This week's question comes from Kris:
“Hello Orna and Matthew,
I've long admired your column here and the on point dating advice! Which brings me to the following question…
For some time, I had been in a committed relationship with a man who didn't have/didn't want kids. That was fine with me because I've chosen to not have kids either.
Now that that relationship is over and I'm dating again, I've been meeting divorced men who do have children. That's fine, but I also need to be a priority in my (future) boyfriend's life. For example, I had two phone calls with a man who has young daughters. The conversation was entirely about his children, and he asked me one, maybe two questions about me.
While I admired his love for his children, I don't want to be overlooked in a relationship either. Other men's profiles often say, “My children come first.” I respect this a lot, but again, I wonder whether I'm simply better off dating men without children so I can be in a relationship where I'm valued and put first. Am I expecting too much? Your advice is appreciated.
Thank you for reaching out for help so you can have clarity. As we see it, that’s truly what you’re asking for – clarity. If you’re looking for a “boyfriend” as you state above, you can certainly go for a trial-run with someone. What we want to know is that what you REALLY want?
If you decided that you were worth loving – really getting everything you wanted – what would that relationship look like? We call that a True Soul Partnership.
If your ideal relationship means that you come first without the encumbrances of children there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Too often we see people fudging what they REALLY want (particularly in an online profile) in order to be appealing to more people.
All you need is ONE! One man who is a match for you. That’s all!
The men’s profiles that state “My children come first” are making a clear statement about what is important to them. Instead of trying to find out if they are willing to make you a priority – deselect them as a dating option. The dating process is a selection process. Stop trying to make an orange look like an apple.
The more clear you are on what you want and the more you deselect men who do not match, the quicker you will find what you want. Sure, if you widen the dating pool you might stumble on a man with kids who is willing to make you his priority. But you will also waste a lot of time with men who are unable or unwilling to do that.
Make a clear statement on what you want. Be brave enough to ask for what you truly desire and make no excuses for it! Let those men online who want to put their children first weed themselves out by reading that it really turns you on to have a man make you the top priority in his life.
Men who are looking to have the same will step up and select themselves as a match for you.
We often hear the message in the world that you shouldn’t be too picky when it comes to dating. This is only partially true. You shouldn’t be too picky about the superficial. You shouldn’t be too picky about whether you have common interests. You shouldn’t be too picky about what he looks like.
What you should be picky about is what is truly important to you. Be picky about whether your values match. Be picky about HOW he should make you feel. Be picky about your deal breakers.
Communicate your values in such a way as to inspire a man to live up to them. Focus on the positive feelings of being cherished, valued, and put first in his life. Communicate how great it feels when you receive this from him. Acknowledge and appreciate him when he delivers what you want.
This is how to get what you want.
Please keep us posted on your journey.
Love and Abundance,