Dating someone with a child when you're still childfree

posted 5 days ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
2011 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

First of all, you ARE that young. 

Second, good for you for recognizing that an unhealthy relationship is not an ideal time/place to have a baby. That is a difficult decision and it takes some serious strength and conviction. 

Third, I think the expectation that you’ll share this “first” (kid) with your SO seems a bit naive and immature. People have lives and families and kids and various pasts. If him having a child first, without you, is truly a dealbreaker for you, then that’s your perogative. But I think that’s almost as silly as being upset/disappointed that you waited till marriage to have sex, but are in love with/engaged to a partner who did not wait and has been sexually active. Your personal expectations may not always match up perfectly with your partner’s situation. It’s up to you to decide what’s more important: being with a amazing guy who loves you and is a great dad to his son? Or leaving behind this single-dad for someone new (without kids) because you want your kid to be his first kid? How would you feel if the situation was reversed? 

Fourth, being a stepparent is HARD. So incredibly, frustratingly, heart-breakingly hard. And there are the times when it brings indescribable joy.  If you don’t feel comfortable with that potential in your future, it might be good to re-evaluate this relationship. 

FTR: I’m CFBC and I married a man who has 2 daughters from a previous relationship. They are both in their 20’s now and I’m still their stepmom.  

Post # 3
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

My dh has a daughter from when he was 17, we didn’t meet and start dating until he was 25, she was 5 turning 6. I never had your feelings of wanting to experience children with someone first so him having a kid wasn’t a deal breaker. Now that we are married it still doesn’t bother me that he already has a kid because it’s different circumstances with us than his daughters mother. They were kids who accidentally got pregnant, it wasn’t a choice made from loving each other and wanting to have a family. They have never been a couple since she was born so she’s never known Mommy and daddy together, her mother has had the same bf since she was about 8 months old. Now I will say it is difficult at points, his daughter definitely has some behavior emotional problems due to her mother but that’s a whole another story. What’s this guys relationship like with the baby mom? Were they married or just dating? How old is his child? I ask all this because depending on the relationship between him and the child’s mother will definitely have an affect on not only your relationship with him but also the child. I am lucky to where my step daughter really loves me so nothing her mother has said has jeopardized our relationship or the relationship with her father. On the other hand her behavior and emotional issues are everyone’s problem and it’s been a struggle. BUT If you really care for this person having a kid before meeting you shouldn’t make you not be with them. 

Post # 4
Member
567 posts
Busy bee

Miss-Mauverick :  “Third, I think the expectation that you’ll share this “first” (kid) with your SO seems a bit naive and immature. People have lives and families and kids and various pasts. If him having a child first, without you, is truly a dealbreaker for you, then that’s your perogative.”

Absolutely this.

OP: I was a single mom (divorced) when I met my now husband. If he had told me he didn’t want a relationship with me simply because he wasn’t my “first” to have children with, I’d have been heartbroken (and kind of stunned, to be honest). That would have made me feel like he saw my son as baggage, and that is not okay. Fortunately he saw past it and we have a great family unit going on. We are planning on TTC soon. 

I get that it’s hard to be in a relationship with someone who already has kids. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Don’t hold something like that against the other person. 

That said, if it’s really a cause for concern for you, you need to make a decision about the relationship and be completely upfront about it before things get serious with him (and the child). 

Post # 5
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

Well, this is currently my life.  My SO is perfect for me in every single way, but he does have a child, an ex, and had that “first” before me.

Is it easy? NOPE. I have days where I accept it and days where I get irrationally angry about it.  He does want to have another child at some point so I remind myself although it wouldn’t be his first, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be special (especially since I know that I don’t get pregnant easily, but thats a whole other story).

It also helps to have your own special relationship with the child. and to take time to yourself (another really important one I can’t stress enough).  Sometimes when he is dealing with an ex/kid crisis I have to remind myself “not my circus” and focus on me. It is easy to get too involved.

It is a balance, and not an easy one.  My SO makes it worth it, to me. Only you can decide if yours does too… 

You aren’t alone!

Post # 6
Member
204 posts
Helper bee

If it’s that much of a concern for you, you need to think LONG AND HARD about continuing your relationship with this man. The fact that you won’t be experiencing parenthood together, for the first time, is MINOR compared to how him having a child is going to affect your life. That will be your future children’s step-sibling. You would be marrying not only this man but his child and that child’s mother. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is the truth. Every holiday, weekend, vacation, a decision about where you live… EVERYTHING will involve her at some level. 

