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Author Topic: d@ting a single father...  (Read 5384 times)

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Mental Magpie

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d@ting a single father...
« on: September 21, 2013, 08:02:02 PM »
I have never d@ted anyone with children.  The man I am currently d@ting is a single father and I have met his 6 year old twice now.  She's such a doll and we had a great time last night even though it was only about 30 minutes.  What I don't know about his suggesting dates with his daughter present.  Should I do so to show that I'm more than willing to have her tag along or should I wait for him to suggest it?  We have only been on one actual date so far, the other times have been movies at his house, and by the time I got there, his daughter was either asleep or at the baby-sitters.  If I should suggest it, what do I suggest?  I only have a general idea of what 6 year olds like.  Going to the zoo is out of the question because both he and I are incredibly busy.  I thought about suggesting dinner and a movie she could watch (I love kids' movies and he appears to at least like them, so it wouldn't be just for his daughter).  I don't want to move to fast with his kid, either, like him feeling I'm imposing myself or anything.  I have no idea what to do so any advice would be appreciated, please.

Edited to fix d@ting tags.

rain

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 08:12:17 PM »
How long have you been dating?

If you've been dating for a while (IMO 3-4 months at least) then fine ... and if things don't work out, kids need to learn that you don't necessarily stay with a person you date


Here's what I've seen - people who allow their kids/grandkids to get attached to every person they date and when the breakup comes the poor kid doesn't understand/ends up feeling abandoned (I can't stand people who do the instant partner merry-go-round thing ... I've seen kids negatively impacted by that)

(aside - I don't know what happened to mom, but there is a book that may be good for the family, its "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edlemann - I highly recommend it)
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HenrysMom

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 08:31:55 PM »
I would wait for longer, at least 6 months to a year, to make sure the relationship between you and her father lasts.  It's unfair to the child if you become a presence in her life, only to disappear if you and her father break up. 

Mental Magpie

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 08:45:06 PM »
We've really only been dating for a month...but probably not even technically that long due to our busy schedules.  We're taking it super slow in part because of said schedules and in part because I just ended a 4 year relationship and his divorce has only been final for 6 months.  We're both trying to not rush into this.  I'm glad both of you mentioned waiting because I feel like I should but I don't know how long to wait to invite her along.  I also don't want to do what you mentioned, rain, by being there then suddenly being gone.  I want this relationship to last but there is no way I want to hurt a child if it doesn't.

I think I'll let him set the pace on when to include his daughter; should I let him know that, though?

WillyNilly

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 08:52:13 PM »
I don't think you should suggest inviting his daughter. let him totally handle that end. But you can have a conversation with him. Just be open "hey so I just wanted to get it out there. I've never dated a guy with a kid before so this is all new territory for me. I guess it is for you too, but I just wanted to let you know that I plan to let you take the lead on including her, so please don't think I'm not suggesting including her in things because I don't like her or don't want to see her, but more because I want to respect that as her parent you need to carefully decide when she should be included. Obviously if things work out well maybe in the future my position will change but for now, just know the ball is firmly in your court and I plan to leave there for a while."

Cz. Burrito

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 09:04:22 PM »
I'm dating a father (his girls are 8 and 11) and my personal policy was that I would not meet his kids until after a year of dating. I finally met them after 21 months. Granted, I'm n a long distance relationship, which makes this somewhat of a special case because 1) our "dates" are only every 4-6 weeks and 2) 'meeting' the kids is a weekend-long commitment as opposed to being able to do it gradually, a couple hours at a time.  My boyfriend did have a previously girlfriend who pushed to meet the kids after only a month or so. He acquiesced and his kids were asking about her for almost a year after they broke up. Not good to repeatedly do that.

I would recommend that you let him lead the meetings/activities with you and his daughter. You could make clear that you are open to involving her, but leave it at that. Every situation is, of course, different, but I would caution that a month is too soon to be forming a relationship with his daughter.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 09:06:07 PM by Cz. Burrito »

Mental Magpie

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 09:41:02 PM »
I don't think you should suggest inviting his daughter. let him totally handle that end. But you can have a conversation with him. Just be open "hey so I just wanted to get it out there. I've never dated a guy with a kid before so this is all new territory for me. I guess it is for you too, but I just wanted to let you know that I plan to let you take the lead on including her, so please don't think I'm not suggesting including her in things because I don't like her or don't want to see her, but more because I want to respect that as her parent you need to carefully decide when she should be included. Obviously if things work out well maybe in the future my position will change but for now, just know the ball is firmly in your court and I plan to leave there for a while."

