Comment: I’m a woman in my early 30s who uses Match.com for online dating. Regarding the men I’m seeking, I’ve set the age range between 30 and 45 years old.
I notice some men repeatedly question me about my childhood family during the first date. They’ll ask how old my parents are, what they do for a living, how long they’ve been together, etc. I should mention that only a specific demographic of men ask these types of questions. Usually it’s the highly-educated professional men in their late 30s to mid 40s who have never been married, have no kids, have not been in a serious relationship in several years, and are looking for the relationship that will lead to marriage (and kids). Younger men do not question me extensively about my family of origin.
I’ve heard that some pickier men do this because they would never consider getting into a relationship with a woman who was raised in a broken home or a household that was headed by a single parent. Some have said that a woman who grew up in a two-parent household is far less likely to have ‘daddy issues’ and the resulting baggage.
Although I came from a two-parent household, I’d rather not talk that much about my childhood family during first dates. I feel that first dates are for getting to know each other, not the family. By the way, some of the men have gotten silent when they discovered my father works in retail (yes, they asked). But we usually end up on second dates.
There are no special cultural issues at play because the men and I were all born and bred in various parts of the US. Thanks.
City: Fort Worth
This is the very reason why I stopped using Match.com. It was full of men on a mission to find a wife or step-mom to their kids. As I’ve mentioned previously, dates with men or women like this always feel more like interviews. There’s no room for flirting and getting to know each other. You’re being sized up. Either that or you’re dealing with men who are wildly socially inept who don’t know how to make conversation. I think those 40+ men who are finally deciding to settle down and have kids just precious. It’s unfortunate, because I think many of them become so tunnel visioned in their approach that they have a blindspot to some real red flag issues. The men who state outright that they’re looking for a life partner or soul mate (yeesh) are guys I avoid. Dating them is a chore. They’re interviewing you for two positions: wife and mother. They’re not even thinking about long-term compatibility. All they care about is how much room in your life you have for them, are you too career focused and not someone who will want to stay home and raise their youngin’, etc. You’re basically seen as an incubator who makes them dinner. No thanks.
Guys who don’t want to date women with “issues” are just shooting themselves in the foot. We all have issues. And given the growing divorce rate, many people are products on one parent households. Choosing not to date someone who is a product of divorce is cutting your options in half if not more. All that matters is how someone handles their baggage. Not whether they have too much or any. Think you’re never going to encounter someone with some kind of issue? You’re adorable. Can I date on your planet? It sounds heavenly.
All that said, I think you might be connecting the dots inappropriately. Your father’s job probably has nothing to do with why someone faded. This is online dating, where the Fade was pretty much invented. Sometimes it’s just a matter of too little time and too many options. The men in the age range that you’re meeting are high in demand. That’s the more likely explanation from why you didn’t hear from them again. Never try to determine why someone ghosted on you. You’ll drive yourself crazy. People just move on. It’s not necessarily something about you that made them do so. I think we like to come up with excuses for why somebody didn’t follow up with us, when the real reason is that they just met someone else that they liked more.
You don’t have to discuss anything you don’t feel comfortable on a date. If you find that lines of questioning like this are happening regularly, come up with a scripted response that doesn’t come off rude but that shuts down the conversation. Or turn the question back on them. Most people love talking about themselves. Respond with a one or two word answer and then say, ‘How about you?” If they press on with the questions, that’s your cue to turn them down for a second date.