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Dating a girl with a child

  • 02-06-2020 5:39pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    As it says on the tin.

    I know this might seem like a silly thread to start. So for that i am sorry.

    What have peoples experiences been on dating a person with a child(ren). I am really interested in a girl who has expressed an interest in me. I have never dated a girl with a kid before so the whole territory for me is new.

    I am curious on how people have found the experience. Hoping that it has, largely been good!

    Thanks all. And for context i am single guy in my 30s, own place etc. which does make the whole thing a little easier i guess!

    TIA!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 366 ✭✭DonnaDarko09


    I can only tell you based on my own experience.
    As someone who is now in a long term relationship with someone who has kids from a previous relationship, I would tell my younger self to run for the hills.
    This will not be the same for everyone but there has been a lot of drama with his ex and as the kids get older, our relationship has unfortunately soured somewhat. I look back and realise how naive I was about it all.
    Again, I Know many people who have dated others with children and seem to make it work now. But unfortunately this hasn’t been my experience.
    Go on a few dates but do be cautious about what an ex/kids may entail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,321 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    Put off meeting the child for as long as possible if your relationship with this girl develops. I have seen so many children damaged by having their parents' boyfriends or girlfriends get close to them then disappear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 419 ✭✭Goodigal


    You don't need to meet the child for a long time! That's for starters. Ask her does she have free nights or time off from being a mam etc and make plans around those times. Do expect plans to change as these things happen with children so be flexible yourself. It's difficult to find a balance because her priority will always be the child, but working around her free time would be a lovely start. Good luck with it! Parents are people too!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,235 ✭✭✭Esse85


    I tried it in my late 20s and learned its not for me.
    Have decided to never go down that route again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,973 ✭✭✭skallywag


    I would certainly keep well away from anyone who has children, if at all possible.

    I know that his can become difficult as one gets older, but if you are in your 30's then there should be a decent chance of you finding someone without children.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,482 ✭✭✭Kidchameleon


    I might be jumping the gun here but do not let her move in to your house. If you are let meet her child before the relationship is a year old then that is a HUGE red flag IMHO


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,038 ✭✭✭This is it


    You'll hear of good and bad experiences.

    I was with a woman for a few years who had a child. Her daughter was young when we started seeing each other and we met far too soon. This wasn't an issue for the relationship but I was then an immediate father figure for her daughter and again, while this wasn't an issue it was heartbreaking when we finished and I couldn't see this little girl who I was raising as my own. I was just cut out completely and that was that.

    I have a son now and split from his mother. Yeah, not great at relationships! Anyway. I'm now seeing someone else for about the last 9 months. I told her on our second date that I had a son and she said she didn't mind. I'm getting to mid thirties now so I suppose the pool of people who won't have baggage gets smaller.

    I'm delighted my now girlfriend took a chance on me. While I don't think I'd actively avoid someone in future that had a kid, if there is a "someone in future", I think two of us with kids would find it difficult to make it work.

    I suppose it depends on where people are in their lives and same for their kids but it can be hard. Chances are the kid of the person you're seeing will always come first, and some people won't like that, others will make it work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 594 ✭✭✭waxmelts2000


    I was in a relationship with a guy who had a 9 year old daughter at the time. He had her every 2nd weekend and every Wednesday night. I knew this straight away and was happy to wait to meet her. I met her after 8 months and we got on great, she was a great little girl and was very comfortable with us together and in fact wanted to spend every weekend with us, again I was happy with this as I thought this relationship was to last. However my now ex decided that we did not have a future together, I never got to say goodbye to his little girl and to this day I have yet to see her (we live in the same town) so that was really tough.

    I have not dated since but I would be very slow to meet someone with young kids/kid again as you in fact lose 2 people if relationship fails. So my advice would be to take things slow in meeting children and just be mindful that in case things do not work out you will never see the kid(s) again.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,466 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory


    There was a good thread on this recently. Can't find it to link to, the title was something about boyfriend taking a backseat with childminding or something.

    I've had two relationships with kids involved and won't again. It'll suit some, didn't work for me. In the latest relationship the woman I was seeing was done with kids. And I wasn't up for not having my own kids, but also not being able to take off whenever we wanted to because of her kids...all depends on your own set of circumstances. I find it works best if you plan to have children together some day so you're not always the outsider in the family. But that's jumping the gun!


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭Black Bart


    You won't get a disease if you date this woman who has a child! the fact that you have doubts at this time would suggest to me that you haven't put a lot of thought into it at all. Don't lead this girl on, it's not fair.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 575 ✭✭✭sportsfan90


    OP have a read of this previous thread, many people share their experiences both good and bad.

