Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I am currently separated and about to file since things have not changed in my situation(very stagnant). I am wondering what the various opinions on dating a very involved father. What are your positive and negative experiences if you have(this can be short term or long term dating). I ask because I have heard from many women my age and older say they would never or that it is difficult for this type of man to find women to date.
I am not too worried seeing as I am not quite ready, even if D was tomorrow.
Some women have been positive when me dating someone came up. Stbx acted like it would be no problem for me to do so, but I don't exactly value her opinions any more. Especially since her's concerning me were very low, then seemed to turn positive within a week of leaving me(or maybe that was due to the two pursuers that were around her weeks on end she hasn't dated, to my knowledge).
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I've never dated a guy with kids, but it wouldn't bother me or make much difference.

My only advice is to be up front about the fact you have kids when you do start dating, because there are some women it will be a dealbreaker for, unfortunately.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I dated a man with kids and I loved his little girl. She was a sweetie!

His ex wife was a psychopath and MAN did she have him around her little finger. It was such a turn off listening to him cower to her when she called, dropped off the little girl, etc.

I didn't want her in my life. Too much drama. So I broke up with him.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

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Originally Posted by Hope1964 View Post
I've never dated a guy with kids, but it wouldn't bother me or make much difference.
Just to barge in on the ladies lounge for a minute - I am I very involved dad and have my son 2 days/nights a week and every other weekend (fri-sun) and am learning that it makes a BIG difference.

I have no intentions of introducing my son to any of my romance interests until it turns into something more serious... that means for the first few months of dating me I will only be available less than half the time because I have no intention of losing more time with my son than I already do - it also means that my free time is scarce so planning a date on a weekend is at best only every other week, and with other chores, tasks, regular activities etc it means sometimes having to go a long stretches between dates. It's not that I can't make time for a woman I am interested in, hire a sitter once in awhile etc., I can still be spontaneous sometimes, but only on my terms - my time is more costly than a single childless man's.

With the limited time and periods between, it is challenging maintaining a connection and getting to know someone well enough to decide if this is worth a LRT and introduction to my child. On the other hand, if you dating an involved father realize that the time he is spending with you is valuable to him which means he probably thinks a lot of you.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I think that's fine, Lon. I mean, when you have kids you gotta take it slow. Dating a woman 1/2 the time is good. I had Th, F and T without my daughter and those were date nights. Oh well It worked!
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I will never again date someone with children, if my marriage doesn't work out.

I have had two bad experiences with that. One man kept cancelling dates because of his son and though I understood that fatherhood came first, it became apparent that how I felt didn't matter at all.

Another man I was with constantly gave EVERYTHING to this child that he was a father figure to. I got nothing and was always told "She comes first! Don't make me choose because I will choose." The last straw was Christmas-the little girl received a bag of gifts and I got a PAPERBACK BOOK FROM THE DRUGSTORE. He expected me to be happy with that.

I don't want to be second place all the time and I don't want to babysit either. So I would never date a man who had children ever again.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I've dated men with children, but I had my own child too ever since I was 20. Usually, it was me that guys would not date because of my child.

I think you have to take into consideration your age, what age are you? Approaching my 40's, a good bit of individuals at this stage of life, have been married/divorced, have kids, etc. It's a different atmosphere as opposed to dating with children in my 20's.

Any way you slice it, I think it takes a special individual to take on the responsibilities of another person's child. And not everyone can do that, that's a pretty solid reason in my book to take it slow.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

Remember that you are filtering people simply by having kids--and those who don't want to date a guy with kids should be filtered out anyway.

Most people want the relationship to rush forward (I'm on other forums where you see that, and of course I remember high school and college dating!). They will think "something is wrong" if you are not calling every single day, blah, blah, blah. A mature, busy, happy person--male or female--will understand that you have a life too, and that you--like they--are not going to "drop everything" just because you met someone new. Warning: the type of person who actually "gets" this may be few and far between, and if you tell people (which you should not have to), they will be offended!

