A single woman who ditched a potential partner after revealing he was a father sparked debate online for claiming singletons on the internet should declare they have kids before going on dates.
The user, who posts under the name floralarrangement and is thought to be from the U.K., was disappointed to discover a man she’d been chatting with online had two toddlers, aged 2 and 4, which he “casually” brought up when they met in person.
Taking to Mumsnet, the 28-year-old explained they had met on a dating app and coincidentally worked for the same company, but that she would have rejected him if she’d known he had children.
The post, shared on Saturday with over 600 replies, which can be read here, said the user initially found him “charming,” but thought the revelation was a “huge deal” and the date had lied by “omission.”
According to research published by the Statista Research Department, around 3.27 million children were living with a single father in the U.S. in 2020.
Asking other users for their opinion on the fact that her date had children, she said: “Just got back from a brunch date and this was casually brought up. I feel like this is a HUGE deal, especially due to the ages.”
The woman explained that she did not have children and wasn’t keen to date anyone who did, though she may change her mind in the future.
She went on: “I feel like he didn’t tell me (and probably other women) in advance as a way of getting dates from people who otherwise would’ve said no. Is this too harsh?
“For those of you who do OLD [online dating], do you tell people in advance/put it on your profile? We work together (huge organization—didn’t know of him before and none of my friends do) which meant I felt pressured [to] have a good date with him because I hate awkwardness.
“I already have one ex-boyfriend at work which I find stressful, I’d rather not make it a pattern with multiple people I have to avoid for one reason or another.”
Users were split over the issue, with some claiming the man had no obligation to share he had children before the pair got to know one another, while others felt it’s “annoying” when singletons don’t say they’re parents on their online profiles.
One mom wrote: “I don’t put [that] I have children on my profile, no. It’s nothing to do with anyone until I get to know them. Didn’t you text or call before the date to find out more about each other?
“The men I have spoken to who haven’t put children on their profile did always make me aware they had children before the date, while we were getting to know each other a little more. Maybe put on your profile you [don’t] date people with children.”
Other users agreed singletons should declare they have children, with one mom writing: “Yes they should. [It] doesn’t have to be on profile but should be before meeting in messages, many men will lie as they don’t want to put women off, my ex has 5 kids and told me he tells women he doesn’t have any. But also if it’s important to you you should ask in future.”
Another user agreed: “This used to annoy me too. It’s such a huge thing and it always felt like they hadn’t mentioned it because they wouldn’t get as many dates.
“Which could be true but what did they think was going to happen—someone liked them so much on a first date they would overlook something as huge as having kids (if I didn’t want to date someone who had them I mean)? Even if they did surely such a lie of omission would put the person off. I just don’t understand it.”
The original poster replied: “This is how I feel. He knew I probably wouldn’t meet up with him, this was a way of sort of charming me first and giving him a shot where he would’ve had one before. The lie of omission did put me off.
“Lots of people put that they have children on their profile, that they have a partner and are looking for a polyamorous thing, or that they are purely looking for FWB arrangement. All are things I would be annoyed about if they weren’t clear pre-meeting.”
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