Is Dating A Man With A Child Worth it?

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As I sat with my closest girlfriends on our routine girls’ night out (GNO) one Saturday evening, the suspense at the table didn’t go unnoticed. Prior to our meeting, I had mentioned that I had some news to share. As the words tumbled from my mouth, all three gave me ‘the look’.
“He has what?” one girlfriend asked.
“As in a product of him?” she added dryly.
“Yes,” I answered ,sheepishly.
I knew exactly what they were thinking, as I spoke about my newfound love interest, and him bussing the file that he had a kid. Wasn’t I the same person who vowed to never date a man with a child? Alas, I admit, those were my exact words, but those words were also spoken by a much younger and not so much wiser version of myself. I have learnt through maturity and life’s little lessons, that limiting yourself or options because of the checklist of the perfect man or ideal relationship you have etched in your mind doesn’t actually prove to be realistic.
But while it isn’t the ideal situation for some women, is dating a guy with a child really all that bad? It doesn’t have to be, of course. It very well depends on the man, and how serious he is about getting into a committed relationship. But getting to know him is what matters, right?
When my guy mentioned that he had a child, I admit that the fear factor did set in. You know… the one involving the mother. Yes the other woman; the ex who will always be present in both of your lives. So I had to ask myself. Was this really worth getting into? Was he really worth it? There are other men who are single, childless and worth getting to know. Eh… I was up for the challenge, and decided to give it shot.
Obviously, there are several issues to deal with when someone has a child. Will he put you first? Do you think you’ll get jealous when you have to share him, and can’t throw a tantrum because you’ll ‘look bad’ for being jealous of a child? Will your plans get rescheduled at the last minute, because something came up with the child or because of a situation with the other parent? Will you have to deal with the ‘chile mother’?
Can your significant other manage any possible drama? What about keeping two women happy? You know… trying to pacify the mother so his relationship with his child isn’t affected, and keeping his ‘woman’ comfortable. And let’s be real, what about feeling secure about your relationship when you see him with her and their child, looking like a happy family unit?
Having to deal with the ‘chile mudda’ may not be one’s cup of tea, but this is one of the things you may have to do while you’re dating your guy. Having only exchanged brief, common courtesies via phone with my guy’s ex, I can say that it is necessary for you to be cordial in this situation, because you’ll be interacting with her child as well. In my case, we haven’t really had any tension thus far. All women aren’t the same and not every ex will bring drama or real ‘tote’ because of her ‘child fadda’s’ present relationship. These women, however, do happen to be a minority.
Fact is… there are many people out there who have a child with their ex. It is a reality that single people have to face. Coming to terms with it depends on what the single (and childless) individual is willing to accept, all in the name of love and finding ‘the one’.
Based on my experience, I’ll say that being open minded to a situation like this can be rewarding. You could actually find a great person who shares common interests, goals and views with you.
My guy possesses the main characteristics I usually go for, smart, sensitive, ambitious etc. I also get to witness the type of dad he really is, and he handles his role and responsibilities as a father well. He is absolutely in love with his child, and that makes him even more attractive to me. Seeing a man love and care for his child genuinely is a beautiful thing. Bear in mind that dating someone with a child would initially lead to you meeting the child or children, and having to build a relationship with them, not to mention gaining their trust as well.
Now it may seem rather funny, but I’ll admit that I was highly nervous the first time I met my guy’s child. Of course, I was also nervous that my guy would analyse me. Hell yes! But I wasn’t trying to overly impress him. I was more nervous about meeting his child.
Would the kid like me? Would I be accepted? Somehow I felt I had to impress the kid. I remember thinking, “Please don’t cry if I hold your hand”. Receiving the biggest smile was my ice breaker. It was done. Sealed. The kid was smitten… okay… not totally. Still, it was a great relief to have taken that step. See… another thing with dating someone who has a child is this… something even more special is added to the relationship, as the guy would have to trust you to take such a big step in introducing you to his prized possession, and it’s often a good sign that he takes you seriously.
Seeing a man with a child does give an inclination of the type of father he makes, and females – me included – tend to look for that particular quality when choosing our mates. Possessing the ideal qualities is what would make the final deal in him becoming a potential husband. So does this make a man with a child more marriage worthy? Does having a child mean that he is even more ready for long-term commitment, even with the extra baggage? He just might be. While, on my end, there is no talk of running down an aisle anytime soon, as the relationship progresses, who knows what may happen.
While we look for stability in relationships, dating someone who has a child shouldn’t pose a threat. It’s all about building that relationship on the basics, as you would any other, with love, trust, understanding, and commitment, among other things. Naturally, there would be hiccups; when disagreements occurred between the exes, this stressed out my guy, which in turn affected us, but we worked it out. In this type of relationship, things can also become even more complicated than they already are, so communication is key.
There will be many challenges and the occasional stress factors involved, but if he’s really worth getting to know… why not take a chance at something different? Like I said, many more single people have children now, and, while some people have strict rules about wanting someone, who may be like them, single and childless, dating a single parent isn’t akin to the plague. All you need to do is take a deep breath, and make sure you can handle all the other variables that come along with this relationship.

