Friday, February 27, 2009

Dating...with Children.

TGIF!!!

First things first - Happy Birthday Rene! (the Harlemite) :-)

I'm so tired today, and I have a fun night ahead! I need to drink a Red Bull or something. I've been going through the motions this morning, waiting for the work day to be over so I can get to the Knicks v. Sixers game tonight at the Garden. Just like I root for the Eagles against the Giants, I will be rooting for the Sixers tonight against the Knicks. I haven't been to a basketball game in a while, so I hope it's a good, competitive game. And then afterwards we'll head out to Rene's birthday party at Sidebar in Union Square. If anyone is free tonight and looking to have some fun, meet us there to celebrate Rene's birthday. It's a continuation of my birthday week, so trying to have as much fun as possible...even though I can barely stay awake :)

So while I'm sitting here trying to think of something to blog about, I'm watching The View. They have The Bachelor on - Jason Mesnick. I don't watch The Bachelor regularly, but I do know this guy's story. He is a single father who was rejected in a past season of The Bachelorette, so they tagged him as the new Bachelor for this season.

Joy Behar is grilling him, asking him if he has slept with the two women in the finale. He's being a gentleman, so he doesn't answer, even though they're showing clips of him butt naked in a hot tub with one of them. But then Whoopi asks him if the show was the right place to find the woman who would be helping to raise his son.

Good question.

Dating is tricky all by itself. Add children to the mix and the dynamic changes, and it could get even trickier. I don't have any children, but I've dated men who do. In this day and age, it's hard to meet someone who DOESN'T have kids. Nowadays, it's not "do you have kids?"...it's "how many?" Hey, it is what it is.

I would imagine that if I did have children, I would be VERY careful about who I introduced my children to and had around them. I was always leery of a man who wanted me to meet his child(ren) after our first date. As great as I think I am, there's no way a man could know that much about me after one meeting that he'd want me to meet his child. One guy I went on a date with brought his daughter to my JOB to meet me unannounced, and I had only known him three days. Yikes!

I've had some great experiences dating men who had children. They were very thoughtful, considerate and respectful of their children's' feelings and comfort levels, as well as mine. It was a delicate balancing act, but when done with care and maturity, it can be a wonderful experience.

I've also dated men who have children and drama. Not cool. One of the main reasons men and women don't want to date the opposite sex with children is because they fear the drama that may be associated with a crazy "baby mama" or "baby daddy." Trust me, I've been there, and it just doesn't seem worth it. Either the ex wants them back and uses the child as a weapon or as leverage to win them back, or they use them to sabotage any future relationships they may have...just to make their lives miserable.

A lot of women I know refuse to date men with children because they think the man is still sleeping with his child's mother, since they have to see each other from time to time, spend time together at family functions for the sake of the child, or because there's a familiarity there. Some women don't date men with children because they don't want to come second or third behind the child or the child's mother. And some women don't want to date men with children because the man may not have the resources available to care for his child AND create or build a life with her - i.e. no money...and that's assuming he's actually taking care of the child.

Most men I know won't date a woman with a child because he doesn't want some crazy ex creeping up in the picture. A lot of men have a problem taking care of another man's child. Most men don't want an "instant" family, as parenthood is something both sexes usually want to ease into, not have forced upon them. And if a man or woman has more than one child by different people, usually that man or woman doesn't want to be one among many, and that issue alone raises BIG red flags.

There are several reasons we can come up with that would seem to make dating people with children unattractive. But it can be rewarding as well. Children are a blessing, and once they're here, we love them. I have friends with blended, extended families who love each others' children as if they were their own. It all depends on the comfort level of both parties involved, the consideration that is given, whether BOTH parties are willing to put in the work and commitment and if all adults involved are mature and respectful of one another.

That being said, here are some questions for all of you:

If you're a single man or woman with no children, would you date someone of the opposite sex who has a child? Several children?

If you have a child and you are a single parent, how have your dating experiences been?

Do you find that a man or a woman who does NOT have children shows you more attention than a man or woman who does? Or do you feel that because a man or woman has a child, they try harder to show you that they are including you in their lives?

I know some of you on the blog have gone through or are experiencing this right now, so chime in and let us know your thoughts or give us your insight - I'm hoping for a good discussion today to help me stay awake ;) Let's go!

-b

31 comments:

Rameer said...

FIRST!!!! YES - I DID IT!!!

Annamaria said...

Rameer:

bbbbbbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Brooke said...

LOL!!! Wow Rameer, that was a surprise! You were first before I even sent out the blog email! You Go Boy!

