“He Wants Kids But I Don’t. Can We Still Date?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss whether longterm dating deal-breakers have to affect the short-term, how long is too long to commit, and when to let a friendship rest in peace.

A year ago, I met a guy in his 30s (I’m in my 20’s) and we had a great first few dates. We met online, and I assumed that he knew that I do not plan on having children (I know I won’t change my mind on this even though I’m young; it’s something I always knew about myself), but I realized when he mentioned how important it was for him to have kids one day that he must not have read my entire profile. I told him right away that we were facing a deal-breaker, but we liked each other so much that we kept dating casually.

After a few months, when we got a little more serious, I reminded him that he desperately wants kids and I desperately don’t. I broke it off, but eventually we started chatting again, and now I am starting to miss him and realize I’ve had feelings for him, as he says he does for me. We have so much in common, and except for our plans for family, we complement each other really well. Should I break it off permanently? We discussed the possibility of an open relationship, but we just don’t know if it will work. — No Mama, But Still Some Drama

Since you know this relationship has a shelf date and you’re already developing feelings that make it difficult to MOA, you should definitely summon the willpower to sever all ties now before you’re even more invested and risk a much, much worse heartbreak.

I was in a long distance relationship for the past seven years (I’m 29, he’s 28) and he broke up with me before I could tell him I picked him and wanted to move to him. Now only three weeks later he is seeing a new girl (25, blonde, party type) partying at clubs, bars, buying her roses, and even planning a trip/vacation together. Are they actually in love? Or is this a rebound? I always thought by giving him time he would be able to work things out and maybe we could build a new relationship on top of the break-up. That’s sentimental, I know, but after seven years I was ready to commit to him fully. — Seven Years Down the Drain

The sad truth is you took too long to decide what you wanted. Seven years is a LONG time to wait for someone to “pick you,” and your ex decided to MOA. You need to respect that and also accept that, if he were really the one for you, you probably would have figured that out a little sooner.

I have a friend whom I met a few years ago in college. We quickly became very close, but the friendship became turbulent because he had feelings for me that I did not reciprocate. I ended up transferring to another school, and, after I did so, “James” would call me consistently in a drunken state. This happened almost every weekend for a year until I visited that town this past spring. We saw each other for lunch, and it was clear he was not doing well (for what I can imagine is a combination of several things in his life). After the visit, he angrily texted me and told me how he had never been in love with me and he was sick of people asking him about me, as well as saying that I never really knew him. It hurt me that he lashed out at me, as I felt like it came out of nowhere. After that I deleted him from my phone and blocked him on Facebook.

We haven’t spoken for months. We have several mutual friends, so I ask them how he’s doing, and it seems lately as though he’s been well — going to grad school, working, drinking less, and just generally doing better by himself. I truly miss him but am worried to reach out to him. If he’s doing better without our friendship in his life, I wouldn’t want to take a chance of derailing that. At the same time it happens so often where I miss him and am hurt to think about how things were left between us. Do I let it for good, or should I try to reconnect? — Dissed by a Friend

I would leave the ball in his court to contact you since he’s the one who initiated a “friendship breakup.” Accept that you may never hear from him again and that the friendship has run its course. If he does reach out some time, it will (hopefully) be a welcome surprise, and, if you never hear from him again, you’re already on your way to moving on.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Love the advice as usual, Wendy.

    What do y’all think when one person definitely doesn’t want kids and the other is ambivalent about kids? Like, my gf definitely does not want children. I kind of always figured I’d have kids, but then, I kind of always figured I’d marry a man too. I don’t know if I actually want kids or if I just assumed I would. Oh, and remember that it’s not like I’d ever get knocked up, either. If I (ever) have kids, it will be a deliberate (and likely expensive) conception. Thoughts?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      Hm…I think its definitely something you have to figure out by yourself as you get older. And I think it’s only something that is important when you are ready to get married. Like when I was 19 I didn’t care if the guy I was dating had the same values as me, but if I was 29 I would. When I started dating my current boyfriend I had dated so many people that I was ready to settle down, so I asked all of the BIG questions early on: do you believe in God, do you want children, where do you want to live, etc….

      1. Right right right. Like, it’s not like I’m planning on proposing or anything, but I am keeping an eye towards the future. If I were like my mother and dead-set on having children, I would be much more careful to date people who wanted kids. But that’s the thing–I’m not sure about how I feel. I barely know my own answers to your BIG questions.

