A good friend of mine, F. Slocombe, & I met because of the Urban Dater. We have a lot in common in our views on dating & marriage & babies. Oh babies, the dreaded issue, an issue he & I bonded over. After me
beggingasking many times he finally had some free time to write for us. I hope it's the first of many guest posts from him. Enjoy! Taylor Cast
I'm nearing 30, I have a budding and semi-successful career, I drive a car that I've bought myself. I'm ambitious, I am constantly on the go, and I always strive to do great things. I'm well-read, and educated – I have a Master's degree. I'm always thoughtful, and most people will tell you that no matter how stressed out I am, I always make the best of the situation and am tons of fun to be around. I always make time for the people in my life that are important to me. My friends and family are welcoming, heart-warming, wonderful people. I'm told that I'm a good-looking dude, and my female friends actually set me up with their other friends, because I really, truly am a GREAT catch.
Well, I just got dumped.
I was having breakfast about a month ago with my now ex-lady friend in San Diego, after an amazing night out with her and my aforementioned wonderful friends. The table sitting next to us was a family, with a 6-10 month-old strapped to the end of the table, making a mess out of his apricot flavored Gerbers baby food and doing baby stuff. For the first few minutes. So of course my ex started drooling and doing what I can only describe as “oogly-googly cute baby stuff” that all you women do when you see babies and small dogs… Then the wrath of satan and all that is evil took over. The kid turned purple, his head might have done a 360, and screaming ensued. A little piece of audio hell was delivered to my table, which did not complement my hangover well at all. So I mumbled something about not wanting kids… Huge mistake. It immediately sent her over the edge, also not complementing my hangover. We rode home in silence, and finally talked about it a few days later. She agreed that it was too early in our relationship to start worrying about it, and wanted to continue dating. Looking back though, the damage had been done. Game over.
My “fatal flaw” as most women see it, is that I am not willing to have children until I am financially secure. Read that again. I didn't say I DON'T EVER want children. I said, in so many words, that I don't want the responsibility of having little ones running around until I know that we (my future wife and I) can actually afford it. What is it about that, that is so difficult for women to understand? I grew up in a household with two loving parents. My dad worked his ass off in three jobs, so that my mom could stay home and raise my brother and I. I don't have many memories of playing baseball with my dad. I learned how to ride a bike with my mom. My wicked slapshot was developed with my mother in-goal. If I'm going to be a dad, I want to be there for my kids. Plain and simple. But quite honestly, I'm nowhere near being able to do that career-wise. Furthermore, when I find a girl who absolutely rocks my world, I want to spend a few years having “just us time.” I want to see more of the world with her, and do awesome stuff together before we have to give all of that up to soccer games, ballet lessons, and cub/girl scouts. If we decide to do the whole kid thing, and honestly, I can take it or leave it either way. If she doesn't want kids, great. If she's the woman of my dreams and she wants them, I'm sure I'll do whatever it takes to make us have a happy and fulfilling life together.
So ladies, what do you say we back off on the “right here, right now” attitude? There are guys like me out there who are amazing catches, and we're working on getting to a point where we can give you everything we're capable of, but it takes time, and you need to be a little more understanding about it. This is the 3rd relationship that's ended this way for me in the past 5 years. You can't always have it your way, right away. Keep in mind that you're going to want to stay home when you start popping out “mini-me's,” – which is more bacon that I've got to bring home to cover for you not working. I'm getting all stressed out just typing this, and it's not even a problem that I have to deal with, now that I'm single again.
Let me put things into perspective for you. I live in Orange County, one of the priciest cities in this great nation of ours. To comfortably make ends meet for a family of 3, living in a 2-3 bedroom condo, you need a combined income of $120,000 or more. That's barely enough to cover the mortgage, have 2 cars, the cost of kids, medical bills, activities, and maybe some change for a small vacation or 2 during the year. No joke, I've done the math. That is a lot of money, and I'm a calculated risk taker. I don't mess around when it comes to stuff like this, and you shouldn't either.
Guys, I've got some advice here for you too. If you're like-minded, do yourself a favor and have the conversation early. Not wanting kids, or even being unsure about the matter is a huge deal-breaker for a lot of 25-30 year old women out there. You don't want to get involved with a girl who doesn't want the same things that you want, you don't want to waste either of your time, and you most certainly aren't going to change someones mind about it. I'll take it a step further: you also don't want her making up your mind for you, and having an “accident” (read: “I swear I was on the pill, I have no idea how I got pregnant, but I'm having it”).
All in all, I'm grateful that she was bold enough to recognize that she actually did want to have children, she wasn't sure when we started dating. Good on her for also having the nerve to call things off. I'm sad that I lost a wonderful girl, who I would absolutely date again. But she wasn't willing to stand by me as I make my next big career step, and wasn't willing to be patient enough to let me build a small financial future for us. I want to be that awesome boyfriend – all I'm asking is that she be there for me right now, but she'd rather gamble by ditching me and going to find someone who has it all, exactly the way she wants it right now. How many of you out there in dating hell are thinking to yourself “good luck with that” right now? I'm sure I'm not the only one.
I was talking with one of my close friends who said, “you're a great guy who is going to do great things, and she just doesn't understand that she can't get in the way of you accomplishing those big things. She needs to be supportive and help you get there, so that you, in-turn, can focus on the things that she wants.” I also talked to my mom about it. She said, “You're an awesome guy, and I'm sure she realizes that. But the desire for women to want children is so strong; you'll never be more awesome than that.”