As I sat with my closest girlfriends on our routine girls’ night out (GNO) one Saturday evening, the suspense at the table didn’t go unnoticed. Prior to our meeting, I had mentioned that I had some news to share. As the words tumbled from my mouth, all three gave me ‘the look’.

“He has what?” one girlfriend asked.

“As in a product of him?” she added dryly.

“Yes,” I answered, sheepishly.

I knew exactly what they were thinking, as I spoke about my newfound love interest, and him bussing the file that he had a kid. Wasn’t I the same person who vowed to never date a man with a child? Alas, I admit, those were my exact words, but those words were also spoken by a much younger and not so much wiser version of myself. I have learnt through maturity and life’s little lessons, that limiting yourself or options because of the checklist of the perfect man or ideal relationship you have etched in your mind doesn’t actually prove to be realistic.

 

“Getting to know him is what matters, right?”

But while it isn’t the ideal situation for some women, is dating a guy with a child really all that bad? It doesn’t have to be, of course. It very well depends on the man, and how serious he is about getting into a committed relationship. But getting to know him is what matters, right?

When my guy mentioned that he had a child, I admit that the fear factor did set in. You know… the one involving the mother. Yes the other woman; the ex who will always be present in both of your lives. So I had to ask myself. Was this really worth getting into? Was he really worth it? There are other men who are single, childless and worth getting to know. Eh… I was up for the challenge, and decided to give it shot.

Obviously, there are several issues to deal with when someone has a child. Will he put you first? Do you think you’ll get jealous when you have to share him, and can’t throw a tantrum because you’ll ‘look bad’ for being jealous of a child? Will your plans get rescheduled at the last minute, because something came up with the child or because of a situation with the other parent? Will you have to deal with the ‘chile mother’?

 

“Can your significant other manage any possible drama?”

Can your significant other manage any possible drama? What about keeping two women happy? You know… trying to pacify the mother so his relationship with his child isn’t affected, and keeping his ‘woman’ comfortable. And let’s be real, what about feeling secure about your relationship when you see him with her and their child, looking like a happy family unit?

Having to deal with the ‘chile mudda’ may not be one’s cup of tea, but this is one of the things you may have to do while you’re dating your guy. Having only exchanged brief, common courtesies via phone with my guy’s ex, I can say that it is necessary for you to be cordial in this situation, because you’ll be interacting with her child as well. In my case, we haven’t really had any tension thus far. All women aren’t the same and not every ex will bring drama or real ‘tote’ because of her ‘child fadda’s’ present relationship. These women, however, do happen to be a minority.