        Would you not date an atheist? Or is it just something you wanted to know?

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        Hm…I probably wouldn’t seriously date an athiest I guess. I’m not overly religious, but I do believe in some sort of higher power so I think it would be strange for me to date someone who didn’t believe in God. We’re still figuring out what church to go to together…but that’s another story haha.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        KC I pretty much feel the exact same way you describe about religion. You should try exploring Quakerism if you’re looking for an organized religion.

      4. kerrycontrary says:

        My boyfriend is in the military (reserves)….does that not mesh with the Quakers?

      5. Quakers are generally pacifists, but if it was something that you were interested in pursuing, I don’t think that should stop you. They are very accepting and most don’t really have a lot of “rules” to enforce. It sort of depends on what part of the country and the specific meeting, too.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        It’s a pacifist religion but even more so an accepting religion. The most basic “pilar” of Quakerism is that there is “that of God” in everyone- so yeah, they won’t discriminate/hate on you for being involved in the military.

      7. Avatar photo theattack says:

        This sounds awesome.

      8. applescruffs says:

        My boyfriend and I are both Jewish, but to varying degrees. I’m more of a “believer” than he is, but he loves and respects the traditions, so in action we match up pretty well – celebrating holidays, following Jewish traditions in terms of big life events (like weddings and funerals), that sort of thing. It seems to work for us.

      9. I feel the same way as you, but on the flip side. I’ve been an atheist for years now, and I have had a TON of issues with dealing with God and spirituality with men I’ve dated. Most of them weren’t very religious, but there was still a divide, you know? My boyfriend now is an atheist and its been such a relief to finally be of the same mindset with someone in their beliefs.

      10. EscapeHatches says:

        I’m like you, but my husband is an atheist. It works fine because he respects that other people have beliefs and that humoring my mom by having our marriage blessed at her temple (after the fact at the Sikh temple, just a casual thing) wouldn’t kill him. There are “degrees” of atheism that can make for better/worse mixes.

    2. Well like you say you need to figure out if you want kids or just assumed it was the next step. I think you need to really sit down and think about it for yourself, separate from your gf and decide for yourself. Imagine the two of you married in 10 years. Does it make you sad if kids aren’t in the picture? Or are you neutral. Some people have it figured out early whether they do or don’t want kids, some people need time to flesh that out for themselves. You then need to decide if you’re willing to give up kids for your gf or your gf for kids. And then once you’ve figured out where you actually stand, talk to your gf again.

      1. great great answer!

      2. lemongrass says:

        I agree. But picture further than 10 years too. Go 20, 30, 40 + years into the future. You might not know if you want children, but do you want grandchildren? Would you be satisfied being a great aunt but not a mother? Do you have a desire to share the special things of childhood (christmas for christians, the tooth fairy, sledding, etc.) with your own child? Don’t just picture yourself with a baby because that stage is short- picture yourself with a 6 year old, 10, 14, 18, 35 year old child. Then picture your life without. Only you can decide what is best for you and that should be a decision fully on what you want not including your girlfriends feelings.

    3. thats exactly what my problem is too- i cant figure out if i actually want kids or if i just assumed i would because thats what everyone on earth does- get married and have babies.

      i dont know how to figure it out. if you do, please let me know! lol

      1. OMG ME TOO. I have NO IDEA if I want kids. Its like if I think about it, I’ll go from one polar opposite to the next all in an hour lol. I think you’re right though, I think the big trick of it is separating what YOU want with want everybody else wants/wants for you.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I decided not to decide at all. I know if I had kids I would love the hell out of them, and they would make me so so happy, but I also know that if I didn’t have any I would take full advantage of the opportunity to be more devoted to a career and to do awesome stuff. How is it possible to make an enormous life decision between two things you would be ecstatic to have? I’m not good at making decisions, and I just can’t decide on this one, so I’m just going to let the decision come down to biology. My fiance wants kids but would also be perfectly happy without them, so that obviously also plays a big factor. If he decides he really wants them in the future, I’ll probably just go along with it.

        Obviously this approach wouldn’t work for very many people. lol I just needed to get this big one out of my hands.

