Dating Men With Kids … Why I Don’t Go There

Dating-Men-With-KidsYes, you heard me right. I don’t make a habit of dating men with kids.  I am not ashamed of it.  I don’t apologize for it.  I just don’t usually do it. Why? Dating men with kids takes someone very selfless and someone who is good at compromising her precious partner time.  I’ve said before that  partner priority relationships is where I’m at.  What does that mean? It means that I like to come first. Not second, not third, not last, first.

When you have someone with kids, the kids come first (as they should) and I can’t compete with that priority.  So, in order to avoid those problems, dating men with kids is something I don’t do.  Now I know it’s not always that black and white and some men really do have their shit together and can balance their lives, but that’s the exception to the rule. There is a lot of merit to men with kids. I don’t deny that at all.  They are usually more mature and responsible and have their shit together because they have to. They are also more affectionate from what I’ve experienced. I mean I always say never say never, because anything’s possible.

Dating Men With Kids … The Great Sacrifice

Am I being melodramatic? No. I don’t think so. Why not be honest? Why should I settle for less than I know I want and deserve.  There are some amazing men out there with some great kids I’m sure of it. I’ve met many of them, and, yes I have dated them.  What happens is that inevitably I get put aside for one reason or another, all good reasons.  That’s when I decided that this probably isn’t for me.  I don’t mean to offend or exclude anyone but I just can’t do it.  Boy do guys get offended when I don’t go out with them because they have young children that are at the center of their lives!  Why? I am being honest not offensive.

Don’t forget the mothers, you also have to deal with her too. If it was a clean divorce/break up with no kids then she isn’t in the picture. As the mother she is! Often times that comes with drama. I don’t want to deal with someone else’s baggage.  I just don’t.  Then there’s the spontaneity or lack of it.  You need to work around the custody and children’s schedule.  I want to be able to be with my partner when it feels right.  Am I limiting my choices? Well, definitely.  In my age range many men who are single have had children.  But, I would rather limit my choices than settle for something that I know won’t make me happy.  I really don’t want to play evil stepmother. Someone else’s kids shouldn’t be my responsibility.  I don’t hate kids, I love kids, I just don’t want to deal that’s all.

Dating men with kids is not for everyone.  Some women love it and that’s great. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, I’m just saying it’s not my first choice.  I do date men with kids over 18 though, they don’t really need their parents as much. Kids under 18? I rarely go there so don’t ask and please don’t get offended. Now, you never know, I might be proven wrong one day and meet an amazing guy with kids who his life in order. Never say never.  I’m sure you have some dealbreakers as well … some of them might even offend.  We like what we like and it’s time to be proud of who we are and what we want.  Be true to you.

What do you think readers? Are you a man with kids? Are you a single woman in the same opinion as me? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

206 comments

  1. This post could be written more generally and less specifically. As a man, I don’t women with kids either – for similar reasons and some others too!

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  2. How true Suzie! I dated a woman with two sons about 10 years ago. Her teenage son seemed to like me, but her live-in 20 something son was real nasty to me, as ii I was going to move in on them all and taking his mother’s attention away from him. Plus she always had to talk on the phone with her kids several times a day, taking phone calls from them when we were together, YES, even doing you know what 🙂 But wait….. I have a turn off with women who have grandkids. Not all of them, but at times I have read women’s profiles on dating sites, and some will ramble on and on and on about there grandkids, how much they love them and how much they come #1 in their lives. I can see what happened in their marriage.

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  3. Keep living hunnie. I used to say the very same thing until I met the man I am currently with. Typically men without kids still have a lot of growing up to do. I never thought I would be dating a man with not one but TWO kids. But because he knows how to prioritize he still makes PLENTY of time for me. I’m the happiest I have ever been in a very long time. When it comes down to it, of course you should be a priority in your mans life. But don’t lessen your chances of finding true love by eliminating men who have children. You may be pleasantly surprised. Like me 🙂

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  4. I agree with you, Suzie. Since I had a stroke almost two years ago, I feel that a guy with small kids would be better off finding a woman who’s not disabled. But I can understand why you’ve made the decision not to date guys with kids. Nothing wrong with knowing what you want. I applaud you.

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  5. I only date married women with kids, makes the sex all the more exciting. But that’s just me. My favorites are married-pregrnant women, for the reason that they’re commited elsewhere and that’s just the way I like it, with as few strings as possible.

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  6. Good for you. As a mom I can tell the hurt and rejection my kids feel because their dad has a girlfriend who is his every need, thought and interest. My kids don’t come first in his life as they once did, dead last would be accurate. Not sure why any real woman would want a man who dumps his kids to be with her. Doesn’t say much about either of them. You know what you want and you are right. I thinl your level of honesty is admirable. If a man dwindles his visitation and puts you first the innocent are the children and that is who suffers. If he dwindles his visitation and the priority is you why would you want him. It is a fact a high percentage of men go to minimal or no visitation once they have a girlfriend. Good for you for not playing into that. For those who think my previous statement is untrue ask any lawyer to advise you as the wife and mother instead of the man. Ask psycologist. Teens become higher risk because dad has chosen the girlfriend. Thank you for being so honest and true to yourself and doing the right thing for you. If only more woman were as self aware you are to yourself and the children less children would be hurt and rejected! Somewhere there is an awesome man who will appreciate all that you are honest about.

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    • I agree with you about men who dump their kids for girlfriends, and it does hurt the kids in the long run. Iam a single female and when i date men that have kids i do feel like iam on the back burner because you are not just dating the father you are really dating the kids and that can be overwhelming for a single person because you will never be number one whether the child like you are not, and it is up to the parents to balance the love life between the girlfriend and kids, and most people don’t.

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    • That’s why people who have kids shouldn’t date until they raise their kids. Life is made of choices, we can’t have everything. We must choose our priorities. It’s not fair for a person who doesn’t have kids to be asked to be in 12º place in a partner’s life who has kids, and it only works for awhile. Then, the neglected partner starts to ask why is being constantly played seconde fiddle and become gradually ressentful. And rightfully. He/she didn’t committ to a non-existing relationship, to be there decorating the other’s life. We don’t have the right to have another human waiting around to our beck and call for when we want them and be dismissed when we don’t have time for them.
      If the person who have kids don’t have space nor time for a new relationship should be generous and truthful and not clutter the life of another person. To do THAT is selfishness!

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  7. I agree with you completely. I am dating a man who have a 18 years old kid. You would think because his kid technically an adult and would need him less and I would be his first priority now BUT no, I’m feel second priority. He would always put his child before anyone and anything. I get that his kid will always be first so that’s where I am still figuring if I can handle being second. Any advice or suggestion?

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  8. I dated a guy with a kid. She lived with her mother. He always with the kid. I rarely saw him. I know his kid will always be a priority . I wanted to spend more time with him. I agree with you 100 percent. I did not want to deal with his ex. If we were serious, I am going to see the mom all the time. The situation will be uncomfortable for me. I am not going to date a guy who does not put me first on his list.

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  9. I am so happy I ran into this site!! I have this incredible dilemma now. Met a nice man– both in our 50’s and he has two daughters over 20. One lives with him. He seems to do things with her all of the time and while I think that is great one on hand, on the other, after past step mother experiences, I would really love to be #1 in a man’s life. My family of origin included 2 StepMoms and 2 StepDad’s (and an earlier Foster Home), so I am very attuned to how children feel about their stepparents and I am very nurturing, but I cannot help but feel like you do, Suzie. That, perhaps it’s just best to seek another partner without children at all. I feel sad that I seem self-centered about this, but maybe it’s just being sensitive to how both the children feel and how lonely you can feel as a Step mom without having had any of your own children. I think if you have your own children it seems you can handle the attention being given by your significant other to their own children. Then, there is the future possible grandparent issue. This man was deeply hurt by his ex and I don’t want to hurt him by my eventual leaving due to my not being clear about what I want. I was honest about it but because of our age and our warmth with each other, I am wondering if I can change my thoughts on this. Or, if I should really pay attention to what my head is saying over and above all else.

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    • Thanks Sharon. I completely understand your hesitation. I think that you need to really decide if this situation is one that is worth it for you. It sounds like perhaps it might be. Usually children over 18 take less maintenance then younger ones. It’s hard to find someone you have a real connection with, especially the older you get (not to mention finding a man without kids over 50). If he isn’t neglecting you and your needs in any way then perhaps a compromise is in order. If you feel that he’s not giving you quality time that you require, especially in your times of need, then you need to communicate this to him and re-assess. But it seems that’s not the case here. Go with your gut, it never steers you wrong. Hope this helps!!

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      • Thank you so much! I am meeting him tonight so will very much consider your good thoughts and wisdom. Means so much to me that you wrote. Thanks again for all you do! Love your site!

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    • In an age that kids are increasily and lazily economicaly dependent on parents, older SK can be a curse in desguise. When people think that as they’re older they soon are out on their own, sometimes they are wrong. The SK are always there, and as young adults with a stronger presence and voice. If they turn to be bad natured you might be applying yourself to a life of depression. Proceed carefully.

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  10. Wow I understand what you mean I feel the same way met an awesome guy but he has children and two of them are small the youngest being 1 1/2! Those were my exact thoughts its time to put me first no drama no baggage! I don’t believe its being selfish some men cant balance that I don’t see any good coming out of that situation and I am not taking the chance. Taking control of your life is actually smart and whoever disagrees may not be so bright. Like you mentioned we like what we like want what we want I am entitled to happiness and not going to sacrifice that for a man when there’s a chance he may not be there forever or do right by me. It is our lives if we don’t mold it someone else will!

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    • Dear Sharon, Thanks for your great reply. I feel rather confused about this as this guy is very loving. I admire that he has such a good relationship with his daughters as well. It’s so strange as I am newly retired and have dated guys my own age without kids and really preferred it as I know I was #1 but, sadly, those relationships did not work out. Live and learn and move forward, right? But, some of my heartbreak is that I’ve seen my Mom’s step-children from her third marriage absolutely detest her and she did everything for them and they still disliked her immensely. I found the same with my step-grandfather’s kids. They detested my grandmother and their own father. I am willing to give this a chance but, I am afraid to be vulnerable again and disliked just by virtue of being the girlfriend of their father. He swears this will not happen. I pray it won’t, but obviously it weighs on my mind. Plus, this guy is a runner and a hiker and I’m more into film, music, politics and dance. It’s so hard to find someone who you are attracted to and feel warmth from and then have the other things weigh on your mind. I am trying to not self-sabotage a chance at love. It’s strange, but after working so hard for 28+ years and seemingly on a treadmill for others, I am finally trying to figure out my next chapter and what I want. I feel inspired by him to become more physically active but I also do not want to change myself to please him. This is along drawn out reply but I do thank you all for listening and for your input. .

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  11. This is exactly how I feel. Look I am a single woman who is educated and ready to have a family but I want my own children not someone else’s. I have been chewed out by some men for not wanting to date them. Too bad I will not compromise on this! This article reflects exactly how I feel. Thanks for sharing it’s nice to know I am not the only one to feel that way!

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    • Well Sam…..Sounds like you got a good clue to how some guys really are, when you mentioned – “chewed out by some men for not wanting to date them” I’m sure they would have chewed you out on other decisions in your life.

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  12. If dating single dads is so effing awesome, then why do the ALL lie in their profiles and you are lucky if you find out on the first date???? Obviously, they know how much it sucks to date them and know they are no match and cannot give nearly as much to a relationship as people without baggage. First they lie about having kids to trap women and make them attached to them, and then when the women realize how much it sucks and how much crap they need to deal with bc that guy was too obsessed with sex that he reproduced with an effed up woman before and now has baggage….All the smart beautiful women like myself with advanced degrees and great looks should never ever ever even go there unless in their forties and desperate. Believe me, I work in education because I love kids and at first when I met my ex I was happy about the fact he has a kid. I was sooo naïve and thinking “yeah another cute human being in my life, what could be wrong with that???”. EVERYTHING!!!! No quality time, a crazy bi**** he was too addicted to having sex with in the past and then realized it’s not everything and you can’t deal with an effed up person your whole life because they give you sex, so they finally get a divorce and HAVE TO take the kid or else the kid would end up just as screwed up like mommy….and they call themselves so great and loving and giving….giving ONLY to their kids who are in this world as a result of their mistakes of getting involved with horrible people….either that or THEY cheated and got a divorce. Everyone can reproduce (unless infertile) and of course our instinct is to take care of the offspring. It is basic instinct and does not make single dads any better than other guys. The only difference is that single dads either cheated on their wives or were involved with effed up women who they finally had to leave when they grew up enough to realize that life is not all about sex and they got involved with some effed up person and most likely have messed up kids as a result. Then they look for childless women to knock them up because they know nobody with great looks and sane would marry then and call women selfish for not wanting their crap. How about you all go and log in right now and let the potential dates reading your profile know the truth that you are in fact daddies???!!!! What a great way to avoid selfish women, right? The problem is, you know no one would be interested except for desperate people without other options because you all know how much dating you sucks…. Be honest with your self and others and date people on your level with the same amount of baggage as you bring (SINGLE PARENTS SHOULD DATE SINGLE PARENTS OR NOT AT ALL)!!!!! Nobody on eharmony ever has kids if you look at the profiles. I now learned to be very blunt about that and I make sure I ask that question again before I even exchange a few text messages because there are too many liars out there and I’ve already wasted 4 months of my life dealing with a horrible relationship with a “wonderful, caring, and giving” single daddy. You are the entitled ones who deceive childless women and are looking for someone to dump your baggage on. STAY AWAY!!!!! As a womam who puts her man first, you will never be first and you will give your life away to fix and suffer from someone else’s past mistakes. You will be an outsider in your own home and if disrespected by kids, you will be blamed for not being “understanding enough”. Single dads can be horrible, soul-sucking people who only care about THEIR BLOOD and then spoiling their kids is a result of their own selfishness. It makes them feel wonderful and needed. Then they create kids as effed up and entitled as their effed up exes are and end up single. Then they wake up when their kids move on without giving too much crap about them and realize why they are so lonely. At that point they are too old and even less desirable in the dating pool. As long as their needs are met, kid’s moodiness and ridiculous spoiled behaviors should NEVER come first. Parents like that are the reason why the American society is so messed up and people so entitled. If you find a great woman who you know has enough common sense to care about your kid and is WILLING to TAKE ON YOUR BAGGAGE and is a great person who you want to marry, you need to put her first or else don’t be surprised when she’s gone…there are PLENTY OF guys without kids out there who would die to date her, ya know???? Plus, if you were honest enough to include the fact that you have kids in your dating profile, nobody will be hurt. Funny how you all put your kids first but are too embarrassed to admit their existence on your dating profiles right off the bat. OK, the venting was helpful and this is not about all single parents but just the ones who deceive potential partners and lie about not having kids in their profiles. Us, as you call us selfish bitches, are hurting when it is time to go too. You trap us without saying how bad the situation will be and then we have to leave heartbroken when he face the undeniable truth that we deserve better!!! Be honest from the beginning or stay away.

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    • Sorry Suzie, for wandering off the subject……..
      Oh my, Kay. You sure have lots to say about this subject. What struck me the most is your comment “….All the smart beautiful women like myself with advanced degrees ” So I guess not only do you not date men with kids, but the other men must have a masters or doctorate degree. Me, I’m just a lowly factory worker/ skilled trades guy. Well, at one time I was, now I’m retired. But…. I have ran into quite a few advantage degree women who have there noses up in the air, when it comes to men like me. They seem to look at men and their his educational credentials, as if that was a badge of courage on how they are as a human being. I remember once communicating, on a dating site, with a woman that claimed to have multiple degrees from multiple universities. I was quite amazed that she could not spell, or construct a simple sentence in her e-mails to me. So from that point on, I always look out for those “over educated” women who stress way too much how smart they are. But, I will have to confess that the most enjoyable and fulfilling relationships I have had, have been with those some “advanced degrees” women – I married one. OK, I better stop here, before I ramble on about the women, on the dating sites, that have as their main requirement, that a guy wear a suit and tie to work :-).

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    • Oh my goodness I love you. You spoke nothing but the truth. My guy actually told me the first night we met that he had two little boys. 4 and 6. Super young right? I’m 21 he is 28. I am in school to be a licensed Vet Tech I have so much going for me! We’re going on 6 months and starting to struggle. Stepping in mommy shoes was a lot harder then I thought. His parents made sure to let him know that I didn’t seem too interested in his kids when we would go to their house. They also barely listen to me which is so discouraging. He says “they’ve been through a lot give them a break” I want to pull my hair out. He is an amazing lover but this kid thing I’m not to sure on. I’m trying so hard with this….

