“Hey, are you dating anyone right now?”
I was at my four-year-old daughter’s baseball game watching my daughter play with another little girl. The other parents and I spend three to five evenings a week together at practices and games throughout the spring and summer, so we all get to know each other pretty well. A week earlier, I’d been talking with a mom who asked me what I did for a living. I told her, “I’m a writer. I write about parenting and dating/relationships as a single father.” In a different crowd, this honesty opens up the door for people to ask me a million questions and help them solve their problems while I’m out and about; but I digress.
At this last game, this lady who I have gotten to know over the last three seasons asked me the dating question. I thought back to our conversation last week and assumed the questions that I normally get were about to fly. So I was honest and said, “Not right now.”
She responded with excitement, “Oh really? I have this friend…”
“She’s thirty-six and has a son about your nephew’s age…”
“She’s a nice person…”
“She hasn’t really dated much since she and her son’s father broke up. I feel like she’s afraid to venture out, so she kind of keeps him around. I’m gonna give her a call right now!”
Shit! Fuck! DAMMIT!”
I’m just not that into it
It was as if she ran down a checklist of everything that doesn’t quite work for me at this point in my life (I’m twenty-nine, I still want to have more children, and everything else just sounded like we wouldn’t be a good fit). I looked at my phone, and said, “Hold on, I have to take this call.” I walked away for a good five minutes, listened to a song and rapped along with the lyrics to look like I was having a conversation, and then came back. She had just got off the phone and looked like she was looking for me to show some semblance of interest. That’s when I said, “Honestly, I just got out of something I had been in for two years,” which is half-true. It looked like she took that to mean I wasn’t dating right now. Luckily, that was the last game of the season, so I won’t see her until next spring.
That was the moment that I realized that I’m that person people feel like they need to hook up. Honestly, only women friends who are more like associates do this. I like to think I’m pretty good-looking and I’m always coming to my friends with some hilarious and drama-filled dating story, so they don’t even try.
I am a single parent. I don’t have much time to be out and about to meet people. Others, like said baseball mom, see me spending so many evenings at games and practices and probably think I am inundated with doing things that revolve around children. And it’s very true. People are just trying to help two people they know who they think are good people. No harm, no foul.
OK, I admit it – I’m shallow
However, blind dates almost never end well. The first question anyone asks after, “I have a friend” is “What do they look like?” Often the response is “She’s cute,” or “She’s nice,” which all mean, “Hell no.” I have humored this once or twice and upon meeting the “cute friend,” I want to punch my so-called friend in the face. Some may think this is shallow, but the truth for most is that physical attraction comes first, so I don’t feel bad at all about this. The truth is, you can ask someone who is a real friend of yours, “What does he/she look like?”And 9.5 out of 10 times they will respond, “They don’t look like someone you’d date.”
What happens when things don’t work out? It can get awkward. Everyone might be at a function after things went south. Or you could wind up losing a friend. While I do love being in the same place as one of my exes for the sake of a great story, I don’t need extra drama.
Sometimes people who want you to meet their friend think that you’re lonely. Sure, things would be a lot easier if there were two of us raising my daughter, but I am happy. I like to think that many of us single parents live pretty regular lives with the exception of our dating lives…that’s where things get incredibly interesting. And speaking for myself, I want to be the one to set up that part of my life. The acquaintances who want to introduce me to their friends only know me as fairly mild-mannered guy who does kid shit all day. If the baseball mom knew what the dating part of my life looked like, she wouldn’t think her friend and I were a good fit at all.
Readers, tell the truth: Do you like being set up on blind dates?
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