      3. well, me and my boyfriend decided that if we got to a point where we wanted to see, we would just stop using birth control and that would be it. no doctors visits, no infertility anything, if we have one we do, and if not then not.

        so atleast im that far. lol

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Sounds like a lot of progress to me! That’s our plan even if we decide that we definitely do want to have kids because both of us are creeped out by the idea of “trying.” I don’t think we could make that happen, which is probably sad since that’s the biological purpose of sex, but whatever. It will either happen or it won’t.

    4. I know some people feel differently, but personally, if one person is a “definite” & the other is an “ambivalent” then I think things can fall into place as time goes on. It’s when somebody is a “definitely do” and the other is a “definitely don’t” where things go awry.

    5. I´d say to give yourself time, and try to imagine your life with kids and without them. Decide which life you like the most. And then of course you have to figure out how your GF fits into the equation.

    6. Really think hard about this. Here is my story. In my 20s I was just like you. I loved my lifestyle with travel, going out, and experiencing the world. Now in my thirties, most people have settled down with kids. I now want kids and trying is hard, deliberate, and expensive. I find that ambivalence is normally I want them but not now. Watch out about waiting too long.

      1. I don’t know I was ambivalent in my 20s and now in my 30s I’m definitely, don’t ever want them. Especially after seeing all my friends with babies, I’ve realized neither my husband or I have a single we want kids in our bones bodies.

      2. that’s great for you. congratulations.

      3. yikes i wasn’t attacking your opinion, i was simply saying ambivalence in your 20s isn’t normally i want them but not now. it can mean more than one thing.

      4. Thank you for this personal insight. I was wondering who else has been ambivalent about wanting kids. One thing is that honestly, for me, trying for kids is always going to be hard, deliberate, and expensive. 1. I’m gay, and 2. I have PCOS, so I have low fertility. So that’s just another kink to throw in there.

      5. PCOS isn´t always conducive to fertility problems, I know 2 people with PCOS that have multiple kids. And one of them was told by her dr. to go off BC because it was going to be so hard for her to have kids (beacuse of the PCOS) and a month later she was pregnant.

      6. i think thats always something to keep in mind- even women who have been told they will *never* have kids have ended up pregnant.

        i think fertility, to a degree, is still one of those things we really dont know much about.

      7. lemongrass says:

        Thats how most of those women on “I didn’t know I was pregnant” end up there!

      8. You are right to think about these things. However, since you are gay, the good news is if you are with a partner who wants kids too then your partner can carry the baby. Really think about where you see yourselves in 20 years. When you are older, do you see big family holidays or do you see you and your partner traveling? What is your biggest fear on both sides? Is the fear of loving a pet a little too much as a replacement kid a scarier future than being a haggard mother? Look at the worst case on both sides.

      9. i think there is something in between the options you’ve provided though. having kids doesn’t equal having big family holidays instead of travelling, nor does it mean that people without kids don’t have large family gatherings. does it involve their own children, no, but are they either all alone or on a plane during the holidays, no to that too. and you can love your pet a lot and not have it be a scary future. in fact i have friends with both pets and kids, who still love their pets just as much as they did pre-baby. i realize not everyone falls in to that category, but many ‘crazy’ pet people do.

      10. Exactly, jlyfsh. Also, not all mothers are “haggard” thankyouverymuch.

      11. I just want to defend cporoski a bit–I think she was trying to give the extremes of each situation. I think she and I agree that not all mothers are haggard, but that is a possibility that does exist. (And let’s be serious, you can be haggard and single or haggard and married without kids, too.)

        Thank you both for chiming in! I really appreciate this co-opted comments section–this is something that I’ve been pondering for a while now, especially this week.

      12. yeah and i get that, i think it can be a little daunting to think of it only in extremes though. i guess for me when i do that i can scare myself in to one decisions or the other. i try and imagine life in the scenarios she’s given with and without kids and think about how i’d feel. would it upset you more at the holidays to not have kids of your own, or would you be happy to spend it with extended family and then go back to your family of two (or three or four or five depending on how much of a ‘crazy’ cat lady you are 😉 since i know you don’t like dogs! ;)). i’m also always a fan of pros and cons lists. and if you each made one it might give you some talking points to start from in the discussion.

      13. It must be a sagittarius thing, jlyfsh. I LOVE pro and con lists. Who am I kidding, I love any type of list.

      14. Thanks 🙂

      15. kerrycontrary says:

        I’m a crazy pet lady with no kids. and I will probably stay a crazy pet lady with kids.

