Monday, April 28, 2008

Timing is everything?


So what happens when your biological clocks are in different time zones?

While some women walk around acutely aware of their biological clocks and when they will cease to tick entirely, little attention is given to men with their own relationship time bombs likely to cause a storm.

Like, say... when he's older.
Maybe he's A LOT OLDER.
Maybe he has kids already and doesn't want any more.
Maybe he just never wants them at all...
Or maybe he wants them by the time he's 40, and you just so happen to be dating him at 38.

But if you're 25... whose time zone should you live in?

He's a grown up, for real and you're just getting there.
He's had 10 years to pay off his student loans and yours are still in deferment...

So what are you to do?

Is it better to rush yourself or slow h i m d o w n?

Where you used to think you had at least a decade before you even started THINKING about such things, suddenly his 4-0 is looming in the distance like a cloud likely to cause the emotional hurricane that could ruin your relationship.

But can you weather the impending storm of babies, marriage and a mortgage that you might not be ready for?

Or should you instead flee and hope it rains men your own age?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

If he is 38, wants kids by his 40th, then what has he been doing for the past 20 years?? Couldn't find the right girl and now that he has all the pressure is on her? Nah. If you aren't sure if you want to have kids within the next 2 years then it's time to find a new man.

vanessa said...

I dont think you should leap into things that you truly arent ready for.. but if you see potential in this relationship to be permanent, then you shouldn't just flee either.

I think you should discuss your "timelines" openly and respect the fact that you may not be at the same place, but if you find out you're on opposite ends of the spectrum that may not be good either, because it will definitely put a strain on the relationship.

If you do see those things with him-- just not tomorrow, do at least let him know that you've thought about it happily...

Then eventually those things will happen when you're both ready.. Besides a lot can change in 2 years, so maybe you will make it by the 4-0 deadline. :)

jovial_cynic said...

Before my wife and I got married, the pastor running the show recommended that we take a marraige-compatibility test, which asked pages and pages of probing questions to see how well we aligned with one another on issues of money, travel, children, religion, etc., etc. The questions were heavily focused on the issues that are cited as leading causes of divorce, and it makes sense to have agreement (or at least awareness of disagreement) prior to being married. It was neat; we were asked the questions separately, and then had them tallied and we got to see where our differences were. As it turned out, we were 98% compatible. The only points of disagreement were where my wife said felt strongly about an issue (for example, she wanted four kids), and I said that I didn't care one way or the other on the issue. While that's not a disagreement, it still knocked us down a few points on compatibility. Oh well.

I don't know how well that plays into the dating scene... I don't understand how questions of raising children come up unless the topic of marriage is also on the table. Call me old fashioned. But it seems that if you're going to consider marriage or long-term relationship, compatibility is vital to a strong relationship. If disagreement on the timing and number of children is a dealbreaker, it's probably a good idea to get that sorted out before taking too many more steps into a dead-end relationship.

Chrissie said...

good point anon... he's had 20 years to find a baby momma, but maybe he's picky? maybe he didn't want to settle?

i think it's interesting that a woman wanting kids by 40 is normal, and sometimes physically necessary due to menopause.

but shouldn't men be afforded the same courtesy? shouldn't they be allowed to want to be "young dads" too?

but vanessa i agree with you too... i don't think using kids or marriage or other big relationship issues as an excuse to run away is a healthy way of looking at things.

i'm an advocate for going at your own pace and doing what feels right. everything else should fall into place.

Chrissie said...

I don't understand how questions of raising children come up unless the topic of marriage is also on the table. Call me old fashioned. But it seems that if you're going to consider marriage or long-term relationship, compatibility is vital to a strong relationship.

i don't think the topic of marriage should make it's way to the table unless children or finances or other hot topics are discussed, at least somewhat.

i can't imagine getting engaged and then having the "how many kids do you want?" conversation...

but i agree with the importance of compatibility. i'm just curious at what point compatibility meets compromise... and how much compromise is too much.

jovial_cynic said...

but i agree with the importance of compatibility. i'm just curious at what point compatibility meets compromise... and how much compromise is too much.

Certainly. The point of the compatibility test wasn't to only wed couples who felt the same way about issues, but rather to air the issues to force the dialog. If compromise and mutual understanding can't be achieved at the end of a paper test, people shouldn't expect compromise and mutual understanding to occur in their long-term relationships.

sarah said...

If he loves you, he'll wait for you to be ready.

If you love him, you'll reconsider your reasons for wanting to wait. Valid ones can't be ignored. Insignificant ones can be tossed.

And in the middle, you'll meet.