Dating Someone with Kids: A Compromise or an Honor?

by Faith Maginley

Dating Children

I remember watching an episode of The Bachelorette in which single mom Emily Maynard was visibly offended when potential beau Alessandro used the word “compromise” to describe how he felt about being involved with her as a single parent.

“You see that as a compromise? You don’t see that as an honor?” she asked. She later stated, “Me having a daughter isn’t a compromise and anyone I’m going to spend my life with is going to see it as the biggest bonus ever.”

Okay, the word “compromise” isn’t the most warm and cozy thing to say in this context; a parent doesn’t want to hear anything less than glowing applause about his or her little dumpling, even if the pookie doo cusses them out on a regular basis. But I think the guy is being honest about what the situation means for a lot of people.

It reminds me of my own experience “getting to know” a guy with not one, not two, not three, but four kids — all under the age of 18. I say “getting to know” because our brief tango didn’t get very far for a few reasons … one of which being juggling The Parenthood.

I was wary from the beginning with “Chris.” Two baby mamas, and two boys and two girls. That’s a lot of people to factor in when trying to learn about one person. And I include the baby mamas because they are very much a part of the equation. Their moods affect his mood, their finances affect his finances, their availability affects his availability.

One of the first characteristics I discovered about Chris is that he’s a terrific, super involved, ever-present father. All of his kids are involved in sports and church activities. Virtually every day and every weekend, somebody has a practice, a rehearsal, or a game — and he’s at just about every single one. Every day. Every weekend.

Turns out that such a demanding schedule, coupled with the spontaneous responsibilities of parenthood, are not all that conducive to a potential relationship. We talked on the phone often, but that’s all we ever managed to do. Talk. Every planned date was postponed because of a basketball tournament, somebody’s tummy ache, no one to watch the kids on his weekend, or scheming baby mama antics.

Which led me to the conclusion, “I don’t think there’s any room for me in your life.”

“Of course there’s room for you,” Chris said. He then explained, with all seriousness, how I could come to the boys’ football games and we could hang out and talk in the stands.

As much as I dig football, his suggestion wasn’t going to replace the need to spend time together — just us. But dedicated “just us” time with this dude was as difficult to come by as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The reality? I was one of several people vying for this man’s attention on a daily basis. And as the adult and the one he was not legally and ethically responsible for, I was always the last in line.

Don’t get me wrong; I never wanted to come before his kids. I told him often that he was an awesome dad, a prime example, father of the year. I expected nothing less of him than to be there for his children. After all, if he was a deadbeat dad and could spend all of his extra time with me, I wouldn’t have been comfortable with that either.

At the same time, just like a new baby (pun intended), budding relationships need nurturing. You’re supposed to feel like a priority. And frankly, I felt neglected. But how do you say that to a devoted parent without sounding like the Trick That Stole Christmas? It’s touchy territory.

I struggled with this feeling because I was sensitive to his responsibilities, but still didn’t feel he deserved a free pass from the “meet me halfway” zone. He constantly regaled me with stories about his kids, as if being a dutiful dad excused him from having to put much effort into courting me (yeah, old school, I know). Just because a person is a good parent, doesn’t make him or her a good partner, and I still needed to do my due diligence.

Honor or compromise? I’d say both. I felt honored whenever Chris said he couldn’t wait for me to meet his kids and that I’d make a great step-mom. (Which, how the heck would he know since we spent almost no time together?).

As far as the compromise, all relationships involve compromise. A man would have to accept me and my mucho miscellany just as much as I would have to accept his. A person without kids isn’t a walk in the park just because of that fact alone. Far from it.

The compromise isn’t personally about the child. You could be raising the freaking Golden Child for all I care. It’s about the lifestyle change. The child-free person’s life is the one that has to drastically transform when involved with a person with kids, not the other way around.

This can be especially daunting for someone like me who fully savors her freedom. Many an evening I talked to Chris and he was on his way to Chuck E. Cheese or somebody’s rehearsal…and I was on my way out to paint the town. My life consists of spontaneous weeknight outings, trips on the weekends and sleeping in — all things I would love to do with my boo. All things that would slow down like cold honey to mesh with a family man.

