Dating Dads

I have a somewhat controversial stance on a matter that I feel nobody talks about. I know that it comes up for me often given my particular age range. Friends of mine that are other twenty and thirty-somethings are typically quite against dating older men, the main reason being that they have already experienced all of the big moments in life. People that I know think that marriage and children should be experienced for the first time with someone else that is also experiencing it for the first time.

I feel undecided on this. Being a child of divorce myself, I get very strange about any conversation about meeting kids from previous marriages. It’s not that I’m resentful. I just know how hard it is as the child to meet someone your parent is involved with.  Many men act like it is a great honor for them to want to introduce you to children, but honestly, it goes both ways. The person meeting them has to be ready and at a comfortable point just as equally, because it is a unique situation for all parties. The person meeting the children has a lot of risk. They have to be ok with the possibility of not being liked by this huge part of their partner’s life.

A huge red flag to me is when a man says something along the lines of: my kids are my number one, nobody can ever compare. I instantly pass on this person. Anyone naïve enough to believe that children and relationships belong in the same priority bucket lacks a great deal of awareness. I think obviously, anyone’s offspring will be their main concern. A person’s children is the most altruistic relationship they will ever have, or at least, should be. However, I don’t think, and would hope, that’s not to the exclusion of all other things. I think an intelligent being should be able to stratify their priorities in a way that isn’t so end-all, be-all. A relationship is a selfish endeavor, in the best possible way. One must care for themselves and have a satisfying relationship if that is something of importance to them.

In relationships, I have often felt like I was not a priority. I have found this happens equally with men that are juggling families and work, and guys closer to my age that are juggling work and friends. All in all, I know that life isn’t a perfectly planned roadmap. I don’t think you can choose who you care about or why. If you meet someone that happens to be outside of the mold you always envisioned for yourself, will you not explore that meaningful relationship simply because they aren’t the prototype that you envisioned for yourself?

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