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    • Kay your answer was amazingly put together thanks for your honesty. Must people are not bold enough to handle the true, been there done that! I been lucky to only date guys with kids and now I’m in my med 20’s. I am fed up, never again. I waiting long enough for an education, to get married then have kids, I’ll wait a few more not to mention the baby mama drama, it does not worth it.

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    • Kai, you’re spot on. You’ve got some experience! Some of these single dads largely contributed for the down fall of their marriages bc refused to do their share on the family reponsabilities, or cheated and now are claiming wide open mouth that women who don’t want this type of baggage are selfish. Of course when they cheated on their partners or took them for granted, or refused to take their lazy asses from the couch to help weren’t being selfish! Many are simply trying to replace the ex-maid. Cheers to strong, independent women who know what they want and don’t let anyone string them along.

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  13. I admire your honesty Suzie. I had the exact mind set as you (and several women replying to this thread), until I met my current boyfriend – a single father of two young kids, the boy is 9 and the girl is 7. We met through work and I already knew he was a divorced father of two. His ex-wife had cheated on him and the kids live with her, he has them every other weekend. Anyway after I had found another job, I decided to ask him out. To be honest I was only interested in abit of fun and had no intention of starting a relationship with him due to him having kids – I really did not want the baggage. After a couple of months of dating, we started falling for each other. We have now been together for just over a year and we are deeply in love. If anyone had told me, two years ago, that soon I would be in a committed relationship with a single father, I would have just laughed and said “No f***ing way!”
    He introduced me to his kids two months into the relationship. Initially I feared it might be too soon but we were both comfortable with the situation. I was probably more worried of them hating me as daddy’s new ‘friend’. But I have to say his kids are really sweet and have given me no problems whatsoever, we all get on great. I even think they treat me like a big sister! I can see he adores them and it kills him that he can’t see them growing up. The man that his ex-wife cheated on him with, now lives with her and the kids so you can imagine the pain my partner is going through.
    Anyway the only issue I have now is our future. I am 30 and I do want marriage and my own kids one day. We spoke about it last week and he said he would love to get married to me but having more kids seem to be a problem for him. He is 37 and for him that’s now getting too old to be having more kids. He has made it clear he does not want to be changing nappies at 40 and by the time he’s 50 he wants us to go travelling. I have told him if he does not want more kids then we will have to break up. He looked sad to hear that but said he understands and doesn’t want to hold me back from something I want that he cannot give me. But shortly afterwards he said he doesn’t want to totally rule out having kids and if we were to have a child it would have to be asap! I can’t help but think 1) does he actually know what he wants or 2) is he being selfish, but at the same time I should respect that he is being honest with me and maybe if I was his age and in his situation I probably wouldn’t want more kids. The situation is making me feel bitter and I’m starting to feel like I don’t matter much to him. I’m going on holiday in October to South Africa (he goes to SA every other year with his kids – he has friends and family there) and I really want him to come with me for some proper time together yet all his holidays coincides with his childrens school holidays; furthermore he says he will feel guilty going away without his kids because his kids love SA so much. So I feel quite upset about that too. But this is something that requires further discussion between the both of us. As much as I love my boyfriend, I think it is time to put myself first and think about my happiness.
    To those of you who are in a similar situation, it doesn’t feel nice to be treated second best and yes the kids will always be a priority, it just depends how you ladies feel about it. Some of you will be absolutely fine with that and that’s great but don’t ever forget to think about yourselves too and what you want to make you happy, because when kids are involved their needs will inevitably be put first.

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  14. I am currently struggling with this as well. He currently has his daughter 3 weekends out of the month and while I do understand quality time spent with her is important, he makes NO effort to truly spend any weekend time with me. I hate to sound selfish but I am selfish. It’s only me that I have to look out for. If she has winter break or spring break or god forbid some type of summer break, I am more than sure she will be around more which means less time for me. It is making me resent her the way he always mentions that she is out of school or around or his number one priority. Ugh!

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    • If he doesn’t have time to spend with you he shouldn’t be on a non-relationship with you. You’re not being selfish. your expectations about a relationship are realistic, his aren’t. Your guy seems to want the best of both worlds. He takes you for granted and wants you there quiet for only is convenient to him. You’re being used! Wake up. I bet you don’t have kids, do you? He has kids but see if he didn’t choose a free-kids woman for himself. The nerve of some guys!!! Wake up girl, you deserve better and are in a prveliged position(no kid). Use it on yourself, don’t let others use it in their favor.

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  15. I’m a single woman with kids, and I try to avoid relationships with guys without kids. It comes naturally because I hardly have time to meet anyone anyway…My childless friends don’t understand the time and money sacrifice of children, and before I had them I didn’t know either. To be honest, sometimes older people without children can come off sounding self-centered and selfish. Not always though..

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  16. I am dating a man with kids. I love him beyond belief, but whenever he talks about his kids, i feel myself zoning out. I hate hearing him talk about his kids, i hate getting no time with him because he sees them and works a lot. I want to get over it! I should have read this column before i met him 😦

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    • I’m with you girl. Same problem and I’m only 21. We’ve been together for a little over 6 months. I get the little green monster on me when they both lay in the couch together watching movies while I sit on the chair all alone. I love my attention from him especially since our relationship is still fresh. The ex is manipulative and crazy. My parents Val me crazy for putting myself I’m this mess but I love this man. I don’t see myself without him.

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  17. I read this and it still points out a flaw in the situation. Women with children expect you to except them as a package deal. This is not what I expect (I do not know about others out there, and don’t know if many are like me with 99% custody), I am not looking for women to do my chores for me, I can do them myself. I am looking for someone to spend time with (the most limiting facture of the human race). I may be one of those rare cases! However I have three loving boys that are awesome, but as an adult I am loathing this double standard. I am a very honest man and that is what my ex hated about me. My oldest is my stepson and his grandmother is happier that he is with me than with her own son or his mother. I am just looking for someone that I can hold hands with, go dancing with from time to time, and enjoys sitting back and watching TV on a rainy night. I don’t think this is to much to ask, and I understand that most of it is my location. But I am very disappointed in the I want a real man statement I see constantly, and I am sitting here only having one sided conversations.

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    • I hear you Mike. I have three boys too and I don’t think I could date anyone that does not have kids for this reason. I don’t want anyone to “take care” of us but I do need someone who understands that my time is limited. I don’t want to drag anyone into my kids’ lives unless I know that it will be permanent. They’ve been through enough change. I don’t bring guys into my house. Probably why I am still single at this point.

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    • Congratulations to you Mike for being aware and adult, but you’re the exception not the rule. I know of many cases of blended families who don’t work out precisely bc the fathers were seeking for a new mother (and maid) for their kids(when they have a mother of their own) and seat down their lazy asses on their couches and let the Step-mother do all the work and be completely disrespected by his brats and refuses to discipline his kids once he doesn’t feel like to have the trouble. And the answer to a pleading ‘evil SM’ is: ‘suck it up bc you’re the adult’. This situation is very very frequent and cause of divorce on second marriages.

      When is the woman who has the kids, sometimes there are trouble in paradise too, if she’s a spineless mother, but it’s a little less frequent, because women culturally are at the front seat of the family, so they run their family and kids at her pleasure and set bounderies to them bc they are hers. When the kids are her husband’s, she’s not allowed to set bounderies or set rules bc they are not her kids and has to suffer in silence while she’s expected to clean, cook , drive , pick after them. And to this add the ‘guilty father’ complex who enables the bratiness and ‘punkiness’ on his kids and completely neglects the wife who’s expected to be there only to serve.

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      • The most aggravating thing I see; is some men I talk to that have little or no contact with their children have no issue finding new women to date (or more). With that all I ever hear out of women is I want a responsible, caring man (at least on dating sites). My ex left me cause she said I was better with the kids, she wanted to go out and party all weekend with 19 year old boys, and not contact me to say she was going to be gone all weekend, and my favorite I did to much around the house (it is so much fun getting yelled at for doing dishes, laundry and working). I am not your typical guy I work out I spend time with my boys, I don’t have many friends or family, and my only distraction from my kids is my house. So yeah I have given up on women (not to say I am not changing my appeals) and I am just going to take care of my kids and try to have as much fun as possible. I think most relationships in America are how can I fix my partner, men and women tend to date someone they think they can make better.

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        • It was unfortunate what happened to you. There are out there tons of women dying to have an honest, hard working, good father, caring, dedicated man as you. Unluckily, often people seem to be mismatched. There are good natured women out there, I can assure you. Really?! Get yelled bc ‘ I did too much around the house’. Ouch. In my house no male is yelled to do chores!

          Notwithstand your bad luck with the woman you chose, it was your choice, your mistake and you’ve to understand that a free kids woman has the right to a clean start too. You had yours.
          The question is, even if you hadn’t given up on women, btw the job, kids and house do you really have time and space for a woman in your life? You don’t specify if you’d accept a woman with kids too. That might be an option for you. There’s balance in that situation. I won’t lie, it’s very dificult. I came from a blended family of seven which was difficult to master but my parents managed to grow old together despite…
          I think, when a single father manage to discipline their kids and make them respect his new wife above all things , work with her as a unit, find a suitable and mature partner, is willing to comunicate and compromisse and make her feel loved and part of his life a blended family is possible. Not perfect but possible. However not even nuclear families are perfect, so…

          Don’t be disheartened bc there’s always an option and it may be around the corner. And this experience in your life taught you many things for sure. One of many certainly is to identify traits that cluster together in the “people to be wary of” category that suggest that our prospective partner is excessively self-absorbed. Unfortunately, none of us have time for this style of learning which is the current paradigm that depends heavily on trial and error. I’m married for more than 22 years and have two kids in a nuclear family and what I teach them is, the secret to a happy marriage is picking the right person in the first place, but obviously not on trial and error which I might wonder if it was your case. Character traits are relatively stable over time, then we need to find a way to teach our children, and apply it ourselves, how to recognize them early. I’m married to a good man who’s totally committed to me and sons but I didn’t choose the most handsome, or the tallest, or fanciest. I chose someone who worked from his 13 years as a paver and later became a Civil Engineer and later a sucessful enterpriser with several employees. His father married a esquizofrenic woman and stuck with her til his dead. That’s my man’s philosofy of life learned from his dad and I certainly have done my share.

          Those men you talk to that have little or no contact with their children have no issue finding new women to date (or more) bc their lack of attachment to their kids is atractive to a woman that doesn’t want other woman’s kids. But that doesn’t speak highy about them(men) nor about their new women’s wit. I suspect that these women are setting themselves to be kicked on the ass later down the line, there in America or here on Europe. The premise of relationships are the same everywhere.
          I wish you all the luck. Don’t be discouraged, your life didn’t end. There’s a lid to every pot.

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    • Here is the deal.. If you have kids, don’t forget why you married someone to have a family and spend the rest of your life with your wife and kids. That was the point! In the event your marriage didn’t work out, that is no one else’s issue to deal with.
      When you say you want to spend time with a woman and “watch a movie, spend time with, go dancing etc..” then state that when you meet and/or date someone. Tell her upfront, you have no intention of anything else, such as marriage, having a family again, having her live with you, building a life, a home, a foundation and future with, someone to have and to hold for your life until you grow old together and watch your kids grow up and build a life of their own, see grandkids, help them in times in need, you get the picture?!
      Bottom line, you are only looking for someone to just “hang out with” and have some basic companionship. But you are not looking for anything else. That your kids will always come first, and that “she” ll always be next in line… By the way, this is why the basic religious principles in the bible discuss “clinging to your spouse”, not your kids, your parents, your friends.. And it mostly speaks against divorce, except in the situation of adultery, abuse, etc..
      Rather you believe in this or not, is not the point.. The point is, they are more than likely good principles for our society and future generations.
      I think a lot of people get a divorce because they never look in the mirror and think they may be part of the problem, and have this fantasy of what the other person as a significant other is supposed to be like, moreover, they have really unrealistic expectations. You will end up finding similar problems with a new person when the beginning of the relationship wears off. It is up to you to keep that spark going with your spouse.
      Now that you are dating someone new and “out there again”, Please just be honest with women.
      For me, I dated a guy when I met him, he said in front of me and my sister, he was divorced and that his wife left him for another man. Pitty party. He takes care of the kids. Come to find out on our first date, he was still separated, not divorced. He was “filing”. His wife had moved out, because he asked her too when he found out she was cheating. Instead of going to counseling and working their family out, he asked her to leave.
      She got an apartment, still saw the kids while she dated this other guy. They never told the kids. I started dating him about a year after they separated. Because of them protecting their own reputation, mine was dragged in. Oh, I wanted my own kid and to get married. Oh, they got a divorce, after I helped him with an attorney, and he didn’t let me meet his daughter until a year and a half later, wow! Was I stupid?!!!
      Then the daughter hated me no matter how nice I was, he skipped plans with me at last minutes because his kids “needed him”. I did so much for them, was there for them, and when we finally got married, he said, oh, I decided I don’t want to have kids now. So, I had to get a divorce, because I didn’t get married to not have a family and I was honest about that from day one.
      Now, I am alone dating again, probably won’t be able to have any kids now because I stupidly wasted time with him and the lies. So, ladies, find a guy with no kids, unless, he is honest with you, about your being #2 and you are just okay with that.
      Guys, just be honest and make it clear you want a Brady Bunch or not, and understand we have our own hopes and dreams just as you did when you got married for the first time, even if we are a bit older, we still are looking for someone to have a first priority. Spouse 1st, kids 2nd. That is the tier of a family. If you love your wife and treat her right, unless she is some scum bag, she won’t leave you, unless you aren’t treating her right. IF you are dating again with kids, understand they aren’t our kids, we can care and love them, but we don’t want to deal with an ex-wife who is mommy either, to say when things come and go, and we are supposed to just go along. Bottom line, it’s all stupid. Wait until your kids are older to date. It puts them through to much weird crap too.
      Mazza

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    • there’s no double standard: we see both single moms and dads as a package deal with their kids and the ex. some of us don’t want the drama. sure, you just want company but what about her needs?! there’s a simple solution for you, just date other single parents. they are in the same boat.

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      • Em, exactly. I don’t want the drama, or the package deal, which includes time and money. I really resented single dads contacting me when I was very explicit on not dating them.

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    • Are you approaching moms or childless women? I got so mad when dads contacted me because my profiler clearly stated no dads. They disrespect me when they do that.

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  18. I’m really glad to have read this as I’ve found dating in my town to be difficult and it feels rather lonely as one of the only singles (who feels as Suzie does). It’s a college town meaning loads of 20 somethings running around, and many older folks who are available at this stage in life are w/ kids…some are still under the age of 18 (the kids that is) while others may have over 18yr old kids, but now, do not want committed relationships. I dated a man who I really felt a connection to on multiple facets, but after 7 yrs, he was happy w/ things the way they were…(didn’t want to let me go but didn’t want to move forward in the relationship either) and he, after two failed marriages and one of his kids is autistic, I guess I’m lucky to NOT be with him any longer. I was the one who had to end it, for my own sake.

    I love the term “partner priority relationship” b/c it’s exactly what I want and this resonates w/ me to the very last word! I feel like if all relationships entered into a “partner priority relationship”, regardless of having kids or not, that many more of them would have survived and not divorced…I’ve dated a few men w/ kids, and it’s not usually destined to work out for me b/c I’m not only independent (b/c I have to be, honestly, who’s going to take care of things around my house if I don’t do it myself???) and I also run my own small business, which is great, but also time consuming. I’m absolutely NOT willing to spend my free time going to soccer and baseball games any longer and I’m NOT interested in being 3rd on the list. I’ll do the same for my partner, so I’m not asking for anything I’m not willing to give myself.

    I’m not sure how life got so complicated for so many, but I’ve made conscious decisions to keep my life simple and fun and do a job that I love and am proud of, and surround myself w/ friends who have common interests. It’s lonely sometimes at the end of the day, but I’m certainly not willing to give up what I want in a relationship, just to be in one that doesn’t meet my needs or help me to grow.

    Thank You Suzie! Insightful and strong you are! This is the first blog post I’ve ever read of yours, but will check back to see what other tidbits you have to share.

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  19. Single Dating Diva, you’re a smart young lady. I loved your article. You’re spot on and don’t need to be apologetic about your way of thinking. Dating people with children often his a torment that one can figure out only when is in its middle. Congrats to those who can figure this out in time and spare themselves of a sea of tears. At the beginning Love seems to conquer everything. But quickly the pink glasses fall off. The cases when all works out fine, are rare.
    I’m not saying all, but many of these men who claim women are selfish for refusing to take on the mistakes of their pasts are themselves naturally very self-entitled brats that many times didn’t want to have the trouble to make their marriages work, and now are trying to find a victim, preferably without kids herself to be the one to have the trouble in order to let them free to play single life.

