Here's my question: I really don't want to date someone with children, and I'm not sure if I should say that in my profile (also, I'm not on OKC or Match.com, where there's a box you that you can check for that). I haven't ever wanted children of my own, but I previously thought I would be okay with dating someone who had children from a previous marriage - that is, until I tried to do that and found that it just didn't work for me. Now, I just don't want any part of it. I'm very well aware that because of my age (late 30s), introducing this restriction is cutting out a huge, huge segment of people that are available to date me. But I'm ok with that. Based on the experiences I've had to date, I'd honestly rather be single than attempt to date someone with kids. I could leave it out of my profile and just weed out people who mention kids in their profile, but the number of men who just don't mention it at all until they're asked directly is higher than I would have thought.
I know I can keep doing what I'm doing (leave it out of my profile and figure it out as I go), but that still feels dishonest by omission. If I were a single father, I would want to know if a woman just wasn't into kids so I wouldn't waste my time.
Also, as I'm sure someone on here will remind me, I know there are exceptions to every rule and that I might be doing myself a disservice by counting these men out. But I really feel like I know myself well on this one, and - like I said - have made peace with being alone if I can't find someone who shares a similar outlook.
So - is this something I should state overtly in my profile? Right now I feel like I'm hiding something.
Grateful for any insight.
I don't think you have to say anything other than you don't have kids. Any single father worth dating who has his children a significant amount of time will primarily date women with children. This is especially true as you get older. Men with small or young kids - if they're smart - will want to date someone with a similar lifestyle/schedule and who understands from the get their children will always be their top priority.
Like you, they've dated women who haven't had children and - most likely - they learned those dynamics come with a higher degree of difficulty.
I wouldn't recommend stating outright in your dating profile that you don't want kids and prefer not to date men with children. Instead, just weed out the men that state they have kids in their profile. If a man doesn't mention in his Tinder bio or Bumble profile that he has kids, run away. No parent should ever hide their children for any reason.
This is why, if you're going to pay for a platform's membership (and you should) make sure whatever dating app or online dating site you're using allows you to see the basic stats and details of potential matches. You want this for a few reasons.
You want to avoid tedious questions once you match. If you're like me, your attention span is getting shorter an shorter. Nobody wants to sit on a teeny tiny key board to answer fluff questions about their height, what they do for a living, if they've ever been married, etc. To be perfectly frank, people ho ask questions like this should probably be ignored. People who have to make sure all their desired check-boxes are covered probably have a very specific idea of who their ideal partner should be. Spoiler alert: you will never be good enough for them. They're making you jump through hoops because they're waiting for you to gove them a reason to reject you. Also? They're obscenely boring and have horrible social skills.
You want to use your time as effectively as possible - Online dating is already an arduous process. You do not want to spend anymore time on those apps than necessary. Targeted searches will cut down on the number of profiles you have to swipe on just to get to someone relatively interesting to you. That also means less rejection, which will lead to less frustration and burn-out.
You'll experience less ghosting and unmatching - This is self-explanatory. If someone knows going in that you and they aren't aligned in important areas, it will never get to the messaging phase. Confusing? Yes, but ultimately better for your emotional well-being.
Just understand this: When you pare down the amount of profiles you see, that means you'll get fewer matches. You might go from two to three matches every session to to to three matches a week. THAT'S PERFECT! Success is not in the number of matches you receive but in the quality of those matches.
In general, it's best to avoid the "no this" or "no that" stuff. It sets the wrong tone for your profile and will probably turn-off the very people you're trying to meet. That, too, is why you want to stick to platforms that allow you to select your interests and lifestyle choices.