Life Advice



Ask Amy: Childfree man doesn’t love the ball pit

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a recurring issue when going out with my girlfriend's brother.

Every time we plan to go out with him and his wife, the outings revolve around their children.

As a happily childfree man in his 40s, I have no desire to spend my Saturday watching kids play in a crowded play space.

I have suggested activities that are child-friendly, like the bike park or skiing. These are activities I would also enjoy, yet they still aren't suitable for his youngest child, so my ideas get shut down.

My girlfriend wants me to have a relationship with her family (and I do, too), but these kid-centric hangs are like torture for me.

How can I explain that I don't want to hang out with her young nieces without upsetting the balance?


– Happily Childfree

Dear Childfree: These young parents are very caught up with their children. Since this is basically the definition of being a parent, you should accept that this is their life, their choice, and quite possibly their greatest joy.

Even people who love children and love being with children can find spending Saturday mornings at the ball pit or Gymboree with kids who are not related to them pretty torturous.

Your girlfriend is an aunt to these children. She is heavily vested in this relationship.


swipe to next page




Adam Zyglis Scary Gary Caption It A.F. Branco Bart van Leeuwen Cathy