      16. Ooh I like this thought process. Like worst case scenario having kids vs worst case scenario not having kids. That’s a good point: every time I think about having kids, I imagine having healthy, happy, and perfect kids.

        And I actually have been thinking about the extended family thing this very week: I think that’s a major reason I would want to have kids. But like, I don’t think that NOT having kids would preclude me from participating in my already-existing extended family. I will continue to ponder this particular point, though.

        And I don’t like animals, so the loving a pet thing doesn’t really apply to me. (I totally see your point with this though) My gf and I have actually talked about my feelings on animals and dogs–she feels about kids/babies like I feel about dogs. I don’t really like them, I resent the implication that I’m supposed to like them just because you do, yours is not necessarily adorable, I don’t want one for myself, and if I had to get one I would want one that was old and worn down by the world (old shelter dog for me, older foster kid for her).

      17. I like the varied types of lists too – though one thing about hypotheticals is that you never really know how you will react until you are in the moment, so you have to use a grain of salt as well.

        FWIW I’m quasi ambivalent about having my own kids, hence no IVF or whatever for me, but I would also be interested in adopting or fostering. I have to admit a big thing for me is the actual physical part of the pregnancy and delivery that freaks me out and pisses me off – like my husband will get the same 50% of his DNA package that I get without the pre-planning about not wanting an episiotomy (sp?) and that kinda blows. I would have been better off getting pregnant a decade ago in my 20s… I have way too many friends who have had way to many kids (all different delivery scenarios, miscarriages, health problems in the baby, etc.) and now I know WAY TOO MUCH about what can happen to the female body and baby in the process. If they put all of the side-effects and secondary consequences (ex. a friend went partially paralyzed for a few weeks because of nerve damage during delivery) into that miracle of life BS movie they show in sex ed class — if you are lucky to get a sex ed class – I think we would all be a little more serious about the birth control 😉

      18. I find that looking at the worst case is better than looking at the ideal. Like, for example, my neighbors were very much like my husband and I. They were DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) and traveled and had a great life. Then she had some health problems and they slowed down. They do have extended family they see but sometimes, they just want to be with thier small unit rather than “invite everyone.” My neighbor always wants to talk and visit and is very sweet. But you can tell they are very very lonely. On the flip side, my inlaws have kids but my father in law is depressed because he never had any hobbies or a life outside of work and family. now that his kids are grown and he is retired, he doesn’t have anything to define himself. I don’t intend for either of these options to be me, but it is interesting to see how full lives can become empty.

      19. rangerchic says:

        I have two kids…I never really thought about if I wanted them just thought that was what “you” do. I always pictured have more than 2 (I am a sibling of 4). But when we tried for our third it was a no go – we tried for about two years. We didn’t get any tests or anything we just figured we were meant to have 2. And now that they are older and everything we’ve experienced now – I am so thankful we only have 2. I love them dearly but raising kids is really hard and so many people have kids that shouldn’t and I applaud the people who know they don’t want kids and proceed not to.

        So yeah, if it is a deal breaker for the LW they should really move on from each other. And if your unsure – talk to people who have kids but will be honest with you, babysit, visit a preschool – something to really interact with them – maybe that will help a bit with your decision.

  2. That sounds really sad; spending virtually the entirety of your twenties in a long distance relationship.

    Wendy didn’t answer the actual questions. I have some ideas as to why a 25 year old blonde party girl might be more appealing to a guy than a disembodied voice on a phone/email buddy.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I also think that a lot of people have one foot out the door before they break up, so it’s easier for them to move on to another relationship. But…she could also be a rebound.

  3. LW 1: Well, theoretically, he could have kids with someone else (like with a lesbian couple or a single woman). You’d still be around his kid(s) some of the time, so at the very least you would have to be cool with that situation.

    It also depends on how urgently he wants kids and how sure he is about it. Some people do change their minds about it over time. I’d have another conversation about it – do you both feel like this will definitely be a deal-breaker in the future?

    I’m also not completely against relationships with a shelf date. If you’re in such a relationship, you just have to be aware of what it is and that it will not be for the very long term.

    1. i dunno though, in this situation, their shelf life should be nothing. this guy, in his thirties, needs to be able to find a relationship and nurture that and then have babies. and thats not to say people in their thirties and forties dont do that, but it could take him a long time to find that right person… so i feel like it is incredibly unfair to him. i think he should have the self respect for himself to go find the life he wants.

      and also, say he is …. 33. at what point do they decide that, ok, you need to go find a lady to have babies with. 35? 38? you know what i mean? that is so subjective and nothing anyone can predict. i feel like for him, staying in the relationship is not good.

