It takes a partnership to raise a child. Gender diversity aside, this article is my personal perspective as a husband, father, and an abused son. (That last part is not relevant to raising my boys, but it did give me a clear perspective on what NOT to do)
No matter how old you are or where you are on your journey as a young man (or middle aged man for that matter) you are a human and we are social creatures.
You want a partner.
Now, the endorphin rush of dating and mating are certainly present and powerful. In many cases, these forces can cloud our judgement.
Do you want a pretty girlfriend or wife? Sure… why not? Most men are extremely appreciative of beauty and nothing motivates us like a girl who is attractive. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with this! Attraction is a natural part of being a man.
But it does not end there.
There are plenty of attractive women who do NOT make great lovers, friends, mothers, and life partners for you. All too often, chasing beauty at the expense of ignoring character can not only torpedo a relationship, but if that relationship bears children, your one-sided perspective can damage many other people… like your future children.
When dating and/or seeking a life partner, be sure to engage both of your brains. There are beautiful women whose beauty transcends their physical attractiveness. When a woman who knows you, trusts you, honors you, and challenges you shows up—pay attention.
A woman who can support you and challenge you is rare… and beautiful.
It does not matter if you are in the early stages of dating or a man who is ready to raise a family, be sure to step back and consider what your life would be like in 5, 10, or even 50 years into the future.
Some powerful questions to consider:
1. If for any reason (health, etc.) the sex was gone, would you still want to be with her?
2. What are her values? How does she view the family construct?
3. How was she raised? If her parents are still alive, that might be a blueprint she is following (not in my case). How does she treat her nieces, nephews, and the waiter at the restaurant?
In my case, as a former NFL player, I had the opportunity for more than my share of beautiful women and relationships. When Katie came into my life, there was no lightning bolt or music from heaven. that declared she was “the one.” It took a bit of time, but at one point (no matter how rude I was, she simply wouldn’t leave) I realized her inner beauty not only matched her outer beauty, but her character and our compatibility was pure magic. She would be more than my wife, more than the mother of our children. She would become my partner in all things.
There is not a day goes by that I am not in unbelievable gratitude for my wife.
Bottom line: Before you make any commitment be crystal clear on your mutual values, beliefs, weaknesses, and strengths and be certain you support each other fully.
Sure, you could be a single dad. But having an empowering partner certainly makes it an easier and more fulfilling journey.
Choose when the time comes and when you do, choose wisely.