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057999158


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    There’s no one right or wrong answer to this.

    There’s a right and wrong way to do it.

    There are individual people who are suited and people who aren’t (both are valid).

    If this was 6 months down the line and you’d ran into a specific issue, we could gauge the varying factors and give you an idea of if it’s a good idea for you to continue. But now?

    Give it a go. Live your life. Do your best. If it’s a mistake, learn from it and move forward. That’s all the rest of us are doing anyway. Hope it goes well.


  • Posts: 7,712 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    Unless she’s a widow or the father is out of the picture completely then avoid avoid avoid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,130 ✭✭✭Rodin


    Not for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭neonsofa


    Unless she’s a widow or the father is out of the picture completely then avoid avoid avoid.

    As a single mother myself, and someone who has been in a relationship with a single parent, I would sort of agree with this- or at least make sure you know what kind of coparenting relationship they have if the other parent is still involved. It has never been the child themselves that are the issue I have found, but the ex and the drama involved there.

    I always take the approach that I have raised my child alone up to this point so I am not looking for a co-parent or parental figure for my child. Other people with kids might be looking for something different in that regard. It depends on the person, and it depends on what you would be willing to do too. And inevitably, if you end up living together as a couple, it does involve some element of parental responsibilities even if you are not necessarily "parenting" ( eg less freedom/spontaneity etc).

    But in the early days I would definitely remember you're dating her to see if the two of you work together, so keep the child out of that for as long as possible. Some people seem to think that there is no point in pursuing a relationship with a parent until the child "approves" or seeing if you "get on" with the child, but I don't agree with that approach personally. Plenty of time to see how you feel about each other before introducing the child.

    If the childs father is involved, some advice from bitter personal experience- at the first sign of any red flags just walk away. No excuses, no justifying or trying to be understanding, if it is complicated/dramatic/lacking boundaries early on in that regard, it is generally speaking only going to get a lot worse.

    Date her, see what she is like, see if you guys work as a couple first and then discuss and iron out all of the above issues BEFORE you introduce the child.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    I’ve gone out with a couple of single mothers and strongly agree and disagree with points being made from experience.

    First off, it’s way too general to say if the dad is out of the picture that’s the only way it can work. For a start, that’s a scummy dad you’re describing. Which means that the girl you’re dating was and may still be attracted to scummy people. Which means that, for the material benefit of not having an ex in the picture and as good as that looks on paper, you could also be walking into a bunch of different unforeseen issues. I’m generalising way too much now in the other direction here, but that’s the point. If only things were that simple.

    I do like the point that if there are any red flags to walk immediately. Far too many single parents expect you to put your life on hold, slot into their lives and fulfil their needs while they ‘figure it out’, like you’re some kind of experiment or tool in their masterplan. No, sorry. You can set boundaries with someone and all have your ducks in a row before you begin dating. People acting like they ‘need’ to go through the fire are usually waffling in my experience and it’s a red flag that they’re selfish melts who probably get a subconscious thrill off the drama. It’s their responsibility, like it is any of ours, to have their **** together before beginning a relationship and if they face consequences they don’t like for not doing so...welcome to the dating world. The fact that they’re a single mother and that’s difficult doesn’t give them special privileges to mess people around, though some act like because they’ve been messed around before themselves it does. And when you push back they may try and guilt you into going along with situations you’re not comfortable with. It’s manipulation, nothing more. You may even start to see why their ex is an ex. So yeah, just walk and save yourself the hassle.

    Lastly another excellent point raised is about the relationship being solid before meeting the kids. It’s worse on everyone if you break up and have a great relationship with the kids, so no that shouldn’t be put to the test early. Again this is something single mothers may try muddy the waters with by saying they ‘need’ to see how you get on before going further. Huge red flag. What they generally mean is that they want the relationship to be easier on them. And involving you in their kid’s life too soon isn’t in the child’s best interest either, so it’s also telling you about their selfishness levels. Build the foundation first. When the relationship is rock solid, then like any situation you’re introducing children into, you’ll both care enough to figure out what needs to be figured out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭neonsofa


    leggo wrote: »
    First off, it’s way too general to say if the dad is out of the picture that’s the only way it can work. For a start, that’s a scummy dad you’re describing. Which means that the girl you’re dating was and may still be attracted to scummy people. Which means that, for the material benefit of not having an ex in the picture and as good as that looks on paper, you could also be walking into a bunch of different unforeseen issues. I’m generalising way too much now in the other direction here, but that’s the point. If only things were that simple.

    I get you are making generalisations, and you say as much in your post so I am not arguing with your overall point, or saying that you view things in such a black and white manner, moreso wanted to add to this.

