A Man’s POV: How it Makes Me Feel When… She Won’t Date Me Because I’m a Single Dad

  • Posted on: March 2nd, 2011 by

By JR Reed

I found her profile on an online dating site. It was amazing. She was hot. Really hot. Four-alarm fire hot. And funny. Successful too. She was almost too good to be true. I re-read the profile again; just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. Nope. Just as amazing as the first time I read it.

I quickly crafted a clever message to her and crossed my fingers as I waited for a reply. With a profile like that I knew she must get dozens (if not hundreds) of messages a day. I was hoping to get a reply, but I wasn’t sure that was even realistic.

She was beautiful and at first glance, wonderful. I was an average looking full-time single dad with a hectic job and a pre-teen daughter. It didn’t seem like a match made in heaven, but I’ve seen stranger things happen. Angelina Jolie married Billy Bob Thornton. If Angelina could marry Billy Bob, I had to believe I had a shot with this woman.

A couple days later my BlackBerry beeped. I had a new e-mail from the dating site and I was beyond excited to see she sent me a message. As I logged on I said a silent prayer. “C’mon God. Hook me up. I totally deserve this.”

“Thanks for the message,” she began. So far so good. “I don’t date guys with kids. Good luck.” I felt like I got junk punched. My heart plummeted into my stomach and I was really bummed. Is this what it felt like to be discriminated against? I didn’t know it was possible to be discriminated against for being a dad. Apparently it is.

I was 40 years old. How many 40-year-old guys have kids? I’m not going to take the time to do in-depth research, but I think its safe to assume that a high percentage of males my age have pro-created. I would also guess that a large number of these men have some sort of regular interaction with their kids.

“Well this sucks,” I thought. I wanted to ask her why, but I needed to take my time and not pop off with a diatribe of four-letter words. I sat and pondered her message for a few moments before sending her a reply.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I wrote. “I’m kind of curious about something. WHY don’t you date guys with kids? Do you find many guys here who don’t have kids? I won’t bother you again, but if you could take a moment to answer my questions I would totally appreciate it.”

This time I figured for sure I would never hear from her, but 15 minutes later I received another message. I opened it and read her response.

“I don’t date guys with kids because I need to be the focal point of a man’s attention. If he has kids, it takes his attention away from me. I deserve to be taken on nice trips and to nice dinners. That won’t happen if someone has kids. As I said before, good luck.”

Wow. I guess I knew people like her existed, but I never thought I would personally encounter one. I’m a single dad and I’m happy to be one. When I got her first message I was sad. After thinking about it for a few minutes I realized it was her loss. Not mine.

She won’t date me because I’m a single dad? No problem. The right one is out there somewhere, and you know what? She’s going to love me BECAUSE I’m a single dad. When single dads find the right woman, we can absolutely find a spot for her in our lives and we will find the time to take them on nice trips and out to nice dinners. Single dads know how to truly love others. Maybe one day she’ll figure that out. But I doubt it.

  • It’s the first time I’ve heard this from a woman. I’ve heard plenty of guys say the same…but clearly, she did you a favor, despite her looks and success, she’ll probably be unhappy forever. Her loss.

  • Kat

    I had a similar experience recently. I met a guy online who seemed to be a great match for me – very similar attitudes and demeaner, etc. I made it clear that I’m at a point in my life where I’m looking for a relationship and not just some hook-up or casual sexual relationship. You know what I got? “I couldn’t enter a relationship with you because my family’s values are against me dating a divorced woman..(with kids)…and I wouldn’t feel right about it but I find you attractive so maybe we could still get together” Huh?! I am a good person with two wonderful kids and one of these days I WILL meet a man who would be honoured to join our little family. He’s out there, I know it……

  • I wouldnt be bitter if I were you. Not that I am a single Dad, or Mom for that matter. I cant have kids. My last boyfriend (of 2 years) left me for his ex because she got jealous (assuming) and wanted to be a whole family again. One of the reasons I loved him was the way he loved his son. To me it showed me that he was a good man. Not saying I wouldnt do it again BUT if you take this perspective into mind I can understand her reasoning. Hell. She was honest at least. She didnt break your heart at best. You didnt hurt her at least and best. It could have been an excuse for not really liking you. Good on her for not stringing you along.