    Hope women start open their eyes. Sorry to those guys out there who really runned out of luck no matter how hard they have tryed but the truth is, it was your mistake to have married the ex in the first place.

    To all free-kids young ladies out there. A free-kids woman is in advantageous position. USE IT ON YOUR FAVOR. Don’t let others use it for you! You are an attractive commodity on the dating market. You can be choosy. When you have kids, after a failed relationship, your market value falls steeply. Be smart.

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      • So, they have to start to realise that the world is not at their beck and call. and learn from women that those choices have to be made. We make those painfull and tricky choices every day, in every part of the world.

        And man-up for their past mistakes instead of whimpering about women’s selfisness bc they refuse to share their baggage would be very beautiful to see too.

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  20. Suzie – you are to be commended for your honesty and candor. You are absolutely correct that if you date a man with kids, you will be at most his 2nd priority. And you correctly realize that this is how it should be. I am a divorced man with 2 kids, and no woman will ever rank above them in my priorities. One of the foundations of our society for millions of years has been that adults make sacrifices to care for the little ones. You are apparently unwilling or unable to do this, or allow a man to do it. That’s fine because we all have freedom to make our own choices. But don’t expect society to praise your choice. I believe there will come a day when you will regret your selfishness. But I’m grateful that you are at least honest with men about the type of person you are. I wish my ex-wife had been honest with me. She said she wanted kids early in our marriage (as did I) but soon decided they were too much work, even though I was doing most of the work in addition to supporting the family financially. So she left to do her own thing and now I’m raising the kids by myself. So much for character and integrity. Please continue to do all men who want kids a favor and stay out of our lives.

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    • how is it that’s she selfish?? taking care of another man’s kids and everything else that goes along with it..and being SECOND are u kidding me…she’s a genius by staying away….

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      • I agree with you.I wish someone should have been honest with me before I started dating my now husband. He had a kid from a previous relationship and would give his baby mama extra money even though we have tons of bills to pay that are past due

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    • Wow!!! hey man you should urgently reevaluate your notion of selfishness!

      It’s funny how you, seemingly a darn selfless person, chose a free kids women to marry in the first place! Why didn’ you choose a woman with three or four kids back then? Yes, we know, you conveniently fall for one without a single little brat herself. How selfish!
      Yes, one of the foundations of our society for millions of years has been that adults make sacrifices to care for the little ones, but where is/was YOUR sacrífice to care for kids of others?! Take care of your kids yourself , they are your responsability not other’s! It was you who made them!
      You loved to have had a clean start but you call it selfish others want the same. Ah.

      Let me tell you that you are making a huge mess in your head about relationships.
      If a person yearns for a relationship, he/she should prioritize the PERSON he/she is with. The partner. If you are not in a position of doing this, bc you’ve kids, then you should have a ounce of justice, dignity and truth and shouldn’t be in a relationship at all. If she never will be your first priority, don’t be selfish, have character and integrity and leave her for another guy who can make her his nº 1. Not always we can have everything in life. Bumming that we’ve to make choices. For cultural reasons many men (not all) seem to not make the conexion that they can’t have everything in life and feel totally entitled.
      Wow, expecting a partner be there for you only when it suits you, tells megas about your personality! What an ofensive sense of entitlement and selfishness!

      I’m society, and I praise and support Suzie and other women’s decision and right to choose the partner they find adequate. And I think either that the one thing they’ll regret in the future is jumping in a situation they don’t feel very keen on and later find themselves mired in a pit of problems created by others. The only thing which they will regret is they have not run fast enough.
      I’d love to say I’m speechless, but obviously I’m not.

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      • Nicely said! If you choose to bring children into this world, it is your responsibility, and ONLY yours. I chose not to have children. Why? Because I find it cruel that people today “want to have kids”, but they can’t give them a proper, carefree childhood – THAT is truly caring for your children!! Suzie, you rock! If I look at how divorced parents use their kids as collateral, and how they allow a flow of new “girlfriends” or “boyfriends” into their children’s lives, not caring about the psychological damage it leaves with their kids…. I sometimes can’t help to think us childless people are the ones who REALLY care about the well-being of children…

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          • Agreed. Why are childless women selfish but not the dads who expect her to sacrifice for kids not her own? When a dad looks for a childless woman it’s often to help support his kids. Been there, done that.

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      • Amen! I could not have said it better Sofia. All of the men I met in 2014 are single fathers 50 or over, raising children that are not even above the age of 10 years old. These men that I met love the fact that I am single with zero restrictions. I wanted to be fair and give each man a chance, and each man was an epic fail, including the one that was constantly hitting me up for cigarette money because the child support he is paying for two kids is kicking his butt so bad he never seem to have groceries in the house to feed them when they would come to visit. Then he would never have time for us, we would never go anywhere, why you ask, because he was broke. After weeks of this mess I walked away. He wanted a serious relationship with me just as the other men did, and I thought to myself there was no way in h-ll I would involve myself with any of these men long term. I mean when does knowing what you are looking for in a potential mate that can make you a priority in his life a selfish thing?

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      • Sofia, I just love to read your comment. I’ m glad that have read it.
        Thank you for devoting your time to write these comments, it s waking me up and hopefully many other ladies out there.

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    • John, sorry to say that you are selfish yourself.
      I agree that in our society, adult makes sacrifices for little ones who need help or who are abandoned, but Your kids is your responsible. If you are dating and expect your girlfriend taking care your kids. She has to share everything and being treated as second , third or last priority…? To serve for her boyfriend? If she refuse you call her a selfish person? Common give me a break.
      I totally agree with Suzie and her article. I’m glad that have read her article.
      Thaks to Suzie.

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    • John, your response is very selfish, not Suzie’s. People with kids can’t come first in the other’s life but expect the childless person to put them first. I have seen countless parents who expected more from the childless person than they could give. Yes our foundation was to take care of kids but it was NEVER to take care of someone else’s kids. Divorced and single parents is a relatively new thing in society. Why shouldn’t society praise our choice? We aren’t the ones who couldn’t keep it together. Sure, some parents were the victims but many weren’t. Then the parents expect us to pick up the slack. It isn’t fair. I do try to avoid single dads and when my online profile stated this but the dads wouldn’t leave me alone. Then when I rejected them on this they either flagged me as a troll (yes, how dare childless women not want to date dads)or sent me abusive messages. They were offended I wouldn’t date them when my profile said they would get an automatic rejection. I’m not sure how it is selfish to reject them, they are the ones being selfish trying to date me when my profile states no way. Plus many do have a selfish reason to seek out childless women, whether it’s to get someone to help support their family, or offer free babysitting. It is selfish to seek out women who don’t have baggage when you do.

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    • please do us childfree women a favor and leave us the hell alone. as for character, what about your ability to practice good judgement before knocking her up? there were NO signs at all , really?!

      Oh, and it isn’t selfish to not want to come second after some other woman’s kids!

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  21. I completely agree with this post, the only difference is, im in love with a man with kids but my failure to compromise my desire for his undivided attention has pushed him away. Im so unbelievably torn, I don’t want this to be the deal-breaker, but I can not take on this kind of baggage. Not to
    mention his ex-wife! I’m completely heart broken but I realise that I deserve to come first and that he will be better with a woman that can deal with this for I simply can not.

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    • Exactly right! Why should a girlfriend not be priority as well as the kids? Its the ex who shouldnt have priority in any way. Trouble is they use the kids to gain attention to themselves as a lot of them cant handle the thought of a girlfriend with their ex. Unfortunately my now ex partner idolised his kids to a ridiculous level amd i recently discovered i would always be ‘2nd place’ hence the reason he is now my ex! I dont know what is wrong with these men. Why is it so difficult to see your girlfriend who you are supposed to love and adore as priority along with your children? It confused me and i couldnt understand so had to leave.

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      • Deborah, that’s exactly it. Very rarely will the new love be as important. Obviously the kids will come first but when the partner doesn’t have kids it is unequal. Some don’t mind but it takes a strong person willing to give up more than they will receive.

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  22. I happened to be Googling this issue and saw your post. Like you, I don’t dads, only I don’t date dads of older adults either. The reason why is even older grown kids can be an issue. I get a lot of flack for this issue, I’ve even been banned on dating and advice sites because of that issue. My reasons for avoiding dads are multiple. Simply put, I don’t want to financially or personally support the kids, nor do I want the drama. I know many cases where the new spouse ends up paying the child support and even the alimony for the ex. In many states they can take the new spouse’s salary in consideration. I know many broke parents who can’t afford to date. Then there’s the coming second. A new spouse will often see dates rescheduled or cancelled. Then there the religious issues if one is Catholic where a divorced person can’t marry in church. I have dated men with kids and all had drama and money problems. I rarely encounter dads who have everything together It goes without saying that most of these men are single for a reason. Yes I know a few were the victims but usually they got divorced for a reason because most women won’t divorce for no reason.

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  23. Being a young woman in a relationship with a man who has a 7 year old son I appreciate this post. As a 22 year old young woman, I can identify with what you’re saying. My boyfriend is 27 and together we are a power couple. We work hard, have steady jobs, work together as a team, live together and love each other very much. I knew going into this relationship I would have to make sacrifices I otherwise wouldn’t because of his beautiful little boy. The amount of joy, love and happiness we experience together is hard to put into words. In the 8 months we’ve been together the relationship has flourished very fast and we see a future together. I like to believe I am generally a selfless and empathetic person yet I didn’t foresee how deeply the baggage of the child’s mother would weigh a toll on me.

    She is 10 years older than me, lives at her mothers house and hasn’t worked a job in over ten years! She is diagnosed bipolar and this is very hard for his son to deal with. They have not went through the courts for custody so she has him during the week and we get him on the weekends (unless she makes plans for him otherwise) we’ve been together 8 months and grow stronger every day BUT she does not want her son around any other women. I truly admire that my boyfriend will do anything to be with his child, but he is giving her power inadvertently OUT OF FEAR of not seeing him.

    With this, if she (or usually her mother) drop him off I have to hide in the basement. When she calls (even if it’s during the week) my boyfriend goes in the other room to take the call. I can’t go to his sports games, I can’t be seen in town with them, I can’t go to his birthday and holiday parties no matter how much he begs me to come. What is hurting me the most is that this poor child has to bear the burden of this all! I feel it is exhibiting a life of lies, secrets and deceit. It kills me to see the fear in this child when she calls, is brought up in conversation and comes to pick him up. I make it a point to be strong for him and reiterate that his mommy loves him very much… That him and I are “secret agents” and she will never know that I was there.

    I don’t need to be wined and dined, party and go out every weekend. I have always wanted a family and together we are working towards substantial goals we have as a couple. Now the reason I’m reaching out is simple, for all of the love and dedication I give to my boyfriend and his son.. Is it too much to ask for to be taken out of the shadows? How long until I take a stand?

    Part of me wonders if I should give our relationship more time before really “taking a stand” yet, on the other hand we have a strong relationship and see a future together. Unlike my boyfriend, I was fortunate to grow up with parents who are still together. I don’t think this is healthy for his son, myself and everyone else involved. Has anyone been in a similar situation like this? Does anyone have any nonjudgmental, constructive advice?

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    • The guy I’m seeing has four kids… 9, 7, 5, and 3. We’ve been seeing each other for 8 months now and I feel the same way… Always questioning when I should come out of the shadows because I love him dearly and I know he cares about me in somewhat the same way.. Of course, what sucks is that if anything… I will always be 5th or 6th on his list!!

      I know he thinks I’m good person, otherwise he wouldn’t have introduced me to the kids but he did it in such a way that I still haven’t officially met them… He took them to a public pool where I just “happened to be” and me and the kids had several great encounters through the summer but to them, I’m that strange woman who just happens to enjoy playing with them when they come out swimming!! I hope that eventually we can move pass this but I don’t want to seem too pushy!! I just don’t know when and how I can get him to include me in his life..

      I’ve met the 3 yr old several times with him alone but really, the poor thing doesn’t know better… And is more so confused than anything.. Too young to ask any questions or tell the other kids about me..

      Sleep overs at my place are always spontaneous because of his schedule.. I love it when he’s over because I’d at least get to cuddle for some time but if an emergency comes up.. I am the adult.. Sleep overs at his place are great and show some effort to him wanting to invite me into his life but I’m always there after the kids have fallen asleep and leave before the crack of dawn.. I feel like I’m sneaking around.. The little one likes to crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night.. Which is cute, and I wouldn’t want for anything more than to introduce myself but i can’t.. A couple of the older kids have wandered into the room in middle of the night and I would have to hide myself under the covers. I’m starting to wonder if this under cover thing will be healthy for any of us into the future?

      I feel like it’s unfair that I always have to do everything at his pace and when he thinks it’s going to right for his kids. I can see myself having a future with this man and have read every blog or how to about dating a man in this situation… Now I just don’t know how to ask him to include me in his reality.. Perhaps this is that time where I should just walk away?? But it can’t be the end of all ends if I still feel so deeply for him?

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      • You have been dating for 8 months, and you still have not “officially” met his ids – WOW. Something’s wrong here. Anyway, no matter how much you like and or love this guy… you do not sound very HAPPY. So make yourself happy and do the right thing……………In the end, it is your own happiness that’s important.

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    • Oh my god your situation sounds terrible and i really feel for you. As someone who had a horrendous ex to deal with its not easy. But one thing is for sure that no ex should have the power through fear and manipulation to control the mans life. Problem is if he has allowed her to keep some power and control normally ‘for the sake of the kids’ (YAWN) then the girlfriend is expected to accept that. If you do accept it thats exactly what you will get. But why not challenge him on all these things? You have a right to a normal life. If he cant see that and man up then….

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  24. I never thought I would date a man who has a child. I’m 27 and he is 38 (nice size gap). He’s an amazing man and a great father but I feel like at times its just way too much. Him and his ex share custody of their daughter she has the kid one year and he has her the next (she is 8). I met the daughter maybe 2 months after my boyfriend and I started dating. At the time I was okay with him having a daughter bc she was living with her mother. Once he got her things changed drastically which i already figured would happen. So I rolled with the punches and I endured until recently. I realized that even though I love this man so much I DO NOT want to be 2nd to an 8 year old child. He get’s mad when we get into it bc he thinks I think its the child’s fault (which is not the case). His daughter and I get along very well. She always wants me around and I love being around her (when she’s not being bratty or spoiled). I think this is my real reason for why dating ANY single parent is difficult . My boyfriend DOES NOT know how to discipline his daughter and it drive me INSANE. His daughter is on 10 all the time. She talks back she doesn’t listen at all and she’s a daddy girl and by that i mean like she wants to sleep in the bed with her dad especially when I’m there (me personally i think co sleeping is over rated and kind of weird) she wants to sit on his lap all the time and they used to kiss on the lips until I told his thats nasty she’s too old for you to do that. I feel like bc he is a single parent he allows her to get away with so much and he doesnt want to be the mean parent. and bc i am not her mother I dont have a right to say anything about it. I mean if i get mad enough i will say something but i bite my tongue a lot. He tells me he doesnt have a problem with me telling her not to do things or putting her in time out but i dont feel like i should have to do that. i feel like the parent should be able to control their child and if and only if necessary that the partner may help out if the parent isnt around. It’s crazy bc the listens more to me than her dad and i’m not okay with that. It just breaks my heart bc like i said i love this man so much i’ve been struggling these last couple of months and it sucks bc sometimes I feel totally guilty for feeling selfish. Whats a girl to do.

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    • Just wait, if you get married it’ll be worse. Get out while you can. I am 43 and would rather be alone than date a dad.

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    • Brooklyn I understand you so so much!!!! I am in a simialr situaiton , I am dating a man who’s daughtr also want sto sleep with us( she is 8 ,before he put he oin our ber she was 5 and I said ok the f### is a child but after why the f### shoould I do it???? I am not her mother) and after I told him, oh there were such drammas I was the bad one, the stupid one…poor child but ok he understood afer lots of speaking of my side ,she doesnt sleep with us anumore!!! But so spoilt child, daddys girl and wors is that I want to have a child but he oooh ye she wants but he doest thing seriousl about it, he smoesk ,h drinks and …what weill happen,nothing!!! what to do ..I am desparate!

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    • Omg I’ve been through this as well! How gross that the face are passionate with behind closed doors is kissing a little girl on the lips too ewe. Also, the discipline green light is a trap, don’t fall for it. He wants to be the good guy. At some point, you will be villanised for this and thrown under the bus.