So, having a busy life yourself, you will know you have found someone happy with their own life and mature about relationships if they aren't complaining in 3 weeks that "we don't see enough of each other."

Remember, though, to pay attention when you start to want to see a bit more of them. Some leeway here is necessary, but if their pace continues to lag greatly behind yours (months out from first date), then they *might* not be all that into you. But 6 months is really essential before you introduce kids to new partners, to protect kids from starting their own relationships with people who won't last more than a few weeks or months.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon View Post
Just to barge in on the ladies lounge for a minute - I am I very involved dad and have my son 2 days/nights a week and every other weekend (fri-sun) and am learning that it makes a BIG difference.

I have no intentions of introducing my son to any of my romance interests until it turns into something more serious... that means for the first few months of dating me I will only be available less than half the time because I have no intention of losing more time with my son than I already do - it also means that my free time is scarce so planning a date on a weekend is at best only every other week, and with other chores, tasks, regular activities etc it means sometimes having to go a long stretches between dates. It's not that I can't make time for a woman I am interested in, hire a sitter once in awhile etc., I can still be spontaneous sometimes, but only on my terms - my time is more costly than a single childless man's.

With the limited time and periods between, it is challenging maintaining a connection and getting to know someone well enough to decide if this is worth a LRT and introduction to my child. On the other hand, if you dating an involved father realize that the time he is spending with you is valuable to him which means he probably thinks a lot of you.
I totally agree with you. I meant it wouldn't make much difference to me. If I was dating a guy with kids I would expect everything you wrote above and would accept it as all part of the package.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

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I think that's fine, Lon. I mean, when you have kids you gotta take it slow. Dating a woman 1/2 the time is good. I had Th, F and T without my daughter and those were date nights. Oh well It worked!
Personally, I don't think its good - nothing wrong with slow, but with half-time its all-on/all-off so it not only takes twice as long to get there it much more emotionally gruelling. It can work if the woman understands the single dad's schedule and doesn't take those unavailable periods (non date nights) as personal rejection. If a woman is expecting much availablity with an involved dad it won't work.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I really never had an issue about dating women with kids and did a couple of times as I had full custody of my now 21 yoa daughter,

the deal killer for me would be like octomom or kate I mean good grief 8 kids
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I would say to anyone, man or woman, about to embark on this to be very wary...

I belong to another forum for step-parents. I do recognize that people with rosy situations probably aren’t out there looking for advice online, so that forum over represents the difficulties of having a partner with a previously enjoyed family. But while the details vary, there are some universal problems many of us share. I could probably fill a book with my feelings and experiences, but here are some things to watch out for (it’s easier for me to talk about this in terms of men; the problems can be applicable to either gender though):


Boundaries with other birth parent- A notorious problem is the Dad not wanting to “rock the boat” with his ex, the birth mother. This is all well and good, sounds good in theory at first. The reality can mean allowing the ex to dictate what goes on in his life, allowing intrusive behavior (constant phone calls or texts), or allowing all kinds of craziness in the name of “keeping the peace”.

Parental Alienation Syndrome- Look this one up. It’s one birth parent mentally poisoning the child(ren) against the other birth parent and/or his new spouse.

Guilty Parenting (“Disneyland Dad”)- This goes beyond simple material spoiling of children, although that can be part of it. It can mean being overly permissive or allowing unacceptable behavior. Usually their rationalization is along these lines: I only see my child(ren) XX amount of time and don’t want any of it to be negative, it’s their mom’s fault, I can’t undo what their mother teaches them in the amount of time I spend with them, they are victims of divorce and need special treatment. The Guilty Parent will perform all kinds of mental acrobatics to justify the behavior of the child(ren).

Child(ren) resent new girlfriend/boyfriend- self-explanatory, but permissive or indulgent birth parent might allow antagonistic behavior to continue or escalate.

