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How do I tell my girlfriend I want to be a father?
February 20, 2009 9:03 AM   Subscribe

How do I go about telling my girlfriend I want to be a father? This makes me nervous, since I don't think she wants to be be a mother and life-goal conflicts like this are pretty big when talking about relationships.

Girlfriend: 21, bad father figure, divorced parents, not sure on what she wants to do with her life still.
Me: 23, nuclear family, career-job, want to be a father... one day.

We've been dating for almost a year (which I know isn't a particularly long period of time), but I'm at a point where I'm dreaming of having a life with this woman and a couple of nice kids and all that silly nonsense. Only problem is, I don't think she wants the same things.

Despite the fact we're both young, I know I'd like to have children one day but I don't think she feels the same way. I figure this is generally a yes/no kind of thing, and not a "Welllllll, maaaybe?" - at least it is for me. I'm reluctant to ask about this since it's potentially a deal-breaker for me but I'm very much in love this woman.

How do I tactfully ask about this without me seeming like a madman who wants to knock her up and buy a house with a picket fence after only a year?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (50 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wouldn't ask or tell her. Would you have wanted your 21 year old self making decisions for your 23 year old self? or 25 or 30 year old self? It's good that you know what you want, but she should be able to figure it out by herself.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:09 AM on February 20, 2009


Actually, to me it seems weird you HAVEN'T had this conversation yet. if she says no, she doesn't want children does that mean you have to break up with her right away though. Can't you enjoy this relationship without putting this question as a dealbreaker that has to be solved now?
posted by saucysault at 9:10 AM on February 20, 2009


"Do you want to have kids eventually? I do."
posted by chunking express at 9:11 AM on February 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


You want to get this out in the open ASAP; if you two aren't compatible for the long-term (and I can't imagine a more fundamental incompatibility than whether to have kids), you want to know now. Just ask her if you can talk about what she sees you two being like in 5-10 years, and introduce the topic from there. For all you know, she's not outright against the idea; maybe she just hasn't thought of it happening because of her past circumstances. By the same token, however, you have to be prepared for the possibility that she's adamantly childfree; if this is the case, and you're absolutely set on having kids, you don't really have any other option than to break up with her (and better now than five years from now).
posted by korpios at 9:11 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're reluctant to ask this because you're afraid the answer might mean the end of your compatibility. And it might. The sooner the better.

"Hey, honey, listen, I don't want to sound like a madman who wants to knock you up and buy a house with a picket fence or anything, but I realized I don't know how you feel about having kids. Is that something you ever see yourself doing?"
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:12 AM on February 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


"Do you ever think about what you want your life to be like in the future?"
posted by salvia at 9:15 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as it being a "dealbreaker": that depends on whether she's adamantly childfree or just hasn't really thought about it. If someone is adamantly childfree, you can't expect that they're going to change their mind any more than a parent is going to "change their mind". The fact that she's never quite brought the topic up yet (from what I can tell based on the OP's info) makes me think she's likely not childfree, though.
posted by korpios at 9:15 AM on February 20, 2009


"Hey, how do you feel about having kids someday? Not right away, of course, but like, eventually."
If you want children, turn to page 32.
If you don't want children, turn to page 105.
If you're not sure, turn to page 45.


Page 32:
"Great! Me too! All right, then. What do you want for dinner?"
If you want pasta, turn to page 65.
If you want ceviche, turn to page 14.


Page 105:
"Oh no! I really want to have children someday! Maybe we should break up!" What follows is a night of crying, passive-aggressive incriminations, and maybe some effed-up breakup sex of some kind. In the morning, you go your separate ways, and spend the next few months feeling miserable, questioning your decision.
Turn to Page 182.

Page 182:
You meet someone who has the same ideas about long-term family-planning that you do! You fall in love! You find that you're much happier than you would have been if you'd stayed in a relationship where such a basic question was allowed to fester unanswered, gnawing away at you. As the two of you fly off in a spaceship together, you think, "I sure am glad I brought that up!"
The End

Page 45:
"Okay. No need to decide right now, just something to think about."
To push the issue and demand an immediate response, turn to page 70.

