Single Dads, Aging, and Acquaintansex

by A Lady

I have a few questions for you! Well actually just one question: “Am I going to be able to get laid after college?”

I just graduated and moved to a new city. I only know coworkers, and LOL that is it. I have like two friends who are products of mutual friends from elsewhere and I am slowly meeting some others but … I like to have casual sex with acquaintances, although not really more than like five times max and actually just once! I used to find these people at parties, where it was fine to arrange for sexual liaison sans date, on the spot, and based on banter and physical appearance alone. But it’s also important to me that they not be psychopaths. And that I know them / things about them / that they have an 80% chance of not having crabs, things like that.

But other college casual-sex fans who preceded me in their entry into the real world now have no sex or serious boyfriends. I want 0 serious boyfriends and 100% yes to sex on every other weekend. But I am worried that my social circle will not be big enough to fit in enough casual acquaintansex! Even college was getting “crowded” at the end.

But I don’t like to date, I’m never “lonely,” and I don’t want to give dudes the wrong idea by like flirting with them in the daytime or eating dinner with them. I know it’s like, “but what about all that cute love things you can do with them!?” I don’t know, it does not appeal to me! I like to have sex, but mostly I enjoy the echoing silence of my own walls, the ability to potentially sleep with any dude I like, Netflix, and my new puppy (who can spend one night alone, he is almost eight months now).

BUT I do only sleep with guys who are really hot and I have on authority are “smart and normal,” which I find out via text message in the car home with them *usually.* So! WHO CAN I BANG? It is important to me to not offend friends and sully the waters of potential future friend circles. I think casual sex is not wrong, but I know some people do and do not want me banging their friends and then not hanging out, I know that it can put people in uncomfortable positions. Which is avoidable in the 5,000 person melee of a large university. But maybe not in this (SORT OF SMALL AND BORING) new city I am a lukewarm fresh inhabitant of.

That was so long but really just will I still get to have casual sex with normal dudes? I do not want one-night-stand horror stories. Will I grow out of my fear of complete-stranger sex? Was college just a paddling pond of genitalia and now I have to swim in the bar-and-formal-function sea?

Also I’m getting nervous ’cause I’ve been here three months and like no boning has happened, I’m not even sure if my vagina is there still I AM AFRAID TO LOOK.

What? Formal functions? Is that another word for the internet, because I think that’s how people find people to bang now, but I am not all down with the millenial lingo lolwutbeastin. Here’s what I think: Fucking people is really underrated as a way of making friends with them. You’re in a new city, you have previously shown yourself to be capable of pulling hot, smart, normal guys (haha like that’s even a thing, guess they are all at those “formal functions”), and I think you should FRIEND the next guy you do end up with if he seems like he can roll. No, not like friend with benefits, which is almost always some bullshit, like benefits, then friend? Benefits, count to 5, friend. BECAUSE. (1) New friends, (2) Hot smart normal guys who you can bang know OTHER hot smart normal guys who you can bang, then you bang those guys and they know other guys and pretty soon the whole world is basically connected via your vagina (provided it’s still there, I dunno, three whole months! It probably did disappear) and we usher in the peaceful era of Gaia.

Three potential problems, though. (1) Sometimes guys get feelings from sex, even if you’re like “no it’s not that kind of sex.” And those feelings might mean that it’s not easy to friend them, or even if you do they might not be into actively facilitating your fucking their friends. Whatever, crybabies. (2) You will have to somehow make it clear that you are simply trying to friend-hangout, not going all psycho hosebeast, as we said in the ’90s, or I mean, as they said in Wayne’s World, really, I don’t think we said that. The presumptions are against you on this one, because duh if a girl talks to you after she’s seen your dick it’s prrrooooobably because she wants to get married amirite? (3) It’ll take a bit because dudes don’t talk about this stuff quite as much, but eventually they will realize they all banged you and that’s not a good thing or a bad thing, but you will get a nickname, and it might be a great one or a terrible one, but juuust so you know you’re gonna have to own that shit and get a tattoo of that nickname somewhere, so just be ready for that. Just be ready for your next tattoo, is my advice.

