Happily unmarried couple reaches impasse over kids

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for more than a decade. We’re nearly 30 now. We are happy not being married, and we both agreed early in our relationship that we would not have kids.

All of a sudden, my boyfriend has decided he wants children. I said maybe in the future, but he feels we’re running out of time. I still don’t want kids, and it’s for selfish reasons. I enjoy traveling, having time to myself and just the two of us, peace and quiet, being able to do what I want when I want without having to worry about kids. Is that so wrong? Where do we go from here? — AT ODDS IN MONTANA

DEAR AT ODDS: After 10-plus years, “the future” has arrived. It appears you and your boyfriend have reached a large fork in the road. From here you either go your separate ways or agree to relationship counseling to see if there may be a way to bridge this gap.

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DEAR ABBY: For the last 25 years, we have gone on several weekend getaways with another couple. They are now suggesting a one-week vacation together. The issue is, they constantly either talk to or text their children while we are with them. They call to tell them the weather, where we’re eating, get updates on their various sporting events, etc.

We also have children and grandchildren, but we wait until we return home to reconnect and hear about their weekend and tell about ours. We love our kids, but we don’t need to be constantly connected.

Except for us, this couple’s entire social life appears to revolve around their children’s lives, and it is pretty much all they talk about. We’re not sure we can tolerate this for an entire week. We don’t want to lose these friends, but don’t know how to decline a week of this. Please advise. — VACATION FROM THE VACATION

DEAR VACATION: Constantly texting and calling in the presence of others is rude. Because you are hesitant to call them on it, try this: Unless they know you take weeklong vacations with other friends, tell them you prefer shorter visits with other couples. In their case, it’s the truth.


DEAR ABBY: I recently received an email from the grade school-aged son of a close friend, which included a link requesting funding to support his school sports program. My friend told me to expect such an email.

I’m not certain how to respond, as I always encouraged my children to communicate face-to-face when soliciting funds for their school programs, but that was years ago, and I realize this is a new era. It just seems so impersonal to ask for money electronically, especially when I barely know the young man. Are my expectations wrong? How would you handle this? — CHECK’S IN THE E-MAIL

DEAR CHECK’S IN: Despite how the request was made, if you want to support the program, do so. If not, then don’t. Personally, I would ignore the email, and if I was asked about it, I would politely decline.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.