Dating a Dad: When He Drops the Kid Bomb

single dadWhile watching my beloved college football team play, in between screaming at the TV and singing our fight song, I started chatting it up with a super cutie at the bar. I've always wanted to meet a guy that shared my love for Tennessee football, though the alumni group up here in NY is slim pickin's. Since this was a rarity, I was willing to avert my attention from the game to get to know him. We talked about our jobs, where we live now (turns out, we're neighbors!), our favorite spots in the city, where we're from ... etc.

Not once was a child mentioned.


Well, for those that keep up with college football, you may have heard of UT's disappointing game against one of our biggest rivals -- Florida (argh). That being said, I definitely did my fair share of drinking to wash my football blues away.

Next thing I know, we're back at his place, kissing and stumbling through the darkness. The next morning, after waking up and thanking the lord that I was still wearing all of my clothes from the night before, I looked around the room in a hungover haze. Crib. Playpen. Bouncy chair. Toys everywhere. Um, definitely didn't notice those things last night.

When he came back in, bringing me a much-needed steaming hot cup of coffee (so sweet), I asked, "So, I'm just going to assume that you have a kid."

He looked down, as if embarrassed, "Yeah."




"On and off."



Okay, I can handle that -- I think. I've never dated someone with a kid before. Not that I don't like kids, I love kids actually (hello, look at where I work!) and am really great with them. Though playing patty-cake with my friend's 4-year-old once every few months is a little different than being emotionally involved with someone.

I'm in my mid-20s and realize that the older I get, the more this situation is going to crop up. And that's fine. It wasn't even so much the kid thing that was the red flag, it's how he handled it. Call me crazy, but when you talk about your child, you don't do so with an ashamed look on your face. It wasn't until I began showing interest, asking to see baby pictures over brunch, that his father pride beamed in. The night before we had shared all of our cliched hopes and dreams -- wouldn't your son be a part of that?

Sure he may have not wanted to scare me off by fessing up early on, but stepping on a squeaky toy isn't a good way for me to find out either. I think this situation calls for being straightforward and honest. Not to the point of, as soon as I sit beside you at a bar, yell that you've reproduced ("Chill, I was just ordering a drink"), but definitely include it in your "get to know the person" conversation.

What are your thoughts on this? For single moms out there, when do you usually let a guy know that you have kids?


Image via singleparentspecials/Flickr

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