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  • Serious question on dating a single parent

    Would you? Wouldn't you?

    Why or why not?

    I'm just looking for other perspectives before I get into a quagmire. Thanks, fam bam.
    Twitter: LookMaICanWrite


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  • #2
    Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

    Well since I'm married... I guess my answer means nope...

    Don't think my wife would appreciate it.

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    • #3
      Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

      I would ...... and I did ......

      I was also a single parent at the time. It worked out beautifully. We have a "blended" family: 1 + 1 + 2.

      Those who never married, or had kids, could not really understand what it's like to be a parent. Not just the financial obligations, but the emotional and time investment necessary to raise children. Soccer, scouting, PTA ...... the whole enchillada.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

        If you're just dating, just getting started, you don't have to be thinking about parenting or adoption issues right now. At least you know there is a kid in the picture... usually that's a surprise saved for later!

        Get to know her as you would any other regular date. If you ever get to the point where you think your relationship is "more than dating," that's when you can broach the stickier subjects, and of course get to know the kid, and how you'd adust to sharing her (and how the kid would adjust to the same). Otherwise, have a good time. As long as you're on the same page and not already talking life-partner stuff, don't sweat it.

        And if she's the first single parent you've dated, definitely relish it as a learning experience. Parents generally have a different perspective on things, big and small, than young, unencumbered singles do. Just make sure that the small talk doesn't revolve entirely around her kid!

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        • #5
          Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

          Serious answer- in the form of questions.

          Which one do you like the most: the girl or the kid(s)? AKA would you be attracted to the girl if she did not have any kids.

          Do you somehow feel "sorry" for her in her situation?

          First, you gotta be good with the entire package but ask yourself what FIRST drew you into this situation.
          You Look Like I Need A Drink

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          • #6
            Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

            If I were truly interested in the person, sure? (Hypothetical, Manoa - current circumstances notwithstanding.) Why not? Their having a child is not a flaw, but it certainly does bring a unique set of challenges into the relationship, ones that you don't dare ignore.

            Those challenges will vary depending upon the age of the child, of course. A toddler will accept your being around a LOT faster and easier than will a teenager.

            At this point, you're just talking about dating, right? Too soon to know if this will be a longer-term relationship, where you will have a strong role in the child's life, I assume.

            But don't automatically stigmatize someone who is a single parent; everybody had some kind of a life before you entered into the equation - sometimes, you'll never know the details, and sometimes (like in this case) you'll learn some of them.

            Unless you just absolutely don't like children and don't want them to be a part of your future (which is perfectly acceptable.) If that's the case, don't waste time (yours, theirs, the kid's) dating someone with kids. (But I suspect you'd say, "well duh!" to that...)

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            • #7
              Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

              I can reverse this a bit and put it from the childs perspective.

              My mom was a single mother from the time I was about 3.

              I became her "man" for the rest of her life. When guys did attempt to
              "date" her... I often resented them and would act out towards my mom
              to get her to bring back her focus to me....

              Guys never really had a chance to date my mom because of me.

              Still to this day... I can remember the names of every guy that did come and go into my mom's life. The weird thing is... I remember them better then my mom does now! To my mom...they were just a thing to play with... to me at the times... they were people that would attempt to win me over only to hurt both me and my mom in the long run.

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              • #8
                Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                Mike: Manoa's story can serve you well. Depending on how seriously involved you get with someone, you may be up against that very challenge.

                But if you really decide to pursue a long-term relationship, it means you will have to win over more than just one person. However, seeing Momma happy can go a long way towards soothing a child's concerns.

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                • #9
                  Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                  I once dated a guy who was involved in a messy custody battle with his ex-GF. His children (both under the age of 5) were horrible little monsters with bad manners, and after I called it quits with him, I said that I'd never be with a man with kids ever again.

                  Of course, that didn't happen.

                  I am currently in a relationship (over a year now) with a man who has an infant son. He and his ex-GF ended their relationship before his son was born, but he made it clear that he wasn't about to neglect his parental responsibilities. After a bit of drama on his ex's end, he was able to get partial custody of the baby.

                  On our first date, he was up-front about his then 2 month old son, and I'm glad he did that. Still, it took over a year for me to finally meet him. For a while I wanted to keep things separate. He had his life with me, but I didn't want to be a part of the life he has with his son, whom he sees on the weekends.

                  I finally got to meet the baby at his first baby luau this summer and we've been spending more time with each other. While the BF and I live with each other, I still try to give those two their own time because I don't want a) him to get attached to me (and vice versa) and b) him to get confused with me and his mommy (we kinda look alike-ha!).

                  I'm in a good situation because his ex is far from psycho and his son's too young to give me hell (aside from the stinky diapers, of course)!
                  Tessie, "Nuf Ced" McGreevey shouted
                  We're not here to mess around
                  Boston, you know we love you madly
                  Hear the crowd roar to your sound
                  Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
                  You know we couldn't live without you
                  Tessie, you are the only only only

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                    Originally posted by manoasurfer123 View Post
                    [...]I often resented them and would act out towards my mom to get her to bring back her focus to me....[...]
                    BINGO...

