dating and kids mainI’ve hit a new normal. I am officially in an age bracket that is closer to 30 than 20, and with that comes a whole new method of dating.

What I mean by this is I am no longer a young twenty-something casually dating, and if I do agree to meet someone I am fully aware this someone could turn into a lifelong someone. The days of just casually dating, I feel, have left and I am now faced with having to make decisions earlier in the relationship than later.

One of those decisions I was faced with was if I would be willing to date a man with children. I have never thought about this factor before, mainly because I am not a mother, and no where near ready to be one.

When you’re still living your life for yourself the thought of opening up your life to a man can be scary enough, let alone a child. But the reality is at my age many men and women out there have a child.

I encountered this when a gentleman I knew casually expressed a desire to take me out and get to know me better. Initially I was hesitant because my current schedule is very demanding, and trying to explain to someone that the news doesn’t care whether it’s my day off or not can be difficult. Then he told me he had a six-year-old and I immediately knew it wouldn’t work out.

I knew I couldn’t I provide what he was ultimately looking for; meaning I am not ready to be a stepmother. Now I am not saying we were destined for marriage, but as I said at this point in life the dating casually game is pretty much over. Whether we were fit to be life long partners or not, I wasn’t willing to lead someone to believe I could be ready for this lifestyle by agreeing to date him.

Most of my friends are either in serious relationships, engaged or married, and some even have children. Being one of the last kidsoldiers left in the single group is fine with me, but leaves me looking at factors I have never encountered before. Aside from children I feel pressure to weigh other variables such as how established is he in this state? I face a very large possibility of having to relocate at one point in my career, and would he be willing to move on account of me?

I’ve even gone as far to say I won’t date anyone in the state because chances are I will be leaving in a year or two.

All these life changing factors have changed the way I’ve dated lately and have forced me to ask myself some tough questions. Granted anything is possible and life can change in a split instant, but for now I just have to take it one date at a time.