Ep 1 | Are they serious?

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Ep 1 | Are they serious?

When Dalia said she could carry her best friend Mohsin’s baby, she was… half-joking? But now, they’re talking about it for real. Mohsin and his new husband want a child, and Dalia could be the one to make it happen. So, will they? Won’t they? They’ve committed to exploring the possibility together, before reaching a final decision. But who are these two? Why are they even considering doing this? They reflect on their friendship origin story – how they met, and the turbulent years that bonded them together for life. And then, they look forward, dreaming about how a surrogacy could work, and sharing their hopes and fears.


MOHSIN: Do you know when I knew that I was bonded to you, I guess? Can you guess?

DALIA: No, I’ve got no idea.

MOHSIN: It was when we had that argument over the Ferrero Rocher. We had a physical fight over the last Ferrero Rocher, and we actually wrestled on your floor! [LAUGHTER] And it ended up rolling underneath the table!

DALIA: It was genuine! It was so genuine! [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: And I think like, I think that was one of the few examples of my guard just being completely down, because I couldn't have imagined wrestling with anyone, you know?


RUTH (HOST): This is a story about friendship and family; about hopes and fears; about the joys and the difficulties of life. It's about two people. These two people, talking about rolling around on the floor over a chocolate.

They are lifelong best friends Mohsin and Dahlia. And this is Tiny Huge Decisions, a show where we follow them as they make a potentially life changing decision.

I'm Ruth Barnes, and I've been working with Mohsin and Dalia for a few years now, following their journey through its ups and downs, and finally getting to an ending; of sorts. An answer to one of the biggest questions you can ask a friend: should I carry your baby?

Mohsin and Dalia have been close friends since they met as students at Oxford University, almost twenty years ago. They’ve been through a lot since then – Mohsin’s trained as a lawyer and has published a critically acclaimed memoir, and Dalia is a medical anthropologist. There’s been some other big life changes – we’ll get to those. But back then, they were just two young people with an instant connection.

DALIA: I just…immediately when I met you, I thought we're definitely going to get on and,

I think what attracted me to you at first was like, very obviously, we both seem to share the same sense of humour, and [MOHSIN: Definitely.] more specifically seem to share the same sense of like, mischief.

MOHSIN: Absolutely. That's true. You're right, you’re right. [LAUGHTER]

DALIA: I definitely remember that most of our early interactions involve just being really silly together and laughing a lot.

MOHSIN: Yeah, I remember your warmth. Like, I remember just feeling as comfortable as I did with family, you know?

DALIA: Yeah, I think I definitely felt the same, actually.

MOHSIN: And I don't think that it's a coincidence that you're not white. Especially like, I got to university, I'd come from the majority ethnic minority part of London. Suddenly, I was this minority. And I think, you know, I am English. But I'd say I'm a different type of English to the kind of majority English sensibility. And I think that there was a way of being that I experienced at Oxford. And you were completely outside of that.

Like you just felt - it felt almost like when you met people, there was a shield up or a series of rules that you had to abide by. And you just didn't, you just ignored all of that.

DALIA: I totally know what you mean, in the sense that I think…so I'm obviously not white, as you said. So I am Egyptian, and although I was born here, I definitely feel quite Egyptian. And [MOHSIN: Yeah.] I think when I was at school, kind of in the northwest of England, there were hardly any other ethnic minorities in that area, and definitely not within my school. So I think I grew up with that aspect of like, my social life, like really feeling missing. I don't think I realised that until I got to university, but I don't think [MOHSIN: Really?] - I didn't have any other friends, like close friends really, who weren't also kind of white British. And I think I definitely felt the same thing like when I met you that there was some kind of like…similarity in both of our kind of like ethnic backgrounds, and definitely that sense that you felt more like family than you did like a friend. So I think that was like a really important part of our friendship.

MOHSIN: Because I think that, that actually, even though you were brought up in a different faith, we were essentially brought up in the same cultures. Because, you know, the culture and faith - they're different, but they're so intertwined, you know they're this mixture of things, they're a cocktail, right? You can't, it's so difficult to separate them. And in some ways, even though-- different class backgrounds, different types of British local areas, we--you grew up in Egyptian culture, I grew up in Pakistani culture, and at the centre of both of those is faith.

DALIA: Yeah, I think that is really important, but I also think the other thing that really united us was the centre of both of our backgrounds is probably the importance of family.

MOHSIN: Exactly.


RUTH: The f-word – family. Let’s talk about that.