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  25. Hi girls, currently dating a dad… It’s the worst idea ever!! He has five girls, two teenagers, three younger… He’s never there, when he has time he runs to his girls.. How annoying.. No time for us.. I live in the hopes to have one day his full time and attention. He keeps making those promises which is annoying.. He never keeps them. I live by myself. He comes home to sleep. I have someone that wants to be with me. I’m really tempted to cheat. He cheated on me before and admitted to doing so. I’m so lonely. I’m always alone.

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    • He sounds like a guy who is married, and keeps telling his girlfriend he will be getting a divorce very soon – Never happens. Life is too short to put up with such stuff – move on and be happy!

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    • Hi Kate,
      I honestly feel ur pain as I have been in a similar situation myself. Altho it may be difficult to do so, u gotta get the hell outta there! He cheated on u already, and u stay? U are punishing urself and sacrificing ur chance at happiness to be with a man who will treat u better. U deserve to be loved and feel love. I learnt a great deal about myself in dating a man with kids. I truly believe that once u find the strength to realise that ur happiness isn’t dependant on another u will be able to let him go and find that special someone who fulfills u. I wish u all the best. Remember, love was made to be complicated, but only u have the power to decide who deserves it or not.

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  26. My boyfriend and I have been dating long distance for over three years. I finally made the move to be with him and his 15 year old son. It’s really difficult, I’m waiting every day for this beautiful man to pop the question. I love him with all my heart and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. We have spoken of marriage, but I’m very certain and terrified that the question will wait until he knows I’m fully committed and accepting of his kid. I never will be, I really can’t stand the kid and his holier than thou, egoistical, self serving, “I can do no wrong” attitude. (He’s an only child of course). I’m not sure I can wait three more years for the golden child to be 18 and out the door; its a real challenge every single day. This kids mom is MIA, so I can’t ship him off and he only wants to stay home and “hang” with us. I’m sorry, I know parents would love to spend precious time with their kids, right now I want precious time with my love.

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  27. I can honestly say that I am in the position where I am dating the father of a 3 year old girl. I was told many times over not to get involved because it is crazy hard. Well i didn’t listen and fell in love with the guy. Its been almost 9 months now and dating someone with a child is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. It was hard to accept the contact with the ex and the time that is spent with the child and the schedule changes that I have to make because of the child. I get along with the child fine but not the mother. I also have a hard time accepting that I wont get the time to enjoy my boyfriend if he were to become my fiance before and after our marriage and then decide to have children. I deal with the fact that my boyfriend has been married and had children and I wont be getting to share the first experience with someone else. The choice is mine to date him but the choice is still hard because its either deal with it even though its hard to accept or live life without him.

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    • I think you should do what truly makes you satisfied and happy. You can get to a point where you might build up resentment or hold some type of hostility if you feel like you always/usually come second. I 100% agree with this article simply because i want to feel special- share 1sts with the man I love and know that my time with him is dedicated. I tend to be the type who is very giving in a relationship and if I feel like I am merely being crammed into a schedule between his work, kids, and hobbies then I harbor resentment and lower my expectations. It gets harder over time because eventually you’ll become part of ‘their’ lives (him and his kids) and leaving will make you feel guilty and obligated. Unless you are extremely selfless, or you have kids of your own, this type of relationship is tough to deal with.

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      • IT won’t work even if your selfless trust me they walk all over you don’t respect you & selfless people have feelings & are usually more sensitive! I never had kids not by choice I had no parents & young guys with no kids like marrying girls who have family around them I think its an ego thing! They marry precious property the parents give him attention! So I never got married guys divorced with kids have feelings for the ex & the ex never goes away! The kids call the house (is my dad their), no hello very mean & if you say anything your the bad guy! The guy says & does nothing he doesn’t care he has his family basically he’s using you your being used! Unless the man stands up for you from day one on his own without you having to tell him your in trouble! He’s an adult he knows right from wrong I ran for my life & went home & watched Marilyn Monroe movies all night then broke it off! Went out the next night with a new guy!

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      • Totally agree with you Rana. I found myself living in her world with her kid and the other drama. You do start to feel responsible for them and you put your own needs second but then resent them for it which is not fair on them as they are only living their lives as best they can. I found that the relationship just became so unbalanced and needed to focus on me for a change.

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      • Actually, as a single parent, adding your kids, your traditions, your values, is a whole new ball of wax. Adding more people adds more conflict. Too much stress all around.

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  28. Great article! I just ended a 7 month relationship over a somewhat similar situation. My ex was honest with me over the fact he had a 3 yr old on our first date which I had no issue with at the time. He had the child every other weekend and so I would do my own thing when he had him. As things started getting serious between us and ‘I love you’s’ were exchanged..I began wondering when I would meet his child. Well, that convo happened at 3 months, 4 months and just the other night at the 7 month mark. Still refusing to introduce me to his child and unwilling to include me in any holiday festivities. He saw no fault in this, believing he was shielding his son from…I’m not sure what exactly. So, I stood up for myself and told him I needed someone who was willing to include me in their entire life. What was he hiding I wonder…

    I think this experience has turned me off of dating anyone with children and after reading your article I don’t feel guilty for wanting to be someone’s number one priority.

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    • Sorry for the bad experience, good for you standing up for yourself! I dated my ex for almost a year when he finally came clean that the girl he was seeing before me announced she was pregnant. He knew this 2 months into our relationship, but waited until she had the baby and took a paternity test (it was his) before he told me… via email :-/ I really loved him and at urging of friends/family I did not immediately leave and tried to see if it could work despite trust level being near zero at that point, but felt I took a backseat and would always be the one making sacrifices. He even skipped my family holiday get-together cuz baby mama asked him to switch his visitation day, which he did without even asking me. He actually did want me involved with his daughter, but it was honestly bittersweet seeing him fawn over this child he had with this other random woman who because of a lapse of judgment on HIS part, would now be an integral part of our lives if I stayed with him. Honestly, my guilt over these feelings of jealousy was part of what made me miserable, so I decided to give up what I thought was a sure thing and move on. Life’s a b**** sometimes!

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  29. To sum this issue up in a nutshell, dating someone with kids is a lot like going out on your first date when your dad sends your sibling along to “chaperon”. It can be a total buzz kill. When you’re in the mood to do something spontaneous and romantic, the kid is always along for the ride. When your fun, creative “setting the mood” for when your boyfriend walks through the front has to revolve around a kid planted in the middle of the living room floor in front of the TV, that’s when the resentment sets in.

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    • So many of these comments ring true. Ive recently just split from a guy who had 3 kids he saw at weekends. We had a very strong attraction and bond instantly and i moved into his place very quickly but a year later ive moved out. Single women beware! Seriously i was not prepared for dealing with a crazy nutcase of an ex who tried to ruin every weekend we had by changing plans at the last minute and basically just doing whatever she wanted when it came to pick up times etc. She was so completely selfish and still seemed to think she was his partner and had the right to constantly text and phone him. Her justification was it was just to do with the kids but that was just her excuse to keep herself in his life to the point she would actually SPY on us and constantly quizzed the kids about what we were doing and saying. She was a nightmare. He didnt stand up to her enough and i grew more resentful. Eventually he did tackle her about it but by then i had already about had enough. She would literally text him abuse as we were sitting watching tele or something then she dumps her kids on us all weekend. Really? All he was to her was a glorified babysitter and the fact he put up with her behaviour ‘because of the children’ really incensed me. And she deliberately used his love for his kids to keep him where she wanted – alone and single and a babysitter. Well ive left now as it just became too much as i grew more and more unhappy. Not all exes are like that but beware and make sure you fully understand the dynamics of the past relationship before you dive in.

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  30. I am currently dating a single dad with three children. At the beginning of the relationship, I was completely okay with it. I actually admired him for being such a great and involved father (He has full custody). Now it has been a little over a year and as the relationship progressed I found myself not enjoying the situation as much. I found myself getting upset every time the mom would text him or call. I found myself jealous when the “alone” time we are supposed to spend as a couple would turn into (his) family affair and his children would get all the cuddles and kisses, but not me and I would feel left out. I resent that as a couple, we don’t have the freedom to do whatever we want whenever we want to, and that we have to be on his children’s schedule. I know that I was well aware he had children before I got involved, but knowing and experiencing it is completely different. I feel awful that I feel this way and I don’t understand why I was okay with all of this at the beginning of the relationship but not anymore. I don’t like being this person who gets jealous and annoyed at the fact that his children come first (as they should) but it does bother me; I actually enjoy children and want children of my own. It hurts me that although I love him, I can’t put past me his “baggage.” I don’t know what to do, at one point I was so certain he was the one, but the thought has been fading away. I am afraid of leaving a good relationship because I can’t cope with a situation many other women can, am I overthinking it too much? maybe I’m just not mature enough to handle a relationship like such? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    • I don’t really have advice but I can share my story if it helps provide any insight…. I’m 39- two boys 13/14. I’m dating a work a holic 47 year old with 50% custody of his 10 year old daughter. When the relationship was new I was just like you- it didn’t bother me that our time was limited and shared. Now it’s been 3 years and I resent him so much because I am not even remotely a priority in his life. Child, work, working out, then me at 9:30 pm 3 nights a week. We hardly do anything just the two of us. I complain that everyone always gets the best of him except me. I don’t know why I hang on. We don’t and can’t live together because of school districts (neither of us willing to switch) so what’s the point? The sex is good and he helped me make a few google spreadsheets but I am so alone and lonely in this relationship. He literally has her 7 nights this week because of holiday (he’s a high school teacher and also teaches twice a week at a college). He wanted to come over but I just couldn’t bear to watch him dote all over his daughter and exclude me while in my own house. I’ve watched it too many times. When she does stay here the door has to stay open and everyone else has to go to bed at the same time or else she can’t sleep. She wakes up at the crack of dawn and knocks on our door wanting to be entertained. Honestly, I feel like she is his wife and I am the mistress. He tells her every detail about his days and I feel nothing is private between us. He’s 47 and she’s in 4th grade. Just thinking about the backseat I will be forced to take for the next how many years makes me so sad and so mad. I settle for scraps and although I am the mom to teenage boys they don’t need me to be glued to their side every minute of ever day. I can’t even have a phone conversation with him when she’s at his house because she never gives him any privacy and he never demands any. Up until recently she showered in his room upstairs even though she has her own bathroom. She still sleeps with her mother at home and she always expects to be entertained. Her stuff is everywhere. I feel horrible for how I feel. I’m just so resentful and jealous of how he treats her. Why can’t he treat me like an equal partner instead of like a penpal with benefits. We don’t share holidays together because of how custody schedule is and location of his extended family. Weekends are short lived as each parent gets her part of each weekend. He’s so busy with extracurriculars during the week which limits any possible time. We eat dinner together a few times a month. He can’t cook for me- but can cook for her. He teaches her how to make pancakes and other foods but would not ever think of making me breakfast. Or dinner for that matter. I know I sound bitter and like a great big bitch. I am bitter. I want to feel like a priority and I never will be number one. But I don’t exclude him when my kids are around….She is so quiet and has zero personality that when she is here he spends so much time doting on her to make sure she is ok it truly is sickening. I can’t stand to watch it. I had a shitty father who never spent any time with me or my sisters growing up. I’m sure this also has something to do with my irritation at his ever pressing father of the year rehearsal. Ah, I’m so cynical. But I’m like that anyway. The thing is, We feel comfortable around each other. I’m afraid of letting go of a good man. And he is a good man. I just want more of something I can never have. I don’t want to settle. But that’s exactly what I have been doing for the past 3 years. Settling. Sigh. You are not alone. I am right there with you. If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got. Tell me more about your story! Maybe we can figure it out together…perspective is key sometimes.

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      • Katy- I am so sorry to hear about how you feel. From what you wrote, it appears to me that he prioritizes his daughter over anyone and anything, which it isn’t right. He’s not helping her, he’s molding her to be a brat. Children are a blessing and should be of priority, but children grow and move on to find their own lives, your partner in life is the one who will always be by your side so your partner should be of a priority as well, sometimes even more so than your children. She should be able to go to bed at her bedtime, and everyone else does not need to do it as well so she can go to sleep. That’s being way too spoiled and thats not right. If he loves you and knows you are the one, he will make the necessary changes to cater to your needs as well but you need to communicate with him and let him know how you feel or else he will lose you. You both need to compromise. My update on my story is I have talked to him about how I feel with his children getting all his attention, how I feel about the mom and he apologized for making me feel that way and he told me that i am a priority in his life, although as a parent he does have to cater to other aspects of his life, he views me as a priority. However, he also said that if I feel the way I do and it bothers me that much that maybe he’s not the right guy for me. I’m young, 26 years old, no children… my lifestyle doesn’t necessarily fit his lifestyle and he does try to be a part of it but he’s 11 years older than me so I also need to understand that as he needs to understand me. I have made so many changes in my life to make him happier but it seems like its not good enough. He wants me to help him out with his children as in take care of them and cook and clean… it makes me feel a little different about the rltsp and I think thats what makes me resent his single dad situation. I’m def not ready to get married and take on the step-mom role just yet.

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        • LM, leave now. It will get worse and him having you take care of the kids tells me he thinks of you as their caregiver. My experience with single dads has shown me most want to remarry either to have more money (often the ex takes all their money)or to have them in a caregiver position so they don’t have to. You are 26, there are plenty of childless men out there. Heck, I’m 43 and there are still childless men at my age. Trust me, it’ll get worse.

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          • Second that – the #1 reason I have never dated anyone with kids is – if I’m not having my own kids because I don’t want to wipe arses, why the hell would I want to wipe someone else’s??
            A large slice of not having children is the inequality of carer work for me, the fact that you get to be the sucker who carries the little darling for 9mths, high potential for detrimental changes to physicality and THEN I GET TO DO ALL THE DRUDGE WORK FOR 21YRS! screw that…..lol.

            There’s also a warning bell there for me…..like – someone had to go to court and argue for the custody of those kids and now that same someone is foisting them on to you/his parents/outsourced to India. Screams nasty piece of work to me, someone who has just gotten custody as a parting shot at his ex. If he gave a damn about the children he would be ‘babysitting’ them himself.

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          • I’ve noticed most dads on dating sites either seek women without kids for financial or caregiver reasons. That’s not to say all dads in general, just ones I’ve seen. I’ve asked these men and they assume women without kids either wanted them or are desperate so they prey on non moms. It goes without saying many hate their ex and want to stick it to the new woman for some reason. I’ve actually had men try to get me to buy things for the kids or even take them on dates. No thanks I’ll pass.

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          • I’m sorry LMAO outsourced to india? good one. I’m just scrolling through the comments as a 23 yr old gf to a 49 year old in a 3.5 yr relationship… I’m coming to feel like a housekeeper! the kids don’t do shit but ask for money/complain about being bored but refuse to do anything constructive/ask me whats for dinner from 10am then refuse to eat what prepare (bf says I cook better than the ex wife and his mother) but they eat their mothers slop/ignore me when we are supposed to be having a discussion as a pseudo-family… and he won’t discipline them… they’re rude. Especially the youngest… she makes jokes about punching me in the face and I have to do everything I can to remember shes 12… he’s afraid to be too nice to me around them in case they might get jealous. jealous how? they can only be jealous if they fancy themselves to be daddy’s little girlfriends. they’re his kids not his SO. In a sort of bitter jest I begun to refer to them (with him alone) as the wives and myself as the mistress as that is pretty much how it’s playing out. it annoys him to death probably because it’s true. I’m ready to jump ship… he always tries to be very nice when I’m about to leave but I’m over it kinda…(and now im deeply entrenched in his world… his mother demanded i be at her 80th out of town birthday weekend– he’s trying to extend it and make a “date” out of it… but it doesn’t feel like it’s MY time… i feel like he’s squeezing me in like a dirty affair) there are so many nice guys in their 20s who are very interested and I keep blowing them off for this. and I’m not even effing married… i gave him the PRIMETIME of my youth and I need to get out before I’m 35 with NOTHING TO SHOW but effing bitterness.

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          • Get out now. You deserve better. Most single dads want childless women to support the kids and to help with things like cooking. Very few just want a companion, otherwise they’d go after single moms more.

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      • just focus on your own kids and try to be mother of the year yourself. your #1 priority should be those kids, not your man.