Page 70:
Dude, don't push it. Ain't no need just yet. Give her time to turn it over a bit. Don't push her into a corner she feels like she might need to fight her way out of.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:16 AM on February 20, 2009 [80 favorites]


I wouldn't worry about it yet either. You are both young. I have known lots of girls who said in their college years they would never have children and by their mid-to-late 20's completely change their mind and have a mini-van full of kids. If everything else is peachy, wait her out a few years-no reason to make it a "dealbreaker" too early.
posted by mjcon at 9:23 AM on February 20, 2009


Another thought occured to me, if you have having sex then you really need to have a conversation about pregnancy/children anyways.
posted by saucysault at 9:23 AM on February 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I've also known people who said they never wanted kids ... and never changed their mind. Staying in a relationship doomed to failure just isn't a good way to spend your next few years. (I'm not saying the OP's situation looks this way, but I just can't fathom the attitude of all the "don't worry about it" posts. If the OP brings it up, he'll know whether it's worth worrying about or not.)

And as far as sex/pregnancy/kids, yeah — I finally reached a point in my sluttier years where I realized it was insane to not have the "what would happen if you got pregnant" talk. (The only answer which led to sex with me was "have an abortion, of course"; anything less led me to walk away.)
posted by korpios at 9:36 AM on February 20, 2009


DO: ask her
DON'T: "forget" to use condoms
posted by desjardins at 9:38 AM on February 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Do you have friends or family with really cute kids?

Offer to take them to the zoo on an occasional basis. Invite her along. See what develops.
posted by jamjam at 9:39 AM on February 20, 2009


She's 21. She has the good part of two decades to decide about kids.

Don't bring it up yet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:41 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice, rr. I guess OP's problem will be solved if he takes your approach, because the girlfriend will dump him for being a condescending, dismissive bastard who has no respect for her opinions.
posted by Pomo at 9:44 AM on February 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


"Do you ever think about what you want your life to be like in the future?"
posted by salvia should or could be: "Do you ever think about what our life together is likely to be like in the future?"
posted by lungtaworld at 9:52 AM on February 20, 2009


I married one of the ones who wasn't a womens studies induced lunatic

Oh, that's why women choose not to have children. Because they have been brainwashed. And now they're crazy.

OP, just tell your girlfriend you want to have kids in the future. Accept that this might be a deal breaker- especially since she's not sure what she wants to do with her life yet. I know I wouldn't even contemplate getting married at 21, let alone raising kids. It seems like you might not have the patience to continue to develop a relationship with someone who may or may not change their mind seven years down the road, so you might as well sort this out now.

BTW, I know plenty of people from divorced parents who have kids now, and plenty of people from "nuclear" families that don't ever want them. I think those things are pretty irrelevant.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:58 AM on February 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


All you have to do, if you want to talk about it without freaking her out, is let her know that you're talking about hypothetically, in x or so years. If the subject alone really freaks her out, chances are you're not on the same page about it, and you really might as well know that now.

What happens after you find out and she feels different than you (even if she's not dead set on a childfree life but simply feels less sure than you), is hard to decide. It sort of depends on whether you're the type of people who are dating with a specific goal in mind, or are together because you like being together without huge expectations down the line. But you're both very young--it's very possible that either one of you or both of you might change your mind someday. Same time, staying with someone on the hopes they'll gradually become more like you (usually accompanied by the other party having the same but opposite hopes) is your basic recipe for future divorce.

I figure this is generally a yes/no kind of thing, and not a "Welllllll, maaaybe?"

Not at all. I'm much older than you, and I'm still in the "Welllll, maaaybe?" stage. In fact, if you don't know after a year, it's just as likely as anything else that she is still undecided. Best not to make assumptions.
posted by lampoil at 10:00 AM on February 20, 2009


Do you have friends or family with really cute kids?

Offer to take them to the zoo on an occasional basis. Invite her along. See what develops.


This is a really terrible way to find out if she does or does not want to have children, and will not mean a damn thing other than how she reacts to those kids, on that particular day. I like kids in doses, am good with them, did some teaching for a little while, but I am 99.82% sure that I do not want to have children of my own, ever. Though a lot of people might not want to have children of their own, it by no means translates to not liking kids or being good with them.

