It’s interesting how different a serious relationship looks when you’re 24 compared to a serious relationship at 30.
In your early to mid twenties, planning for the future with someone means you’re looking a year or two ahead. You might casually talk about moving in together one day, potentially getting married, and at some point, in the very far off distance, starting a family.
At thirty, you don’t have the luxury of waiting to have these conversations.
In fact, I started asking guys right off the bat on first dates (sometimes even earlier) what their views were on marriage and kids. It might not be the sexiest get-to-know-you chitchat, but I know what I want, and if you’re the type of man who hasn’t even contemplated fatherhood, well, you’re clearly not the dude for me.
If anyone – male or female – compares their 30-year-old self to their twenty-something self, they’ll probably find that at the later life stage they have a much better sense of what they DON’T want in a partner. Sure, we’ll never have it all figured out, but for me at least, there’s a lot less cloudiness and confusion at this age.
But even with this newfound romantic confidence, talking about the future is still an awkward conversation to have with a significant other. You can know without a doubt that you want to be with someone for the long haul, but social etiquette dictates that you hold off on the big relationship talks.
There’s a scene from one of the later seasons of Sex and the City that’s been knocking around in my brain the last couple of weeks. It’s in an episode where Carrie has just begun dating the pretentious Russian artist, Aleksandr Petrovsky, and they start talking about whether or not Carrie wants kids. She’s visibly uncomfortable discussing it with him, but he pushes her on the issue and tries to get a truthful answer. He reminds her that, at 38, she doesn’t have a lot of time to consider a course of action. Does she want them or not.
In the overly-dramatic voiceover, she agonizes over the fact that “it’s too early in her relationship to be having this conversation, but it’s too late in her life not to.”
That’s how I feel.
I don’t want to push the awkward discussions about “our future”, and what it might look like over the next year or two or ten, but I’m not 25 anymore. The “future” feels like it’s upon us. Or, at the very least, not nearly as far off in the distance as it used to be.
So, I guess I’m ready to embrace the awkward.
Having these conversations with the right person should mean that he’ll appreciate my frankness – my lack of a filter. And if it scares him off… well then, I guess I’ve got my answer.
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