Little Cute Baggage: Could You Be With Someone With Kids?
The dating world can be one of those natural adventures that take you places that you thought you’d never go. Whether it’s that happily ever after ending or that slashing tires and gay rumors being spread about you ending (not as funny as it sounds), it all makes for a great experience. Past and current relationships are awesome conversation topics because you can have a very unique episode that makes you look like a hero or run into someone who went through the exact same thing as you and form an alliance against all exes. The point is, we’re all learning from our relationships, but some people have a little extra to overcome in the form of mini-me(s).
Dating people with kids puts a whole twist on your relationship. I lived in Tucson, AZ for six years and it seemed like every woman that lived within one hundred miles had a kid or two. Let me be the first to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with dating someone who has kids. Some people might have a problem with it and I’ll get into why in a few moments, but other will embrace their unforeseen responsibility for the sake of being happy.
Let’s get into the pros of dating someone with a kid.
• You get to be a kid again– I was dating a woman with two beautiful little girls when I was twenty-two years old. I didn’t know how to react when her daughters encountered me at first, but kids have a way of bringing out the softer side of you. They thought I was the funniest man in the world which gave me the excuse to be as silly as I wanted to be. You can get away with a lot when you’re with the kids and if making a child happy doesn’t melt your heart then I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not human.
• You learn responsibility – You aren’t the only person you care about anymore. There is someone much smaller and innocent than you that needs your guidance. The amount of influence you have on a child is astounding. It makes you feel important because they listen to you. They follow you. They try to emulate any and everything you do. That kind of makes you rethink what you say and do around them. You start to realize that some of the childish things you were doing weren’t fit for someone your age. It some ways, a child can turn you into a true adult.
• You’re a part of a family – I don’t care what anyone says, growing up with both parents is just awesome. I don’t think people who grow up with both parents fully understand how lucky they really are. There’s a certain fullness in the heart you feel when you come home to people who love you. Even though you’re not officially a part of the family, it still feels good to have a role in a household. To see their little faces light up when you pick them up from school. To have a routine in your once wild and crazy life.
There are far more pros to name, but these two seem to be the most rewarding for some people. But it’s not all Brady Bunch when it comes to dating someone with a kid. There is a downside to it as well.
• It’s the kid’s world. You just live in it – If you ask most parents, they would say that their kids are their life which is totally understandable. But for an outsider, it may take a bit more time to adjust. What exactly are you giving up? Basically your life. If you have a date night, but the child gets sick, you’re not going on that date. If the child is a spoiled brat and decides he/she wants to sleep in the bed with you two while you were thinking of having a naughty night, you will think again with a little foot in your face. It’s a lose-lose for you because most people would feel like a piece of shit if they asked their significant other to put their child second. But that means you come second and coming in second place ALL THE TIME can wear down on any relationship.
• They’re not your kids – This may be a good thing to some, but for those truly invested into the relationship it may be a different story. No matter how close you get with the kids, the fact of the matter is they are not your kids. So when that awkward moment comes to tell them why they can’t do something or performing an extra parent role that’s not in your lane comes up, you feel completely powerless because for all intents and purposes, they don’t have to listen to you. Kids can make an adult cry if they want to. Try not to over step your boundaries.
• You get too attached – Kids are highly impressionable and can attach to something very quickly and tightly. When you get into a relationship with a person with kids, you are assuming the position of the parent whether you want to or not. Referring back to the relationship I spoke on earlier, those two girls and I had the best time together. I read them bedtime stories, we went on trips together, and they even took something I owned to school for show and tell. The only problem was me and the mother weren’t in a monogamous relationship (at least on my end). She was fully aware of my antics and quite frankly I’m surprised she let it go on for so long. Maybe she felt as a single mother that she had to take what she could get, but nevertheless we were in a one-sided relationship that involved me claiming all the glory and her dealing with the struggle. I wasn’t waking up at 6 am to get them ready for school. I wasn’t worrying about how I was going to pay for them to play soccer this year. I wasn’t even the one who stood up when they cried about something. I was just the guy who was there when they were happy and in the shadows when times got hard. It started getting real when one of the daughters called me daddy in front of the whole family. Talk about awkward. I got too attached and it was my fault for trying to have my cake and eat it too. Long story short, we ended up having a nasty split and the ones who suffered the most were those two little girls. Time will tell how much it really affected them, but if I had to pull out my short list of regrets in life that would be on there. Don’t get too attached if you’re not fully invested.
The Virgin: In my personal experience, I don’t think a person in this category will be well suited to be with a person with kids. You have so much tunnel vision when it comes to your future that someone else’s kid will fill more like a burden than a blessing. I’m not saying that you can’t find happiness in this type of relationship, but it is highly unlikely to see it all the way through. If you’re like me, a hopeless romantic, then you like doing things the traditional way. When I first met someone I would always imagine my distant future with that person. I would never tell the person that, but it was always somewhere in my mind. That fantasy would be short lived if I had to picture someone else’s kid in it. This is the time of your life where it’s ok to be selfish. Enjoy it while you can.
The Player: This is the second most ideal situation for The Player to be in (only to dating a player). The reason why this is one of the bread and butter relationships is because you don’t have to be around all the time and taking responsibility isn’t expected. I remember when I used to come over certain women’s house late at night while the children were sleep and leave right before they woke up all so the mother wouldn’t have to answer that awkward question of, who is he? There were no surprise visits, for the most part, if they couldn’t find a babysitter then not going out was totally understandable because you always had a backup plan, and most importantly there was no guilt if you just decided you wanted to stop seeing someone because there’s no commitment upfront. The only thing I would caution is being aware of your surroundings. Kids are smart and can tell when their mom or dad is a little happier than usual even if it’s just for the moment. If you’re the reason why their parent’s heart gets broken, it can have a lasting effect on them. You may not care in this stage because you’re living your life, but it only takes one bad experience to mold the future. Insert Terminator pun as you see fit.
The Faithful: When you’re in this category it’s all or nothing. The being with someone who has a kid is a problem because they are a part of the relationship. Understand that life happens. Some relationships don’t last forever and the only good thing that comes out of it is beautiful child. That doesn’t mean you have to pass up on potentially being happy for a very long time. The thing that separates The Faithful from the other two categories is its lack of judgement. Most people would hear a woman or man having three kids by three different partners and think that this person doesn’t deserve to be in a relationship. The truth is I know two women and a man who are in that exact situation and are the most loyal, romantics anyone could ever know. It just so happens that their past relationships didn’t work out. Should they be without someone to love them because they got dealt the wrong cards? Of course not! That’s absurd to even think that. The Faithful knows the responsibilities and is more than willing to take them on.
So do you think you would be able to date someone with a kid? If not, then why not? There are no wrong answers because you have the right to do what you want. Leave your comments below and be a part of the conversation.
Author: Ty Mitchell
I write books and help writers get through their literary journey. I am the author of The Color of Love. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity. Follow me on Twitter @Ty_Mitchell or on Facebook @the-vpf.