      1. Yeah, I was looking at it more from her perspective. We don’t really know what he’s thinking, only that he’s not the one who broke it off. Which is interesting because the kids thing would seem to be more urgent for him than for her. But he might indeed have good reasons to MOA, and maybe she’s sensing that. I think she’s already done a lot to confront him with it.

      2. yea, i agree.

        i mean, if this guy wants to throw away what most people consider to be the “baby making years” with a lady who doesnt want babies, its his life and he can do that!

        it is kind of interesting that she is concerned with this and as far as we know he isnt… i wonder if he is one of those that believe that everyone changes their mind as they age and she will want kids someday.

      3. Hmm, you could be right that he secretly hopes he can convince her to have kids a few years later. Otherwise it’s kind of hard to understand why he wants to stick around. I’d really like to hear how he explains his position to her.

      4. This is a good point to bring up. I know of more than one relationship – including marriages – that have broken up because one partner did not want kids, and the other partner said they were OK with that, but later eventually admitted “I really do want kids, and I just assumed you would change your mind.”

  4. LW#2 if it took you that long for you to pick him he probably moved on emotionally or at least detached from you long before the break up. It’s easier for him to be dating now, because he’s had longer to deal with the break up. It’s time to stop catching up on his life and learn to move on. Obsessing over everything he is doing with her will not make that easier for you. Also if you’re finding this from Facebook, delete him.

    1. What does “pick him” even mean, though? I was so confused about that. But anyway, I agree with you here. The guy has moved on, & she needs to stop being a voyeur to his new life.

      1. That line has me thinking it´s from a rom-com, but I can´t remember which!!! I hate that!

      2. It’s from Grey’s Anatomy. Two of the characters were dating when his estranged wife comes into town wanting to work things out. He was blindsided and not really making a decision. So the girlfriend corners him one day and gives him this whole speech saying “pick me, choose me, love me!” I guess it was supposed to be all emotional but it mostly just sounded desperate which she realized later and just felt stupid about it.

      3. Thank you!!! It was going to be one of those things that bug me for weeks.
        The other day I caught a bit of Grey´s Anatomy (I watched the first couple of seasons then stopped), and I have no idea how I loved it before, I found it awful now!

      4. it’s like a plane crash, you just can’t stop watching! 😉

      5. i wondered as well.

        i think it means she finally decided he was good enough/worth it to uproot whatever life and familiarity she had and move to him.

        i wonder why he never moved to where she is? i wonder why they didnt try to create a real in person relationship after 7 freaking years!?

      6. I was confused too, she says,’and wanted to move to him’ after saying she picked him. I kind of took that as maybe she wasn’t sure she was ready to take the leap and move from where she was and commit? Or maybe just wasn’t ready to make a commitment before then. Who knows, if it’s been 7 years and you’re still not sure I would say it’s time to MOA either way!

    2. Plus, she didn’t even decide to “pick him” until he’d moved on. Sounds like she just liked having him waiting around for her.

  5. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    Nothing breaks my heart like a lack of a trainwreck LW to end my week. You people and your rational problems.

    LW 1 – you both seem pretty set in your decision so I’d move on and find someone who agrees.

    LW 2 – Guys dating younger girls is a tale as old as time. What you should really be upset about is that you spend 7 years in a relationship where you couldn’t have sex at least once a week. That is the real tragedy here.

    LW 3 – I would leave it alone. He might not react the way you are imagining. It seems like you think that since he’s got his shit together he will be super excited to hear from you. And he might be. But he also might have moved on completely from this friendship and then either not respond or keep it short and cold. If I were you I wouldn’t want to risk that. I’d let him reach out if he wants.

    1. your new picture is really throwing me off. i dont like change.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I don’t like change either….but it had to happen. I feel much safer now – well except for the fact that BGM could figure out the approximate location of my house based off of that picture – but overall safer.

      2. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Your window treatments are so not what I expected, by the way…

    2. kerrycontrary says:

      same! I miss all the crazies. Where did the Turkey Baster lady go??