Dalia is married to her university crush, with a young daughter. We won’t be naming them in the series, but they’ll be an important part of these conversations.

Meanwhile, since his uni days, Mohsin has also met someone and fallen in love – his new husband, Matthew, and they’re looking to grow their family and have a child of their own.

MOHSIN: Ok, great. So, I have put my phone on aeroplane, but for some reason, I did put it on charge but it’s on 29%, but I'm sure it'll be enough.

DALIA: You just text me to say make sure you charge your phone and you haven’t even done it yourself?

MOHSIN: I know, I’m a moron.

RUTH: We join them in early 2021 – mid-pandemic. And like everyone else, Mohsin and Dalia are catching up over video calls. But these aren’t just casual conversations. They’re talking about the prospect of Dalia carrying a baby for Mohsin and Matthew.

DALIA: Okay, then, why do you want to have children?

MOHSIN: I mean, there are, there are so many reasons. I grew up in a Pakistani family, and family was the centre of everything. And I love the idea of bringing new little people into that family. But you know, being completely honest, where it actually came from… Have you seen that Cormac McCarthy… Well, it was a book called The Road, and it was turned into a film. It was this post apocalyptic world, [DALIA: Yeah, yeah] in which there's this father, and he does everything to protect his son. And I remember going with a group of people, and afterwards, we came out of the cinema, and they were all so depressed. And my overwhelming feeling was…“Oh my god, I want to be a dad.” Because I thought, I've never felt that sort of love, and I can't imagine what it must feel like to just feel like there's this one purpose you have in life, and it's to protect this living thing, no matter what. And I think it's that deep love that I'm so attracted to. You know, like, we spend our lives consuming music and consuming stories and watching films that are all about romantic love, and I think that's great. But actually, to me, parental love – surely that's way more powerful, because it's unconditional. I think that the power of that… I just think I'd feel so sad if I died without experiencing it.

DALIA: [LAUGHTER] It’s quite a serious answer…

MOHSIN: You asked me why!


 It's funny, because we haven't actually had any sort of proper conversation about surrogacy.

DALIA: I think the very first conversation we had about this was some really flippant joke that I made at some point when I was pregnant, which was now almost two years ago. And I think I said something to you like, “If I really enjoy being pregnant, then I'll consider being a surrogate for you.” Or something like that.

MOHSIN: Yeah, maybe.

DALIA: And it was just like, a kind of stupid joke. But at the same time, it was one of those things that I said, like, genuinely, but I don't exactly know where it came from. And then, yeah, fast forward, like, many months, almost a year later, I'd already had a baby.

MOHSIN: But I think we weren't like, “Oh, by the way, you know, you said that thing.” I think it was more, we were just talking about the future. Right?

DALIA: Yeah.

MOHSIN: Which we do a lot of.

DALIA: All I can tell you is that for me, it's just been this thing that's on my mind. And it's been on my mind. Maybe not when I was pregnant, to be honest, I think I did, I was just making a joke then. But definitely since I've had a baby, it's been this thing in the back of my mind, which is… having a baby's like, been amazing. But I feel like I can't quite enjoy it to its full potential knowing that it's something that you would like to have in your life that at the moment is not available to you.

MOHSIN: So really, it's a very selfish thing that you’re doing.

DALIA: It’s a really selfish thing! [LAUGHTER] I knew you were going to say that!


RUTH: Okay, so Mohsin and Dalia can’t stay serious for very long. But I’m learning that that’s how the two of them handle serious conversations like these, conversations full of difficulty and complexity. Hearing them talk so openly about this stuff gives a real sense of their close bond forged in some extremely difficult times.

DALIA: I mean, definitely like the part of our relationship I remember the most is the first kind of four years when we were at university together. And I remember that whole period being characterised by, I think we probably saw each other every day, we spent vast amounts of time together, like most of the day, if not all of the day together. [MOHSIN: [LAUGHTER] Yeah] And we just talked, and I honestly can't remember really what we talked about, like we were doing things and we were being silly, and we were socialising with other people, but a lot of it was spent, me and you, in like quite, deep and important conversation in between all of that.

And I think the other thing that also really united us actually, we can't really forget, is like a real sense of romance. Because actually, I remember a lot of our conversations revolved around love and relationships. [MOHSIN: Yeah] And both wanting to know what that felt like and to experience that. And so I suppose it was quite interesting that, yeah, in that whole time, like in the first year that we knew each other and became quite close, you never really felt like it was the time to talk about your sexuality.