I am CFBC, also, and am marrying a man with two boys from two different mothers. Our weekends are full of picking up and dropping off kids. Every time a holiday comes, we have to juggle not only my family and his family but multiple families for each child. 

I don’t know how old this kid is, but are you prepared to clean up after them when they are sick? Emotionally support them? Help them with their homework? Clean up after them? And on and on and on? And on top of this, likely get a “You’re not my mom” remark simply to hurt you because they are kids and it will happen. 

What about when he and his ex have to do things or talk about things together because they have a kid together. Are you ok with that? Whether he wants her to or not, she will have a role in your life. Are you ok with that? 

Honestly, I love it. I have the best of both worlds, I didn’t have to be pregnant or go through labor or change dirty diapers, but I get to be around 2 really awesome kids who I love to death. But, it’s not all easy. Sometimes the moms suck. Sometimes the kids suck. But, for me, they are a blessing. And, I get to have kids part of the week and we get adult time part of the week. 

There is so much more I could say, but I just want you to think big picture and understand everything that could be involved with being a step mom, because that is the most important thing right now… Your future kids are just that, in the future, but his kid? His kid is right now and super important. 

Post # 7
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

summerrose5 :  “not my circus” I feel like I’ve used that comment many of times just with “not my monkey not my circus” when my husband is dealing with his daughter or her mother sometimes. 

Post # 8
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

bunnkiwi7117 :  Right? Sometimes you just have to walk away from it.  I try real hard to be civil, keep the peace and just walking away helps. I don’t agree with a lot of the things his ex does and if I immerse myself in their business too much I just get too stressed.  Although, as a child free, the idea of your SO having “business” with an ex can be hard to accept at first. It just doesn’t feel normal. (but what is normal, anyway.)

Post # 9
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

summerrose5 :  I definitely get it. I know we all have a past but as I’ve told my husband, my past isn’t a weekend reminder for you that at times can feel like a slap in the face. However I also agree that his daughter is a blessing, it’s like anything else in life sometimes there’s good and there’s bad you just need to find a happy middle to live with. I think it also does get easier as time goes on and relationships are more established. 

Post # 10
Member
6534 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m genearlly of the mindset that “if you have to ask you already know the answer”.  It sounds like to me you know where you stand on this, and you’re posting for validation of your feelings. If you honestly find the idea of being with a guy who has kids already to be concerning, you need to just cut it off and move on now before you get any deeper. I personally believe that a person generally already knows their feelings and where they stand in certain situations and usually it’s unlikely that they will change their mind at the core. Even if you talk yourself into it, and tell yourself you’re over feeling that way, deep down it will likely be a lie.

Post # 11
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

bunnkiwi7117 :  Yeah it isn’t simply a past. It is a huge piece of the present and future. It helps that my SO takes my opinions and feelings into consideration on all things child related, because at the end of the day, me, him and his son are a little family unit… albeit a “newer” one.

Post # 12
Member
989 posts
Busy bee

If it is a big deal for you I wouldn’t do it. 

I never wanted to be with a guy with kids either (although I dated a few) but they were nothing serious to begin with. Think they were dealing with baby mom not working out. 

My SO was married before and we are both grateful no kids came out of that.

Post # 13
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

starfish0116 :  I agree with what you are saying in many aspects of life, we know the answers and pose questions more for validation than opinions, but in any potential step parent situation I find what you are saying does not apply.

Step parenting is tough, it literally goes against biological instinct. We are expected to love a child as our own, but not too much (don’t overstep). We deal with exes, and not all of them are rational and mature. So in a blended family or step situation,  I think it is super normal to second guess things but still be able to work through the issues and be together despite the second guessing. If that makes any sense. 

Post # 14
Member
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

confusedbee1234567 :  I have twice dated men with kids. One was a long-term serious relationship which ended badly due to his cheating but the “kids” were a joy. There was a large age gap, so his kids were in their early to mid-teens and I was in my late 20s. With the youngest I definitely did some parenting (even went to school events when her parents couldn`t). Sure, sometimes is wasn’t easy but it was extremely rewarding. I am not on speaking terms with my ex but best friends with his daughters who are now adults.

The second time was more a fwb things bordering on relationship. Again, I loved having his kid around. 

But then both times the kids were really easy-going and liked me pretty much immediately. But generally kids would not be a reason not to date somebody for me, as long as this person was financially stable enough to still be able to afford to have kids with me. And willing to.

Post # 15
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

summerrose5 :  Yes I think that is what has helped our relationship, his daughter already associates the difference between mom’s family unit and our family unit separately. And we discuss what the expectations are at our house. 

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