I suspect that at the end of this, you will tell me something along the lines of “only you can decide…” but, here it is anyway: Is there any way to really know whether or not you’re “ready” to seriously date a single dad? I am 30, have never been married, no kids, and I really enjoyed my twenties, if you know what I mean. Last year I reconnected with a guy I used to be professionally acquainted with several years ago, and we have been dating for almost eight months now. From the beginning, I knew he was separated from his wife, and I was able to deal with that somewhat easily, figuring it’d just be a matter of time before the divorce was final and he was free. Wrong!

About 1 1/2 months in, he told me his divorce was complicated by the fact that he had two (very young — ages 2 and 4) kids. My first reaction: total deal-breaker. I didn’t consider it lying by not telling me straight away, just gradually giving me more information the further our relationship progressed. Still, I was crushed. I didn’t see him again for a couple of weeks, I was so disappointed. Then, I realized I really missed him, and considered all the other fantastic qualities that attracted me in the first place, and we gave it another go. That was in January. Now I’m back to square one, as resentment on my part has started to set in. He has his kids often, and takes them for every holiday, and I’m starting to feel irritated every time his phone rings early in the morning and he sneaks out of bed to take a call (presumably from their mother) or takes off in the afternoon to run mysterious errands (presumably kid-related). I don’t blame him for his sneakiness — I’m sure it’s because I haven’t exactly welcomed the situation. Clearly, at their age, they will be in the picture and his #1 priority for a very long time.

No, I have not met them, nor do I particularly want to. Which only sometimes makes me feel like a horrible human being, because I feel it’s best to hold off on that, unless and until we’re in it to win it. He knows how I feel, and is a little hurt by the fact that I basically ignore his kids, but says he understands that it must be difficult. There isn’t a particular reason why it’s so hard for me — it’s every reason you can think of. Neither one of us has dropped “the L Word” but I think it all the time — I swear if it weren’t for this, he’d be the perfect match for me. It’s almost painful that he says and does so many kind things. I often tell myself to get out before I’m in too deep emotionally. Is it ridiculously early to think I’m not ready to be anyone’s stepmom, considering the situation isn’t going to change? In theory, is it too much to even hope for, at my age, that your ideal mate doesn’t come with a marriage and kids already checked off the list? That I am someone’s first priority? How much of a selfish bitch does that make me if I let him go? 50% of my girlfriends say get out, and the other 50% say don’t dump him just for that. I really need an objective opinion here. Please and thanks.

Girrrrl, I do not think this dad is single? Because sneaking out of bed, mysterious errand-running, I’m separated, oh snap I’m not? I mean breakups are fucking messy, and it’s a whole different story with kids in the picture, but he wasn’t like “I am in some messy, iterative ish, but DTF,” he was like hide yo (my) wife, hide yo (my) kids. But OK, let’s pretend that sketchy shit did not happen, and your question “am I ready to seriously date a single dad” stood alone. I am normally a pretty morally relativistic lady, like what do we REALLY know about people’s relationships/motivations/etc., but I am putting my size 8.5 foot the fuck DOWN here and saying yeah, if you really can’t handle not being a dad’s (a dad to TODDLERS!) #1 superpriority, then holy shit leave the dude alone.

There are enough dads there fucking it up by themselves without your help. (There are plenty of ladies who would find a cute single dad adorable or would appreciate the fact that dad stuff left them with a ton of their own time, or, you know, who are single moms?) NOW. If the question were like, “Is it cool to bang/hang out with this hot single dad on the days he doesn’t have his kids, if I don’t really care about/want to meet his kids?” then yeah, totally, guess what, he’s probably fucking grateful to talk to someone about something other than daycare dropoff time. I wouldn’t even insist you have to be ready to be a stepmomma to date him seriously. But I do insist, with all my inherent godly authority, that if you need to be the center of someone’s world, you find someone without kids and above all without toddlers. Have you even ever seen a toddler? They’re like the convergence point of dependence and terrifying mobility. Right now, it’s a zero sum game. If he’s giving you what you want all or even most of the time, those kids are ACTUALLY funneling pennies into their mouths and rolling around in dog shit. Even if you could make yourself the center of this dude’s world, would you want those kids’ heavy metal poisoning/heartworm on your conscience? Look, in general, being a grownup and Making Good Choices is bullshit and you can get away with avoiding it without judgement from me, but when there are little kids around, that shit is your JOB as a MAMMAL.

