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Dating With Children
The Talk

by Coco Diong

My friend Marisa will absolutely not date a guy who has children, whether they’re living with him or not.  She uses the “child factor” to disqualify a guy on the spot. Her claim?  “I don’t have children, and I’m not interested in dating men who do, nor do I want to compete for his attention or deal with the baby mama drama.” It seems that there are a lot of opinions on this subject.  Here are some I encountered when I decided to do this article.

Gerald: 40  “There was a time when I refused to date women with children.  Now, I assume some of my potential dating partners will have children from previous unions.  Therefore, I must accept or reject the package as a whole. Once I began to view the package as a whole, my feelings changed somewhat. I began to look at several factors…How does the child behave both at home and in public?  Does the child respect other adults?  Is the child a ‘smart-mouth brat, or a ‘well-behaved’ kid?  The parent may be appealing to you, but is the kid?”

Yvonne: 32  “As a single parent, I am very conscious of the fact that the behavior of my child may influence dating decisions that are made about me.  I have found that many single guys view a woman’s children as a hindrance to dating, an obstacle to adjust to and overcome to make the relationship work.”

Michelle: 32  “I was not prepared for the outright animosity I met when I began dating again after my divorce and announced to the date of the hour that I had children.  I thought everyone loved children and I just knew everyone would love mine because they were cute and lovable, but I quickly discovered that too many men see kids as excess baggage and competitors for our attention.  I saw the look in one guy’s eyes go from lust to disgust when I told him after an exquisite night out that I had to go pick my three children up from the babysitter.  He took me home and “candidly” shared his ‘no-date women with children’ policy.  He was the first to be so blunt.  Others just never called again or pretended to be busy.”

Diane: 34  “I was just about through with the dating scene when I met a guy who didn’t care how many kids I had or how much debt I was in.  I had two kids and was in a serious financial state, but he loved me, and whatever came with me.  I found out that, though there may be some men who prefer not being involved with women with no children, there are those who don’t care, if they care about the woman.”

Terry:  36  “I know a number of women who like me, but not my children, (I am a divorced father of three), and most fail to hide their feelings for long.  I have my kids over every weekend, which means that I’m usually unavailable or I have to come as a package.  Of course, since they want to see me, they try to suffer through the children, and sometimes their discomfort is evident.  My children are also uncomfortable seeing me with anyone other than their mother.”

Carl:  39  “I’m a single father with custody of two teenage children and I discovered that a genuine woman is hard to find.  Most of these women out here are just looking for a man to do whatever they want him to do. Though most claim to be looking for a good man to build a home with, few are willing to build a home when the guy already has children with another woman.   There are those who only want a good time and don’t consider babysitting another woman’s kids as a definition of that.”

Ken: 43  “I have found that there are too many single mothers who have obnoxious children (not all kids are lovable little creatures with disarming grins) whom they have no control over.  They don’t seem to spend enough time training or teaching the children how to behave until they have company and then it’s too late. Whenever I meet a woman who has any potential of capturing my interest, and she has children, I immediately want to meet the children.  This is important because whether or not I like the children has a large impact on whether the relationship will flourish.”

Mel: 30 “I was once involved with a woman who told me after three months of dating that she had three kids whom she shared joint custody with their father. At that time, they were with him for their six months stay.  I had become emotionally attached and I felt assured that I could love everything that came with this woman.  But that feeling dissipated immediately upon meeting her children. They were the most unruly kids I’d ever laid eyes on, and of course, their behavior and my lack of tolerance forced the relationship to disintegrate.”

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