The problem is that he wants kids — very far down the road when he’s financially stable and has done everything else he wants to do (traveling, moving, etc.). I, on the other hand, do not want them. At all. I’ve never felt any maternal feelings toward babies/kids and really just don’t want them. Honestly, I would rather have a bunch of dogs (which I am CRAZY about) until the end of my days than even one kid of my own. Just not interested.
So here’s my dilemma: he has said that I *might* change my mind and I get the feeling he’s banking on this being true. While, yes, there is a chance I might change my mind down the road, there’s a bigger chance I WON’T. And if that day comes, I don’t want him to be in a position where he still wants kids and I still don’t. He keeps telling me that it’s far away and even he might change his mind, but I still have to wonder: is it smart to stay together when something so important is on the line? Even if it isn’t set in stone? I know that this won’t affect me so much as it will him, and it’s his interests I’m thinking about now. Do you have any advice on how to handle this situation? — No Babies, Thanks
If you think this “won’t affect you” as much as it will him, you’re crazy. I can think of very few things more painful than building a life with someone — investing years in a relationship, adopting pets together, creating a home with one another — only to lose it all because the person you’re with has decided he’s ready to have kids are you know you don’t ever want them. That day will be equally painful for you both. Do you think he’s going to give up his dream of having a family to be with you? Are you banking on that as much you think he’s banking on you changing your mind?
You’re both in denial. And that’s fine, I guess. Maybe you’ll get two, three, four more happy years together — because, you’re not in a rush, I get it — but you will always have that nagging deadline looming over your heads. You’ll never fully be able to relax into your relationship because you’ll both know deep down that this isn’t forever.
If you think you can handle that, carry on. But please look at the column from this morning and let that be a cautionary tale for you. The details of your individual relationships may differ, but I think the sadness and regret of breaking up could be similar. The longer you put off breaking up, the more potential there is for deeper regret. Just something to think about.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.