All The Single Ladies: Dating a Man With Children?

dating-relationship-man-with-kidsBeing on the dating scene, I’ve been reconsidering what characteristics I desire in a partner and which are absolute deal breakers. A situation I’ve come across more and more lately are men with a child or children. Divorcees, single fathers, or men who parent part-time, they identify themselves in various ways. Dating these men comes with the implicit agreement that you will be meeting and eventually spending your time with a person under the age of eighteen.

Until now I never considered a man having children to be problematic. After all, there all sorts of families, many of them featuring stepchildren. I’m now realizing that the situation is far more complex than it may at first appear. Men with children, rightfully, can prioritize their children. As a woman in the beginning stages of a relationship, it can be off-putting to know that you are in second place by default. Then there is the issue of having the relationship become long-term and essentially becoming a stepmother and assuming all the responsibilities of mommy long before having any children of your own. And of course there are the issues that can arise with the child’s mother. She is free to interrupt your plans with emergencies, call at odd hours, and otherwise impose.

Dating a man with children has its upsides. Such a man is likely more stable, responsible, and past the stage of having his world center around his selfish needs. A woman can be assured that such a man will make a good father because he already is one. In many cases he is more than capable of sustaining a long-term committed relationship because he likely has already been in one.

Is the extra work of dating a man with kids worth it, however? Single women without children, I’m interested in your thoughts in particular. Other women and men are also welcome.

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Why The Man Has to Chase, Part Two

black-woman-phone-laughingThree years ago I wrote Article Response: Why The Man Has to Chase. Since then the post has received over 100 comments on why men should or should not be the ones to pursue women for a romantic relationship. A few comments claimed that people should be more open-minded and not be so old-fashioned; women should be able to pursue men when they want.

I agree. Women should be allowed to pursue a man that they are interested in. However, this idea brings to mind one question: why wouldn’t a man chase, if he were interested? Wouldn’t he want to go after what he wanted?

To understand, women: imagine, you meet a man you like. 

You are mesmerized by his presence and dream of the things you will see and do together. When not with him, you often think of him. Would you then choose not to contact or be around this same man? Would you choose to do most other things over spending time with them? Of course not.

Interest and liking of a person is naturally followed by a desire to be in their presence — physically, emotionally, mentally. Disinterest or ambivalence, on the other hand, leads to a lack of desire to be in a person’s presence.

Many women have experience the barrage of contact from a man who is interested in them. Calls, texts, the man finding ways to show up where they are. Sometimes the situation may not be extreme but the general tendency of the man is to seek out ways to spend time with their love interest.

So another strong reason why a man should pursue a woman is quite simply because if he were interested, he would pursue.

Having a man chase doesn’t mean a woman simply waits around and does nothing. It can mean allowing a man to take the initiative once interest is established. Enthusiastically responding to his contact and keeping communication going is good, as is occasionally initiating contact. Pursuing and eagerly contacting a man who isn’t showing reciprocal interest, however, could easily result in undesirable circumstances, as discussed in Part One.

So once again, women, let a man pursue you. You won’t be sorry if you do.

Attractive Personality Traits in Men

man-intellectual-crownA previous post, Attractive Features in Men covered the physical features I find most attractive in men. But what about a man’s mental and emotional traits? Which personality characteristics increase a man’s appeal? Here is my personal list of the most attractive personality traits in men.

1. Intellectually Curious

Intellectual curiosity adds tremendously to a man’s attractiveness. The eagerness and willingness to learn new things and increase one’s knowledge makes a person that much more interesting. There is more to discuss, share, and do.

2. Open

Related to intellectual curiosity, a man who shows an openness of mind is receptive to new ways of being and is able to adapt and accommodate the unfamiliar or unknown. Such a trait makes it easier to deal with all the changes life brings.

3. Independent

While independence of body is great, independence of mind is most attractive. Independence of mind means being able to absorb and analyze information and come to decisions without needing the input of others. An independent man knows his own values, wants, and needs, and doesn’t mind if others may disagree with them.

4. Committed

It might seem obvious but being able to stay committed to what they start is a trait which distinguishes certain men from others. Too many become distracted, lose focus, or can’t muster the will to stick to see something all the way through. A man who can stay the course has wide appeal.

5. Quirky

Just a pinch of peculiar makes a person more exciting to be around. I enjoy a man who is a bit offbeat, one whose behavior and way of being isn’t quite expected. A man who is different from the crowd catches my eye and holds my interest.

