Dear Coming Through The Rye Staff,
My boyfriend and I have been together for more than a year… well not physically together since he lives and work in another country and gets to come home every few months. He’s a great guy – the most amazing, down-to-earth, family-oriented, and hardworking guy I’ve ever known. And he loves me like nobody else does. He would drop everything and jump on a flight to get to me if I asked him to. We plan to get engaged for Christmas. The problem is that he wants to start a family really soon. He really wants to have a kid, and I feel like I’m too young being only 21 years old. We can definitely afford a kid, and our families on both sides are eager to become grandparents. However, somehow I don’t think I’m ready. I’m very career-oriented, and I have a great social life. Also, I feel like I’m too young. Being pregnant and having a kid is just gonna cut my freedom. However, I don’t know how to explain that to him without him thinking that I’m only thinking about myself. Is that what I’m doing or am I really too young? Please give your advice.
P.S. I’m a model and a really beautiful one at that. Guys are always after me. I feel that might also be a reason for him wanting me to have a kid so soon. I might also be wrong to think so.
Thank you for writing to us here at Coming Through The Rye.
First, how old is your boyfriend? If there’s a rather large age gap, it’s understandable that he may feel the need to start a family soon. If it’s not an age gap and he’s truly interested in becoming a father, I’d like to congratulate you on finding this man. His desire in having children with you means that he’s committed to you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you. From the sound of your letter, it seems as though you two have a very perfect relationship, where he would do just about anything when it comes to you. At the same time, I can tell that you and your boyfriend must work very hard to maintain a long distance relationship. Despite the fact that you two have been together for over a year, does he know about your thoughts on having children? In every successful relationship, as mundane as it may sound, the key is always communication. Without communication, things will slowly unravel as problems “get swept under the rug.” It may seem as if everything is pointing to a child (i.e., your boyfriend’s desire, your eager pressuring parents, your fertile age, your financial stability), but there’s one thing missing: your own desire. It’s obvious that you’re an intelligent young woman.
You understand that there are a lot of responsibilities in having children and most people don’t understand that once you have a child, your priorities slowly become second to the needs of your children. This is not to say that a woman still cannot accomplish life goals even after having a child. There are a lot of single women who are successful breadwinners, and I give major kudos to them. But in this case, I feel as though you have not figured out exactly what you want. You feel that having a child will limit your ability to maintain a social lifestyle and achieve your career goals. This is something you should talk about with your boyfriend. What are your career goals? Do you have a plan to achieve those said career goals? If your boyfriend is really the one, he would listen to your feelings and take into account on what you want. I don’t think he would want to be a barrier to your goals if he truly loves you. You should also not give into what everyone is pressuring you to do just to make them happy. In the end, there is a high probability that you may end up resenting them. I’m not one to protest against young marriage or having children at a young age as long as you’re mature enough to make responsible decisions without giving yourself up or doing it for someone else’s happiness. No one should tell you that you’re “too young” to do anything.
Also, you mentioned that you’re a model and you believe that your boyfriend may be speeding up the process of having children in order to avoid you straying away. That sounds as though your boyfriend may feel that he’s insecure with your being a model and in turn, feels he may easily lose you. In that case, he may not realize that having a child or being married does not necessarily keep other potential men from seeking women. He wouldn’t necessarily feel this way unless he felt that you would easily leave him. This is also something you may want to talk to him about if you think that this is a reason why he wants to expedite the process.
I encourage you to add more to this dialogue.
Catching those before they fall and helping those who have fallen back up,