  • Hopefully she’ll figure it out someday. I imagine most of her other dates took off running when they figured out she felt this way.

  • My first love took care of his niece like she was his daughter (her mother passed), so I started off dealing with a a single dad. Ultimately, although we discussed marriage, he DIDN’T make time for me in his life. She was very young (under two before we ended it), and, understandably needy. He couldn’t leave. He couldn’t start a family with ME, in NYC. And that ish hurt. Because it seemed like only she was allowed to be needy, while I was supposed to understand constantly getting shafted. And then I felt doubly bad for having anything against a baby. It was just ridiculous.

    But I LOVED seeing him be a good dad. I WANTED him to be a good dad. So, even though it meant losing the only guy I ever loved, I moved to NYC, and wished him the best of luck. We talk sometimes…

    I’ve dated single dads since, but the children have to be older. Not like babies who constantly have emergencies. Maybe I’m a bad person, but I have needs as well…

  • flordeliz

    She did the right thing! I have no kids and hate when people act as if “only who does understand the love”. Research shows that more than 75% of women who married guys with kids regret it. I met a man with kids and no, I do not think he was are better than other guy cause he was a devoted great father. And yes, it is a pain in the ass not being able to make plans cause he has to do everything around kids schedule, it is a pain in the ass that the single woman has to put a lot of effort to “win” kids he had with other woman. It is awful to have kids hating you cause you “are not mommy”. Being there I see how people judged me and thought I was a selfish bitch, but nobody would see the effort and sacrifice me and other women did to try to make things work. Instead of seeing her as a bad person, see her a honest person who saved herself and yourself on getting in a unhappy relationship. You have kids? You are the best parent ever? Who doesn’t have them do not understand “the real love in life” ? Awesome. Find a single parent as yourself and be happy. At least if people avoid getting married and having kids by their 30s there wouldn’t be so many single parents around as it does today…

  • I understand being unhappy with rejection, but do you really have to frame it as if a woman is just an awful person for not choosing you? I don’t date single dads either, for a number of very good reasons which would take too much comment space to write about in depth. I’m not some item on a shelf that any man who asks is entitled to. I have a say in the matter as well. I have things that I find attractive, as well as things that I consider “deal-breakers,” and I deserve to have those. 

    Have you considered not taking things personally?

  • ThankGotI’mSterilized

    I don’t care about the fancy trips and dinners, but I would never date a man with kids either.

    I am childfree. I am able to give all of my love to a man. But if he has kids, I will always be low on his priority list, beneath his children and his baby-mama(s). Also, I’m childfree because I don’t want kids and I like my lifestyle without them. Why should I have to give up my entire life for someone? What happened to compromise? That is not fair to me. Why should I give my everything to a man who doesn’t care about me like I care about him? No thanks.

    In any other situation, you’d be saying that such women are respecting themselves by not entering into relationships in which they will be treated unfairly. But because the REASON they’ll be treated unfairly is because you have kids, it’s “discrimination?” Oh, please.

    Look, I sympathize with your position. I’m sure it must be hard. I’m sure you’re a nice guy. But be real with yourself. Why would should a woman being willing to spend her whole life in the back seat, being forced to compromise her entire life while you compromise nothing? The fact that the cause of this reality if your children does not change the fact that it is REALITY. No self-respecting woman (or man) would do that to themselves.

    It’s not her loss. She was smart. And admitting that would be the mature thing to do. Don’t act like your kids are some minor quibble, like a hair in a bowl of soup. They’re the 900-pound-gorilla in the room that controls everything about your life, and will control everything about the life of any woman you date, at least until they’re on their own.