Annamaria said...

1. Brooke don't encourage him...LOL

I have dated men with kids. And as everyone knows my boyfriend is divorced with 2 beautiful kids who I love. Brooke I think what you said hit the nail on the head. WHEN DONE THE RIGHT WAY WITH MATURITY. It can be a very fulfilling situation. I have been with men & had the baby mama drama & lots of other craziness. BUT I must say I am priveledged enough to know the other side of the spectrum...
Even though Austin & I knew each other for years before we started dating we waited for almost a year before I officially met & started spending time around his kids. Prior to that the weekends that he had them were his time with them & my time to do me. I understood & respected it. Upon meeting them we still took things slow. And it took another while before I ever spent the night around them. Now we live together & the kids come over every other weekend. They feel very much a part of our family as they do in their mom's house. I feel they adjusted well with very few bumps in the road so far! (THANK GOD) I'm sure it won't always be smooth sailing but I think we did things at a very good pace taking them in mind.
I must comend my boyfriend though. He always stopped baby mama drama at the door. Always nipped it in the bud & never allowed it to come into our home. He got everything done the legal right sooo there is no fighting cause his rights are stated in black & white. I have NEVER felt like I come second, third or 4th. ALL events that he attends for the kids are also attended by ME at his request & she has to deal with it. it's not a perfect situation & sometimes it's work BUT totally worth it. And now that I am having a baby I would be the same way if god forbid I found myself single again.

Rameer said...

I'm sorry...I was soooooooo excited to actually be first on this thing!

"I'd like to thank The Creator, my mother for raising me right, my family and beloved friends..."

LOL!

(Ahem) Now to business...

1. I DO NOT date women with children. Buffalo has one of the highest pregnancy rates in the entire country, so you can surmise I don't date a lot of different women. I have made two exceptions in my life - one was very conscientious about keeping me separated from her son until we got REALLY serious, which never occurred. We dated or a while, and it was great, but it just never turned into that "this could be a long-term" thing. But she's an awesome woman - married now, with another child with her hubby.

The other woman...I felt bad about ditching her, but truth be told - she we were messin' with each other for a while, and she had me over to "consummate the relationship", if you know what I mean. House dark, candles lit, smooth music - the whole mood was set! Wine, silk sheets...well, we get to gettin', and without being explicit, a brother put in work...and she should've packed breakfast, lunch, dinner AND some snacks! During this romantic encounter, she was very...uh, VOCAL, I'll say.

So, imagine my surprise to hear a noise at like 4am in the morning! I'm like "what the hell was that??" She's like "that's my son - he wakes up sometimes in the middle of the night to use the bathroom". I was traumatized - did I just scar this kid for life having his mother screaming like a banshee??? And she usually didn't have him home when I has stopped by at night before...he'd be with his father or grandparents. What type of mother (a) doesn't tell me he's home and (b) gets her freak on like THAT with Jr. in the house???

I left very early before he could wake to get ready for school, but I NEVER SAW HER IN_PERSON again. I'm still upset just at the memory and what that may have potentially done to that poor boy.

Um...TMI?? Lol...


2. Nope - no kids for the kid! Mommy said no kids until you're ready to be with the mother - and I'm a momma's boy...


3. I don't think that the 2 women I dated who had kids showed me more particular attention than those who didn't...can't realy relate to the 3rd question. I saw no noticeable difference.


4. I hate to say it, but a woman with a child is a deal breaker for me. Not for nothing, but I just can't do it, especially after my experience. I won't say never, cuz who knows what the future holds...but I will say, a woman who has a child should have that child or children be the focus of their lives. And if that's true (I believe that's being a good mother), than that may mean I don't get the attention I desire. I don't WANT to work around a woman going to teacher conferences, going school shopping, helping with homework, etc. I mean, she should be doing that - but I don't want to work around the schedule she has to spend time and do things with her children. And I also don't want to deal with a woman who shorts her children for me in any way.

Besides, I love children - I couldn't stand forming any bond with a kid, and then if things don't work out with me and the mother, then I've got TWO break-ups to go through - that ish is F'd up. And I know people that's happened to - unh-uh. Not for the kid.

God bless those who are single parents and have and are willing to date them. But it's just not for the kid.

I CAN'T BELIEVE I WAS FIRST A DAY AFTER SAYING I SECRETLY WANTED TO BE FIRST ONE DAY!!! Is that good karma or what? And it was totally chance that I happened to visit the blog at this particular time...

OW! Don't tase me, Annamaria - I just called you CUTE earlier today!!!

POKE!!!

Annamaria said...

