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March 20, 2005

If A Man Asks You If You Want Children On The First Date, Run Away Fast!

Amanda and Echidne don't think this article is accurate. I disagree.

It's about "wife shoppers," men who grill women on their first dates to see if they are marriage material. I know this is not a new phenomenon. I met a "wife shopper" when I was in college. He professed his undying love for me and showered me with way too much attention shortly after our first date. He was always writing sappy love poems and giving me so many bouquets of flowers that I ran out of vases. The more he pushed me, the farther away I ran, but I liked him so I kept going out with him. It became clear to me by the third party both of us attended (we had mutual friends who held frequent parties.), that he was itching to give me a wedding ring. I finally broke it off. Within a year he was married - to a Jewish woman. He was Protestant. I don't know if he asked her to convert, or if he converted. One thing brought up in the article I linked to is that these men ask women on their first dates if they are willing to convert to their religion. Reading it gave me the willies.

I created a character just like him for a short story that I wrote. I'm waiting to hear back from the publication to see if it was accepted. The only good thing about meeting a guy like that was that he provided fodder for my writing.

I also know another man in his 50s who has never been married, and he has "desperate" written all over him. He actually told a woman on his first date with her - he hooked up with her via a dating service - that he was in therapy and then proceeded to tell her in great, bloody, gory detail about surgery he had - over dinner. While I have a cast-iron stomach about gore, it was very inappropriate to discuss something like that with someone you don't know while you are trying to force down grilled veal. He is looking for a permanent relationship, preferably ending in marriage, and he has always become too quickly involved with women because of it. He can't understand why they stop seeing him after three dates. Talk about laying it on thick. And he is thick - he thinks the problems are with the women not with him. That's why when I read this, goosebumps broke out on my arms:

Reports of these kinds of encounters -- with men who investigate your family's disease history over a get-to-know-you beer or decide after two dinners to invite you on vacation with their college roommates and their wives -- have become increasingly common among my female friends, urban women often assumed to be husband-hunting themselves. In some cases, the men we're meeting are more interested in settling down than we are -- almost as though they have their own internal biological clocks.

Thank God I'm already settled down with a good man. We met at a science fiction convention, and he never cornered me in this fashion. If any women reading this are seeing flashing red "warning" lights when they read that article, they should know to get away from the guy as quickly as possible.

Posted on March 20, 2005 at 03:17 PM | Permalink

Comments

Don't forget that one of the warning signs for a potential abuser is coming on too fast too soon. Overwhelming you with attention and "love" can be very flattering. But often it is nothing but a technique to win a potential victim's trust. I would be really skeptical of the real intentions of these guys.

Posted by: silverside at Mar 20, 2005 3:22:06 PM

Good point. I had completely overlooked that one. The two men in question weren't abusive, but they were very insecure, seilfish, and demanding. I can imagine any relationship they'd have would be fraught with problems.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Mar 20, 2005 3:30:53 PM

Even if he weren't abusive in an outright physically way, I see control freak all over 'em. Imagine what happens if you marry them! I'd suspect you'd have a hell of a custody battle if you ever tried to get out of the marriage.

Posted by: silverside at Mar 20, 2005 4:13:36 PM

But again, MOST men do not do this...it's a few rare birds, probably either desperate or unfit in some way, so marriage isn't really a possibility for them unless they rush you into it BEFORE you really get to to know them.

On the whole however, I think MORE women want to marry then men...and probably MORE women at younger ages, if they wish to have children...if they don't then it makes no difference...


Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 20, 2005 6:14:46 PM

I had some very ugly dating experiences, as a young thing, by going with the assumptions that "men just want sex and dating" and "women are the ones who want to get married" and all that crap. Wrong-o.

Posted by: mythago at Mar 20, 2005 8:37:57 PM

I remember this one guy I went out with once. On our first and only date, he initially asked me if I had a problem with men who expressed their emotions, because a lot of women he dated seemed to have a problem with that. I said I did not. It wasn't until later on in the date that I realized why all those other women he dated "seemed" to have a problem with it. He wasn't expressing his emotions. He was expressing some bizarre fantasy. By the end of our first date, he was telling me he loved me. I kept telling him that he didn't know me, so it really wasn't possible for him to love me. Then he got all accusatory about me saying I didn't have a problem with men who express their emotions.

That was one of the creepiest dates I've ever had.

Posted by: Lesley at Mar 20, 2005 8:45:22 PM

Sounds like they're shopping for birthing chattel, to be honest.

Posted by: Pseudo-Adrienne at Mar 21, 2005 1:14:43 AM

Are we surprised that some guys are really keen to get married and settle down? Seems natural enough to me that a percentage of the male population should want to get married and have children, in the same way that some women do. And of course there are those who just generally think they'd like to one day and those that are really keen to do so soon.

And if you know what you want, why not ask? Women and men. Maybe there are some things which are a bit distasteful to ask on a first date but if you are only interested in a relationship with someone who wants to have a lot of children for example, you could save both parties a lot of time but letting them know.