Still, I don’t consider a man with children to be a deal breaker. But not being able to make time for us, is. No one should apologize for their kids (unless they’re really, really bad. Kidding! Sort of … ). Nor should I apologize for expecting a certain level of engagement with the person I’m interested in. How people work that out? I’m not sure. But they do it every day.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    It’s an absolute dealbreaker for me. I don’t have children, don’t plan on having children and don’t want to date someone with children. There are some people who love children and don’t mind dating a single parent, so I am sure it’s an honor for them. But in my mind, there is no compromising when it comes to children, you either will deal with your SO’s kids or not.

    If a childless person feels as if dating a single parent is a compromise, then maybe it’s better to find another childless person.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    I wouldn’t say dating someone with kids is an “honor”. Thats a little pretentious, no matter how good or smart or funny the kid is.

    I’ve made it known that while I would date someone with kids, I would not get serious with them- especially if the kids were under the age of 15. I would even prefer not to meet the children. Even though it isn’t expected to assume the role of “step mom”, being active in the life of that child included responsibilities. None that I want to take on the role of if the kid isn’t related to me.

  • lol

    hate when guys try to court a woman with the whole “i’m a good dad” thing as opposed to actual courting.

    as in the situation mentioned above,the “Chris” dudes of the world need to understand that sometimes because of the situations we make in our lives marriage might have to be postponed till all or maybe some of the kids are adults. both men and women. because i just really don’t see sh!t working , even with another single parent.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    It’s a compromise for the childless one, the honor is for the parent who finds themselves in a position were someone thinks highly enough in them to play second fiddle.

  • Stanley

    Dating someone with kids is a compromise that I will never make.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    It would be a compromise for me.

  • MM

    I totally agree with The Moon in the Sky. A man with kids is essentially a man who is taken. He will never fully be able to make you a priority in his life. You will always come after the kids, and their mothers. I have dated men who’s kids mom would call just to ruin the night with a fight about nothing. I also think that it is tough to accept a child as your own. I have seen many do it however not with many fights and heartache in the beginning. For a woman with no children it takes something away once you and him marry and have kids of your own. He has experienced having a child, seeing first steps, all of those wonderful things that you can share together but for him it is nothing new. As a woman seriously considering a Child Free life this is even a bigger deal because I am not interested in children of my own yet so an instant family is not somewhat of a serious deal breaker for me.

  • TT

    Totally agree this praise of the “blended family” has made it more acceptable to be a baby mama than a wife.

  • lol

    men have trouble understanding this concept as well.men usually say something like “your maternal instincts must be off/you won’t make a good mother anyway” because you refused to deal with his situation.

    people don’t like being excluded from dating prefs , i guess.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    I think for most childless people it is a compromise.

  • http://gravatar.com/eynapanirb B.Payne

    It’s definitely a compromise for me…and as someone stated earlier, if it’s a compromise don’t do it…

  • Anthony

    I was single for a long time and for a while I lived in a small town with few black people, so I went against my instincts, and dated women with children. I never liked it. As I often said, I would not respect a woman who put me ahead of children, but I did want to come in second to a child either. It was too easy to end up feeling like a chump who was using a woman for sex because I knew I was not ready to make a commitment to either of the women I dated. I ended up moving to a city with more prospects where I met my wife.

    The bottom line is that too many people fail to make that trip to the drug store, and end up with a life time of responsibility. A single person should avoid allowing themselves to be caught in a situation where someone with the responsibility of kids tries to make the single person feel guilty for not wanting to be obligated to accommodate the parent’s responsibility.

    My advice to single men is to think seriously before you date a single mom. A child does not need a man who is friendly but then disappears because things change with mom, and no child needs to see a parade of men coming out of mom’s bedroom. Sometimes a single mom might be a great sexual hookup, but a real man needs to look beyond a good nut.