Rameer you ain't call me cute. You just trying to make nice so I don't TASE YOU!!!!!!!!!!
BBBBBBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

LOL

Rameer said...

Oh yeah? Ask Brooke.

And if I get permanent damage from your electro-shock therapy, I'm sending the protective female members of my family after YOU...

Brooke said...

Actually Annamaria, Rameer did compliment you...on Facebook. He made a comment about a photo that's posted of you and I from your birthday party last year. So he DOES think you're cute...along with every other woman on the blog :)

And I totally feel you Rameer. I dated a man once off and on for about 3 years, and I got to know his kids well. He lived with his son and his daughter lived in D.C. It took FOREVER for this little girl to warm up to me. And just when she was all loving me, braiding my hair and coloring with me in her room, we stopped seeing each other. It was a friendly break-up, but I was more hurt not seeing the kids anymore than I was him. That was hard for me, but also was a relationship where dating a man with kids was rewarding for me. But you're right, it's hard...and alot of sacrifice.

E. Payne said...

Funny, I'm writing about something similar to this next week.

It really depends on the woman. Some women have no intention of sharing their child with you. Others, like my wife, incorporated me very early on and it's tough. A woman with a child is wearing the pants and the heels for her family and it's culture shock for her to let down her guard to actually be in a relationship or I hate to say this, without even realizing it she can become a demanding baby momma laying on her partner expectations she never even held her child's father to. This might be because she thinks highly of you, or she just might be crazy like that, either way it's a bit on the unfair side for the person without kids dating. But that's the risk that person takes and that person has to set limits for what they will and will not take. But the kid can make a difference to. If the kid is great all can be gravy if the kid can't stand you or is completely spoiled, well...you may have a problem.

Personally, my limit is one kid. I can't even imagine more than one. I have a friend who's girl had 4 boys then they had a kid. I think he's crazy, but love will take on many things. I also know someone who married a woman with eight --- he's family so I can't say anything about him (here).

Like I said in the beginning, it all depends. Conventional wisdom would suggest that at a glance a woman with a child is a no-no, but if all you're doing is glancing then you're not really looking at the person in the first place.

Annamariaa said...

Rameer: thanks for the compliment. BUT I WILL STILL TASE YOU! lol Oh and if you have any damage you won't be able to remember to get your cousins & dem to come after me! LOL
I think E. Payne is right when he says you have to know what you are willing to do & accept in the situation. I for one said I would NEVER date a man with kids..HAHAHAHAHAHA
Been there & done that & now having a baby with one. LOL

Rameer said...

I DEMAND AN APOLOGY, ANNAMARIA!!! I have been wrongfully assaulted...

***walks out on crutches with neckbrace on***

phillygrl said...

Brooke...this is a good topic. Prior to my son....I was on the fence abt dating me who didn't have kids( the pool of eligible people seemed to be getting smaller)..it was something that I didn't necessarily mind(since many times the woman is the caretaker, I think it's easier for a MAN to spend time with a woman b/c in MOST instances, he doesn't have custody)..THAT being said:

When I told my friend sharon abt meeting this guy who was separated, one child, etc..I went to college with him he moved away & was back on East coast..she was like STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!! u don't want no man with kids( She's married w/ 2 kids, but her husband has a son from a previous marriage & it is NOT a good relationship--we actually call him "damien" )

I wasn't that adamant b/c Im like it's not that big of a DEAL...

--NOW that I have a 2 year old Boy &am NOT still with his father, although I'd love to meet a guy , husband, etc..I can see why this is/could be a problem...

---I REALLY don't even have time to do anything for myself, let alone try to fit in someone else to spend time with (unless the person just basically hung out here every night---& how much fun is that?)....

---I was "semi-dating"..an OLD flame from college, but we've KNOWN each other for YEARS & he lives in Atlanta, so when he was in Jersey i could make arrangements so we could hang out. but , someone just stopping by on a Wednesday night to grab a bite, or do something, that's totally out of the question for me right now..

so I think yes..this is trickier for women than men, b/c when do you have the time.

Rene'.....If I were a guy, i'd have the same attitude you do...ALTHOUGH, you could be missing out on some fabulous women...like me:-) & many many others:-) have a good weekend!

Annamaria said...

No apology & trust me I'd break both kneecaps. You wouldn't be walking! LOL... BBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... I gotta get the baby a taser! :) And some insurance for poor Austin...LOL

Brooke said...