Fact is… there are many people out there who have a child with their ex. It is a reality that single people have to face. Coming to terms with it depends on what the single (and childless) individual is willing to accept, all in the name of love and finding ‘the one’.

Based on my experience, I’ll say that being open minded to a situation like this can be rewarding. You could actually find a great person who shares common interests, goals and views with you.

My guy possesses the main characteristics I usually go for, smart, sensitive, ambitious etc. I also get to witness the type of dad he really is, and he handles his role and responsibilities as a father well. He is absolutely in love with his child, and that makes him even more attractive to me. Seeing a man love and care for his child genuinely is a beautiful thing. Bear in mind that dating someone with a child would initially lead to you meeting the child or children, and having to build a relationship with them, not to mention gaining their trust as well.

Now it may seem rather funny, but I’ll admit that I was highly nervous the first time I met my guy’s child. Of course, I was also nervous that my guy would analyse me. Hell yes! But I wasn’t trying to overly impress him. I was more nervous about meeting his child.

 

Would the kid like me? Would I be accepted?

Would the kid like me? Would I be accepted? Somehow I felt I had to impress the kid. I remember thinking, “Please don’t cry if I hold your hand”. Receiving the biggest smile was my ice breaker. It was done. Sealed. The kid was smitten… okay… not totally. Still, it was a great relief to have taken that step. See… another thing with dating someone who has a child is this… something even more special is added to the relationship, as the guy would have to trust you to take such a big step in introducing you to his prized possession, and it’s often a good sign that he takes you seriously.

Seeing a man with a child does give an inclination of the type of father he makes, and females – me included – tend to look for that particular quality when choosing our mates. Possessing the ideal qualities is what would make the final deal in him becoming a potential husband. So does this make a man with a child more marriage worthy? Does having a child mean that he is even more ready for long-term commitment, even with the extra baggage? He just might be. While, on my end, there is no talk of running down an aisle anytime soon, as the relationship progresses, who knows what may happen.

While we look for stability in relationships, dating someone who has a child shouldn’t pose a threat. It’s all about building that relationship on the basics, as you would any other, with love, trust, understanding, and commitment, among other things. Naturally, there would be hiccups; when disagreements occurred between the exes, this stressed out my guy, which in turn affected us, but we worked it out. In this type of relationship, things can also become even more complicated than they already are, so communication is key.

There will be many challenges and the occasional stress factors involved, but if he’s really worth getting to know… why not take a chance at something different? Like I said, many more single people have children now, and, while some people have strict rules about wanting someone, who may be like them, single and childless, dating a single parent isn’t akin to the plague. All you need to do is take a deep breath, and make sure you can handle all the other variables that come along with this relationship.

 

Check out the rest of this week’s issue (18/04/11; Issue 53):

Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!

 

Jolisa Brewster

Jolisa Brewster is a south girl, who is still adapting to her adopted town life. She loves to talk as much as much as she loves to write, and is currently pursuing a degree in media and communications. She also happens to be an avid foodie. When she isn't talking her family to death, you can find her eating her way around Trinidad and writing about it. She is learning to not take life too seriously and plan so much. God does laugh! Especially at her.

  • Elle

    I really enjoyed reading this, I started seeing a guy with an 18 mo daughter about a month ago… I knew him and his baby’s mom back when they were dating pre-baby. Baby’s mom left them to go back to her life of leisure. Super sad situation.

    As for daddy and baby, I have loved every minute I’ve spent with them. SO many articles or blogs online say avoid dating someone with children, its not worth the drama. Even my guy said that he can’t understand why I am OK with the baby situation, that so many girls are not… I just don’t understand how you can’t be! Seems like a lot of women are jealous of their partners kids.. seriously? How can you be jealous of the attention a father gives their children? I love watching him with baby girl… and I love even more when she smiles at me or reaches for me. I feel like I’m getting an awesome guy and the little girl is just an amazing bonus that comes with him.