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      • Men treating their women women they sleep with that way, not as no.1 is degrading and disrespectful to their women.
        If a man is getting sex from a woman, and if she is his best friend and his life partner, he should appreciate the woman the most and regard as No.1.
        Children are children. Children are not lovers or friends of their parents.
        And children grow up anyway. Only child of a single parent can be problematic. because the only child has not playmates around so has to want to stay with his her single parent all the time.
        Parents are not children’s servants.
        Children of single parents tent to be doted and spoild often because parents miss them a lot and feel somehow sorry for them. But children should not be spoiled.
        Children have to respect parents. but nowadays, it is the other way around, single parents adore and dote their children and they get spoiled and they get whatever they want. Also single mother and father of the child compete to win popularity int he competition game.
        The lover of these single parents have nothing to do with this shit game!!!

        Putting effort on keeping a lover’s relationship and tie is first that is because
        Parents and children are blood-tied. So as long as parents treat and love their children decent or more than decent, their tie and love will stay forever.but when Non=blood ties people try to build love and faith it takes 100 % effort. It takes lots of effort to reach ultimate true love.
        Lovers who have sex with each other are partners. they are the most important.

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    • L.M., how old are you and how old is the bf? Have you discussed whether he wants to have additional kids, since he already has 3 (or if he does not, are you OK with that)? Plus consider if he does, it’s not the typical mom-dad-baby, you may shoulder more the parenting of your child as he will be busy with his 3. Also, blending families can be hard. You will want to do stuff for your child that may conflict with what he wants to do for his, time or budget-wise. Either way, his kids are NOT going anywhere, so if these feelings are growing, you really need to talk them out with him. You definitely don’t want to commit to marrying or having kids unless these feelings resolve, otherwise they could blow up down the road and hurt everyone involved even more. Maybe give it some time, family counseling, serious talks with the bf about your long-term goals and how he can make time for you despite his obligations as a dad. If it doesn’t work, you can cut your losses. If it does, you can go to the next level. Hope that helps!

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      • JAM, I am 26 years old and he is 37 years old. He does want more children, which its definitely a good thing but he is a lot older than me so I worry, does he really want a baby when he’s 40? and Im afraid he won’t be as “hands on” as he is now with his children with our children. He used to always make an effort to make alone time for him and I, but as the relationship progressed he didn’t as much anymore. Our alone time is when his children go to bed, thats not really fair. I have talked to him about how I felt about what I wrote and he listened and said that if I feel that way that maybe he’s not the right guy for me, which he could be right because if he was then maybe it wouldn’t bother me, but honestly after talking it out and letting it out, I felt so much better about how I was feeling before. I go back and forth on a lot of things, I understand his children are not at fault for any of this and they are innocent, I do understand that they need their dad’s love and attention, my problem is being okay with everything and moving forward and not letting certain things bother me. I should just be able to let certain things go and be happy with him, unfortunately, thats not the case every time. He tells me I’m the one and that he knows he wants to marry me, but he has his reservations about our relationship because of what I have said to him, I can’t blame him but it’s so contradicting so I don’t know anymore. I love him and I deeply care for him but is he the right guy for me?

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        • no he is not. between the kids and the age difference, why are you even questioning this?! there are SO many single guys still in your age range who have never been married or had kids. Run, don’t walk.

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    • LM – I am a single Dad of a 4yr. old part of the time. So 1 kid and Part Time being the key operatives. Having 3 FULL TIME is a whole different story. You are now in 5th place full time. So kids are priority #1, #2 and #3 then JOB to support kids. My advice – get out and get out now. He is probably an awesome guy and Dad, but you really need alone time and to feel special. So don’t blame yourself, just deal with the heartbreak and find someone else who is going to make you feel special….

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      • I wish you would have seen my post sooner. I should have left and I didn’t and now I find myself in a more complicated predicament. I’m now pregnant with his child and my world has now turned upside down 😦

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      • I actually am still in this rltsp, and we are now expecting our own child. It was unplanned and I’m honestly having so many mixed feelings. Abortion is not an option for me but now things have just gotten a lot more complicated. I feel like my child is going to feel neglected from his/her father because he’s got three other children to worry about so a part of me feels like walking away from the rltsp would be best because that way I don’t have to worry about taking on the “responsibility” of three other children and just be able to focus on my child and he can focus on his children. Idk I’m very hormonal and over-sensitive, I feel like my child is not going to receive the same love and attention a first child for both parents would receive and it’s heartbreaking. If you are not happy now, walk away and like Mike said it would be heartbreaking at first but you will move on and find someone else.

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        • How is your situation now LM? I can really emphasise why it must make u feel like that- but regardless you are now having this child together as a couple.. so u really should talk to him about it, and I am sure he can reassure you that he this child will mean the same to him! He prob don’t understand how u feeling!

          I found the strength to walk away it’s been two weeks and it’s been heart breaking- as I also have to see him at work daily!! But he also said to me he not sure about kids in the future as he gets older ( he is 42 and I am 30 he already has two girls 15 and 11) I couldn’t take this at all as I would defo want kids… plus always being second priority! I am heartbroken and seeing him at work all the time adds to it 

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    • Kevin this is amazing thank you am currently dating a single dad of a 3 year old boy I’ve been with him for almost a year and half now and things between us are not so great between us am very much in love with him because he is different than dating a single dad but we have so many problems because his family is very involved in his life along with still having attachments to his ex gf the mother of his child I didn’t want to date him in the beginning because of this but he pursed me for a long time unfortunely the tables have turned and he’s no longer as interested in me due to all the problems we’ve had from all the people in his life but I really want to make things work because I am in love with him although at times I want to walk away and never look back but I feel he could be the one if we learned his how to deal with our problems better … Thanks for the advise .

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    • Get out. It sounds like you answered your own question. As for me, I was the same as you, expected to get as much as I gave, but it isn’t happening for you and it wasn’t for me. This is a very common feeling. Just google it a bit and you won’t feel so alone. Have children with someone who doesn’t have children. It will be a strong family unit. Don’t settle.

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    • The same thing happened to me. I am a man who was experiencing exactly the same thing over time with my girlfriend and her 14 year old son. Slowly the resentment creeps in and you start to doubt yourself and your own happiness. I would bury my feelings and thought I just had to adjust as the child will always come first but it is very hard not to let the fact that there are more than one person in the relationship. Just adjusting to individual differences is hard enough then throw a teenager into the mix and the single parent relationship problems that have arisen over the years (being both good cop and bad cop as a single mother). You also feel guilty that you can’t deal with the situation and want to do all you can for everyone else but find you are still not given enough back so the relationship seems unbalanced. It’s so tough when you really want kids like I do and my g/f did too but at 38 was pushing to have a child in the near future where I was still not sure I wanted the whole ready made family. Who knows how long the kid will want to stay at home? Ultimately it is how comfortable and happy you feel. Just wanted to add a mans perspective as I think it is very similar regardless of which gender you are.

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  31. I am a single dad with a 6 year old son. Divorced. We split custody 50/50. We alternate weekends. I am currently dating a woman I met online for 4 months now. My current girlfriend still has not met my son just yet. We’ve talked about it and kind of playing by ear. I don’t want to pressure her. I have met more than 200 women via online dating in the past 3 years after my divorce of a 6 year marriage. Not any of them ever worked out far enough for me to want to introduce my son to. Many reasons for we may not always know. And it says a lot about this current woman whom I want to introduce my son to. I love her very much. And we get along quite well and we both work very hard to communicate every day, and whenever possible. I see her sometimes during the week and even on most weekends, when my folks can help me babysit. I have had plenty of women openly turn me down because I am a single dad and they don’t want to deal with the baggage. I get it. I understand. As much as my son is a priority to me, my current girlfriend is also of priority. I put in the effort to openly communicate, do things with her, spend time with her, at the same time spend time with my son whenever deemed possible. I am not questioning anything. Nor do I want to push it. Going with the flow with what life throws at me. Sometimes I think when you over analyze and question too much, it usually results in the negatives. I respect my current girlfriend very much. She has no kids. Never been married. But she wants kids and wants to be married. She’s intelligent. Smart. A bit wild and crazy. And I love her. But with love comes respect and responsibility. She has a huge circle of friends that I am ok with her hanging out with her girl friends and guy friends regularly. And she still makes time for me, usually setting her weekends aside for me whenever possible. Trust. I trust her. If there is no trust, this relationship would have ended long before. Communication. We openly communicate. That also includes future plans with her and I, things that may come up, and I have to cancel on a weekend or a date with her. I try to understand her position and how she thinks, or feels at all times. I am not a good problem solver, but I make every attempt. Just as I did, to try and save my previous marriage until I absolutely can not anymore. No relationship is easy. Dating is not easy. Nor finding a lifelong partner. Nor hoping this person you date will be with you for the rest of your lives and meet all of your needs and dreams. There are no guarantees in life. In anything. Sometimes one has to lower their expectations. Ultimately it boils down to: are you happy? Are you? Dating a single parent or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters are, are you both happy? We aren’t even talking about kids. Sometimes you may date someone that has a nightmare of ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends, like my current girlfriend. But I learn to accept it and deal with it. It’s their past. Their history. My current girlfriend makes me feel like priority and she makes me feel loved. She shows respect of my past, and I do the same with her. I try not to question us nor question where things are going. As of right now it’s going great. Why screw it up by questioning things that don’t better your relationship and result in hate, anger, resentment, mistrust, stress, pain or anything? Life is quite short may I remind you. I mean aren’t we all striving for happiness? If you don’t want to date a single parent, don’t. All I am reading are questions and questions people have about their own relationships. Stop questioning. Communicate everything. It’s very important. Trust. If there is no trust, end it now. Respect. Respect each others’ everything. Baggage or no baggage. Happy? If not, move on. Love is simple. Don’t complicate it.

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  32. Thank you all forbeing so honest. I was in that situation for two year, he had a 5yr old. It seemed fine at first but gradually the resentment set in. Although i have dating guys with kids before but as i wasn’t ready to settle with them it was fine, i just did other things when they had them and let em deal with their own drama. It’s a very different story living with em. And through it all the ones i really felt sorry for was the women. It must have been difficult enough having kids with someone that can’t stick at a relationship but to then see him dating or having kids with someone else! Horrible. Really think before you get mixed up with these dudes…..if he left her her his kids he’ll leave you too, but even if he doesn’t your kids and you will have to live with the fact that this guy has another family. his attention will always be split. And ladies if he didn’t even marry her come on, this screams commitment issue’s. But why take my word for it, i wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d lived it. So give it a go, i guarantee 98% of you will get online writing the same thing. …what happened to the days when people worked at marriage and staying with their family. Both men and women that made a commitment to each other giving children a stable home. Some men are so willingly to have kids but not marry its sad cause all it screams is, i love you but not enough to spend then rest of my life with you, but you can have my kid though! Laughable.

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    • Huliy, great points. While I don’t date dads I make a distinction because men who have kids and are divorced due to a valid reason He was abused or cheated on)versus something stupid, versus someone who never married the mother. A man who was the victim is often reluctant to get involved again. The other divorced guys seek out women to support their kids, whether financially or through things like babysitting. When I did online the majority of dads by far were guys who divorced for insane reasons or were to blame, like a cheater (lots of cheaters). As for the men who never married the mom, while a few were men who got their teen girlfriends pregnant when they were teens, the majority were not. I came across many who had illegitimate kids by different women. These guys have no morals and will do the same to other women. The reality is most of the decent divorced dads, the ones who were the victims and don’t have much baggage are generally not on dating sites. They are being matched up by friends or aren’t interested in dating. The dads on dating sites are usually those who most women don’t want. This has been my experience with online and dads (though I don’t date them they constantly contact me).

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  33. After reading some of these where people were in these relationships with people who already have children, suddenly find themselves pregnant, I thank the maker I always protect myself because I don’t want to end up on the other side of the fence. If you want to find that special person who will treat you as a top priority, make you feel special, be share the joys of bringing your first child into the world, someone with kids is not the route to go. They’ve already been there and done that and sure it’s “somewhat” new because your pregnancy would be new, but it’d just be the same roller coaster, different circus for them.

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    • I start by not having sex with fathers. I truly feel for those who find themselves pregnant but protection and avoidance is the key. A former roommate was sleeping with a man with 4 kids with 4 women (none he married)and ended up baby mama 5. She knew better, knew he wouldn’t stick around or marry her yet she still had sex.

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  34. Here’s my story: began living with him in 1992. I was 24 and never wanted kids. He was 48 and had adult children–2 sons in Maryland, 2 daughters two counties over–and one young grandson he adored. In my youthful naivety, I thought: “But, his kids are grown…” Life happened: the mother of the young grandson passed away shortly after having twin sons with her second husband…the younger daughter had a child out of wedlock in between periods of drug addiction and staying clean…ex-wife got custody of the oldest and youngest of the 4 grandsons…20+ years of these grandsons back and forth at our house, drug binges, one son in and out of jail with his mother calling my guy for bail money. Only the younger son has been a “model” adult child: responsible, hard-working, handles his business, only calls our house with good news. I thought, in 2009 when my guy retired and his grandsons older, it would finally be all about us. Instead: beloved grandson died suddenly; youngest grandson in and out of trouble; drug addicted daughter (who was in Alabama), jailbird son, and twin grandsons (who were North Carolina) all flocked back to my guy’s ex-wife’s house two counties over. Add to all that the fact that my guy is emotionally needy for his kids and grandkids and enables them to be dependent on him. Now I have all these grown people in and out, as my guy believes that family should be allowed to visit whenever and as often as they like, and should stay as long as they want. On the other hand, both my parents, younger brother and I all live within 30 minutes of one another. I see my brother and his family perhaps once a month, my mother a few times a month, my dad and his wife once in a blue moon. We love each other. We LIKE each other. But we have LIVES and BOUNDARIES. When my mom was dating someone a few years ago, if I drove by her house and saw his truck parked out front, I kept moving–and he didn’t even live there. I call my father to check on him and chat, not to ask for anything. Sorry to ramble on so, but my point is that I can totally relate to those who don’t want to date people with children, minor or adult; and we should not be scorned because of it. My experience has left me with this thought: I will never date a daddy or granddaddy ever again.

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    • Liz, from 1992 to 2009 is a long damn time to deal with all the bs u dealt with and these weren’t even this guys children, they were grandkids of his kids that are grown adults. Sounds utterly ridiculous to me.
      My other question just out of curiosity is, where was the ring??? All that bs you dealt with for that long and this man was never your husband???
      I hope you learned another very valuable lesson. Never Ever do you go through that much bs for a man that your not legally married to…please!
      God Bless

      J

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      • I was wondering that myself. No way would I put up with that by a guy I wasn’t married to. I wouldn’t even tolerate by a guy I was married to. However it brings up the important fact that just because the kids are grown doesn’t mean the drama is over.

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        • Dawn, exactly my point. When a man says, “But my kids are grown”, I give them the Readers Digest version of my experience with this man, then kind of let them chew on it. Most don’t comment, as if they realize their own kids are not much better.

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          • Yeah I’ve seen that problem a lot. I’ve seen the step mother having to raise the grandchildren from her husband and even the kids moving back home. Then there are issues if the kids get married such as the drama or financial aspects. I hope you can find someone better and you will.

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          • Thanks, Dawn. Just today, a coworker of mine was telling me about a recent hookup between two other colleagues of ours, “Sam” and “Lindy”. They are both nearly fifty and each is child-free. I mused to my coworker: “See? There’s hope for me yet…I have faith that there are many more age-appropriate, child-free men out there for women like me.”

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          • There are plenty of people without kids so don’t give up hope. I know I’d rather be single than date a dad even if it means I am always alone. The fact is more and more people aren’t having kids, especially professional people. The only problem is many don’t do online but there are ways to meet them.

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          • I’ve actually wondered how one would go about starting a child-free group in their town. You know, kind of a social thing.

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          • Maybe put something on MeetUp? That might work. I know there have been attempts to do childfree dating sites but most are small except in larger cities. The problem I’ve had finding a childfree man (a man who didn’t have and didn’t want kids)was that most didn’t want marriage either. A childless man (one open to kids but also fine without any)would be okay but many do want kids and then use it as an excuse to date younger. Guys who don’t care either way (or open to adoption) seem to be harder to find but out there. I either seem to come across men with kids, guys without who want them to the point of obsession (these are usually the men seeking younger)or childfree who want no commitment at all. I know there are variations but these are the types I’ve come into contact with.

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          • Dawn: Will definitely have to check out MeetUp. Btw, I love the way you’ve made the clear distinction between a child free man and a childLESS one, as many seem to think the terms are interchangeable. It seems that no matter what age or situation, men seem to have more options in the dating world than women like us, and that kinda sucks.

