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Not ready for kids

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 7, 2009 10:11 AM

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I missed you yesterday. Let’s get back to it, shall we?

I received a few letters over the weekend about the same topic -- kids and the younger men who aren't ready to have them. Here’s the first:

Q: Hello, I enjoy reading your column daily. I have a question that I know has come up a couple times but I want to hear what your faithful readers have to say. I have been involved with a woman 8 years my senior. (I'm 28 and she's 36). She is divorced (5 years ago) and has no kids. She also has moved in this week, which we are both very happy about. I am concerned about her immediate desire to marry and have children while there is "time left.” I am not in a place mentally or financially to have a child right now. We have talked openly about this and we both agree we want children but have a different idea of the timeline. What does everyone think? Are we gonna end up a disaster?

-- Confused in Watertown

A: CIW, I don’t think you’re gonna end up a disaster.

You feel strongly about her. You’re psyched she's moving in, which is a good sign. You’re not 22 – you’re 28, so you can at least get your head around the idea of commitment and family.

At your age, one year means a lot. By 29, you may be in a very different place with her. You’ll have had a year of living together. You'll probably be better off emotionally and financially. You also may be satisfied with your new life enough to compromise on the timeline. She could change her mind, too. Perhaps after living together for a bit, she’ll decide she doesn’t want kids. You never know.

My point is, things change. You’re just moving in, so this is like … the research phase. I’d let this topic go for now and revisit the issue with her again in six months or so. My sense is that if the living situation works out, you’d both rather compromise than lose each other.

Readers? I know many “she wants to have kids now!” relationships are doomed, but I’m getting better vibes from this one. Your thoughts? Share here. Submit a letter to the right. Twitter here.

-- Meredith

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213 comments so far...
  1. You, the 28 year old boyfriend, had better be taking your equal responsibility for birth control. Otherwise the 36 year old's timeline is going to prevail. If you are concerned about rushing into marriage and children, don't be foolishl. Take it slow. Otherwise you could end up alone, with child support payments.

    Posted by baroque July 7, 09 10:40 AM
  1. she needs the kids, the house and the mini van asap.

    it doesn't look good.

    if she can wait (which she can't) then she needs to go find someone else.

    she will stop at nothing to get these 3 things.

    good luck.

    Posted by josie July 7, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Key here... "Immediate desire to get married and have children" says it all. It sounds like racing to get to the child. I would observe her behavior about this issue for several months - watchful waiting. If she starts turning up the heat, I wouldn't be confident that it is you that she loves, but rather the dream of realizing her child.... tick-tock. Also, I advise the two of you to have a discussion about what conditions need to be in place for marriage and to have a child.

    Posted by sanity123 July 7, 09 10:43 AM
  1. I think if you liked her enough, her less-than-perfect timeline wouldn't be an issue. While I appreciate your reluctance to have kids until you feel financially secure, many people somehow make it work even in ridiculous financial scenarios. What if you never reach your ideal place - will you never have kids? I think your seeking advice here shows that you're not that into her.

    Posted by childfreeandproud July 7, 09 10:49 AM
  1. Dear Confused,
    She moved in this week and you are already freaking out!? I think you need to take 3 deep breaths and chill out for a little bit. Before you start getting nervous about about kids + marriage, see how living together goes first.

    You knew what you were signing up for by dating someone 8 years your senior. You cannot blame her for being in a different spot in her life when she has eight years of dating and life on you.

    You can't predict the future and you may not have control over when your girlfriend gets pregnant. Also your attitudes towards having a baby may change drastically when/if your girlfriend becomes pregnant. People say you are never fully ready (emotionally/financially) for your first child, but you make it happen because your priorities will change drastically. When you are holding your baby in your arms, you will feel a love that is so strong you will arrange your finances and career track in order to support your child. The party ends eventually for most people so just be grateful to have her in your life and just take things one day at a time.

    Posted by trueluv4eva July 7, 09 10:49 AM
  1. I think you're headed for disaster. She's 36 now, which realistically means she's perhaps only gonna remain fertile for the next 4 years, maybe even less. Can you see yourself having children in the next year or 2? Because that's what it's gonna take. If she wants biological children, she's gonna have to get pregnant within a year or so. You say you have "different ideas" about the time line, but the thing is that you can't negotiate with Nature. Her "timeline" is mandated by biology. Biology is not gonna compromise; YOU'RE going to have to if you decide you want to be with her..

    Posted by Kinda in the same boat, actually July 7, 09 10:49 AM
  1. CIW-she's 36. I'm 29 and single, and kids are a concern to me. I want to have them in the next few years and I fear missing my fertility window. I don't want to be 40 and trying desperately to get pregnant. That's the reality of dating a 36 yo woman who wants kids. This can't have been a shocker to you. You must be giving her the signals that this is what you want, too. You asked her to move in, right?

    People have kids everyday. People who are probably not half as financially stable as you are. And they make it work. If you don't have any of your own friends with kids, she probably does. You guys should hang out with young families this summer and see how its done. Then see how you feel.

    Posted by LR July 7, 09 10:50 AM
  1. There's never a good time to have kids. Ever. The finances are always wrong, the housing situation isn't right, you haven't completed that Master's degree, you want to take another great vacation, and any number of other things that come up. There will always be another "something else". The sad part,of course, is that biology doesn't give a damn about your life plans. If you want kids with this woman, ever, start spreading the baby batter tonight. If she's on the pill it can take a few months to get that out of her system, anyway, and you have at most six more chances to "revisit the issue". At 36 biology is working against her and she's rapidly losing ground. I know there will be a lot of "I got pregnant at 42" posts, but keep in mind there is a lot of scientific evidence that shows fertility for women declines dramatically in the late 30's.

    Also keep in mind it's not the first child that determines the schedule, it's the second. She likely wants to have more than one, and that means she wants to know now if she can get pregnant with the first.

    Also, young kids take a hell of a lot of energy and time. If you want to have kids, have them sooner rather than later because they will absolutely tire you out. The first few years are by far the biggest pain in the rear, get those over with and then you can start enjoying them more sooner.

    Posted by K July 7, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Is she open to adoption? That takes away the time line a bit ...

    Posted by huskyalum July 7, 09 10:56 AM
  1. I dunno.... I think moving in will force the issue. You are playing house-and if she wants marriage/family now, it may get tricky. You used the words "immediate desire" to describe her needs. I'm worried you may have a situation here. Best advice? Keep it real-talk -make sure you are on the same page in terms of expectations. My gut says she's waiting for you to come around and get going with the next step. Sorry...it is hard for women ...clock and all.
    Good luck.

    Posted by pb July 7, 09 10:57 AM
  1. If she really loves you, she will be willing to compromise and wait a year or so. I agree with Mer 100% here. Not doomed, just give it time. If she won't budge at all....well then it would be time to rethink things.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 7, 09 10:57 AM
  1. You are 28. You are pushing 30, dude. You are not a kid. You are with a woman you love. You both want kids. She is 36, so her fertility is already running out.... of course she is anxious, do you have any idea how much harder it is to get pregnant at 37 than it is at 27?

    Man up or move on so she can meet someone who does want a family and who respects her needs and her very real timeline. She isn't trying to manipulate you, she is telling you how it is.

    Posted by veggirl July 7, 09 10:57 AM
  1. If you're not ready and pull the trigger you're only doing an injustice to the child you may bring into the world. While her biological clock is ticking....there is always adoption. She may not have time you sure do. Don't be pressured into something as life changing as having kids.

    That said, there really is nothing cooler than coming home from work to a toddler screaming for joy that you're home...Or getting a great big hug and hearing "daddy, I love you" from your two year old.

    Posted by anon in cambridge July 7, 09 10:58 AM
  1. You say you have "different ideas of the timeline", but her timeline is mandated by Biology. You can't negotiate with that. She's probably only gonna be fertile for maybe another 4 years. Which means in order to pop out 2 kids, she's gonna have to get pregnant in a year. Are you truly ready for that? You don't sound like you are. You might wake up in 5 years and think you are ready for children, but it will be too late for her. You have to understand that you can't compromise with Biology. In this situation, YOU will do the compromising. Think long and hard about this. I don't think she should've moved in, either, with this issue unresolved.

    Posted by Sorta in the same boat, actually July 7, 09 10:58 AM
  1. True love, if it's indeed that, should prevail - but you've got to be realistic. A best-case compromise on 'right away' (from your perspective) is probably two years. That is, you'll have married and impregnated her by then. If that thought makes you shutter, you're probably doomed.

    Posted by CPThree July 7, 09 11:02 AM
  1. Tough situation for sure. I'd say Meredith has it right, and so does baroque (response #1). Make sure you like living together first, then see how you feel in a year or so. If you're still not ready, you may have to let her go. AND, as baroque mentioned, make sure you're careful with the birth control or you may end up with the kid whether you want it or not. Good luck.

    Posted by Deet July 7, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Before I even read Mere's advice, my first thought was that you both need to agree to give it one year. That's pretty reasonable. If she can't agree to that, then yes, you have a problem. Otherwise, 29 and 37 are not bad ages to have kids.

    Also, I'm a little curious. Are there any other age related issues within your relationship?

    DrK

    Posted by DrK July 7, 09 11:03 AM
  1. I agree with what Meredith said, you guys are just starting to live together, who knows what will happen next. I also think there are options for women now, like freezing of eggs and better, more effective forms of IVF - so there are options and ways to help alleviate her sense of urgency maybe. This is a big decision though and with the divorce rate so high in our country you still don't want to rush it even though ones biological clock may be putting on the pressure - and in the end who knows, one of you might not even be able to have children anyhow. Just enjoy being / living together and see how that goes for now. Good luck

    Posted by JW July 7, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Geez, aren't these the types of discussions you're suppose to have with someone before you take the move-in-together plunge? I'm not saying everything needs to be worked out at this stage in the game, but you're at two very different places in life, and it very well may turn out to be a deal-breaker for her or you or both.

    Talk about it. Right now. Tell her how you feel and be frank with her about your personal timeline. It's absolutely not fair to move in with someone thinking it's going to give you a good long 'try before you buy' period if that's not what the two of you agreed upon in advance. It sounds as though she believes that the move is an immediate precursor to getting married and starting a family. You clearly don't see it that way. Have the talk now, be open and honest about where you are in life, and let her decide whether she's willing to wait for you to be ready.

    Posted by Rae July 7, 09 11:11 AM
  1. You need to have this conversation with her, not us. I am 4 years older than my husband. I always thought I wanted children, but when I met him, I realized he was what I really wanted. He isn't sure he wants kids, but we have discussed that if they're going to be our biological kids, they have to come along in the next 5 years or so. We've been married for a year and a half and honestly, every day that goes by I am grateful for the life we have together. Whether we'll ever get around to kids... who knows? I become more ambivalent on the subject every day.

    The only wrong move you can make here is to make assumptions about how she "must" feel or what she expects. Talk openly and often; these feelings can and do change over time (for both of you). There are lots of options, too - we've discussed adoption and also freezing embryos. This might help to allieviate some of the pressure of the biological clock.

    Just please don't make assumptions about how your older gal feels - we are not all baby crazy!

    Posted by Q97 July 7, 09 11:14 AM
  1. I know exactly what you mean. When I was 19 I was dating this lovely 72 year old widow, Ms. Snellsgrove-Foster, and we agreed to have a child through surrogacy. Turns out I was nowhere near ready. However, in the past 8 years, I have grown immensely. Now that Ms. Snellsgrove-Foster has passed, little Franklin is all my responsibility. He gets all A's in school and helps me sell T-shirts on the weekends.

    Posted by Dr. Skidabbles July 7, 09 11:14 AM
  1. Four years ago, when my husband is 28 and I was 30, I started the conversation about kids with him. He was absolutely against it. He said he was not ready: mentally and financially. The arguments were very heated to the point both felt hurt. Now he is 32 and can't wait to have a baby with me, just I am no longer there anymore - the arguments over the years made a lot of nice feelings vanished. Yes, he changed, not because I convinced him or he gave in, but because now is his time to feel that way. However, why am I no longer there despite the fact that I am older? I felt he never considered my feelings.
    I don't know what you should do - one thing for sure is that after 2-3 years, you will feel exactly the same way as your girl is feeling now. It is just a decision- like many others. No right or wrong. Life moves on.

    Posted by trytothink July 7, 09 11:14 AM
  1. I'm just curious what "involved with" means in the dating world. I get that you have moved in together and you are "happy" about it. No where in your letter do you say how long you've been together and how much you really like her, just that you are happy you have a new roommate. Also, you both agreed that you want children... did you mean you agree that you want children with each other?!?!

    I'm confused about your relationship and I think you are too. You need to assess who this woman is to you and whether or not you see her in your future, nevermind baby talk!

    Posted by Kathleen July 7, 09 11:19 AM
  1. I'm just curious what "involved with" means in the dating world. I get that you have moved in together and you are "happy" about it. No where in your letter do you say how long you've been together and how much you really like her, just that you are happy you have a new roommate. Also, you both agreed that you want children... did you mean you agree that you want children with each other?!?!

    I'm confused about your relationship and I think you are too. You need to assess who this woman is to you and whether or not you see her in your future, nevermind baby talk!

    Posted by Kathleen July 7, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Nooooooooo. What will doom this relationship isn't that she wants to have kids now, it's that these two don't seem to know how to communicate. This is a conversation you should have had BEFORE you moved in together -- it's obviously something you already knew about. Moving in says "I think this is going someplace" and you should have been on the same page before signing that lease together. It's on BOTH of you to have had that conversation BEFORE you made this commitment. Her clock IS ticking, that's the reality of it. She is probably banking on you just giving in at some point or she has an oopsie. Is that what you want? Time for you to man up and actually talk to your partner about what you guys want from this relationship and make an adult decision.

    BTW, 29 or 30 is NOT too young for you to become a father. Just saying.

    Posted by suz July 7, 09 11:23 AM
  1. I'm curious as to why the topic of marriage and children was not discussed prior to your girlfriend moving in. At 36, there's not a lot of time left for her to have biological children. Does she believe that she's going to change your mind in the next 6 months? Or is she going to accidentally "forget" to take her birth control pill and let nature take it's course?
    Moving in together means more than sharing pots and pans, chores and having sex. It means that you've discussed your plans together and are in the process of making a life together. It seems you skipped the most important part of this, the discussion.

    Posted by exvermonter July 7, 09 11:26 AM
  1. I applaud Meredith’s soft-serve advice and since I know you will get other touchy-feely stuff from commentors and some scolding / lecturing about how you need to be a man and such nonsense, I’ll attempt to toe the middle while still keeping it as straightforward as possible:

    Judging from your choice of wording (i.e. time left, immediate desire to marry and have children, etc.), you obviously suspect that although the living together is something you’re happy about, it clearly is upping the ante on the path of the relationship. You are correct. I cannot emphasize enough that a 36 year old woman will not be patient with regards to waiting on children. “Time left” reference is a big, giant, snapping in the wind, red flag. She is ready now and has a checklist (proposal, marriage date, baby names, etc.) bouncing around in her head.

    You on the other hand, are in no rush. Many of the others here will harp on you being 28, but that is irrelevant. You know that you are not mentally or financially prepared for it. . I applaud you for your honesty with us with regards to your assessment of your preparedness to raise children, but I will also warn you that you will never be "ready" for what having a child means. I don't mean that as a threat or to be ominous, as I cherish my two children and would never, ever, have a second thought about waiting longer, but don't sit around until all the stars allign and you have a great job, big house, etc. etc.

    In summary, you two are at polar opposite ends of the spectrum, so The Question becomes, can you meet somewhere in between? Can you be flexible enough and unselfish enough to BOTH alter your priorities and preconceived timetables? Do you both think it is worth it?

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you two have already let your trains leave the station on their own paths and are moving at a high rate of speed, so please sit down and talk about it now. Lay out your fears, concerns, aspirations, goals, etc. Openly, honestly, and with compassion. Have her do the same. If your relationship and interaction together is strong enough, you can work through it over time. It will not be a one hour discussion in which you decide set dates, but hopefully it will start the dialog and convince you both that it’s a path worth following together. Be aware that there is no running from the 8 year age difference.

    Best of luck in whatever you two decide.

    - Hoss

    Posted by hoss July 7, 09 11:28 AM
  1. I think the critical question here is whether in your open discussions, you were careful to understand the other person's 'bottom line'.