I think couples would benefit from clearing the air on those sort of issues earlier on. Much as it may not sound very romantic, relationships built purely on a sense of mutual attraction with little regard for the practicalities of life must be difficult to maintain.

And while we're on the subject any attractive male readers age 30-35, university education, intelligent, solvent, atheist or wiccan (pref diannic), warped sense of humour, living close to london UK, willing to provide a lot of back-up services while i run around the country performing stand-up comedy and interested in having a hell of a lot of sex, please send your details in to my email address...!

Posted by: Cruella at Mar 21, 2005 7:52:52 AM

I have a name for men like the one you described Trish. Horse traders. If they want to check your teeth on the first date, do what Jenny told Forrest Gump to to: Run Forrest! Run!

Posted by: Missouri Mule at Mar 21, 2005 9:09:05 AM

"I have a name for men like the one you described Trish. Horse traders. If they want to check your teeth on the first date, do what Jenny told Forrest Gump to to: Run Forrest! Run!"

That's pretty funny...

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 21, 2005 9:33:36 AM

We hillbillys just call'em like we see 'em NYMON.

Posted by: Missouri Mule at Mar 21, 2005 10:33:37 AM

But wait...I met a guy like this. It was obvious on our first date he'd been stalking me, knew where I'd lived, knew what I ordered at the student center, knew what organizations I belonged to, etc. He also indicated he was really really serious. I ended up marrying him.

He's been a fantastic husband. Just a case of love at first sight, honestly. And he's a scientist, so "researching" his subject seemed natural.

But I'm sure there are weirdos out there.

Posted by: Kathy at Mar 21, 2005 11:37:06 AM

Lesley: I have met men like that. They have a very skewed perspective of life they've found they can "get away with" if they just paint themselves as sensitive. Yeah right.

Trish: "Good point. I had completely overlooked that one. The two men in question weren't abusive, but they were very insecure, seilfish, and demanding. I can imagine any relationship they'd have would be fraught with problems."

It depends on what you consider "abusive".
I consider someone who's selfish, demanding, domineering, & controlling, to be abusive. Not physical abuse, but the behaviours associated with that kind of thing usually can be classified under emotional or verbal abuse.
Abuse is all about control, after all. Just because it's not a fist, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Just because there are no physical bruises, doesn't mean the relationship is non-toxic.

And that's why I don't think 'these women' are "afraid of committment"... I think they're afraid of "abusive & controlling men".

Getting too close too fast is inappropriate, and definitely a red flag that the person is a control freak.

Also, I don't think it's a gender issue, because women can be controlling too. Though in women, it's usually described as "clingy", but it's the same damn thing - it's controlling. Controlling men are clingy. The ones that call 20 times when they're away from their wife, pestering them so that they can't even take a piss without being pressed as to why they didn't immediately answer the phone. Or the woman who calls the man repeatedly when he's at work, and is intolerant about him going over a friend's house with the boys to watch a game, so she punishes him by withholding sex. Or the man who has to know where the woman is, where she was, every minute she wasn't with him, and acts pissy or subtly rude, or worse hits her, if she's 5 minutes later than she said she'd be.

These things don't erupt out of nowhere in a relationship. They start small.
Little things like pressing someone about very personal things in the very first conversation. Declaring deep profound love within the first week of knowing someone.

But some of these things are situational dependent.

On a first date, if someone asked me whether or not I would be willing to raise my children as Fundamentalist Christians.... I don't know that I'd think that was odd on its own. If that's a deal-breaker for the guy, I'd rather know about it on the first date, with him being honest, than find he had an agenda to just talk me into it after I'd already slept with him. Particularly if I wasn't willing to raise my children as Fundamentalist Christians.

I found this rather funny:
"It's just not hot when a guy wants to meet your parents after three dates"

I wouldn't think it odd if a man expressed interest in meeting my family after 3 dates... I would think it troubling if he was pressing to meet my parents after 3 dates though! If he was very adament about it, or very pushy about it, I'd think that was bizarre, and not a good sign.

But again, it would depend on the situation and the manner.

My father is dead, my mother & step father live on the other side of the country from me. The chances of a guy I date ever meeting my parents (unless we got married at some point), are extremely slim. I haven't even seen my mother in 2-1/2 years myself! On the other hand, I have an uncle, and an uncle & aunt, and they don't live too far from me, and I see them fairly regularly. It wouldn't be unusual for a guy I was dating to meet any of them, without even really trying.

Some of my friends just met my uncle & aunt the other night, we all attended the same small concert. It would've been highly inappropriate for me not to introduce them! I had noticed my aunt & uncle as the concert was about to begin. At intermission, I said to my friends (and the one's boyfriend), "My aunt & uncle are here, let me introduce them to you." If I had a FIRST date with me, I would've introduced the date too. I don't think that would automatically make me desperate and spouse-hunting. haha!!! ;)

Let's just say this... Say the topic of travel came up on a 3rd date. And I mentioned my last real vacation was to Mexico, and I went with my best friend, and met my parents there. And he asked me about what we did there, and I mentioned something of interest about my mother, and he said, "She sounds pretty cool, I sure would like to meet her." I wouldn't react by running screaming away. haha!! However, if he said, on a 3rd date, "I think I should meet your parents, let's make plans to fly to Oregon to visit them next month." I'd definitely be getting the creeps. haha.