Seconding, thirding, fourthing just having an honest conversation about this.
posted by raztaj at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


if this is the case, and you're absolutely set on having kids, you don't really have any other option than to break up with her (and better now than five years from now).

Well... no option except for, like, you know, actually enjoying life now, and your relationship with her now, and actually living, and not falling victim to a mindset whereby the entirety of your 20s and 30s is an exercise in planning for the best possible 40s and 50s.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:05 AM on February 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


What raztaj said: liking other people's kids isn't incompatible with not wanting any of your own.

Yes to the honest conversation, but you need to accept that "um, I dunno yet" is one of the potential answers.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:13 AM on February 20, 2009


I figure this is generally a yes/no kind of thing, and not a "Welllllll, maaaybe?"

It is totally a "Welllllll, maaaybe?"

I'm in my late twenties and I'm still going through that, even though all around my friends are popping out kids. Your girlfriend is young still, and as long as you aren't looking to have kids in five minutes, bringing this up in a long-term kind of way probably won't freak her out. I mean, it IS the kind of discussion people in serious relationships tend to have.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:15 AM on February 20, 2009


I figure this is generally a yes/no kind of thing, and not a "Welllllll, maaaybe?"

What makes you think that? Lots of people are ambivalent about having kids.

The question, though, isn't what people in general feel. The question is how she feels about it.

If you want to find that out, you might want to, you know ... ask her?

She would probably be better than 24 random internet users at telling you how she feels.
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:17 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't worry about it. Every single girl I knew at 20 declared they weren't going to let their biology run their lives and become mindless jogging-stroller-pushing breeders, claimed that they never, ever wanted kids and never would, griped that (sexist tool-of-the-patriarchy) doctors were extremely reluctant to do a tubal ligation on women under 35, and so on.

Ditto rr on this one -- I was convinced I never, ever wanted kids. We still might not. But it is on the table now as a possibility, and I'm getting closer and closer to the maternal-age-danger-zone. Bring it up in any one of the ways mentioned above but don't stress out about it too much -- you're still young and she may change her mind as your relationship progresses. If all is well elsewhere, no need to panic quite yet.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:19 AM on February 20, 2009


It'll come up sometime. These things have a tendency of becoming part of the conversation. However it comes up, mention that this is something that you want independently of your relationship. IE: You want to be a father. You would love to be a father to children you had with her, but even if you weren't with her, you'd want to be father.

If she really doesn't want kids, it *will* be a dealbreaker, but give her time. No one really knows what they want at 21.

Don't stress about it quite yet.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:23 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Certainly discuss this with her fairly soon, and tell her you're thinking about spending your life with her and will want children, but be aware her response won't be a simple yes or no that breaks or makes your relationship. She may need time to think about it, and might change her initial answer.
posted by orange swan at 10:23 AM on February 20, 2009


On further thought, I think discussing this with her now/soon may be a really good way to get yourself dumped.

If she's unsure of her feelings (as everyone is at 21), you bringing this up may make her think this is a dealbreaker issue for you right now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:39 AM on February 20, 2009


I think it's good to bring it up casually, couched in a sort of "grand life goals discussion." She might think it weird if you DON'T ask her, seeing how she probably suspects that YOU want kids. Personally I thought it very weird that my boyfriend of 1.5 years hadn't asked me about it, and I got kind of offended and extrapolated all sorts of dire reasons (he thinks I'd be a terrible mother, etc.) So I finally asked him why he hadn't asked me, and his response was "because I'm terrified you'll say 'no.'" And then he asked me, and my answer was "I don't know yet, but I'm glad we're talking about it." And we were both relieved. Things aren't always clear when you're in your twenties about what you're going to want in your thirties, and sometimes that's okay. Just communicate.

FWIW
posted by np312 at 10:52 AM on February 20, 2009


My boyfriend asked me how I felt about having kids around our 5th date, and I really appreciated it for two reasons: we both know we're on the same page with regard to life plans, so our relationship doesn't feel futile and it also was a subtle hint that he's potentially considering this to be a long term kind of thing. I highly doubt she would get scared and think you're planning on stealing her away to an Edward Scissorhands nightmare of babies and white picket fences. It's more likely, I think, that she'll take it as a sign that you take her and your relationship seriously and would like it to last.
posted by faeuboulanger at 11:02 AM on February 20, 2009


Nthing that you needn't really sweat it right now. But if you want to start a hypothetical conversation, make a reference to "someday when I have kids."

