My boyfriend wants to have a baby. Iím not sure if Iím ready, but Iím afraid heíll leave me if I donít. I think Iíll pretend to stop taking the pill. Then I donít have to have a baby, and he wonít keep pressuring me. Do you have any other ideas of how I can put him off? -- TOO YOUNG TO BE MOM Ė WINDSOR, ON
Dear Too Young,
Your name says it all. I am impressed to see you are mature enough to know you arenít ready to have a baby. However, your youth does not let you off the hook for doing the right thing.
Tell him the truth. If he loves you, heíll wait. After all, he must realize it will be you giving birth, nursing, and helping to care for his baby. If he canít wait for you, let him do all of the above by himself.
There are many advantages to being on your own, many of which youíve mentioned in previous columns.
Then again, there are the negative. How about the way married people think they have to 'fix you up' every time you come around?
Why do those who are coupled push singles to get a mate? I think they figure that since they have to suffer, why should others not go through it, too?
Placing a male and a female gerbil in a cage might work great when it comes to mating, but not so in humans. Why are we expected to like everyone we are introduced to?
Has anyone ever asked the gerbils if they liked it? -- RON Ė RODNEY, ON
Donít be too hard on them; our friends mean well. But I agree. Even the best intentions flop.
Iíll never forget the last time I was Ďfixed upí. We were barely ten minutes into the date when I found myself envisioning wiping off my fingerprints and rehearsing the 911 call.
For nearly three years, Iíve been dating a fantastic woman, who has recently begun dropping hints about us picking up the pace on the development of our relationship. Why canít people just leave things as they are? She and I are fabulous together. We spend two nights a week at my place, two at hers and the other three on our own.
Itís a perfect situation. Now she wants to wreck it. If I have to look at one more strategically placed catalogue, opened to the diamond ring page, I think Iíll snap.
I donít know exactly what sheís hoping for and am afraid to ask. Heck, weíve never even talked about our individual plans for the future, never mind our plans as a couple.
Youíre a woman; tell me how I can reason with her to leave well enough alone. -- JOSEPH Ė HAMILTON, ON
Youíre right, I am a woman. But Iím not a woman who wants a ring on her finger.
Looks like your lady friend, on the other hand, is tired of playing house; she might just be ready for the real thing.
But are you?
You need to find out what sheís looking for. Does she want a long engagement? Does she want to get married right away? What are her plans and hopes? What about kids, careers, and so on?
Then, once youíve compared notes, if you canít find a compromise, or youíre not prepared to meet her needs, the right thing is to set her free.
Before you freak out any further, have you stopped to think maybe youíre panicking over nothing? Maybe sheís hoping youíll buy her the diamond earrings beside the rings on the dreaded catalogue page.
Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: email@example.com.
Originally published in The London Free Press on January 9, 2003.