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Dating a man with no money, job, car...would you?

(60 Posts)
ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 07:51:55

I would really appreciate opinions on this.

I have been single for the past five years and have settled into single parenthood quite happily. Apart from a brief wobble about things last year I feel quite happy not to bother in future with relationships. I am in my forties and feel its quite okay to say that for now a relationship is not what I wanted or needed.

However, last year during my brief wobble I exchanged emails with a widower in his fifties who seemed nice and we got on great by email but it fizzled out and tbh I didn't think more about it. About six weeks ago I got an email from him just asking how I was and so I replied and we have been happily chatting ever since via email. It has progressed to an arranged meeting for lunch although I have said its not a great time for me at the moment to embark in a relationship. He seems really really nice though and if I am honest there is a small part of me which thinks a relationship might be nice.
He has spoken with lots of love about his family, his sadness at the death of his wife at a young age and how awful her illness was in terms of what it did to her, he says he nursed her at home but said it was no hardship because he loved her. As I say, he comes across as a really nice man.

However, my concerns...

He is not in work...gets a small pension from a past job.....been out of work for the past 20 years but obviously some of that has been taken up with being a parent.
Has older children (late teens and early twenties) are still living at home and from our emails I know they have struggled after the death of their Mum and the older ones have had prison sentences for various matters.
He says he is lonely which I can understand....I guess a few years ago he was busy with his children and now they are growing up.
He doesn't drive.

Would these issues put you off?

I personally like to think I am above material stuff....and tbh the "no money" thing doesn't bother me. However, something about what he says makes me picture a chaotic lifestyle and am a bit wary. My friends (the ones I trust to share this with) are saying "no no no....too much baggage" but surely everyone deserves a chance. As I say it's only lunch and at present as far as he is aware I cannot commit to anything although I have a feeling if he likes me in person his feelings about this will be very different.

Would you avoid a man with this kind of history? Or would you give him a chance?

I am leaning much more to the "give him a chance" side but because people around me are saying "you must be mad" I am starting to doubt myself. He sounds really nice though and it's only lunch.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 22-Mar-13 08:00:03

That much baggage would definitely put me off. It's not about being above material stuff it's about being realistic and practical. He can't help having kids with prison records or a dead wife I suppose but no job, no money and no driving licence? That's not much to show for 50+ years on the planet.

The very small thing that would really get the alarm bells ringing is that he's already bent your ear about caring for his wife, the awful illness etc. Yes, he's obviously very caring etc. but men who go on about exes (dead or otherwise) are very boring.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 22-Mar-13 08:02:25

Should .... him as a friend, fine. We all need friends. Him as a boyfriend, tread carefully.

Wossname Fri 22-Mar-13 08:02:38

I would steer clear.

There's no chance I would date him.

Dahlen Fri 22-Mar-13 08:08:05

I wouldn't. Helping a long-term partner through unemployment/money problems is one thing. No one should think less of someone they know and care for because they are down on their luck. But starting a relationship with someone who has such obvious problems is asking for trouble, not least you don't have the bond built up in the good times to sustain you through the difficult times.

Startail Fri 22-Mar-13 08:10:13


catballou Fri 22-Mar-13 08:12:55

I would have a few concerns...if he has been out of work twenty years the odds of him seeking employment with any determination are slim. That's long time to be out of work. I would also be a bit alarmed at the fact his older children have prison sentences for various matters...what matters are these?

You say yourself you are happy enough and were not looking for any relationship. Yet at the same time I'm sure some male attention from a guy who appears to be gentle and nice is quite an attractive thing.

It would be nice perhaps to have someone to go the movies with or to have a meal with occasionally (but sounds like you'd have to pay). I think though part of you suspects it's not a great long term prospect. The fact that you have doubts is your inner voice speaking to you -so pay heed to it. I would advise a friendship with this man perhaps-but don't get his hopes up as to something more, not until you know his situation a lot better and then can make a better decision.

catballou Fri 22-Mar-13 08:17:15

I also think it's easy for women to feel pity for a man who is sweet and has had hard luck...but don't let pity and your maternal nurturing feelings get confused with romantic ones. Keep a clear head here smile

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:07

I would be be someone who didn't have cash, or a car. I don't like people who go for the cash or the car. It's grabby and it's tacky. Job - depends on circs. Someone who's never worked and didn't want to - no. Someone who had fallen on hard times - yes. Someone who hadn't worked because they were nursing a dying spouse and then raising children - nothing but admiration from me!

But to be very honest - the teens & 20s living at home and in and out of prison would make it a huge no from me. That sounds like big trouble.

