Why Would A Guy Propose This Quickly? #atwys

As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate of critical thinking and critical analysis. Unfortunately, when it comes to dating, many people aren’t.

Take this story. 44 year old woman meets 47 year old guy on Tinder. They date for 6 months and get engaged. Both are divorced, but only he has children. Four of ‘em. My immediate reaction to this story is one of suspicion. I know. Call The Post. Who knew?

My skepticism wasn’t so much about the expedited timeline, but over the fact that a man with 4 children would get engaged to someone else that quickly. If you’ve ever dated someone with one child, let alone four, you know it’s challenging.  That the author is so blase about why some people find dating men with children difficult was another red flag to me. But we’ll get to that.

Of course, I vocalized my suspicion. And, of course, I was met with everything from, “You’re just jelly” to “Who hurt you?”

Nobody hurt me. I’m just a woman who dates men in their late forties to mid-fifties with children. And I’m a child of someone who married a second time. While everybody was sure – SO SURE! – that this man’s children were all adults, I thought differently.  Four kids meant about an 8 year difference between the oldest and youngest. And since this is Manhattan, a city where people aren’t known for marrying right our of college but rather much later, I had the feeling that this guy was probably in his late twenties or even older when he had his first child.

And I was right.

There’s a lot of landmines that come with dating someone with children, let alone marrying them. To achieve a reasonable amount of harmony amongst all parties in just six months (and keep in mind he was already telling her after dating just 3 months that they were going to marry) is an impressive feat. Of course, nobody on xoJane thought any of this was concerning. They were too busy Googling her so they could see her ginormous closet and ooh la la apartment. Thankfully, someone else Googled her and then Googled him. As I suspected, his kids were all young tweens and teenagers. We also learned that this guy proposed only 6 months after his divorce was final. Now, it’s not only possible but likely that he and his wife were separated for some time before their divorce was finalized. People move on and heal at different rates. But I still couldn’t get past the fact that, after only dating 3 months, he told the author of the article that they were going to get married. That alone is enough cause for concern.

I was equally side-eyeing the author’s claim that she couldn’t wrap her brain around why so many women find dating men with children such an effort. You know who thinks that way? Women who date men with much older children or women who date men who don’t have much of a relationship with their kids and therefore don’t have one with them, either.

So while everybody was peeing themselves over this rom comish love story, I stayed cynical. And, as more details were revealed, I felt even more certain in my opinion. Why would someone fresh off a divorce want to jump back into marriage so quickly? Why get married at all? It’s not like it was the first time at that particular Rodeo for either of them. Maybe they’re just the marrying kind? I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, it appears to work for them. So, Mazels.

What killed me was how everybody was so caught up in the fairy tale aspect of this they never once stopped and asked themselves what the rush was. We’re not talking about shacking up. We’re talking about marriage. A legally and financially binding contract. Most people took the whole story at face value. My gut says there’s a reason for why this guy jumped into another marriage so quickly, and that reason probably isn’t as romantic as people think. While I don’t think he’s shady, I do think there’s something..more..at work here. What? I don’t know.

The author got what she wanted. She got to tell her  story and get publicity from it. Which, as we know, is usually the name of the game. She got to claim success at things other women seem to stumble over. Not only did she pull a handsome financier off of Tinder of all places (because it’s so difficult for them to meet people offline in Manhattan?) but she implies that she managed to win over his four children and – AND! – get that ring in just six months. That’s a lady blog writer hat trick. I did what you suckers couldn’t. Are you jelly?

No. No I’m not. Because, see, I’m experienced and secure enough to know that things like this rarely ever happen this effortlessly.  That’s why I don’t get scammed and why I’ve managed to avoid getting married just to get married and brag about it only to end up divorced. I’m also hip to lady blog humblebragging, so I don’t compare a writer’s outsides to my insides. More often than not, those outsides aren’t real. They’re sanitized versions of reality.






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38 Responses to “Why Would A Guy Propose This Quickly? #atwys”

  1. D. Says:

    Alternative theory:

    This is stealth marketing for an upcoming reality show, or an attempt to catch the eye of a producer who’ll turn their life into one.

    My guess is it’d be pretty successful, given how much people seem to want to believe that it really is as described. Likewise, you know there’d be tons of people who would love to watch this supposedly perfect couple bicker endlessly in spite of their fairy-tale backstory.

    Plus, the story is all surfacing before a wedding, which means you already have your plot line for Season 1 laid out: prepping for the wedding, with the finale being the big day itself.

    You’d even be able to sell ad time to Tinder, which could use the show to market itself to a demographic sector that may believe it’s “more for 20-somethings looking to hook up.”

