I thought it was time for a dating update. Things have been quiet. Very quiet. I am out of the habit of dating, nor have I had the inclination to bother. I check my messages on the free dating site perhaps once a day, in the hope that my preconceptions about the site will one day be proved wrong. And then I got this message on Friday.
This is not the first time I’ve received a message like this. And whilst I continue to put myself out there, I doubt it will be the last. But I don’t really want to dwell on it too much, because if I do I am not sure whether I would ever date again.
Receiving another nasty message like this made me re-evaluate things somewhat. This month has been one of change. My house situation, work, I even cut all my hair off! So maybe I need to change how I date?
As I was going through this thought process, I received a message from a paid dating site, one affiliated with a well-known broadsheet newspaper. Beginning with G. I signed up to this site probably six months ago, but never paid a subscription. I was more of a voyeur. Honestly, it was the same situation I have faced before … men my age want to date younger women and it’s only older men that want to date me.
The message I received was from a man aged 52, which I thought might be something I should perhaps consider. He had some good beard action, no hair, in fact it looks a bit like Charles Bronson, but I let that slide. On paper we had a lot of similar interests. He seemed very cultured (unlike me!) but loved films, books, theatre … he just seemed really interesting.
We spent two days messaging each other until I looked at his profile closer and realised that he doesn’t have any children. It’s not a deal breaker but it certainly makes me think twice if I’m honest. I have been out with a guy that’s doesn’t have children before and found him to be rather selfish if truth be told.
So I thought it would be better to approach the subject earlier rather than later, and so I said to him “I’ve noticed you don’t have children, do you have any issues dating women that do?”
I wasn’t sure what response to expect. Personally, I think being a mother has made me a much better person and enriched my life so much I can’t see it ever being a negative thing. He sees it in another way completely apparently.
He replied that he “doubts he could become fully engaged in a family style relationship where he’s totally engaged with someone’s children.”
Umm … OK.
As much as I appreciated his honesty, I’m not really sure what he expected me to say? I make it crystal clear I have two children on my dating profile, I’m 44, so I would say there is a high chance of children being in my life and he is the one who has chosen to start a conversation with me. Did he honestly think that I would compartmentalise my life so that I would only ever spend time with him OR my children?
Life just doesn’t work like that. At least not for me. And as much as I wouldn’t exactly bring the kids along to a first date (or 2nd, 3rd or 8th), they are a HUGE part of my life. I understand he’s probably been hurt before. I get it, I really do. When children are involved, and a relationship doesn’t work out, you’re not just saying goodbye to a partner … more hearts get broken.
But isn’t it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?
I’ve never dated a man with children so I’m being somewhat judgemental I guess as I’ve never been in that position … BUT, I’m definitely open to the option of dating a man with kids. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
It’s this guy’s perogative not to date me (although I would probably recommend him not contacting me in the first place), but hey, at least he didn’t call me fat. He actually thought I was pretty awesome, so I’m a little disappointed.