When will be a good time to broach marriage and kids with my partner?

posted 5 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
696 posts
Busy bee

I definitely wouldn’t move in with someone without making sure you’re on the same page commitment wise – that you want the same things, have a similar timeline (or are willing to compromise), etc. I’ve been with my bf a little under a year and we just moved in together — but I made it clear that I didn’t want to do that without us agreeing that we see it as a step before engagement and that we both want marriage/kids with each other and have similar values. He was the first one to bring up moving in together and I stated that I view that as a big step and wouldn’t do it before we had these talks. 

How old is your bf? Are his friends marrying & having kids? I do think that a lot of guys don’t start thinking about these things at all till late 20s/early 30s, so if he’s your age I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just not on his radar yet. That said, I don’t think it’s too early to simply ask where he stands – his reaction will tell you a lot. 

Post # 4
4741 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

rachel351 :  You are in a fairly new relationship, and his words seem to be at odds with his actions.  I don’t blame you for feeling a bit insecure!   I’d suggest giving your relationship another six or seven months, then if all is well, bring up the subject again.   Moving in without commitment is rarely a great idea.  Best wishes to you!

Post # 5
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I would talk to him before moving in with him. Tell him your timeline, ex: I want to be engaged a year after we move in, if not then I’m out. That’s what I told my husband anyways. And tell him when you want kids and that 40s doesn’t work for you. If that isn’t what he wants it’s probably a deabreaker. 

Post # 6
1245 posts
Bumble bee


Astra :  +1

I agree that moving in without a commitment or plan is not a great idea.  I think complacency may then become an issue.


If his friends are all getting married, their lives will probably change quite a bit.  Especially if they have kids soon.

Does he realize that even if he puts off having kids, this won’t stop his friends from having them?  I think men sometimes assume that life won’t change around them 

Post # 7
151 posts
Blushing bee

My recommendation is definitely discuss it before you move in together or around your anniversary, whatever comes first. 7 months isn’t that long, but if you see each other every day or almost every day, it’s very possible your relationship has progressed a lot by that point (that’s how it was with my SO and I — we spent the night together literally every night starting ~2 months in, which made it a lot different than if we had been dating the same amount of time with only seeing each other for dinner dates 3x a week or whatnot, like we had done in previous relationships). 

But your boyfriend seems to be kind of unsure what he wants right now, and that’s exactly how my SO was FWIW. In my situation, it was because he had been single for a few years and was used to being alone and not having marriage or kids anywhere on the radar, and then all of a sudden we met and were inseparable and he started wanting those things with me, but was still processing it all since it’s a big change to go from very-single-very-independent to very-committed-thinking-about-rings-and-babies in just a few months. I think that’s totally normal and understandable, especially in mid-20s. I’d say let him sit with the idea a little bit longer and start getting used to it more, and he’ll either come around and be fully okay with wanting those things or he’ll decide he’s not at all ready and back off completely. It’s for sure scary and uncomfortable and hard to sit back and wait for someone else to sort out their feelings and catch up to how you’re feeling, but it’s important that he comes to his own conclusions in his own time, since pushing a conversation or a timeline at this point is likely to not be productive and instead frustrating for both of you.

Something to keep in mind is that if someone isn’t emotionally ready for marriage and a commitment, it’s difficult if not impossible for them to know when they WILL be ready, so having a timeline with someone who simply isn’t in that place yet might not work out very well. I think someone has to be ready to get engaged or at least very close in order to say with certainty that they will be prepared to propose in x number of months. With that in mind, maybe don’t plan on making a timeline during your first conversation about the future, instead just see where his head is at and come up with a timeline a bit down the road after he has more certainty with how he feels about the situation. 

Marriage really scared my boyfriend around earlier on in the relationship, but we’ve slowly continued talking about it and had a few more big conversations, and now it’s been 7 months or so since our initial (scary tearful frustrating) conversation about it. Since then, we’ve been ring shopping and have a plan for the future including what we both want to accomplish before we get engaged and when we want to get engaged/married (engaged within the next year or so, married spring 2019).

