Are we going to the same place…if so, can I come?

After 4+ years with my current girlfriend, I’m not really sure what the future holds for us. That doubt derives more from our own collective sense of realism than from any problems in our relationship. Most people just assume we’ll get married at some point…and for the record I’m totally down with spending the rest of my life with this girl. It’s just that my own code says I shouldn’t get married until I’m ready to have kids, and my girlfriend has stated on numerous occasions that she doesn’t want kids.

So essentially it’s on me whether or not I want to commit to not having kids, because I’ve seen what happens when people who want different things get hitched and I don’t want that to happen to us. I know I don’t want to have kids before I’m 30, but I’m a little weary of writing off the concept altogether. Nevermind that now…

Who knows how we’ll feel in 4 or 5 years…but as of today I can’t imagine being happier with anyone else. I suppose there is always the potential something greater out there…

…but it’s hard enough finding the right match the first time. If you’ve got a good thing going, it’s in your best interest to keep it going. That doesn’t mean surrender all freedom at the expense of the relationship - precisely the opposite is true if you’re doing things properly. Having love in your life you grants you the freedom to be your absolute self without fear of rejection. Don’t throw away happiness in search of perfection…it doesn’t exist.

The flip side of that coin is that you shouldn’t cling to a bad situation out of fear of the unknown. If you feel there’s a better life out there, don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes - even if it brings more pain in the short-term. Things get more complicated when there’s children involved, but I’ve beaten that drum before. Don’t have kids with someone unless you’re comfortable with the idea of enduring 2 decades of parenting with that partner. Once you do procreate, you owe it to your kids to stick it out at least until they’re out on their own in the real world.

It’s perfectly natural for individuals to grow apart over the course of multiple decades. Some couples evolve closer over time and stay together forever, while others aren’t so fortunate. On one hand it sucks to see couples split after 25+ years of marriage, but in the cases when they indeed stuck it out for the kids, it’s only fair that they be allowed to live out their remaining years on their own terms.

I hope my current girlfriend and I are still together in 30 years, but I’d rather split up and be happy than live together in misery. By not getting married, in a way we’re renewing our love on a daily basis. Sure that leaves us vulnerable…but at least we don’t need a piece of paper to hold our relationship together.

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