However, I would be his friend. Get to know him, get to know them and perhaps reassess at a later date.

rhondajean Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:11

No chance. Not in a million years. Never ever ever.

weegiemum Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:39

I can't drive - I've got a neuro problem that means I'm unsafe to do emergency stops, so am "medically unfit".

I don't have a ft job, I work PT for a charity who can fit it round my hospital appointments.

So I have good reasons for this situation (also have 3 dc, 2 still at primary school, and dh who works long hours, so my working situation suits us).

I'd kind of try to weasel out of him why this is his situation. No good answers = no relationship!

Branleuse Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:50

I might for a boyfriend but I wouldn't live together

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 08:21:58

Maternal instinct is right I tbink.

So its okay after the lunch just to say "look tbe chemistry just wasn't thrte for me, am happy to be friends but nothing more"?

Can you tell I am inexperienced in these matterz?grin

catballou Fri 22-Mar-13 08:29:10

You're only human! As fellow single parent who has recently met a lovely guy I know all to well how nice it is to be once again feeling the warm balm of someone's loving attention ....but there are other man out there and the right one will come at the right time ....x goodluck

Never in a million years.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 08:44:03

I agree he has had more than enough reasons for not being available for fact he does a small job but he says it doesn't bring in's just delivering stuff by hand.
Money really is no huge issue for me as I am not rich and have no desire to be so....well okay maybe just a tiny bit grin.

The driving thing puzzles me most tbh...he says his wife just did all the driving and was happy to do so. I think her illness and death was a massive shock to them all as it was a short illness.....diagnosed one month and she died the next month. As quick as that....I can understand why the children have struggled sad.

He is also a fair distance away from me so it might be a non starter anyway. We share a common interest though (music) and have had loads of chats about that so on that score I know we will get on.

His children...the ones who have been in prison....take your pick....drugs, assault on a police officer, babies at a young age...three of his grandchildren are in care because their Mum is unable to look after them...she is only 21 now sad

Fragglewump Fri 22-Mar-13 08:45:18

From a selfish point of view I would see someone who couldn't drive etc as another child who needed ferrying around and with four of those my partner needs wheels so he can drop some in one direction while I screech off with tyres flaming like the demented woman I am drop others off in the opposite direction. Also I like my partner to sometimes drive me home from dinner when I'm hammered I've had a ladylike glass of rose! Xx

Fragglewump Fri 22-Mar-13 08:47:34

Omg have just read your update. So his 'I nursed her till she died' story sounds a bit crap if it was a short illness! I would also worry if so many of his children area king such crap choices about what kind of a man he is!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 22-Mar-13 08:49:11

Fragglewump gets this week's Miss Marple Award for Spotting Factual Inaccuracies in a Sob Story.... smile

willyoulistentome Fri 22-Mar-13 08:50:57

Nooooo - not the guys you describe. I feel sorry for him, but he sounds hopeless!

If I was 17 and the guy was still a teen, with no money car etc - fine!!

EggyFucker Fri 22-Mar-13 08:50:58

Not a cat in hell's chance

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 22-Mar-13 08:51:09

It's not the no money no job no car- anyone could be in that situation.
It's the mindset that he's lived like this for so long.
Ditto the no car is very different from no license.

Lovingfreedom Fri 22-Mar-13 08:52:25

Why do so many women go out with or stay with men to 'give them a chance'....about time we gave ourselves a chance and went out with guys because they gave us something. It's not all money or cars etc....seriously...what does this guy have to offer you? How does being with him improve our enhance your life...If your life is better with rather than without him then there is your answer. If it's a case of 'he deserves a chance' then you're not valuing yourself very highly.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 22-Mar-13 08:55:39

Hear hear Lovingfreedom. Too many sparrows with a broken wing types out there looking for rescuers. I'll be honest, I used to find them appealing myself but, the older I get, the more I think 'sort your own problems out, I've got enough of my own!'.

JourneyThroughLife Fri 22-Mar-13 09:00:21

No way, too much baggage, some things don't add up. And, even if it was all perfectly explainable, a man who doesn't drive and has been happy to be ferried around is going to expect the same from his next relationship, he will be used to the woman "doing everything" for him....I'd be running a mile. Also, children with a multitude of problems spells disaster to me. A one-off problem is one thing, several brushes with the law sounds as though the family has deeper problems, are you really willing to take all this on board when you sound as though you're settled and stable yourself? I'd be saying a big no; but if you want to stay friends, keep it to e-mail chats only, with plenty of future pleas to loan money to "bail them out", for instance...

TheFallenNinja Fri 22-Mar-13 09:00:31

Hmm, I guess most people come with some kind if baggage but this lad seems to have the whole shop.

