I want to have a baby. It’s not just hormones or the fact that I’m turning 40 next month. I’ve really thought this through. The problem is that my boyfriend is not convinced that fatherhood is for him. He’s a bit younger than me, but we’ve been together for three years and have lived together for two. I really want him to be the father of my child, but I feel so strongly about my decision that I am willing to let him go if need be. He feels really pressured by my decision and it’s wreaking havoc on our relationship. I think that if he really loved me, he would snap out of it. Please help.
Try this: Raise your right hand until it is in front of your face. Then place your right thumb against your index finger. Now quickly slide your thumb up and your index finger down until you hear a pleasant snapping noise. Repeat. Now, are you awake? I mean, think about it. You’ve asked someone you say you love to completely change his life in order to fit your vision of what life ought to look like for you. Then you’re upset that he’s not playing the role you assigned him. Let’s be clear: asking for what you want is fair, but believing that if he really loved you he would be the father of your child (on your timeline) is completely egocentric.
If you love your boyfriend, let him arrive at a decision on his own. After all, you’re asking him to step into a life-long relationship with you and with people he doesn’t yet know, but who will be dependent on him for years. If he struggles at all with commitment and responsibility, that inner conflict will be punctuated by his fear of losing you if he doesn’t agree to your blueprint for his life.
I suggest that you contemplate the wisdom of Dag Hammarskjöld, the Swedish statesman who once served as secretary-general of the United Nations: “(Anyone) who is unwilling to accept the axiom that he who chooses one path is denied the others must try to persuade himself that the logical thing to do is to remain at the crossroads.” You want your boyfriend to leave the crossroads and make a decision. But girlfriend, you’re standing right next to him in the middle of the intersection. I think that your willingness to leave in order to give yourself what you want is healthy. Just don’t use that choice to threaten your boyfriend or to resent him if you stay and nothing changes.
I am attracted to one of my friends and told him so. He responded favorably, but nothing has happened. He treats me pretty much the same as he did before. He is older than I am and very confident. I tend to be insecure and wonder if he is waiting for me to become more secure before attempting a romantic relationship. Do you think I should I just give up and move on?
If you, this man and this relationship are worth waiting for, be patient. If you are alarmed that he has not tried to seduce you, remember that a relationship is a crash course in self-understanding. The progression from friend to lover to partner (or partner to lover, depending on your religious beliefs) unfolds in its own rhythm. If you are attracted to this man in part because he is confident, consider that awareness an invitation for you to develop confidence. Gradually you will become the one that you want. At that point you can enter a relationship as an equal. And that’s attractive, isn’t it?