    Sometimes when you are in love, it is easy to hear what you want to hear. Have you had the hard conversations:

    -What if we have an Ooops? Would you end up blaming her?
    -What if we wait for a few years and then she can't get pregnant? Are the two of you OK with adoption? Or would she end up blaming you?

    Fertility treatments are really expensive. Adoption often isn't cheap either. These are realities. But then, every relationship has it's realities.

    Posted by older and wiser July 7, 09 11:30 AM
  1. hmmmm. if you've talked about this at great length & you've told her what you've told us about not ready for marriage/kids -- & she is -- then i'm confused why you went ahead & took a giant step in that direction. you love each other, that's great. love is the easy part. & its great that you want the same things, BUT, if you're not willing to speed up your time-line & get engaged soon, get married in 2010 & have kids in 2011(when you're 30 & she's 38) then you need to SERIOUSLY reconsider this new living situation.

    as the song goes... sometimes love just ain't enough. if you can't agree on when to get the ball rolling, then you could have problems.

    Posted by polly July 7, 09 11:31 AM
  1. Love is a many splendored rose...

    Timing is everything in life. Either your "timing" is in synch, or it's not.

    If it's not, one of you has to bend to make the "timing" work. Or not. In which case you go your own way.

    Posted by Anti Ricco July 7, 09 11:32 AM
  1. If you are not ready for children, you must use your own form of birth control, period. Otherwise this woman will, ahem, accidentally get pregnant. If you need confirmation of this, ask Tom Brady.

    Posted by Joey July 7, 09 11:36 AM
  1. To quote Hoss: "Wake up"

    She already has the spare bedroom lined up as a nursery, has a slew of summer 2010 'Save the Date' cards on order for your marriage, and has a baby boy and baby girl name picked out.

    She just moved in and in your head, you are wondering if she's going to be mad if you stay late at work, come home drunk, or get a phone call from a female friend that she hasn't met yet.

    Call it off. Now.

    Posted by Bob Dwyer July 7, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Well, sounds like you're doing okay.

    Keep the communication open and see where it takes you. Just be careful and make sure that you and her are in love. What I would hate to happen is that you and her have the kid, and she then kind of ditches you emotionally completely for the kid. Either she loves you, or she's using you for your seeds. There's no reason to say she doesn't love you, but you need to make sure that this will work.

    I'm 29, and not "ready" to have kids either, but if it happened, I would not be against it. I mean, it's perfectly natural and fine. Like one poster said above, there's never a "perfect" time to have kids. There is ALWAYS something else. I don't like to view life as a linear sequence of events that need to be conquered individually. It's better when you take things as they come and deal with them together. There's no reason why you can't have a kid AND be looking for the house or finishing your masters or doing whatever else you need to do.

    Just because you have a kid, don't let it completely stop your plans for life, even if it changes the path you take to get there.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 7, 09 11:37 AM
  1. I think if two people really love children, the money should be the last issue that
    stop that decisions. Because, you both an adult, you know that you can work for
    anything for the kids since you love them at the first place. I love children but I don't have to have them, you should never say I will wait to have them, that's just
    stress. just let it be. (High school) work in the children center, or babysit for your
    relatives children, (college ) that will ease the thinking.

    Posted by been there July 7, 09 11:37 AM
  1. Do not even think about staying involved with this woman if you don't want kids RIGHT NOW and she does. The decision about whether and when to have children needs to be 100% agreed upon before any commitment is made - when one partner is reluctant and the other partner thinks "It's ok, I can talk him/her into it," the relationship is doomed.

    Posted by This is exactly why I grew up with a single mom July 7, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Be honest with her right away about your timeline - then wrap that rascal !!!!

    Posted by Joe July 7, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Wow....sounds like trytothink (#22) needs some advice/encouragement here more than CIW!

    Anyone?

    Posted by DrK July 7, 09 11:41 AM
  1. i always thought i would be married with kid/kids by 25. im 27 now and just hoping to have at least a marriage by 30. it is nerve racking to know that your body may not cooperate when the time is right... i do think you may change your mind in the next year or so after living together for a while. if not, you should have a frank convo with her cus she may need to move on if she wants to have a baby of her own.

    Posted by babymamadrama July 7, 09 11:42 AM
  1. What every one else already said... I won't be a broken record. Instead, I will give you a list of questions to ask her and your own self, to help fuel your discussions:

    1) In the ideal world, and her biological clock aside, what *IS* your personal timeline? One year? Two? Five? When something happens like you get a new higher-paying job? When all your friends are settled with kids and you're feeling left out? If there's going to be a compromise, you really need to know this and not be ambiguous. Negotiations cannot start until you name your ideal timeline.

    2) How sure are you that this is the future mother of your children? If less than 75% sure, how long do you think you'll need to figure that out, one way or another?

    3) What if you two have infertility issues? What lengths would you go to? Would you try IVF? Surrogacy?

    4) Are either of you open to adoption?

    5) If it's just not in the cards, would you accept that and be content in a life without kids? Would she?

    6) Let's say you resolve this and go on to have kids. How are you going to split up the care duties? Will she continue working while you stay at home (since it sounds like she's the main breadwinner)? Or does she envision staying at home while you work? Or some in-between?

    7) Having kids drastically changes your life. What things do you want to cross off your life-list, before that happens? Travel, buy a snazzy 2-seater car, get a degree, pursue an all-consuming career, etc?

    8) What does "being in a financial place" to have kids mean to you? Be specific.

    9) What does "being in a mental place" to have kids mean to you? Be specific.

    10) If you were to come to the conclusion that while you love her and want to spend the rest of your life with you - you never want kids - would she be okay with that?

    11) If you were to come to the conclusion two years down the road that she's not the one for you, will she be angry and have regrets?

    12) On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for you to have kids (albeit, someday)? For her?

    Posted by it's gotta be on her timeframe July 7, 09 11:46 AM
  1. The decision to have kids is the most selfish thing one chooses. Think about it. Why does someone want children? So that they have someone to "carry on their name"? So that they can have a child that looks like them? So they can dress their child the way they want? So that they have someone that loves them? So they can say, "Hey, look what I made?" Children don't choose to be born, they are born either by ineptness of not paying attention to birth control or if they are planned, it's because of the selfishness of the parents to have offspring just like them! Nobody will admit it, but deep down at it's core, it's selfish. The world has too many people now as it is. War, famine, unemployment, massive debt....who in their right mind would want to subject more people to the failings of the current population?
    Hey "Confused", why do you "eventually" want to have kids? For your own self worth? The minute she gets pregnant, YOU'RE LIFE IS OVER. Your hard earned money is spent on that child for a minimum of 25 YEARS, if not longer. That is ONE THIRD of your expected life span. That's less vacations, thats less dinners out, thats less spur of the moment plans, thats less women to be able to boink to your hearts content.
    If you do this, you are an idiot and you will regret it for the rest of your "confused" life.....got it?


    PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE TO HAVE CHILDREN DO SO TO MAKE THEMSELVES HAPPY....THE ULTIMATE SELFISH ACT!!

    Posted by leykis101 July 7, 09 11:47 AM
  1. So, how old do you want the mother of your children to be? The only way this will work is if you give into her timeline. Otherwise, she will miss her window and hate you forever.

    Has she been checked out by a doctor yet? Maybe she's already infertile, and then time will no longer be an issue.

    Personally, I think she's the dummy. By the time she convinces you to propose and plan a wedding, her eggs will already be spoiled. You're just a young, dumb guy that likes getting free milk from an old cow.

    Posted by Bee July 7, 09 11:50 AM
  1. CIW, I sense a real problem here. She's 36, even if she gets pregnant right away, she'll be having her first child at 37 or thereabouts. It's a scientific fact that the older you are with a first pregnancy, the more apt you are to have problems. And, frankly, not all pregnancies are successful. I know lots of young women who either miscarry or cannot get pregnant, which involves lots of time and specialists and procedures, and they are nowhere near 36. I agree that neither of you should rush into anything, and for heaven's sake do make birth control your responsibility, but I also think that it's going to be put up or shut up time sooner than you think. If you're feeling the noose tightening the first week she's living with you, you both may have to acknowledge a mistake in cohabitating.

    Posted by Kates Nonna July 7, 09 11:51 AM
  1. if you plan now - you might actually have the baby in two years time - especially with her being 36

    so by the time you actually hold your baby you will be ready for it

    go for it

    start tonight

    Posted by b July 7, 09 11:51 AM
  1. she will stop at nothing to get the mini van and the baby.

    good luck. most of her friends are married.

    they have their mini vans.

    shw wants one too.

    Posted by josie July 7, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Why do you "NEED" to have kids? I find this whole biological clock thing absolutely wretched. Women need to understand that you don't NEED to have kids and this whole drive to do so is a mixture of biological and social conventions which really have no bearing on your happiness.

    I'm so sick of this scenario: woman thinks a kid is going to "complete" her, she dupes some guy into getting hitched. They have a kid. Hijinx ensue and before you know it, divorce and child support.

    You never hear about what the PURPOSE of this kid is. A good analogy are these women who dream of the "princess wedding." They are so obsessed over the wedding itself that they have no concept of what a marriage is supposed to be about. The event supersedes the actual commitment.

    Same thing with the kid; reminds me of those 12 year old girls on Riki Lake that get pregnant so they will finally have someone to "love me unconditionally."

    Posted by monkeycaller July 7, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Been in the same boat, but she'd already HAD her kids, and was willing to have one with me. BUT, that may have been part of the reason for breakup--she wanted to move on free of responsibility for a while. 9+ year difference in age. At 39, the idea of family # 2 wasn't so appealing. I think she told me she'd "have my baby" so I wouldn't bolt early on in our relationship, and then was scared to discuss it later.

    Yes--take responsibility for birth control, or be trapped.

    Posted by LeftOut July 7, 09 12:03 PM
  1. Proven recipe for success:

    1. Tell her that one of your female friends is flying in from Texas and you are going to spend a long weekend with her at the Cape.

    2. Flip out on her when she raises concerns about it. Then instruct her to "Ask anyone". She'll write to an online blog for advice and get 494 responses.

    3. Cease all contact (i.e. give her radio silence) and you will have the childless freedom that you are so badly seeking but are unsure of how to accomplish.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 7, 09 12:08 PM
  1. Do not even think of having kids unless you are comfortably able to pay for a mortgage, save for retirement and still have disposable income left over after that. If you are both professionals, than at 28 and 36 you might be able to do it just fine. Just remember, the kids will eat up all that extra income. If you do have enough disposable income now, then by all means have kids.

    Too many kids are born into poverty without much hope for a future. Please do not have them because "somehow people manage" and "if not now than when". Plan it out please!

    Posted by n.h. July 7, 09 12:08 PM
  1. leykis and monkeycaller -- chill out. The woman WANTS to have a baby. You are laying a lot on this situation that the letter writer did not indicate. Why must there be something nefarious about her desire to have a child? Many people have a biological imperative to procreate, it's natural. If you do not want to have a baby, then don't.

    Posted by move on July 7, 09 12:09 PM
  1. Has anybody noticed a pattern in these love letters? It seems that the age difference always cause problems. I estimate that more than half of the letters that Mer receives asking for advice are for people in relationships in which the age difference is 5 years or more. When the men is the olderst, women usually leave comments saying he's a creep. I wonder why they think when the women is the oldest...

    OK. Back to this letter. You are 28. She is 36. It's too much of a difference, you are in different places. Besides, picture this: when you are her age (which is not too old), she'll be nearly 45... Do you really want to get there? Break it up now, avoid troubles later. (Same advice I would give to a man 36 with a 28-year-old woman).

    Posted by MS July 7, 09 12:10 PM
  1. Sorry it isn't going to work for you two- you are at different levels of the relationship.
    Compromise will be quite a stretch for the both of you. Unfortunately, the age difference is a factor due to the biologically ticking clock which is almost done ticking. If she can even get pregnant, there are higher chances of complications in the pregnancy due to her age. You can move on and find someone your age or younger and still have time to build a solid relationship on which to start a family - fall in love, get engaged and married, enjoy the "honeymoon" time, and then have children. The divorce rate is astronomical because of these forced situations in a relationship.People think " I gotta get married so I can have children" without any thought to whether they even love the person they are with. As for her, she should have thought of this 10 years ago.

    Posted by sick of selfish people July 7, 09 12:17 PM
  1. I'm almost 30 and was dating someone two years older than me for a couple years. I was honest from the beginning that I probably wanted kids eventually (not soon, either; I was 27 at the time we met), and he said he was nervous about that but made several noises about coming around and being more and more comfortable with the prospect of being a parent throughout the relationship. Until suddenly, he wasn't, and he freaked out and told me he didn't want that. I wasn't offended that that was the case, but I was pretty angry that he thought that the appropriate time to come to that conclusion was two years into our relationship, when we were living together (in retrospect, I'm glad this issue came up and things ended, but it was sh*tty nevertheless, plus I'm now in a relationship with someone five years younger than me and I don't care either way about the issue, funny how that works).

    So, LW, think long and hard about what your timeline is. Do you want to have kids, ever? What "mental" blocks are holding you back (I think, frankly, that having no friends who are married with kids might be one of them -- Lord knows it's hard to imagine myself in that state when literally not one of my friends, male or female, has kids). I don't know. I'm a little wary of my generation's men asserting that, at ages a decade beyond their fathers, they are incapable of child-rearing, but on some level I understand because a baby sounds like a totally unreasonable burden at this point to me, too. There will always be an excuse not to have one right now. But if you love her, you have to decide, now, if you are on board with all this. You deserve to wait if you really can't do this now, but she deserves to find someone who will be on the same page as her, if he's out there. Do some soul searching and Figure It Out.

    Posted by constellationearth July 7, 09 12:20 PM
  1. Ahhhh Rico is ready to dispense his wisdom...Here goes:

    What are you doing with an older woman, didn't you get the memo? Just kidding :) Rico has a sense of humor if you didn't notice :) Rico thinks the advice from Meredith to let time pass to see how things go is good but not discussing for 6 months is not Rico's recommendation. Rico thinks the open lines of communication are best as you say you already have them. At 28 you aren't young and at 36 she is not old so a few years is not a big deal. What is her timeline and what is yours? Listen, babies happen and can be a wonderful thing in a relationship. As long as you both will be caring for and enjoying the baby and also caring for your relationship then finances will work themselves out. There are many people poorer and richer than you that have had children and managed. If you want the children and want to be together then go for it after of course you live together a bit and make sure you truly are compatible. Rico's meaning of a bit is maybe a year or so, not 2 months and not 4 years. Rico thinks using a financial criteria for having children is being selfish. Learn to live within your means and understand that you can't have everything. Love and commitment and having a child to care for and love is worth a lot more than a big TV and an oversized home or a fast fancy car. take a look at your wants and needs and be prepared to compromise.

    Rico would love a 4,000sf condo in the city with parking for family and friends and a roof deck to enjoy the summer with a pool and hot tub...Rico also knows this is not going to happen without a winning lottery ticket. Sometimes you just have to realize who you are and what you are and stop trying to impress others, just impress the one you are with. There is always going to be something else you want and can't afford so drop the finance issue unless of course you are jobless with $1,000's in debt and no prospects of working anytime soon. Your girlfriend believes in you and having children with you so open your mind and think outside the box otherwise don't unpack just yet and think about moving out back to mom's basement.

    That is Rico's advice like it or not and Rico is sticking by it.

    What ever happened to the girl from the cape? did she give the "stuff" to charity? Did she find out the truth of the girl from Texas?

    Rico is feeling curious today and will check back later so please fill us in on the details of your timeline.

    Thank you and have a great day.

