Dear all, I am in a bit of a predicament and I could use an outsider’s perspective on things, or even better, advice form someone who has experienced something similar. My partner and I have been together for just over 7 years. Our lives are entwined; we own property, we have a dog, share friends and family and we do most activities together simply because we enjoy each other’s company and share similar interests. We are generally very happy together and I love her dearly. We get along great and she makes me laugh everyday. I genuinely cannot imagine life without her. But my problem is this – I think I want to have a child, and she is sure that she doesn’t. I’m 34 and very aware that my biological clock is ticking, and perhaps hormones are playing a role but at the moment I have a fairly intense urge to have a child. That being said, this urge does fluctuate. The rationale part of me is telling me that I’m not even 100% sure that I do want to have kids, and that perhaps I’m just worried that soon the option will be taken away. At the same time I do think that this could be a protective mechanism that I have put in place to justify to myself staying with my partner and remaining childless. As I know for certain that if she came to me today and said let’s get pregnant, I would not have to think twice. My partner has been pretty open about not wanting kids, apart from at the very beginning of our relationship when she said she thought she did. After the first year she made it very clear she did not want children. And at the time I thought I was OK with it. The choice was to be without her and pursue having a child I wasn’t sure I wanted, or to leave her and have a child. The choice seemed an easy one; I did not want to be without her and I still don’t. So how do I satisfy this nagging voice in my head? It nags because I think we would make brilliant parents. However, the main reason my partner does not want to have children is because she worries she’d make a terrible parent. She suffers from severe anxiety, which I am convinced governs her feelings towards being a parent. She loves children and always loves spending time with her nieces and nephews. Sometimes I think that if I could just get her to see that she would make a great parent and not to be afraid of it then she would be more open to the idea. I know this is completely different, but she was terrified of getting a dog, but once we got him she realised it wasn’t so scary or difficult, and now she wouldn’t be without him. In fact, the dog has definitely made her feel less anxious in general. Anxiety seems to run in her family as all her siblings suffer with it. Yet they have kids and they always say the best thing that ever happened to them was their kids. And that their kids helped their anxiety levels as they helped to put their lives into perspective? Now, I have no experience of feeling anxious so I don’t know if this would be true or not for my partner, but I would hate for her anxiety to be the only thing holding her back from having a child. When we talk about having kids she says she just doesn’t want the responsibility of it, or for her life to change. But as we get older, our lives are changing. We go out less, drink less, spend more time with family – all things that a child would fit perfectly into in my opinion. I don’t know what to do. Though she (nearly) always said she didn’t want kids, part of me thought that would change over time. But it hasn’t. In fact, if anything she has become more certain of this fact. I need to come to peace with this some how, and stop dreaming of a family with her that I’ll never have. How do I do this without resenting her later on? I can’t imagine finding another partner and having a family with her, and I don’t want a child on my own. I just want to find a way to deal with the childless path laid out in front of me. If anyone has experienced something similar, I would love to hear from you.