    • tee

      Elle that is incredibly sweet and inspiring. Im currently interested in a guy and we are stuck on a plataeu because of his child that i would one day meet. The kid doesn’t live with him at the moment because of military assignments but its right around the corner. Im so stuck on what to do, because i know i will always be second. If i had children I’m sure it will be easier.

    • gina

      @ Elle
      Your boyfriend’s baby momma sounds immature. The reality is that Nothing is really stopping her from one day coming back to claim her baby girl and creating more drama in your lives because she feels angry and jealous.
      Do you have to participate in changing pampers and feeding the baby and all the many needs of this baby?
      Also if you get attached to this baby and one day the relationship ends for whatever reason, you won’t see her again because you’re not her mother and therefore don’t have any rights to her.
      There’s a lot to think about

  • Courtney

    I’ve been dating this great boy for about four months. He told me he has a daughter, who is just a few months old a few weeks before we started dating, since him and I started out as only friends. The only difference is, we’re still teenagers. Yes, I am a sixteen year old girl, dating an eighteen year old boy who has a daughter that is about seven months old.. My boyfriend is a great guy, and I very respectable father who is very much so present in his daughters life, but I’m not sure if I can really do it/:
    I have had contact with the babies mother, and she HATES me! She has expressed her feelings towards her child’s father to me, and she is still in love with him. Kinda needless to say why she hates me/: I’m not sure if I’m comfortable in this relationship/:

    • Madametrue

      RUN little girl RUN as fast as you can before you get sucked in like a fool!!!!!!

  • Dana

    I loved reading this. I’ve been seeing this 20 year old guy who has a 3 year old son for a couple months now & this described my situation perfectly. I was SO nervous the first time I met his child, but everything went well & I get along with him nicely :) Though he & his ex are civil towards each other, she has made it clear that she doesn’t quite approve of me since I’m 18 years old. I’m not bitter towards her; I just thought about how I’d feel if I was in her situation. But the point is that I’m more than willing to accept the fact that he has a son, though some of my friends, family, & I’m sure others who don’t know the whole story, may not like it. They can think I’m nuts; It honestly doesn’t make much difference to me. What it comes down to is whether he’s a great guy or not… & he definitely is. He’s a great father as well as an amazing boyfriend. My advice to anyone who’s considering dating a man with a child is to not totally rule them out, but know the whole situation before you get yourself into it. They might just surprise you :)

    • Anne

      I think you’re still too young to tie yourself down to a man who already has so much responsibility in his life. The baby momma is already expressing dislike for you. Who knows what other things you’ll have to deal with down the road. At your age your suposed to be meeting different boys and learning about yourself. You didn’t get knocked up, you don’t have to be taking care of a baby. Enjoy your life and treat yourself the way you’d want your future children to treat themselves.

  • No Security

    As a childless woman, I am having a hard time accepting that my boyfriend has a child (in terms of our long term future). It’s difficult to have two (mother & child) people outside of our relationship who will ALWAYS have a large say in our future. This takes away from the security I feel in my relationship because I will always have someone greater than me in my own relationship.

  • DanielR

    the older you get, the less “men without children” you will find; and you’ll find also that less and less “men WITH children” would even consider a relationship with you; so, grow up and accept the reality of our times; for a 25 y.o. it may be ok, but once you are over 35 you have no excuse for rejecting men just because they have kids

    • Guest

      “No excuse for rejecting men just because they have kids”.

      Sure you do. The same way that single father might reject a woman too skinny, too short, too fat, without blonde hair, bad teeth, etc…….

      It’s called preferences. And, we all have them.

    • Mel

      @disqus_Uzv9PSTIJT:disqus
      I don’t know what you’re talking about.
      There’s plenty of men in their 20s and 30s without children.
      You’re one of them selfish fools who wants to hook in a dummy of a woman with low self esteem who think she can’t meet single men without kids. I see thru you fool. You don’t want a single mom yourself because you don’t want her baggage, but you’re here trying to convince the sisters to take your baggage, go take care of your kids, etc. Sweet aint it? New for you, women aint that dumb no more.