    Love always,

    Rico

    gears not gas

    Posted by Rico July 7, 09 12:25 PM
  1. There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
    And the bells in the steeple too
    And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
    Is popping out to say "cuckoo"


    It’s amazing to me that for all the aptitude of a 28 year old male about such things as: keg stands, safe sex, changing your oil, cutting the lawn, the rhythm and blues method of birth control, unsnapping a brassiere, driving while texting, surfing porn, tying your shoes while hopping on one foot, ejaculating in the condom, figuring out a pitcher’s era, knowing when to remove a medium rare burger from the grill, how to clean a bong with Alka-Seltzer, making a pipe with an apple, the ability to recite every Pearl Jam album/disc/download/whatever, communicating with everyone without actually speaking to them, graduating from high school and/or college as a child not left behind…you would be mesmerized to find out that being involved with a 36 year old woman gave you the luxury of time to procrastinate childbirth. This information has been out there like the Surgeon General’s Warning on a pack of Camels for years. In what daydream have you been floating? If you wait a year to discuss, then get busy (after the effects of her BC pills wear off), you’re looking at her first birth (at a minimum) at 38. Something tells me you’re not going to grow into Daddy Dearest soon enough. And I thought boys excelled at math…

    Posted by valentino July 7, 09 12:25 PM
  1. leykis101 post #39 - Obviously this did not work out so great for your parents, did it?

    Posted by Anonymous July 7, 09 12:26 PM
  1. In a normal world, you will never be "financially" ready to have kids. This is the usual excuse that people have.

    Posted by KidsNow! July 7, 09 12:27 PM
  1. CIW, don't listen to these morons, I can't believe how judgemental everyone can get. Funny how 20 somethings with no real life experience can comment on things they know nothing about.

    There is no "financially" good time to have a kid. So let that go. Your relationship with this woman is what you should be looking at. If you bring a kid into this world and your relationship is not solid, you'll be in trouble. Her clock maybe ticking but her eggs arn't about to dry up. Don't be rushed into a sitution you are not ready for. Relationship first, kids second.

    Posted by areyoukiddingme July 7, 09 12:29 PM
  1. don't you dare come back here later saying she "tricked you" into getting pregnant.

    Posted by old maid July 7, 09 12:32 PM
  1. princess wedding

    house

    baby

    minivan

    the end.

    in that order.

    Posted by gary July 7, 09 12:35 PM
  1. My ex boyfriend and I were together when I was 31 until I was 35. At 35 he told me he decided he didn't want kids. We broke up, I didn't find that next "someone special" unit I was 40. I am now 43 and will never have children. Be a man, make a decision and live with it. Want to be with her or don't but stop dragging your feet - it is not fair. I would encourage her to move on and live her life seeking someone who wants children.

    Posted by cg July 7, 09 12:36 PM
  1. What is your timeframe? She is 36 and not getting any younger. When will you be ready financially? That's kind of lame excuse. You should of waited to move in with her until you were ready.. If you don't want to have kids then tell her. What if you tell her that you will be ready in three years and come to find out the economy is worse and you don't have a job? You need to be true to yourself and your feelings but you cannot string this women around. I don't blame you for not wanting to move fast but don't be selfish about it.

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 7, 09 12:53 PM
  1. Four words: Tom Brady Bridget Moynahan

    Posted by lilmonkeybean July 7, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Please don't let people here convince you that once the baby arrives you'll suddenly feel the same way as your GF. Children are wonderful and can bring so much joy and fulfillment to your life and of course you will love your child unconditionally, but there is nothing easy about them. There are a lot of couples who are both ready to have children who have a hard time adjusting and the day to day stress of having children can take a toll on a relationship. So you should only have children when you know 110% that you are ready to be a father. Don't do it to save your relationship. This is way too important a decision for anybody to pressure you into it.

    Posted by Leery July 7, 09 12:59 PM
  1. Lots of good comments here (Rae, Suz, ExVter) but especially the questions that It's Gotta be on her Timeline asks you.

    I'd say back way off of the baby thing. The number one concern, first, is whether or not you see yourselves (the TWO of you) together in a marriage. There are no guarantees on babies, jobs, health, etc., so you have to be as certain as one can be that the TWO of you are a solid couple. Look at the traditional marriage vows and see if you're up to making them.

    Posted by Sasha July 7, 09 01:03 PM
  1. How long have you to been togther overall? a year? years? I understand the timeline part and true biology is a definite proven thing but, are you two truly in a position to marry. I have a friend that moved in married and got pregnant only after a year and having never really live out on their own and well they are separated with a beautiful llittle gril but is that really what you want. Find out if your live work togther first. Live togther, find out if you can even stand being all over eachother for more than the evenings she was over but still had her place.

    Kids for me, 27 female, are in the plan not this year maybe not next but soon enough and I know that nothing is ever really planned. But it can be a bit. and you have to be comfortable with it. Are you ready for Marrige and Kids? are you ready for it deep down? push aside the day to day stuff...home, money, logistics, timing....all that stuff that gives you reasons not to be ready for it all and ask yourself if wife and kids are what you really want in your life. And in your life with anyone.


    Posted by daily reader July 7, 09 01:11 PM
  1. If the relationship is within a year old and she is talking marriage and kids, RUN!!!!! She is more into having a child than having you as a husband. If you say no, make sure you use latex protection or she'll accidently get pregnant. If she is on the pill, she will secretly stop. I've known two woman that trapped their guy due to this age issue. She will be so desperate for a child, she will take it upon herself to get pregnant, which is the most selfish act someone can exhibit.

    Posted by bahhhoo July 7, 09 01:12 PM
  1. RUN - keep your vitality, your sanity and your future wallet and enjoy the rest of your 20s

    Posted by dan July 7, 09 01:17 PM
  1. valentino's prosometric entries - so worth the price of entry to this column!

    CiW - He was a construction worker/art school grad; I was an antiques dealer/poet. He was 42; I was 38. Neither of us had much money. We were living a stable yet lower-income life in the Caribbean, waiting every summer and fall for the next hurricane to wash us into the sea. We failed at pregnancy (miscarriage) year earlier; a year later, our beautiful daughter was conceived. We didn't have much, but we had each other; and we had a desire to make a family. Money issues will work themselves out - the question is, do you want a lifetime with this woman and the child you will share? So stop worrying about the money already!

    Posted by reindeergirl July 7, 09 01:18 PM
  1. Yo - Leykis...did you just find out you were a mistake? Ease up! How about people have kids because family means something?

    Posted by happy to be the youngest July 7, 09 01:18 PM
  1. Well, **I** never wanted a mini-van. What's up with that? I wanted a baby; like Bleako, I get by on my bike and the T. Wanting a child and wanting the white picket fence suburban life are two separate matters. So lighten up on this suburban chazarye already!

    Posted by reindeergirl July 7, 09 01:21 PM
  1. Hoss is Amazing!!!
    I totally agree, you will never be "Ready" for kids. If you truely love her, I say follow Hoss and Mere`s advise. Talk it out now, then live together for 6 mths to a year and then see if this is truely the women you see yourself married to and the mother of your children. Good Luck!

    Posted by Lilshorty98 July 7, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Hi Guys,

    I am disturbed by alot of the "advice" I have been getting on here. To follow up with more detai's we are love very much so and both want to have kids. We have talked alot about this and have come to the conclusion we should wait at least a year before we start trying. In regards to finance we both have very good incomes and secure jobs so I guess blaming financial problems is just a cop out. Neither of us is worried about the age difference, everyone in our lives has come to accept it. I know this is the woman I want to be with forever and I am willing to compromise my "timeline" and know we would both be happy having a baby in the next two years. As far as moving in together we did talk alot about many issues, kids included, before moving in together. We have only been together 4 months but both come from previous relationships (she was married) and know what we both want and are mature enough to plan this out. She isn't consumed by this idea but has made it clear time is running out.

    Posted by Confused in Watertown July 7, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Amen to that #39 and #44! So absolutely true!

    Posted by Jack Rock July 7, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Ok, so you mentioned you are not ready for a child but you never mentioned that you are not ready to get married. Was that the intention? to move in and get engage and plan a wedding? Is she the one or the one for right now?

    For a woman at 36, there isn't much more time. She is in the higher risk phase of having a child that doesn't mean she can't and plenty of women do. But here is a timeline.... By the time she gets pregnant which could take you guys a year (if there isn't a fertility issue) then she will be 37.5 and that is if you start NOW. Since you aren't even married and going with the assumption you will have a baby after you get married (then figure you set a date for 2010) then she will be having a baby well after 38.

    The good news is that you are not married and can hash these issues out. Sounds like you guys are going in the right direction and I assume marriage has been discussed but for her, you need to really understand this there isn't really anymore time. This is a really sensitive and unbelievably stressful subject for a woman at her age. So it is time for you to sit down with her and be really really Clear with your intentions and hers. Is she the one? if so then it is going to be pretty straightforward...if not, or you don't have the desire to get married anytime soon...then let her know. Reality is even if you both get married, you both may not be able to have children, is she ok with that? how about adoption? you have to go really deep so that you both can make informed decisions. She is feeling the urgency for a baby...very very normally. Be patient with her. Having a child as you seem to be aware of is a HUGE financial burden walk down those scenarios, who stays home? daycare? ( it isn't that easy to put your newborn into a daycare) however there is NEVER a right time for a child. The person you are having a child with hopefully is someone you can really see spending the rest of your life with b/c you will whether it pans out or not.
    Bottom Line: Both of you need a reality check, start talking ALOT now about getting married, discuss your relationship, how you both feel about each other, your own individual dreams/goals and really talk about real life scenarios. Getting married is about the person not the potential baby...b/c life doesn't turn out the way we expect. - all the best and good luck!


    Posted by Lisa July 7, 09 01:34 PM
  1. #39 leykis101 was abused as a child , so please forgive the poor soul for being an idiot! I will pray for you tonight leykis101.

    Posted by Lilshorty98 July 7, 09 01:34 PM
  1. FOUR MONTHS? Are you friggin kidding me??? You are such a F**L and you don't know jack-squat about each other in that time-frame! Love is blind and you are Helen Keller. Stop watching Hollywood romance movies, this is real life. She is sooo going to get knocked up. I bet it's been her idea all along about moving in together.

    Posted by bahhhoo July 7, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown,

    I just read your comment (#71). She wants kids. You want kids. You decided to wait at least a year. You don't have financial issues. The age difference is not an issue for either of you. BLAH...BLAH...BLAH....

    I need you to answer two questions:

    1. Exactly why did you write in for advice?

    2. Why did you end you letter with "are we gonna end up a disaster"?

    I have no choice but to assume that:

    a) You're hiding something.
    b) You badly wanted to see your letter on line and read/judge comments.
    c) You're a donkey.
    d) All of the above.

    p.s. Please send your new roommate the link to this blog. I think she'll find it very interesting.

    Posted by Hoss July 7, 09 01:39 PM
  1. `If you like her and are serious you don't get much time to wait. She's 36. It's not like she's hiding the fact she is older and that she wants kids. Her clock is running (a fact she is well aware of) so I am not surprised she is pushing.

    You may have a year 1.5 at the outside. It takes 9 months to full cook a baby and it gets harder as she gets older in all kinds of ways. She may be lucky and it will be easy. She may however have a harder time. The only way to know ifs to get pregnant. If you don't want kids don't lead her on. Her window is small yours isn't and it isn't fair.

    As other posters say there is never a right time to have kids. You will never be ready no matter how ready you are. I have two and thought I'd be ready. You can never be fully ready it is impossible. Kids do what kids do. The best you can do is plan as possible, and I promise you still won't be ready.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Anonymous July 7, 09 01:44 PM
  1. `If you like her and are serious you don't get much time to wait. She's 36. It's not like she's hiding the fact she is older and that she wants kids. Her clock is running (a fact she is well aware of) so I am not surprised she is pushing.

    You may have a year 1.5 at the outside. It takes 9 months to full cook a baby and it gets harder as she gets older in all kinds of ways. She may be lucky and it will be easy. She may however have a harder time. The only way to know ifs to get pregnant. If you don't want kids don't lead her on. Her window is small yours isn't and it isn't fair.

    As other posters say there is never a right time to have kids. You will never be ready no matter how ready you are. I have two and thought I'd be ready. You can never be fully ready it is impossible. Kids do what kids do. The best you can do is plan as possible, and I promise you still won't be ready.

    Good luck.

    Posted by dhallen July 7, 09 01:45 PM
  1. `If you like her and are serious you don't get much time to wait. She's 36. It's not like she's hiding the fact she is older and that she wants kids. Her clock is running (a fact she is well aware of) so I am not surprised she is pushing.

    You may have a year 1.5 at the outside. It takes 9 months to full cook a baby and it gets harder as she gets older in all kinds of ways. She may be lucky and it will be easy. She may however have a harder time. The only way to know ifs to get pregnant. If you don't want kids don't lead her on. Her window is small yours isn't and it isn't fair.

    As other posters say there is never a right time to have kids. You will never be ready no matter how ready you are. I have two and thought I'd be ready. You can never be fully ready it is impossible. Kids do what kids do. The best you can do is plan as possible, and I promise you still won't be ready.

    Good luck.

    Posted by dhallen July 7, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown #71:
    Then, Sweetie, where is the problem?
    Mazel Tov!

    Posted by Sasha July 7, 09 01:47 PM
  1. its a great sign she's being honest with you, and vice versa. you both know where you stand. if you both want it to work, and respect each other, are honest and both willing to make concessions at times, it will work - no different than any other relationship, it takes work to make a successful relationship. so what, you're not a "fill in the blank" standard relationship, big deal. its commonplace to see older women with younger men in successful long term relationships. the same thing could happen if you were with someone your own age and wait to have kids, only to find out that you cant - thats commonplace too these days. if you're with a person for who they are - and not what they can give you - you'll be happy.

    Posted by StandardIsBoring July 7, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Confused - then I am confused as to why you are asking our opinion? It sounds like you have it all figured out. I will say that if she is 36 and wants to have children, then moving in with you says she wants to have them with you. I am disturbed by your short history (four months is NOTHING, do not kid yourself!!!) and the fact that her marriage didn't work out. Her first husband didn't give her children - if you move in with her, you had better be ready to, and soon. I am 37 and have been with my husband forever (married since I was 33) and it took him FOREVER to be ready to have a child. I am now expecting, but his hesitation may well mean that our son will be an only child. Not that that's the worst thing in the world, but it wasn't what I had imagined for my family.

    Posted by jj22 July 7, 09 01:50 PM
  1. So, based on CiW's follow-up post, I am truly confused - you love each other, are happy, want kids in 2 years - what's the problem? She is aware it takes 9 months to actually produce a child, right?

    Posted by Q97 July 7, 09 01:58 PM
  1. 39 & 44 - you two get it!!

    Kudos for voicing your emotional intelligence!!!

    Posted by Bill July 7, 09 01:59 PM
  1. If someone says they don't want or are not ready for children, believe them. Any man or woman who pressures their spouse to go down that path and then the spouse caves the percentage of longevity of the relationship immediately decreases. Both parties need to be on the same page period.

    Posted by mark Harris July 7, 09 02:13 PM
  1. You think you're financially unready now? Wait until you have to spend $10,000 on fertility treatments cause you lost the menopause lottery.

    Posted by lpb July 7, 09 02:15 PM
  1. i say hmmmmmmmmmmmm AGAIN. in your re-post (#73) it sounds like you've got it all figured out. if that's the case, why ask our advice? and back up..... you've only been together 4 months? And she’s been married before? ekkkk. that worries me. Is she more concerned about having a baby or a husband? there are a small percentage of men who are very mature at 28 - you may be one of them - if so, great! (&do you have an older brother for me???) But 4 mos. is a very short amount of time. I'd have suggested holding off on moving in & seeing how it goes for another few months. Unlike some posters i don't think 36 is SO old that she needs to get preggers immediately (i'm 36!) she has a few good years left!! but you two do need to figure it out quick.

    Also, i'd be very leery of her pulling the goalie if it seems like you're still on the fence in a few months -- wear protection!!

    Posted by polly July 7, 09 02:16 PM
  1. O-M-G Rico is beside himself after reading your update...

    First of all, 4 months and moved in together? She and you are talking babies after 4 months? She was married before you met? How long has she been divorced? Is the ink dry? What was your relationship history? Rico bets your mommy helped pack you and drive you over to yoru new girlfriend/momy's house. Seriously Rico is just sitting here thinking you are a fool FOOL. Rico is all for love and knew he wanted his wife after the first date but it took time to develop the relationship, to move in, to get married and have a child. Look, 4 months is plenty to know and get married and have a baby but not ideal and it doesn't work for everyone. The fact you wrote in with a concern is enough for Rico to question your sincerity.