  • Sasha

    For me it would be a compromise, actually an all-out deal breaker. Other people may have their preferences but I’m 25 years old and would hope that marraige would mean a new life for me and my husband, that does not include any child(ren) from their past with other women.

  • Anthony

    Stick to your principles, Sasha.

  • CDKC

    Single parent dads are not a deal breaker for me. I think the limit on how many and how many mothers there are would make or break it. For instance, the author described her situation with “Chris” above….that would be a deal breaker for me from the beginning. Too many kids, too many mothers, she should’ve known he wasn’t going to have much time for her. My limit is one. One mother, one kid.

    I also speak from the view point of a woman in her early thirties who may not be able to concieve naturally (not 100% sure of the odds yet), so I do welcome the idea of having children involved in my life or even step parenting. Eventually I would like to adopt if medical intervention isn’t possible or too expensive for me and my future husband. Also, the chances of meeting men at my age who are unattached and have no children are slim here lately. So, I can allow for one (one “baby momma”, one kid)

  • http://gravatar.com/socoolandtrendy emjay

    Does the situation matter? Like if a man is a single father and you don’t have to deal with a baby mama or ex wife is better or worse?

    I’m not sure if I could date a guy with kids right now because I’m 23 and we would be in two very different places in life but maybe as I got older it wouldn’t be a deal breaker.

  • KD

    Before I was married and had children, I would not date a man with children. And, trust me, there are A LOT of unmarried or never-married brothers out there with kids! I just felt that I deserved more – more time and attention, and the experience of going through that major life moment with someone who also had never been through it before. I think single people without children owe it to themselves not to apologize for having that standard. There are many obligations and resources required to effectively parent and raise children; it is a major ask and investment for someone without children to take that on. At the same time, if a childless or childfree person knowingly gets seriously involved with someone who is a parent, he or she needs to understand the gravity of the situation he or she is entering. Fundamentally, you then become a player and influencer in the kid’s life, so you are committing to the parent and child (the latter of which is more serious in intent and meaning, perhaps, than the former).

    If anything were to ever happen to my marriage, I wouldn’t expect a man who had never had children to wholly assume parenting responsibilities with me or even be totally open to the possibilities, knowing I am a mother. Frankly, I’d be seeking a man who had already raised his kids or who had children of his own, because parents relate to and understand things that non-parents just don’t. It’s a slightly different world.

  • LadyP

    Great topic!

    First of all, for a man or a woman who has a child or children accept and (respect) the fact that a potential mate does not want to date someone who has kids. Don’t try to change them or push your children to the back burner for their sake. Respect their decision and move on. Children can sense that rejection and peace will never exist within yourself or your relationship. Really, it is not a compromise at all if you have children. You either accept his or her children at 100% and they should come first as if they are your children; not step-children if under the age of 18.

    I see so many single parents (especially women) making compromising with their children to meet men or hold onto one. When I was dating, I preferred men with children because I had one. If I didn’t have one, I still preferred a man with a child. By a man having a child this provided a glimpse into his responsibility level. I do understand how the “just us” feeling will arise. However, it is similar to any other two-parent family. The blended families have to find ways to make it work. Yes, it takes more work, but it is doable provided that both want it to work.

    I think that is the key word- “want, desire”. When it comes to “me,me,me” mentality – it won’t work. When you choose to date someone with kids, you are getting to know them and it is not two separate entities. We’re one in the same with our kids until they become adults. I dated a guy once that didn’t prefer women with kids. I respected him so much for his honesty b/c if he didn’t desire that, I believe he would have eventually rejected my son once I devoted the majority of my efforts towards him.

    I’m very old-fashion within that sense. I don’t believe in step-children, they are yours together once you become husband and wife. I believe a lot of people can make it work, but they cannot go into the relationship expecting compromise. You have to work towards it. And how will the step-parent handle the situation if the other parent cannot resume the responsibility as primary care giver? You are the parent then, not just a step.

    It was already determined that the author would make a great step-parent, so I think the time constraints can be worked out. Really determining who is a great fit as a step-parent is the hardest part. In my opinion, the rest is downhill from there.

