Dating a man with children
Dating a man with children - muslim girls dating usa
James and I met on a snowboarding holiday in early 2011, and he was perfect for my non-committal tendencies.Recently separated from his wife of five years, he was proud dad to a three-year-old boy, and living in his parents’ spare bedroom awaiting a divorce settlement. The prospect of me – a carefree woman not yet 30 – dating a man with kids was met with fear and trepidation by my friends. The only thing she’d previously seen me take responsibility for was which pub we should go to for a night out, and I often got that wrong.
Being a dad makes James who he is and, in turn, makes our relationship what it is: a solid team marching into an unknown future that’s messy, complicated and utterly brilliant in equal measures. Be who you are and invent a relationship with his kids that works for you and them, avoiding the extremes of disciplinarian or doormat.The word stepmum is loaded with negative connotations, often prefixed by ‘evil’ or ‘wicked’ (thanks for that, Cinderella). James’ boy has a perfectly good mother and, when he’s with us, his dad does all the disciplining, cooking and bottom-wiping. ‘Tom and his ex split amicably, but when he met me it was quickly twisted into a “he left us” story.His ex would tell Jacob that he wasn’t allowed to hold my hand, or she’d send him to our house without a coat in winter.Rightly so, it’s his parents who watch him star as ‘third sheep from the left’ in the school nativity.But that doesn’t mean you’re not sat anxiously at home sending ‘how did he do? ‘My boyfriend Evan made it clear from the start that I would always come second to his daughter Lola, and that I wasn’t to tell her off – even when she was rude to me in my own home,’ admits my friend Charlotte, 33, who has her own experience of dating a dad.I spent far too long in an unhappy marriage, so when it was over I recognised The One the minute I met her. There’s so much hostility from my embittered ex-wife – it’s like she holds a gun to my head in terms of access to the children. But it’s an ongoing challenge that we’ll only realise the enormity of as time goes on.
However solid the relationship is, I live in fear that my girlfriend will lose patience and one day say, “I don’t need this, I’m gone”.’ The terminology doesn’t help. James’ son and I bonded over a shared appreciation of Star Wars and the kind of imagination that can turn an empty washing basket into a spaceship. ‘If you thought about the energy you have to expend for little or no return when dating a man with kids long term, you would never do it,’ warns Ruth, who was 28 when she got together with Tom, who had a five-year-old son, Jacob.
‘If you know you want children, the benefit of watching him at work is that you’ll have a much clearer understanding of where you’re compatible on important things like family values and discipline.’ And me?
I have been given a unique window on to a world I never imagined before I met James.
But I ended up feeling like a frustrated outsider.’ Charlotte and Evan split after five years.
‘Selfish as it sounds, I just didn’t want to share him,’ she explains.
But I make it to the park after almost turning back, to find James* (my boyfriend) clutching a Pokémon rucksack and an armful of coat, from which a pair of huge eyes and a half-smile appear.