Early 30s handwringing thread! Should I WANT to get married? Because I don't…

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  • Early 30s handwringing thread! Should I WANT to get married? Because I don't…
  • Premier Icon wallop

    You are still young. Can you imagine life without her?


    Ok I do not want ot appear mean, so don’t take this the worng way:
    Are you sure you ahve the right girl?
    I and lots of my mates, have partners who partake and or encourage their men to go out and hunt have their little adventures. It stops us from feeling all trapped, gives us the release we need, and we can still carry on being fertlizing, cash providing, heros!

    Talk to her about it, you might find she is cool with you adventuring as long as you give her what she wants. Don’t be pussy whipped, it leads to a life of misery.


    Do what your instincts tell you. You’ll end up disliking your lifestyle, maybe yourself, and possibly your girl if you do something because it’s what’s expected of you

    There are no rules or set pattern of what you should be doing at a certain age

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    My thoughts, it’s perfectly normal for the female half of the relationship to want marriage more than the male side. However, I agree with toys19, she may not be the one. There are ladies out there who tick all the “normal” boxes, and like to do the stuff you’re worried about sacrificing. I know, I married one!

    She comes mountain biking with me, we’ve both decided we don’t want kids, we share goals, ideals and aspirations and she’s okay with the fact that I turn if the kitchen into a workshop, or for the next 20 weeks, a training room.


    My SO has never ridden a bike OP. Sometimes yyou need space- what should you do? Discuss bicycles in bed?

    Shes nesting. Dont let her be an old mum. If you are commitment shy let her be with someone else. Harsh? Man up and make woman of her.


    I’m not saying she needs to ride a bike, but she needs to understand how important it is to you.


    Ask yourselves, does my being with this partner make me a better person?

    And vice versa?

    Your responses to this might give you both some direction.

    Are you and your partners friends as well?

    You don’t need to tons in common all you need is a little respect for each other – which does involve not being too selfish. You should each have your own interests and goals but you may need to compromise on something’s a little.

    Tbh your post reads a little like you’re scared. Perfectly natural.


    I think its fairly normal for both to expect different things, and its not that unusual for a bloke not to want kids – I reckon that that only really changes once they’re born, and the responsibility hits you like a sledgehammer!

    However, frankly, if you really don’t see your future lying in that direction its unfair for you to string her along expecting something – Its a cliche, but you need to remember that her clock is ticking


    Tell her

    Otherwise it will be


    And I guarantee there won’t be trips to Nepal and cycle touring in Norway once they get their claws into your wages!


    OK, apologies, but I’m hardly the first to ask for relationship advice on here, and people seem generous with it. Also, this isn’t a whine, I’m enjoying a nice dilemma of committing to a beautiful red head or a life of continued messing about in the outdoors.

    What I want to know is should a guy actually WANT to get married and commit to settling down and having babies, or is this just what we do because our partners want it? (as my girlfriend puts it “out of duty”)

    I’m in a good relationship but we have completely different interests. We acknowledge it and it hasn’t come between us in a big way yet. However I’m now freaking out as she seems to have the next 5 years planned out to the point where she’s discussing the decor of the flat we’ll be sharing in Edinburgh and expects to have at least one child in the next 3-4 years.

    I tentatively agreed to this stuff early on because I thought it was ‘what I needed’ i.e. something to give my life some focus etc. but now I’ve been living and working out of the country for 2 years, I’m suddenly not ready to abandon the freedom to move around and have some more adventures, visiting Nepal at the very least, if not hiking/cycle touring Norway or even trying my hand at volunteering abroad if the construction trade slows down again in Scotland.

    Basically I worry about sacrificing the (mostly self indulgent) things I love for things I’ve never really aspired to (kids and weddings).

    I guess I’ll get a slightly biased answer on a predominantly outdoorsy website, just like the 30-40s hiking group I was out with yesterday (funny how there’s so many singles in these clubs…) but I’m just interested to see if someone can convince me I just need to MTFU (marry the **** up, naturally!).


    Perfectly normal to not want to get married and have kids and if what you really want is to travel and have some adventures then that’s what you should do.

    That’s the good bit, now the bad bit.