    • Gabi Says:

      I like the way you think. You could be totally right. The whole story-board engagement cartoons spoke volumes; their life is 2-dimensional, they are playing characters they’ve seen on screen. None of this is real; these are identities they constructed in order to get us to buy into the bullshit.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        It’s also interesting that the woman who wrote this seems to be shopping this story around. I read a comment on xoJane that said the same story has been featured on other sites.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          There was no mention whatsoever of actually meeting the guy’s kids, and whether that meeting was good, bad, or indifferent. Even if it’s gonna be a cutesy, Disney-fied story, the kids are given shockingly little weight in the narrative. It’s like his four kids are some kind of mole on his cheek that some women aren’t enlightened enough to overlook, but gosh darn it, she is.

          He hired paparazzi to film the engagement, and the wedding is taking place as the same location the engagement was filmed at. I also felt rather barf about the “Tinderella” cartoons.

          I was thinking just more folks who don’t look before they leap, but y’all are selling me on the TV show idea.

  2. Gabi Says:

    This guy reminds me of my mother’s brother-in-law. Dude is insanely rich and has been married twice with four kids. He’s lining up his third before the ink on his divorce papers has had a chance to dry. These guys need to propose so quickly to a) act as some kind of revenge to the ex, b) get a replacement trophy wife ASAP c) fill up any moments of self loathing while alone. Having a replacement partner provides the validation and mirroring these pathological narcissists need for their ego’s survival.

    Pathological narcissists routinely do this kind of shit. Get you to sign yourself over to them, either through marriage or through pregnancy, before you’ve had to chance to come down from the high that resulted from the whirlwind romance. Often, these dudes need a woman to act as some kind of unconscious surrogate mommy from which they can rebel and act-out on. I would not be surprised if this dude starts cheating on her 6 months into the marriage. I realize stating such a thing will curry a ton of downvotes, but again, why a man needs to settle down that quickly with a wife speaks volumes about his own psychology.

    And for the record, XOjane is the land of mirroring, validation and the fine art of blowing smoke up the writer’s ass. It’s where narcissism goes to thrive and, unfortunately, critical thinking has no place there. It’s female groupthink at its worst.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, that makes sense. “Whirlwind romance” is often code for “quick, quick – lock this down before the honeymoon period’s over and they see what you’re really like.” They don’t want you paying attention to the man behind the curtain, which is of course exactly what you should do.

    • Holly Says:

      “And for the record, XOjane is the land of mirroring, validation and the fine art of blowing smoke up the writer’s ass. It’s where narcissism goes to thrive and, unfortunately, critical thinking has no place there. It’s female groupthink at its worst.”

      +1000. xoJane is the last place someone should go for dating advice. The women who write for and comment on that site are some of the most emotionally unstable and delusional women I’ve ever come across.

  3. Nicole Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this Moxie, I needed to read it!

    I’ve also been dating a guy with kids (2, both in elementary school) for six months. And we are nowhere close to getting engaged or living together. I don’t even sleep over at his house on nights his kids are there. And most of the time, I’m happy with the pace of our relationship. We’re both divorced. His kids are just now getting used to the idea that mom and dad are really, truly split up and that their dad is dating someone. The last thing I want is to rush things and screw up either our relationship or his relationships with his kids.

    But yeah, I read that article the other day and wondered wtf is wrong with me that my boyfriend didn’t buy me a ring for our six month anniversary. The author’s blatant attempt to make me jealous totally worked (well, and my PMS helped a little, probably).

    I completely second what you said about dating a guy with kids… It’s not easy. That doesn’t mean it’s never worth a try – my boyfriend is amazing and I adore his kids. I don’t see his kids as “baggage” by any stretch of the imagination. But do they make dating him more complicated? Of course they do.

    Anyway, pieces like this are why I read your site. It’s easy to get caught up in reading xojane and sites like it and wondering why your relationship doesn’t look like a romantic comedy. Thank you for the reality check!

  4. bbdawg Says:

    A friend of mine married someone within 2 months of meeting him. I warned her, everyone did. We were wrong thankfully. They’ve been married 7 years. Very down to earth and even-keeled people. No children.

    The thing is, in this case, money is a huge buffer. It’s not like this woman will be cooking and cleaning for the 4 kids. If a man is a gazillionaire, he can afford to have children, have a staff to take care of them and support this woman as well. He has good lawyers and will have a decent pre-nup. For someone that rich, an engagement ring is like a T-shirt for most of us, it’s not a big deal.