6. Emotionally Intelligent

A man with emotional intelligence understands his own emotions and how they affect him and those around him. He is able to foster positive relationships and minimize conflict with others. It goes without saying that this is a very valuable trait to have in an intimate relationship.

7. Loving

A man who is truly loving has depth of feeling for those close to him and isn’t afraid to express these feelings from time to time, in the way he knows how. He considers it important to make sure that those significant in his life are reminded of his love for them. Whether that be through words or actions, a loving man is attractive to women and in general.

Which characteristics are on your list? What make a man attractive to you?

See also:

Open Question: Does Persistence Pay Off?

courting-datingEveryone has their view on whether being persistent in dating works and whether one should even bother trying to get the attention and affections of a person who hasn’t reciprocated their interest. Many also have the opinion that being overly persistent can be an invasion of another person’s personal space and peace of mind. But does being persistent actually work or is it simply the last measure in a desperate situation?

My view on persistence is that it is highly dependent on the particular situation — sometimes it works wonderfully, other times it fails miserably. If the one being pursued had some initial interest or was unsure if they shared the interest that someone showed in them, persistence may pay off. By being persistent the pursuer shows that they are deeply interested and would take extra steps to make sure that something comes of it. On the other hand, if the one being pursued showed no initial interest and continued to show no interest, continuing to being persistent will only serve to annoy them and almost certainly fail.

What do you think — does persistence in courting and dating work? Has persistence worked for you or with you in previous relationships or your current relationship?

Open Question: Should Women Pursue Men?

equal-courtshipSince publishing the response article Why the Man Has to Chase I’ve received several comments and emails from men and women alike explaining why, or why not, they agree with the premise of the post. For the most part, the men who have written in do not agree with the idea that while women can initiate contact, women are more successful in dating and relationships if they leave the pursuing and chasing to men.

In contrast, the vast majority of women who have given their responses agree with the article and have given their experiences with dating that support the theory behind it. In the females’ experience, for a variety of reasons, pursuing men they have found attractive has been mostly unsuccessful.

Now, I ask readers, considering all factors: your experiences, personal beliefs, and any others: do you think women should pursue men?

One part of my view is contained in the earlier post — no, women should not pursue men because men don’t want to be chased. Men, if they’re interested, will show this interest in some way, thus making chasing men unnecessary.

However, the idealist in me does believe that women should pursue men. After all, this makes securing the man she finds the most attractive, easier, instead of choosing from the men who show interest. In a world without gender bias and norms, women would and should approach men. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.

What is your view? Should women pursue men or not?

Seven Reasons to Try Online Dating

online-dating-womanDating online was once the uncommon route, only sought out by the very open-minded, busy, or love-seeking. These days, however, finding love online is becoming the norm — recent research has it as the second most common way for couples to meet. Some are estimating online dating to match or surpass all other forms of meeting in the future.

However, making the decision to date online is a very personal choice, and some are still not sure what online dating has to offer them. Online dating does come with its unique drawbacks, but it also has positives that don’t apply to traditional, offline dating. Considering your real-world options while keeping an active online dating profile could prove to be the most profitable way to find the perfect match:

1. Online dating widens your pool of prospective partners

You’re no longer limited to people you know, those your friends or family are acquainted with, or happen to see passing by. Distance is only an issue if you make it one.

2. Dating websites allow you to get a sense of who a person is, before talking to them

Unlike dating in the concrete world, when you use a dating website, you can read a person’s profile and get a good idea of what sort of person they are. You can note shared interests, goals in life, career, and personality. This greatly enhances your selection.

3. Dating online fits into a busy schedule

If your life is hectic and you’re so busy that you don’t have much time to go out and meet people, online dating fixes that problem. Potential dates are provided to you with the click of a mouse.

4. Online dating emphasizes compatibility beyond the physical

While physical appearance is still important in online dating, most online dating websites present possible matches based on common interests, personality, and perspectives on life. Outside of dating websites, many meet through sites that cater to a certain subset of the population, such as those who enjoy writing or sports, or have a certain political or religious slant.

5. Being shy or socially awkward isn’t an issue

Online dating is especially helpful to those who are shy, introverted, or believe they lack social skills. On the internet, you can “e-approach” someone, talk to them when you feel ready, and rejection is never face-to-face.

6.  Dating comes at your own pace

You choose when and how you will date online. If you’d rather talk to someone online before meeting, you simply let the other person know. If you’d rather meet offline immediately, that is also an option.

7. Most are looking for a relationship

One dating issue is handled immediately with online dating, that of whether or not a person is looking for or serious about a relationship. The majority of people (although not all) who join online dating sites are serious about finding a partner.

