I don’t have children. I wish I did, but I don’t. So, there are no lifelong responsibilities and a flexibility that I bring to the relationship which can be viewed positively by many men. Although, I once responded to someone on-line and he told me he only wanted to date a person with children. I felt hurt and insulted — like I was not good enough because I did not have children.
When someone you are dating has children, it can be a relationship inhibitor and logistically challenging when you are trying to schedule dates or events. And then there is the process of being introduced to and getting to know the children. That is always awkward. You feel like you are constantly being judged and sometimes the kids can be nice and other times, distant and aloof. Ya never know what you are going to get.
The problem with this is that you can’t say anything to them as it relates to discipline. It is not my child, so I am not the teacher or the disciplinarian. And many times, I find I would take a different approach with the children than the parent I am dating. It becomes frustrating because you can’t open your mouth or you come under criticism from the child or the parent.
And what happens if you don’t like the way your mate is disciplining their kids. Do you say anything? It is a hard balance to find. Recently, I went out with someone and I was completely put off when he just yelled several times at his boy to “shut up.” I was offended. He was not teaching the boy a lesson nor was he giving him a proper example. Yelling SHUT UP is not a parenting tact. You need to tell them what they are doing wrong, why, what they need to do and why and that if they don’t, then there will be consequences. And if the child does not listen and does what he wants, then you discipline as promised. They will learn in time.
As a person who comes to a relationship without children, it is hard to have credibility since I am not a parent … people think you don’t know how to parent.
I am of an age, where most people I meet do have children. I think it is easier if they are older … say in college or out of college. But when they are young, you realize that you are in for the long haul and that they are going to be an active and daily part of your life as a couple for some time to come.
I think it is important to give this sufficient thought and know what you are getting into and that you can strike that fine balance in being a person in the children’s life but one they have to respect and honor as well.
What have been your experiences? Let us know.