After all, with all the choices available to women -- the gender the piece correctly identifies as the one that carries the brunt of societal negative attitudes towards childless people -- it's assumed by many that we've made childlessness a choice."If you really want to be a mother," I've been told, "you'd be a mother.Nothing stops modern women from becoming mothers if that is what they really want." But at age 44, never-married, I still choose love over motherhood, as do most American women -- and men.

"And now, I may never have kids."Joanna, a single 38-year-old attorney who left the partner track to move into the less demanding (and lower paying) role of legal marketing in order to attract men who did not find her profession competitive with theirs, is frustrated.

Here I am, almost 39, and I gave up so much potential in my career and frankly, in my income, just so that the men I dated no longer assumed that because I went to an Ivy League law school, I don't want to be a mother.

Now, not only am I heartbroken that I'm still single and not a mom, I regret taking a major step down in my career.

People still call me a so-called 'career woman' as if I don't have to work, and by taking myself off the partner track, I don't even have a walk-in closet to show for it. I've even considered having a child with a friend, but in the end, decided to wait for the right relationship and have kids with the woman I love.

They assume I'm a player because I haven't married yet," he explained over drinks. I want to be married and I really want to be a father. (Seal Press / Penguin Canada, early 2014), I look at the unrequited love story of our generation.

Aashna, Joanna and Jake are among composites of dozens of women and men I spoke with who want so much to be in love, married (or at the very least, in a committed relationship) before becoming parents.

cover story: "The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children," presumes that the decreasing birthrate in America is mostly due to a choice by many modern American women and men to be childfree, i.e., to remain childless by choice.

Aashna, a single 43-year-old marketing director for an international jewelry designer, looked down at her glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a familiar melancholy I've seen before.

"I absolutely don't want to have a baby on my own," she said.

"But I also can't imagine never becoming a mother." At age 39, Aashna broke up with a man she was not deeply in love with.

She knew she was not only saying goodbye to him, but potentially to ever becoming a mother.