Math is not my strong suit, but I would guess that at least 40% of the men in my online dating pool are divorced dads (and another 40% want children…).
Once in a while, I hear the distant echo of friends and family saying “Be more open-minded about dating men with children.” So I half-heartedly try to persuade myself to try dating a divorced dad. “Just try it,” I say to myself. And my self replies, “No, you are happily childfree. You don’t even want your own children, so why would you want to deal with someone else’s?”
Not to mention an ex-wife, ex-in-laws, etc.
I readily admit that my baggage monogrammed with the letters ACOD (adult child of divorce) plays into my hesitation as well. Parental divorce sucked at 24; it would be hard to watch a toddler or teenager go through it. And I would find it nearly impossible for the dad to win in my book: if he didn’t see his kid very often, I would think of him as a deadbeat. But if he saw his kid a lot, I would feel like second fiddle. And who wants to feel like second fiddle?
I don’t think that a woman who is open to having her own children would feel the same way about it. Maybe a woman with happily married parents would feel different as well.
I know that some people say that it’s better for children if their unhappy parents divorce. Maybe it’s better in some ways (especially if abuse is involved, of course). But I wonder how the current and recent generations are being affected by the high divorce rate. Is the divorce rate destined to keep climbing?
Continuing in the childfree vein, I just came across this great essay written by a single, childfree artist a few years ago. He talks about a phenomenon that hits middle-aged folks, which I can definitely relate to.
And my friend Anya, who writes a great blog about childfree life and dating, invited me to guest post recently. I wrote down my top ten reasons for being childfree. Check it out.
Thanks for the shout-out Nancy!
Even though I’m happy without kids, I’m open to dating someone who has them. For some reason pre-existing kids cause me less angst than the idea of producing my own. 🙂
I do get worried when a guy on Match posts 50 photos of him with his kids though…the second fiddle thing could be an issue. But, I think there are situations where I could be an awesome girlfriend to a guy and a “cool auntie” to his kids without going full-on stepmom mode…
FWIW, I am a child of a happy marriage, which I’m sure influences my feelings about divorce, as you say.
Yes, I think some scenarios would be easier than others. For example, dating a dad of teenagers would be less complicated than dating a dad of toddlers, I would think…