MOHSIN: But when we were in university, even in 2003, actually, there was nobody out at Keeble, which is one of the biggest colleges at Oxford, right? There was nobody out… that I can remember, I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody. So I think that although I was having to deal with quite a lot in terms of my sexuality, because of my religious background, I didn't want to..I just felt like the two couldn't coexist. And so I was trying to repress my sexuality in favour of leading a traditional Pakistani life. But there was this layer on top of all of that, of a society that still hadn't fully accepted homosexual relationships as being equal to heterosexual relationships. Like 2003 gay marriage was not legal, you know? So. Yeah, so I think that it was…it was a difficult time to talk to anybody. And I didn't know I mean, I guess in some ways I felt, I felt bad like, because I felt like I was lying to you. You know, like, I felt like, there was this person who I really loved and trusted. But I couldn't share it with them. But it just felt inconceivable to share it with anybody.


It just felt like my whole world would crumble. And when you are 19 years old, and you are confronted with something that is inside you, that is inconsistent with everything that you've ever been taught…I think I just wasn't equipped for it.

RUTH: In his first years at university, Mohsin struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, while keeping it a secret from everyone – even his new friend Dalia. But on one fateful night, it was Dalia who became the first person to hear the truth. 

MOHSIN: So, you might remember that it was our friend's birthday, And you guys all looked at me and said, we want to go out partying, where should we go? I had surreptitiously been walking past gay clubs in Soho, because I had like, by myself, recently, because I'd had this sense that I needed to go inside. And as soon as we were inside, I was just like, oh my God I'm like, 100% gay [LAUGHTER]! And but then that night, we were staying at a friend's house. And it was like four in the morning. And I couldn't sleep because I was so just overwhelmed by that emotion and that feeling and all those feelings I'd felt. And then I went into the bathroom. I don't know how we both ended up on the bathroom floor. And then we sat there for three hours. So literally into like, seven in the morning.

DALIA: Yeah. So you, you were obviously really struggling with wanting to express something, but the way you were expressing it was very much like you had done something. And that it was something that was completely unforgivable - [MOHSIN: And evil, yeah] and evil. If your family knew, if I knew we wouldn't want to be friends with you, we wouldn't want to have anything to do with you. And I suppose that was like really representative of all your own internal struggles and demons with how you thought like, being gay played into what kind of person you were. But I just really strongly remember kind of panicking and thinking like, oh my God, he's killed someone.

MOHSIN: [LAUGHTER] Yeah, you asked me, didn't you? Like, have - eventually you were like, have you killed? Because I couldn't speak. I couldn't say it.

DALIA: And then I don’t, why did you just - you just blurted it out and I -

MOHSIN: I did eventually, yeah…

And then I think that day, we went back to uni and on the walk home, I was like talking to you about guys that were attractive on the street.

DALIA: Yeah, so we went, we went from like this huge struggle, so then you blurted it out. And you said I'm gay. And then I think I just kind of like, laughed with relief. I was just like, oh, well, that's fine. Like that doesn’t matter. Like who cares? Like and almost just totally like dismissed the whole thing of being like a big deal and it was because I'd honestly built it up in my mind that you had murdered someone and we would have to confront this big issue. So yeah, you had to then confront telling your family.

MOHSIN: Yeah, and that was…I mean, that was a series of really difficult conversations, which you were there for a lot of, you know, in terms of just being around and supporting me through it. I remember like when I told my mum, do you remember this? I told her on a Sunday. And she had a devastating reaction. I mean messaged you on the Sunday saying, I've just told my mum and it's gone appallingly. But like, I remember on the Tuesday night, I messaged you to say my mum's gonna go to work tomorrow. And you were in Oxford at the time. And you got up, do you remember this? You got up at the crack of dawn, and got on a bus, came to London, came over to East London, came into my house, where I was alone. And then after 15 minutes of being there, my mum called and said that she was too distraught to stay at work. So she was coming home. So then you had to leave. Do you remember that?

DALIA: I do remember that. [LAUGHTER] I mean, we're laughing about it now. But it was really like, awful at the time.

MOHSIN: Awful, it was awful!

DALIA: I mean, I was really, really worried about you during that period. I think I remember when you first told me and I mean, it probably sounds awful now, but my reaction was just, I just said, just run away. He's just gonna have to run away. And basically my advice to you was to never confront this issue with your family. [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: Oh, yeah, it was I remember that it was very mature.  

DALIA: But there's like a happy ending.

MOHSIN: Yeah. There is because I got married a few weeks ago.