  • Anthony

    KD, I know exactly how you feel since I am a father of two myself.

  • GeekMommaRants

    There is no comparison being a mother to your children or being a friend to someone else’s children. This is not a good idea. No one can take the place of a parent, no one.

    Those who do not have children are not prepared to raise someone’s child when both parents in the child’s life. As @Anthony said, no one wants a parade of partners in front of their children. Men and women need to make their relationships works with the one they have procreated with or stay single until the children become adults.

  • Cocochanel31

    One of my exes had a son whom I grew to love dearly. It was my first time dating a man with child, and when we met he told me the 2 or 3 year old son lived in TExas with his mom. Okay no baby mama drama right since they were thousands of miles away ..WRONG!! This woman made his life hell, from him having to fight in court for visitation to her not dropping the child at the airport for expected visits, Child support, her wanting HIM back..it just wound up being CRAZY DRAMA!!

    However, even in spite of that, I loooved his son to death and enjoyed playing “step mom” when he was in town to visit with his dad as the courts ordered. I babysat when my ex was at work, fed him, played with him, bathed him, just all the stuff any mother woudl do. I was most sad about not seeing the son again after our breakup and not HIM lol…all that to say, since I don;t have children I prefer not to deal with the drama with the child’s parent , so no I don’t want to date a man with kids, however, I will never say never, and ONE is my limit, if he has two – no chance at this stage in my life.

    I advise people that you have to love your SO child as YOUR OWN, so if you hate kids or don’t want to be bothered, DON’T EVEN ENTERTAIN DATING THEM! I would also never date a man that didn’t do for his children.

  • victoria

    I grew up in a home where a ”parade of men” was constant. My mother had different boyfriends every year or two or three. And these men always lived with us. We (my sibling and I) were never asked how we felt about these men nor how we felt about them moving in. And once one left, it was only a few months before another appeared. All were deadbeats – no or low paying jobs, driving my mothers car, deadbeat dads, etc. I know this experience contributes to my strong stance for marriage and choosing proper mates.
    Before I was married, I never dated men with children. I always wanted the birth of our children to be an experience my husband and I shared for the first time.

  • Mochadoll

    Is it selfish to have children of your own and still prefer not to date someone with children?

  • KD

    I would also suggest that the older you are, the less likely it is that you will meet a comparably aged man or woman who does not have children. For example, if a man or woman is in their late 30s or early 40s, it would be a bit ridiculous to expect to find a bounty of potential partners in that age range who, too, had never had children, when most people seem to become parents in their 20s and early 30s. With time comes life experience, and for many people, the 20s and 30s are a time during which they become parents, regardless of what happened with the person they made the children with.

  • LadyP

    “This is not a good idea. No one can take the place of a parent, no one.” – yes, this is very, very true. I just think so many step-parents try to make a marriage work separately from being a part of the child’s life at all. Some men or the women want the relationship less the responsibility of helping him or her raise the kids. When it’s like that, they shouldn’t have dated in the first place.

    “…stay single until the children become adults.” – my father felt similar to this until he witness how great of a father figure my husband was to [my] son. I never expected him to take on that role, but I did expect him to remain very active in his life.

  • KD

    Just hypocritical.

  • Andre

    As a guy, I find that I have a great deal of respect for responsible single mothers. They exhibit a level of character and maturity that is rare among single women without children on the dating scene where I am–making them more attractive, I might even say “preferable”.

  • Anthony

    As you get older, meeting someone in your age group with no kids does become more difficult. That was why I dated a few moms for a while. That said, it also makes sense to look hard a situation you really want. Never settle, it just breeds resentment.

  • Anthony

    Victoria, I’m glad things worked out for you. One of the biggest dangers of bringing too many men into a home is that it really increases the chance of a child being victimized by an abuser. Too often I hear of children who were killed or raped by the men that single women leave them with at home.

  • http://gravatar.com/deechagirl mypointiz…

    As a woman who’s chosen to not have children, I prefer men who are also without children or men who have older children that are almost out of high school or in college already. I’m not a selfish person, however a man with smaller children should concentrate on them and not dating.