  • Honest

    You, “fool” must have kids. It’s interesting that people with kids always get their panties in a knot when a person without a child or children won’t date YOU and take on YOUR situation. Hmm…taking a step back, who sounds more selfish? Think about it. Be honest.

    I bet this woman with her looks and success is happy she dodged a bullet.

  • matt

    Do you date ugly people? If not, why are you practicing discrimination? Don’t you think that ugly people feel just as hurt as you do when you reject them?

  • Hairballs-R-US

    Have you stopped to think that MAYBE she didn’t want kids or didn’t want to deal with the emotional baggage attached to you kid?

    There are so many reasons why a person might not want to date people who ALREADY have kids , and they’re all valid. It’s not discrimination.

    I CERTAINLY would not want to date someone who already has a kid because :

    1-I don’t like kids (shocking notion I know)

    2-Even if I liked them , I would want to date someone who would give me first priority in their life , but their kids would ALWAYS get first (which is fair , but I don’t want that)

    3-I do not want to play the role of the EVIL stepfather that comes to replace their “real” daddy . And YOU KNOW it happens.

  • Stephanie

    Do you know how this woman stayed hot, successful and funny? She didn’t have kids.

  • disqus_lGyAn0o70z

    So, a woman rejects you nicely and is honest about her feelings without being condescending of you and your life style, still, you feel like you’re being discriminated against, you even go as far as to come here and write up a complaining piece. Wow.

    Listen bub, ever so often I hear men go on and on about how they would never date a woman with kids because she is then “used up” or “someone has already spread their seed in her, she is now worthless as a mate” and you go bonkers because a woman POLITELY declined to date you based on HER OWN honest feelings without deevaluing you!? Dude.

    If a relationship is to work, you both need to be on the same page. Kids is a deal breaker for some people, just get over it here and now. A lot of small things won’t matter, but trust me, kids do. Good luck.

  • BT

    Discrimination, my rump. We all have a choice of what we do -and do not – want in our lives. She has every right to say “No,” just like you have the right to say “No.”

  • Lj Hamilton

    No, that’s NOT discrimination! What a stupid thing to even suggest, and insulting to people who have faced real discrimination over things in which they had no choice (skin colour, age,…)

    You chose to have kids knowing it would change aspects of your life. If you wanted to date people who don’t date single dads then you shouldn’t have chosen to be a dad.

  • Lj Hamilton

    Why would she be unhappy? That makes no sense!

  • Lj Hamilton

    Presumably not since they won’t have had children!

  • Lj Hamilton

    “Single dads know truly how to love others”????

    Maybe it was just an excuse. Maybe it was your arrogance that put her off.

  • I wonder how you can assume she is unhappy? And will be unhappy forever? It appears to me that she is happy and confident enough not to take just anything that comes along. A lot of men handle rejection by saying the women will regret not taking up with them and she’ll die a lonely spinster or whatever. Whatever works for you, dude.

  • Beatrix

    I am Childfree, if I was single I wouldn’t date anyone with kids either. The simple reason being, I have chosen to not have kids of my own. I certainly do not want to have to help raise kids that are not mine, I don’t want kids period. This woman has not been discriminating in the slightest. She was very polite in her reply, and you should just move on. Some people just don’t want kids, of any kind. She was honest and direct and you should respect that. Childfree people often do not want to date anyone that has children, it is a choice just like any other. Respect it and move on.

  • Jacquie Harkins

    Silly man, why would she want to sign up for surrogate motherhood to a pre-teen girl? She’d have to be nuts to want to get into that kind of drama. And did it not occur to you that this woman was “four alarm fire hot” because she DOESN’T have kids??

