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Dear Dolores: Fatherhood Is Making Me Super Attractive To My Friends

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Dear Dolores, 

Recently I had a child out of wedlock, it was a very stressful time in my life so I went to many of my friends for comfort. To my surprise 3 of the people close to me admitted they had feelings for me and that they wanted me to date them and to leave the baby mama. All of three of these incidents occurred in THE SAME CONVERSATION I told them about my predicament. Over the next month another three individuals tried to get me to leave the mother of my child for them. Unfortunately I lost people who I considered close friends because of this. I feel like I’m fairly good at picking up on feelings and none of them did anything until I told them I was about to be a dad!

Why is this happening? Is it because I’m a dad now? Is it the daddy energy?  Am I just oblivious to flirting? Did people just want to get involved because it was exciting? Is it because they relish in breaking things up? I’m honestly at my wits end and I’d like to hear what you’d have to say. I’m quite a big fan thanks for taking your time to read this 

— New Dad

Dear New Dad,

It seems like there’s a lot to unpack here. I mean, first of all, “child out of wedlock” is an old fashioned sensibility. Modern parents raise children on their own all the time, by choice and otherwise. Unless you are very religious, the lack of a stable marriage in a family with children does not bear the social stigma it did in the 1950s. Furthermore, marriage is not the only thing that ties you to your child’s mother for the rest of your lives, your child now does that. 

I am a little confused about your predicament. Do you want to leave your current partner? It sounds like you are distressed that your friends are making their interest known now, after the birth of your child. Was there something you mentioned when relaying this story to your eager, single friends that left the option open to them that you were looking for someone new? When you mention “out of wedlock”, are you saying that you would like to marry your child’s mother but something is preventing that?

In my experience, friends don’t typically come out and express their romantic interest unless they perceive some sort of opening for this sentiment. Whether conscious or not, it seems like you’re putting that energy out into the world, not the arrival of your baby. If your friends are good friends, I wouldn’t go straight to assuming they are trying to sneakily break you and your partner up. If I think my friend is dating someone not good for them, I will typically tell them straight up that they can do better. 

I suppose all this is to say, it seems like you need to figure out what you want, because it is not a coincidence that several of your friends had a similar reaction to your baby news. Dating as a single parent is difficult but not impossible. I am rooting for you!

— Love, Dolores

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