I'd be inclined to ease away I think.

stifnstav Fri 22-Mar-13 09:01:20

How many ex-con kids are we dealing with! And when did the wife die?

stifnstav Fri 22-Mar-13 09:03:09

Yes Journey I admit to thinking there'll be a "he needs some financial help" thread soon.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 09:10:14

Thank you all for your input. Tbh you have really clarified what I was thinking myself hence the concern about chaotic lifestyle perhaps.

No I will meet him for lunch but he lives about 100 miles away so we will meet in the nearest big city halfway, have lunch and then go our separate ways. I will just say the chemistry isn't there for me and leave it at that with just email contact.

Maybe I am not valuing myself highly enough....he seems very nice and am sure he is but I must admit to being taken aback by all the issues there.

His wife lived six weeks after diagnosis and wanted to stay at home ...I am sure it must have been awful knowing what a relative of mine went through when so ill. But yes I am wary.....believe me when I say VERY wary...I am a survivor of sexual abuse as a child so I won't just get involved with anyone. That in itself is enough to make me extra wary and want to listen to my inner voice which is saying "no way".

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 09:10:59

Two of six children have had short prison sentences....wife does six years ago so they were young to mid teens then.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 09:12:16

No "he needs financial help" thread I promise....I am too skint grin

Callisto Fri 22-Mar-13 09:19:00

Good grief no. The lack of job and car would be enough for me, without all of the emotional baggage as well. No way could I respect someone who hasn't worked for 20 years (and that goes for both sexes).

Lovingfreedom Fri 22-Mar-13 09:21:55

You seem to know an awful lot of personal details about a man you haven't even met yet...does he take this much interest in your life?

Goodadvice1980 Fri 22-Mar-13 09:23:30

Hi OP,

Out of curiousity, did he say why he'd initiated contact with you again? I'd be thinking he was involved with someone who had now binned him off for whatever reason.

Has he ever worked? I have a little flag that he states he was always happy to have someone else drive him round.

Be careful, this has emotional vampire written all over it.

I hope you have a lovely lunch - but just don't get stuck with driving him home afterwards!! grin

mmmuffins Fri 22-Mar-13 09:33:43

Involvement in this man's life sounds like it would bring quite a lot of drama. I don't know why you would invite this, especially if you have children.

And now you've mentioned he lives 100 miles away - so if he has no car and little money...can we guess who would end up doing all the travelling?

Bitofadviceplease Fri 22-Mar-13 09:40:37

Why even waste time meeting him for lunch if you e already planned out that your telling him there's no connection?

Bit of a waste travelling 50 miles to meet half way, to probably for for both your lunches. Time & money wastage, I wouldn't bother. Plus not very fair on him making his way 50 miles to meet you if you've no intention of even taking the relationship further. Unless your totally honest upfront & just tell him you only want to be friends

I'd agree with what someone else said though, why has he only now got back in touch? Probably been ditched by someone else. Be wary'

Blu Fri 22-Mar-13 09:44:11

Anyone can say anything in e mails. I would be extremely suspicious of so many sob story explanations for his current lifestyle. MN is full of women who have experienced terrible hardship and tragedy and are not languishing like this. It's not the lack of material wealth that would bother me but the story that you have no means of verifying.

It's possible that he has identified you as sympathetic and understanding, and is using you. You have had an instinctive reaction about this meet up, and I would say you instincts are serving you well.

What do you have to gain from a connection with someone who lives so far away?

Look very carefully for signs that he has flattered you by telling you 'all', made you feel special and close by doing that, stirred up the 'wobble' etc.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 09:44:19

No he wanted to meet before but I didn't. Yes I will be honest with him about my intentions just to meet for lunch and nothing more. End of....he wanted to travel all the way here but it's too much.

As I have promised to meet him for lunch then I will do that but ensure he knows up front that I can't do anything more than friendship.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 10:05:51

Okay folks, trying to compose an the below okay...not too horrible is it?

Hi X

Wish I had a magic wand which would make things easier for both of us. Still if nothing else we can have lunch and a good chat.

I am going to be honest though and say that a relationship is going to be out of the question for me right now.....possibly for a good long while. That's just how things are for me and there are definitely reasons why I need to stay single...all my issues and family stuff.

Also I feel we are a good distance apart and although you are willing to travel it's going to be difficult for you financially. I appreciate and understand that ...hopefully there will be someone nearer to you in the future. I am tied to here though and you are still needed by your girls. It's great that you are there for them...I know how supportive my Dad has been over the years.

Is that okay? Do you still feel happy to meet up for lunch? I honestly won't mind if you don't to in the knowledge it can't go anywhere.


What do you think? He wants to meet for lunch and I am happy to do that as a friend.