Hopefully all this helps! I don’t agree with bees on here who say that if he’s not ready or can’t commit to a timeline right now, you should pack your things — because everyone moves at their own pace, and not being ready yet doesn’t mean he never will be. Like for example, I’m not ready to have kids yet, and I can’t say for sure when I will be ready, but I’m still in my early-mid-20s and I know I’ll get there and I have time. It’s not like I am never going to have kids or don’t want to have kids with my SO just because I can’t currently commit to a date at which I’ll start trying. It’s the same type of thing. If you had been dating him for 3+ years and were both in your 30s or older, maybe my advice would be different, but I think it’s absolutely not a terrible omen that your 25 year old SO who you’ve been dating for 7 months isn’t ready for marriage right this minute. He may or may not get there, but don’t give up on him yet. Patience is hard, and it’s something I’m working on myself, but I have hope that it will all turn out for the best for both of us 🙂 Good luck bee!

Post # 8
1173 posts
Bumble bee

Ask him about it. Tell him what you’d ideally want and see how he feels about that. You have nothing to lose. He’ll either say that’s not how he sees his life going in which case you were never going to work out anyway or he’ll want the same things and you’ll know and can keep building a life together. 

Post # 9
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Personally I don’t think it’s ever too early to discuss kids/marriage- well, okay, probably not on the first date! I actually brought it up with my now-FI about a month into dating him, that I wanted kids and I wanted to get married as well, and the general timeline I had in mind for each. My thought was, well, I’d rather know now that we’re not on the same page before going too much further on this path with him. We were both 25 at the time. 

I think that men often don’t really have a great concept of how women can’t just decide they want to have a kid in their late 30s and just go for it, especially given that men seem to have no expiration date on when they can become fathers. It sounds like he’s more familiar with members of his family becoming parents later in life but hasn’t really thought about the actual biology that makes it more difficult for women to get pregnant the longer they wait. He might need a bit of gentle education on the matter. 

Post # 11
563 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think his words and actions are conflicting, a person can be CFBC and want to get married, also they can love kids (especially neices and nephews) and not want to have their own.

I think you should ask him now what is thinking on the topic. Tell him your thoughts as well, that you aren’t asking someone to make up their mind on the first date but also wouldn’t be compatible with someone long term who didn’t want them (if that is how you feel). He can at least start thinking about it then. 

Post # 11
326 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

You havent been together very long and you’re fairly young. I’d give it a little more time before you start thinking about this stuff. Just enjoy getting to know each other. 

Post # 12
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

It sounds to me like he’s very willing to talk about the future, and he’s being honest that he’s not ready for a baby right now which I think is very reasonable considering both your ages and the fairly short amount of time you’ve been together.  If things are going well I see no reason to stress about this right now.  It’s also a good sign that he has so many friends that are getting married and settling down, if those are the kinds of people he surrounds himself with, you can probably safely assume he shares the same values deep down.  Obviously it would be devastating if you got a couple more years down the road and he decided he didn’t want the same things as you but that’s the risk you take with dating anyone and even by that point it would be far from “too late” for you.  I understand the frustration, my boyfriend also says he just hasn’t thought about those things yet which is hard for my brain to compute when I’m thinking about them constantly.  but that just the difference between boy and girl brains.  girls are planners, men are fixers, they live in the moment, and the moment he starts seriously thinking about it is exactly when he’ll be ready to start acting on it.  you’re on the right track and he sounds like a sweet, genuine guy.  practice patience and have a little faith in yourself for having picked a good one 🙂 

Post # 13
2006 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

To be honest, in my 20s I didn’t want kids at all, but once my friends started having them, I started thinking ‘well, if they’re old enough, I guess we are too’, and we went ahead with it. He might just consider himself too young at this point, but once he gets a little older and more settled down he’ll likely be more receptive to the idea. It’s s pretty scary prospect to be responsible for another human life when you are just getting used to taking care of yourself 

Post # 14
1805 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think it is ever too soon to find out whether a guy (or anyone) wants marriage in his future! Anytime you want to know someting is a good time to find out. You can’t figure him out right now, what good would it be to wait 2 years then have him tell you he never has any intentions of getting married or having children?

As far as moving in, no one who wants to marry a person someday, should ever move in with them until they are engaged. If a guy has everything the way he wants it, why get married? If you keep your own place, moving out and moving on isn’t as hard if things hit the crapper.

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