DALIA: Woooo!!



MINISTER: Mohsin, I offer you this ring.

MATTHEW: Mohsin, I offer you this ring.

MINISTER: As a symbol of my love.

MATTHEW: As a symbol of my love.


MOHSIN’S MUM: If there’s anybody I wanted him to spend his family with, it’d be you, so thank you for that as well.


DALIA: And like, what was amazing…I mean, obviously, it was an amazing event anyway, but it was quite an emotional event. And it was emotional because actually, all your family were there. And they were all genuinely, like, 100%, like, behind you and supportive. And they love Matthew, who you've got married to.

MOHSIN: Yeah. But like, you know, since, in the last 15 years, whatever it is, that you, you married somebody who you had a crush on at uni, that we would talk about for hours. And, and now you've got like a gorgeous daughter.

But I don't know, I don't feel like, I mean, I think obviously, our friendship has had to adapt to things like being abroad and like just being at different stages in life. But I don't feel like our bond has weakened, or like changed very much.


RUTH: That bond has led them to now – sitting on a video call, trying to have that serious conversation about surrogacy. With the reminiscing done, Mohsin and Dalia look forward, with a lot to consider.

MOHSIN: Alright, so it's been a few months now, when we first floated the idea, or when you first floated the idea, and we joked about it a bit. And then the joking… continued! [LAUGHTER]

DALIA: The joking continued, but, it has now got a more serious element.


DALIA: Which is time.

MOHSIN: Yeah. Because I obviously need to figure out how to have children. And I've been told by people who've gone, done it, that from the moment you start the process it takes at least two years. You know, if you're going down either more conventional routes, so I think that-

DALIA: More conventional surrogacy routes.

MOHSIN: Surrogacy routes, or adoption. So I think that the time is relevant because, yeah, I suppose we need to get on with figuring out how we're going to have kids. Because it isn't straightforward, you know?

DALIA: Maybe the question is like… this isn't really directed to you, it's more of a general question: Why do we have this sense that then it has to be a child that's genetically related to us? Because, I think a lot of people do feel that, right. But like why? Yeah, it's definitely a question I asked myself before I had a child.

MOHSIN: Yeah. And I personally don't have much of a problem with being asked that question. And actually, my dream scenario would probably be to adopt a young, like a little girl from Pakistan. Because the literacy rate for young girls in Pakistan is really low. There are lots of children that need homes. And my heritage is Pakistani. I would, that would be my preference, but because we're a gay couple, it's just not an option.


MOHSIN: I think we are exploring surrogacy at the moment because it seems like the thing that we'd like to do, but I can see why adopting a child is a wonderful act. And I don't know I mean, just literally talking to you about it now. I still kind of think, oh, maybe that is what we should do.

DALIA: Well there’s no “should”, right? It's not about what you should do.

MOHSIN: Yeah, I guess not.


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RUTH: At this early stage, Mohsin and Dalia don’t know much about the surrogacy process beyond the fact that it’s complicated.

Just a quick note on terminology: In parts of the world, “surrogate” is used to refer to women who donate their own eggs as part of the process, while “gestational carrier” refers to women who have eggs from someone else implanted using IVF -- so no biological connection to the child. Mohsin and Dalia have already decided that she would be this kind, a gestational carrier. Now just to really confuse everyone, here in the UK, “surrogate” is commonly used for both types of surrogacy, and that’s the term you’ll hear us using in the series.

DALIA: Actually, before we had this conversation about me and you, I think if you'd asked me what my views about surrogacy were generally [MOHSIN: Yeah] I was a little bit like…unsure about it.

MOHSIN: Yeah, well--

DALIA: Well, actually even maybe a little bit against it.

MOHSIN: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think no, I understand that, because, you know, you're a medical anthropologist. And--

DALIA: It's more that I found it really difficult to imagine what someone would go through to carry a baby for that long, for nine months. And then give it away, even though like completely willingly, like, but just found it really difficult to understand that. And then when I was pregnant, and then I did have a child, I found it even more, like difficult to imagine it. But yet also, that was exactly the situation in which I brought this conversation up with you, because I could also kind of imagine it. [MOHSIN: Yeah] For the first time ever. But maybe because I could imagine like, how amazing it would be, to be able to do that.


Because it is amazing, to just grow this little person. And it would be so amazing if like you Matthew could have like, a little person too.

MOHSIN: I know!


MOHSIN: What greater gift could you give anybody? Like genuinely. Can you think of anything that you could give to somebody…?