    You still don't speak of the timelines for having the baby? At least you admit the finance was a garbage excuse. Now the real excuse. You miss living for free at home with mom and dad and the fmaily dog? Seriously, you need to rethink moving in if it is a baby she wants after 4 months. Rico thinks you really seriously need to move a little slower. her 36 and you at 28 sounds more like her being 39 and you being 24. What do you really want? Rico will tell you it is a lot of work (VERY REWARDING) having a child. Rico loves his wife, child and life together with them but there are times of lost sleep, aching backs and arguing over the most ridiculous things. Are you ready for that? 4 months is just too short to be having this discussion unless you aren't being totally honest with us and she is pregnant and thinking of having the baby and you want her to abort the pregnancy. Rico thinks that would be a better letter....Rico digresses.

    Anyhow, tell us more info and rethink your situation, Rico thinks you need to move out and possibly end the relationship after reading your reply. Got anything better to add? Otherwise Rico's work is done for today....

    Love always,

    Rico

    If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence try fertilizer or ask for advice

    Posted by Rico July 7, 09 02:19 PM
  1. On the upside, if she does pull the goalie, you'll likely marry an international supermodel soon thereafter.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean July 7, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Don't waste her time if you don't think you'll be ready for kids within a year. Chronologically speaking, you may be her last hope to naturally conceive children. If you honestly think you'll be ready to have kids next year, everything's cool. But if you know that you have no real desire to have kids anytime soon, and you know she desperately wants them, don't waste her time delaying the inevitable. This MIGHT be a disaster, but only if you are dishonest with one another. Mutual honesty and respect will prevent any disaster from occuring.

    Also, use your own birth control if you really don't want to have kids. If you're trusting her to be the only responsible party, there is a very good chance she may "forget" sometime in a few months. You can call me cynical, but I've seen it happen too many times in situations like yours to think it's just a coincidence.

    Posted by Veritas July 7, 09 02:20 PM
  1. I want my Mini Van and I will stop at nothing to get it!

    Posted by joe July 7, 09 02:21 PM
  1. I see the problem with your post on #71... You want to be certain that she loves you and that she IS the right one for you to make a lifetime commitment to. Personally, I think moving in together after 4 months is way too soon. It takes a good solid 2 years to really know someone to truly know if you want to make a lifetime commitment. It is likely she is rushing because she doesn't want you to get out of the romance phase of the relatiionship (which usually lasts 6-12 mos. max) before making commitments. She wants to lock you into a path, likely because she sees you as her last chance. My best advice... take your time. If she is not patient enough until you are ready and certain, cut the cord. It is quite likely that she hasn't even gotten totally "real" with you yet and actually shown you who she really is. I know a woman who was in this situation. Clock ticking loudly, moved in after 2 months, engaged after 3, pregnant after 5, to be married after 8. She was pushing to get these commitments fast because of the clock. She still tells me that she is afraid to be herself in the relationship. She says she loves him, but if she really did, she would reveal her true self to him. Poor guy is in for a lifetime of deception and dishonesty and willl likely be divorced in a couple of years.
    .

    Posted by sanity123 July 7, 09 02:25 PM
  1. #39 leykis101 comment was provocative, but was a valid point. Why bash the comment without at least countering his argument?

    Based on the earths overpopulation and reproduction rate, the survival of the human race does not depend on people having kids anymore. Lets put an end to the societal pressure to have kids...Having kids is NOT a major life accomplishment...Couples who decide not to have kids are the ones that should really be congratulated...

    Adopt a dog instead....

    Posted by killian17 July 7, 09 02:27 PM
  1. Hmm... now that the original poster has clarified, I am more confused. You are in love, want to spend the rest of your lives together, have discussed all the issues, both of you are willing to compromise on the child timeline, so what's the issue? You have only been together for 4 months, but seem to be ok with that as well as the age difference in general.

    As far as that goes, she's a 36 year old woman, you are a 28 year old man of course she has a different timeline than you. A 36 year old woman who is in love is of course going to want to move forward and have kids. I'm (reasonably) sure that as long as you are honest with each other and you are and not stringing her along to believe you will be ready for kids within the next 2 years only to change your mind you will be fine. I have a couple friends who dated their dated (now ex) boyfriends for several years in the belief tha tthey would get married and have kids but the men kept pushing the timeline out further and further.

    I think Meredith's advice hit the nail on the head, as she usually does. As far as being disturbed by the "advice" on here, have you read this blog before? It is par for the course.

    Posted by CC July 7, 09 02:31 PM
  1. I just talked to her and made it clear we need to sit down TONIGHT and go over these things. There is no way she would try to get "knocked up" if we both are not in agreement. As far as marriage we both want that and think that will happen in about a year, and will start trying right after that. The reason I asked these questions is that I read this column daily and believe that some of you actually have positive and honest answers. This isn't a subject I would talk to my friends about and my family is all for whatever it is we decide to do.

    Posted by Confused in Watertown July 7, 09 02:32 PM
  1. hey #39- are you trying to say it is always selfish to have a child with someone you love? that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. if no one had babies the human race would die out. stop being so bitter. seems like some girl trapped you with a kid (that is something that is truly selfish). some people want to start a family with the one they love simply because they want a family and want to provide a wonderful life for those children and create memories. not everyone is a scheming ho trying to get knocked up to keep the guy around or to have "unconditional love". those people are messed up and need help. not everyone is like that.

    Posted by family is grand July 7, 09 02:40 PM
  1. #39 , #44 and #84 are way off and extra jaded. I have a BEAUTIFUL 1.5 year old boy that I wouldn't trade for anything. I've been with his father 2.5 years and we just got engaged with no immediate plans of marriage. No princess wedding!!! - and don't even give a crap about getting married, to be honest. We're happy just the way we are. I love my Honda Civic and wouldn't want a minivan for all the tea in China.


    Posted by Lizziex1980 July 7, 09 02:40 PM
  1. Tell you what - suggest a little menage and see if she's into it. If so, great for everyone involved. If not, she will kick you to the curb. Either case: marriage question / problem solved.

    Posted by Don Juan Lynn July 7, 09 02:43 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown, I would say your problem is actually that you moved in with someone you have only been with for four months. You guys are impulsive, so I would imagine that sooner rather than later you will impulsively get pregnant, ready or not.

    Posted by jenny July 7, 09 02:45 PM
  1. It's great to wait for the LW to post a response...

    So, now it sounds like you just want to wait a year before trying for kids. Where's the question or need for advice? You sound like you've got this all figured out, and I agree with this strategy. 4 months probably isn't long enough to know whether you two are right for each other, so waiting a year is smart.

    The clock is ticking so I wouldn't wait any longer than that. Right now, to be fair to her, you need to be (reasonably) certain that if she is right for you, you are going to be happy to start trying to have kids in a year. Is trying for kids in a year OK with you? She can't change her time-line, so you need to be happy to change yours.

    Posted by two sheds July 7, 09 02:45 PM
  1. CIW, what exactly is disturbing about the advice you are getting? You left out a very important detail -- that you've only been dating for four months -- so what did you expect people to say?

    Posted by ticking clock July 7, 09 02:46 PM
  1. Do you even hear yourself?? Your much older girlfriend is pressuring you to have babies only 4 months into the relationship. You are this girl's best and possibly last chance, and she knows it. Wow, is this ever unhealthy. You really, really did just fall off the bumpkin truck - she's very lucky to have found you!

    Posted by Rae July 7, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Ban Rico!!!!!!!! Ban Rico!!!!!!! Ban Rico !!!!!

    Posted by byubba July 7, 09 02:58 PM
  1. WHOA #39 - seek some professional help soon as you are the definition of warped perception. How is it not selfish to obsess about your " hard earned money", your expected life span, your vacations, dinners out, spur of the moment plans and the # of women you will boink. Is that how you measure your life. TIME IS NOT RUNNING OUT but FEAR is RUSHING IN. Yes, children are demanding and yes they change your life but in many more good ways than bad. Don't believe all the statistics. The key for your future wife is to stay calm, sleep well, eat right, and boink day and night till you can't stand it. good luck!

    Posted by SixtyYearOldMrMomofaTwoYearOld July 7, 09 03:00 PM
  1. I apologize in advance: When the time DOES come...and she's in the delivery room...don't watch what happens to her vagina as the baby's head emerges. You'll never look at female genitalia the same way again. That’s a freebee for my 28 year old brother.

    Posted by val July 7, 09 03:08 PM
  1. Dear CIW,
    As usual I like Meredith's advice. I also like the list of discussion questions posed by number 38.

    I am saddened by the "anti-kid" vibe by many of the posters. I hope that these people will consider a permanent solution to their own biological systems. Children are a lot of work and should not have as parents people who deeply resent their existence.

    Some folks have mentioned adoption as an option. As both a biological and adoptive parent, I can say both methods have their plusses and minuses but neither method is easy.

    Adoption also has a time clock ~ especially international adoptions. Many countries where Americans adopt from have age limits between age of child and mother/father (some are no more than 35, some 40, and a few are 45). There are limits on acceptable medical conditions of the adoptive parent (for example you CAN NOT adopt from China if you are overweight and/or have been on anti-depressants). Waits for adoptions can be 3 years or more. There are fewer and fewer countries where infants under 1 year old are available. Those countries that do have young infants “available” for adoption are countries where graft, corruption, and documented cases of desirable infants being stolen from their biological parents who leave then leave country with false papers is all too common.

    So to summarize, I think Meredith has got it right, you’ve got no more than a year to work this out with your lady. More than that, you are not being fair to her.

    Posted by Lain the Blunt July 7, 09 03:09 PM
  1. I would recommend making up your mind. Clearly, you are doing the opposite of the conventional relationship i.e. usually you have a man that's 2-6 years older than his significant other. I, as a man, realize that we can mature more slowly than women, and would have a very difficult time dating an older woman. If she's ready to make a move, then you either have to be too, or she's gonna move along.

    Posted by dizzle July 7, 09 03:10 PM
  1. A little more background...... First off, I own my own house and she has moved in with me. Second off, I do not rely on my parents for anything and think I would make a great father. That being said I think that I am going to try and make this work. I know you all think I am crazy for considering any of this after only 4 months however I know this is woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and my main concern was that things are moving way to fast. Previous relationships...... I got out of a 5 year commited relationship 8 months ago and her divorce was 6 years ago (and the marriage only lasted a month, they never even talked about kids. I have been through 3 very bad relationships, toxic in most peoples opinions and have finally found someone I love and can see spending the rest of my life with. the majority of my (and her) friends are married with children. The divorces I have seen my friends go through were after many years together and it seems to me that the ones that "rushed" into it are the happiest. Can't you just meet someone you love and know it from day one? I think so..

    Posted by Confused in Watertown July 7, 09 03:16 PM
  1. Confused's ladyfriend needs to get herself to her gynecologist for a fertility assessment, pronto. She may have more time than she thinks.

    Posted by Madra July 7, 09 03:26 PM
  1. "Can't you just meet someone you love and know it from day one? I think so.."

    THEN WHAT DID YOU NEED ALL OF US FOR AGAIN??? You obviously have it all figured out. Make sure you send us a birth announcement in nine months.

    Posted by rain rain July 7, 09 03:27 PM
  1. I swear some of you just don't read the same letters I do. Sometimes you need to look deeper at what the situation and understand what the real issue is. Not just call this guy and idiot and tell him to run to the hills. That’s not advice; it just makes you feel better because you were unable to take your own advice.

    Confused, having said that, I’m guessing the real issue here is that 4+ months ago you were single and just wanted to find someone nice. Now you are looking at her moving in, getting married and having kids. Who knew?!?! My gut feeling tells me that you like this woman and you can see yourself being with her, now. Your real concern is that things are moving very quickly and while your confidence is high there is that little voice in your head that is asking you if this is going to quick, to easy. The answer is yes.

    The age thing doesn’t bother me, nor should it bother anyone else. The only “problem” is that she is 36 and has not had kids. I would put money down that the reason she is divorced is because her ex didn’t want to have kids and you know that. So you feel like if you tell her that you are not ready you are afraid to lose her. Unfortunately you may need to take that risk. Follow Meredith’s advice and tell her you need a year maybe two before you are ready for kids. You can always change your mind later. Just be honest with each other. That is all you can do. She will have to make the decision that she wants to stay with you and hope that 1 or 2 years go by and kids will come. Just realize that is she does take that chance, you need to let her know if your feeling towards kids starts to sway. This is a very important thing to her and she has told you that.

    Just proceed with caution and keep the communication open.

    Posted by EE July 7, 09 03:35 PM
  1. #76, HOSS - You rock! I agree... He is purposely keeping some bit of info out.
    "76 trombones led the big parade..." Ladeedah...

    I think the only reason he's psyched she's moving in is because he's got someone to split the cleaning and the bills with now without having to shop around craigslist for a room mate and he'll be getting sex more regularly. In the beginning he will anyway...

    If this is indeed a serious inquiry, grow up... You have TWO different time lines for marriage and kids, OF COURSE you are headed for disaster... DUH... Don't waste our time puh-lease...

    Posted by Amazed (and feeling jaded) July 7, 09 03:37 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown,

    Again, what is the purpose of your letter? What are you seeking advice about?

    Nevermind. This is absurd. You don't have financial issues. You want kids. Each comment negates or spins what was in your original letter. You are a liar and a fraud.

    Here's my revised advice: My advice is to do everything that you already decided you are going to do. Move in with her. I don't care if you already moved in together. Call the local media. Pack up her stuff, move it out onto the front lawn and then move it back in. Live together. Go get married next summer. Go try to make a baby after that. You have it all figured out already. Rushed = Happy. Yippee!!!

    Now go away.

    Meredith, can we have the next letter, please.....

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 7, 09 03:40 PM
  1. CIW –
    You're going to do what you're going to do regardless of what any of us nit-wits say. but PLEASE realize, 4 months is NOTHING – it’s the blink of an eye. she probably doesn't even toot when you're around yet. I bet she shaves her legs daily, wears matching bras & undies, and gives amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. Everything is shiny & new but what about 4 years (or 24 years!) down the road? thinking your in love after 4 months may not be enough to sustain a life-time of ups & downs that come with marriage. The first 6 months --to- 1 year of any relationship is the honeymoon phase. things are SUPPOSED to be perfect (or darn close). Now, some of those romances work & maybe yours will be one of ‘em. Ya just never know!!

    I'm glad you're sitting down to discuss all this.

    Posted by polly July 7, 09 03:43 PM
  1. Feh, there IS such a thing as love at first sight, and it sounds like CiW is only concerned about having children before he's had time to get to better know his beloved. I wish him the best.

    And maybe #39 **would** like our species to die out?

    Posted by reindeergirl July 7, 09 03:43 PM
  1. Rico - seriously dude...3rd person?? Its a tired act
    ::eye roll::

    Posted by majority of people's feelings toward you July 7, 09 03:45 PM
  1. I think the ultimate issue here is that many people in CIW's situation don't feel "settled" here in the Boston metro area. Not enough to raise kids and have a family, unless you go very far away.

    Comfort of life around here isn't very good, and the thought of having a kid and raising that kid in the Boston metro area is daunting. It's just not perceived as a very easy place to have a child. If he was somewhere more affordable with more space and his own house, I think he might be more receptive. But the financial thing has set in. I think that's why I have a lot of "friends" out this way that still live with their parents and are approaching 30 years old.

    I would love to have kids, but not around here. My wife and I will eventually move away from here, probably out of state to a place that is more mature and conducive to that lifestyle (one where you have kids). It's just not worth it around here, and I think that's affecting his decision, too.

    Boston is that type of city that is good to live in for a few years, but when it comes to settling down, it does not strike me as a place where most people can pull it off.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 7, 09 03:57 PM
  1. It is interesting to me that we widely consider 28 year olds as being "too young" or "not ready" for children, and that mid-to late twentysomethings think that something is going to change in the next few years that would make it easier.

    If the culture supported the idea of twenty-to twenty-nine year olds being parents then I suspect this would be a lot different, but the fact that we are surrounded by the fallacious idea that the twenties is "too young" causes young men to doubt their capacities.

    Start thinking about yourself as an adult and a parent and you will become psychologically ready to become one. No one else will tell you you are ready in this culture, you have to do it yourself it seems.

    Posted by Steve in W MA July 7, 09 03:58 PM
  1. #71 CIW - I agree that waiting a year after moving in and revisiting makes sense. Perhaps agree to not even "bring it up" for 6 months.

