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Signs He Doesn't Want to Have a Baby

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Dear Veronica,

It’s been almost 7 yrs of dating. I’m anti-marriage so it worked for us cause there was never any pressure. What concerns me is that we’re older, he’s 37 and I’m 32 and I would like to have a child before I’m too old. We talked about it and agreed to start at the end of next year if he gets this other job (money would be better). My concern is that he was already talking about things he would do on his time off if hired, now granted I want him to have hobbies and explore to keep him happy… However, he mentioned to a friend that he would like to finish up college (which is fine), and possibly other endeavors like starting up a business and traveling. What worries me is that if we’re talking about having a baby then that means he is going to be a pretty absent father and partner. My bf is my absolute bestfriend, but am I just wasting my time-youth on something that isn’t going to amount to anything, or that is going unknown-future?

As much as I care for him and completely respect him… I honestly don’t want to be miserable in the future. He doesn’t know what he wants when it comes to career’s and he’s told me numerous times that he wants to grow old with me-til we part this world… but how can he know what he wants when he switches jobs and changes career interests all the time.

I’m confused right now. My head is telling me to leave him, and my heart is telling me not to… but the more time passes my heart is starting to fade for him.



Dear Lani,

Many men do not really want to have kids, even the ones that claim that they do. Often men have a romanticized or idealized version of child rearing in their heads. Sometimes it's that they don't understand how kids change everything and aren't prepared to surrender so much of their lives. Sometimes it's their frame of reference: their mothers were housewives of a different generation who dedicated their lives to raising the kids while their fathers worked and golfed and did their own thing.

Sometimes it's just a matter of brainwashing. Society has it's norms and they're inflicted on us from birth. You're raised to believe you're supposed to want marriage and kids, that that would be the normal choice and you begin to believe it even though you've never actually weighed the options and considered the choice.

Lani, a few things I've pulled from your comment need to be highlighted here. The first is that you said, "My boyfriend is my absolute best friend." What a beautiful and healthy thing that is. I look at what you say and what you don't, the words you choose and the order of things. And I have a strong feeling that you really are in a good relationship.

Your being "anti-marriage" relieves a lot of the pressures that trip up many couples. The coolest thing about that, is the ability to focus the stress of what you're going through right now on the exact issue, without confusing it across several different ones.


You've heard of him speaking about business ideas and travel. About the things he'd like to do with his free time.

You're not hearing him speak about changing diapers, 3am feedings, what he'll do if his child turns out to be autistic, or ill, or a bully. You're not even hearing the romanticized thing like coaching soccer and riding bikes. So of course he's not expressing that he's thinking through the reality of child rearing. All the sacrifices, all the difficulties.

When he speaks about his "what-ifs" and speculations, they don't sound like they include children. I only have the info you gave me to go by, so maybe there's more that you've left out, but I have the feeling if he was working out his feelings on different aspects of fatherhood, you'd have mentioned that.

Obviously pushing somebody into having a baby is a disastrous idea. It's a huge, full-time, rest-of-your-life, completely irreversible commitment. No one should enter into it without careful consideration, reasonable expectations and a true desire to raise children.

Lani, I realize this is a heavy issue on your heart, but I do want to give you a huge compliment here. Nothing you've said sounds like you're trying to change him into wanting what you want, or push him into doing something so huge if he doesn't want to do it. That takes an incredibly mature and responsible individual and partner, and you are obviously both.

It sounds to me that it's not about changing him, it's about figuring him out, and as a result, figuring yourself and your relationship out in an honest way.

It doesn't sound to me like he wants to have kids. He may be unclear as to why he feels that way. He may feel completely unsafe to talk about his true feelings and fears. He may even, through family pressures or society's brainwashing feel "wrong" to feel the way he does. If you're his best friend, he should be able to talk to you about these, the biggest and most significant life choices there are. However, knowing your feelings on the subject may make him feel he can't be honest about this.

It's possibly he hasn't even reached the conclusion inside of himself. But from what you've shared, he doesn't sound like someone who actually wants to have kids.

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While you called your bf your "absolute best friend" which is wonderful and powerful, you turn around and say, "am I wasting my time-youth on something that isn't going to amount to anything, or that is going unknown-future?"

Is this really how you feel? Your "heart is starting to fade for him," your best friend and partner, because he doesn't want to have children?

One thing that really stands out here is your saying how he doesn't know what he wants when it comes to a career. Therefore, "how can he know" about other things if he doesn't know about his career path. While this makes you doubt his commitment to you it shows the exact opposite to me.

He hasn't been clear about his feelings on not wanting kids. He doesn't know what his career path is, maybe because to him it's just jobs, and he just wants a successful one. But the one thing, the ONLY thing that he has said he's sure about, is you. To me, that speaks volumes.

You however, admit that your "heart is starting to fade for him."

Lani, I feel like what's really going on with you, is one of two things, and I'm not sure which one it is:

1 - He is your "best friend." You didn't say the love of your life, or how in love with him you are. Your feelings have shifted, and even though you realize the best friend part is a great thing, it's not actually what you want with your partner.

or 2 - The relationship, whether it's the right one or the wrong one, doesn't matter. Whatever it is, you're willing to let it go, because that's how badly you want to have a baby.

Whichever one it is, the result is the same: This isn't the forever-relationship for you. If your heart is starting to fade for him, if you see your relationship as "not amounting to anything" if you don't have a child - "Am I just wasting my time?" than the relationship clearly isn't something that you should be in. If you can look at your partner and think "waste of time" and "amounts to nothing" then you need to let it go, and start thinking about bring into your life what won't feel like a waste of time and what won't feel like it amounts to nothing. For you, it seems that thing is having a baby. Or maybe that's an excuse, or the final straw so to speak.

Or maybe it was venting, and thinking it through you will realize you don't actually feel like your relationship amounts to nothing as it is, and will be, without a baby.

You are allowed to be happy. You're allowed to want something different than the something you have. Good luck to you as you figure this out. 

Got a relationship question?

"Ask Veronica." Email me through the link in my profile. Thanks!

"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need."

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Veronica (author) from NY on July 30, 2010:

Thanks Isy1010!

lsy1010 from China on July 30, 2010:

Very nice hub. I really enjoyed it.

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