General Dating Questions/Compatibility

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Question
Hello Karen,

I've been with my boyfriend for about 3 years now and we've started to have more serious/future talks. I recently discovered that he is not sure if he wants kids (I definitely want them no questions asked). He said he is split right down the middle and won't know until hes 30 (he's 23 right now). Some things that I feel may be holding him back are due to financial reasons and the fact that he did not have a good childhood (distant family life, not close with family at all and never had a positive relationship with his dad). So I feel like he fears that he will become like his father and doesn't want to subject a child to what he had to go through. Now, my question is, how long do I want to see whether or not he wants kids? I refuse to wait around for 7 years waiting for his decision because I feel that it will take a toll on our relationship and is unfair to me. I don't want to give him an ultimatum but at the same time, I'm not going to wait around for 7 years to find out if we share this same value. Please just let me know what you think- I'm not sure where to go from here.

Answer
Hi there,

I think that at 23, it is entirely possible that he will change his mind by the time he is thirty or even before then. I know plenty of people that swore that they would never have children and now have a whole bunch of them! His goal is to be financially stable and emotionally open in order to do that, which is the most sensible thing to do and completely understandable. However, for him to be ready, you may be waiting a good few years for that. At 23, there's things some people want to do first; travelling, partying/stay out late with friends, etc. There's things that some people want to do that are not entirely responsible that they have to get out of their system, otherwise you risk that behaviour rearing it's ugly head through marriage and parenthood. Now, I'm not saying that's the case with your boyfriend but you have to respect his goals for his life, for whatever reasons.

That being said, if your goals are different and you're not on the same page, you need to bring it up with him. Does he like children? How does he interact with them? Do your ideas on parenting match? How is your relationship doing? These are questions you need to ask yourself to assess if your relationship with him is worth an additional wait. However, you run the risk of him deciding that he does not want children or resenting him for making you wait. By pinning him down to have children with you fairly soon, he would also end up resenting you. Maybe your first question to him would be whether he could see himself spending his life with you. If he says yes, then gently remind him your goals on having children.

Your question tells me that, really, you've made your mind up on this. It sounds like a 'my way or the high way' situation and it doesn't sound like it has gone your way, which only leaves one option. In my opinion though, I don't know your age but, I think if you're both of a similar age you could wait another 3 years (if your relationship is otherwise good) and tell him that by that point you want to be making serious commitments. Everyone risks "wasting time" (although I strongly believe no relationship is a waste and all teach us something about life or ourselves) in relationships but you have to take that on the chin.

All the best!

Karen

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Karen

Expertise

I can answer questions on how to meet people, confidence, what to do for the best dates, problems within relationships, how to interact with your partner and how to end relationships amicably and politely. More specifically, I am best at answering issues pertaining to trust, honesty, openness, fear and communication within relationships. It is important to know that everyone loves differently and we must first identify how a partner (or prospective) partner loves, in order to understand them. I cannot answer questions on whether or not someone sounds like they are interested, people are all different when they like or do not like people. I cannot tell you how someone may react or how a situation will end but merely offer you my advice on the subject.

Experience

I do not have professional experience in the area but my knowledge of psychology, teamed with forever being an agony aunt when it comes to relationships means that I have answered many questions on relationships and am proud to say I have seen quite a few relationships flourish with my advice. I am used to surveying people and guiding them in my daily working life. Due to this, I can read situations very well, often putting a much needed outside perspective to good use.

Education/Credentials
BSc (Hons) Psychology

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