See also:

7 Ways to Get Over a Break-Up

get-over-break-up

For many people relationships are one of their greatest motivators in life. If you’re one of these people, life can seem pointless when a relationship ends. It may take a while to pick yourself up. Here are seven ways to speed up the process, get over your ex, and move on.

7. Get a new and time-consuming hobby

You do need to fill up that time you used to spend with your ex with something else. The possibilities are endless.

6. Recall the negatives

Sounds sinister but it you’re still dwelling on your past relationship you’re probably remembering all the good things about it and your ex. Remembering the not-so-good times might help to balance things out.

5. Do what you’ve always wanted to

There is usually something that we’ve wanted to do but have put off until the right time. Well, now that you’re a free agent you’re given the green light to do it, now. Get fit, turn your hobby into a job, start a blog.

4. Catch up with old friends

When we’re in a relationship we devote a lot of our time to our partner and the relationship, so friends can feel neglected. Use this time to become the best of friends with your long-time pals.

3. Assess

Try to understand what caused your break-up and what role you might have played in it. Also consider what factors made you unhappy or happy in the relationship and use these as guidelines for any future relationships

2. Throw a break-up party

Some celebrate the beginning of a new relationship but you should celebrate the fact that you’ve broken up — it was probably for a reason. You’re moving on to better things. Invite all your friends!

1. Get a new relationship

The easiest way to get over a past relationship is to get a new one. Tested and proven effective.

7 Types of Men I’d Never Date

do-not-pass-goMost people have a “type” — a particular look or personality that they find appealing in others. I’m the same — I also have types, but what I have more of are non-types — those that I do not find appealing or even repelling.

These types coincide with general personality traits I find disagree with my own, but in romantic relationships they take on an even greater importance. At a distance you can pretend everything’s fine, but in close quarters, you can only pretend for so long. Perhaps this should be titled “7 Types of Men I’d Never Date (Again)”:

The Argumenter — The Argumenter is that great debater you found so attractive at first. Just so informed, intellectual, and worldly, isn’t he? He’d never lose an argument…Including one with you, and he spares no words.

Also known as Mr. Know-It-All.

The Passive — Easy enough to get along with, begin a relationship, and deal with in a relationship. You’ll think the fact that you never disagree with the passive guy means you’re meant for each other. What it really means is that the disagreement will happen later, perhaps much later, when the Passive Guy grows tired of pretending he agrees with everything you do and say.

Not for the straightforward.

Bob Bummer — In a word, negative. This guy isn’t usually the most attractive, but can find himself in relationships with women who think they can make his life a little brighter with their presence. What actually happens is Bob Bummer makes your day a little gloomier by killing any excitement or happiness you feel by bringing in thoughts of doubt and urging you to think of the”worst case scenario”.

Of course if your name should be changed to Debbie Downer, you’ll find Bob Bummer to be perfect.

The Player — We all know of the Player. He says all the right things at all the right times, and he can do no wrong. Except he’s say all the right things with every woman he’s ever dated. And just when she’s convinced he can do no wrong he finds someone else to say all the right things with.

Don’t hate the player..

RomeoNot exactly a Player because unlike the Player Romeo actually feels as strongly about you as you do about him. That is, he thinks he does. But Romeo loves romance more than any particular person, and when the sparkle and glitter are gone, so is Romeo.

There isn’t much else to know about Romeo because he usually doesn’t stick around long enough.

The King of the Throne/Breadwinner — Lovely, if you like being the equivalent of a nice-looking suit or enjoy being told what to do, say, and think. He is convinced a man should be a “man” in a relationship. The King of the Throne makes the rules, even if his throne consists of an armchair.

Often extremely judgmental, as an added bonus.

The IntellectualizerIf you have emotions, and would like to express them, then look for another partner. Some Intellectualizers just don’t get emotions, theirs included, but others actively ignore or belittle them. To the extreme Intellectualizer emotions are just irrelevant. The only upside is that if you ever have a problem to solve, they can fix it.

It’s hard to decide if the Intellectualizer is the least problematic of the types, or the most.

Which of these types have you dated and which do you find the most and least appealing?

“Women Like Jerks”

kristin-cavallari-justin-bobby

We all know by now that women supposedly only like the bad boys. This common saying spans cultures and time periods and take on variations to suit the situation such as “Women don’t like nice guys” and “Black women only like thugs”. What is the cause of this phenomenon, if it truly exists?

The sexes are divided on this topic: many women disagree with the statement, insisting that they don’t like men with bad behavior and can appreciate a kind and good guy. Meanwhile, men claim that women like this are in the minority; most women like their men tough and a little rough around the edges.