DALIA: No. And I don't even buy you gifts, because I know there's no point. Because you don’t like anything.

MOHSIN: No, I don't. But like, also, you will never have to buy me a birthday present ever again. [LAUGHTER] We could agree that. But seriously, like, like I would feel forever indebted to you. Like I would feel so--

DALIA: Yeah, that's a weird--I don't want that, it's really creepy. Like, who wants their friends to be indebted to them?

MOHSIN: Okay, well, maybe that's the wrong way of putting it. I think I probably would to be honest. But I think the thing is -

DALIA: I think the other thing, the other thing that complicates this whole situation is actually, less so now I've become aware of the fact that it's not, if it's a yes, or if it’s no, it's not really a decision between me and you. There are actually lots more factors involved in this and other people involved in this, who we will talk about later. But it's become aware, like much more aware to me recently, that this isn't a decision for me and you to make.

MOHSIN: Who do you think else, who else do you think is involved?

DALIA: Well, Matthew, but Matthew seems pretty blase about the whole thing. [LAUGHTER] Like when I spoke to him again a few weeks ago, he was just like, “Yeah, it’d just be really fun.” [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: Because he doesn't have to carry the child!

DALIA: Exactly! I was like, “fun for you.”


DALIA: No, but obviously like my husband.


DALIA: I'm still… this is a totally different conversation, but the thought of telling my parents or my family!


DALIA: Not that they should in any way influence the decision [MOHSIN: Yeah, of course] But it’s just another piece of admin that’s weighing on my mind. [LAUGHTER]

MOHSIN: I mean that isn’t, that is going to be complicated, like I know your family, I know it’s gonna be complicated.  

I mean, I think that my mum… as much as she--

DALIA: Well, your mum has already had to come to terms with you being gay. So I imagine she’s got less to worry about!

MOHSIN: Exactly. That path has been laid. For her.

DALIA: But it's an interesting thing in the sense that I think in, in your family circles and in my family circles, I've certainly never come across like, let's say in the Egyptian Christian community, nor in the Pakistani Muslim community, the whole idea of surrogacy, it's not something that has been talked about or that I've been aware of, or that I think my parents would be…

MOHSIN: Even… yeah… cognizant of.



MOHSIN: Yeah, I mean, I think that my - well, when I first told my parents, I wanted to have kids, I mean, I wasn't even with Matthew at the time. And they couldn't even get their heads around the idea that a gay person could have children. So to have got them to the point where they now accept Matthew, and I could talk to them and say, “We're thinking of having children.” I mean, I don't know how they'd react, you know?

DALIA: Well, the point is, we don't know. Right? It might be fine.

MOHSIN: Yeah right. Yeah right! I could probably do an impression of what your mum is gonna say. She's gonna scream! [LAUGHTER]

DALIA: The other thing I do think we need to explore seriously is what happens like, first of all, if I don't want to do this, or you don't want to do it, which I think we keep thinking is really not likely, but you never know. Right? [LAUGHS] Your face is like--

MOHSIN: No, you're right it is interesting. Because, let's say for example, let's just say I thought, actually, as much as Dalia wants to do this, I can't ask this of you.

DALIA: Yeah…yeah right, you'd ever think that! [LAUGHS]

MOHSIN: No, of course I would ask it of you. But let's imagine that I’m selfless for a moment.


DALIA: Exactly, exactly, some people might, other people who aren't us might come to that conclusion, right? So it's worth thinking about that as a possibility. Other thing is, it is also likely, and this is where we need to understand the medical side of things, that maybe it just wouldn't work.


DALIA: And that it's not like 100% success rate. [MOHSIN: That’s true.] It’s quite…also I do want to know more about it. Because my understanding is it's like--

MOHSIN: There's a lot of injections involved.

DALIA: There’s a lot of injections, but also there's not, I don't even think necessarily, like, it's always viable.

MOHSIN: I think we have started to think about other options, also because I didn't want to put that much pressure on you, because I realised that every day that we're not doing something, it feels like we're waiting for you. And I didn't want that to be the case. So we have started thinking about other options.

DALIA: Well, I just think in life, anyway, you should always, never put all your eggs in one basket.

MOHSIN: But what about--

DALIA: But let’s say, and also like, you know, miscarri.. like there are lots of things that can happen.

MOHSIN: That does worry me.

DALIA: Stillbirth, like horrible things, diseases. Yeah, all of those things.

MOHSIN: Yeah all of that worries me, but all of that worries me not-- I mean, maybe it's easy for me to say this because, you know, it's a hypothetical baby, but I worry about all those things because I would feel responsible for you having to go through that.

