Will he change his mind about having kids?

Hi Guys,

I’m 35 and in a loving and nice relationship. Of course the question about having children has crossed my head from time to time and it’s an experience that I probably don’t want to miss. My partner, on other hand, says that he’s feeling less and less interested. He said that this feeling is not related to me or to us. Also, it’s not a definitive no.

I know men and women approach this issue differently. As I said, I imagine that I want to have kids at some point (with him) but I haven’t felt the call yet. At the same time I know my age and I know we are not getting any younger. (I took this approach when I talked to him.)

I would like to have your opinion in what drives you guys to want or not want children. I would like that this is an issue that we answer together, but seems pretty obvious knowing my man that we will have to work it out separately…. You’ll call me crazy, but even I don’t feel the call yet. It really upsets me that he knows how he feels.

Thanks for your thoughts!


Dear Nina,

Kids, money, sex are the topics that create the most stress in relationships. We don’t know if you’re thinking marriage or not, but we’d strongly suggest working this out before you take any big steps forward.

You say you’re not feeling the call just yet. Well, is it possible that you’re not feeling the call because you know he’s not on board? You might want to think about that. The last thing you want to do is succumb to his wishes and regret your decision after it’s too late.

But let’s get back to your original question: What drives men to want children or not?

They want kids because: 1. They want to be a father someday. 2. They want to make their woman happy.

(Even if a  man is uncertain about having kids, or did it just because his wife/partner wanted kids, we don’t know of many men that regret the decision once they’re kids are born. Sure, being a parent is stressful, tiring and expensive but all the positive experiences that come from it outweigh any of the downsides.)

They don’t want kids because: 1. They have other goals they want to achieve. (Career, personal) And kids would get in the way. 2. They are scared that they might not be a great father. 3. They had a tough childhood with abusive parents and they vowed to never have kids. 4. They are immature and can barely take care of themselves. 5. They want to do what they want to do not be stuck taking care of kids. 6. They simply don’t want kids. (Some people just don’t.)

(There’s nothing wrong with not wanting kids. We have some guys here who don’t and sometimes they feel unfairly judged because of it. That said, some guys are just scared and don’t realize what an incredible experience it is.)

To finish up, we’ll reiterate what we said earlier. You need to work this out before you move forward and before too many years pass. Listen to your gut. If it’s telling you that you really want to try and have kids that’s not something you should ignore. We know you love this man and want to have kids with him, but if he’s not on board you might need to make a tough decision. Hopefully it won’t come to that and the two of you can get on the same page. We suggest you do some soul searching and decide what you really want. Being wishy washy yourself is not going to help you negotiate with him. You have to come to the table with clear ideas and goals.

Hopefully this helps clarify a few things for you. Let us know if you have any follow-up questions or thoughts. Leave them in the comments’ section below.


ps. We hope you’ll tell your friends about us. Thanks!


26 Comments on Will he change his mind about having kids?

  1. Hi my name is Isabel I have been with my boyfriend for a year and I wanted to know if he ever wanted kids? Because I want kids and he said “no I don’t ” I was really said and I want this relationship to end because he’s the only one I have ever loved so much and I would love to change his mind before it’s too late.

  2. @Isabel…..So how old is your boyfriend? Maybe he’s too young to make that decision yet. (Fill us in some more.)

  3. We are both 19 I was just asking him cause I was talking about the future- Isabel

  4. @Isabel….We suspected he might be young. Think of it this way. Guys don’t fully mature—emotionally/intellectually—until their late 20s. That said, he’s just a kid himself. He hasn’t experienced enough to know what he wants or doesn’t want. So right this moment he doesn’t want kids. He might do a complete 180 in 5-10 years. Obviously, we can’t guarantee that, but life can change a man. (And a woman.) Hope this answers your question. ps. We’re curious. So if you could have a perfect guy, what would he look like, be like, act like. Check out our post: The Perfect Guy? and leave us a comment there. ps. And we hope you’ll share our site with friends. Like our Facebook page. Thanks!

  5. Rainbow70 // October 12, 2016 at 7:25 am //

    Hi, my partner 45, I 42. He has a 6yr old daughter never planned by pervious partner. Recently I’ve started really wanting to be a mummy b4 much older. I’ve mentioned my feelings and his reply is: I don’t want another child, I never did, another would spoil all our plans and we’re too old.
    We talked about if by accident I fell pregnant (I’m on the pill) I said point blank I’d keep, he agreed and said we new what we were doing. During this conversation he said he may go get the snip, that was a few months ago and nothing yet.
    Whats your opinion plz

  6. @Rainbow70…….Opinion on what exactly? What exactly is your question? Should you try to get pregnant? Are you too old? Should you stay with him? What? Thanks….