    If you do decide that this is the route you want to take then remember that decisions like this are not consequence free. It may well be that you will have to sacrifice your current relationship in order to allow you to have your adventures. Afterall you can’t expect your partner to sti around twiddling her thumbs waiting for you to get all this out of your system.

    My advice is that you and your partner need to have an open and honest conversation about what you both want out of life.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    You only have one life.

    For me, I think you’ve asked the wrong question. It’s not “should I want to get married,” it’s around this:

    I’m enjoying a nice dilemma of committing to a beautiful red head or a life of continued messing about in the outdoors.

    Why are these mutually exclusive? Is she preventing you from doing things you enjoy, or are you just electing not to because you think it’s what she wants? What about your five year plan?

    As Gonefishin says, you need to have a frank and honest discussion about what’s important for both of you. Have you told her everything that’s in your OP? If you haven’t then you’re doing both of you a disservice.

    As a wise man once said, there are many fine looking women in the world, but they don’t all bring you lasagne at work.

    Or something.

    I think hora should have an agony aunt column in a national, I really do.

    ‘Man up and make a woman of her’


    I was with a gorgeous girl for 5 years up till I was about 27 she started talking marriage etc and I just didn’t want to get married and settle down. I liked having few ties, disposable income and moving around.

    I’m now engaged to another gorgeous girl and getting married in August. It’s obvious now I hadn’t met ‘the one’ (pass the suck bucket) it wasn’t about giving up the things I like as I have found I don’t need to.


    Make a decision soon in fairness to her ticking biological clock.

    Good observation at the end of your post – outdoors people = free spirit/attitude problem (depending on your perspective)
    = low fertility rate.


    How old is your girlfriend? Unfortunately the urge to settle down and procreate comes earlier in most women because the biological clock is ticking. To me, it comes down to loyalty and whether or not you see yourself getting on with her once the first flush of love (or lust) has died away and you are in a humdrum day to day relationship. If you think that can work and you feel loyal to her, then it’s time to settle and get the kiddy thing going. FWIW my son was born when I was 42 and my wife was 40 and now, 15 years later, we both agree that earlier would have been better because in your 50s you don’t have the energy that you had earlier. You do have a bit more experience though.

    If you don’t stay with her, don’t worry about the longer term because you will know when you are ready to settle down.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    If you are having doubts about being with her for life then you have already answered your own question

    It’d unfair to her to let her think you want what she wants, if you love her enough you should tell her this so she has time to find someone who wants the same as her


    If you love the outdoor lifestyle so much, wouldn’t you love to be able to share that with your kids? If you wait too long, your idea of being out and about might be too sedate for your average 12 year old.

    FWIW, my eldest is 11, the youngest is 6 and I know that I’m going to be in a world of trouble trying to keep up with her when she’s in her teens (I’m 41)

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    How old is she? If it’s the same age as you, then it’s pretty natural as a woman at 30 to be planning the next few years if she wants to have kids at all. If you’re not willing to give her that, and the stability associated with it (in her view, marriage and living together), or are going to dither and mither over it for another five years, perhaps it will be in her best interests to find another partner sooner rather than later, however much she loves you now.

    If the above is true, she wants to be a mum, and not an old one at that. You should be grateful that she’s being up front with you, and you should sort your head out quickly and be up front with her, if you love her and want her to be happy.


    It’s not really about marriage is it? It’s about whether you need to change, and want to change, in order to continue your relationship. From what you’ve written, in your position I’d probably bail. Find someone who shares your life goals, and you might not see marriage as the end of your freedom, but the start of an even bigger adventure.


    Echo most of the comments above. If she wants kids and you don’t then move on


    Is your choice really one or the other? In my 30s I was ridding most weekends going on biking holidays and living a hedonistic night life (late irresponsibility after end of early marriage) I met crankygirl and she essentially just joined in. Our life now is very different with house , child and her at uni training for a new career but it is a point we have grown to together not archived by sacrifice on either side. What I am saying is for me a good relationship has being doing the things I love with someone who respects and encourages them. Perhaps we are helped by the fact neither of us wanted or were looking for a “conventional ” relationship but it seems that is what we now have.

