“Surely kids were next.”

Rob, 38, UK

When I met Angélina in 2012, friends and family were delighted. As a woman starting her own ballet school, there was an inevitable excited murmur that she would be “good with kids”. When me married three years later, expectations had been locked in – I was doing well as a director at an antiquarian bookshop in Mayfair, we’d bought a large flat together. Surely kids were next.

Privately however, we had quietly consolidated our position – it wouldn’t be the life for us. We would instead choose to focus on ourselves and each other; pursue goals of seeing the world together; challenge ourselves in our careers and work hard to fortify existing friendships while seeking out new relationships with the likeminded.

It has been only recently that we’ve felt able to be more confident in explaining ourselves. Questions still occur regularly from colleagues and, of course, parents of Angélina’s students. It’s not an unfair assumption, but it’s odd how hard it can be to simply, clearly say that we have other plans in mind without it sounding combative, or critical of those who have chosen to have children.

Approaching eleven years together, we have seen a great deal of the world hand-in-hand. The ballet school is approaching 1,000 students, and outside of the bookshop I have been able to devote time to new ventures in art-book publishing and Pilates. Angélina learns the piano and studies dance at a fellowship level.

Friends and family remain delighted, just for different reasons.

TAGS:30s Men UK