    Some men who have been married actually like being married so as soon as they divorce they line up the next. I don’t think it’s THAT insane. Why not take the chance if you can afford it?

    • Nicole Says:

      Some people absolutely know they are ready to get married faster than others. Or take a chance, even when they aren’t ready, and get lucky and things work out great. I tend to think it happens less often with kids in the mix – most parents are cautious about decisions that affect their kids – but I’m sure it still happens. And if that’s the case for Tinderella, yay for her and her new hubby.

      I don’t think most of us are giving the side eye about the financial risks – I know I didn’t think about that. Both parties sound fine in that front and yes, prenups and lawyers and hiding money offshore are helpful risk mitigation strategies.

      But they don’t help with EMOTIONAL risks. I had, honestly, the best divorce possible – we split everything 50-50, barely used our lawyers, are still friends. And it still completely fucking sucked to go through it. Break-ups are awful whether you’re married or not, but being legally required to spend a year dealing with your break-up is sheer hell.

      I guess where you ask “why not take the chance?”, I wonder “what’s the rush?” If they’re meant for each other, they’ll still be blissfully in love if they wait another 6 months to get engaged.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        The last guy I dated (before the current one) was in a big rush to move ahead and move in together. I said, “If the thing really has legs, then it’ll still have legs a year from now.” It didn’t. I have a feeling he was doing that, “Lock it down before she sees your flaws” thing.

        Things are going well with the current guy, but it’s been a really long time since a relationship has taken shape for me beyond the honeymoon stage, so I’m really cautious (yet trying to trust & not see monsters around every corner).

    • LostSailor Says:

      I don’t think it’s THAT insane. Why not take the chance if you can afford it?

      Actually, I think that a man who rushes into a new marriage before the ink is dry on the last divorce, especially if he met the woman after separation, is insane, or at least has some serious issues. The old saying that re-marriage is “the triumph of hope over experience” doesn’t even touch it.

      I don’t care how rich the man is or that he can “afford” it. The question isn’t “why not take the chance if you can afford it,” the question is “why take the chance if you don’t have to.”

      While I haven’t–and won’t–read the XOJ article, I agree with Moxie that there is likely either something else going on, or the guy has ulterior motive or something wrong.

      Wealth may seem a protection, but it’s not always or even often protection. Look at Robin Williams. Yes, he had other issues, like depression, but the pressure of paying for his divorces was a major contributing cause to his suicide.

  5. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Why would someone fresh off a divorce want to jump back into marriage so quickly?”

    When I see a divorced guy remarry right away, it’s usually either (a) the divorce was caused by him cheating with the new bride, so it’s not a new relationship, just newly public, or (b) he got custody and needs a substitute mommy for the kids.

    For a gazillionaire, the latter doesn’t seem likely because he could easily hire a nanny/cook/maid for a lot less than a second divorce would cost him (even with a pre-nup), so I suspect the former. The xojane author obviously wouldn’t reveal if she’s a homewrecker, but that seems more likely than the story she’s trying to sell.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Homewreckerella…ha ha. :P

    • Nicole Says:

      Or c) he accidentally got his rebound girlfriend pregnant.

      Happened to a couple of my ex husbands friends. Both are still happily (as far as I know, anyway!) married to the women after several years, though.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        Oh, forgot that one. A lot of recently divorced guys forget that not all women are on birth control and aren’t used to needing condoms, so that scenario crops up quite often as well–sometimes by accident and sometimes by “accident”.

  6. DMN the Wise Says:

    Not sure why everyone is assuming he’s a gazillionare. Oh, because Finance? So…. I suppose it’s possible that he’s a hedge fund founder but, more likely, he’s a mid-level banker, or maybe even a broker (albeit with a really fucking waspy name right out of The Talented Mr. Ripley). A quick google search actually reveals quite a bit of information, which you can do yourselves if you’re interested.

    First, the author is in PR, which starts with P, and that rhymes with T and that stands for TROUBLE. Repeat after me: Public Relations. So, everything needs to be viewed through that lens. She’s trying to portray a certain image. That’s why she’s throwing around words like “finance” because she knows, for the most part, her uncritical audience won’t really have a clue what that means, nor even a clue how to begin to understand what that means. Ergo, Gazillionaire.

