Q: I had a great date, but the guy said he doesn't want kids. Should I tell him that's unacceptable?
A: Um, no - just move on. But do you really want to ignore potential due to an offhand comment?
In only two short sentences, Cosmo manages to give two contradictory pieces of advice, both of them bad. It's almost impressive.
I will say that I laughed at the way the question was worded. It's not 'should I tell him that I do want kids?' or 'is it too early to talk to him about the fact that we don't agree on something this important?' or something like that. No, it's 'should I tell him that I will not accept the fact that he doesn't want kids?' But let's overlook that minor issue with the question so we can move on to the real fun in the answer.
Our advice in sentence one of the answer is to "just move on" without telling him that the reason is his "unacceptable" comment about having kids. Why bother with any of that pesky honesty or communication stuff, right? Just leave him hanging! Let him wonder what went wrong. It's the fun and fearless thing to do.
The totally different advice in sentence two is to think about not moving on because after all, this guy might have "potential", which shouldn't be ignored because of an "offhand comment". First of all, does 'I don't want kids' really qualify as an offhand comment? I mean, 'I don't like guacamole' is an offhand comment. 'I'm not a big hockey fan' is an offhand comment. 'I think Avatar kinda sucked' is an offhand comment. 'I don't want to have children' is a different story.
Oh, but wait. I left out the best part. The inset photo with this piece is of a male lion with a cub, and the caption says, "He's not wild about kids...yet." So that brings us full-on into 'hang in there girl, you can totally change his mind!' territory, and we all know that always works out for the best. Sure, it's possible that this particular guy might change his mind - we're not told his age or anything else about him that might help us determine how likely that is - but it's not that smart to advise Ms. Unacceptable to bank on Mr. Potential having a change of heart in the future.
So, let's review this advice. You shouldn't tell this guy that you won't accept the fact that he doesn't want kids. You should just move on. But you shouldn't just move on because he has potential, and potential apparently means the vague hope that someday he'll change his mind and decide that he's "wild" about the idea of having kids. At no time should you ever consider having an actual conversation with him about any of this. And all of this after only one date. Cosmo is truly amazing. I can't wait to read the follow-up article with the photos from the Unacceptable/Potential wedding.
As a bonus, here are the other two questions and answers from this article.
Q: Why does he invite me over and then just play video games?
A: You keep tolerating it, so he keeps doing it.
This is an easy one. Obviously the true answer to this question can be found through careful study of I Read While He Plays Video Games.
Q: I told my man I had dinner with my ex, and he got mad. He knows we're friends, so why the big deal?
A: One, dinner sounds like a date. Two, you told him after the fact.
For this one, I'm just going to share our actual conversation.
Jezebel: I have to laugh at 'dinner sounds like a date'. Like, you should have met your ex for brunch, that's less threatening.
Lilith: Uh oh. Dinner is a date? I have a lot of explaining to do to you. And Eve. And Mary. And my parents.
Jezebel: Seriously. Who knew?
Lilith: OMG I'm such a dinner slut!
Jezebel: If only we had learned to speak Cosmo sooner.
Based on this Cosmo dinner-is-just-like-a-date formula, Lilith and I are practically common law spouses at this point. We're thinking of registering at Target and Pottery Barn.