‘Older lover never wants kids and marriage, I’m 26, how can I change his mind?’

Dear Coleen

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for two years. He’s nine years older than I am with a good job and a lovely house. Our relationship is good and I moved in with him at the end of last year.

However, right from the start, he made it clear that marriage and kids weren’t part of his plans for the future.

I suppose when we started dating it didn’t seem that big a deal – I was only 24 and those things seemed far away, but now it’s bugging me.

I love him and can see a future for us, but I’m too young to close the door on marriage or having a family. I suppose I always assumed I’d do those things at some point.

I have brought the subject up a few times, trying to gauge if he’s changed his mind, but he only says he doesn’t want to think about that stuff now or that he still hasn’t had “the urge” to be a dad or get married – whatever that means! But it’s all a bit vague, which makes me think he might have a change of heart in the future.

Surely if you love someone and want to be with them, kids and marriage is something you’d consider? He’d never even lived with a woman before I moved in.

Can you offer any advice?

Coleen says

OK, I respect him for being honest, but if he’s being a bit vague on the subject recently, it sounds as if he’s trying to keep hold of you because he realises saying “never” to kids and a wedding might be a deal-breaker for you.

Only you can decide whether you want to take a risk on this ­relationship and on him changing his mind. But it’s a big risk. I know couples who’ve put off this decision for years or one partner has hung in there for too long, hoping the other will change their mind, and it’s split them up. You don’t want to find yourself 10 years down the line in the same situation when, at 36, it’s a much more pressing issue in terms of your fertility.

Ultimately, you have to decide whether you can or can’t compromise on marriage and kids. It’s never right to “force” someone into these ­decisions and if he really doesn’t want to be a dad or a husband, then walk away and give yourself the chance to meet someone who does.

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