  7. Lucy Hitchinson // December 9, 2016 at 11:53 am //

    My boyfriend of 7 years ended our relationship because he realised that he is sure if he ever wants children. He didn’t want to keep stringing me along as he knows I do want them. I am heartbroken, he never mentioned this before and we had discussed things like schools etc. We are both 29 and I can’t see how he can have closed off that avenue of his life, what does it take for a man to know they want children? Is the problem that he isn’t being open minded?

  8. @Lucy…..We are so sorry about your breakup. Hang in there. As far as your guy. Based on what you say this seems sudden. Which makes us wonder. (Our first thought was….) Have you considered that he could just be using it as an excuse because he doesn’t want to tell you the real reason he broke up with you? Or maybe he just has a feeling that he didn’t think the relationship was what he wanted so he used the one thing that he could because he knows you won’t compromise about that. Obviously we don’t know him personally, but this is a commonly used strategy. (FYI)

  9. The Hopeless Romantic // December 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm //

    My boyfriend and I are both 26. We’ve been dating for a year and three months now (two if you count a bit of on and off we had at the beginning. He says he doesn’t want children and I do. A few months ago he said he’d be open to considering it but recently we had a conversation about the posibility of moving in together and he said he wasn’t sure because he knew I wanted kids and he didn’t, and he didn’t want to lead me on. This broke my heart into pieces, though I appreciate the honesty. I know he’s had commitment issues since forever, hasn’t really been exposed to a lot of kids, and his brothers and closest friends are single and not really into the whole settling down thing. Also, he is very unhappy with his job and uncertain about his professional future. He’s still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life… He told me he saw me in his future and that he loves me but that he knows there is a huge difference when it comes to the kids part. A side of me wonders if his feelings will ever change. Maybe if he sorts out his career/professional plans he might give it some thought? Then another side of me is scared. What if I stay and he never changes his mind? How long should I wait? Ever since we had this conversation he’s been a bit distant and I’ve been questioning a lot of things. I’m hurting and I don’t know what to do. Appreciate the advice.

  10. @The Hopeless Romantic………If you truly want kids and he doesn’t we don’t think you should compromise. However, it’s possible he’s just scared and that he’ll change his mind. However, maybe he needs a push, or more of an ultimatum? Up to you of course. If you do that, things could backfire and he could break up with you. However, the last thing you want to do is compromise on something as important as that. You’ll grow resentful and the relationship probably won’t last anyway.

  11. James Beninati // February 5, 2017 at 10:50 pm //

    Hey there i am in a situation where my wife and i have been married nearly 3.5 years and prior to getting married were on the same page of wanting 1 child.
    As time has passed and actually creating a life together i have come to realise thay im not so crash hot on wanting a child. I feel that i wont be a good father pr raise it correctly and i have and still suffer with depression and anxiety and dont want to pass it onto the child.

    I just dont want to and it may sound selfish and petty but get forgotten about.

    Are there books aimed at males on this topic? Coz i dare say our marriage is on the line. Ultimately i want my wife to be happy but but its just agreeing at a time to start trying and when that time comes if my mind set is still the same then its just not fair on her having wasted all that time.

  12. @James…..We understand your fears and concerns. Is it too trite to say that what you’re feeling is pretty typical and that many guys feel just as you do? They’re worried about so many things: Passing on negative traits, not being a good caretaker, having no clue about kids, not wanting their lives to change dramatically. What we see is that you’re focusing only on the negative aspects of becoming a father instead of everything that’s amazing about it. We found a book that addresses your concerns. We haven’t read it, but it seems on target for your state of mind. https://www.amazon.com/Book-Guys-Dont-Want-Kids/dp/0321334280 (We hope it helps) You take care and let us know if you have other questions.

  13. Hello…Current life issue, I’m 25 and I live with my boyfriend who is 31. We have been together for 4 years and have had several conversations about children and marriage. I would love to experience both, his answer is always I don’t know. I recently brought up the issue of children again in hopes that, if I approach it as wanting to start preparing for children and aim to try to start a family in the next 5-7 years, he might be open to the idea. No go. Now he’s says no kids at all. I’m torn on what I should do. Stick it out and hope that he will come around or get out now?

  14. @Shalae……This seems to be a common dilemma. Will a guy’s mind change? We guess it depends on WHY he doesn’t want kids. If he’s just a little scared, and unsure of his ability to raise a child he might come around. But if he doesn’t want his life to change dramatically—it definitely will—then he might not change his mind. One other thought to keep in mind. Are you sure he’s not saying NO to kids in order to force your hand? Sounds like he’s dragging his feet on the marriage part too. What do you think?

