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Too many life changes at the same time?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 30, 2013 08:34 AM

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We're getting some celebrity help from Love Letters next week. If you have a letter that you'd like answered by some athletes (and me), email it to me at meregoldstein at gmail -- or submit through the form on this page -- and write SPORTS at the top of your note. Try to send by Friday morning.

Also, we chat today.


Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for close to a year. I am 40 and he is about to turn 40 in December. He moved in over the summer and things have been going well. We work hard at our jobs, make a good team around our condo, and do fairly well financially (between the two of us).

We are talking about getting engaged and I have no doubt it will happen soon. He is paying off some credit card debt and has saved to buy me a ring. We also plan to buy a house (hopefully) next spring. I want all of these things but have been getting overwhelmed at the thoughts of them happening around the same time.

We have also talked about having children (probably just one at this point) and realize that we don't have a lot of time to waste in that area. He recently said that he isn't sure he wants to have kids, where I heard the opposite in the past and heard him say that he thinks it would be a shame if we weren't parents. I hear of "older" people becoming parents but I wonder if this can be a reality because I don't even know if I can conceive at this age. I will most likely be at least 41 before we start trying. I mentioned buying a house, having a child, then getting married (in that order) but he is old-fashioned and wants to be married before having a child. I am realistic in that I know we won't be able to afford a big, expensive wedding, but there will still be a wedding of sorts. Neither of us has been married before so I feel strongly about celebrating with loved ones.

Am I being realistic in thinking that all of this can happen within a couple years? I know things happen sooner when people are older but I don't want to cut off more than I can chew (financially or emotionally).

– Too Much all at Once, Medford


A: I know many people who've bought a house, thrown a wedding, and had a kid within a few years. It often happens that way, even for people in their 20s and 30s. The only difference is that they've usually had more time to get to know each other before all of the big life changes. You guys haven't had your first anniversary yet. It is a lot at once.

But that's not my issue with your letter. My problem with it is the kid thing. You can't move ahead with any of this until you have a real grown-up talk about whether kids are on the table. He said he wanted them ... but now he might not. Are you OK with that? And are you OK with how you found out? It seems to me that if he's going to change his mind about something big, you deserve to be a part of the discussion. No more planning a wedding until you've made some decisions about your marriage.

You also need to go to a doctor and find out what's possible for pregnancy. Arm yourself with knowledge about your body so that you know what you're dealing with.

I think you'll find that consecutive life changes aren't so scary if you're really on board with the plan. Get some answers about the kid thing so you can move forward with confidence.

Readers? Is it the speed or the kid thing that's getting to her? Should they be moving this fast? What should she do? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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