I am a single parent of three children, two of which are still minors so when I felt the desire to begin dating almost 2 years ago I looked around my small town and seen nothing of interest. Perhaps I was just down on the other sex because of what my spouse had done, but I knew there had to be a loyal loving man out there for me. I did not think my expectations were too high I just wanted a man who would openly honestly communicate, who didn’t play around and would allow me to be me. Read more about my story and the events that I had to face when I made the decision to date.
One thing that stuck out in my mind was that I had to date someone with a child or two, simply because he would understand my need to still be a parent. He’d have to understand that my children came first and I’d have to take it slow and he’d have to pass the kid test. Let me tell you kids can be ruthless at times if they think someone is trying to ‘replace’ the other parent.
I found him but it took awhile for me to do so, and truth be told he found me first. I had ventured out to a few online dating sites to gradually get back into the swing of things and at first I found men who were not as they pretended to be. I had almost given up hope after 6 months but two of my female friends urged me to continue on and I am so glad I did as I found a great man just 8 months after I joined www.plentyoffish.com.
He contacted me on March 7, 2006 with a simple email that read something like “if you want clean g-rated chat, here’s my email.” I took the chance and wrote him back and gave him my yahoo id. He responded within a few minutes and we chatted on line for 2 hours when he asked if I would call him. I figured I could block my phone number (hence my real name as well) and a phone call would not hurt. We talked for 5 hours and the conversation flowed so easily, it felt like I was talking to a long lost friend. I did meet him within 2 days but for that first month we really got to know each other on the phone. We talked daily on the phone for hours and on the internet a few times a day.
We took it very slowly and got to know each other and became friends before he even met my children. We didn’t want to push anything on them and make them feel as if he was trying to replace their own father.
We are still together as a couple over a year later and everyone knows it. My children accept him and see him more often then the do their own father. They respect my boyfriend and want us to move in together and one of the things that is stopping us, is his daughter who has not met me yet. It’s not that I don’t want to meet her but her mom took her away and kept her hidden for almost a year and a half. Honestly I don’t know how parents can be so cruel, but I guess sometimes they can be.
Ray and I have a solid friendship that has grown into a well rounded loving relationship. He loves me and my children and there is nothing that he would not do for us. He totally understands my need to be a parent comes first. He doesn’t give me grief if my teen age sons or adult daughter need me; he just lets me do what I have to and doesn’t get angry.
We both know parenting is a challenge and when you toss step children into it, it gets complicated but he gives me advice but does not discipline my children. He knows that is my responsibility to discipline them and he has never said a harsh word to them. He often voices his concern about their own father helping discipline them but my ex never has even thought we lived as a family unit for 19 years. That however is another topic for later discussion.
My tips for dating when you have children include;
1.) Do not rush anything, what is meant to be will be.
2.) If there are children involved don’t try to be a parent, be a friend instead to the child.
3.) Meetings must be in a public place at first, we don’t need to risk our children until we trust the other person.
4.) Represent your self in dating sites honestly include a recent photo.
5.) Talk on line or the phone (if you can block your number) prior to meeting.
6.) Don’t insist that the children like the one you are dating.
7.) Don’t pump the children for information about the other parent.
8.) Don’t slam the other parent verbally in front of the kids, because they will figure it out for themselves.
My ex’s current girlfriend has made the mistake of handing on money to one of our children so like a normal child he asks for it when he can. For the one son who visits them at their place, she offers him candy etc and when he acts out she makes him leave. Granted this child should not act out but he is adhd and well sometimes it’s uncontrollable for him especially in stressful situations. Whose fault is it he acts out? No one’s fault but, I believe the fault lies within my ex who didn’t tell his girlfriend about our son’s medical conditions which include mental and physical delays with the adhd. It’s all about honesty and I don’t think my ex has figured that out yet.
My children don’t have many good things to say about my ex’s girlfriend and I believe it’s because she tried to hard to make them like her. They do respect and enjoy being around my boyfriend because he didn’t try to make them like him nor did he try to buy their affection not replace their dad. I believe this is because my boyfriend and I have taken things slow and never tried to push anything on the children.
David Robson is the founder of Complus Alliance. He has been writing about different topics for almost 10 years. He’s main focus is delivering quality insights to a wide array of audience.