In my view, like with most things, the truth seems to lie somewhere in the middle. While a few women do like the bad-to-the-bone guys, most women wouldn’t go for an outright jerk. At the same time, most women may not be too fond of your stereotypical nice guy/wall flower. The ideal guy would strike a balance between tough and traditionally masculine, and gentle and receptive.

But why is the bad guy chosen over the Average Joe? Contrary to what may be assumed, the bad boy’s badness is not what is appealing to women, but his other traits that go along with it. The Jerk is the opposite of the Nice Guy, so what the Nice Guy lacks the Jerks has, in abundance. Characteristics such as:

  • Confidence — Bad boys come across as secure and confident in themselves. As I’ve written before, confidence, not arrogance, is attractive.
  • Assertiveness — Does the guy go for what he wants or does he wait for it to come along? Is he passive or does he stand his ground? The jerk does (sometimes to a fault).
  • Certainty — This lets the woman know that the man has his own life, his own opinions, and can deal with situations as they come.
  • Charisma — That certain something. Other guys may have it, the bad guy probably has it.
  • Ability — Most of all, the bad boy signals that he is capable and doesn’t rely on others to guide him on what to do.

All of these traits, and others, make the bad boy stand out in a sea of men and signal to a woman that he is interesting, different, and might be worthwhile. So while there is nothing wrong with your average guy, she’ll be more likely to notice and become interested in someone who dares to push the limits of what’s right and acceptable.

Agreed? Let me know your thoughts on why women are attracted (or not) to bad guys, below.

See also:

 

Your Partner is a Jerk and Why You Should Care

rude-partnerYour partner is a jerk. They yell at service people, are quick to engage in an argument or fight, and make sure to put anyone who crosses them back “in their place.” When they come around, people who are familiar with them are wary. To put it bluntly: your partner is a rude, unbearable torture.

So what do you do? If you’re like most people I’ve known: nothing. You ignore it. After all, your partner is sweet as pie to you, and is only rude sometimes. You just know deep down that they are truly a kind, humane, and civil individual. But you laugh at their jokes at the expense of others. You may even find their surly manner to be admirable and attractive and are proud of how easy they “assert” themselves.

There seems to be an epidemic of rude, outright gruff partners. Particularly these partners with people who are quite unlike them — the most polite and kind people you could ever meet. Opposites attract, right? Well, in addition to this epidemic there seems to be more break-ups of this type, and more people complaining about their unbearable ex-partners.

When I hear about a friend or acquaintance remarking how horrible their ex is now being to them or was to them during their break-up, I’m usually not surprised. What did they expect? Their partner has always been on the rude side — this is not a new development. The only thing new about the situation is that their partner’s rudeness is now directed towards them, instead of only to others. Which brings me to one reason why you should care if your current partner makes Spencer Pratt look like Mother Theresa:

1. You Are Not Immune

For reasons unknown, persons who find themselves in relationships with rude people believe they will never or rarely have to deal with their partner’s “other” side. They believe that is reserved for everyone else, those the person doesn’t love as much. This delusion remains up until the break-up, when they realize just how wrong they were.

I’ve yet to see a rude person spare former partners from their jerkiness. Try as they might, questionable comments slip out here and there. Or they might not try, especially if the break-up was a difficult one. And in either situation, their former partner, the one who would look the other way as they cursed out their favorite enemy, end ups having to clean up the mess.

spencer-pratt-heidi-montag

Spencer Pratt and gloriously oblivious victim, wife Heidi Montag

2. If You Lay Down With Dogs…

When in a close relationship with another person, you may begin to take on their traits. Subtly though this may be, one day after years together you may find yourself their opposite sex twin. Same clothes, same hair. And same insufferable attitude.

However, even if your transformation is not as obvious, your association with this person will begin to affect you socially and personally. Friends and even family members may decide to avoid dealing with either of you. By linking up with someone who people find immediately, or eventually, to be unbearable, you become unbearable. Just ask the people whose relationships with close friends and family has been ruined by their tolerating of a rude partner’s attitude.

3. Relationships Are About Growth

Ideally a relationship should bring out the best in both partners. Both should learn from each other, and become better people for being in it. But this takes active participation — it doesn’t happen by accident. You are short-changing your partner –and yourself– by disregarding their disrespectful manner and way of handling issues. Neither of you grows, neither of you learns from your mistakes and becomes a person that others enjoy dealing with.

Have you ever had a rude partner or known someone with a rude partner? How did you deal with the situation (if you dealt with it)?