My SO and I had the "do you see us having a kid" conversation at about 4 am, schnockered. This permitted us to have the conversation frankly, but if it had gone badly, we would've had plausible deniability. This method worked nicely for us, but probably isn't what you're going for.
posted by desuetude at 11:11 AM on February 20, 2009


Definitely bring it up. If it turns out that you guys are diametrically opposed, then it sucks, but it gives you both more time to meet people who'd be a better match.

Do NOT assume that if she says she doesn't want them, that her hormones will change her mind. While this may be the case sometimes, it's usually not true, and most women I know in their 20s will say "someday but not soon" rather than "no not ever."
posted by explosion at 11:25 AM on February 20, 2009


FWIW, I was adamantly opposed to having children throughout my twenties. I am now 34 and thinking it might be nice to have kids.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:31 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. desjardins and I were diametrically opposed when we met (he wanted them, I didn't), and HE changed his mind. He was 33 when we met and I was 29. So, I'm nthing all those who say you can't be sure. But still, don't have an accident.
posted by desjardins at 11:57 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


game warden to the events rhino: "Well... no option except for, like, you know, actually enjoying life now, and your relationship with her now, and actually living, and not falling victim to a mindset whereby the entirety of your 20s and 30s is an exercise in planning for the best possible 40s and 50s."

This is a mischaracterization. If you want a child, and that is part of what you want out of your life, then sometimes you have to end a relationship that doesn't include that. You're underestimating just how important children are to some people.
posted by TypographicalError at 12:21 PM on February 20, 2009


If I could favorite rr's comment more than once, I would.

Anyway, just freaking ask her already. What is the worst that could happen? She says no, and you feel compelled to break things off? Not the end of the world. However, as others have said, if she says no, or that she's not sure, it's not the end of the world.

I think you should ask her at this point, but not let her answer, or your feelings, dictate your relationship. She is young, and so are you. You said you realize that, but I'm not sure you do, really, if this is a deal-breaker for you, when you're 23, and she's 21. I'm just 22 myself, but I am keenly aware that my opinions have changed drastically in the last few years, and will likely continue to do so for the next five to ten. Given that, your feelings now are not final, particularly the details of them; nor are hers.

Though the urge to have a family is fairly strong for you, you and your girlfriend are likely not at a point in your lives to consider having children, and so it's perhaps inappropriate to make this a deal breaker just yet. Most people under 25 are still in school or swimming in the aftermath debt of that adventure, things of which will--or at least should--affect your girlfriend's answer, as well as yours.

Again, ask her, but please make it calm and cool, and avoid bringing it up right before or after sex. If you can't talk to your girlfriend about something as simple as this, you two aren't meant for one another, anyhow.
posted by metalheart at 12:24 PM on February 20, 2009


If you can't talk to your girlfriend about something as simple as this, you two aren't meant for one another, anyhow.

Thought I should make it clear that I don't mean to suggest the concept of having children is an easy one to tackle, but that this is a pretty basic question that I'm surprised hasn't come up in the year that you've been dating. What have (or haven't) you two been communicating about, if you haven't crossed this bridge yet?
posted by metalheart at 12:26 PM on February 20, 2009


Being able to have difficult conversations and find ways to compromise in ways that make you both happy (or at least less unhappy) is the core of a successful relationship.

Finding out what your mutual positions on make-or-break issues are is the whole point of dating.

You need to be successful at both these things, and both require conversation. You don't have to drop it on her lap like a bowling ball, but opportunities will present themselves to make it clear you think you want kids.

Look at it another way; You know what you believe you want. You believe you know what she wants. Isn't she entitled to know the same things?
posted by phearlez at 12:48 PM on February 20, 2009


Bring it up, ideally when you're just hanging out with each other (esp. laying in bed) and chatting. Make it speculative, not concrete. Phrase it so that it won't become confrontational.

"Do you think we're the kind of people who would be good at raising kids, if we had kids?"

