Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

   
Dear Miss Information,
    I’m twenty-five and the single father of a four-year-old boy. I make a decent salary, provide for my son and see him on a regular basis. Yet every time I go out with someone new, they lose interest as soon as they find out I have a son. Friends give me the old “when you meet the right one, it won’t matter” speech, but they don’t have a clue what I’m going through. What’s turning these women off, and what can I do about it? — Dizzy Daddy



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Dear Dizzy Daddy,
    Personally, I can think of lots of reasons to date a man who already has children, and they all end with the word “episiotomy.” So to get a broader idea of what’s making your dates blanch at the mention of kids, I polled a few of my single female friends and came up with these possibilities:
    1) Baby mama drama. No one wants to date a guy whose life is tangled up with his ex’s, and a single dad projects just that. Make it clear that your child’s mother is only in your life so far as joint-parent operations go, like dropping the kid off at each other’s houses.
    2) You’re shopping for a mommy. Many women who are hesitant to commit are even more skittish when dealing with someone who answers to the name Dad. A good way to combat the notion that you’re auditioning girlfriends for the part of mom is to be up front about your carnal desires. Act like a regular, horny single guy.
    3) Dating a dad is no fun. You can’t go gallivanting off to the Poconos at a moment’s notice, so make up for this in other ways. Be as spontaneous as you can, whenever you can.
    In essence, though, your friends are correct. When you do meet Ms. Right, she’s not going to care that you have a kid. Open yourself to a wider variety of women (perhaps a fellow single parent?), and eventually you’ll find someone who sees more than just a dad.



Dear Miss Information,
    I met an awesome guy. The problem is, he’s twenty-six and our dates are the only romantic experiences he’s ever had. I’m horrified. I like him a lot but I’m not looking for anything serious. He says we can keep things casual, but I’m not sure I believe him. Am I shallow for being so hung up on this? — Mother May I


Dear Mother May I,
    You’re right to be circumspect. There are certain assumptions we can make based on a person’s past experiences. Most of the time they’re true; occasionally they’re not.
    Though there’s no guarantee, there’s a good chance this guy’s going to take your relationship way more seriously than you want him to. He’ll stick to you like glue until it comes to an unhappy end. Like I said, I could be wrong, but history supports this.
    Either way, this is more for him to worry about than for you. Continue to communicate that you’re not looking for anything serious, and take a step back when necessary. You have the emotional upper hand here, so respect the fact that he’s far more vulnerable. He’s bound to get fucked over eventually. Better his education begin now than even later.

 

Dear Miss Information,
    I have no problem getting dates, but I need some advice on transitioning from dinner to afterward. Too often, my awkward advances botch the whole enterprise. — Getting Into the Endzone

Dear Getting Into the Endzone,
    I’ll give you some tips, but first, I want you to know something: if a woman wants to sleep with you, she’s not going to let a few moments of awkward conversation stand in her way.
    Ninety percent of the seduction process involves getting to a location where the festivities can take place, so this is where we’ll focus our efforts:
    At some point during the date, decide whose home seems more amenable to sex. Once you’ve decided, get there asap. Time is the enemy of all boners.
    If it’s your place, have something available that’s either uniquely suited to her interests (“Hey, I just bought the new Charlie Parker box set, want to have a listen?"), or specific to the date that just took place (“That dim sum was excellent. I’ve got some green tea sorbet for dessert in my freezer”). Using a prop as the basis for your invitation helps you come off more sweetly and less sleazy.
    Her place is a bit trickier. You can feign an interest in the new window treatments she was babbling about earlier. Meeting pets is another good opportunity to optimize your playful cuteness. Whichever path you choose, however, don’t kid yourself. She knows what you’re after, and if you’re lucky, she’s seeking the same.  


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©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com