  15. Hi guys! Been there. My boyfriend broke up with me few months ago, told me that he can’t give my happiness which is “BABY”. I’m turning 30 and he’s 36. He said he doesn’t know why he don’t like kids but I guess cos he came from broken family and tough childhood. His father have not been really good father to them, although he’s a good provider. He said that I might resent him from not having kids but I told him to think about it. Think about the positive side of having kids. Then after few days he sent me a pic of him carrying a new born baby of his mate followed by a smile emoji. Then everything back to normal again, but it’s been few months now and we haven’t talk about it. He said we will talk about it but we haven’t. Maybe I’ll give one year before I ask him about it. Oh well who knows, maybe he will change his mind. I just really hope. I want to have a family in 2 years. Really hard to be in a relationship where you are not in the same boat.

  16. @Mary…..Thanks for sharing. Our two cents: Our plan sounds fine, but we wouldn’t wait too long to figure this out. Take care.

  17. Hey guys. I’m 23 years old and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. My boyfriend has said that he “doesn’t like” the idea of kids and doesn’t want them in general. He thinks that at our age its like kids having kids. He thinks that you need to be financially stable and whatnot, which I agree with. He does not have any experience with children and he comes from a divorced family. The divorce had a very big impact on him. I’m very on the fence about children. I have always wanted them in the past, but now I’m not sure. I don’t know if this is because he has now told me his opinion on the matter. I work with kids and honestly, the thought of waking up accidentally pregnant right now gives me heart palpitations and anxiety. I also feel some family pressure. My mom has told me “to each their own”, but I feel terrible thinking that I may not give her grandchildren and that makes me feel guilty. I’m confused. I love babies! But toddlers and older kids, I like them less…I can imagine my life with my boyfriend without kids. Do I think that I’d be somewhat sad about not having them? Sure. But I can also still see me living a very happy life with just my partner. Thoughts?

  18. @Rachel…….We think you’re definitely being impacted by his opinion and the fact that you want him in your life. We get it. But we can tell you this. Don’t go against your gut. If you really want kids, and you suppress that feeling, you’ll resent him later if you stay with him and don’t have kids. But here’s the good news. You’re 23. Clearly you’re not ready right now. The whole idea scares you. Sure, the idea of becoming a parent is scary to everyone, but you’ll know you’re ready when your fear doesn’t deter you. You’re just not there yet. So, we’d suggest you give it a little time and not talk about it right now. Is he your age?

  19. Yes we are the same age. Thank you for the advice! I feel a little better now. Maybe in a few years or when I’m not scared of the idea of kids, we will revisit the topic of having kids.

  20. @Rachel….This is true for all aspects of life. We—meaning all of us on this earth—can’t know how we’re going to feel in the future until we get there. No use worrying about it now. 🙂 That said, when you do revisit it, revisit it for real. The two of you need to be on the same page. Glad we could help. ps. We hope you’ll let your friends know about us. Thanks.

  21. Hi guys, just looking for some advice… I have a 3 year old son from a previous relationship. Last year I met the most amazing guy at a kids play area with his son (who is a year younger than mine). Anyway we got on really well, I found out he was older than me (12 years older!) and had 2 older children too. However, we got on so well it didn’t bother me- I thought family & friends might judge but everyone was so happy for us. As time went on we introduced the children and everything was fine. He spent Christmas Day evening with me and my family after seeing his kids, we have been away for weekends, taken the kids to places, everything was going well.
    He was always the one who was really keen and at the beginning of the relationship he said how perfect things were and I said yes they seemed great, the only problem we might encounter was that he already had 3 kids (all same mum) and I only had 1 and would like another in the future, to which he replied that he loves kids, they keep him young, why wouldn’t I want another, it’s the cement of a loving relationship, etc etc.
    So things progressed, I took him to Rome for his 40th Birthday in February, when we got back he suggested us moving in together, I questioned whether it was too quick but he said it was the start of a new chapter for us, everything was great so we decided to go ahead and rent somewhere….
    he moved from his town to mine (10 miles away) and everything seemed fine. Obviously moving was stressful and we had his kids plus mine the day after we moved so everything was still boxed up. His 17 year old daughter was a bit of a diva and did a runner from her mums knowing he would go after her. She said she was upset she wouldn’t see him as much (although she sees him at least 7 out of 14 days!- pretty sure I didn’t see my dad that much at 17 and I lived with him!) anyway, we dealt with it together, I explained how she was probably feeling pushed out but was welcome whenever. Me and her actually got on well and I’d taken her out for days to bond. Anyway we took all the kids to the safari park one Saturday and then he came home after dropping his kids off (my son was in bed) and dropped the bombshell he doesn’t want any more kids. This happened 11 days after moving in together! I’ve tried to talk to him but he’s adamant his mind is made up now- I said but you told me you wanted them, he said he did, and his gut was to go for it but he’s got so many gremlins in his head that he’s been fighting and they’ve won. He had a bad time of it with his ex and there was a 10 year age gap between their middle and youngest due to miscarriages, eptopic pregnancies etc. Then she had to have an emergency hysterectomy and after all that they split up and he now has a toddler (and older 2) to deal with alone every other weekend and twice a week. He kept saying to me ‘what if we split up and I had to deal with a toddler at 43/44 years old on my own? He’s very anxious and has been damaged by his ex severely, I said I was willing to support him through counselling or anything he needed to then see if anything would change but he reckons he can just shut off those gremlins if he doesn’t have another child. I just can’t understand, he agrees that everything else is perfect between us and he has even said he might live to regret it because we do have such a good relationship- but we’ve split up. He’s since messaged me saying he loves me, he’s sorry, he’s messed up, etc. But he can’t get over the ‘what if’ and he’s freaked out and can’t go back on it. It’s absolutely killing me being apart from him and he says the same about being away from me but he just can’t get over that hurdle, so do I go back to him and not have another baby? Or leave it as it is and know we are both unhappy?