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          • Just curious, why is marriage the goal? I just wonder why people feel this is a greater level of commitment than just being together. Is it because breaking up involves other people (authorities) so you feel it would last longer simply because the disgruntled partner couldn’t be bothered doing the paperwork?
            Please – I’m not having a jab at marriage, I just don’t get it….especially that I have seen ‘boyfriends’ last longer than ‘husbands’ in a lot of cases. Why do people equate marriage with stability?

            Having said that – I refer to my ‘other half’ as my husband. I do this because we have been co-habiting in a sexual relationship consistently for more than 2yrs. In Australia that makes us for all legal and financial purposes a ‘de-facto’ relationship, making him my de-facto husband. These are also referred to as ‘natural’ spouses.

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          • I am pretty conservative and just believe marriage is better. There are many more benefits to marriage versus living together. I wouldn’t date a man without marriage being the ultimate goal. I’m not going to marry just to marry but no interest in dating long term without the wedding.

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          • Just a word of warning on CF groups….they can tend to be a little unhinged. I have been CF for over 20yrs and early in my journey thought the same thing, tired of everyone being so kidcentric I just wanted to meet some like-minded CF people. I contacted some online groups and we all met for dinner…..and I found myself backing slowly away from the rabid loonies.
            At the risk of an endless round of Breeder Bingo, you are better off just talking about this with people to get a feel for their position. This is good policy to avoid the other trap too – the boy who says he’s childfree to get in your pants because he is thinking “she’ll change her mind!” in typical breeder bingo style. I have had several of these. Thankfully I now have a genuine childfree bloke but it took until I was 36 to find him.

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          • Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. The child free site was full of extremists. It’s one thing not to want kids, another to hate all parents and kids. What surprised me was how many were hardcore leftists. You’d think more would be a libertarian instead of supporting increased taxes knowing parents will get more of the money. Some were hateful people and would argue for no reason.

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      • Lol! Jayla, you are absolutely right! Funny, we were talking–hypothetically–of what I’d do if I came into an obscene amount of cash. He had the cojones to tell me all he’d expect of me is a new car, at which point I looked him straight in the eyes and said “I’m good enough to shack up with, but not marry, after 20+ years and you think I would buy you a car??” He went completely silent, dropped his head. Also had the nerve to suggest his daughter house- and dog sit when we are on vacation. I said, simply, “No”, but my mind is screaming: “Are you out of you MIND?! This woman stole from and committed ID theft against her MOTHER. I’m only the woman her dad shacks up with. What do you think she would do if left alone like that in OUR house??” But, as I said earlier, you are SO right, and I have no explanation for sticking it out so long, except, fear…laziness…complacency…maybe all three..??

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        • I used to post at a child free board but the extremists ruined it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I get that viewpoint but the ones who hated all parents and kids isn’t my thing, I can’t stand misbehaving kids or parents who believe the kids are the center of the universe but don’t hate all. I’m kind of somewhere in between because I was rather mixed about having kids. I wasn’t gung ho to have kids but wasn’t against it either. So yeah I try to make a distinction between the two groups because there is a difference. Ironically with dating I only came across the dads who think those without kids are lacking something and how dare those of us without kids reject them because being patents make them better.

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      • I think there is a common theme here which is, unless he is wealthy, what the kids need financially ALWAYS comes first. Since we, the women, continue to live with them without a ring, what is their motivation to change anything? (At least that’s how it is in my home).

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    • one question: what was in this for you? You’re the age of his children and devoted your 20s, 30s (beyond?!) to someone with this much drama, baggage and NO RING??!!!

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  35. I know I’m very late to this discussion, but I’m just reading and musing over some of the posts. I cannot speak from a standpoint of a woman involved with a man with kids when she either a) has kids of her own from a previous relationship, or b) has no kids of her own, but wants kids someday. I can only offer food for thought to women who don’t have and don’t want kids: his child(ren) will always come before you, even when they become adults and by then SHOULD be productive people. No matter how much you do and how little they do for him. The mother(s) of his child(ren) will always have reason(s) to call him. Forever. He may have part-time custody initially, but with one life-changing event get full-time custody. I once read somewhere that, contrary to popular belief, it’s men–not women–that seek familial connections more as they get older; that means that as he ages, he’ll want his kids and grandkids around more than ever, and I suspect this need increases if he harbors any guilt (he feels he wasn’t around as much as he should have been when the kids were young, he feels he “deserted” the child’s or children’s mother or mothers…). Think long and hard before you plunge into a relationship with a man with children, especially if cohabitation is on the table.

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  36. Hi Everyone. Whew! I was feeling so alone with my situation but after reading all of your posts, I realize, I am definitely NOT alone. I met my “boyfriend” (I say that in quotes because I am a middle aged woman who shouldn’t have to call her partner of 5 years that, I’d much rather have a husband, however, not in the cards for this relationship). His children are both teenagers under 18. They arrive at our home every other weekend and chaos always ensues. It has been getting worse and worse as time passes. We purchased a larger house JUST so they could have their own rooms when they stay with us. I thought that was truly a good faith gesture but seems to have amounted to very little respect. I have been THIRD for the last 5 years and I am finally getting to the point where I just cannot live like this anymore. The kids walk around our home like they own it, eating crackers on our white carpets, leaving their things everywhere, leaving the toilet seat up, listening to the TV at level 100! I am a pretty zen gal so this all drives me over the edge. Their father does his very best to try to ease my discomfort but at the end of the day, I realize it just isn’t for me. The reason we never had children and the fact that we are not married has a lot to do with the fact that he supports his ex because she’s never had a real job and she’s living with another man! He is broke all the time and since I don’t have kids and want to do things but he can’t ultimately I am stuck living like I do have two kids. I feel like I’m sounding like a SELFISH B! What to do! The thought of dating at my age seems like a NIGHTMARE! Help ladies, help!

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    • There are still men out there without kids, but even if you can’t find them, being alone sounds better.I once dated a man supporting his ex and never again. He expected me to support him and his kids and to be content going to fast food restaurants.

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      • Exactly. I like to travel but since he can’t afford it , I am responsible for paying for BOTH of us when on rare occasions (once every 2 years! ) we do travel. Ridiculous.

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        • The money reason is why it’s important to know the situation before dating. I dated a dad so broke I had to pay if I wanted a nice date. I resented it because his ex got nice dates and was supported by him while I got scraps. Never again.

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          • Ha! Yep, I can relate to that too. She lives in a FREE HOUSE gets her car insurance paid for and hasn’t had a real job EVER! She didn’t finish high school and has been “taken care of” her ENTIRE LIFE. I work very hard and spend hundreds on groceries, dinners out and house supplies. I’m at the breaking point now after 5 years of him being broke. I do not want to live alone but the chaos of living like this is unbearable.

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          • That sounds horrible. I knew if I married the one guy I’d end up going broke and supporting him and his family. I live alone but preferable to any of my money going towards an ex. You can did someone better and you deserve better.

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    • Zoi, sorry to hear about all the drama you have going on around you. Unfortunately, it most likely will get worse as time goes on, especially if their daddy raises them to be inconsiderate people and encourages them to feel as if the home you share with him is theirs, and to feel “comfortable” and be without boundaries.

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  37. I agree. I’m “dating” a man with two kids with two different moms. Child support and all that drama just no. I’m over my situation and opted to just be friends.

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    • The more baby mamas the worst it gets. I’ve met guys with multiple baby mamas and ugh no way. That shows he’s not the most upstanding guy either.

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  38. I can’t stand dating Single Dad’s. I am so sick of hearing “their” issues with “their” kids. I have everything to offer a great guy in my age group so why should I settle for his baggage when I am bringing none of that to the table with me? Single Dad’s get so pissed if you dare mention that you don’t want to be around their kids. I mean, come on. I am the one sleeping with him, relaxing him, reducing his stress. I am the one making changes to my already busy life to work around his kid’s schedule. The thing is, these guys are usually broke too. I knew a man last year with a lot going for him, 6’2″, perfect body, super handsome face, killer smile, great job, income well over $170,000 per year. I truly felt that I had found, “the one.” He had (2) kids, ages (13) and (17) from his previous marriage. The oldest was out of the house a lot but the younger one still shared between him and his ex wife. That child was so spoiled and she got everything she asked for. His “ex wife” never worked, got the big house in the divorce, and she spent her days taking “selfies” and going on expensive vacations with HIS money. She had it made. What did I get? Nothing but heartache dealing with his bratty child and his empty pockets. What a shame too because I was falling madly in love with him. Him and I matched on every single level except his spoiled children and the “ex wife” who refused to remarry, or get off her lazy bum and get a job. It became too much. I left him. He chased me for months afterwards but I refused his calls. He’s still trying to find a woman from last I heard. I however moved on, met this really great guy, good job, medium income, owns a nice house, no debt, nice body, cute face and best of all, no ex wife and no children. I had to lower my stardards a bit for this new guy but it has been well worth it, we have a quiet life, no drama, lots and lots of love making, we travel and he’s a very kind person. Keep looking single girls without children. You will find a man without all that baggage if you just keep applying yourself.

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    • Great post Susie. Thats what these single dads don’t get, why we have to give up a lot, they don’t. Not to mention we often get the honor of supporting the family. I know women who married these men and the ex sued for more support. In some states (Illinois where I live is one) the judge can award more support and alimony depending on the new spouse. One guy I dated had an ex who informed me she intended to do that if he remarried. He did and she sued the new wife for more money. When I’d mention on dating sites I didn’t want to support someone else’s family I was called selfish. I’m far from selfish, I help out all people but don’t want to support a family I had no role in planning. I also don’t want to have plans come after his kids or ex. I know all about settling. Because I refuse to date dads I’ve had to lower my standards. The guy I’m into in has a drinking problem he is dealing with (part of the reason we are just friends), running a business that takes up a lot of time, a mom he helps out and lives with, but the possibility of dating him (he is kind and caring and loves animals) is more preferable than dating a dad. I’d rather be alone than dating a dad.

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    • Wow Susie.. You just spoke everything in my heart I cried reading this. I’m 19 dating a single dad , hes 27, 3 kids and a fairly new baby, i cry every night thinking how i put myself here. He’s an amazing guy and everything, but i can get over a whole lotta stuff.. thanks for your post. i feel the same way you do

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  39. I dated a dad with two kids and I was always second best and the kids hated me even though I was super nice to them and bought them stuff all the time. They were jealous that I was spending time with their dad. I’m glad the relationship didn’t work out because I’m so much happier now. I’ve since dated guys who had no kids and the difference has been like night and day. I am the center of attention as opposed to having to go on family dates where the dad barely pays attention to me and the kids ignore me. I don’t have my own kids and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to dating dads. The single guys with no kids give me priority and treat me like a princess as opposed to the dads who are only adoring in the beginning.

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    • I am SO happy to have found this! I thought I was totally alone. Mary, you said it: I have been ADORED in the beginning. Worshipped! Then reality sets in…oh, right I have kids. I have an angry ex wife. Etc. I get brushed aside. All the promises made…suddenly they can’t be kept. I really don’t have much hope that I’ll find a child-free man but at least I know it’s not ME. I will never again attempt a relationship with a man with kids he has to take care of. I won’t chance the heartache. I was expected to be understanding, loving, uncomplaining ALL the time, AND pay for far more than my share. Never again. To have a woman forever in my life because she can manipulate the kids against their father, no no no!

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    • I expericed the same.
      I am woman without a kid. I turned 40 years old lately. So I’m giving up having a child for the rest of my life as its getting late. The man that I was dating with has one 6 years old daughter other than grown up four children. He does not have good relationships with the three and he is trying his best to bring up his youngest child that is 6 years old. And he is financial un established. Bread earning every day. He neither has time nor money nor job only bread earning day by day.
      His daughter is the priority always . When he has spare time he meets me. He never bought me flowers spinner nothing. I treat him even though I’m poor too.
      In the beginning I thought that this may work out but it doesn’t. As I live alone without one family member I need to talk to hi when I need to talk to him for nesecessary matters. Blah blah blah…. All the same a show can now imagin e if you experienced.
      I’m never the first priority. He has his daughter s picture in front of his bed and around his house but not one of me. I had bad relationships previously and because of that I could have to children and will not have children for the rest of my life. So I deserve a lots of love from a man, that is a lover. This guy can never give enough of that to me. Even in the future, he will always think of his two female children.
      Wheater it is Romantic love or filial love, family love, they are all human love. It s natural that we want to be cared as number one.
      I just want be treated a s number one by the man I give my love as my number one
      It si not fair that I give all my love to him and he takes priority closest attention to his kid and and love to his kid.
      If I were a woman with kids or if I will have kids it could be different but in my case men with kids especially young kids don’t work.
      I felt disgusted. I felt relieved to know that it is natural that feel what I feel. Jealousy and disgust.
      The disgust is that the kid reminds me of the result of the sex with the man s ex wife and the intimacy.
      I will never ever go in there again.
      I should take care of myself.
      It hurts a bit to break up as he and I loved each other. At one point I found my limit after uncountable times of not replying to me on the phone when I needed to talk to him for very important things. They happened over and over because he was dealing the most important things in his life with his daughter.
      I will never do this to My self again.

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  40. I am so glad I found this blog. I just got back into the world of online dating after being divorced for two years and am flinging myself in this situation. I just met a very nice guy, but he has a daughter in her late teens (info that was NOT in his profile – it said he had no kids). I’m not happy that he wasn’t honest about this. But in general it seems most of the guys I meet online in my age group (mid/late 30s here) are single dads. Like you I don’t want any drama, don’t want to be the wicked stepmother and be told “you can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mother.”

    What especially bothers me is that I’ve specified in my profile that I prefer matches with no kids. Yet it’s mostly the single dads show interest in me, and hardly anyone without kids.

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    • JmRckGrl78, I feel your pain. My profile clearly states no dads yet these idiots contact me and get mad when I reject them! I too have had guys state they have no kids, only to turn around and admit they do. Part of it is the age because I’m 44 and online couldn’t seem to attract men without kids. It’s because a lot are seeking younger (at least this has been my experience). Many others don’t have kids and aren’t online because most single men I know offline don’t have kids and don’t do online. I’m tired of them contacting me because I was blunt about not dating them. A guy who lied would be a no way.

      I also blame society for these men contacting childless. We are often told we have to accept anything or be alone. Men are never told this. We are told we are picky. I had seen a dating set up on a talk show and there was this woman who stated she didn’t want to be set up with a dad. What did the talk show host do? He gave her a choice of three men, and all three had kids! In fact one had two kids out of wedlock and another had a kid out of wedlock, and the third had two kids and an exwife. He then said “people have baggage, deal with it”. I would have been angry. My mom said I should see if I could be fixed up this way (apparently the show takes not far from me) but I know the same would happen. When I gave an interview to a writer about my online experiences with dads I had these people write in and said I’ll be a crazy cat lady and alone because I’m so picky. No, maybe if people would pickier with who they had kids with I would have less of them to deal with because either they’d be childless or with the person they had kids with.

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      • Jen: this blog is about us, the childfree women, but I’m just tossing this out there: in terms of the dating sites where single dads contact the childfree women, this apparently is a problem with childfree men as well, where many single moms are chomping at the bit to snag a (happily) childfree man. It kinda leaves me scratching my head over it, especially when the childfree individual outright states in his/her profile: “No single moms/dads, please”. Seriously, I think some single parents seek out childfree mates because they are quite the selfish ones: they want someone to accept THEIR baggage, but don’t want to be saddled with the same baggage that comes when dating someone with kids. Just a thought…

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        • That’s exactly what it is. I couldn’t begin to mention all the dads who contact me strictly because I have no kids, and many state they don’t want to deal with other children. They want to come first and have us sacrifice for them and their kids. Many did mention they were seeking women who could help support the kids financially or things like babysitting. I’m sure it’s the same with moms contacting men without kids. I don’t get the mentality, I don’t contact men not seeking someone like me, why do they seek someone who doesn’t want them? Don’t they realize many of us prefer single hood over playing stepmother to their kids or dealing with the ex?

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          • Dawn, I couldn’t have said it better. I’m also amused by fathers of adult children who are quick to point out that their kids are grown, as if that little detail really makes any difference. I’ve learned the hard way after falling in love with and living with a man who’s both a dad and granddad. I tell anyone now: I never want another man with children. That includes minor children, adult children, stepchildren, foster children, “adopted” children, grandchildren….

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          • The funniest one came from this guy who told me he wasn’t a real father because he rarely saw his kid and didn’t support them. No, that makes him worse. But yep by no kids it means that. I’m not interested in being a step grandma either.