    My failed marriage was very much the doing it because that was what was expected and the done thing type .


    From some of the responses your situations sound totally different to the OP- reading his post he is happy with his girlfriend, I think hes angle is more about marriage and fear of losing lifestyle/way of life with kids.

    Its natural to be scared (and its not selfish no matter what oldtimer or others) may say to fear losing your disposable income/eternal 20’s/youth.

    Another STW’er once said to me ‘Ive gone from being Burt to being known as Jane and Julie’s Dad’.

    There is nothing wrong with having diverse interests IMO. Whats more important is the chemistry, the ability to sit on the sofa for 4hours without saying much but being content and not even noticing the silence etc.

    Thats another thing its FIVE YEARS off. In that time you’ll have thoroughly rung out your 20’s. Your views/wants and desires will have changed.

    Make an honest woman of her. Why fear the future? If things werent right in your relationship then I could understand.

    Oh and when you have kids, you still get pissed, ride your bikes because children need a destressed and happy Father who is socially interesting and can show his child new tricks, sights and hobbies.


    Mrs G told me it was fine for me to go to the alps for THREE weeks in the month before our wedding and return one week before the wedding as long as I didn’t break myself. At that point I was certain I was doing the right thing.


    some excellent advice and quality comment there. My two penneth is that I have known Guys who are like you….or a Guy anyway. He was never the settling type, loved the outdoors and now works for overseas charitys doing projects. He’s mid 50’s, no relationship, no kids and seemingly happy enough about it. But I wonder how he will feel in ten years time?

    Anyway, I think its all about compromising. Sometimes you do things you’d perhaps rather not do, in the knowledge that it will reap rewards in the fullness of time. You just need to make sure you get your ‘own time’ along the way.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    What I want to know is should a guy actually WANT to get married

    What do you mean SHOULD?

    There’s no script. You do what feels right. There are no external factors. If marriage feels like the right thing then do it. If not don’t.

    I got married because it was so obviously the right thing for me to do. No questions. If there are questions then perhaps it’s not the right thing to do.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Here’s another question: Do you want kids? And what age do you want to be when they’re 13, 14 and maybe wanting to go out bikepacking or travelling with you?

    You may feel this is particularly about marriage, but really it’s about kids. Marriage on its own doesn’t change an awful lot, kids change everything. And not necessarily in an awful way, but that’s my individual perspective obviously, as I wouldn’t be without them for the world.

    If you pull away now, though, and have adventures for three years, it could be five or six years before you’re with someone at the point of trying for kids, so you could be in your 50s by the time they’re in their early teens, even assuming no fertility hiccups.

    You do need to put yourself in your older shoes, not just thinking about what you’d like to do in the next two years, but what you’d like to have around you in middle-age and beyond.


    He was never the settling type, loved the outdoors and now works for overseas charitys doing projects. He’s mid 50’s, no relationship, no kids and seemingly happy enough about it.

    Sort of OT- I’ve known a guy for years- eternally single. I (and another) have had a suspicion for years that hes gay. Nothing hes ever said, no signs. Just a gut-feel. The sad thing is why he can’t come out and say it to us.

    Oh and when you have kids, you still get pissed, ride your bikes because children need a destressed and happy Father who is socially interesting and can show his child new tricks, sights and hobbies.

    Good sound advice that.


    Nobeerinthefridge- I’ve seen friends who argue, seem to exist as vehicles for their kids. One even said to me ‘shouldn’t you be spending time on parenting rather than off riding a bicycle’. Almost said with resentment and telling me to grow up.

    So having children means worrying that when they are at school you are bad for not being there, try to over-compensate, try to be their friend?

    What sort of life is that?

    A balance is best. Creates a happy family and a strong couple.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    I tentatively agreed to this stuff early on because I thought it was ‘what I needed’ i.e. something to give my life some focus etc.

    Or possibly just what you thought she wanted to hear? I know a few “definitely don’t want kids” people who’ve not wanted to drop that too early for fear of killing the relationship.