  • lucy990

    I won’t date men with kids either. Not because I care about fancy dinners or trips or even always coming first. But I don’t have kids for a reason. I just don’t want them and have no interest in having a life that involves children. If I dated a man with kids, I’d eventually have to spend time with those kids. I don’t want to spend time with kids, I’m not interested in kids, I won’t be interested in their baseball games and ballet recitals or talking to them about what they’re learning in school. So why would I want to date a man with kids? And why would a man with kids have any interest in dating me? I like my life, and I’m not going to make such a drastic change in it for a man.

  • Anna

    Everyone has deal-breakers…I am sure you have your share…You said it yourself you messaged her because she was hot…Would you have messaged her if she had been overweight or less then perfect no matter how neat her profile was? You described yourself has “average” well many “average” guys get mad when ladies they deem “above” them reject them for what-ever reasons…She is not some “prize” to be won and she should not have to bow down to you and worship you because of you are so *amazing*…She doesn’t want kids for what-ever reasons…YOU as a father if you are such a GREAT one should put the needs of you kid first…Therefore if you are such a good dad then you don’t want to date a lady that doesn’t want kids anyway because how do you think they would treat your kid?

    She has a very valid reasoning for not wanting to date you and she was honest about right away…you have no reason to complain…As you said the “right” one is out there that doesn’t mind you have a daughter…Why waste your time and energy being mad about the ones that don’t want to date you?

    You sound like one of those guys that whine about being “friendzoned”…Woman don’t owe you any of their time or attention no matter how “nice” you are…And she was nice enough to explain to you her reasoning…She should have just ignored you…Then you would have been on here bitching about how selfish she because she didn’t take the time to message your back and appreciate how wonderful you are!

  • Oline Wright

    And now you know how a woman who has children feels when she is rejected because she has children. That btw is the only true comparison here. The woman who rejected you due to your being a single Dad is like the men who reject women for being single mothers.
    There are people out there that can accept the child of someone else and some that can’t. It is good when they know this before hand. Yes it may be her loss because you may be a great guy and it might be possible that the woman could have gotten on well with your child had she given it a chance.
    At least she knows that she feels she should be central in a person’s life and therefore does not risk causing more harm by trying to be otherwise. Hopefully she will find someone as ego-centric as herself and they will find themselves happy.

  • Oline Wright

    I think you should have replied that your values would not permit you to get together with someone who only seeks to use you using family values or religion as a basis for his lack of willingness to consider commitment

  • CarlaKah

    Here is what I don’t understand. Since when is becoming a parent an upgrade in how good of a partner you can be? It isn’t! It is just procreation and an added huge responsibility in your life. Not to mention the increased expenses and decrease in flexibility. I think she just made the right decision. I completely agree with her. I am childfree and busy as well and would like to have my time and devotion met with the same quality and quantity. Say all you want but, as a good single dad you can not offer the same amount of attention, time and spontaneity as a childfree single man. Being a single dad means you already have a family (consisting of you and your kid(s). I (as much as many other childfree people) would like to build a family with someone who has none yet. That way it can be the only family we have together. Instead of possibility dealing with a kid that might not like me, a single mom that might not like our relationship, cancelled plans over a sick/tired/needy kid, only some of the income coming in our household because of alimony payments & child support etc etc. If I don’t have that kind of bagage I do not believe I should suffer the consequences of such bagage. I hope you understand that that doesn’t mean that you dont deserve love. Loving and commiting to a single dad while being a childfree single woman is just too much of a sacrifice if you haven’t given up on believing in and wanting a nuclear family.

  • Nulligravida

    Some people with kids like to assume that people without kids MUST be unhappy. They want to hallucinate this to satisfy their own needs for self-affirmation; that their lifestyle choice/decision/lifepath is the premium option and no other person can be possibly as happy as them.

  • Nulligravida

    “but do you really have to frame it as if a woman is just an awful person for not choosing you?”

    Of course he did. He could not handle rejection on the grounds that he was not her preferred choice and so he blamed her. Clearly this attractive, intelligent and successful woman missed the memo that demands that someone like her MUST date a single dad because he is like, yanno, so awesome and all that.

