You’re at the grocery store grabbing some Hot Pockets (Italian style meatballs for life) when a guy catches your attention further down the freezer aisle. He’s got a baby and he’s cooing at her gently, smiling and talking as he moves closer to where you’re standing. You smile at them both and he starts encouraging the baby to say hi to you and smile back. Watch out — you may be well on your way to becoming a victim of babystalking.
What is babystalking?
Even if you’ve never heard the term, you’re likely familiar with the concept. It’s when a guy who has a baby uses that baby in order to pick up women. Many women find men who are attentive to kids to be super attractive, so by playing the doting dad, he can win you over without much effort. That’s because many women automatically assume that a guy who’s a good father must also be the ideal partner even though that’s not always the case. However, babystalking relies on the idea that being good with kids is an automatic in. The funny thing is that many times, it is.
The issue is that babystalking is being used more and more by men who are already married or in committed relationships to pick up women to cheat with. Most single guys are a bit more hesitant about letting strange women around their kids. However, if he knows he has a full-time partner to look after the youngins and he’s not looking for a new mom for them, the stakes are much lower. That’s where he’s hoping you come in for a bit of fun.
Is talking to a guy with a child really all that bad?
Of course not. Not every guy out and about with his kid is hiding a serious relationship back home. There’s a possibility that he’s simply a single parent (or a single guy who happens to share custody of a child with a former partner) and he’s totally decent. He could just be really friendly, and seeing you smile and engage with his kid is attractive to him. Dating a single dad might be slightly more complicated than going out with someone who’s child-free, but you definitely shouldn’t rule him out.
The problem is, you never really know at first what the situation is. Again, it’s naturally suspicious when a guy with a baby seems to be using that baby to get women’s attention. Not only is it gross, but it’s a bit shady because it’s like, why is he using his kid as a prop? Parents are generally fiercely protective of their kids and would never think of letting random strangers around them. If he’s overly willing to bring his kid into the picture, he’s either already in a relationship or he’s not a very good parent. Both of those things are red flags.
How can you tell if a guy is babystalking you?
There are a few obvious signs to keep an eye out for. While this isn’t foolproof, nine times out of 10, you can easily figure out what’s happening.
- He talks to you through his kid. He clearly wants to talk to you, but instead he acts like it’s his child that’s desperate for your attention. He might put on a baby voice or hold the kid’s arm to make them wave to you or try and pull you in. It’s clear he’s using his baby as both a shield and a beacon for your attraction and it’s super weird.
- He makes a big show of the fact that he’s with his child/tries to seem like Super Dad. While he could do this while single, it’s usually married or otherwise committed guys who resort to babystalking in this way. He wants you to notice how great he is with his kid so that you’ll be intrigued, attracted to him, and more likely to sleep with him. Sorry bro, we’re really not that simple.
- He tries to get you to engage with his baby even if you’re not interested. You’re minding your business, just trying to grab your iced latte on your way to work or whatever, and some guy is making a huge show of trying to point his baby out to you in order to get you to talk to them. Roll your eyes and move on because you’re being babystalked. Not today, Satan.