Dear Ronnie – The Dating Coach,
I am divorced. I met a very nice man through a friend. In the beginning we spoke online for hours. We began to get together, meeting at the beach to talk. After two months, he asked me out to dinner and he paid.
Four months later, he expects both of us to share the cost our nights out. For example, if he bought dinner, he expects me to pay for the movie. I have not complained. I hadn’t dated for years so I thought it was normal.
Then in one of our many conversations, we discussed children. I have two teenagers and explained that I do not wish to have more. He was understanding but felt my “No” meant maybe. He has two children as well 4 and 7.
Four months into a relationship, he tells me his children are moving in with him. I was shocked. I do not want to raise small children all over again. I already did that with my own. Should I end this relationship now before it gets more serious?
Nervous in Tucson
There is a lot going on in this email and I’m not exactly sure what the priority is regarding your question.
Is it normal for a man to expect you to contribute to your dates after four months? Absolutely. Had you asked me earlier in the process of dating this guy, I would have pointed out that meeting him in a park is not only a safety risk initially, but speaks to his not having much money for dating.
However, his financial situation might not really be a concern of yours. If he’s a good person and supports himself, then that can be enough for many women. In this day and age with more equality between the sexes, sharing the costs is to be expected after the first two to three dates. Or sometimes the man picks up the check and you treat him to something else.
But if a man doesn’t start out treating you to dinners, you can’t expect him to suddenly start paying for everything. Men are at their very best during the first three dates. What you see is what you get and it doesn’t get better.
Regarding the child situation, that’s another ball game. Whether or not he thought you meant maybe, he’s got kids and now they will be living with him. Do you think they might grow on you? If you want nothing to do with young kids, he’s probably not the right man for you. These decisions are very tough, but you are on target when you say better to leave now then six months from now.
Make a clean break and look for another man who is free from his child-rearing years. In addition, you might want to learn about dating protocol and what works best today.
In my book, MANifesting Mr. Right, I have an entire section on “Dating Protocol” which will help you understand things like who should pay, dating roles for men and women, red flags to watch for, a dating report card and so much more. You can get a downloadable ebook , paperback or audio on CD.
In any way format, you’ll get the same great insights, wisdom and tips on dating that will help you find the right man for you.
Wishing you love,
Ronnie – The Dating Coach