I'm 26 now and only starting to consider it. I still don't know if I'm ready or if my gf is "the one". She has a ton of faults, mostly relating to her past(several things I still struggle to accept), but on the other hand I have the growing feeling that she's the best I'm gonna get. I've never been an active/promiscuous dater to begin with, but I certainly don't feel like returning to the single scene. I've always known I wanted to settle down and start a family at least by the time I was 30, or more specifically in my mid-late 20s. Well holy crap in a hat, suddenly here I am. I have certain goals in my life, and with mortality a bit of a factor, these goals do have time frames I'd like to aim for. I find myself now within the age/timeframe I had wanted to get married and start a family. On top of that, I'm even lucky enough to have a woman who shares these goals. The idea of being forever tied down to her intimidates me a bit, but on the other hand I feel like I'm getting too old and too tired to dump her and start over from scratch just for the slim possibility that I might find someone else better (especially within the next few years). She already has an ex-husband and two kids from him. I have nadda. I always told myself that when I end up having kids to raise, they better at least be my own. Chicks with kids used to be a deal-breaker for me. Obviously that's something I've let slide here. I like the kids though. The only thing I don't like about them is that their dad exists and they treat him like a celebrity when they get to see him as if he ever does shit for them. Anyway, I seriously hate almost everything about my Gf's past (things I don't think I'll get into right now). Sometimes it's harder to deal with than others, but I think it's getting easier with time. But since she's been with me, she's been great. I don't think I could ever ask a woman to treat me better than she does. I adore her most of the time. We have talked about marriage and kids, and she is willing to remarry and have more kids for me. I'm still not crazy about the idea of settling for somebody that most people (myself included) would consider used/damaged goods, especially to the extent that she is. But we're good together. We have compatible values and goals, and a lot of passion. Things are good now and potentially great for the future. I really think she's the best woman out there for me, over all, and I do not want to go back to the drawing board and start "looking" again. Part of me wants to just get it over with and propose sometime in the reasonably-near future. Then another part of me is pretty reluctant to make any specific plans to that effect. I don't know why though, it's not like I'm going anywhere; I won't leave her. I think I still suffer from "nice guy finishes last" syndrom and I feel like tying the knot with her would be the final nail in my coffin, making it official that I'm a loser who couldn't do any better ..than finish last (after everyone else has already been there and done that). There is nothing I can offer that would be a first for her. She has SO much more experience than me with relationships, sex, ect, I feel like I'm just the last in a long line now that she's done it all and decided to "settle down" in her own way. I'm settling for someone whom I feel is settling for me. She's all used up and tired of the bs she would get from the type of guy's the traditionally hooked up with. I'm settling for her because all my life has evidenced that I can't do any better, I should quit my bitching, and appriciate what I finally do have. Considering how most San Antonio girls are, I could certainly do a lot worse, after all. I do want to "be" married. I want to be able to say "this is my wife" and "these are my kids". I want the kids to refer to us as "mommy and daddy" rather than "mommy and john". Her family likes me and mine likes her. Technically, there are no problems here and we should be good to go. But I think I have some personal or self esteem issues that have still never been fully resolved.