    I believe the same for single mothers, because too many times, a lot of single moms want to put the man over their own children, to which I find horrible and wrong. It’s in my opinion that the child’s welfare is more important than trying to land somebody for your bed or to be a surrogate parent.

    I find it noble and admirable for those who choose to help parent, but realistically, a parent’s concern should be with their kids and not on some dating show.

  • lol

    which state do you live in?

  • Chillyroad

    Victoria

    I’m glad you had the courage to talk about your experiences. More children need to speak out about this. It’s abuse plain and simple. I will not make judgements about your mother but with every man you and your siblings were put at great risk. I admire the stance that you take today. Good luck to you and I hope you have one million kids. Lol. After you win the lottery.

  • MCasey13

    I feel the same way but sometimes I’m afraid I won’t have a choice but to marry someone with kids because so many men my age or older (I’m 28) have kids by now. It would definitely be a huge compromise for me. I think I could do it if I was just looking to date but I want to get married. I really hope I’ll be able to find someone who doesn’t have kids.

  • LemonNLime

    Honor? NO. Burden? YES!

    Not only do I not want to deal with and potentially pay for someone else’s kids, I have no interest in letting another women have her foot in my relationship and that is exactly what a baby mama is.

    I am slightly, keyword SLIGHTLY, more accepting of kids from divorce but NEVER out of wedlock. Kids born to men outside of marriage shows me he isn’t responsible and isn’t concerned about his health or finances.

  • kenzy

    its hard dating someone with kids because you know you will never be first, you also have to change your perspective as you date as you get older. when I was younger i was steadfast about not dating people with kids because i know i didnt want to share m time, but as i get older i realize that i probably wont meet anyone without kids who is the same age as me. im also more relaxed now in that im ok with always being second banana to the kid or kids

  • http://gravatar.com/mbm1ame isa

    My thoughts exactly..

  • PBR

    I agree with the person who said that people who have kids should date other people who have kids, because they better understand the challenges of single parenthood. I’m not going to say it’s a dealbreaker for me (no kids) but at this stage of my life a guy has to be pretty darn amazing for me to enter into a serious relationship with him when he has multiple kids, especially by multiple baby’s mothers.

    We all have to take responsibility for our choices. Safe responsible sex the morning pill and limiting your sexual partners help to avoid pregnancy but single people with multiple kids did not employ this strategy. They have to accept that a person who doesn’t have kids shouldn’t feel obligated to take on a ready made family and all the responsibilities that come with it (namely the baby’s mother and finances).

  • kenzy

    i just want to say im soooo glad to people mentioning (men and women) the bond a man and a woman share both experiencing their first child together, it was a huge point of contention in my marriage (im divorced now) he just did not get that i was “robbed” of that b/c he already had a child, this was just in discussion but he just did not understand why i was “making a big deal out of nothing” of wanting and missing out on being the first to share that experience with him, thankfully we never had children but if we had man that would have been hell, as i said earlier im older now so i doubt at this point ill find someone childless, but im ok with being 2nd simply out of necessity but let me say if i meet someone without kids in my age group they would definitely get first choice over someone with kids

  • Keali

    Being married is not just about having children. Some people want a partner to share their lives with. Yea, you can be single and date but marriage, for some, brings a deeper connection and commitment that you don’t get from just dating endless people in a superficial way.

  • Lara

    I needed to read every word of this article this morning.

    I am a childless 29 year-old woman dating a 33 year-old man with a 13 year-old son. He didn’t tell me had a son until a month and some change into us dating. He purposefully waited a month before he told me his son even existed! I was highly upset and I believe rightly so. I told him my stance — I did not date men with children.

    Nevertheless, after some serious thought, I decided to continue to see him and get to know him further. We are now in month 3 of dating. “Not being able to make time for us” is becoming an issue. It has already been compromises made on my part. He is very much into me and wants a relationship. He is a great father, hard worker, funny, attractive, etc. etc. but I know deep down a serious relationship will not work.

