Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Deal-breaker First Date

DEAR NATALIE: I went out on a date with a woman I met online. I haven't been on a first date in a while. She and I are both in our early 30s. Before dessert had even arrived she started talking about how she wants to have children and if I don't want children there really wasn't any reason to continue the date. I was so taken aback that I told her, "No, actually I don't want kids," (which isn't exactly true, but she caught me off guard and I was weirded out by it), and she basically ended the date. The sad part is, she was really funny and cute - or so I thought. I guess my question is, are all women over 30 baby crazy? Should I be prepared for an interrogation every time I go out? -- BABY ON THE BRAIN

DEAR BABY ON THE BRAIN: I can assure you that not all women over the age of 30 are baby crazy. In fact, I know plenty of women who have very little interest in having children. But, the only way you will find out which woman is right for you is to keep dating. I know it can seem overwhelming, but relationships take time to grow and build. In fact, this woman did you a favor by being so upfront about her feelings. She wants a partner who wants kids, and you hesitated, so she bolted. While it made for an awkward conversation with the waiter when he or she came by and saw you sitting there alone, dazed and confused, it works out in the long run because she didn't waste your time. Moving forward, I doubt you will experience that kind of directness (for better or worse) with women, but don't get discouraged. As I read on the inside of a bottle cap once, "There is a lid for every pot."

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Arianna Huffington said it best: "Collaboration is the new competition." No one is an island in the new business landscape, and if you want to increase your visibility, collaborate with like-minded people in complementary industries to help rally the audiences you have together to expand your reach (and potential sales). 

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)