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      • oh i love you!!! I am totally in the same boat as you. Why am I snotty and unwavering because I said I didnt want to date a man with kids? I am 44, i just took my oldest son to college and my youngest just got his drivers license. I have children and have no problem dating a man with children I just dont want “little’s”. I have explained this to several men. Great you have kids. Go enjoy them. I dont want to go to the zoo on field trips anymore. I dont want to wake up early on sunday to make everyone pancakes. I don’t want to have to split my time with your ex-wife and to deal with her when she’s not on her period. I GET IT. I really do thats why I dont want to do it again. More power to the women that can but this mommy has raised her babies and now it’s time for me to be selfish for me!
        sorry you men choose to have babies later in life and then realized you didnt wanna be with baby mamma. There is a woman out there that will love them with you, it just isnt me.
        Thanks for dinner.
        Buh-bye!

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        • That sounds very reasonable. I know many people who have grown kids and are done raising kids so they don’t want to deal with young kids. They get attacked because of it which I don’t get. The men who have been the nastiest have been with young kids and a dysfunctional situation, like several baby mamas or a bitter ex. No thanks I’ll pass.

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  41. An anecdote: Yesterday I came home after work, expecting to see five different cards, perhaps a kitschy balloon, and a few small gifts, or one BIG gift. After all, yesterday was Fathers Day, and my guy is always there when 54-year-old (employed) son needs a plane ticket or sporting event tickets, since sonny has no debit or credit card and needs Daddy to buy the tickets up front…or when 42-year-old (government handout) daughter needs cigarettes or gas money…or when her son, 19-year-old (employed) grandson, saunters in or blows up his granddad’s phone because he needs work done on his car…or if 24-year-old (employed) twin grandsons need a little help with something or another. Nothing. Not even a card. Last year, at least, the five of them all chipped in and got him a single card and a $6 ticket to a baseball game. I ask my guy where are all his goodies. Silence. Then: “Well, I didn’t see any of them today…” I said: “But, you saw them yesterday, right? Didn’t you guys meet up for something?” More silence. An uncomfortableness between us. He and I have no kids together, but each Fathers Day I pick up a small gift, usually something thoughtful. This year, I bought a bush hat made of the same material as those athletic towels that keep you cool when they’re wet. He works outside a lot in brutal Southern summer heat, and I thought the hat would be more comfortable than the heavy wet towel he usually puts on his head when he cuts grass. He loved the hat, used it for three days before possibly leaving it in someone’s car on Saturday. I found out on our way to the Y this morning. For a while, I was angry; I’m the only one that could be bothered to pick out a small gift for him, and he can’t be bothered to even hang on to it for the at least the entire season. He couldn’t understand WHY I was angry. Can’t figure out that little things like this are examples of much bigger issues, even though I’ve gone over it with him umpteen times. He fights me on seemingly every little thing, defends his adult offspring vehemently, yet I am the one who does the most for him, the one he depends on most. I said, “I buy things for you, you lose them, let them get stolen, or–worse–give them to someone else because you think it’s the thoughtful thing to do. But any crappy thing from your grown relatives you keep forever: the SSDD sweatshirt your brother gave you in the ’80s that’s way too small for you now, the tacky wind-up scrap metal car, the gaudy dust-catchers that I wouldn’t even put out at a yard sale…” I’m kind of past it now, with a note to self to quit buying even small gifts for him so easily. Meantime, I’m waiting. You know, just to see if any late Fathers Day cards or gifts come in for him…

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  42. Gosh, I’m so glad I came across this site but so wish I had have stumbled upon it 8 months ago, then again, I hadn’t much reason for doing a search for the subject at that time. I am 43, never married with no children. I’ve just been dumped by a man I fell very much in love with over my reaction to his communication with his ex wife. He knew I wanted to get married one day, I made that clear from the very start. I learned on the second date he’d had a vasectomy, so I made peace with the fact I would remain childless. He has one son who will be 12 in October. He was married for 22 years and has been separated for 5 years. He told me at the very start he would never remarry, nor was he likely to get divorced unless she instigated it.
    I should have had alarm bells ringing then and ran but we talked with such ease, had loads in common and chatted intensely and really formed a bond by which stage I was hooked. He has his son on Wed night, Thu after school for a few hours, Fri night and all day Sat until 6pm. It all got very intense very quickly, he felt ‘sure’ he’d met another life partner, we talked at length about moving in together and we seemed to be very happy. I met his son once (which the wife wasn’t told about).
    My concerns initially were more geared towards the lack of freedom to do things, lack of spontaneity due to care arrangements, even things like his inflexibility on the nights he has his son, meant if I wanted to do something on a Friday I had to find another friend to do it with as he wouldn’t swap nights with his wife. I was prepared to put up with this in the hope that eventually there would be a time when there was a degree of flexibility.
    My big problem was my jealousy over his communication with his ‘wife’. I couldn’t deal with the fact that he had daily communication with her, whether via text, phone calls, instagram, facebook etc. Now he was also in constant contact with me but I think I felt that he was still very much living the ‘family life’ and was still very emotionally attached to not just his son but her as well whilst I was providing the physical side of things.
    This caused a number of arguments which ultimately ruined things for him so he got out. I feel like he should have been clearer that there were actually 4 people in the relationship and always would be. I think the reason for my jealousy was that after 5 years he still wasn’t able to legally part from her. By way of explanation at ending things (via text I might add!!!) he stated not only were the arguments getting to him, not only is his son his number 1 priority, but he’s grateful for the relationship he has with his ex, not only as a mum but as a great friend too. I can’t compete with an almost 30yr thing between them.
    Not only will I not date a single dad again, I definitely won’t date someone who’s not divorced. I am heartbroken though. Sorry this has been so long!!!

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    • Ria that sounds horrible. Unfortunately when someone has kids the ex is always in the picture. It’s why it rarely works when it comes to childless people and parents. Don’t listen when people say there are no childless men. There are at all ages.

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      • Dawn, here in the UK they’re a bit of a rarity, but I know now I’m definitely not suited to someone so closely tied to their ex, I could accept the fact the son would always come first but think I deserve a little more than coming secondary to the ex wife also.

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  43. This is so true. Being a single mom for a long time, I thought being married to a wonderful guy with small kids is gonna be easy. I thought having raised good kids of my own (who are now adults) will make it easy starting a new life with a man with young kids. I was wrong. Before marrying my husband, I have been to relationships with single guys and it was so easy to handle cause I was their priority and they were mine. Now, most of the time I feel so alone with my issues while I am expected to help him with his (which are a lot!). Most times, my husband is focus on his child-support issues and how to arrange seeing his son which makes him send more emails to his ex-wife than to me. He doesn’t do anything romantic for me anymore cause he is so worried about maintaining relationship with his son with his ex. Btw, he has another young son who is with us. I cannot complain cause I chose this. It was ok at the start but it is beginning to take it’s toll and now I want to go back to being single. I was always up for a good challenge, but lately I am thinking it is really not worth it. I guess I need a really good help.

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    • Im sorry to hear your not happy… But I can completely understand.. My boyfriend left me to be with his sons and moved in with them and his ex..

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  44. What so guys with kids don’t deserve to be in another good relationship for the rest of their life? My partner has two kids ( like me) and there is no way she would trust being in a relationship with a childless man who just doesn’t get it! Men with kids, in my experience are much more mature, much more thoughtful and more importantly better with YOUR kids. Men do not grow up until they have had kids. Up until that moment they are just somebody else’s child.

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    • Everyone deserves to be happy but that doesn’t mean they deserve a specific person. I don’t know how many single dads tried to date me when I said no. They felt they deserved a childless woman though they had kids. They got downright mean to me. No, parents aren’t better nor does it mean greater responsibility. In face someone who is a parent through acts like not using birth control or having multiple partners is less responsible.

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    • I am with a man who’s child is 12 and I don’t have children. I love children yet, he doesn’t want anymore because of his shitty past marriage. Can’t seem to get over that after 11 years of being separated, and the drama every other weekend, between the ex and his daughter, mind games. I tried for 3 years, he just can’t move on, and I’m sick of all the drama. So, each case is different. I am a women that wants children, getting to late didn’t meet anyone to have any, but I am a better mother then her real mother. All she cares about is the next dam paycheque.selfish, greedy, ungrateful mother.

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      • I hear you Katy and I empathize. There is nothing worse for a man who is trying to be a good father to his kids to be treated like a walking ATM machine by his ex wife! It happens all the time and is in fact happening to me right now. However I have become very successful in my chosen career as a writer so success is the best revenge! It sounds like you are trying your hardest to do the right thing by your partners kids. My lawyer said to me that ex wives who remain greedy and bitter and never change do so for one reason. They are miserable with their choice. And they will take out their unhappiness on their ex spouse. Unfortunately their kids also suffer too. So they are also eternally selfish too!

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    • So if a man has kids but doesn’t look after them, is he automatically more responsible and mature just because he procreated? Marriage can make adults mature in many ways as well.

      I think that choosing a woman with kids makes complete sense since you are also a father.

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  45. After a couple of women I had excellent chemistry and just a great loving relationships with left after just a couple of months I wondered if my children made a difference as a full time dad, I realise after reading all these statements that yes, women are selfish and I need to take them off the pedestal of loving, giving humans and face the reality, I don’t run around after my children or prioritise or obsess about them in any way but it seems women want it all, very sad and reluctantly I may have to become a mgtow ( men going their own way ) and give up on love, how sad women are generally so selfish.

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    • I bet you’re one of those guys who doesn’t date single moms yet goes after childless women. It’s not selfish for a woman without kids not to want to date dads. We give too much, such as time and money and drama and get nothing in return. No, it’s selfish to want women without kids because I know why these men want women !ike me. Been there, done that.

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    • Hi Simon. I can appreciate why you are frustrated.
      Just wanted to provide some context. I have been with my soul mate for 6 years. His children are 11 and 14. We were not able to get married nor was I able to have kids because of his financial situation. My heart breaks every day feeling I have missed out on my purpose in this life but instead chose him over my own happiness. The hurt and angst is unbareable some days. I don’t think it is selfish to want to be put first especially after all I have given up but this will never happen because his kids are always #1.
      We each have a slightly different story but at the end of the day I think we all just want as much love back as we are puting out there. Not selfish just fair.
      Good luck to you Simon, I truly hope you find your way.

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    • Hi, Simon. Just read your comment and wanted to respond. I’m 47, and as I sit here writing this to you, the man to whom I’ve given 24 of those years is at the hospital with his his ex-wife (who’s having eye surgery) and his 42-year-old daughter, who, because of her parents’ inability to have taught her to deal with life, cannot handle even the most minor of life’s little bumps in the road and just…runs off…gets high, whatever, over the slightest upset. This is just the latest episode in the soap opera of my life with this man. Did you by chance read my earlier posts? I have no children, no grandchildren, no “baby daddy” drama. I could have–and should have–left this man long ago, as I am 24 years his junior and have given him all my youth, all my best. He, in return, has given me all the drama that comes from being a dad and a granddad to people who are now all adults and still unable to handle their business. I could bore everyone by repeating myself, but I won’t. I will say this–again: single parents should not date those who are happily child-free. Single parents should not label happily child-free people as “selfish” because we don’t want to get involved with the drama that inevitably comes in dealing with people with children. As child-free individuals, we’re not bringing that drama to the relationship, so why should we have to deal with it?? For the record: I have a nephew for whom I have bought his entire back-to-school wardrobe since he began school 4 years ago…I also dropped money in his mom’s PayPal account each month–just because–that she put on his meal account because he liked to eat breakfast with his friends every morning…I often still put my guy’s needs before my own, despite the ongoing drama with his adult kids…my Yorkiepoo is so coddled that my coworkers often joke that they wish they were in his place…I do more for my parents than my two siblings combined. Please, Simon–and any other men with children who find their way to this blog and are frustrated with their dating situation–do not call me selfish again, as you really know nothing about me. It really is ok that child-free women (men) don’t want to date men (women) with kids.

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    • Yes, women are very selfish…especially when they don’t allow men exploit them just like is culturally the norm and social aceptable.
      What I’ve learnt throughout my life is that men in general have two notions of selfishness. One that’s applicable to themselves and one, completely different which is, applicable to women. Hell will break lose before they aply to themselves the notion they aply to women! lol

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      • Sofia, so true. So many men put themselves on a higher standard than they deserve. Why are dads who seek non moms not selfish but childless/childfree women who don’t want dads are? why is it selfish that a woman like this doesn’t want to deal with the drama or financial aspects that usually follow single dads but a dad seeking a woman who doesn’t want him, even seeking her because she can help support the kids is not selfish?

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        • It was established that women are the main caretakers. So is expected they sacrifice every bit of themselves for literally everyone. When one of us refuses the part atributed to her by society, they’re automatically labled as selfish as psychological persuasion. Can you imagine those who largely enjoy from this paradigm to give up their comfortable position? So, their first reaction is to call selfish to women who are self aware enough to know what they want and not allow being exploited by crooks who never would let themselves get in these kind of situations.
          It’s time for women not to be held down by people with narcissisticas tendencies or notions that tie them down with none to little advantage to themselves. Selfish comes in the form of a single parent who has to juggle house, kids, job and insists he can give quality time to a relationship or in the form of thoses who deliberately seek for a prey. But, tell them this… I personaly think it’s not even worth the time and effort bc they are so smart(Narcissus) that we can’t match their reasoning… or…. they’re intelectually beneath. History showed that men were the kings of choosing among situations that would suit them best and no one calls them selfish for that.
          I admire your courage to stay far from problems in your life. I know several ones that would give anything to go back in time and decided like you to be single.

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          • Great post Sofia. That’s why single dads really infuriate me at times, they think single childless women owe them or they deserve one and because being older assume desperation. Not true at all and yes a single dad is selfish for even thinking he deserves a childless woman. No one “deserves” anything, but especially not if one isn’t the same. These guys (talking those who only seek childless)only want childless women either to help financially or things like babysitting. Oh they claim it’s because of drama but it’s not it. Then you have those insane articles about how single dads are so much more responsible and they think they are better than childless men because they have kids. Where did society go from the idea that kids should be with both parents to this idea that single parents are better than childless? I realize there are cases where being a single parents was beyond their control (like death) but most of the single dads I’ve come across this isn’t the case. Ironically most of the single moms I know offline did divorce for valid reasons (mostly cheating or abuse) and quite a divorced dads same thing but online not so much. I suspect that it’s because the truly decent single dads are being matched up offline or are concentrating on raising the kids but online dads, ugh. What I still don’t get is my profile was very specific stating no dads yet they still contacted me. That alone shows their selfishness.

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    • Dear Simon, I do really hope you find happiness and a good and loving partner. Reading your post I just wonder what kind of woman you’re dating. Are you dating single moms or are you going after the childfree woman? I’m a woman in my late 20’s, never married, no kids and I won’t date men who have children. Reading your post I think you would call me selfish but I would like to try and explain why I won’t do it and hope to give you a diffrent perspective and it might even clarify some things about the original aticle.

      Let’s start by saying that I can see how a single or divorced dad can bring a lot of positives to a relationship. They’re generally more mature, reliable, affectionate and caring but to me that doesn’t weigh up to the negatives that come right along with it. I date and I do it with whole my heart. I’ve had past relationships but they don’t hold me back in my new ones. No drama’s with the ex, no monthley alimony payments, no haveing to work around schedules of kids and ex partners. My man gets every part of me, all my time, my love, my firsts and my lasts. I give 100% of me to my partner. A man who has a child with another woman can’t give me these things in return. It would be an unequal playing field where he holds all the cards because he has his child to take care of and he would still get everything I would have to offer. I don’t want that for myself. I want someone who is on equal footing, who will give me his 100% for mine. It hurts when people call me sellfish because of that. Why am I sellfish and is the dad who wants to date me not sellfish for wanting my all while unable to gave it back. I won’t date a professional athlete of a workaholic for the same reasons and everybody is fine with that, but as soon as it’s about dads all of a sudden I’m a horrible person.

      As a spycholody student I’ve learned that men and woman need different things to make them feel loved. Evolution has build us in a certain way. For men it’s mostly respect and sex. For women it’s time and attention. Obviously there will always be exceptions to the rule. You have certain things that make you feel happy and loved and when you don’t receive those in a relationship you start to feel unhappy, unloved and the relationship deteriorates. A woman needs that time and attention or she’ll feel unloved and unimportant. This is why it’s so incredibly important to be on an even playing feeld. If she puts in more love and care than she recieves she is hurt really badly. It’s not selfishness, it’s programmed into us by evolution and it’s something we now can’t live without.

