Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Match.com Lady who Lived in a Shoe

One of my close friends uses the dating service Match.com. Every so often he forwards me the profile of a particular woman he finds interesting in some way. Here's part of the profile of one woman he came across:

"About my life and what I'm looking for: If you are looking for ordinary don't read any further. I am currently attending graduate school earning a 4. 0 as a reading specialist in education. I work for my family business, and I am the very proud mom of 10 children. My oldest is 21 and my youngest is 2. My ex left when my son was just 8 months old for another lifestyle. I am and have always been financially independent and am not looking for a father or caretaker of my children."

10 children! ?

How would it be possible for a man to marry this woman and not become the default father and caretaker of her children? Would he just ignore the children in the household and pretend they don't exist? Would he sit back with his feet propped up and a newspaper in his hand and watch her do all the work? Or hope that the ex husband, who fled for another "lifestyle" (a childfree lifestyle, I imagine) will suddenly reappear on the doorstep to sweep the 10 kids off to Disneyland for an extended vacation?

And where exactly would the new guy fit into her life? She has 10 kids, PLUS is attending graduate school, PLUS holds down a job, PLUS she's gotta sleep sometime, right? All this and romance too!?? The guy better be into quickies.

Interestingly, the photos the woman posted of herself on her Match.com profile included one of her in a bikini, and she really rocks it (amazing considering how many puppies she squeezed out). I guess when you are saddled with 10 kids, you have to pull out all the stops to attract a date. No offense, guys but I imagine the bikini shot would be enough for some men to look past all the kids in the shoe.


Anonymous said...

I always wonder how that works. I do admire people like that, but I know I could never do it. Children are sweet, but they're baggage. I don't understand why it's not okay to recognize that.

Personally, I don't think I could ever marry someone with children (minor dependents). By the same token, if something where to happen to HawkDad, I wouldn't bother dating until HawkBaby was 18. For her protection, I would prefer to keep male suitors a safe distance away.

CFVixen said...

OMG....one child would turn me away from replying. But TEN?!?!

kattack said...

Just because children are baggage doesn't mean a woman should sacrifice her goals to have one - childfreedom aside, women should be empowered to do what they want, always, regardless of their status as babymakers.

There's nothing wrong with having children in school and continuing, there's nothing wrong with pursuing an education and career while providing for children, and simply having kids does not preclude a romantic life. The issue you take with the last point is that she has no time; on the contrary, kids in big families can be sweethearts. They know they have to play along because acting out won't do anything (as there's so damn many of them already). They take care of each other. Certainly, one could argue that having THAT many kids is silly because it forces the older children into more responsibility than a vast majority of kids have. If they keep up with that, though, they'd be better off for hard work, career, etc, later in life - which is a good thing.

In any case, there are people who have it together, and people who don't. Having it together is not a simple function of the number of children.

Additionally, I feel that being overtly open about sexuality is an entirely good idea for parents; it makes it more "okay" to talk about it with them, it makes it look less of a "big deal" to be saved exclusively for marriage and babies. It makes the whole "pop out a few or keep your legs closed" binary seem completely ridiculous. Sexual behavior or the part of parents is not terrible. A lot of people sincerely believe their parents had sex a small number of times, presumably with absolutely no enjoyment, to result in them and their siblings, and that's what's the right thing to happen in marriage. There's so many things wrong with that, I don't even know where to begin.

redwings19 said...

I agree with KATiE, and on my sister's behalf.

Life choices are YOURS to make, and that's what we are fighting for here. Have kids, don't have kids, but own your choice. We are not here to judge, that is the job of those who live in the heavens (god, goddess, etc).

I'm really interested in this conversation, because my sister is falling into this trap. She finds guys to shack up with - with her 3 kids in tow - and wants them to be a father figure. She wants "the fairy tale".... the prince who will come and make it right and they will live happily ever after. Right now she hasn't found him and is cursing all men as a result.