    In many instances the parent left raising the child alone did not actually choose to procreate with a ****ty person, never mind fall for one; but the person they thought they knew turned out to be a ****ty parent once they became parents. It is the behaviour of the ****ty parent that is to blame for a child having a ****ty parent. Yeah it could be true in some cases that the person knowingly had a child with someone who is scummy, but it isn't always the case, and there are many people (not just women/mothers) i know feel incredibly guilty that their children have subpar parents, when they are not to blame for the other parents' shortcomings. Yes, there is an element of personal responsibility for choices made, but two people made the child and two people are responsible for stepping up for that child.

    If a parent is denying access to another parent, or using the child as a pawn to hurt the other parent during a separation, people rightfully attribute full blame to that parents' ****ty behaviour. Very little is said about the other parents decision to procreate with such a manipulative person in the first place. So its interesting to me that its not the same when it comes to absent parents. (Not implying that you are attributing full blame here, just something I've noticed over the years generally)

    Sorry if that seems like soapboxing/going off topic, but it is relevant to how the op may view his potential partner, based on posts here, so I'm hoping it doesnt seem like I'm going off on a tangent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    Yeah no I do hear what you’re saying and agree, the point I was making was more that as easy as it is to say “Dad not around = good situation”, it’s just as easy to make an equally ridiculous point that sounds plausible on paper in the complete opposite direction (it’s also ridiculous to say that someone who isn’t in their kids life is scummy by default).


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭neonsofa


    leggo wrote: »
    Yeah no I do hear what you’re saying and agree, the point I was making was more that as easy as it is to say “Dad not around = good situation”, it’s just as easy to make an equally ridiculous point that sounds plausible on paper in the complete opposite direction.

    Ah yeah I get what you mean and I agree. Absolutes are never good... :pac: but yeah there's always middle ground, you're right.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,537 ✭✭✭ldy4mxonucwsq6


    I can only tell you based on my own experience.
    As someone who is now in a long term relationship with someone who has kids from a previous relationship, I would tell my younger self to run for the hills.
    This will not be the same for everyone but there has been a lot of drama with his ex and as the kids get older, our relationship has unfortunately soured somewhat. I look back and realise how naive I was about it all.
    Again, I Know many people who have dated others with children and seem to make it work now. But unfortunately this hasn’t been my experience.
    Go on a few dates but do be cautious about what an ex/kids may entail.

    I would completely agree with this, and I say that as someone who had children before I met my now husband.

    Knowing what I know now and how hard it is if anyone asked me for advice on this I'd tell them it makes things complicated for many many years. It adds stress to the relationship, so if you have a choice I'd recommend moving on and finding someone who doesn't already have kids.

    Might sound hypocritical but hindsight and all that, I would not do it again and I would advise against it. That's just my experience.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 366 ✭✭DonnaDarko09


    Just to add to my own experience and to echo a post above, the issues for me have majorly stemmed from the ex.
    I did not meet the kids until we were dating a good 9 months before and I think that it’s important not to meet them too early. But we got on well. Living with them took a bit of getting used to.
    Unfortunately I did not meet the ex until after about 4 years. And I seriously underestimated the lack of boundaries in place. Again this is just personal experience and will very much depend on the individuals involved.
    Even though I have children myself now, I would very much avoid dating someone again with young kids which is hypocritical.
    If the option is there to date others with no children, as I had initially, I would take it.
    Go on a few dates and as others have said, if there are red flags early on, I would not waste any time jumping ship.


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭line_of_fire


    When I was young I always said I would never date a man with kids. Now I am happily living with one who has three from a previous relationship and two of them are with us every second weekend.

    As stated above the kids are not generally the issue, it's the ex and the stress and drama they cause. I didn't meet kids until we knew we were serious and going somewhere. His kids are fantastic but even now the ex puts extra strain and stress on our relationship but to me the man I am with and love is worth it. It also let me see what kind of father he is and will be again when we have our kids.

    Go on a few dates and go in with an open mind. Decide how you feel about the person and then decide if the kids will be an issue or is the person worth the extra effort it may require


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,858 ✭✭✭Church on Tuesday


    Too much baggage for me, that may be harsh but there you go.

    Everybody is different though and it certainly can work, but you will always have a third party there in your shared life. Bear that in mind.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    I don’t want children - my own, and less so anyone else’s - so for me it would be a huge no.

    If you’re open to kids though, don’t write off the relationship just yet. But as others have said: you lose the spontaneity of let’s go for dinner/whatever, and you have to take into account that the child will always come ahead of you. Plus even the logistics of an ex (even if they’re a reasonable ex).

    It’s not for everyone. But you might make work for you. Just be aware of the potential hard times though.


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