If she doesn't go for it as conversation-bait directly, but instead says "Why, do you want kids?" just answer "I think I do, someday." Then you're off and running on a speculative conversation where you can find out how you each feel without it committing you to anything.

And, if she says "Why are you bringing this up now?" in a confrontational way that makes you feel like it was a mistake to bring up, just be honest: "I was thinking about what my life might be like when I'm older, and that's one of the things I was thinking about."

Just remember: in good relationships, this sort of thing comes up early and you can have conversations without stressing about it. Just don't bring it up as something imminent or that had to have a decision -- or even an opinion -- offered right now.

Oh, and if you bring this up and she gets upset and defensive right away, such that quickly saying "It was just something that popped into my head, sorry that I upset you" doesn't calm her down...that's a pretty clear message, not only on how she feels about kids, but whether or not she's the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with (because lots of unpleasant or just unexpected topics come up in a lifetime, and you want to live with someone you can talk about them with, not walk on eggshells all the time.)
posted by davejay at 1:37 PM on February 20, 2009


My experience: Mr. Rabbit and I got married when we were 23. I told him I definitely did not want kids, and he said he felt the same. Now, 11 years later, I think I want kids. He still does not. Agreeing about the kids issue when you are in your early 20's is no guarantee that 10 years (or 5, or 15) down the road, you will still both feel the same. I should think, then, that if you DISagree now, that's no guarantee that 10 years down the road you will still disagree. So although it is great to be on the same page from the start, life happens. Concentrate on enjoying yourselves.

Mann tracht, Gott lacht (Man plans, God laughs)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2009


I think you have to decide what's more important to you -- this girl or kids. If kids are more important to you, then you have to express to her that having kids is very important to you and is one of your life goals. If she doesn't want kids at some point, then she's probably not right for you since you don't have similar goals.

If this girl is more important to you than having kids, then you'll wait until she's ready. Or even make a compromise. That is part of what relationships are all about.

So again: decide what is most important to you and go for that.
posted by starpoint at 1:44 PM on February 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


My husband and I talked about this extensively on our first date, but I don't recommend that as a strategy for everyone.

We both love kids, yet neither of us ever wanted our own kids. This is not an easy match to find--a lot of people who don't want their own kids hate kids, and I can't deal with that.

Yes, sometimes people change their minds. And sometimes they don't--I knew I didn't want kids from the time I was 12, and I'm 44 now so I don't think that's going to change; my husband knew he didn't want kids from the time he was 16, and he's 47 now so I don't think that's going to change.

All you can do is put what you're thinking right now out there in as no-pressure a way as you can.

You could even use my anecdote as a jumping-off place. "This woman on the Internet said that she and her husband had this weird first date that was more like a job interview--they talked about all of these Big Issues like whether or not they wanted to have kids, where they wanted to live, and all this stuff. Now, that seems ridiculous to me, but it made me think that you and I had never talked about the kid thing. What's your take on that?"
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:06 PM on February 20, 2009


Well, y'all should at least have a "what happens if an oops occurs" discussion. If you are going to have a meltdown if she says, "I'd immediately get an abortion/morning after pill," maybe this relationship is already doomed.

But... are you wanting kids at some point/eventually, or are you like, "I want kids by age 25, i.e. within a few years, regardless of whom I'm with?" Generally this is a question I'd say to get the hell out of the way ASAP if you two were older, but she's 21 and college-aged is definitely a period of giving some freaking leeway, so maybe the relationship doesn't have to end quite yet if she gives anything but a big fat yes gimme babies when I graduate. At the very least, you two can afford to wait.

But if you are clucky and Do Want Kids Soon, uh...maybe you should just bite the bullet and ask, and break up if you have to.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:18 PM on February 20, 2009


I was adamantly opposed to having children throughout my twenties. I am now 34 and thinking it might be nice to have kids.

Well, I was adamantly opposed to having children from age twelve onward. I am now 34 and even more adamantly opposed to having children than ever before. I would not have dated someone who wanted kids in my early 20s, and I wouldn't date one now. It's not fair to them or me.
posted by Violet Hour at 3:13 PM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think childfree people have it harder here; because there is a strong biological trend/urge towards eventually having kids, they have to be that much more careful in screening potential mates. Non-childfree people can rely on biology eventually pushing most people their way (regardless of earlier claims to the contrary), while the ones who truly have a dead biological "clock" need to learn to filter accurately from the get-go.