  • Anthony

    We have a problem with single parents and dating because too many men and women are too lazy to take a trip to the drug store before they drop their pants or they think a baby is “cute.”

    Every day I see girls (yes, they are girls) who are pushing around strollers who clearly still want to hang and have fun like their pals. They are mothers, they are in school, and they are taking care of their kids, but they are not ready for the true commitment of parenthood. Just last Sunday, a young lady at my church asked my wife if she could help take care of her daughter on the nights she is in class. My wife feels for her, but the girl is asking for a major commitment.

    The bottom line is that adolescents and adults know how babies are conceived, if they make one, they will have to deal with the full ramifications. One of those ramifications may well be a reduction in the number of desirable partners that have an interest in you. What young woman wants to work hard and get a good job only to deal with a man who is scuffling to pay child support and daycare plus deal with a jealous baby mama? I know when I was young and the single, the last thing I wanted to deal with was ex husband or baby daddy tripping or putting me in a situation where I might be in the newspaper or evening news.

  • Fancypants

    My husband has a son from a previous marriage and it wasn’t a problem for me because I’m older and want kids. Actually, him being previously married and a parent contributed to his attractiveness. He’s very mature, responsible and attentive in ways that never married/no child men I’ve dated can’t compare with. I also think it’s easier for women to date men with kids because in most cases they are not the custodial parent. Therefore, most of the time the child is only present every other weekend. As for feeling robbed of the bond that parents would have experiencing their first child together, it hasn’t crossed my mind. We are so happy and both of our families are so excited about our marriage that every experience we have feels like the first time.

  • Skye

    Personally, I feel anyone under their 30′s and is childless should not date people with children. Too young for that responsibility.

  • Sasha

    I’ve heard many a people say that and while I believe it to be a reality, I don’t think it’s impossible. This is my own experience talking but I have no friends or socialize with people have who have kids and the ones that I do socialize with that do have kids are married. Same situation with my significant other, with the exception being his brother/ cousin back home who has a baby mama but is currently dating some girl- he’s 32 and the kid is 3.

  • Nubian Princess

    I also felt like a man with kids was a deal breaker for me until I met a man and fell in love with him and he had two boys. He’s a very dedicated father but he makes time for me as well. He worked out a schedule with the mom, he pays child support to avoid her having to ask for anything and the boys love me as much as I love them. we have been together for 3 yrs and we are engaged and I’m pregnant with my first child ( a girl!). He goes with me to every doctor’s appointment and is very caring and loving. I initially expressed to him in the beginning I wasn’t interested in getting serious with him because of his children but he assured me he could balance being a father and being my husband and he has. The BM sometimes tries to start fights and arguments with him never me but he never allows her disposition to affect his mood. I made it very clear that no outside forces will upset the balance in my home PERIOD!!! I’m happy I made the decision to try with him because he’s everything I hoped my husband would be. In situations such as these it takes two mature adults that are committed to supporting and loving one another and doing what’s best for the children and so far I feel we are succeeding at this.

    Peace and Blessings

  • KD

    Lara,

    Many men in your age bracket (assuming you’re willing to date men in their late 20s-early 40s) will already have children. He should not have hidden that information from you at all, but if you had an issue with it, you should have kept on stepping at that moment.

  • Junie

    Too young? Extended adolescence is a relatively new phenomenon. Most people are still growing up on time, getting married and becoming parents in their 20s.

  • Anthony

    That’s a great story, and it’s always good to see a relationship work out.

  • LemonNLime

    If he will hide something as important and big as a child, there is no telling what else he is okay hiding from you about…

    I would get of out that now, but I also would have done that they moment he lied.

  • Blue

    Compromise for me. I have no kids & it’s very rare to find a man who doesn’t have any children. Though I would prefer to date a man with no kids but they are few & far between these days. You have to deal with the baby mama (heaven forbid she’s one of those psycho mothers) , hearing him complain about the mother, then him cancelling on you to do daddy duty. Not that I would ever knock a man for being there for his child, but cancelling plans is disappointing but in this case you have to grin & bare it if you REALLY want to be with this person.