      This does leave a single dad like yourself in a position that sucks, same goes for all the other single and/or divorced parents out there. We do feel for you, we do think you deserve a loving relatioship we just don’t think it’s fair to call us selfish for knowing we won’t be happy in an unequal relationship. Wouldn’t it be better to say that we are sensible and responsible people for not dragging a man and his children into something that can’t end well. And wouldn’t it be better to say there is someone out there for your family and you just might find her in a place you haven’t been looking so far.

      Keep trying and see if you can find a lovely single mom who will be great with your children and who will understand what it’s like do have to devide your time. Talk to her early on about both of your expectations and you’ll know what she wants and needs from you. You’ll be free to figure out if you can and want to provide that, this way you won’t get any nasty surprises after a few months either.

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  46. I’ve followed this thread for some time now. The fact that it’s been sustained this long says a lot about this topic and issue in modern American society. I’ve listened to all sides; I’ve especially listened to men say that women who CHOOSE not to date single fathers are selfish human beings. Well, I am in a situation with a single father and I absolutely hate it and never plan to do it again. I don’t have any kids (yet) and this is just not how I saw my life playing out. It’s been four years since we got together and yes, I knew going in, he had a child. However, through the experience, I have learned that what he brings to the table is not for me. It’s too damn stressful. I am simply NOT interested in making a legally-bound, life-long commitment to someone with children, not to mention someone’s trashy, crazy ex-GF who I can pretty much predict is going to strive daily to make my life a living hell just because I would have married the man she wanted. I am a product of a traditional, two-parent household. There are NO outside children. That is what I would like/prefer to have for myself. As far as my SO, he’s an okay person, but I believe he is incredibly insecure and ashamed of how his child came into existence (OOW relationship). He’s also not happy about where he is in his life right now (over 40, underemployment, still trying to earn an advanced degree, etc.). Moreover, he is totally oblivious to so many things regarding our relationship. He’s able to come in from out of town (he goes to school in a different city, but his child and her mother live here in the same city as me) and always depends on staying with me, while never lifting a finger to help me with anything around my house. He likes to stay out late, sleep all day (or most of the morning) and ask me what I am cooking for breakfast. If he is up and functional, he’s in and out of the house during the time he’s here. He treats my home like a hotel. We frequently argue about his lack of helping with yardwork, housework, etc. If I ask him to do something that requires him to get up off his behind, it’s met with a litany of negative body language (i.e., eye rolling, sighing). It’s gotten to the point that I stopped asking for any help. A few weeks ago, I asked him to stop and purchase one small item from the grocer. I asked him on a Friday, by Sunday, he still had not done the task I asked him to do. When I confronted him on it, he flew into a rage and a very ugly argument ensued. My simple point: I know you were spending time with your daughter (off and on all weekend), but you couldn’t find FIVE minutes to run into the store? His response: how dare I tell him what to do with his schedule and how can he run into a store while spending time with his daughter. Really!? He also accused me of nagging him AFTER he told me to remind him if he had not done the task I asked for by the end of his weekend visit. If I follow up and say I am tired of him giving me crumbs while he gives five course meals to everyone else, he insists that because he sat with me in my living room watching television or had an entertaining conversation with me on my patio that, somehow, that’s giving me the world.

    He’s told me on many occasions that I think I am better than other people–that I think I am better than him. That’s always his default argument when I try to tell him that I am not cut out for this. I get judged because I want more out of life and do not want to be limited (because he refuses to move out of this region of the country; I get why he doesn’t want to–the child and elderly parents are here–but I am not from here and have NO family here……again, another sacrifice on my part) to this state. I want to do more traveling around the U.S. and the world. I want to live some other places. This Southern state is NOT the end all be all for me. I have dreams bigger than this place. When I express that, I am vilified. I sit back and watch my friends who made better choices in men and I am envious. I have friends whose husbands or SO’s take them on trips to the Caribbean, etc. Every time my SO and I go out together, he is never really able to pay because he’s working as a graduate assistant and not making any money. I either have to pay or pay my own way…ALL THE TIME. The little bit of money he does make he’s able to pay his bills and the rest goes straight to the money-hungry ex-GF. I understand it takes money to raise kids, but I am sick and tired of carrying him financially. I am pretty well off as far as career and salary, but I am alone and paying my mortgage and other bills on my own. All of my basic needs are met, but I am also on a budget. We can’t really go on trips together because he never has any money. I am also tired of him acting like he deserves to stay at my house every single time he comes to town (which is at least 2-3 weekends per month). I work hard to create a nice home (not just materially, but also the atmosphere) for myself and I just don’t feel that I should have to sacrifice any of that for someone who can’t manage his time properly, be more humble and open to criticism, and see where if he’s choosing to date a childless woman, there are some sacrifices that need to be made on his end. So to bring things back around to the initial comment of women who don’t want to date men with kids being selfish, I honestly believe those are men who are insecure. I am not offended if a man doesn’t want to date me due to whatever “preferences” he may have, so how is this any different? It’s a preference. I guess I should be grateful that I have come to the realization that I do not want to marry him and as such, have saved myself a lot of grief, stress and money. If it’s one thing I now know, it’s that this is something I just cannot do. I am not cut out to be a “stepmom” (I want my own biological kids or to adopt) and I darn sure do not want to have a third wheel (trashy, crazy ex-GF) interfering in my marriage. Otherwise, I am not going to settle. I’ll take the risk of ending up single for the rest of my life if need be. At least I will be happy and living life on my terms.

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    • Good for you Emotionally Drained for dumping him. He’s a bum and you deserve better. You will end up supporting him, his ex and his kid. The men who call childless women selfish are selfish and seek women without children for their selfish reasons.

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      • Thanks, Dawn. It’s just so unfortunate because we actually get on great, there is strong compatibility, etc. However, I think it could go either way; be positive or negative, but we’re talking about my life here. Life is just simply too short to make a long-term commitment to a situation you know is going to be pretty much doomed. If one more person says to me, “Well, you’re 37 so you’re going to have to reconsider your ‘standards’ and include men with kids”, I will scream. So, because I am in my late 30s I have to settle? I think that is such B.S. That’s the story people run to make themselves feel better about who they are and what they have going on. I try not to be judgmental, but some of this stuff (i.e., multiple kids with multiple women) does smack of irresponsibility. And, while I agree that everyone deserves love, it doesn’t mean that you don’t take a serious look at yourself and what you’re bringing to the table and assess, sans emotions, your marketability.

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        • Emotionally Drained, I hate that too that because I’m older I have to include dads. I’ve gotten into actual arguments and been banned because of it. First, there are men of all ages without kids. Second what they don’t get is if it’s between dating dads and never marrying I’ll just adopt a bunch of animals and be alone. Just because people settle doesn’t mean everyone wants to. I’ve seen people settle and marry parents and ended up alone or miserable anyway. Oh and I laugh when people tell me dads are note likely to marry me. Sure many do but it’s to get a built in babysitter or someone to help support their kids. One thing I never got is why did so many men have kids with multiple women on dating sites. These guys are bottom barrel and have something wrong with them.

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          • I cosign to pretty much everything you said. Someone who has a bunch of multiple kids with a bunch of women, really needs to take a long hard look at him/herself and have an honest conversation; one that might reveal some very ugly, but necessary, truths. I am totally and utterly over it. I would like to tell you to not give up and do not settle for less than what you want; that’s a sure fire way to end up miserable and resentful.

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          • I refuse to settle, even if it means being alone. Life’s too short to be miserable. I’d like to know where this trend of multiple kids comes from because it’s such a sick thing.

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    • So, you’re is ticket meal? Be careful, you may be wasting yourself and your own means on him and be dumped in the end when that grown up baby decides that he doesn’t NEED you anymore.

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    • I am very bothered when people call women who prefer not to date a man with kids “selfish”. I feel like the role of a stepmother is that she is expected to just DEAL with everything. That is the problem I am facing now. (My fiance has three older children 13, 15, and 18. I am in my mid 20’s. The 18 year old (son) lives with his mom. The two younger girls and my relationship is good. I feel like an older sister role to them. However, I still struggle a little bit emotionally with the situation.) I told my fiancé that I was going to get some counseling to deal with the emotional feelings that I am having about him being divorced with three kids. I just wanted to get to a healthy mental state about everything. He told me that I just need to deal with it and that I was being narcissistic and selfish. I understand that no parent wants to be told anything other than that their kids are amazing and such a blessing. However, the truth is, no matter how cool the kids and situation are, at the end of the day it is a big sacrifice to date a man with children when you have none of your own. Another thing is that he has had a vasectomy 12 years ago after his third child. He is willing to get it reversed so that we can have more children but it is still emotionally draining knowing that there’s a chance it won’t work and all of his biological children will be with another woman. However, from his perspective, it is hard for him to understand and accept why I would have any emotional feelings about our situation. Do I have a right to my feelings??

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  47. Thanks all for a very interesting discussion! I’m 43 and have experience dating both dads and non-dads. I had one very short marriage in which he left me when he found out I was infertile, so I tend to choose men who either don’t want kids at all or men who already have all the kids they want. Some middle-aged men who have never been married are a little bit eccentric, and I do like kids, so my last few relationships were with divorced dads.

    There are a couple of things to be careful for. One is that if they’re not very involved at all in their kids’ lives, that says something about them. One such man I dated became more and more emotionally distant until I figured out I’d never get close to him. I should have known – if a man’s not close to his own son, he won’t get close to anyone.

    The other is that some single parents are so overly focused on their kids’ lives that they have trouble leading well-rounded lives of their own that include a solid communicative relationship with a significant other. It’s harder to see this one coming. At first it’s amazing that they’re juggling so many things at all, and it seems great that they find ways to include you. But then if they suddenly decide to exclude you, even if they’re pulling a total fade-away, nobody thinks of holding them accountable, because it’s so noble that they’re such dedicated parents, right?

    The truth is that one of the best gifts a parent can give their kids is to let them see them in a healthy relationship. And the truth is that close relationships with single parents ONLY succeed if that relationship is given a place of importance and priority. But since you’re just a girlfriend and most people think parents are supposed to endlessly sacrifice for the kids, they feel guilty every time they even dream of taking time away from the kids to focus on you, even if it’s just for a short break.

    My last relationship illustrates this pretty well. He had his kids about half-time, and I have a fairly demanding job, a good social life, and am a competitive athlete, so I don’t have a lot of free time either. We had a nice discussion when we first started going out, about how to make it work. I arranged my schedule around his availability, and once I met his kids we did things together with them too. We shared a calendar and agreed to talk on the phone every day for a short time to re-connect. I thought it was perfect. We had a great time together, it seemed like we could talk about anything, the kids liked me and I liked them, and going on kid-related outings was lots of fun and like the icing on the cake. But then his life started to get complicated. His work became demanding, and both his teenager and his ex-wife faced some health challenges, so he took over more responsibilities. We didn’t have as much time to spend just the two of us, which I understood. But then he just stopped calling. When we were together, he’d have his phone on the table or in his hand the whole time, waiting to see if an “important” call came in. But when I called, he wouldn’t pick up and wouldn’t return my call. Then he’d text me the next day to apologize, make excuses, and promise to call that night…and then he wouldn’t. I finally told him, you can have a low-maintenance relationship, but you can’t have a no-maintenance relationship, you can’t just put me on the back burner all week long and then invite me over for a booty call. I don’t think he ever understood how much it hurt. I really cared about him and the kids, and it was killing me not knowing how they were doing for days on end. Some who don’t know the whole story think I’m selfish for dumping him. A guy without kids would get called out for being a user, but whatever excuse Superdad came up with, I was just supposed to understand. Any crumb he threw at me was a crumb he was taking away from his “real” responsibilities, so I was supposed to be grateful for it. I think this is how our society tends to think, and I think it’s changing a bit, but until it does, I totally understand anyone who says they don’t want to date single parents.

    Really, why should you invest in any relationship at all that doesn’t enrich your life? That does no good for anyone.

    As a side thought, I wonder why more of the super-involved single parents don’t either reconsider what they’re doing, or admit that they shouldn’t be trying to get into committed adult relationships. Lots of young people stick to occasional hook-ups or friends-with-benefits situations just because they fear commitment, so the hyperfocused single parent might want to consider doing that too. But then, I suppose if they did, they couldn’t feel so pious and self-sacrificing all the time.

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    • I hear what you are saying but to intimate that super involved parents dont deserve or have the time for a committed relationship is a bit short sighted. Most single Dads dont want to tread the murky waters of hook ups and casual affairs. I have tried that but it just makes you feel empty and alone. Very few choose to be a single parent and the hell that one has to go through during divorce and separation will either crush you or make you stronger. Believe me, the men that have been made stronger through the experience usually make great partners because they can pretty much handle anything and are very grateful for a second chance at love. And if the shoe is on the other foot, ie a single Mum in a new relationship, the new man in that relationship is expected to ALWAYS come second behind her kids. And what that man is expected to bring to the table with a single Mum is way above and beyond what is expected when the situation is reversed. Women leave their husbands in 80% of divorce cases. What does that say? That 80% of men are hopeless husbands and fathers? I simply dont buy that. Or that too many women run for the hills without really trying to salvage the marriage (lawyers have a big part to play in that) . And when there are kids involved, that is nothing short of a tragedy. This is considered ‘progress’ in Western Society. Our new found freedoms have a lot to answer for.
      Single Dads are just doing their best. Communication is the key. But given that most men do not grow up until that have kids, ask yourself the question: do you want to be with a man or a boy?

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      • Just because a man has kids doesn’t mean he’s a good guy or even mature. I was astounded by the amount of mnen with multiple illegitimate children on dating sites by various women. This screams irresponsibility. No one is saying single dads don’t deserve a second chance but many are saying they don’t deserve anyone they want. My profile was clear that I didn’t date dads yet they harassed me constantly. They were downright abusive and on Plenty of Fish actually reported me. That’s one of my problems with single dads many think they are so special. They aren’t, most have way too much baggage, whether it’s bitterness towards the ex or financial problems of lawsuits involving the ex. As a childless woman I would be giving so much and not getting in return. He would be first in my life but I would never be first in his. I may even have to help support his kids or his ex or deal with a crazy ex. He won’t get those issues with me. IlI’lll never understand why so many single dads go after women like me while I know many single moms who remain single. This bothers me because these men are delusional in thinking they bring something that neither a single mom or a childless man does. Yes, they bring many things a childless man does not such as less money usually, likely less time and more drama.

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      • I should hope that it doesn’t take a child to make a man grow up. My husband and I are childfree and he is far more mature than the single dads I dated.

        If my marriage doesn’t work out and I find myself single, I will never again date a man with kids. I like to be a priority in a relationship and that’s impossible with kids involved. The kids have to come first at all times.
        I grew weary of dates being cancelled all the time because of this fact. I had one guy with a kid buy his daughter all of her Christmas presents because the mother was an irresponsible welfare case. He gave me a paperback book that Christmas. I don’t think that’s a nice thing to do to a long term girlfriend, especially when that girlfriend spent $100+ on her boyfriend’s Christmas gift. When I said that, I was admonished for being selfish.

        I have also learned that children are manipulative. If they do not want their parent to date, they will mysteriously be in desperate need of their parent every time he makes plans with his partner. Some fathers have no spine when it comes to their children and they will not date someone if their kids do not approve. I met a very nice man years ago whose kids didn’t like me just because he was 9 years older than I was. Mind you, these kids never even met me but they could still make their spineless daddy do what they wanted. I pity the next woman that man marries if he even finds someone who wants to deal with kids like that.

        Lastly, I have no inclination to deal with an ex-wife, ex-girlfriend or children who are damaged by a divorce. Life is too short to take on unwanted baggage. I do not want children so why would I want to be a stepmother? No thanks. Never again.

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        • Bernadette, I’ll never understand how a man who had multiple kids out of wedlock or married a psycho is considered more responsible than child free. Child free are the most responsible because they knew children weren’t for them. Ironically they tend to be the most educated too.

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  48. I am a single father, and I made the choice to stay single for the sake of my children, and in fact to stay entirely away from women. I did not want them to have a step parent. There is a both value and loss in this decision. But I had to make a choice one way or the other. I am not saying it was right or wrong, because each path has both.

    What I find disturbing here is the article itself and the many comments which as so negative in tone. My work involves dealing with pathology, and there is only one rule: case by case.

    Those who have had negative experiences, that is unfortunate but one cannot apply one’s experiences to others. Those who have had positive experiences, the same thing applies.

    It is true that more challenges can make things more difficult in relationships, but I know people who have married or become involved with single parents, and have had very successful experiences,

    To discuss the issues and outcomes rationally has merit……but it should be done with respect and love. After all, respect and love is what most people would pay lip service to as being important in their relationships.

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