And, 30 IS grownup. Not bad grownup like old, or even like you have to have your life at all together (haha, life together, hahahhahahah CHAOS), but grownup as in people around you will start to have some kind of stuff going on. You WANT people around you to have stuff going on, believe me. It might not be a past marriage and kids (though increasingly, it will include that), but they’ll have jobs and circles of friends and things they do and they’re not going to drop it all just to make you feel adequately romanced. The older you get, the bigger and more complicated your peers’ worlds are getting, and the less sense the idea of “first priority” makes. You want someone who will give you enough of the right kind of time and attention, cool, good, as it should be! But I advise you not to keep score against the other themes/influences in his life, or you’ll end up with a 40-year-old with a job he gives zero fucks about, no serious relationships under his belt, no intellectual or creative pursuits, and the decaying corpse of a pet turtle that he doesn’t even know is dead until you point it out.

I’m sorry this isn’t a very sexy question for the Hairpin, but I think it might be a universal one.

My parents are getting old. Not that old, but they’re reaching their mid-50s and it’s a scary realization that your parents may not be around forever and will not always be the middle-aged protectors pottering around your life.

So, I turn to you, and the lovely commenters, for advice. 1) How do I help my parents along this transition? They’re doing absolutely fine, monetarily and health-wise thus far (*touch wood*), but is there any way that I can help? Or be ready to help? Is there anything I should be watchful for? What does a good daughter do in this situation? 2) How do other people deal with the age-old (ha!) ‘parents getting older, so how to stay sane’ question?

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

You are right that that’s some scary, sad shit. It’s funny, actually, I’ve noticed that the time your average kids get an inkling of their parents’ mortality (unless they are sadly forced to understand it earlier) is often the same time those parents find themselves orphaned. There’s some sort of echoing/cosmic mirroring going on there, I don’t know, but I think giving them a chance to talk about their own parents is a really good thing to do, and often really interesting for you, and helps you both transition into being orphans and pre-orphans.

But don’t do it in a way that’s like “you guys are so old, do you want to tell me about your lives before you are blown away by a single gust of wind from Hades?”

As for staying sane yourself, I mean, like I said, sad and scary. That said, if your parents are doing OK and we’re not talking like they’ve just been diagnosed with something serious etc., the reality is they’re really not that old, and also we could all get hit by trucks whenever, so don’t torture yourself. Plenty of random weird things will probably intervene in your life between now and when they go, and it’ll turn out that you steeled yourself for totally the wrong thing. It’s funny (not haha) but I feel like normally, our imaginations and paranoia are leaps and bounds ahead of our mundane, unhorrible lives. But parents dying are a real flaw in this theory — it’s one of the worst things you can imagine, and yet this absolute worst thing, this total horror, happens to everyone who doesn’t die tragically young. That’s genuinely incredible, that basically everyone you know has or will actually suffer through one of the worst things you, or likely they, can imagine. And they’re all still walking around, doing basically OK. We’re either totally deluded or pretty resilient or both? But take some strength of mind from that: It’s going to happen, because it happens to everyone, and you’ll both not be OK and be OK. The world is full of us and we keep happening.

OMG WHAT THE FUCK AM I ON ABOUT. Uh also genuine practical advice? If you are US of American, make sure they have long term care insurance. If you can afford to help pay for it, the offer’s a good one, but it’s important for both generations. If you are in a country that takes care of old people like it should, well, CONGRATS, spend that money on fucking drugs to burn the memory of this suddenly very bleak Ask a Lady out of your mind. The Hairpin, A Website For Ladies With Existential Ish. #whorlingvoid

Previously: Lost Friends, Beer Analogies, and “Am I an Abomination?”

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Lady?

Photo via Flickr