I don't think it's about WHAT the person says or wants or does, but HOW they go about it, and IF it's appropriate in the context, in the situation at that time.

Posted by: Chloe at Mar 21, 2005 1:00:10 PM

Yeah, these guys definitely do exist. And I've dated some!

Weirdest one I ever encountered (not in the flesh, thank gawd) was a guy who'd answered my Internet personal. The one in which I say quite emphatically that I neither have nor want children and please don't bother if you have your heart set on kids.

So what does this guy's ad say? "I want to look into a woman's eyes and see the souls of my future children."

I blocked his ass, that was so creepy.

Posted by: zuzu at Mar 21, 2005 1:27:10 PM

zuzu: Weirdest one I ever encountered (not in the flesh, thank gawd) was a guy who'd answered my Internet personal. The one in which I say quite emphatically that I neither have nor want children and please don't bother if you have your heart set on kids.
So what does this guy's ad say? "I want to look into a woman's eyes and see the souls of my future children."

Proof he didn't read your personal ad in its entirety. Or if he did, he was ignoring it. Both definitely bad signs! Very creepy!

Kathy: But wait...I met a guy like this. It was obvious on our first date he'd been stalking me, knew where I'd lived, knew what I ordered at the student center, knew what organizations I belonged to, etc. He also indicated he was really really serious. I ended up marrying him.
He's been a fantastic husband. Just a case of love at first sight, honestly. And he's a scientist, so "researching" his subject seemed natural.

If you weren't freaked out by it, and you saw no signs of it being nefarious, or any sinister behaviours... And had no problems with him... Then there wasn't a problem.

That's exactly what I meant by context and manner. It's not always what someone says or does - it's HOW they say and do things.

And it also depends on the person. If I find something offensive or in appropriate, it's offensive and inappropriate to me. Might not necessarily be to someone else - but if I find it bad, then it's bad for me, and I don't belong in that situation.

Posted by: Chloe at Mar 21, 2005 2:59:45 PM

Perhaps I'm the exception that proves the rule, but I've been very happily married since 1978, and not only did my husband come on strong, he proposed after 7 weeks. Moreover, he asked me if I wanted to have kids on our first date, and I said "no." And he proposed and married me despite the fact the he wanted kids, and I didn't.

And no, we don't have kids.


Posted by: Mad Kane at Mar 21, 2005 7:02:34 PM

Ok. My dad is one of those men. Seriously.

Several years after my parents divorced, my dad decided he wanted a wife again. I remember him talking to me about dating, and I said, "Dad, are you just going up and down the aisle at church and asking every woman out?" and he said, "Pretty much." He got engaged to a woman he'd been dating but she broke it off. I swear it seemed like only a couple of weeks before he called to say he was engaged again. This time it stuck, although they planned a wedding date months away and then called me 24 hours before I was leaving for Florida on vacation to say they'd decided not to wait and were getting married on Saturday. No, they didn't expect me to come, they just wanted to let me know.

They're still married. I think it's weird and freaky, but hey.

Posted by: bitchphd at Mar 21, 2005 8:53:29 PM

Well I knew a couple who had an arranged marriage...bride from Greece, families met on vacation over there and girl came here to marry son and live here...they were married for about 40 something years...but they were from a different time, I'm not sure that would work out today...

I mean I do hear of arranged marriages today, where I live is very diverse community, many immigrants, but eventually I also hear of the fights and divorces as well...it's just a different world today...

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 21, 2005 10:44:23 PM

"Thank God I'm already settled down with a good man. We met at a science fiction convention..."

Can't...resist...

At The Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con

COMIC BOOK GUY: Someone has mixed an "Amazing Spiderman" in with the
"Peter Parker - The Spectacular Spiderman" series. This
will not stand.

WOMAN: Pardon me, but I wish to tender a serious cash offer
for this stack of water damaged Little Lulus.

CBG: Huh, "A" that is not water, it is Diet Mr. Pibb, and "B"
I... (CBG turns to look at the woman) Ohh... Err... Tell
me, how do you feel about 45 year old virgins who still
live with their parents?

WOMAN: Comb the Sweet Tarts out of your beard and you're on.

CBG: Don't try to change me baby.

By the way, I'm within five feet of my "Dark Knight Returns" action figures as I type this. Nerds are allowed to poke fun at fellow nerds, right?

Posted by: optimus at Mar 23, 2005 9:01:21 AM

Of course nerds may poke fun at fellow nerds on my blog. For your information, I'm within five feet of my Lara Croft action figures and my X Files and Myst III dolls. We nerds think alike. ;)

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Mar 23, 2005 9:53:00 AM