(It's a small town, so we kind of knew each other, but not really.) I was extra, extra lucky because my boyfriend had a (mostly) good relationship with her.
Knowing that I was moving back to a small town after years of living in cities, I looked at my therapist and said: "I can't date someone who has children. And while I was in love with both the man and the kid, I was totally lost. There is nothing wrong with single or divorced parents. But my friends back home in the small town I was moving back to? He had a son with his ex-girlfriend, who I also remember from my past.
I was in a relationship with a man who had a 10-year-old son. I was 29 years old, and the majority of my friends in Chicago were childless or childfree, whichever term you prefer. I knew that by moving back here, I was inviting many children into my day-to-day life -- and probably my love life, too. Despite all of my fears, I reconnected with this man from my youth.
When Beth, one of my better researchers, said that men who were averse to commitment were drawn to her like bees to honey, I gave her a copy of the summary report of my research on “why men marry.” The report showed that the primary reason a man asks one woman to marry and not another is that each woman treats him differently.
After looking it over for about fifteen minutes, Beth returned the report to my desk and told me I was a male chauvinist. I was fond of Beth and trying to help her, so after I recovered, I asked her what made her think that.
We then broadened the study by surveying and then running focus groups of single men who at that time had no intention of getting married.