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I’m in my late 30s and I’m afraid time is running out for me to have children. I have been dating my boyfriend for a little over 2 years and we moved in together a few months ago. I thought that moving in would prompt us to move toward marriage and children but I’m getting anxious since neither of those seem imminent. Anytime we talk about children he calmly agrees that he wants to have children someday and that maybe we could even have 2 children. However, anytime I begin discussing marriage or broach the subject of stopping my birth control he strongly talks about how the time isn’t right. Maybe it’s the time of year or something work-related but he never seems to be ready.
-Buying Time for Babies
Dear Buying Time for Babies,
You and your boyfriend have been dating for over 2 years and you even moved in together. When you talk about your future together he talks about his commitment to you and to having children together. While this is all nice, unfortunately there are other limiting factors here such as your biological clock.
First, I do want to encourage you that although pregnancy can become more challenging as you age it certainly is not impossible. Research suggests that while 86% of women aged 27 to 34 will conceive within a year, that number only drops to 82% for women ages 35 to 39. There are many contributing factors to this and every woman is different but these statistics are encouraging. In addition, other strategies exist to help such as fertility treatments and egg freezing. While you should be encouraged about your prospects for having children it does sound as though other issues may be going on here as well.
Given that you sound equally concerned about the prospect of not having children as you do about your marriage timeline, the larger concern for you may be about commitment.
Given that you sound equally concerned about the prospect of not having children as you do about your marriage timeline, the larger concern for you may be about commitment. While the flow of your relationship including discussion of marriage and children as well as moving in together sounds promising, I also believe that you have the right to honor your concerns.
If having children and marrying sooner than later are priorities for you, it is important to accurately communicate that to your partner. Perhaps he has different values but it is also possible that he just hasn’t registered their impending importance. Share your feelings with him including that while you want to share your life with him you also want to move things along. See how well he respects your priorities and if he does, feel comfortable in talking specifics about a timeline. Otherwise, know that while he may love you in his own timeline, he is unable to love you on your timeline. What you do from there is up to you.
Dear Buying Time for Babies,
Eggs! Who knew even ten years ago we would be worried about our diminishing count. The reality is that this is a big deal and baby fever is real. You don’t need to be beating your head against the wall because your ovaries are screaming.
If you don’t want to spend the remainder of your childbearing years with someone who is not on the same page, then you need to clarify where he stands. You want to be a mother, but does he genuinely intend to be a father? Why is he scooting around the issue? As much as you love him, you both need to get a gut check if your future aspirations align. Moving in together was a big step, but he may be comfortably treading water.
Moving in together was a big step, but he may be comfortably treading water.
If you don’t get the answer that you want, you may need to think long and hard about the longevity of the relationship. In the end, I would ask the tough question, is time running out for you to have children, or is time running out to have children with him?