  • KD

    Think about this: If a man already has a child and particularly if he was actually once married to the mother and has demonstrated solid fatherly skills, he’s probably a better catch than a never-married, older, childless man who for hard-to-decipher reasons is still single and playing the field in his mid-30s+. Consider that, ladies.

  • LemonNLime

    Yeah, I would say that too if I was a single parent trying to convince a child-free person to date me …

  • nattral

    It’s a compromise. I don’t have kids so dating someone with kids requires sacrifice. But dating someone that has kids doesn’t make them a bad person aka stereotypical baby mama/daddy. What if one of the parents died leaving the other person a widow? Things happen. I deal with those situations on a case by case basis.

  • KD

    I’ve been married 10 years and am not on the market. I speak as someone who’s got experience behind me and as a parent. Do you?

  • KD

    My point is that if a man has actually married the mother of his children – even if it didn’t work out – it sets a different tone than a guy who just had a baby’s momma. It shows a willingness to commit. Addiitonally, if he has been and is a good father who assumes responsibility, partial custody, etc., you have evidence of his reality, not his potential. When a guy is older (mid-30s+, perhaps) and has none of this experience, it should lead a thinking woman to begin asking questions, at least if he’s not some globe-trotting physicist. LOL.

    Also, it’s cool if someone wishes to remain child-free for life. It’s just important to realize most people are not on that page, if it’s not where they are currently because they already have children or if it’s because they actually want a family one day. In my observations, many men who want a wife and family are seeking women open to that possibility who are still in their prime child-bearing years (not over early 30s) to begin plotting that future. So being in your 30s+ and acting like being child-free is an asset may not be the best look.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Life happens that’s where baby mamas and daddy’s come from. We live; we have sex.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Kudos to people who can get beyond the kids thing, Im just not there yet..

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    50% of marriages end in divorce. Blended families are a product of much more than baby mama and daddies. Also extended families and blended families are shown to have benefits previously unknown due to an overt preference for the SNAF. I’m not saying that we should strive to have solid healthy families to begin with but when I teach Marriage and Family this is one of the common misconceptions about family structure in America.

  • LemonNLime

    Pipe down, I never said that you were any of those things. What I said is that I would say the same thing if I was a single parent trying to date someone who is child-free. Like someone trying to turn a negative into a positive. Your the one making older single men sound like creepers.

    And if I were interested in kids and marriage, I would consider it an asset for the person to be on the same level as me. That way we can learn TOGETHER and grow TOGETHER as opposed to one person learning something new and the other having already been down that road.

  • Skye

    There is a difference of getting married and having children together to ME versus dating someone with children. I see women under 27 dating men with children. My point is if you under 30′s you have a better chance of a childless mate and shouldn’t take the responsibility of raising some else’s child. Now, in your 30′s that’s another story.

  • Anthony

    Seritatheresa, it is important that does without children understand that anyone who is sexually active is just a split condom or forgotten pill away from single parenthood or unintended pregnancy.

    At the same time, those with kids should not guilt trip someone hey like who rejects them because of their children. As my Mom used to say: you make your bed; lay in it.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    I got there. Life happened and all of a sudden there was this little boy and I loved him almost instantly. So I guess it’s really up to the individual.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Do you think it is easier when the kids are younger? (not preteens or teens)

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Guilt-tripping people or shaming people who don’t date people with kids isn’t what I’m referring to. I’m referring to the notion that there has to be a reason outside of having sex that we become parents. I’ve never had a man to tell me he doesn’t date women with kids because I’m not a man-hunter. My fiance and I have known each other all our lives. He knew I had kids. I knew he had kids. We are a happy blended family. But even when I was dating, this wasn’t really an issue for me. What’s always interesting to me is when I meet someone who said they don’t date single mothers five years down the road when they’ve helped create a single mother.

  • Wong Chia Chi

    I’m 23 and I’m not sure if I want kids yet.The guy definitely has to be divorced. The baby daddy thing I just don’t do.