I am waiting for a way to tell her - nicely - that maybe her choice to have children is going to limit the playing field of honorable mates. (which may or may not be the case! don't get on me...). And that maybe she should focus on herself and her kids and wait for "mr right".

kattack said...


I actually commend your sister for going out and actively pursuing the man she wants (if I understand your post correctly), and I don't think I agree with your idea of focusing on herself, her kids, and waiting for mr right. I disagree for several reasons: (1) waiting generally doesn't work out and (2) if finding someone with whom to share her life is important to her, then I would argue continuing her search *is* in part focusing on herself.

I like to think that women are strong - I will not say just as strong as men, because that would make maleness an ideal, and I don't think it is. I believe that a woman has the capacity to pursue her own interests (personal and career) while taking care of children that she's made the decision to have, whatever the reasoning might have been.

That little rant out of the way (whew!) I do want to say I agree completely that the pressure of having to be a role model for her children is probably going to drive potential mates away before they have any substantial time to get to know her. Then again, many suitors get offended (rightfully) when a woman with children refuses to introduce them to her children after some time of dating, as it trivializes their relationship. There are likely other observations to be made; I can only hope that your sister has the opportunity to sit down with someone she trusts and talk about these factors.

Acknowledging them might not make anything happen, but at least she might re-think cursing all men (which has obvious negative implications for man-seeking). Also, being honest with yourself only makes it easier to be honest in a relationship with others.

There's my two cents. I hope your sister is able to achieve what she wants.

redwings19 said...

Hi, KATiE ~

In my sister's case, when it comes to men, she seems to only be looking for the fairy tale. And to her, that is a father for the kids and a "perfect relationship", and she jumps into things too quickly. She is the strongest person I know, but doesn't seem to be finding the man who is right for her... just one who seems to be good with the kids. THEN she gets mad at the guy when the relationship doesn't work out. THOSE men tend to only one thing, and it isn’t to be with a woman who has kids.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge fan of girl power! And we women shouldn't settle for anything less! But finding a mate seems to be right up there on the "have to" list, just like having kids. I think if you are going to do something for yourself (like this lady, and go to school), then commit to it and don't spread yourself too thin by trying to meet all the bullet points on society’s "have to" list.

TEN KIDS, AND SCHOOL, AND A RELATIONSHIP? Come on! She should give herself a break and maybe wait on the school part, or the relationship part. It's a little late to wait on the kids part.

Dave said...

Your mention of match.com (a service I've used) brings up another interesting topic -trying to meet other childfree people for dating.

If match is representative of the population at large, it would seem that the childfree lifestyle choice is going to narrow down the dating pool by 90-95% or more. Maybe something to explore in a future post.

Laura said...

I'm betting that if she rocks in a bikini either:

1) She's had major plastic surgery
2) The kids are adopted.
3) The pic isn't of her.

Insomniac Chef said...

Actually, I don't think people with kids should date if the kids are under 18. Their #1 priority should be the kids, not their romantic life.

Even if the parent claims they are looking for a "father figure" for their kids, I still think it's ill-advised. If you fucked up the first time you tried to give them that, chances are plenty good you'll fuck up again and again. In the interim, your brood is subjected to a revolving door of strange adults they bond with and lose over and over. Not so great for creating stability and raising well-adjusted humans. But hey, I guess there's always a chance that watching your parent have horrible relationship after horrible relationship will create a nice not-to-do list for the young impressionables, but I certainly wouldn't count on that.

@Dave Meeting other CFers is hard. When I met my husband he was ambivalent/undecided, I brought him around to the side of reason.

@Laura or the photo is old

Childfreeeee said...

One way to meet other CF-ers is on Meetup.com

Unknown said...

I have always been curious about this online dating thing too..(I am married and have been happily shacked up with my hubs for almost ten years...so the online dating thing sort of bypassed me.)

Do people actually post that they are childfree and want to stay that way? I commend them if they do...And is there, or shouldn't there be a website devoted just to that portion of the single population?

Maybe there are more parents on dating sites because they have a harder time freeing their schedule up and going out and meeting people in "realtime" like the gym, or library or pub or something.