    3. I agree with iwannatalktosampson.

      LW2–I firmly believe that once you reach a certain point of maturity you should know whether you choose someone or not after a period of around a year. Very often we fall in love with the fantasy of who we think someone is rather than who he is. It’s hard to break through that fantasy from afar. Celebrate the opportunity to be single, to date anyone you choose, and move to any city you want. Seven years is a long time to wait to choose someone. You will find someone else, just give it time. Wouldn’t you prefer to be with a guy who doesn’t take so much time to choose you? Who works to accommodate you?

      LW3-It’s best to remember that some relationships have a season. I lost a close guy friend this spring and while I miss his friendship, I know it is in both our best interests if he contacts me after he severed the friendship. In situations where I feel the need for closure I often write a letter (which I never send) to the person telling them my deepest feelings. It allows me to vent and feel heard in a safe, positive way. I also sometimes find praying for the person to be helpful–sending blessings to that person has a way of making me feel better.

      Sampson, I miss your old picture, even though your new one is beautiful 🙂

  6. Addie Pray says:

    “For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~ someone very wise off the internet.

    Maybe it’s relevant, maybe it’s not. Sigh. Just remember, LWs, love conquers all. Just go with it, stop thinking, it’ll all be just fine. Sigh.

    1. Is it just me or is your advice getting more romantic (but less practical) by the day? 🙂

      1. Addie Pray says:

        I just truly believe that love lifts you up where you belong, where the eagles cry, on a mountain high. And these LWs need to be reminded of that!

      2. If you´re not careful some LWs are actually going to believe all that crap. Mind you, several probably already do, and that´s how they get themselves where they are. But I guess that refers more to trainwreck LWs.

      3. Oh God, that song is TRAPPED in my brain now.

      4. Ugh, me too. there should be a warning ahead of AP’s comment above.

        And who sings it!?! Now I have to google it and this song is taking up even more brain function…

      5. Joe Cocker and Jennifer somebody. Warner, Warnes, something like that.

      6. Oh man, I just confused that song in my head with the Celine Dion version of “Tale as Old As Time” that plays at the end of Beauty and The Beast and now I can’t get THAT song out of my head. Blahh the 90’s blahhhhhhh.

    2. Addie Pray says:

      I love all the LWs and Wendy and Wendy’s Dad and every single one of you commenters and fuck it I love cats too.

      1. and i love you too, new AP.

        date tonight? yes?

  7. LW 1 – unless deep down you aren’t as anti-baby production as you thought MOA!

    LW 2 – He probably waited 3 weeks to announce the fact that he is official with this woman so you wouldn’t be so offended. My speculation is that he was already kind of involved with this individual before you two broke up. Not suggesting he cheated, but suggesting this was in the works for a bit. The vibe your letter gave off made me think he felt in limbo for a while and that would be enough to make him look elsewhere after 7 years of LDR.

    LW 3 – He was (and still may be) obviously a whiney emo – some of us grow out of it – but you were the one that ultimately cut him out. I’m not sure how you go back instigating this situation, but if you haven’t, unblocking him from facebook is probably a good indication to leave it open for him to apologize for things and re-kindle a friendship if he feels the same way as you. My guess is that it won’t happen though as you miss the friendship (and always assumed it was friendship) and he probably never was going to be satisfied with friendship to begin with…

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I have to say I agree about LW2. If they are planning trips three weeks after you broke up I’m guessing SOMETHING was going on before the actual break up day. Maybe not physical cheating but definitely soem emotional cheating. Sounds like this dude checked out of your relationship a while ago.

    2. Agreed. Although I disagree with the comment that it’s not cheating – technically it isn’t but emotionally it is which isn’t right or fair either. I had that happen to me, I loved him, sensed something was up with him, asked him about it, he said nothing was wrong, and then BAM we broke up and new girlfriend the next day. Turns out they had been “talking” for a while – just waiting to get rid of me – which he easily could have done earlier but of course he would have to go a couple of months without steady sex so that wasn’t a viable option for him. It’s a shitty feeling.

      Rant over. I agree with Wendy though LW2. I have a suspicion that you weren’t that into him until you realized he was gone. Who waits for 7 years in a long distance?! Also why didn’t he move closer?

      1. If it was an unintentional closeness that developed in the void of a secure relationship and when he decided in his head that he wanted to be with the other woman that he broke up with the LW then I’m not sure I’d call it cheating, but you are right it in most circumstances this situation probably would still count as (emotional) cheating.