    Second, some amazingly wealthy people lead very public lives. Movie and television starts come to mind. (The author, I repeat, is in television PR.) MOST amazingly wealthy people, however, avoid publicity like the plague – because it brings the unwanted attention like lawsuits, the IRS, the SEC, and other young government whippersnappers trying to make names for themselves. This is especially so of people in sensitive industries like “finance” who deal with real clients who, similarly, shun publicity. This is the real world. Many of the wealthiest hedge fund managers are literally hiding out trying to avoid scrutiny – think Steven Cohen. My point is: If he were really one of these “established” wealthy financiers, it’s more likely than not the he would not appreciate the publicity being brought to him by his finance. So, I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that he may be, himself, trying to build up his business and make himself appear more successful than he actually is.

    Second, you may not know this but the “finance” sector has been through a catastrophe which turned a lot of otherwise “comfortable” people’s lives into turmoil in the past five years or so. This is a guy with four kids. Again, I’m going to offer the possibility that, he’s not some billionaire financial wizard, but rather just regular Joe Van Schmo, III who’s been struggling in the rat race like everyone else since 2008. Again…. google, people.

    Lastly, if you want a peek into the financial situation, take a look at what his ex-wife is up to and draw your own conclusions. (Google?)

    My guess is: the author comes from money. Most “PR” women built their business on contacts they already had (parents, cough cough). The , I’m guessing, does okay but, for the most part, he’s getting married in order to build/maintain a lifestyle that he was not able otherwise to do. Hamptons. I otherwise agree with Moxie’s commentary with respect to his children…. and the ex-wife.

    Also, not to belabor the point but you should probably buy stock in Google.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I intentionally didn’t mention the bit about his ex-wife, but since you brought it up, I’ll fill folks in.

      His ex-wife is the organizer of a Meetup group for women plagued by financial concerns post-divorce. Also interesting is that she listed herself on that profile by her full *married* name. Now, if I were a betting person, I would bet that she did that intentionally so that when people Google him, they find that group and her profile where she discusses her “paralyzing” fears where money is concerned. Allow me to translate: My ex-husband screwed me in our divorce or my ex-husband is broke.

      I’d also like to translate “hand bag designer” for the folks at home, since the author says she owns her own handbag line. If you live in Manhattan, you’ve no doubt run into countless people who “own a handbag line” or “design their own jewelery line” or head up some similar entrepreneurial venture. Only a fraction of those people actually make any money from that. The money they live off of is usually family money. Or alimony. Or both.

      The reason why so many of the xoJaners were so quick to believe this woman’s fable is probably the same reason why so many of them appear to have been scammed. cheated on, lied to, or otherwise done wrong by men: they got distracted by all the shiny things and ignored what was right in front of them.

      I will also say that it’s totally suspicious to me that this guy couldn’t wait to hop on a dating app like Tinder, of all apps, to meet a new girlfriend. As DMN mentioned, this is the type of guy who would NEVER want his clients knowing he was using a dating site, let alone freakin’ Tinder. While the author of the article is certainly very attractive, I found it odd that she met this rare unicorn on TINDER. Which leads me to believe that they needed an angle for their “love story” that they could sell.

      • bbdawg Says:

        wow Moxie and DMN! Daayuummm! wow. Superb background check!
        Yeah I guess… they’re hoping to sell it for a Rom Com script starring Jennifer Anniston. Pheewww.
        I was so into the story though:)

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          I didn’t Google her/him. I didn’t have to. I knew the minute she said he told her they were going to marry after dating for only 3 months and that he had four kids and they got engaged after dating 6 months that her story was a crock. I read the deets in a comment on another site. None of it surprised me.

      • DMN the Wise Says:

        “As DMN mentioned, this is the type of guy who would NEVER want his clients knowing he was using a dating site, let alone freakin’ Tinder.”

        DMN? Oh, yeah! I was called that once…. When you disappeared briefly in August, I ended up getting pulled into the dark pit in Moria by the Balrog. There, I battled the Balrog for days until I defeated it, but it almost killed me. I laid there near death for what felt like centuries to me but, for you, it was only a few weeks. Then, I was sent back to complete my mission with a new name and long locks of white hair. I haven’t updated the avatar yet, though, so I see why you were confused.

        I think the author’s staid fiancée was probably most impressed with her “No Hookups!” comment in her Tinder profile.

      • John Says:

        “I will also say that it’s totally suspicious to me that this guy couldn’t wait to hop on a dating app like Tinder, of all apps, to meet a new girlfriend. As DMN mentioned, this is the type of guy who would NEVER want his clients knowing he was using a dating site, let alone freakin’ Tinder”

        I don’t think the guy is concerned about his clients finding him on a dating site.

        1- His male clients wouldn’t even know he was on a dating site. The odds of one of his clients female friends saying “do you know who I saw on a dating site?” is remote.

        2- If his female clients saw him on a dating website, it is because they are doing the same thing he is doing and wouldn’t judge him for that.

