That’s a good question, let me ask husband (pull out cell phone).
Probably not tonight, I’ve been pretty gassy all day.
While these can the best responses, it can be hard to actually say them out loud. Be prepared to change the topic immediately to avoid any awkward pauses.
That’s an incredibly personal question, I’d rather not discuss it.
I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss such an intimate topic.
Update: This drives me so crazy, I’ve revisited it.
*It’s 2016, I have no judgement about when anyone else gets pregnant, I just didn’t want to get pregnant before I got married.
** If you’re not sure if you fall into the really close friends category, then you probably don’t.