Dating and Kids

DatingTalking to my old boss last night at dinner, our conversation naturally turned to something that everyone’s conversation turns to at some point.  Dating and sex.

He’s in his early 40’s, and a down to earth cool guy.  We’ve always gotten along, which is why we kept in touch after I left the company.  He is blessed with a very cool, laid back and well behaved daughter, who is now getting dangerously close to being a teenager!!  His daughter has always been a huge part of his life, and they are as close as it’s possible for a father and daughter to be.  Their relationship has always been really good, and it’s heartwarming to see them together.

But about five years ago he got divorced.  At the time, it was devastating for him, but he’s come a very long way now.  He’s been dating a nice girl for just under two years.  It got us talking about how strange it is to date when you have children, as he does.  His girlfriend is young, doesn’t have kids, and doesn’t seem to be too inclined to have kids.  She and his daughter get along really well, so there’s no trouble there.  The problem comes with a person who doesn’t have children, not understanding a person who does.

I don’t have kids myself, but I understand that there is a bond between a parent and a child that cannot be explained unless you’ve experienced it.  Basically, no matter what, that child comes first.

His girlfriend gets it for the most part, but there are things that come up that tend to make him a little concerned.  To him, an extra day with his daughter is awesome.  If his ex wife calls and asks him to watch their daughter an extra day, he jumps on the chance.  But the girlfriend will ask ‘well which day is she trading for?’.  In her mind, another day with his daughter is a day taken away from her, so there should be a trade off.

It made me think about dating someone with kids.  I’m at the stage in my life where I think it’s natural for me to be a little bit selfish about the things I want.  I am newly single for the first time in over six years, I have the freedom to do whatever I want, and I’m feeling really good about myself, especially as I work out more and shape my body into the version of it I like 🙂  So would I be willing to compromise with a guy who has a child?  You would always come second, no matter what.  That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it should be when children are involved.  But would I be able to be satisfied being second place at this time in my life?  And if this is the way I feel, then I’m certainly not the only one.  How hard must this make it for those out there that are trying to date with kids?

My roommate Dee said that having kids does and should take up most of your time.  Your kids want you to go to their soccer games or swim meets.  They want you to watch movies with them and help them with their homework.  They want you to be there to support them.  As a parent, you do all these things for your kids, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for other things, especially dating.  Dee said that she feels that it’s almost impossible to date when you are raising young kids by yourself.  It helps if you have a partner who takes them half the time, but if you’re a single parent it’s impossible.  I’m not sure I agree, but I don’t have kids, so I can’t say that.

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