As I have already mentioned, I recently started my first job in the education field. I am lucky enough to be in a class of three to five-year-olds. I soon learned that that is the perfect age group to teach. They are old enough to know how to walk and talk and are young enough to not know anything at all. They have no inhibitions. They don’t care what comes out of their mouths. They don’t understand concepts like ‘friendship’ and ‘anger’. Again, they don’t know anything.
Spending an entire day with a group of these people is akin to a bad acid trip. It’s like suddenly learning that an entire race of people, whom you thought didn’t exist, actually existed. They don’t care about anything. They cause all of my insecurities to surface. They constantly ask why I sweat so much. One child asked how I got so hairy. I told him that I got it from my dad. He responded by asking if my dad is a werewolf. That conversation actually took place. Yesterday. Afternoon.
If these children have taught me anything, and they haven’t, it’s that I shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about anything ever. My insecurities on dates would pretty much disappear after a full week with these children. I bet about eighty 80 percent of my dates nowadays are spent worried about why I sweat so much. After a half hour with these kids, the only thing I will be thinking of on dates from now on is how happy I am that I’m on a date and not in an elementary school.
Dear Gems from Jen,
I met a guy on JDate a few months ago. He is nearly 50 and never married. His profile said that he wanted to have kids.
I have kids and don’t want more. I asked him if he wants kids and he said he didn’t know. Well, as we got more intimate, I asked where the relationship was going. He asked if we need to put a label on it. I told him I was looking for a monogamous relationship. Then he said he thinks he wants kids, so I said I couldn’t date him since it is past my time to have them. He said okay and we stopped seeing each other. Well, he called and we ended up seeing each other again. I don’t know what to make of this. We get along so well. I don’t know if I should go along with it and see what happens or just stop.
Dear He Wants Kids,
It sounds as if you are both sending one another mixed messages. It seems as if he is unsure about what it is he wants and the same goes for you. You know there is no possibility of having more children and it isn’t something you want. However, you have chosen to date this man even though you know the two of you are on different pages. How did you feel when he said he didn’t want to put a label on the relationship? You want monogamy; he doesn’t. He appears to want more children; you don’t.
I understand how exciting it can be when two people really hit it off, but this relationship seems as if there are two people who want very different things. If you are willing to have a casual fling with this guy then go for it. However, if monogamy is what you want, I invite you to take a step back and look at what it is you are sacrificing because you are getting along well with someone. Keep in mind also that his desire for children will in all likelihood outweigh this relationship. Unless the two of you are both willing to give up your own wants and needs this particular match seems unlikely to have any longevity.
Gems from Jen
It can be such a tricky situation: dating and children. There are so many single parents out there who want to get back into the dating arena. What happens when your child does not approve of your dating life? I have worked with many families who have faced this very dilemma. Children’s feelings are incredibly important, but the best example parents can set for their children is to live happy and fulfilled lives. If every parent who wanted to date, didn’t because of their children and fear of disapproval, they would be in actuality living lives of martyrdom. Children who grow up with parents whose needs are met, are taught to tend to their own needs. If you are one of those parents who generally puts your own needs on the back burner, keep in mind you are potentially setting your children up for a lifetime of guilt for depriving you. If you’re taking care of you, you will teach your children to take care of themselves when they become adults.