    #39 - I agree that having a child is a selfish act, but selfishness is not inherently evil. Any decision in your life is rooted in selfish base, even if it's something like saving the world or the environment, ultimately that act makes the person happy. Have you read Atlas Shrugged? People that have children for the tax credit or to trap a person, now that's a whole other discussion, but I don’t hear that actually happening!

    BTW - I think choosing to NOT have children so that you can
    -"boink" tons of woman
    -spend tons of money on yourself
    -take more vacations
    -have more dinners out

    is also extremely selfish, but as I wrote earlier, selfishness is not inherently evil. I do not expect people like you to provide for anyone else, it is your prerogative to spend your time/money how you choose. Leave others to their own lives. In fact, I think folks with your “no kids” mentality are a form of Nature’s biological response to overpopulation.

    Posted by AynRandFan July 7, 09 03:58 PM
  1. Wow, 4 months together! Now in Hollywood that is a long time! But are you serious? You don't even know each other. You're in the honeymoon stage of the relationship where everything about the other person is just so ideal and wonderful like in a fairy tale. But. when this phase ends in the next few months, look out. The real personalities and the realities and problems of life will emerge, especially as you live together and have to pay bills and decide whose turn it is to do the dishes, etc, etc.. And just wait when you have a child! The stresses of life will increase a million times. Even in the most loving, stable relationships if there is not a strong foundation, having children will test the strongest of marriages. I hope you two can beat the odds but it ain't looking good.

    Posted by chris July 7, 09 04:03 PM
  1. You can't change biology and the hands of time. She's 36. If she waits a few more years, she may never get the opportunity to have any children. I waited until I was 39 to try to have kids and now 10 years later I am childless. Had I not waited so long, the story might have been different.

    Waiting would be OK if you were both 28. But, she is coming to the end of her fertility period. If you wait, the door may slam forever on her having children.

    Since you would rather wait, are you willing to forever forego ever having chiildren (i.e. get a non-reversible vasectomy) if your desire to wait ends up with her missing out ever having children? When I say forever forego, I mean forever... Never having a child with her or any other future partner...

    That is what you are asking for here... You are asking her to possibly sacrifice ever having a child. If you want to ask her to take that risk, then you should be willing to make the same sacrifice.

    If you're not willing to risk ever having your own child, then why are you asking her to take that risk?

    Posted by vinca123 July 7, 09 04:10 PM
  1. I think the ultimate issue here is that many people in CIW's situation don't feel "settled" here in the Boston metro area. Not enough to raise kids and have a family, unless you go very far away.

    Comfort of life around here isn't very good, and the thought of having a kid and raising that kid in the Boston metro area is daunting. It's just not perceived as a very easy place to have a child. If he was somewhere more affordable with more space and his own house, I think he might be more receptive. But the financial thing has set in. I think that's why I have a lot of "friends" out this way that still live with their parents and are approaching 30 years old.

    I would love to have kids, but not around here. My wife and I will eventually move away from here, probably out of state to a place that is more mature and conducive to that lifestyle (one where you have kids). It's just not worth it around here, and I think that's affecting his decision, too.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants July 7, 09 04:17 PM
  1. Confused,

    Man, I hear you! After getting wacko advice from some people, I'm sure you are now positive your gut was right all along.

    For those who gave kind, honest, understanding replies, they probably agreed with you anyway. Those are the sane ones. You knew what was right all along CIW.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 7, 09 04:21 PM
  1. Rico thinks that if you can't talk to your friends about it then you need new friends...

    One other thought from Rico is that every time you have reposted you have some type of defensicve comment trying to justify what it is you are ready to decide. You didn't ask for advice to actually hear the truth, you were hoping everyone would just agree with you and confirm your decision(s). You don;t need Rico or any of us to answer your question. You need to talk to friends, family, clergy, therapist etc...but more importantly you need to actually listen to the advice however harsh it might seem and actually act on it. Asking for advice and not acting on it is just moronic.

    Should I take a right to get to the store? No left is best...Ok I'll go right. Duh!

    You add that you own a home and she moved in with you? Yeah that sounds liek a financial problem? You have good paying jobs? Seriously, you sound like a guy that just lost his virginity and fell in love. Don't write back to us in a month asking us what to do now that she is pregnant and you don't like her any more.

    Rico is sorry to say it but you sound like a loser plain and simple.

    Good luck, I hope it's not twins, you'll be in a lot of trouble then. Rico doesn't think you are ready for children either since you can't seem to make a good decision or even be honest on a blog where no one knows you. Good parents can make decisions on their own or at least have family and friends they can talk to.

    Rico is done today, this time he means it :)

    Love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico July 7, 09 04:21 PM
  1. I think a woman can love the idea of having a child much more than being concerned about the long term health of her relationship with her significant other. I think she is going into the late innings and needs to bring in a closer. You are her best chance. I would be very careful. Once she has the baby you may become superfluous.

    Posted by Beware of the Nesting Female July 7, 09 04:34 PM
  1. CIW #108 - Yes, I think you can "know" very quickly. Though I don't think that marriage happiness always follows "rushing into it". It all matters about the relationship and the people involved. If it feels right to both of you, that's all that matters. I do support living together prior to marriage or kids and it seems like you guys are on the right track to at least confirming and building your relationship. You two should take a road trip together, or travel, if you have not already. That is also a good thing to do, to build the memories, the team of you two, as it takes away factors like work, friends, family, Boston.com, etc. Just the two of you. My 2 cents.

    Posted by HurryUpWait July 7, 09 04:37 PM
  1. I bet that your other toxic relationships didn't become that way in 4 months time! A divorce after being married for a month is a red flag. Also, the fact that she and her husband hadn't even talked about kids is incredible as well. None of these facts suggest that she is a good choice. Quite the contrary... Warning bells are ringing in my head!

    As much as she has the right to pursue a relationship in which she gets pregnant, you have the right to move slowly. If she misses her "last best chance" that is not your responsibility. Your responsibility to to make sure that this is the right one AND that your marriage is stable enough to handle kids. Marriage is different and I would suggest not even trying to have a child for at least a year AFTER marriage to let things settle. If her chances are smaller, so be it. She knows that if she isn't patient, she is not likely to have any chance to get what she wants. The greatest fear that I would have would be an oopsie. I read somewhere that over 50% of women think it is ethically OK to trick their partner into pregnancy if they really wanted to have a child and their partner wasn't interested. They think their "need" is more important than yours or the resulting child.

    Posted by sanity123 July 7, 09 04:43 PM
  1. After FOUR MONTHS??!!??

    Dude, are you for real?

    There's a saying: Marry in haste, repent in leisure. I don't even get exclusive with someone after four months, let alone move in with them.

    I think this is a bad idea--not because ZOMG SHE WANTS A MINIVAN AMIRITE but because hello, you've only been together four months and you are completely rushing things. I don't think that moving in together after just four months is a good idea. At all. Especially when her previous marriage lasted a month, and you had three "very bad, toxic" relationships (one of which finished only eight months ago)--it seems to me that you are both repeating questionable patterns.

    Posted by PM July 7, 09 04:57 PM
  1. Thanks to those who found my comments provocative enough to respond. Whether you agreed or disagreed with me, they were all interesting reading. Two comments stuck out today. The adoption comment was excellent and I can't believe I'm saying this but Rico's second comment was maybe the first one Ive ever agreed with. Hey Rico, a few more of those and you might get an invite to my South End roof deck....and yes, I have TWO parking spaces for your bikes!

    Posted by leykis101 July 7, 09 04:58 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown-

    The confused part is correct. I have no idea what you are looking for at this point! She moved in after 4 months of dating and she wants kids already? Wow!!! What did you mean by "Are we gonna end up a disaster"??? What are talking about? You both love each other and want kids. So what's the big deal? You want to wait a year? and she can't wait that long? You might want to do a background check on her... Seriously.. She may be a scam artist. No girl in their right mind would want to start having babies 4 mos after meeting someone..

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley July 7, 09 05:00 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown, IMO, it's time for you to keep your own counsel and make your decisions together with your GF. Sitting down tonight's a good idea!

    FWIW, when I met my future husband it was love at first sight. We spent a couple of weeks together and then I had to leave for a summer job. I returned in the fall, and we moved in together, got engaged a few months later. That was 25 years ago. We are still married.

    There's a conventional timeline that the LL peanut gallery has (and you know it, since you read LL), and it doesn't apply to everyone.

    Posted by Sasha July 7, 09 05:00 PM
  1. Right on Rico and #127!

    Posted by chris July 7, 09 05:08 PM
  1. princess wedding with horse drawn carriage

    home

    baby

    minivan

    pathetic.

    Posted by franny July 7, 09 05:15 PM
  1. #39 is a riot. S/he is simultaneously saying that having kids is SELFISH! ALL ABOUT YOU!!! and also that IT WILL COMPLETELY RUIN YOUR LIFE!! ha ha ha. At least get your story straight before you rant about it!

    Don't worry. My four kids are being raised to fund your social security and wipe your butt without any mention of how you wish they didn't exist, ever again. Peace.

    Posted by rws July 7, 09 05:16 PM
  1. Rico's "wisdom" - my candidate for oxymoron of the week.

    Posted by Truman July 7, 09 05:22 PM
  1. Well, the first question that popped into my head was how long have you two been dating? She divorced 5 years ago at the tender age of 31-no big deal about the kids at that time-probably best scenario because if there were kids, then she'd be stuck with the Ex for the next 18 years. Now at 36 she is with you.
    Big mistake #1 on her part is dating a younger guy whose not ready for a real relationship.
    Bigger mistake #2 moving in together without discussing long term plans-now what ''play house'' with a pretend marriage-get the labrador retriever- a baby substitute to pretend parent?
    The fact that you are writing to us and seem so ambivalent-it appears she may not be 'The One'. If she was "The One" you would be less concerned about the technical details in life $, etc. You would marry her, have kids and make it work because you couldn't imagine life without her.
    You need to decide right now - Is she 'The One" ? Are you going to marry her and have kids with her over the next 2-3 years?
    If the answer is not a definate YES-move out tomorrow.
    She'll cry and beg and say it's ok-she doesn't want the 2 kids and house in the burbs if it means losing you. Don't listen!-it will NEVER be ok and she will resent you forever. Worse you will hate yourself, because one day you will wake-up and be 37 years old. All your friends will be too busy to golf with you and hangout at the sports bar and watch the Sox. They'll spend all their time taking their kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons. You'll wish you had kids, but now it's too late. Your wife is 45 years old and you both have been informed that adopting a baby from China will take 8 years and cost more than $20,000 with no guarantees.

    Posted by CityChick July 7, 09 05:24 PM
  1. CiW - 3rd post is a charm- I think we have come to the root of the problem. You have a history of picking bad women. So you are hiding behind her issue, but really you are a hopeless romantic with a bad track record. I think what you want is our approval to move forward on warp speed, because you lack confidence in your ability to pick a mate and perhaps your friends and family are expressing concerns that things are moving too fast. I can't say whether or not they are right, but you should listen to what they are saying very carefully. If they think she is the problem then double up the rubbers and proceed w/ caution.

    But I'm more inclined to think it is your decision making abilities at question here. First, let's be sure this isn't a rebound thing. Ask yourself this - if your most recent ex threw herself at you and begged for you to come back to her how would you react? If you think you'd be tempted then you need to give this new relationship more time before basing such life changing decisions on it.

    If the thought of your ex now HONESTLY repulses you then take a chance on love. You're absolutely right that even couples who seem to have the best laid plans sometimes fail miserably, so as long as this is not a rebound (meaning you are so so so over your ex) thing and she's not some psycho just get on with it.

    Perhaps the lunar eclipse tonight will bring you clarity:)

    BTW - I have finally come to the conclusion myself, that there is never going to be a good time to give up all your free time and money, but if you really want kids then you just have to stop thinking about it and do it. Although I never want to drive a minivan.

    Posted by RealityChic July 7, 09 05:44 PM
  1. I am confused at this generations' idea that moving in is a good thing. If you're not ready to marry, you aren't ready to live with one another. Co-habitating is like being married to someone, all the burdens and traps, with none of the benefits. You'd have been much better off keeping your own places yet staying over and sleeping over if the occassion called. Did you know that couples who co-habitate before they marry actually have a higher incidence of divorce?

    You've just moved in, you have no place to fall back to if needed, and you're wondering if you're headed for disaster. How foolish is this?

    My opinion? Disaster. Already her chances at getting pregnant are getting worse. If you want children with her, you are also losing your chance. After 30 you're ability to concieve starts to go downhill as well, research is showing. Fathering into your 40's and 50's may be more myth and symptoms of infidelity than we previously thought.

    Foolish girl to move in with you, thereby limiting her ability to meet someone more in line with her life goals.

    You, my Dear, are about to have a few months of bliss and fun, followed by heavy heavy pressure to marry and have children.

    One thing you should understand about children, though. You fall in love with them, and it's wonderful.

    You're 28. You're old enough, and careful careful, if you dont make setting down a plan of some sort, you will find you may miss your chance as well. Men dont think it happens....until it does. And I've seen it happen to the best of men.

    Good luck.


    Posted by A few gray hairs and whole lot of life behind me July 7, 09 06:22 PM
  1. this whole drive to do so is a mixture of biological and social conventions which really have no bearing on your happiness. ----au contraire, my friend. Different people find fullfillment doing different things. Some require consumption for happiness - others give to feel happy. Children are the one people whom you love unconditionally. They can't cheat on you, you dont love them less for getting fat, your love is not tied to sexual desire or satisfaction. Loving your child is the purest form of love you will ever feel. Close to loving your parent, but better. We also had expectations for our parents, as well, didn't we? But our chlidren are different. We want to help have everything, we want for them, but we dont love them less for being less. We actually feel thier pain. .

    Some huamns know this instinctively. Others don't have it in them. Sort of like a being born with a nose that does not smell. Please do not pretend that roses do not smell beautiful to one who has olfactory sensations. YOU only know what you know. If you do not possess a certain desire, then it is just as easy for others to say, you dont know what bliss YOU are missing. Let us all respect our own individual tastes and needs, shall we?


    Posted by a few gray hairs and whole lot of life behind me July 7, 09 06:37 PM
  1. My husband knew I wanted kids and was on the fence -- he said he was open to children given my definite feelings but honestly he wasn't in the same place about clearly wanting kids in the first few years of our marriage. I had a few miscarriages and then a child at 44!! Today he adores being a father and wishes we'd started earlier and had more kids. Sometimes couples are in different places....decide first if you want to be together and then que sera sera. But do yourself a huge favor and do read up on both female and male fertility....you might be sad in hindsight if she's the one for you BUT you indirectly minimized the chances of you guys having kids. Talk to other guys who've had kids but were reticent. My husband sounded like you! once.

    Posted by marriedLate in life and a MOM even later. July 7, 09 06:47 PM
  1. she wants a baby over you.

    period.

    all the rocket scientists here.

    it is as simple as that.

    run my son. and that nut rico needs to stop with the third person crap. gears not gas. cmon son get real.

    Posted by ashley July 7, 09 06:52 PM
  1. Haven't read the comments yet...so going to jump in and say it strikes me a little odd that you say you're "involved" with this woman. Nowhere in this letter do you say you love her. You also conveniently omitted how long you have been "involved" with her. Your level of emotional attachment would help in figuring out where this "involvement" is going. Given that you describe this relationship as an involvement and already have different ideas on when marriage and children will happen, it sounds like the two of you are dealing with the short-term (perhaps good sex, convenient companionship & saving money on rent/mortgage), and that may be perfectly ok *IF* both of you see it for what it is. As a 39 yr old single woman with one child, I can say she has VERY valid concerns about having children that you as a man can't relate to because as a man you can father a child in your 70's a la Tony Randall. I think the two of you need to get real about this and either come to a compromise on the timeline (be specific...don't just say when you're financially/mentally ready) or forget this living-in situation that just started. It's really not in her best interest to wait around until you have decided when you're ready (is it X amount of money in the bank?). As a mom, I can say that yes, parenting is hard work and it's great to have financial security, but children are really just an extension of yourself, so there's no magic threshold of when someone is ready. Again though, it depends on your feelings for her. Something tells me there is more to this than you not being ready for marriage/children because I still think the way you described this relationship seems quite detached emotionally, so for THAT reason really is why you're not able to make promises for the future. Figure that out and be honest with her.