Yeah, I think women dating with kids might be a bit harder than men dating with kids. I'm still trippin off Rameer's story about ole girl with the kids in the next room while she's screaming. That is CRAZY!!! It makes you wonder if she did that with several men, not just Rameer...and I can see why he'd question her judgment. Straight buffoonery.

Every situation is different, just a matter of what you're open to or comfortable with.

Annamaria said...

WORD that story was CRAZY.. I mean I understand that when you have kids you gotta get "creative" but the kiddies shouldn't be woken up from their sleep thinking you getting murdered. LOL

Rameer said...

Uh, Phillygirl? While Rene' is a constant contributor and upstanding guy...that was my comment, not his. Lol!

And I just have too many examples of people dating people with children that aren't the best endorsements...there are a number of different scenarios that can arise, but the majority - whether it can end up good or bad - are very complicated. And I'm not DOING complicated at this point in my life. I'm a selfless person with those I know and love, but I look out for myself and my feelings first when it comes to those I don't know. I'm not going to sacrifice things just to HOPE it works...cuz if it doesn't I'll be even more pissed.

You kinda proved my point when you say you don't really have time for anything - leads me to believe you are a good mother. And a good mother is probably not going to get a guy like me. I'm not needy, but I do want the freedom to be able to arrange when to see a woman and when we can hook up to do things/spend time. That's hard enough for us single, childless people - it's damn-near impossible for a good single parent.

Like I said, nothing wrong with it - I'm just personally not willing to make that sacrifice that is necessary. I really don't do complicated in relationships...at least not until I've been in it for a while, and something complicated happens to pop up.

Annamaria - you're as cold as ice. If you see a woman in a ninja mask following you this week, watch out...you better watch your back! I got Panamanians up in NYC to get people real quiet-like...lol.

Brooke said...

I'm sort of..ahem..."vocal" myself...so I NEVER would spend the night with the guy I was dating unless the kid was 1000 miles away! I'd be mortified! That story was insane.

Dating people with kids requires a lot, not everyone is built for it - not good, not bad - just it is what it is.

Karen is a good mother :)

I'm a bit afraid for you now Annamaria. If this girl in the ninja suit looks ANYTHING like how Rameer did in HIS mask, I'd be very afraid. He looked a bit like a terrorist...watch ya back!

Annamaria said...

Cold as ice.. :)

See that's the difference between Puerto Ricans & Panamanians... They sneak up on you....
I however will walk up to you in a crowded mall in broad daylight with a smile on my face & tase you. Then when you on the floor paralyzed I will shank you 50 times. Then kick you just for good measure.

And then I will go about my business. Tell your peeps I got eyes in the back of my head... :)

P.S-After saying all of this why is my word verification COURTA...LOL

Annamaria said...

SIDENOTE:HAPPY BIRTHDAY RENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

Man... I can write a book on this subject!!!! Funny thing is, in my early life... I was the dude that wouldn't date a girl with children. Now the last girl I dated and my current girlfriend are single moms. Go figure.

Anyway, I am not going to write a book in this blog but one piece of advice. If there is still drama on the part of either party (the baby momma or baby daddy)... run for the effin hills!!!! Because that shyt ain't over. One or the other still has feelings and you are going to get caught up in it. Now if both parties are friends or at least cordial enough to handle their B.I. for the sake of the child.. most likely they've matured enough to move on!

Brooke said...

B, who you tellin'!? That mess is NOT CUTE, getting caught up in baby mama (daddy) drama. I'd rather just be by myself, cuz that mess is nuts. And when a woman doesn't wanna let go, she won't. And she has the man's baby too? forget about it...she'll make both your lives hell. I learned that quick fast and EARLY! Can't do it.

Annamaria said...

Brooke:
She'll let go if you tase her butt! lol.....

Rameer said...

Annamaria...the difference between Puerto Ricans and Panamanians is, BECAUSE y'all wanna do things in broad daylight, y'all dominate the prison yards. WE don't get caught, so there are no prison documentaries about us!

LMAO!

***makes "the call", puts Annamaria on "the list"***

In Joe Pesci voice from Casino:

"You're f'n warned - don't ever go over my f'n head again - you muddafugger, you!"

LMAO!!!

Annamaria said...

Rameer: I've never gotten caught or been to jail...

"All you gotta do is bat your eyelashes & Pucker your lips"
-Sebastian, The Little Mermaid...

Ms. Princess said...

