This is tough. This is really tough. It’s one of those questions where there is no real compromise: you either want kids or you don’t and if your partner isn’t on the same page… That has to be a deal-breaker.
Help Me Hameda over on BuzzFeed recently received a question via DM about a longterm relationship — kids or nah.
Here’s what the DM said:
Hameda had some sweet congratulations for the long-term couple, but then took it to a serious place. She pointed out that 21 is very young …and very VERY young for a decision like having children.
I doubt that anyone over 25 holds all of the same ideologies that they had when they were 21. When I was that age, I wanted to be married by 25 and have children by 30. Now, the thought of monogamy makes me panic and I’m absolutely certain that I do not want to birth any children. But who knows? In another six years, that might change.
She points out that, “a lot of our personal philosophies throughout our growth and development are fluid. That’s the beauty of self-discovery — it never actually ends. Just like the universe itself is ever-expanding, so are we (at least in terms of our mental and emotional growth). So it doesn’t surprise me that your feelings towards something as life-changing as having children have changed — and you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty for it.”
Hameda wonders if resentment isn’t bound to pop up on one side or the other because, after all, if the decision is something the DMer feels strongly about, wouldn’t she resent not having children? It’s a pretty big choice and one that deserves to be made selfishly because to not do so leads to bitterness.
This isn’t to say that you couldn’t have a relatively happy life if you choose to compromise, but that’s a decision that you need to make after reflecting on the most important things in your life. Draw up a five-year-plan for yourself and have your partner do the same — then sit together and compare. If things are drastically different, you may have much more to discuss.
An anonymous reader with a similar situation also chimed in.
“I’ve been with the same guy for eight years now and I have always been very vocal about my decision to never have children. As a cis-woman, there’s been an expectation that I’ll “change my mind” or “just need to mature” to want kids, but I know — beyond the shadow a doubt — that I will never have a baby.
My partner, on the other hand, comes from a big, catholic family, so despite my constant reminders to him that children will not be a part of his future with me, I sense that he too is holding out hope for a change of heart.”
“The truth is, there is no magic answer that will remedy your issue, but my advice to you would be to clearly visualise two very different futures for yourself — with and without children. If you can do that and ultimately feel, in your gut, that you could truly be happy in both scenarios, then I’d say your current relationship could continue in a healthy manner.”
“However, if you visualise both futures and feel any sense of longing/regret/disillusionment with your ‘childless’ path, then you need to be brutally honest with your SO and come to an agreement on whether you’re both happy to try for kids, or whether you need to now walk away from the partnership, to give you each a shot at the futures you really want for yourselves.
Just don’t, under any circumstances, give your SO an ultimatum — his decision cannot be forced, it’s not fair on the two of you, or the children you might bring into the world. Just lay all your cards on the table and be prepared to walk away empty handed.”