DALIA: Well, and equally I would feel responsible for you having to go through that. Like it is, it feels like a much messier picture than just you and someone else choosing to have a baby [MOHSIN: Yeah.] and those things are really scary and horrible anyway.


MOHSIN: I guess my dream scenario would be that we, if you did do it, that we got to a point where, I don’t know… as the person that carried the child, you would have a meaningful place in that child's life as the child got older, you know, like not necessarily at three in the morning, when we're trying to feed it, but definitely. Because I guess for me, you'd be an important part of the child's life, regardless of whether you carried it, right? I want my children to have really wonderful, strong, positive female influences and that is one thing that I think about as a gay couple, with, you know, I think it's so important for children to have women to bond with, and so I'd be asking that of you long term, but I understand that immediately afterwards, that would be really difficult. But I guess the dream scenario is that…that, yeah, that there would be that kind of relationship between us, and you and the child.

DALIA: Yeah, my ultimate hope and dream is that you and Matthew have a child. By whatever means possible. That's what I want for you guys. More than anything, like more than I even want a child, another child. I don't want another child, I want you to have one.

MOHSIN: Oh just give us your daughter then!

DALIA: You can have her!

I think the one thing I did say to you, [MOHSIN: She’s so cute.] in all seriousness, and I do actually stand by this, and I do mean this is that: I don't think I could make the decision to have another child of my own, if I hadn't been a surrogate for you. But I feel like what's really worrying me like in the long term is, is that going to be just too much emotionally and something that I won't be able to deal with and won't even be able to do.


To carry a baby for nine months, even though I know it's not mine, that genetically it’s yours, like you are the parents, but still have to hand that baby over at some point. And even if it's still in my life as your child. I, at the moment, I'm really struggling with whether I can actually do that.

MOHSIN: Do you know, it's so funny, because I think if you were telling me, you were thinking about doing this for anybody else, I'd be like, “Don't do it, don’t do it!” So it's so weird, because I'm kind of torn.

So the one thing that really scares me is losing you, actually. I guess if somebody said to me right now, you're going to end up with a child, but your relationship with Dalia will be irreversibly damaged by it, then I’d probably just say, “Well, then I don't want to do this.” And I'd find another way, you know?

DALIA: Okay, at the end of the day, we talk about, we moan about work all the time, we moan about so much stuff, and it just doesn't matter, does it? Like it really doesn't matter. Because I suppose at the end of all of this, you know, that dream scenario, is that you have this amazing beautiful child. And that I will have just been a bit of a part of that. But like that's not even really the point. The point is at the end of it, there's this whole new life that's created, however it came about.


DALIA: Which is incredible.


MOHSIN: In some ways, all of the stuff we've just discussed is why to me, it feels like there's quite a lot of undue pressure on you when it comes to this decision.

Like because everything that we just talked about, like being families for one another, protecting each other, like loving each other, helping each other get to this point where we're in like committed relationships that we're both happy with. Like all of that, although it feels like a wonderful part of our history and our heritage together, it also feels like it makes the decision way more complicated and I guess I want to take all of that out of it for you, because it wouldn't be fair for all of that to be brought to the table. But then the only reason we're having this conversation is because of all of those things.

DALIA: Exactly. So I think that it's not pressure, but it's just complication. Right? Like, it's, I don't see it as pressure, I just see it as like, the entanglement of many different things, which in some ways, is like quite real and quite nice. [MOHSIN: Mhm.] The thing I actually maybe struggle with the most is that you have been the person like in my life, really, that quite consistently over the last, you know, almost two decades, has been there to help me make decisions about important things. And you can't play that role to the same extent in this decision, because this is the first decision that we've like, had to make that's really about both of us. I think we've always been quite sensitive about incorporating some of that complexity into how we advise each other about what decisions we should make in life. So hopefully, that will stand us in good stead.

MOHSIN: Well, let's find out.

DALIA: Let's find out…


RUTH: Tiny Huge Decisions is a Chalk & Blade production for APM studios. At Chalk & Blade the executive producer is me, Ruth Barnes, the show runner and story editor is Louise Mountain, and the producer and sound designer is Matt Nielson, with original music by Ian Chambers. At APM, the executive producer is Erica Kraus, the senior production manager is Nick Ryan, and the executives in charge are Joanne Griffith, Alex Schaffert and Chandra Kavati. With special thanks to Dalia, Mohsin and Matthew.