Advantages and disadvantages of an intimate relationship – to have children

TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2005

To be on your own has both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages include feeling truly isolated and forsaken at times, as well as feeling bored and frustrated with your own company. In times of intense loneliness, people tend to think of a relationship as heavenly paradise – with perhaps a little argument here and there to make it realistic.

Of course, an intimate relationship also has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits, as might be expected, have a lot to do with the disadvantages of being alone. The disadvantages of an intimate relationship, on the other hand, are related to the benefits of solitude.

At the end you have to decide for yourself whether the benefits of an intimate relationship – love, support, companionship – outweigh the disadvantages, including continual appearance, conflicting habits and preferences, being generous when you don’t really feel like being generous, and higher financial expectations; also whether the disadvantages of being on your own eventually outweigh the benefits.


One of two things needs to be considered when it comes to having children: a) We want to have a child, so let’s do our best, and b) pregnancy is already a reality, so what are we going to do?

The above must be taken into account in remarks about what motivates people to have children.

Another thing: I have much to say about parents who have children to fill holes in their lives, to satisfy their own emotional or psychological needs. The point is that in both the above cases the person cannot exactly claim that the child was conceived for the sake of the child – simply because the child does not yet exist! (More correct in the first case.)

It thus follows that adults, when they consider having a child, naturally do so for their own reasons and to satisfy their own needs. What else?

I-now have a life of my own. There is still an emotional umbilical cord between me and my parents, but I have to a large extent abandoned my parents’ ideas of an adult life and even their convictions, and have become my own man (so to speak). I too was conceived 34 years ago by two adults who had wanted to satisfy their own needs in the process of conception (I mean emotional needs rather than physical – yet it’s also true that a child is conceived in the first place because two adults want to and have to satisfy their physical needs.)

One cannot escape the reality that children are conceived because adults have their own needs to satisfy – whether physical, psychological or emotional needs, and of course often a combination of these needs.