One surefire way to make it dead-clear you're childfree is to do what I did: have a vasectomy or a tubal ligation at a relatively early age. (I had my snip-snip a couple of years back, at 28.) If someone hasn't taken that step (or isn't trying to, barring health/finances), I doubt their long-term childfree status.

So, yeah — I definitely doubt the OP has much to worry about, but he's still much safer (and nicer) at least broaching the topic lightly in the near future.
posted by korpios at 3:57 PM on February 20, 2009


To be fair, korpios, it's generally harder to get permanently sterile if you're female than if you're male, so while "got sterilized" is a great prover of childfreedom, not everyone can get there when they want to to prove that point. Especially if you're a 21-year-old girl. I have heard of the occasional chick getting sterilized without too much trouble before 35, but nice doctors are hard to find. (I'm not even going to TRY that argument before 35 at my HMO.)

Anyway, I would probably guess this chick is childfree (bad home life tends to bring that on in some cases, if they don't lean towards "I need to get some love somewhere and baby is stuck with me" or "I want to make up for my bad childhood."), but I don't know enough about her to totally guess she'd be against it at 21 enough to break up with this dude.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM on February 20, 2009


I certainly felt differently about having kids at 21 than I do now at 28.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:12 PM on February 20, 2009


TypographicalError: This is a mischaracterization. If you want a child, and that is part of what you want out of your life, then sometimes you have to end a relationship that doesn't include that.

Sometimes, yes. But if you read my comment, I was disagreeing with korpios's notion that if the OP and his girlfriend are commitedly opposed on the children issue in their early 20s this means they have no option but to break up now. This is silly.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:33 AM on February 21, 2009


game warden to the events rhino: Sometimes, yes. But if you read my comment, I was disagreeing with korpios's notion that if the OP and his girlfriend are commitedly opposed on the children issue in their early 20s this means they have no option but to break up now. This is silly.

This is based on hard-earned experience; dismissing it as "silly" is, itself, silly. :P
posted by korpios at 10:00 AM on February 21, 2009


I have never wanted kids. Never ever. And a lot of men who wouldn't even admit to wanting kids eventually brought it up saying thing like "I always though the woman would force the issue." (Way to man up, ex-boyfriends!)

If you know now that you are on this path, then have the talk. I have many female friends who dumped guys after that talk and are now happ with a hubby and the tots, and I currently have a good friend whose husband moved out in a huff because he though she would change her mind. After 15 years of talking the no-kids talk.

Not having kids is a HUGE issue for those of use who seriously don't want them.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:04 PM on February 21, 2009


If you know now that you are on this path, then have the talk.

Yes. Muster up the necessary courage, and have the talk. She deserves to know where you stand on this, especially because you say it's a potential deal-breaker for you. It may be difficult if you two reach an impasse on the kids issue, but trust me on this: it's likely to be even more difficult (for both of you) if you stick around, secretly hoping that she'll change her mind, and then realize - with a heavy heart and many more years invested in the relationship - that she won't.

Yes, it's true that she might change her mind - some people do - but then again, she might not. If you're as sure about being a parent as you sound, I really don't think it's a good idea to stay in a relationship with someone who doesn't want kids. If you were iffy about it, I'd say give it some time, but you don't sound iffy at all.

I'll admit up front that I'm biased here, because I have known since I was a teenager that I did not want to be a parent, and I wish people had taken me seriously about this when I was younger.

I'm now in my early forties. Twice now I have endured extremely painful breakups of long-term relationships in which my ex decided he wanted to be a father, while I remained firm and unwavering in my commitment to non-parenthood. One of my exes later admitted to me that he knew when we married that he wanted kids and I didn't, but he stayed with me (in part) because, deep down inside, he was convinced that I'd change my mind. It took me years to get over the anger I felt at not being taken seriously on such an important issue.

Don't be like that guy. Have the talk with her, and be strong enough to face the music if the answer isn't what you want to hear. Good luck.
posted by velvet winter at 10:09 PM on February 22, 2009


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