Mistaking making children a priority with catering to children- When I got together with my SO, he declared that his children were his number one priority. I thought that was great…the well-being of my children is my number one priority as well. However, where my priority was the health, safety, and well-being of my kids, his turned into catering to every whim of one of his children because of his need to make her number one. This is hard to briefly explain here, but once he realized he wasn’t doing her any favors allowing her to act however she wanted, things improved. Many people, especially those who have not been in this dynamic, will claim unequivocally that it is nature’s intention for children to be #1. Others will claim the bible says a spouse is #1. My opinion is that neither is correct. The two types of love and relationships don’t even belong on the same list. Apples and oranges. Each is a priority in its own way. What can harm either the parental or spousal relationship is the parent wearing blinders and putting either one ahead of the other. There needs to be a healthy amount of priority for both the children and the spouse.

There are more red flags, I’m sure…but these hit the main points. I’m not sure I did them justice, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of what I’m talking about.

Mainly, just keep your eyes open and try not to get too involved until you feel comfortable there are not huge warning signs. Even then, you can never be sure. I had known my SO and his kids for years before we got together. Still, I had no way to be prepared for what it was like when we actually lived together. The beginning was very problematic, but mainly due to research and talking on my part, things have improved. I am also here to say that some of the most poisonous words you can hear are “you knew s/he had kids when you got together” and “you’re the adult, so just suck it up”. You will get very trite advice from people who have not been in this scenario. There are some good books out there if you find you really are on the edge of this kind of relationship. There are also bad books that place all responsibility on the (future) step-parent. I guess it all comes down to how the person treats his/her kids and ex, or more notably, how he/she allows them to treat him/her.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

IF I were single, and since I do have one child, I would date someone that is a father - he'd have to be a good father though. If he's bad to his kids, he'll be bad to mine. I won't have that.

I understand the needs kids have, the time it takes for them, so I don't think it would be an issue for me.

But it also depends on the ex-wife and her role in HIS life. If she was a nut-case.....no way!

So, it just depends on the man and his overall situation really.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

I'm a single mom and my son will be leaving the nest in 3 short years (although I tease him that I'm just going to enroll in whichever college/university he attends so we can still be "roommates") LOL!

In all seriousness & honesty though... I was "young'ish" when I had him so I am looking forward to my own independence & freedom while I am still "young'ish" enough to enjoy it. The thought of having another child(ren) would prevent me from being able to do that... or at least hinder it significantly. HOWEVER...

If I met a guy that was absolutely perfect for me (and me for him) I would not write him off completely just because he has kids. There would have to be a balance though (as in time for just us through shared custody and their mother would have to be a reasonable person i.e.; NOT Bat Sh!t Crazy).

If my son was younger I suppose it would be far easier to incorporate other children into our life. Don't worry... there are plenty of nice, available, not BSC single women with and without children out there.

Try looking for single parent Meet Ups (google your area) - not as a means of meeting a new romantic interest. You can broaden your social network and possibly meet someone through their mutual friends, etc... It will also provide your kids a way to meet other kids that are adapting to their new way of life.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ladies, what is the truth about dating a man with kids?

My Husband has an 11 year old. We started dating when his son was 5. There are certainly pros and cons to dating a man with children.
I was very open minded to it and it ended up working out. Understand that at first the man you date may not want you to meet his child for a while. And ALWAYS know that his child will always come first. Especially if he has full custody like we do with my stepson.
If the relationship progresses to a more serious level the child will start to test your limits to see how much they can get away with when you are in charge. Stay strong and firm. Also at some point the child might feel you are trying to replace there mother. Let the child know that you are not there to replace anyone.
And lastly and very important if marriage is discussed like with me. Make sure you of course not only love the man but you love his child. My stepson I love dearly and consider him my own. I tell people all the time I have two kids and sometimes to others he calls me his mom. I hope this was helpful and not just a ramble.
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