    Posted by bklynmom July 7, 09 08:41 PM
  1. Haven't read the comments yet...so going to jump in and say it strikes me a little odd that you say you're "involved" with this woman. Nowhere in this letter do you say you love her. You also conveniently omitted how long you have been "involved" with her. Your level of emotional attachment would help in figuring out where this "involvement" is going. Given that you describe this relationship as an involvement and already have different ideas on when marriage and children will happen, it sounds like the two of you are dealing with the short-term (perhaps good sex, convenient companionship & saving money on rent/mortgage), and that may be perfectly ok *IF* both of you see it for what it is. As a 39 yr old single woman with one child, I can say she has VERY valid concerns about having children that you as a man can't relate to because as a man you can father a child in your 70's a la Tony Randall. I think the two of you need to get real about this and either come to a compromise on the timeline (be specific...don't just say when you're financially/mentally ready) or forget this living-in situation that just started. It's really not in her best interest to wait around until you have decided when you're ready (is it X amount of money in the bank?). As a mom, I can say that yes, parenting is hard work and it's great to have financial security, but children are really just an extension of yourself, so there's no magic threshold of when someone is ready. Again though, it depends on your feelings for her. Something tells me there is more to this than you not being ready for marriage/children because I still think the way you described this relationship seems quite detached emotionally, so for THAT reason really is why you're not able to make promises for the future. Figure that out (as soon as you can) and be honest with her.

    Posted by bklynmom July 7, 09 08:44 PM
  1. CIW, I think you're going to be just fine. You guys will figure this out, I'm confident. You seem to love each other very much; I get the sense that you’re adjusting to this new reality – that you’re maybe about to take some big life-changing steps all of a sudden – but that it’s a reality you’re going to embrace.

    I'll share my story, though. It might be helpful to hear, I don’t know. I met the love of my life when I was 36 and he was 35. We had both had had devastating financial situations in the years just before we met, and were starting over - financially, and career-wise for him, we were more like people in our mid-twenties than mid-thirties. We moved in together very quickly (which was a great decision, regardless of #138's doom and gloom) and married when I was 38. We started trying to have children immediately (well, OK, actually a month or two before the wedding). We did end up having fertility issues, though they were not related to my age – I’m amazingly fertile for an old broad – but rather to a previous medical issue on his part. But you, lucky you, live in Massachusetts, where infertility treatment is covered by insurance, should you need it; once we moved back here from the state where we’d met, we too were able to take advantage of that quirk of MA law and I gave birth to beautiful twin boys a few weeks after I turned 41.

    We are still struggling financially, but it doesn’t really matter. Our lives are truly blessed. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be married to my soulmate, and to have these amazing fabulous children. They’re 2.5 now, not the easiest of stages! And I’m still thrilled to be a mom, thrilled to have borne my husband’s children, thrilled to co-parent with him. Truly, I have never been happier at any point in my life than I am now.

    If I’d been ten years younger, we’d have waited longer. That simply wasn’t an option and we knew it. We knew we weren’t in the ideal place to start a family, but emotionally and mentally we were both ready, and we had confidence that we were smart people who could figure it out. We were right. I wouldn’t change that decision at all. We’re groping towards greater financial stability, and getting closer all the time.

    Good luck, CIW, and the probably-future Mrs. CIW. May your lives bring you great joy and fulfillment.

    Posted by MelissaJane July 7, 09 09:37 PM
  1. To #138- a few gray hairs etc... The higher incidence of divorce among those who cohabitated before marriage stems from the fact that those who choose not to live together before marrying are a certain type of people. The same type who are less likely to divorce in general, i.e. those that are religious, or come from family backgrounds where divorce and living together before marriage is less acceptable or even taboo. There is no research that suggests that a marriage with parties who lived with one another before marriage is actually at greater risk for divorce. Simple statistical analysis error.

    Posted by Psychologist in training July 7, 09 10:10 PM
  1. Shut up Leykis 101.
    Oh, well, maybe you're right. We should all just stop procreating, because you think it's selfish.
    Whatever the reasons are for having children, most parents I know discover a depth of selflessness they never realized they had, once they have the kids. No parent is perfect, but it is through striving to better ourselves, and our children, that we become better people.
    My brother-in-law married my sister-in-law when she was 39 and he 31. They struggled with years of infertility before, finally, they adopted (which is costly, too).

    Posted by jdo July 7, 09 10:52 PM
  1. "You are 28. You are pushing 30, dude. You are not a kid. You are with a woman you love. You both want kids. She is 36, so her fertility is already running out.... of course she is anxious, do you have any idea how much harder it is to get pregnant at 37 than it is at 27?

    Man up or move on so she can meet someone who does want a family and who respects her needs and her very real timeline. She isn't trying to manipulate you, she is telling you how it is." <------------------------ Well said!


    Well

    Posted by Diet Coke July 7, 09 11:03 PM
  1. Having lived with one person ( a man 5 years younger) whom I did not marry, I think I would tell my children to really think about "lingering" in life. The man I did marry once said, Have you noticed everyone our age is afraid to commit. We all have educations, money and good jobs but no one is ready to marry. That was about ten years ago. We have been happily married for about 8. I think that conversation was a wake up call for me. I could have missed the boat, but didn't so glad I jumped in. We have two lovely children and my family is the center of my universe. I had both my children in my late 30's. No problems as so many people say, actually I got pregnant very quickly.
    I think 28 is a great age to marry and have kids. No age is the right age, no person is the perfect person and no child comes with an instruction manual. You either do it or you don't. But you will never be able to go back and have a "do over". Given the circumstances, you should have worked this out before the move.

    Posted by Jump In July 7, 09 11:04 PM
  1. Having lived with one person ( a man 5 years younger) whom I did not marry, I think I would tell my children to really think about "lingering" in life. The man I did marry once said, Have you noticed everyone our age is afraid to commit. We all have educations, money and good jobs but no one is ready to marry. That was about ten years ago. We have been happily married for about 8. I think that conversation was a wake up call for me. I could have missed the boat, but didn't so glad I jumped in. We have two lovely children and my family is the center of my universe. I had both my children in my late 30's. No problems as so many people say, actually I got pregnant very quickly.
    I think 28 is a great age to marry and have kids. No age is the right age, no person is the perfect person and no child comes with an instruction manual. You either do it or you don't. But you will never be able to go back and have a "do over". Given the circumstances, you should have worked this out before the move.

    Posted by Jump In July 7, 09 11:06 PM
  1. Well in terms of fertility I have a number of friends who have had children well into their 40s without any problems or intervention. I had a healthy girl at 43 and my friend just had a healthy baby girl at 45. So basically I think it is best to not stress about biological time clocks despite some of the other comments posted here.

    It sounds like you really love each other which is great. I think taking some time to be together first makes a lot of sense. Once kids enter the picture you will have a lot less time for yourselves! :)

    Posted by been there July 7, 09 11:26 PM
  1. Just read your update and now I'm even more confused. So, now you're "in love". Hmmm...most people who are in love don't say they are "involved". And now you're saying you both have come to the conclusion to wait a year....so why were you making it seem like she was speeding up some timeline that you weren't mentally/financially prepared for when the two of you already have it worked out? Or, did you work this out afer you posted the 1st letter? Hmmm....And you're saying this is the person you want forever, that you two make good money, etc...so...huh...what was the issue? Were you just getting cold feet because she just moved in? Maybe it's not really babies and marriage and being financially/mentally read that concerns you, but possible losing some aspect of freedom, and you're being a little passive aggressive about this loss....ie look for other ways to find fault in the relationship (when as you wrote, all those questionable things have been resolved), instead of being honest that this may not be the right situation for you (regardless of babies).

    Posted by bklynmom July 8, 09 12:51 AM
  1. Which one are you not ready for, the kid or the moving-in of her which signifies a commitment? I am surprised that she is moving in without an agreement on this all important issue. If you are not ready for either or both, then don't miss a beat on the birth control thing. All it take is once with good timing and you will end up with a kid, possibly a divorce and child support payment for 18 years.

    Posted by NotReadyForWhat July 8, 09 12:59 AM
  1. CIW,

    In my opinion eight months is not long enough after a toxic relationship to be healthy enough to begin a true, lasting long term life relationship. It simply takes longer than 8 months to become whole and balanced again. And four months is DEFINITELY not long enough for a divorcee to become whole and balanced again. I'm sorry to say it, but there's a decent chance you are both each other's rebound partners. Rebounds often feel exciting and passionate, but they rarely last.

    Of course there are always exceptions but I think you should take a good hard look at the stability of your mutual feelings. Your back and forth and slightly inconsistent notes to this blog suggest some real confusion and uncertainty . . . If in the end you do feel that your mutual feelings are stable then I am happy to be wrong and I wish you happiness.

    Posted by CambridgeDayandNight July 8, 09 12:59 AM
  1. please, please, please do not write in for advice or sympathy when she is pregnant in a few months and you're "freaking out" even more than you are now. she is ready to be a mother, she is running out of time to have a biological child, and if you didn't realize this she should never have moved in. grow up or wrap it up (ha! just thought of that one).

    Posted by Anonymous July 8, 09 01:04 AM
  1. The more updates from the letter writer I read, I get more confused...LOL. His 2nd update now says something along the lines of can't two people fall in love and be happy? Well...sure...but someone feeling they're on a path of happiness because they met the woman they want to spend the rest of their life with doesn't write in and ask if the relationship is doomed for disaster. It's normal to have concerns about any relationship....we should all question our intent and goals in our relationships, but you also need to be sure of what your concerns are. You've flip-flopped so many times (involved/in love; different timelines/we've agreed to a year; not financially stable/have good job & own home; want to marry her/doomed for disaster). Don't think I don't believe in pursuing love and doing things quickly. I once dated someone and swore within a few months that we were going to get married. We talked about moving in together, all that. Needless to say, we never moved in together. Life is always a gamble, and I agree with one of the posters that life isn't always linear....and I'll add it's not always about things happening at X age, with X money in the bank, and X experiences at our belt. The world changes everyday and we should be ready to adapt as we go along and adjust based on new people we meet, new experiences we have, and new perspectives on ourselves. Having said that though....you don't seem in tune with yourself. Maybe talking to a counselor who has a neutral stake will help you sort out some issues that you have so they don't muck up what you're bringing into the relationship.


    Posted by bklynmom July 8, 09 01:19 AM
  1. LMAO at Hoss comments (#113). That's exactly how I feel....

    Posted by bklynmom July 8, 09 01:27 AM
  1. First things first, she should freeze some of her eggs. This can come in handy whether she stays with you or not, and whether she starts having babies right away or not. You never know when the clock stops ticking. Yes it costs something to do this, but the cost is less than many other options such as egg donation or adoption, and the outcome is (for most people) more desirable. Will also take a little pressure off the relationship right now.

    Some people are worried that a 4-month relationship is not a sufficient basis for making a life commitment. They might be right, might be wrong. Either way it's probably a good idea to have more time with just the two of you before adding children. People with more of a foundation in their relationship are probably going to do better with children, and as parents.

    Posted by Ricky July 8, 09 07:13 AM
  1. I just ended an 8 year live-in realtionship because I wanted marriage and kids and it wasn't going in that direction. Trust me, if she feels strongly about it, then it will always be present so you have to talk openly about a timeline.

    Posted by hijoe July 8, 09 08:02 AM
  1. "I have been through 3 very bad relationships, toxic in most peoples opinions and have finally found someone I love and can see spending the rest of my life with. the majority of my (and her) friends are married with children." Twenty eight and 3 bad relationships. Hmmm... Sounds like a pattern and a lame excuse to have kids. I don't know why the other relationships failed, but I have a feeling that you rush into things a bit to quick. Did you say the same comments with any of the above women too? That they are the one?? Your previous failed relationships can be the result of two things. They failed because of you, or you have very bad judgement in dating. Either-or, your wedding and relationship with this woman is going to fail if you can't figure it out. And it would be a shame if you brought a child into this world. As for other posters on the side of the 36 year old woman, your wrong. For a healthy relationship to work, the most important person in your life is your significant other, PERIOD!! The children always come second!!! If the spouse comes first, then the relationship is full of love, support and strength. This strong bond between the parents then trickle down to a strong, loving relationship toward thier kids. People who put the kids first before their spouse always have a love-less marriage. She will put the kid before you, you will feel deprived or empty and your marriage will start to crumble, but you will hang in there til your child grows up or get divorced. Either way, you in for a heap of trouble. But I think your life is full of drama when it comes to relationships. Think about it, you haven't even had your first fight with this woman.

    Posted by bahhhoo July 8, 09 09:12 AM
  1. All of Paco's red light warnings are going up on this one. Of course she'll SAY that she would not trap you with a child until you were ready. You can't successfully trap someone by saying, "Yes...I'm going to trap you." Only 4 months in and she's moving in? This is someone who's clock is ticking and she is moving at Mach 3. She is going to get pregnant soon. The question is, are you ready for it?

    Paco hopes the best for you, her, and your future child.

    Posted by Paco July 8, 09 09:20 AM
  1. Was the love letter from the baby crazy woman written 4 months ago?

    Posted by stacy July 8, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Why is the defination of love and happiness "bearing a child?" I am still amazed how bent our society is that happiness and success in life cannot be achieved unless you have a child. I find it strange that having a child is considered "a life goal". Doesn't anyone else find that odd....a child is not a goal, but a creation. Society has pushed the mindset to subscribe and believe that you have to have a child if you can, and those who elect not to, like myself along with my girlfriend (both of us could if we wanted to), are considered on the fringe becase we are not doing what everyone else is doing, having a kid. Not only are we financially flexible, but lose no sleep at night worrying about creating a family. Two people are a family, whether there is a child or not. A child is not a goal or pinnacle to reach, its a choice you make.

    we don't lose sleep

    Posted by badera July 8, 09 10:55 AM
  1. I'm curious why her marriage only lasted one month?!?!
    Anyone else?

    Posted by bgcomreader July 8, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Frankly, I think you have guyitis. It's fine, but focus on realistic thinking within yourself, not panic thinking. We've all thought, I'm not ready, a few more grand in the bank, a little more of this, a little more of that... it's just fear. If you want kids, you'll make do with what you have, not what you wish you had. If you wait until you're ready, that day will never come. That said, if you're not mentally there yet, in terms of knowing this is the woman for you, that a family life is the thing for you, then get that straight with her now, before you find yourselves in a regretful situation.

    Posted by hippydippy July 8, 09 11:04 AM
  1. Not to freak you out, but you have to do something, and fast. Break up today, or make a baby today, not tomorrow. Either way is better for her than making her wait while you make up your mind. If having a baby is really important to this woman, don't waste her time, because she doesn't have much of it left.

    Posted by Tarik July 8, 09 11:11 AM
  1. Nobody can say whether this will work out or not, only time is going to tell!

    My parents met in May, married in December, had a miscarriage and then my brother the following December. When they graduated from college they already had two babies, so they were much younger than you are. And, today they are still married - over 50 years - and very, very happy. Looking back, my mom says she and my dad really had no clue and were foolish to rush in so fast. But it worked anyway. My mom likes to say she "just got lucky."

    Meanwhile I have a girlfriend who got accidentally pregnant via a one-night stand. She was in her mid-30s. She told the guy, and since they really didn't know each other at all, explained she was going through with the pregnancy but he could be off the hook and she would list "unknown" for the father on the birth certificate and raise the child herself without any expectation of child support. Instead, he said, "Let's give it a shot." His own biological clock was ticking. So they moved in together. Had the baby. Got married. Had another baby. And they've been together 7 years and are happy and very much in love.

    I have another friend who basically did the exact same thing, but she was pushing 40, was right out of a 10 year bad relationship, and the guy who got her pregnant was only 28. Today the child is 4, the two live together and plan on marrying one of these days.

    In that last relationship, I can tell you that my girlfriend loves her younger mate very much, and he is a most excellent, loving father and devoted mate, however: the biggest challenge of their relationship is that she often feels more like a parent to him than a peer. And he cringes when she treats him like a child.

    So yes, quickie marriages can indeed work. Yes, getting married to have kids together can work as well. But you will also have a big age disparity, which may turn out to be the biggest challenge of all.