Dear Brooke-lyn,
Actually about 95% of my friends who are married either had children before they met their spouse-to-be or married someone had children prior to the relationship.
I have never dated a man with children, then again, I haven't dated much. That's not to say that I wouldn't in the future. I don't have anything against it. Especially being as though I love children.
Was chatting with my girl friend the other day. She and her husband have 1 adorable son and he has 2 beautiful children from another relationship. I remember before they got married, he would have his kids visit every weekend and my girl friend would be so attentive and caring and loving towards those kids like they were her own. Well now that they're married, the main issue is that my girl friend and the children's mother don't have the same ideas about raising children. She makes the children read when they visit and not just sit and watch cartoons all day. She doesn't believe in buying them Jordans, especially when the son doesn't do well in school. The mother feels like my girl friend is intruding on the father's time with his kids. But the husband's been laid off for a while now and for the time being, my girl friend is footing the majority of the bills. And her theory is, you're not spending my money on that foolishness!
Being the spawn of a wedlocked relationship, I always feel for the children in these situations because I can remember it well. Having broken up when I was 2-years-old, my parents definitely dated other people in my lifetime. It's really hard for the child to adapt. But now that I'm an adult, I can now better understand how hard it is for the parent to aclimate a relationship to their home life with their child.
You're right, in this day and age, if you're past 17, it's hard to find a wo/man without kids. So I never totally rule out dating a man with kiddies. I'd prefer my hubby and I start a family together but if it doesn't work out that way, that's cool too. And that's all I have to say about that. Spread love my peoples.
Love, Princess

phillygrl said...

lol!!..y'all are all crazy!..Brooke you need to have a summer soiree' of some sort:-)--
*for all us regular ol' Black people up on here..we better watch out for these Island peoples!!!:-) or .Like my godmother always says...Don't let me get South Philly on y'all!! (& if you know her, u know she means it!!----just a side not, she lives in Moorpark, CA...her son was raised there, when she gets mad it him, sh says that & he & her husband KNOW what she means..now that her Son is at Hampton & got a taste of the EAST COAST he really knows what it means & he's taken to saying it now too!!!)

Annamaria said...

Princess,

That is a VERY tough situation & it's like that for us too. BUT in MY house what I say goes. Which means the kids must read & do chores. And they must earn their TV privilages. They get Nike's but that's as fancy as we get with the sneakers (NO JORDAN'S) and we shop at Old Navy & Target for clothes. Being that girlfriend is holding things down her rules must be respected.
Like I say when they are home with mom they do what mom wants.

Rameer said...

Lol...I wasn't saying YOU, Annamaria. But since u wanted to talk about PRs vs. Panamanians...I had to drop some stats...lol!

"Get out...get out...you CAN'T be down here...

...you're ALL going to die down here..."

- The Red Queen, Resident Evil


Lol...I can pull the most abstract movie quotes out of my brain...

I disagree with the whole "hard to find" people over 17 without kids thing. I think it depends on where you live and the environment you live in. That may be true in Buffalo where I live, but it's certainly not the case when I go to Toronto, Maryland and Virginia. I know plenty of women in those areas in their 20s and 30s without kids.

So it depends...

Annamaria...watch out for red dots on your body. Tony Montana thought he was safe from Sosa, too...

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Brooke said...

I think Princess was being facetious :-)

It's definitely a tough situation. My parents officially divorced when I was 12, even though they separated long before then. My mother never dated alot. She had 2 boyfriends after she and my dad divorced, one who she was engaged to, but then broke it off cuz he wanted to move to Texas and she didn't want to take us away far away from my dad, and the other who'm she dated for 16 years until he passed away 5 years ago.

The reason she didn't date much is because she didn't want to expose us to different men in and out of her life. She didn't want us to see a "revolving door" of men. Also, raising two daughters, she didn't want any strange men around us who could possibly hurt us in any way. She made a sacrifice in not having companionship or her needs met for the sake of her daughters. She didn't date until we were well into our teens, old enough to reason with and where we could tell her what we felt or if anything was wrong. It's not just about involving the other adult in your child's life, but involving your children in your life as well. I love that my mom loved us enough to consider our well-being and make that sacrifice. That's why Rameer's story disturbed me. I would have been traumatized if I heard my mom getting her freak on like that. Crazy!

Rameer said...

Believe me Brooke - I'm sure that kid is. He probably hates women as an abstract result...you should have HEARD the things she was saying...Jenna Jameson would've blushed.

I'M traumatized myself...and that was YEARS ago...and she was older! She should've known better - she just either didn't give a F or thought her walls were really soundproof...they weren't.

Rene The Harlemite said...

Brooke-Thanks for the BDAY shoutout! I apprreciate it! It's on tonight! Party.

Everyone thanks for the Bday shouts.

Like anything there has to be clarity and understand your role in dealing with this.

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