Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

April 26, 2007

Damn Those Deal Breakers

I'm feeling a bit deflated today, like a kid who just watched her freshly scooped double ice cream cone tumble to the dirty sidewalk. Although we'd only gone out twice so far, things with Wine Guy were moving along with promising speed. Emails everyday, two-hour phone conversations, enthusiastic planning for our next outing (a hike this Sunday). There was a fresh, sincere connection between us. I liked that he wasn't a "guy," but a PERSON. Big difference in my book. You can just tell he is kind, compassionate, spiritual (if not a bit "hippy dippy" at times, perhaps a red flag), smart. Not the type of man you meet in San Diego very often.

Despite this excitement, I kept true to my word of my last entry where I promised not to put all my eggs in one basket and continue to pursue other opportunities. Both were guys. One quickly ruled himself out when I asked in an email if he was free the following Monday or Tuesday to meet - only four days away - and he responded that he "can't plan that far ahead." Then he asks, "so what have you been up to?" Uh..if you can't even manage to take your calendar out and make a date for four days into the future, you don't get the privilege of casual chit chat and getting to know what I've been "up to." Sorry. guy number two seems OK. I had given him my home number (only used for telemarketers and Internet dates) and he actually called when he said he would. The conversation wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. He had a rather adorable southern accent and it helped to imagine that I was talking to Matthew McConaughey, maybe even with his shirt off. Despite feeling like I was deceiving Wine Guy, I made a date to see him this Friday.

But mostly I was really excited about my next date with Wine Guy on Sunday. Just me and him on a mountain somewhere. Maybe a good setting for our first kiss?

Back to the fallen ice cream cone...So last night Wine Guy and I were having one of our marathon phone calls. The conversation flowed as we covered every topic imaginable with a refreshing tone of mutual honesty. I told him about my tarot card reading (you remember that entry right?) that urged me to be specific about what I want and what I'm looking for. Wine Guy is kind of into astrology and tarot and all that (I know, I already said small red flag) so he asked me what it is that I want.

I tried to deflect the question but in his open, "I'm listening" sort of way, he wasn't taking no for an answer and, well, I am a Sagittarius and we do like to be heard. So I told him some of my "Deal Breakers." Height, religion, no motorcycles, must like animals, think therapy isn't a waste of time, etc (again, go back here if you need a refresher). I knew he matched all of these so it was a generally lighthearted conversation. I supposed I skipped over one of the "biggies" - must want kid or kids - but not on purpose. I had mentioned it earlier in the conversation when I said, "I know I want to get married and have a family" and didn't think it was necessary to say it again. He seemed so nurturing and kind, I just assumed he wanted the same (you know what they say about assuming....)

So I turned the tables and asked him what his Deal Breakers were. She must be left-leaning politically, no prejudices, interested in self discovery/learning. All good. For some reason, probably because it was a safe zone since I don't fall into either category, I asked him about dating divorced women and/or single moms. It was this answer that made me sit up and get a little nervous. He said he finds that single moms just don't have time for self-discovery and developing their own identity because they are so busy being "moms." That's fair enough I suppose but must have had some sort of hesitation in my voice. "Uh Oh. What are you thinking?" he asked, clearly fishing.

I stopped myself, not wanting to go there. But, whether we wanted to be or not, we were there already. I had to ask, "Would you feel that same way about the mother of your own children?"

Silence. Followed by a groan.

I watched the first scoop of ice cream begin to tumble. "You do want to have kids don't you? Because that is one of my top three Deal Breakers," thinking of the list I promised I would adhere to.

He knew it, and I knew it. We had found the problem. Granted, it was far too soon in our fledgling relationship to even be having this conversation, but when it comes up, it comes up. So here we were. He launched into a speech about not wanting to bring a kid into the world when things are so messed up and you don't know what kind of a terrible world you are leaving for him or her. Blah, blah. Heard it all before from my ex-fiance (yes, I have one of those and we didn't get married in the end because he dragged his feet on big commitment issues like marriage and kids. I am not going to waste another few years or even months for the same reasons).

I respect Wine Guy's opinions. He is a compassionate, very political man with principles. But I know I want children (at least one) and I'm not going to spend time trying to change someone's mind on the matter.I told him that when I'm on and I see a guy who answers "Not Sure" for the Want kids? question, I will pass him by. I don't have time for Not Sure.

There was no hostility. Just quiet disappointment on both ends of the phone line. We found our Deal Breaker too soon. We agreed that we want to keep getting to know each other because, well, we clearly both value the prospect of having interesting people in our lives. But whether or not we get romantic, I doubt it. Why throw myself into a situation where the end result would still be the same only it would be more painful a few months down the road than if we stopped in our tracks now?

We agreed to still go for our hike this weekend, though I won't be imagining any sweet kisses on any mountaintops. Maybe I at least got a new male friend out of this? I could use a few more of those I guess. But I'd much rather find my soul mate.

However, I am glad that I found this out before my date on Friday with McConaughey. Now I know I will at least give him my full attention and a fair shake since, yet again, my slate is clean. Damn those Deal Breakers



Loverville said...

Wow -- what a shame. It sounded so promising til you found the Deal Breaker, but as you said -- you're better off finding out NOW, rather than months / years down the road.

It's interesting: I'm very much on the fence about wanting kids. When I'm with friends with sweet, charming kids? Then I want them that minute.

But when my friends need to cancel our dinner plans because they can't get a babysitter? I go the opposite way.

It all comes down to this: will I meet the "right" guy in time, someone who could potentially be a father to these "maybe" kids?? Only time will tell!

Anonymous said...

makes me think.
my boyfriend of 2 yrs is dragging his feet on the whole marriage and kids issue. Thanks for forcing me open up my eyes and realize that it might never happen. Kids is one thing i refuse to negotiate for. thanks for writing this blog for entertainment value and motivation for all single women.
keep it up

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Thanks anonymous...glad you are getting something from all of my rambling. If there's one thing I've learned in my dating skirmishes it's to stay true to what you want and believe.
Keep fighting (and reading).

Anonymous said...

Probably a silly comment, but this guy seems pretty cool from your posts, so is it really a deal breaker? There's a difference between "definitely don't want kids" and "I don't want kids". Not saying you should convince him, but in addition to the individual values they brought in, couples develop new values together. Many men have changed on this topic, no?