Lovingfreedom Fri 22-Mar-13 10:06:26

So you're going to drag this poor fellow 50 miles out of his way by public transport to tell him you're not interested? Yeah right....If you're not interested in something more with him you might as well save him his bus fare.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 22-Mar-13 10:11:04

Nope - no mention of magic wands. Suggests that if only boring practicality could be swept aside you would be rushing into his arms.

Do you really want to have lunch with him? Wouldn't it be easier to just say 'look I'm really not looking for a relationship right now, so let's knock this on the head'.
You are very likely to get the 'but I've spent £X on travel and lunch and now you're blowing me off' type response.

akaemmafrost Fri 22-Mar-13 10:12:35

No I wouldn't.

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 10:15:09

Nope I won't do are right. The "I just can't so this right now so lets knock lunch on the head" email is better.

Sorry f I am being exasperating, this is all alien to me. God it's just so much easier being single than trying to negotiate all this. Feel bad as he was so pleased we'd arranged lunch but are all right.

Trazzletoes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:11

Loving she's telling him in advance! It's up to him whether he then wants to travel for lunch.

I am also firmly on the side of giving him a wide berth.

I know people are saying his problems could happen to anyone but I would find it hard to enter a relationship with a man who has been out of work for 20 years. Ok so his children have needed extra attention for the past 6 years - I get that and don't begrudge them anything, of course. But IMO 20 years is a long time not to have an employment routine etc. I can be a bit of a cow so I'm sure someone can explain to me why I'm being unfair - and that's fine. I'm not saying I'm right. But it would be an issue for me.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:58

Trazzles I completely agree.

No no no.

Just cancel and move on.

If he is in his fifites, he has not work since in his thirties. You say his wife died 6 years ago. He cant drive. He has not been able to raise his children well. Drugs and assault! shock

You would be mad to meet him.

Does he know where you live?

DixieD Fri 22-Mar-13 10:23:20

No chance. The no job, no money, no car wouldn't bother me half as much as the chaotic home life. I would not want to be exposing myself or my family to another family of violent, druggie ex cons.
I wouldn't even pursue a friendship tbh, sounds like they may be very draining.

elastamum Fri 22-Mar-13 10:24:12

I also wouldnt meet him. There are loads of red flags in everything he has told you, it wont go anywhere unless you are prepared to spend hours driving around for him. He will put emotional pressure on you. Why bother?

Take the money you would have spent on travel and lunch and go out with a girlfriend smile

Lovingfreedom Fri 22-Mar-13 10:27:20

Traz I wrote that comment before I'd seen the draft email so yeah..take your point...but the email has a ring of 'the odds are stacked against us...let's fall in love' about it to me. If you want to do that OP then go for it...but just be prepared for lots of problems and not much cash coming your way!

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 10:27:31

Have cancelled it....feel better but will talk it all over with my counsellor (past history of sexual abuse so find all this difficult). The deed is done though....too many red are all correct.

GetOeuf Fri 22-Mar-13 10:28:39

What others have said.

I really couldn't be bothered with it to be honest. One of those things (lack of driving, no job for years, wayward kids) would be a possibility but not all three.

Sounds like he needs and wants looking after. You have got to wonder why he is telling you all of this anyway. Does he like a good sob story or is endlessly searching for sympathy. Sod that for a game of soldiers.

Lovingfreedom Fri 22-Mar-13 10:29:16

Well done Carol! Now to arrange that girly lunch. Take care. x

crazycrush Fri 22-Mar-13 10:32:19

Yes, we'll done! And now girly lunch and onto new things :-)

pictish Fri 22-Mar-13 10:35:01

No I wouldn't. He'd have nothing of substance to offer me. A relationship would be his gain and my burden. So no.

juneau Fri 22-Mar-13 10:39:25

Well done Carol. Much better to get a few unbiased strangers to give their tuppence-worth and help you make up your mind.

I was going to say what everyone else has said. Also - he hasn't worked for 20 years and his wife only died six years ago. I would maybe understand if he hadn't worked for the past six years, but he was unemployed for 14 years BEFORE she fell ill and died. Why, for heaven's sake? Not that it matters - someone with that amount of baggage would have me running for the hills.

Blu Fri 22-Mar-13 11:09:31

Well done. Now block his e mails and any other communication you have with him.

Targetpractice Fri 22-Mar-13 11:51:40

Well done, OP.
At our age a new relationship should not mean a learning experience, partners should be able to offer mutual support, care, understanding.
It also works better if finances are just about equal, too. Xx

ConfusedCarol Fri 22-Mar-13 13:41:08

Thank you yo change back to my real nickname now grin .

Gingerandcocoa Fri 22-Mar-13 14:37:00

No way.

I wouldn't even meet up for lunch - why give him false hope and put yourself in a situation of having to turn him down down the line?

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