        3- Most people don’t use Tinder. OKC,Match,POF are the biggies. While Tinder may be the fastest growing, it is tiny in comparison so the odds of one of his clients seeing him on that tiny app are virtually nil.

  7. Ben Iyyar Says:

    I see his plot all the time on TV. Fortyish, handsome, well educated, and professional divorced man dates a divorced lady with three children a couple of times, and poof, he proposes marriage. On TV this happens a lot, in my experience, not so much.

  8. BrooklynRoyal Says:

    The story is believable if he has custody of the kids. Men with children remarry quickly quite often. I doubt he is wealthy, but he probably earns an upper income salary.

  9. AC Says:

    Aren’t XOJane readers notorious for their softball questions and “you go girl” comments? That said, their reaction is no surprise.

  10. Mark Says:

    I guess I’m in the minority on this one.

    If someone finds another person, as the one in the story , I say great.

    Hey, we all look for someone. We all have a criteria. Voiced or not. Pick and choose. But do so wisely.

    This guy happens to fit her bill. Apparently he fits hers. They seem to hit it off.

    Both are adults, have been around the block… etc. They both go in with eyes wide open. Especially in a rough and tumble urban setting.

    Having said that, I never want hear someone complain if this scenario, or one like it goes South. People usually know, or should know, what they are getting into. If you minimize, gloss over or otherwise disregard certain factors, then I really can’t be all that sympathetic if down the road there is angst or complaining about the situation if the situation isn’t what they dreamed it would be.

    Again, if this works for them, then I say great and more power to them both.

    I sincerely mean that. I really do.

    However, if things don’t work out, well…

    • C Says:

      I agree. Two grown adults who have had their share of life experiences choose to pursue marriage seems to deserve a little pat on the back. Of course there are cracks in the facade. What 40-something year old doesnt have bagage?! She is bragging, but who cares?! She’s happy. Let her have her moment.

      I’m not sure their courtship was all that short. She said they met in August, got engaged around thanksgiving of last year, and in the article talked about a future wedding date of January. Sounds like the courtship was 1.5 years. Whats the big deal?

      Even if it was short, Jimmy Fallon married his hot wife after a 4 months courtship. I dont know what the rush was but 6 years later, they look pretty damn happy. Good for them. Everyone has their own sense of timing.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        You clearly internalized the post because you jumped into marriage yourself, so I’ll break it down for you:

        1. The guy hadn’t been legally divorced more than 6 months before he’s proposing to someone else.

        2. They dated all of 3 months before the guy – who just got divorced a few months earlier – was telling her they were going to get married.

        3. He had 4 young children. Of course you don’t get why that’s a big deal. You’ve never done that.

        4.He’s not Jimmy Fallon, who wasn’t divorced at the time he met his wife and had no children. You’re comparing apples to basketballs to try and prove your point.

        Adults who choose marriage don’t deserve a pat on the back. People who stay married for many years and don’t divorce are the ones who accomplish something, not two people who date for 6 months and decide, “We both screwed up the first time so why not?”

        • E-B Says:

          “Adults who choose marriage don’t deserve a pat on the back. People who stay married for many years and don’t divorce are the ones who accomplish something”

          It is disturbing how much emphasis people have on the wedding and having the status of being married. The hard part is making it work, for better or worse, until death do you part.

  11. Tara Says:

    You’re jealous, Moxie. Plain and simple.

    • Nicole Says:

      I admit to being jealous of her closet ;)

    • stephanie Says:

      Moxie is not jealous, and she’s not wrong. Something smells here, and not just the possible poo in what is probably the little one’s diaper.

    • Gabi Says:

      That’s right, go for the low hanging fruit. Of course, make it about Moxie being jealous (of what? a bullshit artist shilling her bogus clickbait?) rather than her making a valid point in critiquing what is obviously a flawed romance. Just the way it’s packaged with the broad strokes and glossed over details merit critique. It reads as some sort of humblebrag when it’s really a “when narcissists swipe” type of “love” story.

  12. Tara Says:

    Ok, she’s not jealous.

  13. Noquay Says:

    We call these guys “recruiters”, they have kids, kids are hard to raise alone, especially when the guy was not used to being the main caretaker. He’s recruiting for a mommy and fast.

  14. Eviec Says:

    i would personally find this timeline irresponsible because of the kids involved. I think meeting kids within three months is very fast – and I want to assume they all spent time together before they were engaged. It would seem easy to date a person with four kids if you never saw them, but if you were involved in their lives there will be situations to work out.

    Good luck to them all.

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