  • Nulligravida

    “I’m sure you’re a nice guy.”

    I am sure he is not. Anyone who has child-like tantrum because someone will not shag them (and let’s face it, he admits that he was driven by lustful intentions) is not a nice person.

  • Nulligravida

    Oh no, she and you clearly missed the memo that. apparently, says that single, childfree, attractive and successful women have an obligation to date single dads, to shag single dads and become a baby-sitter too. Any refusal to comply is DE-SRCRIMMY-NASHUN ™. The writer ought to sue that selfish Jezebel.

  • Nulligravida

    She is not ego-centric compared to this prat. He thinks he is awesome and she is, as Anna writes, some kind of prize and now he chucks a tantrum like some kind of spoilt brat because someone will not play with him.

  • Dawn

    This guy reminds me of the drama I faced doing online. I do not have kids (like them but always ambivalent about having them)but am not interested in being a stepmother. I have dealt with drama dating dads and have seen others deal with things I could never handle. I know people who married parents and ended up having to support the kids and the baby mama or baby daddy. I’ve seen others have to deal with the issues like visitation or dealing with the ex. When I did online dating I was contacted by fathers and it got frustrating because my profile was very clear that I wasn’t open to these men. I was threatened, harassed and called names because of my choice. It got to the point that these men constantly bothered me and I ended up quitting online dating. Not everyone is willing to date parents and not everyone is willing to bend to date one. I would rather be alone than date a single dad.

  • Chris Richardson

    I myself am in the same situation, knowing that I myself, simply because I have had and take responsibility for my children, will not be given a chance to have another relationship, because of these attitudes. The girl who rejected you, and all those who replied have no understanding of this and it is so unfair. Why? Because we know what they don`t- we are so much more than just single fathers – we are just like professional childless men but also we understand commitment and dedication, something not common nowadays. These judgements about single dads, how women would have to give up their lives, how the kids would dictate everything, and how he wouldn’t care for his partner are scare mongering and without foundation. What makes these people experts on things they understand nothing about? Yes some people have had bad experiences but this is true of all types of relationships. As you can tell I have very little opinion of the people that have replied to your story, but I have no answer. May they all get used by players to protect their precious selfish lifestyles.

  • Ann Brown

    “Precious selfish lifestyles”. Really? Well you obviously have not had the same experience(s) that these women have had. I have dated men with kid(s) and learned my lesson. I have had plans changed and or cancelled because dad had to alter the events due to his kid. If I wanted time to go away with dad we couldn’t because the kid comes first. It didn’t matter if the child is young, teenage or adult. If we were out at dinner he would take calls or texts from the kids. These situations are what makes women experts on things. The only time I will date a man with kids is if they are adult, out of the house and independent. I lived with a man for 6 years. He had 2 kids on their own and we had an amazing time.(Relationship ended because I moved) So Chris, yes women who have dated dads with kids do know what they are talking about. I bet if you did not have kids and dated women who did, you would be singing a different tune.

  • EntitledToMe

    Narcissist alert… again.

  • Nulligravida

    “have no understanding of this and it is so unfair.”

    How is it “unfair”? People are entitled to choose who they want to date. It has nothing to do with “fair”.

  • Nulligravida

    Irony is wasted on the stupid.

  • Nicole Tran

    Women aren’t obligated to date you. Get over it. Maybe you should focus on raising your kids instead of chasing after women.

  • cheeze.wiz

    I married and divorced a man with kids… Loved the kids couldn’t stand him or the mother… My and the kids lives revolved around them two… Literally… Their constant fights kept me and the kids on pin and needles… I’ll never go through that again. Not too mention he knocked up another chick while married to me… Two baby mamas too much so i chunked up the duces… Most people who have kids are just as selfish and immature as anyone else… More so

  • Jill

    Single mum’s are experts at this silly kind of whining. I never knew that men did it as well.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder Badonlinedates.com LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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