    Although my parents worked out, I will say that I suspect that quickie marriages work out best when the two people are older, wiser, and have been through a few long-term relationships already. People who know themselves well, and have had enough experiences to know what sort of partner works best for them. My own hubby: we moved in together after only a few months; we were both in our late 30s. He said he knew within our first month dating that I was The One. I dragged my feet for 5 years before marrying him, but I did also know within the first year that he was The One. (I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him - I was just very turned off about the idea of marriage, period). When you've dated so many who were obviously all wrong, you get very good at knowing what is right for you and being able to identify it quickly.

    Other good signs: your partner is easy going and not to set in his/her ways. Really... being easy-going is one of the best indicators of someone who will make a successful marriage. So do spend a few months living together to determine if she is easy going enough to roll with the inevitable punches. She's been alone for a long time; make sure she's not too particular and used to living alone, and unwilling to bend and be flexible to accomodate someone else in her life.


    Posted by flip a coin July 8, 09 11:25 AM
  1. The higher incidence of divorce among those who cohabitated before marriage stems from the fact that those who choose not to live together before marrying are a certain type of people------ Yes, the type of person who doesn't put their eggs in one basket, someone who thinks it's foolish to squash all other options for someone who doesn't give you a ring, or for someone whom you don't want a ring . You're sharing the drugery of life, without the perks of knowing the person you're doing it with loves you more than anyone and has committed to you. It's the worst of both worlds, except maybe for the commuting. No, my dear, I've seen all sorts refuse to give up their places and it's had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with self respect and the question of why would you give up your last slice of freedom and individual stability unless you're ready to marry.

    If you have to have one foot out the door, make sure you have another door to run to. Did you see "Sex in the City" where all those women were very much against Kerry getting rid of her apartment? Do you imagine those women are 'religious' and the 'certain type' you speak of? No, the arguments made for her not getting rid of her own place are very pragmatic I assure you. Take this writer. He's moving in, wondering all the while, has he made a mistake. How foolish. He should not have jumped to moving in. Perhaps he caved to pressure and moving in was some intermediate stage that prevented the hard talk or decision that should have been made instead.

    What I think is very foolish for this generation, is to give so much of yourself away, you limit your options with this 'moving in' when clearly, if you're not marrying, you're not sure about the relationship, or not ready to commit, and that's fine. So dont be lazy and make the commute and keep your optins open and keep your own place until you're sure.

    You all love that "he isn't that into you" line ,right? Well, that I agree with. But I also ascribe to "Jump when it's right". Otherwise, dont jump. Commute.

    Posted by a few grey hairs and whole lot of life behind me July 8, 09 11:33 AM
  1. A few gray hairs,

    You should know better than to espouse the tired idea that being mid-30s means the bio clock is about to implode.

    There's a lot of misogyny on here; also, a lot of medical MISinformation being dispensed - and I bet that most of you are neither doctors nor nurses.

    Posted by reindeergirl July 8, 09 12:08 PM
  1. To all of you telling this guy that at 28 he should be ready to have children:

    There is no "should" in the equation. Either you're ready or you're not. The person's age has nothing to do with it.

    My ex-wife and I had our first child when we were both 28 - but we were both as ready as anyone can be and we both wanted this child. We went on to have two more kids before other issues overtook the marriage. I love all the kids and I make sure they know it, every day. And I

    But you know what? Even with all that, I STILL have made mistakes in raising my kids and often worry that I've somehow scarred them for life. And I probably have - just like my parents did to me...it's kind of unavoidable.

    But I knew kids while growing up whose parents, it was clear, didn't want much to do with them and never wanted kids in the first place. The damage done to those kids by that knowledge was far worse than anything I ever suffered or inflicted on my own kids.

    Don't have kids that you aren't ready for and might resent. It's just not fair to a kid who had no say in any of these issues.

    Posted by Knotdefined July 8, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Confused - I have the chance of going though the same thing as you, so I really appreciate the discussion your letter's generated.
    The biggest concern is you don't seem to know her all that well, as it's only been 4 months. However, provide birth control works (big cavot), there's no risk for you or her. You're pretty much her last chance to have kids within a meaningful relationship and she knows this (hopefully).

    My suggestion is talk with her and explain your concern. Also, raise the idea that if you get married, there's going to be a pre-nump giving you primary responsibility for any kids that you two have. This will further solidify that she's with YOU because she loves YOU, and not because she loves how you can give her children.

    Posted by MC July 8, 09 12:47 PM
  1. Confused - I have the chance of going though the same thing as you, so I really appreciate the discussion your letter's generated.
    The biggest concern is you don't seem to know her all that well, as it's only been 4 months. However, provide birth control works (big cavot), there's no risk for you or her. You're pretty much her last chance to have kids within a meaningful relationship and she knows this (hopefully).

    My suggestion is talk with her and explain your concern. Also, raise the idea that if you get married, there's going to be a pre-nump giving you primary responsibility for any kids that you two have. This will further solidify that she's with YOU because she loves YOU, and not because she loves how you can give her children.

    Posted by MC July 8, 09 12:47 PM
  1. CIW, perhaps you are confused because, on the one hand you think you love your girlfriend, and on the other you lost respect for her when she moved in after only 4 months. Maybe down deep you are asking yourself whether you really want to marry, raise kids, and spend your life with someone with so little self-respect. In other words, you’re confused because, while you don’t think less of yourself for shacking up – what guy would turn down ready access to “grilled cheese sandwich” – the women you want to marry needs to be a little less ready to take on the full time sandwich making roll before the wedding. This is natural. You will never get over this lack of respect and it will make you both miserable.

    Posted by Greg Brady July 8, 09 12:49 PM
  1. 160 posts and nobody has come up with specific reasons for deciding to have children other than "I want them."

    Posted by leykis101 July 8, 09 12:54 PM
  1. Leykis (171): what's your point -- why does there have to BE another reason? isn't that why human beings do most things in life, because they WANT something? (you have a job because you WANT money, you have a home because you WANT comfort and a roof over your head, you eat because you WANT to be not hungry, you have a child because you WANT to be a parent, etc etc).

    the problem to me is when people who do NOT WANT their children still have them, not that people who WANT them have them. Obviously, you do not think there is ANY reason to have a child, do you? Then don't have one.

    Posted by rita July 8, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Dear Confused,
    I think you have a lot to learn about relationships and women in general. You're almost 30 and it's time to grow up. What did you think would happen when you started going out with a 36 year old? What she wants makes perfect sense. Now you're deciding to move in? That almost never speeds up marriage. The old "Why buy the cow" argument. (Not that women are cows but people get the metaphor) You need to make a decision yesterday and get out so this woman can go on with her life or make the commitment after living together for a year or so. If you're this naive about life then you're probably not ready to have kids.

    Posted by jqa1708 July 8, 09 01:12 PM
  1. #171. no one needs to write up a specific reason because the reason of having children is biological. The primary reason we have sex is to procreate - tribal. very basic. birds and bees. It is natural. Just for sake of it, if everyone decided not to have children then the human race would become extinct. So your inference of selfishness "I want them" for people that would like to have children. I say, look at at the world we live in now...We are in a time of stuff and think having more material stuff outweighs the love of human bonds. If you think "wanting them" is selfish..think again...for most people that have children their life as they know it is no longer...you now have a child to take care of which means... having them, raising them, feeding them, clothing them, loving them, schooling them...those acts are basically the most unselfish acts of most people.

    Posted by lisa July 8, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Dear Confused,
    I think you have a lot to learn about relationships and women in general. You're almost 30 and it's time to grow up. What did you think would happen when you started going out with a 36 year old? What she wants makes perfect sense. Now you're deciding to move in? That almost never speeds up marriage. The old "Why buy the cow" argument. (Not that women are cows but people get the metaphor) You need to make a decision yesterday and get out so this woman can go on with her life or make the commitment after living together for a year or so. If you're this naive about life then you're probably not ready to have kids.

    Posted by jqa1708 July 8, 09 01:33 PM
  1. #166 - A few grey hairs

    Each generation defines its own set of relationship rules just as yours did. While you may view living together as foolish, many of this generation have concluded that countless of your generation were foolish to remain in relationships that created legions of adults raised in loveless households, all in the name of keeping a "marriage" together.

    Furthermore you falsely conclude that "moving in" limits your options when in fact it keeps them flexible. And whether you accept it or not, many use living together as an interim step, a litmus test for possible marriage. Better that than a marriage followed by divorce.

    To CIW, yes, you can fall in love in a very short period of time. It happened to my wife and I and we're as strong as we can image 10+ years later....


    Posted by IMHO July 8, 09 01:35 PM
  1. Alright one last piece of information and I will put this issue to bed. I appreciate the majority of comments and advice that I have been given. We have both decided to make a list of our fears/concerns/timeline before we take any more steps. We have moved in together but have not signed a dual lease, it's my palce and she moved in with me. I like the idea of a pre-nup that defines who gets children in the event of a divorce however I do think this is going to cause a big strain as she will see it as mistrust. I do respect her regardless of when she agreed to move in. There are many things to discuss and we are going to tonight to see if moving in for good makes sense. She has been divorced 5 years and is ready to commit. I like the idea of being with someone who is mature, been through "the ringer", and knows what she wants. I am going to start using protection as you guys have opened my eyes to me being hijacked. She will be told tonight that I am not ready to get married for at least a year and if that's a deal breaker than that's that. My main concern at this point as when I bring up these issues she will see that is either mistrust or a want to leave the relationship on my part. We have been through alot in these 4 months (meeting each others friends and family) and have been able to work out some pretty major issues with a mutually beneficial solution. I now understand there is no perfect time to have kids and if I take that leap it will make me very happy as long as things will work out between us. The last thing I would ever want to do is bring a child into this world that won't have all the opportunity I was afforded and that will receive the love that only a happy, married couple can provide.

    Posted by Confused in Watertown July 8, 09 01:37 PM
  1. It's not about age (although the biological clock is a reality). Couples who are the same age and in their 20s and early 30s can have someone who wants one and one who doesn't or is not ready. If you are both not in the same place around children, then you're not. It's that simple, but it is not easy to deal with in the relationship.

    It's not about either of you, really, it's about the child. If you don't want a child, don't have one. A reluctant parent is not the best situation for a child, and the child will feel your resentment, anger, detachment, whatever you wanna call it.

    Just continue to be honest. If she doesn't like it, she can make a decision about what she needs to do, whether it includes you or not. It probably won't include you, so be ready for that. She has a few years left, then this crucial dream of hers will be incredibly difficult to reach. If you knew this beforehand or had an inkling of it and aren't interested, you shouldn't have moved in together. I'm taking some interpretive liberties here, however, If I was her, I'd feel somewhat led on by you.

    Posted by yupokay July 8, 09 02:26 PM
  1. #49:
    PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE TO HAVE CHILDREN DO SO TO MAKE THEMSELVES HAPPY....THE ULTIMATE SELFISH ACT!!

    On the contrary, the Creator who made YOU and allows every breath you take and bit of life you enjoy calls us by virtue of our unique physical existence as women and men to bring new life into the world to prosper, bless and enrich it. It is a gift to the world from God and each couple to raise children in their character, faith and unique talents to bless the world with all the gifts necessary to sustain LIFE as we know it. This is an anti-life statement at best, and I'll pray for your heart to change and accept the gift of your life AND everyone else's. Blessings to you, the letter writer today, Meredith and all commentors :)

    GOD's LOVE & LIFE :)
    not hate & death

    Posted by lovelife July 8, 09 02:59 PM
  1. I lived with my, now husband, for 12 years before we even got married. I'm 35 now, just got married 2 years ago. I want kids, and my clock is clicking, but the time isn't right. If I were you, I wouldn't rush into having kids with her, when the time is right it'll happen...and you'll be glad you waited

    Posted by melissa jones July 8, 09 03:04 PM
  1. A prenup about who gets the kids? Who do you think you are, Michael Jackson? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Kids are not an asset. If you were to divorce, assuming you are both fit to be parents, you would get joint custody. If you were not both fit, then the courts and your lawyers would help you figure it out.

    Mistrust? If a guy I thought I wanted to have babies with presented me with that idea, I'd call "freakshow" and walk out the door, simple as that.

    You are going to start using protection for fear of being "hijacked" you are a bigger idiot than I thought -- if you fear being "hijacked" then you should just keep that rascal in your pants, PERIOD.

    Posted by move on July 8, 09 03:17 PM
  1. #177: I can't wait to see HER letter in a few days, "My boyfriend of four months that I just moved in with wants me to sign a prenup about how we will divide the children in case we divorce, and also he wants to start wearing a condom because he doesn't trust me to not get accidentally pregnant. I don't think he trusts me very much, what should I do?"

    Laughing my butt off here.

    Posted by LOL July 8, 09 03:19 PM
  1. Rico just read the poster-childs latest update and Rico thinks you ought to just stop writing and go get therapy.

    Rico has come to the sfae conclusion that this poster is a liar. He is dishonest in his writing and has been less than forthcoming with the truth. Now his house has become We don't have a dual signed lease? Which is it? Do you own or do you rent? After 4 months there were major issues? Seriously?

    Rico says that you are a LOSER, LIAR, WHINY, WEASEL, CRY-BABY...etc...

    Rico thinks you need to figure out whether you are actually capable of a relationship at all. Rico thinks you don't have a clue what it takes to be successful in a relationship and wonders whether the rest of yoru life is similar? How many jobs in these 28 years? Are you a job jumper (ie change jobs every year or so?) Do you rent because you can't seem to get along with neighbors and move regularly to avoid conflict? Rico bets you lease your car since that is too much to commit to as well. Rico thinks you lied about finances and really are in debt and have no job at this time so her moving in helped pay for your lazy butt.

    Tell us all the truth or forever be silent. Rico thinks the readers here have had enough of your lies and deception...Go back to Craigslist and find another girl to lead on.

    Rico is now officially done commenting on this letter...on to tomorrow, hopefully something better.

    Love always,

    Rico

    Geears not Gas :)

    Posted by Rico July 8, 09 04:12 PM
  1. I'm 26 and married. Yes, there was a "princess wedding" (more like a drunken princess wedding =) and yes I would love to own a house or condo soon. However, my worst nightmare is to be a minivan driving soccer mom. I love nothing more than just spending time with my husband, just the 2 of us, being able to go where we please, drink if we want to, stay out late if we want to, sleeping in late, and not having to clean up poop, puke (except the occasional hairball), and not having to dish out so much money on a screaming child. I guess I have a vague notion of maybe someday wanting a kid, eventually in a galaxy far far away.... but part of me thinks maybe never. It just seems that when I weigh options such as take a nice European vacation..or save for college tuition for a kid, the first one always seems more attractive, but not anymore selfish, as having kids is a very selfish act as well.

    My question is for women with children...at what age did you transition from having thoughts such as mine to knowing for sure that you want children? Was there an aha moment? Did you really want them or felt like its something you should do now or regret not doing later? Did you just get pregnant and hope for the best or was it well planned out? Thanks!

    Posted by n.h. July 8, 09 04:17 PM
  1. No condoms while dating for 4 months? Just now going to start wearing them? I hope you had both been tested and have papers to prove it. A 36yr old woman is having a lot of sex with many guys before she met you and could pass along something you don't want to be getting. You are a stupid loser. I read all the posts and think you are a complete and total loser. LOSER LOSER LOSER

    I hope she leaves you and your blowup doll that is under your bed for a real man.

    Posted by YOUAREALOSER July 8, 09 04:18 PM
  1. As far as only being in the relationship for 4 months... here's my timeline with my husband.

    We met - September 1999
    He moved in with me - January 2000 (4 months)
    Got engaged - April 2000
    Got married - October 2000
    Will be celebrating 9th Wedding Anniversary - October 2009 (all is good!)

    You don't need to be an a relationship for many years to decide if you are with the right person.

    If she's not the one for you, please cut her loose ASAP, her time to have kids is running out and if you are not moving in that direction, you need to make sure that she knows that and she can, hopefully, find a partner who has the same goals as she does.

    Posted by vinca123 July 8, 09 04:32 PM
  1. I agree wtih #182.

    If you don't feel that you are going to be able to trust her and that you need to
    wear a condom in *fear* of getting *tricked* then you have nothing. Without
    trust you have nothing.

    And being a mom of two divorced kids, I know I have done everything possible
    to make their lives as happy and wonderful as I possibly could and still do.

    Posted by violet500 July 8, 09 04:34 PM
  1. What's with the penchant for older women?

