From dating age – we’ll call it 16 – up through when I met my current fiancé, popularly known as “when I was dating,” I was the dude who would absolutely not date a girl who was an only child.

I know it seems odd and judgmental, but interaction up through the years had so molded my opinion to the point that that was precisely where I was with mine.

[Phlip note – why is it so weird when you have to use the same word twice in a sentence?]

In my quest to avoid only-child ladies, I’m quite sure I passed over a few good girls on the spoiled-brat behaviors of the ones who happened to be the majority of the ones I met leading up to and causing my decision not to be bothered. I am thankful, though, for the decisions I did make and the hand they played in landing with whom I am with now, so all’s well that ends well, I say.

But now I have a daughter, and I can understand this only child thing from the side of the parents. Or at least my side as a parent.

Anyone who knows me knows that if anyone had suggested this time last year that we had a baby on the way, they’d have been called 5 different kinds of liars, and with good reasoning. Lo and behold, on July 15 our little miracle was upon us.

If it sounds like I just SKIPPED 9+ months of gestation in that story, it is because my daughter did too.

The first 4 hours, I was her shadow in the nursery until Katie came out of recovery, at which point I left the baby with her to be fed and visited with by my mom and her dad to go home and handle the dogs for a minute. Back at the hospital, I hovered around the bassinet waiting for this new little person to show me some eyes. The next morning, I woke back up and was back to her bassinet, she opened her eyes and looked at me (or at least in my general direction), all I could do was grin like an idiot and say “hi,” to which she furrowed her brow and let out a grunt that sounded like “hi.”

That was the morning that I can honestly say that I understand the plight of someone who has one kid and stops at that, and not necessarily even from the financial standpoint that these little people are NOT cheap by any means at all. Not to take anything from anyone hell bent on having a house full of children, but it was at that moment that I could not imagine wanting to be forced to share or choose to divide what I felt for Ava at that moment. Never mind that I’d only come to the concession of wanting no more than a hard cap of two kids (yes, I WILL be shutting the factory down at two, simple as that) only within the 18 months before her, but now I was totally fine with the one I had.

Two things I refused to do was (1) to reprise my father’s role in raising kids and (2) to have a daughter and let her NOT have a concise at-home view of what a healthy relationship between father and daughter is. Not when I had encountered droves of women who were completely undatable in any serious capacity due to daddy (or lack-of-daddy) issues.

No, I don’t feel like any kind of asshole because I stopped even trying in earnest to date only children, but turn and give serious thought to stopping at the one little girl I have. I guess the difference comes in the plans I have ahead of us in raising her, God willing.

As ever, this is a statement of my own experience and is applied to my opinion as it relates to myself.

If I’m honest, I think it is the situation as it presented itself that has caused my reversal of field. My little girl is 7 months old, with two teeth, is now standing up and learning how her feet work and her ever-present smile and frequent giggle suggests to anyone whose day was brightened by her presence that she lives in a happy household, so I am pleased with where we are and where we might be headed, with or without siblings for her.

  • Having kids have a way of changing the way we look at things. I think the notion of not dating a woman because she happens to be an only child is kinda warped and dare I say reeks of borderline narcissism. But hey that’s just me, and to each his/her own, bro. LOL

  • Beattitudes56

    The assumption that a woman who is an only child is “spoiled”, and an undesirable dating prospect speaks to several levels of ignorance. Sadly, it has reproduced and one can onky hope the genes on the other side of the family cancel out the intellectually challenged genes.

    Preferences based on actual FACTS is one thing, selection based on dim bulb assumptions based on limited experience is something else altogether.

    An only child who is unspoiled.

  • Phlip

    Never claimed to NOT be warped, but I would not call it narcissism.

    I didn’t wake up one day and decide “I ain’t dating only children” without giving it a puncher’s chance at least. With enough of the “me and me only” vibe that I got was enough for me to call it enough, cut my losses and leave that headache for someone else.I can only speak to my personal experience, and I am pleased with where that the decisions those experiences have driven me.

    Sure, I will be called all kinds of names, but so be it. I’m a big boy and won’t die as a result.

  • Funny as fuck, coming from an only child in a foster home full of children situation, wait…I’ll have to explain that later. 

    Good luck with the little girl. I got one and still deciding if I’ll have another, she’s 21 now, but hey, never say never…I’ll just say, NOT YET! 

  • But here’s the problem: making the general assumption that all female only children are created equal. I give you props for at least admitting that you’ve maybe missed out on some good catches by applying your theory. But seriously, it’s not even that deep – people are people,

  • I don’t know how I missed this post.  I am the only child and so is my mother.  Nothing pisses me off me than to have someone automatically assume that I was spoiled because it was just me.  This is a myth created by people who probably often wish that they were the only one in their family circle.  Believe me when I tell that by the time I was born, the art of raising an only child was well mastered by my maternal family.  I’m not the only solo child in my family. There are several of us in my generation.  We were raised by a group of folks who fully understood that no one would cater to our whims, and our parents damn sure didn’t.  

    The thing that seems to not be obvious about only children when we become adults is our ability to do for ourselves.  If you are a parent of one or more children there is a truth that still stands on solid ground, if you raise a child in the way that they should go, they will not soon depart from it.

    I often find myself laughing at my adult friends who cannot stand to be alone or have no clue how to prevent boredom.  I have had to keep myself company for many decades. I actually prefer to be alone than to have a crowd of folks in my space.  I am very self-reliant and I am not afraid to do things solo.  This can be a real advantage because it does not stop me from going places and doing things that I like.  I have friends who will not go anywhere without someone else going with them.

    There is nothing wrong with having one child.  My oldest was an only child for the first seven years of his life.  He was reared in the same manner as the rest of the solo children in our family.  He has one child and she is being reared the same way.