My best friend, whom I met off OKCupid, has a kid. And I have discovered that I enjoy the fuck out of going over to her house, cooking a 1950’s housewife dinner for her and her kid, and then we all sit around the table talking quietly and politely about how his day was at school and making sure he eats his vegetables. He’s like fourteen, so, he is close to being a fully formed human being and is at the cusp of a cool time in his life when he will drink his first beer, make out with his first girl, get his heart broken, and etc. I enjoy spending time with this young man and his mother. It has awakened some deep yearning for domestic life that I never would have suspected. Now I want to come home every day to a family, have a woman hand me a martini and talk to my son about baseball practice or some other Leave it to Beaver shit.
So I would gladly date a girl with a kid, because at forty grand a year for eleven hours per motherfucking day someone else’s kid is the closest I am ever going to get to this. But here’s the problem with kids: who is the father. A girl of dating age who has a child who is fully formed enough to enjoy had them young, which means they were impregnated by someone whose last words will be “hold my beer, watch this.” Someone with tons of tattoos who had to quit his band because he broke his fingers on some guy’s face and now has to send three hundred dollars per month of his landscaping income to some actress/ waitress. Or a Nicaraguan barback who drives Denzel’s car from Training Day and carries a switchblade and wants to kick your ass.
This guy is someone whom I could not possibly hope to measure up to in masculinity. I am disqualified from dating this type of single mother by virtue of being a (barely) productive member of society. And yet now that she has the kid, she thinks she needs a productive member of society to care for and generally not molest and beat the kid and be some kind of stable influence in his life. But a girl who has been bent over an air conditioner in a bar parking lot and impregnated by a motorcycle driving sometime speed dealer, and kept the baby, can never be attracted to a guy who makes a regular paycheck and doesn’t go around looking to punch people. So, that relationship is doomed.
And if she didn’t have the kid young, there’s another can of worms. If she had a kid at an actual responsible age for childbearing then the father is some normal dude with a job, right? Otherwise she would have had an abortion like she did when she was pregnant at nineteen. So there’s this other version of you out there who works just like you and is similar enough to you that the same woman was attracted to you, but he got there first, and despite the fact that they had a kid together, she managed to drive him away. Something is so fucked about her that she ended up a single mother despite having her shit together enough to get almost all the way there in the game of life. So, that relationship is doomed.
Or whatever it is—maybe it’s some other situation entirely, but, you see an OKCupid profile where the girl has a kid and you immediately think who is the father. Who got there first and was a big enough catch that she kept the baby. None of my pregnancies have done this—it was off to Planned Parenthood immediately, like calling the exterminator when you see a bedbug on your mattress. Who made a big enough impression on you that you did not do this. That you carried his seed to term and created a fully formed human being with this person. Who is this man that took the best part of you, the reason you exist on this planet, and got deep enough into your mind that you wanted to spend the rest of your life caring for a replica of him. Girls with kids say “my (son/ daughter) comes first and is always going to be the most important person in my life,” but we don’t give a shit about that—we give a shit about the guy who gave you that baby. Because we’re never going to have you the way he did. Sloppy Seconds is the fucking understatement of the century.
So maybe, if you are a girl with kids, maybe just put a paragraph about the one thing we care about that you never talk about—what is the deal with the father of your kids. If you’re worried that it’s going to drive men away, don’t be. You already sound like a jerkoff and we still message you anyway.