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Old 07-11-2008, 12:35 PM   #1
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Single moms and dating

Let me start off by saying I am TOTALLY not there yet but I was talking to another newly single mama the other day about the possibility of ever dating again and it got me thinking...

It seems like there are three camps when it comes to single moms (or single parents? It does seem like there's more pressure on the moms than the dads though) dating.

1. Single moms should not be dating at all. They should be raising their children and not be so selfish. I'm not even going there! Those people can take a long walk off a short pier as far as I'm concerned.

2. I have known single people who introduced their kids to every person they dated very early in the relationship. The theory was that the kids were a big part of the mother's life and if the kids and boyfriend couldn't get along then the relationship had no possibility of a future so better to find that out early. Makes sense on some level.

3. I have known single people who refused to let people they were dating get anywhere near their kids until they were further along in the relationship. The theory there was that there was no need to confuse the kids and overwhelm them or risk them getting attached and suffering if the relationship didn't work out. So you wait until you're sure the relationship is going somewhere before bringing the kids into it. Again...makes sense on some level.

So I'm just curious what other single mamas think or have done? Back in the day I dated a guy with a two-year old daughter and she and I got very attached. It was awful on her when we broke up and he used her to manipulate me for a long time before I got the strength to walk away. And I remember when I had a roommate with a 4 year old. I never even considered what effect my comings and goings would have on him but I realized eventually that he took in everything and he was affected by it. I had been on a couple of dates with this one guy so the baby saw him picking me up and dropping me off, sometimes hanging out and watching TV or sitting at the kitchen table talking at the end of the date. When I went on a date with a different guy, the 4 year old kind of freaked out and asked if the first guy wasn't my friend anymore. I explained to him that a person could have lots of friends but I realized later that his mother introduced the guys she was sleeping with as "friends".

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Old 07-11-2008, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Single moms and dating

I didn't introduce my DD to my SO until we had been seeing eachother for a while, and were certain that the relationship was going somewhere. I also did a background check on him.

I think that for me, the fact that the relationship was long distance made it a lot easier to wait. Also, both our girls are very young, so it wasn't as confusing as it would've been 5 years down the road. The older the child is, the harder it is to introduce them to another man/woman. I definitely would not introduce every man that I dated to my DD, I don't agree with that. Kids don't need to have men/women coming in and out of their lives, that's a burden that they shouldn't have to know.

We're actually moving in together this fall, and plan to get married, so he did end up being "the guy". I chose carefully. I did do a tiny bit of "casual dating" after my ex and I split, but didn't introduce DD to either of those people... I had no desire to.

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Old 07-11-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: Single moms and dating

One of my best friends dated a guy for 3 years before she found out he was cheating on her. Her son had a bedroom at the guy's house, and they were VERY close. It was incredibly hard on J, who basically though of B as a second father (they dated from his age 2 to age 5).

That being said, before the breakup, B was extremely good with her son, who is autistic and definitely a handful. Her son still asks to go to B's house, but my friend is just vague about him being busy.

In hindsight, my friend thinks that her son having a bedroom at B's house was inappropriate, but they had been talking about getting married, and she really thought it would go all the way. So you just can't second-guess yourself.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Single moms and dating

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Originally Posted by kiwi87 View Post
I also did a background check on him.
It does seem kind of overkill but it really isn't. I read an article a while back (wish I could remember where!) about pedophiles posting on online dating sites and hooking up with moms to get to their kids!

Personally I think it depends a lot on the adults and the kids. Like I said, I don't plan to go there any time soon and I hope that when I do get to that point, that it will be someone that I'm friends with and just moving to the next step. It is kind of scary to think about though...all the ins and outs of dating and adding kids to the mix to boot...

The really bad part is that I've got this whole biological clock ticking thing too. I really want to have more children (I wanted more with h but he didn't) but I'm 32 now so time's running out. How horrible is that? One thing I know for sure is that I don't ever want to go through this again so I'm definitely not going to rush into anything. I'd rather have the two beautiful little terrors I have now and a happy life than a house full of babies and another miserable marriage. Some days I just have to keep reminding myself of that...
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: Single moms and dating

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Originally Posted by bfoster2000 View Post
It does seem kind of overkill but it really isn't. I read an article a while back (wish I could remember where!) about pedophiles posting on online dating sites and hooking up with moms to get to their kids!
Oh, I know! I laugh when I tell people that, but I honestly consider it necessary these days, which is a little sad. You hear all about boyfriends doing god knows what to other women's children. I just don't want to take chances when it comes to my child. I even told SO about it and he laughed but agreed that it was the right thing to do.

Oh, and btw. He's all clear.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Single moms and dating

I waited till I knew my relationship with nick was going to go somewhere. My daughter gets attached to people easy and I wanted to know it would last for Nick and I before getting her involved. It helped us grow as a "couple" before growing as "family" ( i guess thats the only way to put in words my feelings about it) He loves cadence and on numerous occasions told me he dont feel as if cadence is NOT his child even though biologically shes not. I cant say haow lucky I am (sorry off topic but I LOVE the way he loves not just me but my kid too and took her in as his own when her father wouldnt)...anyways rambling
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: Single moms and dating

If it wasnt for Cadence i wouldnt be with my husband. He fell in love iwth her right away and she is what brought us together. I see nothing wrong with introducing your children when you meet someone . You dont have to say at the first meeting "this is going to be your new daddy".
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: Single moms and dating

I'm kind of a hit or miss between 1 and 3. So far, my policy has been zero dating while she's this young, because I feel almost like I'm "cheating" on her. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but that's kind of how I feel...Like I'd be taking time/energy from what I normally give her. But then. I think if the opportunity presented itself, I could go out after she's asleep and not worry, but I would not bring her into it until I'm sure he'd stick around for a long while. I wouldn't want to be the single Mama who's bringing someone new into their kids life every month. Kids need stability.

Possibly I feel different about it, though, from being a single Mama since the day I found out I was pregnant. The fact it's always just been the two of us makes things a bit different.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:24 PM   #9
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Re: Single moms and dating

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Originally Posted by kiwi87 View Post
I also did a background check on him.
I did background checks on everybody I was interested in dating. I even checked public records to make sure they hadn't ever had a home or car repossessed, or filed bankruptcy.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
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Re: Single moms and dating

Every situation is different. For me, Mark was a friend before he was a love interest, so he knew my daughter that way. I actually paid attention to her cues as things progressed..she's a great judge of character, and if she had turned a cold shoulder to him that would have been it. But from the first time she met him it was like a fish to water. A few months later when we were thinking about dating we spent an entire night talking about the pros and cons where Rannen was concerned.
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