In a romantic pickle? Get your questions answered by clinical psychologist Dr. Lian Bloch, in a feature we’re calling Love, Lenny.
Q: I’m a 24-year-old woman who is in a relationship with a 29-year-old woman. She is getting stressed out about the age difference because she feels that she has to start thinking about having children soon and doesn’t feel that I should have to worry about that yet. Also, my partner has only ever been in relationships with men and has never had to think about the alternatives to having kids, whereas I’ve had time to think about this. This is putting a strain on our relationship, as we are very much in love but have to think realistically as well. I feel like I should let her go so that in the long run her life will be easier, but I don’t want to do that because I love her so much. I don’t know what I should do. I would be so grateful for your help.
A. The good news is that you’re dealing with this major decision in a mature, caring way. “It sounds like you’re both concerned about stressing out the other with the impending decision about whether and how to have children. On the one hand, this signifies mutual respect and conscientiousness — awesome!” says Dr. Bloch. The bad news is there’s no easy fix here.
“Having children is a huge life decision that puts almost all couples through the wringer.”