    Posted by Oedipupscomplex July 8, 09 04:57 PM
  1. CIW--as far as getting "hijacked", you're listening to a lot of bitter men who made some very foolish choices in their earlier lives. (Don't take advice from men who most likely made a habit out of dating coke-snorting, drunken trainwrecks they picked up in bars. Just sayin.') Yes, you should be responsible for birth control as well as your girlfriend because it can fail and because it takes two to tango (and hello, safer sex is a good thing). But if you truly do buy into these guys' paranoid visions of a baby-hungry mercenary woman with a minivan fetish, you should probably let her go rather than make her miserable. And how happy will you be with someone you think is capable of that?

    As far as the prenup goes, while I am a big believer in them (they make things much easier down the road) , you should realize that you cannot decide on custody via your prenup. Custody is decided in the courts if the divorcing couple cannot come to an agreement on their own. If they can come to an agreement on their own, it would be finalized in the actual divorce. But seriously, children are not an asset, and have no place in a prenup.

    It sounds to me like you actually aren't into this at all--you go from wondering if this is a disaster, to insisting that she's the love of your life, to thinking that a few losers on this thread who proclaim her to be a lying b*tch who wants to trap you are probably right. IOW--you don't know her that well, and you don't seem like you know what you want.

    Posted by PM July 8, 09 05:11 PM
  1. To CIW:
    I would think that if you truly loved her and wanted her to be happy, you would be just as concerned about her being able to have a child as she is. If you are unsure about the relationship, wait, but if not, how important is that extra one or two years you give yourself to adjust to the idea compared to the possibility of her not being able to get pregnant?

    Posted by Anonymous July 8, 09 05:25 PM
  1. I met this nice guy and he just wants to get me pregnant, and I said I am not into that, I don't understand seems everyone thinks that I need to get pregnant or something, I am afraid to go out with guys now, because seems all they think is
    that I need to have another baby, I want a long term relationship and a commit
    relationship then mabybe I would want to have a baby with him but not, until that
    happened I would never want any men just to have a baby. It is crazy but it is the
    truth.

    Posted by sad, but understandable July 8, 09 05:28 PM
  1. "I think if two people really love children, the money should be the last issue that
    stop that decisions. Because, you both an adult, you know that you can work for
    anything for the kids since you love them at the first place."

    Is this good advice? To find out, look at the real world (all of it) and see if any children die thanks to the poverty their parents were in when they were born.

    "Rico has come to the sfae conclusion that this poster is a liar. He is dishonest in his writing and has been less than forthcoming with the truth. Now his house has become We don't have a dual signed lease? Which is it? Do you own or do you rent? After 4 months there were major issues? Seriously? "

    Heh. ;)

    "A 36yr old woman is having a lot of sex with many guys before she met you"

    Either that or a lot of sexless frustration before she met you. Not everyone is popular enough to have the average number of sex partners per decade of single life. Meanwhile, condoms are still a good idea just in case (and don't forget the ribbed and/or flavored versions!).

    Posted by Leslie July 8, 09 05:56 PM
  1. gears not gas.

    pickle.

    Posted by fredd July 8, 09 06:54 PM
  1. n.h. (#184), in answer to your question:

    Age 33, the year I met the man who would become my husband. I knew (at the time) he was "the one" (OK, so he turned out to be the "he wasn't," a decade later); he thought the same of me. The second we met, we fell in love, and wanted to have babies together (our baby would arrive 5 years later).

    Posted by reindeergirl July 8, 09 07:03 PM
  1. ConfusedInWatertown - The children haven't even been conceived yet, and already you're thinking divorce and custody? You don't trust your woman on birth control? You think a prenup includes children?

    No, I changed my mind. You are not ready for this relationship. You are not ready for a serious relationship, period. I hope and I pray that she hasn't given up her place yet, because moving in with you would be a disaster for her.

    Posted by reindeergirl50WithNoGrayHairs(yet) July 8, 09 07:15 PM
  1. I'm with Rico...part of me is hoping this is a made up letter because every update written by the writer keeps bringing up more bizarre issues. So, you own your own place and considering adding her to a "sublease"?? Huh? And you claim you love her and this is the woman for you (despite asking if you're doomed for disaster), but not you're already asking about custody of kids that aren't even born yet?!? Oh that's right, you said pre-nup for the kids. Move On is right...you don't get pre-nups for kids...it's for assets. Man, this sounds like one wacky live-in situation! With all your hang-ups about "pre-nups" for kids, timelines to be mentally/financially ready (although you went back on that original statement), thoughts of disaster (although you then claimed you were happy), quite frankly, this doesn't sound like a mature relationship...for either of you. I don't know if your so-called involvement chick that you claim you love was in a position where she HAD to move or didn't like roommates or something because you seem so focused on the negative aspects of her moving in and all that comes with it. Talk about a downer! A relationship should ENHANCE your life, not add thousands of "what if" worries. The two of you should be a team and be able to communicate....and also relax and go with the flow. You sound incredibly wound up to the point of not even enjoying the now because you're so focused on thinking of pre-nups and who gets custody. Wow...this woman hasn't spent one week there and you're already assuming this relationship is heading to marriage, kids, and then divorce. WOW! You are going to have a self-fulfilling prophecy because you've already imbued this relationship with a lot of negativity. Now if she has just as much neuroticism as you do about this "involvement" of a relationship, just maybe the two of you are perfect for each other.

    Posted by bklynmom July 8, 09 07:33 PM
  1. Furthermore you falsely conclude that "moving in" limits your options when in fact it keeps them flexible. And whether you accept it or not, many use living together as an interim step, a litmus test for possible marriage. Better that than a marriage followed by divorce.----------------- a litmus test? LOL! There is more divorce among couples who live together than those who do not. A litmus test? It's laziness. If you're not ready to marry, then date longer.

    Again, if you think this is an antiquated view, then do watch "sex in the city' movie where I think they made the case against it quite well. A women keeping her options open and not short selling herself is simply smart living.

    I have news for you- for the most part - this moving in - it's a man thing. I am in contact with so many young women and when they move in, or their friends do, and I ask, "is this your choice, or would you, if given the choice, marry him?" Nearly always, the women says "well, if I had the choice, I'd marry him". Though I will give you that women are far too willing to marry men who clearly do not show adequate interest in them for a lifetime of happiness I am sure.

    Women give themselves far too easily and like kittens given away for free, they are not valued much or appreciated much for it.

    This women is beyond foolish. She gave up her place, moved into his, she is now putting all her eggs in his basket while what if tommorrow she met a man who was more in line with what she wanted? She can't even tell him to call her at home. She will simply miss any opportunity to see other men because she's given in to the man who doesn't want to marry her. How foolish is that?

    You think moving in a great thing. Well, yeah, you're a man. It works for men. He just got probably the cleanest roommate of his life. the place probably looks alot better, has food in the refrigerator for a change. He gets sex without commuting. A friend, companionship and that option of being able to say "hey, we're not married!" whenever he wants to. It leaves more options open for YOU and him. For her, and if I may, most women, however, it is hugely a drag on their options. Specially, meeting someone else who is more compabitle with their wants and someone who actually wants them!

    Excuse the generalization, but of the many I know who have moved in, of the women who actually preferred to, over marrying, I can count on one hand. For the rest, they are tolerating it, waiting for the ring, and shame on them for it.

    Notice the person I say who is foolish is her, not him. He already stated, if it ends, so be it. Yet here she is, giving away the farm for someone who really doesn't care all that much for her. Poor thing. Why do women do this?

    Good luck.

    .


    Posted by a few grey hairs a whole lot of life behind me July 8, 09 07:44 PM
  1. Now this reminds me of another bunch of comments on another advice column letter on the Washington Post's website.

    Another couple had their first child when they didn't feel completely ready, and this time the wife wrote in for advice. When they were holding their baby in their arms, they didn't feel a love that was so strong they arranged their finances and career tracks in order to support their child - they felt like they'd made a huge mistake. The wife asked for advice on adoption and foster care, and the advice columnist mentioned hotlines (including emergency services) to call for help if either the wife or the husband was afraid she or he would hurt this baby. Some of the commenters said never ever ever call those lines because they'd take custody of the baby away (better to shake an infuriatingly loud baby to death and keep custody than to call 911 and lose custody?). Hmm...

    Posted by Leslie July 8, 09 08:21 PM
  1. "Why is the defination of love and happiness 'bearing a child?'"

    Love is important for the child and many people are happy to be parents, but bearing a child shouldn't be the *only* definition of happiness.

    "Doesn't anyone else find that odd....a child is not a goal, but a creation."

    Yeah, children are people - and each one deserves to have parents who really want him or her!

    "Society has pushed the mindset to subscribe and believe that you have to have a child if you can, and those who elect not to, like myself along with my girlfriend (both of us could if we wanted to), are considered on the fringe becase we are not doing what everyone else is doing, having a kid. Not only are we financially flexible, but lose no sleep at night worrying about creating a family. Two people are a family, whether there is a child or not. A child is not a goal or pinnacle to reach, its a choice you make."

    Well *having* a child should be a choice you make. If every child was born to parents who chose to have him or her, the world would be a better place for children! The people who genuinely want to have children - and who want to take genuinely good care of them (instead of raising them to be textbooks on feet or selling them for bride prices or stupid stuff like that) - should have them, and people like you and your girlfriend shouldn't.

    "Did you know that couples who co-habitate before they marry actually have a higher incidence of divorce?"

    How does that statistic count for the way some (not all) of the couples who don't co-habitate before marriage also don't believe in divorce and grudgingly stay together after falling out of love (or never being in love in the first place, like not believing in dating either then asking their families to arrange the marriage then thinking "eww, ugly!!!" when meeting each other on the wedding night).

    It makes more sense to look at a bunch of couples that do believe in divorce, some of whom lived together before marriage and some of whom didn't, and seeing what the divorce rates of the two groups are.

    "If you have to have one foot out the door, make sure you have another door to run to. Did you see 'Sex in the City' where all those women were very much against Kerry getting rid of her apartment? Do you imagine those women are 'religious' and the 'certain type' you speak of? No, the arguments made for her not getting rid of her own place are very pragmatic I assure you."

    This makes sense too.

    Posted by Leslie July 8, 09 08:41 PM
  1. Trust your instincts. If you don't feel you're ready, then don't do it. But, be honest with your girlfriend, particularly now that she's moved in with you. I left my now ex after 2.5 years--waiting for my ring and hoping to move toward having a family. He wasn't ready to do that with ME. I finally decided I'd rather take my chances at never having a family rather than to be with a man whom I knew wouldn't be a good father to my kids or husband for me. I'm still single--and now 37. However, I don't regret leaving. There's no doubt I would have been his 3rd ex-wife. He was engaged not long after I left him. It wasn't that he feared the commitment of marriage, I just wasn't the one he wanted to marry. I am so thankful that I trusted my instincts! If it doesn't feel right, then don't do it.

    Posted by notateechanow July 8, 09 09:45 PM
  1. Better get that vasectomy now before it's too late. Women can't be trusted. Yes, I am a woman who was married and am childfree by choice. This happened to my housemate. His ex is someone who wanted kids at all costs and he was only thinking with the little head. Now he's stuck with child support and it doesn't stop at 18 if the kid wants to go to college.

    Posted by Liz Pakula July 8, 09 10:13 PM
  1. vinca - we have almost the same timeline pushed down 6/7 years, lol!! 3 kids and married 16 years. I agree, when it's right - you know it. I just wonder where the heck was he all these years!

    Posted by Anonymous July 8, 09 11:48 PM
  1. Confused in Watertown,

    You're boring and attention whoring, go away.

    Few gray hairs,

    For someone who's supposedly been around the block, you sure do possess a supremely immature view of cohabitation. Closing doors on yourself? Living together with a significant other is a major step in a relationship. Not like the bogus "engagement" period, which really doesn't mean a whole lot or change anything. Stop extrapolating your own insecurities and gaudy male machismo onto others. Living together with someone you are considering marrying is a NECESSITY. Are you serious? I can't think of a more foolish thing to do than marry someone you've never lived with first, unless you're intentionally trying to create a disaster. 6 month marriages are the product of two idiots jumping into it who don't know the first thing about one another, and that doesn't happen when you live together first. You haven't been around any blocks, fraud. Your whole argument smacks of something a 20 year old kid would say because he thinks it sounds good. It doesn't and you're wrong.

    Posted by Plenty more grays and wisdom than you, son July 8, 09 11:56 PM
  1. CIW, If you have only met for 4 months, then you don't know this woman. Only eight months away from the 3rd "toxic" relationship, you don't know what love is either. You are in a period that any slight hint of kindness will be taken as love. Your track record for recognizing love hasn't been good to begin with.

    She doesn't know you either. But she doesn't care.

    You should call off this living-together thing and don't date anyone for at least a year to clear up your mind. Otherwise, expect your first child in less than a year. You can have your own birth control, but then birth control devices can be sabotaged. Or you can be encouraged to drink a little too much. You get the idea.

    Posted by 4thToxicRelationshipOnTheWay July 9, 09 02:39 AM
  1. I'm with Hoss...what a waste of time it was to give a thoughtful reply to this immature, reactive LW. He doesn't want a baby, but doesn't use condoms. ugh. I can't even write any more about this schlock.

    Posted by yupokay July 9, 09 07:48 AM
  1. Hey man, nobody is ever ready for children. I mean some people say "I am ready - I have the money at a comfort level, I am ready mentally!", but nobody really knows what parenthood is all about until it comes. I am 44 and my son will be 21 in August. I also have a 4-year old daughter and when she came I thought I was ready, because I have raised (somewhat successfully) my first child ... and oh boy, was I wrong ... So to get to my point - Don't ask yourself if you are ready for the children - ask yourself, really challenge yourself on this - Are you ready for the mother! Because when you have a kid what really will change (a lot) is your relationship with your woman. She will not be available for almost anything, intimacy will probably go way down and you will be surprised to discover that in her life you have become a distant second ... are you ready for all this, garnered with sleeplessness, stress and diapers (oh, they stink, man)? If you want to talk more - check my site at career conceptZ and get in touch. Cheers

    Posted by Vlad July 9, 09 08:46 AM
  1. No, you cannot sign a prenup dictating custody. However, I don't think it's a bad idea, in this day and age, to consider how the future mom/dad of your child might handle a divorce scenario. Even if your best intention is never to get divorced, sometimes you have no control over that decision.

    I am divorced and very lucky that my ex was willing to put aside our differences and work hard at co-parenting situation in which both of us have equal access to the kids. I might have chosen the wrong partner for myself, but somehow I made a good decision for father of my children. And I know other people who are divorced and their exes use the kids as pawns or have completely cut the other parent out of the equation.

    I dated a guy once, who wanted to marry me and have kids, and when I asked him what would happen if we ever divorced, his answer was that he would never talk to me again and he would just send me a child support check and have nothing to do with his child. At first I thought he was kidding, but he was not. Red flag!!! I broke up with him over that.

    It is really important to ask a lot of questions and equally important to truly listen to how the person answers. If the relationship is only 4 months old, don't keep the rosy-colored glasses on and make assumptions. Ask, listen, hear, believe. If a person says "I believe very strongly that children deserve both parents in their lives, and would go out of my way to make sure that was possible" that is a good sign. If a person says, "It's harder on children to go back and forth between mom and dad's house" or "mothers are naturally better caregivers than dads" that is a huge red flag.


    Posted by red flag July 9, 09 12:32 PM
  1. I was under the impression that "A few gray hairs" was a woman. Also, why is she basing major life experiences on SATC (over and over?). SATC is FICTION. Fictional characters don't have REAL lives!

    Methinks the L/W was **less** confused before writing in!

    Posted by reindeergirl July 9, 09 04:08 PM
  1. "Living together with someone you are considering marrying is a NECESSITY. "-----

    ..... for you, perhaps.

    Fact => Divorce rates among those who live together first are higher than those who do not.

    I also suspect the angry poster was a man? My goodness, a man so angered by the idea that women say either a ring or maybe you'll lose her. Apparently that's an upsetting thought, is it? Well, thank you, because I'm afraid you've just made my point.

    And by the way, I am a women. ;-)

    Posted by a few grey hairs yada yada yada July 9, 09 07:40 PM
  1. I'm with you, reindeergirl - I liked the LW better before he kept W-ing more L-s.

    Posted by MelissaJane July 9, 09 09:32 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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