      2. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people get so bogged down in the semantics of cheating vs. non-cheating, emotional cheating, technical cheating, etc. Define cheating however you want… sex, emotional conversation, whatever cheating is to you is what it is. And then there’s the separate issue of what people think is right vs. wrong. Like for me, when I hear “cheating” I think physical stuff, but I also think that becoming too emotionally involved with someone is wrong, as in immoral, but I don’t call it “cheating”. So that’s my rant for the day. There is cheating vs. non cheating, and there is right vs. wrong. Two separate issues, with a lot of overlap of course. But still, two different things.

        It’s kind of like the whole rape vs. non rape thing… like people arguing until they’re blue in the face over whether something was “rape”. Rape is a legal term, defined by statute. An act usually falls within that definition or not. And then there is moral vs. immoral. Two different things! Something can technically not be a rape and I can still think it was an immoral act. I hate when people kill themselves debating that something was a “rape” because they equate that to the act being wrong/immoral. Like, no, technically that wasn’t a rape. Who cares? You are still a shit bag. Debate over.

        Ok this is a weird pet peeve and I think I’ve said enough on the issue… ha.

      3. My overall point would be that whether you think something is wrong is not really something you can debate, since that’s just your opinion based on your values. And cheating and rape, they’re defined (depending on the relationship with cheating or depending on the statute with rape) so there’s no real debate to be had there either.

  8. LW 1: Perf advice from Wendy, and I’d just like to add that being with someone seriously and being in disagreement about kids will always lead to big problems. Either A.) The person who wants kids will be able to get the person who doesn’t to start a family and then the person who didn’t really want them resents it when things with the kids and the relationship gets really hard and challenging or B.) The person who did want kids gets talked out of having them and they end up resentful and unhappy later in life. Its either resentment or resentment. Or resentment.

    LW 3: PLEASE don’t see him anymore or initiate contact. No friendly lunches, no calls, nothing. At least until he’s really serious with someone else. At this point, knowing that he had/has feelings for you and that he gets all rejected crush pissy face when he sees you, it would just be leading him on. If you really want him to do better, you’ll let him fly away. FLY HORNY FRIEND FLY.

  9. tbrucemom says:

    LW 1 – Are you so sure that you don’t want kids that you’re willing to get your tubes tied because honestly if I was that certain I would do it so I didn’t have to worry about accidentally getting pregnant. Also, do you not want to give birth but are willing to adopt? That could be an option depending on the reason you don’t want children.
    LW 2 – Yep, you took too long to commit. WWS, it’s probably for the best if it took you that long to figure it out. The girl is probably a rebound which is common after a long term relationship, especially it seems for men.
    LW 3 – It pained your friend to be around you and have feelings that weren’t returned so it was easier to just cut off all contact and he was hurt and said things I’m sure he regrets. I had the same thing happen to me without the lashing out. Maybe down the road when he’s completely over you and with someone else he’ll be able to be your friend again but leave it up to him to make first contact.

    1. RE LW1: If she has an experience with doctors like I did, she may not be able to find a doctor willing to tie her tubes. Like LW, I knew very early (I was 20) that I didn’t want to have kids. When I asked doctors about sterilization, I got a horrible runaround. I was told no because 1) “You may change your mind,” 2) “It’s best to wait until you’ve had a child first (I wish I was making that one up), 3) “That’s a big step,” and 4) “You’re much too young.” I didn’t find a doctor willing to do it until I was turning 40. By that point, I was in the beginning stages of peri-menopause and opted for an IUD instead. I think we have to trust that this woman does not want children. She knows what she wants, so she also has to be willing to know her BF knows what he wants. It would be unfair and selfish of her to keep things going because their ideas on a family are so divergent. It’s time for this relationship to end.

      1. And now for something completely different: It’s so good to be able to read Dear Wendy again! I had a computer glitch at work a few weeks back, and the fix led to some sites being blocked due to “adult content.” It was totally random – I couldn’t come to this site, but I could go to Dan Savage’s site. Go figure. Anyways, it’s great to be able to see this again.

      2. Welcome back!

      3. Thanks! I missed everyone.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My mom (who has had 3 kids, is over 45, and has homonally induced migranes) asked for her tubes tided or a uterine oblasion or something of the like and every doctor she has gone to has refused her. It’s pretty irritating she can’t get her babymaker shut off and has to suffer every month.

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