                    That's very insightful, Manoa.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                      Originally posted by manoasurfer123 View Post
                      I can reverse this a bit and put it from the childs perspective.

                      My mom was a single mother from the time I was about 3.

                      I became her "man" for the rest of her life. When guys did attempt to
                      "date" her... I often resented them and would act out towards my mom
                      to get her to bring back her focus to me....

                      Guys never really had a chance to date my mom because of me.

                      Still to this day... I can remember the names of every guy that did come and go into my mom's life. The weird thing is... I remember them better then my mom does now! To my mom...they were just a thing to play with... to me at the times... they were people that would attempt to win me over only to hurt both me and my mom in the long run.

                      My mom was widowed when I was 10. At 37, she never thought that she'd have to raise a kid by herself.

                      When I was 13, she met a man through family friends. Even though he came well recommended, I was the most horrible daughter. I hung up the phone on him each time he called (usually screaming at him too), I'd slam doors on his face, I ran away from home so much that my mom threatened to throw me into Hale Kipa, and I even keyed his car once just so he'd get tired of me and eventually leave my mom.

                      I wanted her attention all to myself too. But he was persistent and stuck by her even though I gave them both isht. Two years later he moved in with us and while they don't plan on marrying each other ever, I still consider him my stepdad and his adult daughters my stepsisters.

                      The end of my junior year of high school, I started realizing that he wasn't so bad after all. I was contemplating leaving Hawai`i to attend college on the mainland (which I eventually did) and I feared that doing so would leave my mom alone. But I remembered that she had him now, so that gave me peace of mind.

                      "Uncle" (as I have called him for the last 14 years) and I don't get along all the time, and we've been known to get into verbal assaults here and there, but I know he means well and he still wants only the best for us.

                      I just like knowing that someone's taking care of her again while I'm away.
                      Tessie, "Nuf Ced" McGreevey shouted
                      We're not here to mess around
                      Boston, you know we love you madly
                      Hear the crowd roar to your sound
                      Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
                      You know we couldn't live without you
                      Tessie, you are the only only only

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                        I like Dr. Laura's take on this: Don't. Let this person raise their children and when they are 18 then this person can start dating again. The children need their parent to be both mother and father. If children have to watch their parent go through a series of relationships, get to the point where they might have a new "daddy" or "mommy," and then that person is suddenly out of the picture, it throws the kid off. First, the child observes the parent to learn how members of the oposite sex are treated. If you shack up with another, the kid learns that shacking up is acceptable behavior. The kid also learns that when you're through with each other, it's OK to pack up and run. If there is indeed a serious commitment, then waiting until children are grown and safely ushered into the world will not be such a difficult thing to do. Kids first.
                        Aloha from Lavagal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                          Originally posted by lavagal View Post
                          I like Dr. Laura's take on this: Don't. Let this person raise their children and when they are 18 then this person can start dating again. The children need their parent to be both mother and father. If children have to watch their parent go through a series of relationships, get to the point where they might have a new "daddy" or "mommy," and then that person is suddenly out of the picture, it throws the kid off. First, the child observes the parent to learn how members of the oposite sex are treated. If you shack up with another, the kid learns that shacking up is acceptable behavior. The kid also learns that when you're through with each other, it's OK to pack up and run. If there is indeed a serious commitment, then waiting until children are grown and safely ushered into the world will not be such a difficult thing to do. Kids first.
                          I always thought Dr. Laura was a douchebag anyway.
                          Tessie, "Nuf Ced" McGreevey shouted
                          We're not here to mess around
                          Boston, you know we love you madly
                          Hear the crowd roar to your sound
                          Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
                          You know we couldn't live without you
                          Tessie, you are the only only only

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                            It is going to require a lot of hard work on your part to make it work. After
                            seeing my brother get involved with a woman whom already has two kids,
                            it has radically changed his life. All I can say is I'm very lucky that I'm still single- I can do whatever I like whenever I like
                            Check out my blog on Kona issues :
                            The Kona Blog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Serious question on dating a single parent

                              Yipe. A Dr. Laura reference. The woman's entitled to her opinion but the fact that so many turn to her as a voice of moral authority scares the hell out of me. Her specific views are hardly uncommon (mothers shouldn't work, extramarital sex is wrong, no one should date before age 18), but her insistence on black-and-white absolutes is ridiculous... particularly since she's basically broken all the rules she insists on promoting.

                              A dating parent may lead to instability for the child (and I too can attest to being a total nightmare for my dad when he started dating after my parents divorced), but may also lead to a strong and supportive whole family unit that you'd miss out on as a child if your single-parent became a celibate hermit until you were 18. Was it tough? Sure. I'm pretty sure I was uncomfortable and scared and as a result drove away a few prospects (and relished doing it!).

                              But I'm sure glad that everyone eventually soldiered through, that my dad found a new partner, and that I got to spend a few years as "a kid" with a new stepbrother. My family is larger, ultimately, and happier.
                              Last edited by pzarquon; October 12, 2006, 03:04 PM.

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