    Some jewish friends told me about the “marriage classes” they did (I know some other cultures have similar). In some ways they’re anachronistic, coming from when people would be living together (and away from their parents) for the first time. What they found really valuable though was structured discussion about what their plans were – rather than continue the arrangements with all kinds of assumptions on both sides, to properly discuss kids, money, how they want their home to run, etc. It gets it all out in the open and any compromises can be discussed then rather than being a surprise later (or too late).

    Sounds like you could do with similar. It might not be something you both want to face up to, that you want completely different things, but probably better to do it now, not in a few years. It might be that you can both compromise to something you’re both happy with and you have a new, clear course ahead.


    Or maybe the Jewish marriages stay together better as Orthodox Jewish women are hot/gorgeous. FACT.


    OP I think I’ve been very much where you are. A number of years ago I was feeling very much like you describe. I’d always been upfront and honest about the marriage and kids thing with my SO (not really into either was the gist) but it was becoming more and more there! and I was feeling a bit trapped/concerned about life changing, I’d not had much adventuring for a year or so at that point. So I buggered of to Thailand for 3-4 weeks (at less than a days notice) to get some space and have a think, no idea what triggered me to do that, fairly out of character tbh. I came back just as confused as I was when I left, until I got home and saw her and we spoke. Yes that was pretty mean, we both agree on that, but both agree it needed to happen at the time. A few more happy years and we got round to the marriage thing (3 month honey moon 🙂 ) and a few years later we had a baby, he’s a year and half now and he makes me smile every single day. Most dads are reluctant dads, doesn’t mean you wont love it. Last couple of years have been a bit light on the big adventure front with a house renovation and the little one but I’m getting back to it now, I’ve done a few races and keep active and get out there every week in one form or another (bike, running etc)
    She’s always supported me in my little adventures and has never said no even when some have been a bit of a financial stretch. I’ve just signed up to a weeks race away, sailing running and cycling. Financially I should be sensible (it’ll not put us on the bread line by any means, but a few things round the house might have the wait a bit, nice to haves) but I want\need to do this stuff and she understands that and always supports me in them.

    Yes I do a bit less than I used to, but I love her and our son and our life (Except work which is a bit of a bore at the moment, next year time for a change me thinks).

    Hora’s right balance is what it’s about.



    Coping with a teen in your fifties is perhaps easier, less personal ambition and more enthusiasm for helping out with whatever the kids want to do. A friend copes with a teen in his seventies. They do more together than any other parent and teen I know.


    Because I don’t…

    If this is true, then there’s someone else you really need to say this to.


    . A friend copes with a teen in his seventies. They do more together than any other parent and teen I know.

    24hours in A&E- the old Dad and his doting/devoted young son was one of my favourite moments.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    33 when we got married. Wasn’t completely sure but wouldn’t change it now for the world.


    When they want to settle down they want kids. You have to be clear with each other on that. My kids are the best things that happened to me, but not halfway through a part time degree and working full time!

    If you foolishly drift into the wrong marriage, you can get out of it. But getting out of it with kids involved is so much worse for everyone.

    do the right thing and let her go and be with someone that really cares for her and wants what she wants…the fact you are asking says it all…don’t keep her hanging on she has a maternal clock don’t waste that for her…that would be very selfish !

    Oh for what its worth having children and sharing the the things you love is a great experience…but if its not for you then hey ho…

    It rather sounds to me that you either haven’t met the right girl yet, or that you have met the right girl, but you’re just not ready for these things yet. There’s no set rule as to when you should get married or have children. Some people I know wanted to from an early age, and were married by 25 and having kids, some (like me) didn’t and are now in their 30s/40s and either having kids now or not having kids.

    I think you need to make sure that you do actually want children, because if deep down you don’t, then you should set you both free to follow your own dreams.

    Life is about compromise, and you will both need to compromise if you want to make it work. You will need to reign in your adventures a little to be a good husband/dad, she will need to allow you space to follow your heart as much as you can.

    We’ve always said to each other that we would never stand in the way of something we wanted to do within reason, so we never feel the need to seek permission to do things, and never feel restricted in our choices. We trust each other enough to know that we wouldn’t make a choice that would be detrimental to the other. It’s a good indication that your with the right person, irrespective of different interests.


    Wow cbmotorsport- well said.

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