      • DanielR

        for you the kids are like some sort of disease….
        wow sistaa, you’re such a catch :)

  • Jay

    I agree..you always feel like he has a greater friend and you’ll never take that place. Hurts even more if he’s the best man you’ve ever had a relationship with. I just feel insecure and out of place.

  • Sara tayeb

    I just started seeing this guy who has a 2 year old son, I was very very hurt at the start, all i could think of was the mother of his son, I adore him, and his son, but the mother just makes me feel so small lol .. but i guess its a decision you have to make yourself, whether he is such a great person, that its worth withstanding everything, and for me, am willing to just love him, care for him and his son like my own , and really, be the best girlfriend i can be. as for the mom, ill do her justice, for his sake. and i also think if he really loves you, he would make you feel on top of the world, and that the mother has no say in your relationship , he told me the only bond he has with her is their son, and maybe into the future if u got married and all and had your own kids, you will have the upper hand, stay strong <3

    • lady

      “but the mother makes me feel so small lol”
      I’ve noticed that the women who put up with this kind of situation might suffer from a bit of low selfesteem as compared to other ladies who go after a man without so much baggage.

  • Guest

    Yes, I agree with the person who talks about preference… Just like we make our decisions to date someone based on looks, gender, financial status, education, etc., dating someone with a child is another category. I dated a guy with a kid even though I always pictured my happy family– husband, wife, kids, pets; I’ve just always wanted what my parents have.
    Yet I’m one of the people who says “don’t knock it, until you try it”. And unfortunately, it was just like I thought– something that I didn’t want in my life even though the guy was WONDERFUL! The experience just allowed me to see what I do and don’t want in my life, and I don’t think that makes me selfish or immature at all.
    If he makes you happy and you can accept his child then great, be with him! But if you can’t, then leave– because you, him, and the child deserves to be happy.

  • Alden

    I’ve been dating this wonderful man for three months now, and while everything about him is amazing and all I’ve ever wanted-he has two young boys. The problem for me isn’t the boys, it’s the ex wife. The boys love me and snuggle me while watching movies and we all just have a great time. Only when the ex is brought in (which is pretty much every day or every other day) is when it gets to me. I’ve tried to hold in my petty, immature jealously issues but eventually he can tell and then asks what’s wrong. Well then I tell him. And when I say it out loud it sounds so insecure and ridiculous…and then of course his comments back don;t really help because he’s kind of had enough with this roller coaster of “my mood.” He’s in his boys life and does everything for them, and I do admire that, and that’s not necessarily my issue, it’s just the fact that I can;t get past that he has TWO women in his life. Not just me but two. It’s hard being around them at football practices because it’s their kids…and she makes sure to let me know by little comments and slick moves that honestly-only us women can understand and that guys don’t see. I want to be ok with this situation so bad because I want to stay in his life and the boys life, but I don’t want to keep having these outbursts when we are all together. Oh and BTW, I’m recently divorced myself, but with no children and definitely want children someday. (which he says he would have a child with me, so that’s good, right?) Can anyone please give me suggestions or recommendations on how I can approach this situation with confidence and not be so jealous of their relationship? Please before this ship sinks!!

  • Jackie

    Dating men with children has consistently proven to me that its full of pitfalls and really significant challenges. This is what women need to ask themselves if they are willing to put up with: 1. Are you willing to be second (or last) because the “ex” will always be in the picture somewhere and the kids (as they should be) should come first. 2. Spontaneity (like going out of town for the weekend) or out during the week is not likely to happen if he’s taking care of his responsibilities as a dad with his kids. 3. Expect to be competing for his attention, time and money. And if your guy uses his kids as an excuse for why he cant give you the time you deserve, shut and lock that door and run the other direction.