You are asking for more ideas for your column, so here it goes.
I’ve been a regular reader for over a year. While I enjoy your column, that is, geared toward the single woman…I find some of the columns and especially the reader comments insensitive to those of us with kids. I’ve been raising my kids pretty much on my own (now young teenagers) in the LI suburbs with very little help from their dad. I have them both playing sports (basketball) which has been great for keeping them busy (and me running around with them). I realize my availability factors don’t make me the most attractive person for a single man….although I do meet single dads on the circuit, most of us are just busy tending to the kids etc. etc. Someone last week on the Moxie comments referred to people like me as “great for the harem”. From the single man’s perspective that put down may sound great…but how does someone like me…45, in great shape, and busy with kids…go about attracting an appropriate single man? Or does my busyness with the stuff of life put them off? Your feedback would be helpful…the thought of 6 or 8 more years of this is….lonely.
Well, there are a number of things about your circumstance that makes finding a single man difficult. These are things you need to understand so you can develop some kind of resolution or be able to quell the concerns of the type of men you want to meet.
But first, just so I’m clear, are you saying that you don’t want to date single dads or that you would date single dads, but prefer to date men with no children? If it’s the former, and I’m reading this correctly, you’re dismissing the single dads for the same reason you believe the childless men are dismissing you – the availability factor. Or you’re saying that the single dads you meet just aren’t looking, so that’s why they aren’t an option. Here’s why setting your sights on single men without kids might be a struggle for you:
1. They don’t want kids - Not yours. Not theirs. Not anybody’s. If they’ve hit 40, 45 or older, and they’re childless, that’s probably by choice.
2. They don’t want to raise someone else’s kids - As you said yourself, your ex isn’t really in the picture. In theory, it’s a nice thought that a man would take on supporting someone else’s kids. But in practice I don’t think many single men are thrilled by it. Especially if the woman’s relationship with her ex is tense.
3. They want their own kids - Harsh, but true. They don’t have to raise someone else’s. A man in his late thirties to even late forties can find a woman in her thirties or even early forties to have his children if he really wants them.
4. The want simplicity – You admitted it. You’re life is filled with activities that are all related to your kids. Their life is probably equally hectic. Why complicate things?
I’m detailing this things so that rather than get frustrated and take it personally, you can have an understanding of where these men might be coming from.
I think you’re best bet is to focus your efforts on meeting single dads. They understand the time constraints. There are several LI based Single Parent Meetups that you could join. And many speeddating companies offer events strictly for single parents. If you prefer to date men without kids, then you’re going to have to do some serious prioritizing and re-arranging.
You seem to be upset at the idea that people look at single people with kids as having “baggage.” You need to face the reality that it’s true. You do come with baggage. Just because children are supposed to be cute and adorable and omigoddon’tyahustwanttosqueezetheircheeks doesn’t mean people have to be extra accommodating. You’re doing what a lot of people do and refusing to see the situation from both sides.
What you shouldn’t ignore is how much time and patience and tolerance is involved when dating a single parent. If you do that, then you can develop pre-emptive solutions to possible concerns or problems that come up. You can present your life in a way that doesn’t seem, to the casual observer like a guy reading your profile, as terribly complicated. We’ve said it before. Know your audience. Learn how to position yourself to your desired target market and predict inevitable issues that might arise.
Here’s an example. When I began my great Reinvention Tour of 2011 (Hah. Madonna reference) I made sure to address any possible issues that might come up regarding my blog. Before I would meet a guy or go on the first date, I’d send him an email with a link to the blog and tell him that I liked to be upfront about who I was an what I did. I also made it a point to say that I don’t discuss my personal life. I then offered him the option to read the blog and then come back to me with any questions or concerns. I knew what the hot button concerns were for men when it came to dating someone who writes about dating. I could also back up my statements. I didn’t hide what I did or show any sort of shame. I was completely upfront from the get go. It wasn’t 100% effective, but it was far more effective than the old way, which was to not understand their hesitation and not mention anything in the beginning. This also alleviated the inevitable “I Googled you. So, BJ Classes. What’s that like?” or “So are you going to write about this?” thing. Instead of them blindsiding me with questions, I opened the floor up to them myself. This also helped me screen out the attention whores. Funny story. I met a guy online back in December. I showed him the blog and gave him my speech. He read it and came back to me with, “You can write about me. I don’t mind. Just call me…” I canceled the date.
Show these guys that you get it, that you understand where they might be coming from. Not only does that help you take more control of the situation, but it demonstrates a caring/concerned vibe for their comfort, time and needs. Feminine qualities.
Finally, ignore the “harem” comments. Seriously. Things like that are said by frustrated men who wish they had a harem of women. They’re pissed off so they want you to feel as hurt as they do.