A conservative author and mother is urging single people not to treat dating lightly but rather as a serious process that demands being as upfront as possible about their plans for the future.
In the wake of the divorce of Hollywood couple Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, which appeared to be related in part to the 46-year-old Manganiello's desire to be a father, Bethany Mandel said in a new column that it was tragic that he may have missed out on fatherhood because he and Vergara – who is five years his senior – possibly differed on the all-important question of having children.
Vergara already has a son from a previous marriage, Page Six reported, and was also embroiled in a custody battle with a former beau over frozen embryos from IVF treatment in 2013. Manganiello, known for his work on HBO's "True Blood," wishes to have kids and their split was mainly due to that difference, the tabloid added.
"A lot of things are important in a marriage: love, respect, trust, laughter. But perhaps most important is to remember that it’s a partnership for life; and as such, dating should not be considered fun, but instead like a job interview for the most important role you’ll ever have, that of a spouse," writes Mandel, a mother of six.
She also cited a recent "Today" column by author Bianca Turetsky, who has frozen her eggs and pays a hefty fee to keep them in storage despite knowing she almost certainly will never become a mother because her husband doesn't want kids.
Turetsky noted in the piece that her previous boyfriend, who already had children, waited years to confirm that he didn't want to have any more, leaving her heartbroken. She wrote in her column that part of growing up was realizing you can't get everything you want, but Mandel rejected that outright.
"She deserved more than settling. She deserved a man who wouldn’t help her with IVF injections to freeze her eggs, but instead set her free to meet a man who would want to fertilize them himself," Mandel wrote.
"And yet, these are the literal proposals that Turetsky and (perhaps) Manganiello agreed to when they decided to marry people who wanted fundamentally different things out of life. It doesn’t mean that their spouses were wrong; just wrong for them. I don’t know, though, maybe they were also wrong. It’s cruel and unethical to waste someone’s precious time if you know that you won’t want the same thing; you don’t get those years of fertility back."
Likening the process to a job interview, Mandel relayed a previous relationship she had with someone who recognized early on that the two had different paths in mind; they're now happily married to other people – him with two children and her with six. Mandel has frequently written about the joys and challenges of her large family, which she says sometimes attracts rude remarks from strangers and political foes.
"If you were interviewing for a job, would you allow the process to drag on, long after you know it’s the right fit (or not)?" she asked. "Would you take the job (AKA get married) if you weren’t in agreement about what you both wanted out of the partnership?"