  22. @Lizzy….Honestly, this question deserves more of an in-depth conversation rather than a quick answer from us here in the comments. (We encourage you to think about trying our Ask a Private Question option. Yes, there’s a fee so read testimonials if you’re skeptical.) That said, we can understand why he doesn’t want another kid. Starting over after having gone through it three times is a daunting thought indeed, even if it’s with a woman he loves. So the question is: Will you forever regret not having another child and will you grow to resent him if you do go back? That’s the question you have to answer. And frankly, you may not know the answer until—we hate to say this—but it’s too late to do anything about it.

  23. Hi,

    Been with my boyfriend 3.5 years wonderful man he’s 43 and I’m 30 he has a 21 year old son in the Air Force. We love each other very much and he has told me I’m the love of his life after having a terrible marriage for 14 years. He’s been legally separated for 7 years and now finalizing his divorce and things got very nasty quickly with his ex thus he asked for some space to get through his mess and enrolled in Christian Counseling to figure out how he wants to approach life and make peace with his past before we can move forward.

    Before all of the above he was open to having another baby because he loves children- now yesterday he said he’s on the fence because some days he wakes up missing cuddling, snuggling and being with a baby (and recently had a dream about having one) and then other days he’s not so sure. I told him to let me go if that was the case because a child is non-negotiable for me as I do want a child at least 2 years down the road. He said he didn’t say NO altogether just needs some time to get his life in order and plans in place so we can move forward. Any ideas?

  24. @Erica……We understand both sides. If you want a family then that’s not something you should compromise on. Not only would you regret it, but you’d grow to resent your partner. That said, we understand why he’s unsure. He’s been through it already and had the experience. The thought of starting over is a bit overwhelming for him, especially since he’s having such issues with his ex. A child represents him feeling stuck, even if the experience will be different with you. Here’s our suggestion: Don’t play hard ball just yet. Make him understand that you want to have a child with him, not just with anyone. Talk about how great a father he’ll be and make it seem exciting and fun, not a burden. Help him understand how important it is to you, and remind him how important it was to him the first time around. And then see what happens over the next few months. Maybe after his life has settled down he’ll think differently. But for the immediate future, give him some space on the issue. Meaning, wait a few weeks or so before you bring it up. And when you do bring it up, try to do it in context. Like if you see a couple with a baby or something like that. Don’t sit him down and make it a heavy conversation. THAT SAID…..if he doesn’t come around you need to be clear with him about what you want. NOTE: Remember, there are no guarantees that he might not change his mind again even if he does agree to having another child. And do you only want to have one child or were you hoping for more?

  25. Carly Ambrose // August 29, 2017 at 9:35 am //

    Hi, looking for advice. My partner and I have been together for nearly two years, just bought a house together this year. Last year we went through a rocky patch as he said he didn’t want children, we spoke at length, I told him that it was something that I wanted a choice with when the time was right. I shared my thoughts and feelings and he shared his doubts, to me it was fear that was putting doubts in his head. We resolved the issue, he said that our love outweighed his fear and he would be open to children in our future. Roll on maybe 10 months and he has turned around and changed his mind. We have a mortgage together… he recently lost his father.. my sister had a baby and I think this had culminated in his head once again. I’m 31 he is 29. I’m lost, I don’t know what to do, hang in there because he is going through a tough time at the minute and see if he changes his mind again? I love him very much and have pictured our future together but I need to have that opportunity to have a child, I may not be able to, I’ve never tried before but at least have the choice to try. Advice is definitely welcome x

  26. @Carly……Is this something you learned AFTER you bought a house together, or is this something he told you early on in your relationship? Any plans on getting married? (Or were there?) What are his reasons for not wanting kids? What does he say when you tell him that you want an opportunity to at least try?

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