That's kind of what I was thinking.  In general, "Whenever you want to invite her is fine by me.  You're her dad, you get to decide, just please know that I am totally open to it."


Before we started dating, we talked about children.  He brought up he had a daughter and that many single women are turned off by that.  I told him I loved children and that his having a daughter wouldn't deter me in any way, so he at least knows that I'm not opposed to his daughter at all.

I guess I just want him to know that I'm letting him take the lead on this one.  It took me writing this thread to figure it out, I guess  :)

jpcher

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 10:07:31 PM »
I guess I just want him to know that I'm letting him take the lead on this one.  It took me writing this thread to figure it out, I guess  :).

That's the way to go, in my opinion.

I don't think that you should even bring it up as an issue like you telling him that you're letting him take the lead.

Allow him to take the lead by not saying anything other than a general "How's your daughter?"

Mental Magpie

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 10:09:31 PM »
I guess I just want him to know that I'm letting him take the lead on this one.  It took me writing this thread to figure it out, I guess  :).

That's the way to go, in my opinion.

I don't think that you should even bring it up as an issue like you telling him that you're letting him take the lead.

Allow him to take the lead by not saying anything other than a general "How's your daughter?"

I don't want him to think that she doesn't matter to me, though; I think that's why I want to let him know it's up to him.  What I'm saying, I think, is that I want him to know I wasn't just saying what he wanted to hear when I told him his being a single father isn't a turn-off to me.

artk2002

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 08:52:02 AM »
Having dated as a single father, I can bring a little bit of perspective.

I don't think that you should be pro-active in saying "whenever you're ready." Instead, show interest in his daughter by asking about her and listening to his stories. Being pro-active feels a bit pushy to me (sort of "reverse psychology".)

Different people have different schedules for when to introduce a new love interest to their children. In general, I think later is better, particularly with younger children. Not to be too much of a downer, but you've only been dating a month and it might not work out and having people come and go in her life isn't a good thing. I broke up with a woman who was pushing for us to get our kids together after only a month or so of dating -- but that would have included a 1.5 hour drive, through traffic, on a school night.

All the best to you!
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rain

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2013, 09:00:48 AM »
I used to date a singel father (I'm married to him now  ;D)  - We didn't actually meet each other's kids until we'd been dating about 5-6 months.  He wanted to do it sooner, I wanted to let our relationship develop without involving the kids.

good for you not wanting to involve his DD until later
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Mental Magpie

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 06:49:12 PM »
Thank you for the advice. I ask about his daughter when he brings her up, but I don't always go out of my way to ask because I don't want to seem pushy. I just want him to do what is best for her but I also want him to know that I won't be hurt/offended/scared away by what he chooses to do. I guess I want him to know that I understand she is his top priority and that I understand all that entails.

Yvaine

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 06:59:36 PM »
Here's what I've seen - people who allow their kids/grandkids to get attached to every person they date and when the breakup comes the poor kid doesn't understand/ends up feeling abandoned (I can't stand people who do the instant partner merry-go-round thing ... I've seen kids negatively impacted by that)

Yes, this. I think it's intentional that he has his dates with you while she's sleeping or at the babysitter's--at this early stage, he's protecting her emotionally, and I think that's a good trait in him.

Surianne

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2013, 07:22:50 PM »
You dumped your fiance a couple of weeks ago, I think?  I might be wrong on the timing, but if it hasn't been long since that breakup (say, 6 months minimum) I wouldn't go near the issue of spending time with New Guy's daughter yet (you've already met her, which is awkward, but try to tone it down if you can). 

Make sure it's serious and long-term, first.  Definitely respond positively when he talks to her, but don't go there first.  It can be very confusing and hurtful for a child to meet someone her parent is dating, get to know them, and have that person suddenly gone from her life.

Joeschmo

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Re: d@ting a single father...
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2013, 07:23:23 PM »
If he's just getting through a divorce and your posts here indicate possible overlap between your previous relationship and this one I would suggest moving slowly and wouldn't want to focus on letting him know your ok with meeting his daughter.  If his daughter is his top priority he will do what he thinks is best for her with or without your permission.

My personal rule when dating was not to meet kids until I thought things were getting serious.  I thought 6 months minimum was a good guideline.  I think kids need stability and that doesn't come from people going in and out of their lives.  dating someone with children can be difficult so good luck to you in finding the balance that works in your relationship.