What's in it for the Man?


Yesterday I got an email notification of a comment on a blog I wrote last May titled Up In the Air.

In this entry I talked about my experience with love and its evasion of me over the past few years. I talked about guys I'd been almost-interested in and the mostly unpleasant experiences I'd had. And then I switched gears to talking about the kind of guy I want and the kind of love I was holding out for and hoping for.

When I wrote it I got an overwhelmingly positive response from women telling me to hang in there and quit looking and someday my prince would come.

So it kinda took me back yesterday when 'Curious Man' left the following comment:
"May I ask what's in it for a man? He has to take care of someone else's child, which he had no part in, and as a child is a substantial financial concern, may be the only child he ever can afford."
I had a moment of processing and then a moment of anger and then a moment of confusion in how to respond to this comment.

What's in it for him?!

The same thing that's in it for any other man in any other relationship. A child is no more of a burden or issue in a relationship than family drama or financial trouble or personality/emotional/mental issues. Every person comes with their own set of circumstances, one of my circumstances just happens to be my child.

As with many of you, as well.

So the sheer selfishness of this question took me back.

Despite my frustration I clicked the reply button and starting typing a response.

I typed and deleted and typed and deleted for a few minutes before I finally finished a response.
"I think you're missing the point. I'm not looking for a man to take care of me or my child, I've never thought, much less written, anything to that degree.

I don't want a man to fix me or to provide for me or to take care of my child. At the time that I wrote this I just wanted to finally find a guy that would accept me--all of me. My child just happens to be part of the package deal.

Every woman comes with a package. Some have family issues, some have financial issues, some have mental or emotional issues. The wording of your question makes me think you're a man who considers a child an issue.

Thankfully I've since found a man who doesn't see my child in that light and thankfully there are other men out there who are willing to accept the children of others WITHOUT asking "What's in it for me?" because if they ask themselves that in the first place, they have no business in a relationship.

Relationships are about giving to one another, not about making sure you get enough out of it to justify the time and effort."
Even after commenting it still kept bothering me because I didn't really say all the things I wanted to say because of things like manners and decency, but it bothered me that this curious person wasn't even looking at love or relationships in the correct context.

There is no selfishness in love.

And perhaps my time as a parent has taught me lessons that some single non-parents still haven't learned (and to be honest, I'm sure there are parents that still haven't learned this, too). It's NOT all about me. It never should be all about me. If my relationships are what they're meant to be, it's never all about me and it should never be all about the other person.

It should be all about us.

Be it Ty and I or Jason and I or anyone else in my life.

So I threw it out to my Facebook friends to get their input and they agreed. Relationships aren't about what's in it for the individuals involved, they're the opposite.

Love isn't selfishness it's selflessness.

I'm sorry for whatever woman he's dating that he's having these thoughts about her and her child. Certainly his heart doesn't seem to be in the right place.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.