On occasion, I like to look at Craigslist, which I consider to be one of the great Internet success stories of our time. Not only is it great for browsing classifieds (which is where I found not only a great end table set, but the wonderful home where I now live), but it’s also fantastic for other nuggets of human interest, like personals, jobs, and humor. Hence I was overjoyed to find in the Best of Craigslist a posting from my hometown, Denver, that almost demands a written response.
In this anonymous posting, a forty-something man gives his 9 rules for dating, and I have to say that this gentleman has a few solid points. I’m not going to simply repeat his rant here, but I did have a couple of items of note to mention, namely:
1. I never seriously date a woman who terminated her last relationship because she wasn’t “happy”. Happiness is an emotional response to external stimuli. To break the vow of “til’ death do us part” over an emotional state that may or may not be another person’s fault, is shallow and shows a lack of emotional maturity. It tells me that woman is too self absorbed to be a reliable partner in the future.
5. “Independent” women. I never date a woman who feels the need to tout her own independence. First, independent entities by definition do not want or need to be in any type of union with another entity. When the United States declared independence from Great Britain, we dissolved the ties that had connected us to the British. I myself am independent and feel no need to tell everyone about it. It is called being an adult. Being able to take care of yourself doesn’t make you special, it makes you “grown folks”. Second, if you are that independent, why are you looking for a relationship in the first place? Independence is the opposite of dependence and being able to depend on others is why we get into relationships of any kind in the first place.
7. I don’t date women who have their children full time. Might come across as a shitty attitude to have, but I see no need to be a full time father to someone else’s children and a part time father to my own. This is a personal preference I developed after having discussions with my own children. Mine have been through enough already, I’m the Dad and feel I am doing what is best for my children, they were here first.
One of the things that I found particularly interesting about this man’s rules was the completely different perspectives that my girlfriend and I had on the same topics. My significant other found this guy to be bitter; I, on the other hand, didn’t. I found him realistic. But I didn’t agree with him on EVERY point. For instance, as a single father, I found the part about not dating women that have their children full time a touch… loathsome. I can understand that a person might not want to deal with extra people coming between you and your own children, but it kind of seems like a problem of time allocation. I also suspect that men that won’t date women that have their children full-time are eliminating a possibly fantastic pool of empathic mates. Personally, I’ve found most single mothers to be great people that are very appreciative of male attention.
Naturally, his results probably varied.
My rules were not nearly as complex – of course, I have a wonderful significant other and am so out of the single’s market that I’ve forgotten what the market is like – but yes, I do have rules, some of which were at one point probably a little similar to this person’s own. It’s an interesting perspective on the culture of fatherhood, being single, and dating later in life that exists in world today.