Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Not wanted

I've been considering trying online dating and in preparation for that step, have tried to define what I'm looking for in a man right now. In general the qualities I want seem straightforward: intelligence and a sense of humor. The specifics are a bit more limiting, for example, I'm looking for someone within about 5 years of my age, working in a professional position, and childless. It is this last criterion that currently has me worked up.

That guy that J introduced me to a couple weekends ago has an 8-year-old son. Being perfectly honest, he is nice but I didn't feel any special interest. Trying to figure out how to let him know I'm not interested without hurting him or upsetting J, I've thought about using his son as an excuse, but that doesn't feel right since that isn't the main reason I'm not interested. However, it has forced me to examine why I feel so certain that I don't want to date a father.

I'm in my mid-twenties and I've been supporting myself for several years now. I have all the basics of modern life and a few luxuries. I hold several leadership positions including working with girls from 11-21. I've been babysitting since I was 13. Obviously it isn't that kids scare me.

It is the idea of being a parent that terrifies me. I've wanted to eventually be a mom for as long as I can remember, but right now I don't feel like I enough of an "adult" to be a parent. Before I become a mom I want to be married to a great guy and have a home with him. I'm not ready to take on a parenting role to the child of a man I'm dating.

I would imagine that dating a man with a child would also have a different dynamic. At this point dating is something I'm out of practice with and I would prefer to start out casually. I'm probably assuming too much, but I worry that I couldn't casually date a dad.

So, for now, I'm sticking with my choice that dating a father isn't for me. I hate to make a blanket judgment like that, but I have to do what is right for me.


At 1:42 PM, Blogger bill said...

Well, of course, I'm unhappy that you are just ruling out dating a father... but then again, I'm not sure my marriage could handle that anyway. (g)

Being enough of an adult is a logical way to approach the question of whether to have a child, but I doubt its one that most people use. I've certainly seen people with children who I didn't think were enough of an adult to have a drivers license, let alone children.

I agree with what you say about the problems inherent in merging the roles of dater and parent. I would guess that you absolutely have to date just the parent, and then, having passed that stage (if it happens), go back and now date the parent -- ie, see them together, see them 'working' as a parent. One one hand, its bound to give you a deeper view of what the person is really like, but its scary nonetheless -- what if you like the person as a date, but hate the way they parent?

Very interesting question.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I know the not-adult-enough-to-have-kids feeling. Sometimes I feel like I'm not adult enough to teach kids. Especially when I see every day the results of people having kids too young and not being responsible parents.

Totally logical to rule out dating parents--you have to make choices that are right for you.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Angie said...

I watched Wife Swap last night. I'm typically not home to watch much primetime TV, and I especially try not to encourage the reality trend, but I've enjoyed this show in the past and I was intrigued by last night's episode. The two moms that switched families were, as usual, polar opposites: one was a Harvard grad who works and leaves her two youngest in day care, while the other lives with family on the fringes of society while "home schooling" her six kids. While I like to think I'm not as "Type A" as the Harvard grad, I certainly identified with her and the decisions she made. The other mom drove me crazy--she didn't actually educate her kids, but rather just let them have fun. There were few rules and while she said she appreciated a man who did hard work, she didn't let her husband have any authority or contribute in any way to their household. Watching her behavior last night, I know that I couldn't date someone who chose to parent that way. Bill, you're right, that would be totally horrible!


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