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Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 11:39:07 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 11,362
Location: Cakeland
I entered the dating world, again...following a 5 year relationship and a few years of cooling my jets, to try to learn more about myself and why I seemed to 'date' the same kind of women all my life, at the age of 38.

Many years earlier, I was involved with an older woman than myself, when I was 26 and she, 31. She had a two year old daughter and was recently divorced. Over the year we were together, I fell in love with her daughter and the little girl grew very attached to me, as well.

Her mother and I broke things off after I caught her philandering (some might say, attempting to upgrade icon_smile ).

It hurt my heart more, to never see Nichole again, more than it did to never see Nic's mother.

So I avoided dating women who had children, until I was almost 39.

I started dating again in late 1998, and found myself faced with a much higher ratio (to be expected) of divorcee's with children...than single women with no children. And you really limit the depth of the dating pool, if you set too high of a criteria. So, I went with it.

I dated several women who had young (2 yrs old) to older (late teens to 22) children. Most lived with their mother at least part time.

And invariably, I heard or read the same line - "We are a package deal...deal with it."

To which I thought to myself: Well, of course you are...And I understood where this need to proclaim this statement did come from. Many of these ladies had obviously either experienced the opposite from another man or men before...or they were warding off oafs to begin with, based upon experiences they'd lived as children or had heard of within their circle of friends and associates.

I understand you perfectly - Mom. Loud and clear -- even without your need to voice it. And...I admire you for that.

That said...I don't want anything to do, with a mother and her children, based strictly on my past experiences, none of which ever turned out as a happy ending (obviously).

Do any of you, men or women...avoid dating other people who are parents with children in their lives...for similar reasons?

(I'm protecting my own heart...and the hearts of the children) - in my way of thinking.

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 11:42:40 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
I would right now, only because I'm only 20, far too young to play 'mum' to someone elses kids and i think that a single guy who has a kid at my age is someone to be slightly wary of
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 1:09:46 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
My closest friend have a doughter, she is ten and I am beeing a good aunt to her.
I can share with you my friend's experience if you would exept it.

Brigita is single parent , she is divorced cheating husband 6 months after the birth of a Beauty, and after that she had no luck and enjoyment in life
exept in her doughter...

Where we live is very dificult for men to accept the whole package. Men were avoiding her and they have no reason, she is beutiful person and does not look like 32 old single mom. She had a few relatonship but all ended because they were not accepting enough a child.
Maybe they did not love her enough or they were afraid of responsibilities, that is really not important, what is is that they did not grew old with her.

And the sadest thing is that she lost all her criterion how to choose a guy.

Single moms are extremely vunerable and I feel sorry if you had a bad experience, but they are not all the same, they deserve to be loved. Maybe you were too yung to be a father, maybe she was not the right person for you and if you did hesitate, believe me she felt it and pushed you away
before she could get hurt even more. Mothers intuition is too strong for us to play with it.

If I would be you I would open myself right to the bones (assuming that you love her), I would tell her my plans for the future,
I would tell her that you would protect and raise a childe as your one.
She needs to trust you completely and all of that work needs to be done before a childe is atteched to you.

But I cannot tell you that you are not going to be hurt, the olny thing I can tell you is that you are beein privileged with this. icon_smile

Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 3:43:47 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
P.S. But if all you wanted was to talk with other people how to avoid single parent then I was guessing wrong with my former post
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 5:58:57 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 7,557
Location: Your dirty fantasy
Up until now, I probably would have avoided a man with kids, simply because as MMonroe said, I think I'm too young to handle the implications/responsibility of co-parenting in a relationship.

But at this point, I'd probably say that a guy with kids isn't a total dealbreaker if I was in love with him... and it wouldn't stop me from falling in love with him either. I know that it would definitely be a relationship I'd have to take very seriously, because I agree that when children are involved, everything takes on a more serious tone.

I would want to make sure that wires weren't be crossed and that everyone was on the same page in terms of the status of the relationship and the whether there was any potential for it to evolve into something permanent.

Relationships like these are also further complicated by issues that might arise because there is another parent involved that may or may not like the new "boyfriend or girlfriend".

I was raised in a single parent home, and my mom was still able to date (quite a lot).

To "She"... I hope your friend Brigita starts to have some better luck. I know it was hard for my mom, and I agree your criteria in looking for a new partner definitely changes the more complicated the 'package deal' becomes. My mother did it though... so hope it works out eventually for her!

Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 6:08:16 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 1,596
Location: The Republic of Cascadia
My first serious girlfriend actually had a 2 year old so I was tossed right into the "daddy" role when I was 18-20.

It made things very, very difficult although at the time, I didn't really have anything to compare it to. I would probably avoid such a situation again if possible but If the woman was something special I could probably deal with it. Dealing with douche bag deadbeat dads is definately a minus though when considering a serious relationship.
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:04:45 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 2,919
I am one of the single mom's out there, 2 of my 3 children are still at home. I find that I actually avoid the whole dating thing, probably because I am not looking for a new "daddy figure" for my children. I am very discreet when I do actually date. I don't want to have my kids, meet and become attached to some guy that is not likely to be around in a few months.
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 1:48:28 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
Thank you Dancing_Doll for nice thoughts for my friend. I appreciate that. Brigita really needs to work on her self-confidence,
but as you know, she as a mother always waits for her turn, always after kid.

As I can see this, the only thing I can do is to hold her back if she will start falling down.

Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 2:24:36 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
I can understand and do admire you not wanting to get into the same scenario as before. Not only did it hurt you, I'm sure it had an impact on the child. I blame the mother in this. I have several friends that are in the package deal mode. Some of them are daddy shopping but, the other smarter ones won't even let the child meet the new man in her life as Lola said, until things really progress along. It has to have a profound impact on the child unless of course it's older and becomes flippant or callous in mom's never ending search for a man. I have seen that too and predict either a shrink in their future or relationship issues of their own. Sometimes women, in their mad dash to land a man forget that when they have a child there's someone else that can be deeply effected by her actions in doing so. I'm sure the warning that they're a "package deal" is something many get accustomed to saying given the ratio of men to women in the US.
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 6:42:02 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,025
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Can't speak from personal experience, however, can report of two instances (among many, many failures) where divorced buddies of mine have found what seem to be successful, nurturing relationships.

In both cases the woman 'informed' the guy of the presence of kids from a previous relationship, but they never met the kids until they knew and liked each other as a couple. They agreed that the 'guy' was not looking to be the new 'daddy', however, SHE came up with and agreed to ground rules to support and respect him 100% in his dealings with the kids - mostly the basics re manners, respect, homework etc. It's never easy, but both relationships seem to be working. They enjoy each other as a couple and the kids are included in the relationship - but they are the kids and are NOT empowered to cast judgement on Mom's relationship.

Best of luck WMM - you're gonna need it. thumbup

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 10:17:10 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 925,428
WMM. you seem to introduce some very deep issues into the forum mix. I think it is a good thing.

I am familiar with this situation. When children are involved it is best to think of the children first. Mothers who keep the children from being introduced until a relationship progresses are doing the right thing. Woman who insist on a package deal are doing the right thing. Introducing a male into the mix who doesn't give a shit is harmful to everyone. In my view if a guy gets involved with a woman with children he has to surrender his expectations of the singles' life.

Family life to be successful is different, it can be rewarding to raise a child but life is different with a child in the mix. No mother should be forced to choose between a man and her children. This is such a serious subject that being light will not do. I have seen the damage first hand of what irresponsible adults have done to children. I have seen children the product of abuse, drug filled relationships, relationships where they are ignored, sexual abuse etc. Not a one of them deserved what they were getting in life. Children want and need to be loved and nurtured. Any man should think twice about entering into a relationship where he will be involved in the lives of children. If the man does not want to be committed to the well being of the children he should look elsewhere for love.
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 11:20:26 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 7,557
Location: Your dirty fantasy
Just wanted to add a few addition thoughts from the perspective of the child, rather than the parent...

Speaking as a child that was raised in a single parent home where I met many new "Uncle So-and-So's" at the breakfast table over the years, I do agree that single parents should take care to be way more cautious before introducing new people to their kids. It can be incredibly confusing.. and even frightening sometimes.

It definitely takes more effort to figure out ways to have someone else look after the kids, or arrange date nights that are separate from the family home in the beginning, but I think this is well worth the effort.

Half the time I had no idea who these guys were, and looking back on things, being indiscriminate with introducing new men/women to your kids can also be dangerous. Young children are always in a more vulnerable place and you have to really consider who you are inviting into their lives.

Having said that... I turned out OK (sort of).. LOL... But I know she feels bad about the mistakes she made along the way when she looks back in hindsight on trying to balance dating and raising kids...

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