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This Couple Is Struggling With Differing Opinions On Whether They Want Children

"I've come to a point where having children has become very real and it plays on my mind constantly. I feel like there's a hole that needs to be filled."

Hey there, cyber besties and all aliens who are tuning in, it's me — Hameda. Every couple of weeks I give advice to a lovely reader who submits a request through my DMs.

From time to time, I'll get a DM that's tough for me to answer — mostly, because I have strong biases that aren't necessarily helpful for you guys, but also because I sometimes have no personal experience in the matter.

In this gorgeous DMer's case, it's especially important that we keep an open mind, seeing as it's dealing with an issue that will most certainly affect their life either way. I've enlisted the help of another who has faced a similar dilemma, but I'll also provide some of my own direction in ways that are appropriate.

Essentially — I'm still going to be giving advice that'll hopefully help the reader in their decision-making process.

All that being said, here's the DM that I received:

Firstly, I'd love to congratulate you on the longevity of your relationship — seven years isn't an easy accomplishment in any circumstance — and it seems that you've grown as a person alongside the partnership that you've been tending to.

But I'd also like to point out that 21 is a very young age when it comes to making huge life decisions — like whether or not you want to have children. I'd hope that your partner understood this when you were having that initial chat.

I doubt that anyone over 25 holds all of the same ideologies that they had when they were 21. When I was that age, I wanted to be married by 25 and have children by 30. Now, the thought of monogamy makes me panic and I'm absolutely certain that I do not want to birth any children. But who knows? In another six years, that might change. 

I believe that a lot of our personal philosophies throughout our growth and development are fluid. That's the beauty of self-discovery — it never actually ends. Just like the universe itself is ever-expanding, so are we (at least in terms of our mental and emotional growth). So it doesn't surprise me that your feelings towards something as life-changing as having children have changed — and you definitely shouldn't feel guilty for it.

You mentioned that your partner has begun to consider the idea of having children with you, with certain guidelines in place to keep things as smooth-sailing as possible. You're also worried that these compromises may cause your partner to become resentful. Which brings me to the question — are you certain that you won't become resentful if they decide to stick with their initial decision?

If having children is something you feel so strongly about, it's likely that you're going to feel that absence as you grow, despite how much you love and care for your SO. The decision to have or not have children is one that will drastically change the path of your life. 

If we look at our life on this planet as singular, wouldn't you want to live it in the most selfish way possible? Hear me out. Being selfish isn't always a bad thing. It just ensures that you're spending every conscious second that you've been given doing exactly what you want and taking advantage of this opportunity. If one of you isn't all-in for this decision, then things could turn bad down the line, when the true implications are felt. This'll result in the mourning of time wasted, because time really is the most precious thing we have.

Now, I'd like to open to a contributor who has faced a similar situation — who has elected to remain anonymous to maintain their privacy.

"The truth is, there is no magic answer that will remedy your issue, but my advice to you would be to clearly visualise two very different futures for yourself — with and without children. If you can do that and ultimately feel, in your gut, that you could truly be happy in both scenarios, then I'd say your current relationship could continue in a healthy manner."

"However, if you visualise both futures and feel any sense of longing/regret/disillusionment with your 'childless' path, then you need to be brutally honest with your SO and come to an agreement on whether you're both happy to try for kids, or whether you need to now walk away from the partnership, to give you each a shot at the futures you really want for yourselves.

Just don't, under any circumstances, give your SO an ultimatum — his decision cannot be forced, it's not fair on the two of you, or the children you might bring into the world. Just lay all your cards on the table and be prepared to walk away empty handed."

Well there you have it, internet chums. That's all of my advice for today. If you have anything you want to add, feel free to share in the comments.

If you've got a question about a problem, have a thought you can't seem to resolve, or want another opinion on a scenario in your life, you can DM me about it on Instagram (@itshameda) or Twitter (@hamedanafiz) to be featured in the column.

You can also drop in questions and submissions in the comments for consideration — if that's something you're comfortable with.

P.S All submissions are for publication on BuzzFeed only.