Ah, dating. Can't I just skip this whole dating thing and settle in with a nice, normal boyfriend who thinks I'm pretty and enjoys my cooking? No? I have to go through the rigmarole of getting to know guys on awkward first dates and deciding to move on or, worse (!), dealing with the unrequited crush when I'm not his cup of tequila? No? Damn.
Occassionally, a date makes a confession on a first date that crosses him off my list almost immediately. Like the time this one guy admitted that he liked to smoke pot. A lot. To each their own, I guess, but I'm pretty sure I don't want a pot-head boyfriend.
After that online dating disaster, I decided to get to know the next one a little better before actually agreeing to meet him. We spent two weeks emailing back and forth, and I really thought it could be a match. He was a divorced dad with a normal job, his pictures were cute, and we developed a bit of a rapport.
We took it to the next level -- texting -- and sent each other funny notes and pictures.
I got the idea that his mom lived with him, which I took with a grain of salt considering that he had full custody of two small children, one of whom wasn't in school yet. Someone has to take care of the kids while dad works, and who better than grandma?
He finally asked me out, and we agreed to meet up on a Friday night for tapas. It was nice -- there was no instant chemistry, but he was as cute as he looked in his pictures, and I'm not sure love at first sight exists anyway.
We chatted about this and that, and it came up that his mom did indeed live with him, except I had it backward ... he lived with his mom. In her house. He was saving up for his own place.
OK. I could still deal with that. Divorce sucks, and I totally get the financial drain. Maybe it was nice that he had family to help him out so he could save money.
But then. Oh but then. I had to ask about his ex-wife, the mother of his children. In this day and age, it's not usual for one parent to have full physical custody of the children after a divorce. So why were his kids living with him full-time? Was their mom in the picture? Did she take off? Did she see her kids ever?
"Well, she was really struggling to make ends meet, and she was on welfare, and living in one room of a shared apartment ..." my date began confessing.
"So it was just better for the kids to stay with you full-time?"
"Does she still live there? Is she working on finding work and a better place?"
"She's trying to get back on her feet, yeah ... and well, my mom and I saw an opportunity to help her ..." he looked at his feet, sheepish, and it clicked.
"You live with your ex-wife??" It was all I could manage to spit out.
"Yeah, but it's only temporary and totally platonic. That relationship has been over for a long time," he rationalized.
It's so not about whether or not that relationship is over, it's just weird. For example, if we were to end up in a relationship, where would we hang out? I could just imagine coming over for dinner or to watch TV or something normal and relationship-y, and then what? His ex-wife is there? It would've been awkward enough with just his mom there!
Needless to say, I didn't go out with him again. He was a super nice guy, but living with the ex-wife is deal-breaker for me.
Do you have any dating deal-breakers?
Image via Photo Dean/Flickr