    The reason for that is because we probably have very different mindsets/approaches to life that would make us incompatible in the long run. I cherish my freedom but I also have ambition and goals that are important to me on a deeply personal level. When I’m settled in my career had some fun then I might want to settle down.

    I’m open to the idea of falling in love with anyone, just not necessarily being in an exclusive committed relationship.

    And while I don’t think you should give up your life for children, I think that they should be a parent’s top priority. So unless it’s serious they shouldn’t be meeting your children. I think it’s perfectly fine for parents to date once the children are past a certain age.

  • victoria

    I have friends who have ”suffered” the lose of a child after a break up. They got so attached to the child. Breaking up with the dad was easy, but not seeing the child again was heartbreaking.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    Absolutely. I have an array of stepsons. The oldest is 17, 14, and the youngest is 3. Because I’ve been active in the 3 yr old’s life since he was 3 months old he’s mine. The 17 yr old and I are close and the 14 yr old lives in another state. But we had to bump heads and get to know each other before we got where we are now. The mothers are also a factor.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    And it boils down to that IF. That’s a big ass IF. IF you want to be with the person. There is no formula. There is no rule. If you really want to be with a person you will make a concerted effort to do so.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    SNAF children also experience abuse. We call it patriarchal terrorism. Its due to the power the father holds over the over the family, particularly those isolated from extended family members. This is part of the concept “Doing Family” Where it has been shown that the extended family that many minority women rely on has unintended benefits.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    I actually fell in love with Jake (partially) seeing him with his kids. I had a wonderful father and stepfather so I make it my business to be a wonderful stepmother to his kids.

  • Blondie

    Another thing is, there is a difference between a once-married guy who has a child or two by the ex-wife. A dude with six kids by five different women (yes, I met one in real life) is a wholly, entirely different story.

  • Pseudonym

    For me at 28 with no kids (and one experience dating a man with a child), it’s a deal breaker.

    But, overall I think that perspective can vary with age, fertility, and socioeconomic status. As someone in the “building wealth” stage, I don’t want to be burdened with already having to put a child through college (and I’m 5 years behind for a 5 year-old). If I were more established, I probably wouldn’t mind the expense. Also depends on the age of the kids. For men or women who have fertility issues, a partner with kids might be a bonus- it takes that pressure off struggling through in vitro. If both parties have kids, I can see that working out- but then how many kids do you want to start a marriage with if you’re in your 20s? If I were in my 40s, I could see that not being as big of an issue Iftar of the kids are in junior high and high school. So, overall it depends. But definitely not for me at this stage in life.

    I’d definitely say it’s quite selfish and self-absorbed to not acknowledge that dating a woman who has a child is more complicated than taking on one who does not have children. I mean, this woman needs to get over herself, really.

  • KD

    LemonLime,

    I hear you. I processed your comment as a passive aggressive one directed at me, so I apologize for that.

    There are many nuances that play into the dynamics of being a parent. Was the person previously married and now divorced? Did the person’s previous spouse pass away? Did someone make one youthful indiscretion that led to a child, but has he or she been responsibly assuming their role as a parent?

    Those are all different from the whole baby momma/baby daddy dynamic, wherein people are never married to the mother or father of the child, or where people KEEP making “youthful indiscretions” that lead to children being conceived and born.

    With age, comes experience. As people get older, that experience usually becomes having children. Being older and child-free, then, loses its “currency” as an asset because it becomes less of one, given the market and the reality. Of course, it’s great to be 20-25 without any out-of-wedlock kids; someone is not SUPPOSED to have kids out of marriage at that age. I’m saying this because there seems to be a tendency to bat around not having children as some major selling point when, in reality, as you get older, it’s less of one, and when you’re much younger, you shouldn’t be having any anyway.

  • victoria

    As a married mother of two little ones, I question how single people with young kids have time to date. Especially since single parents work eight hours a day, five days a week and evenings consist of doing homework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, playtime, discipline, talks, bedtime stories, fighting sleep -doing everything to not go to bed, etc. Which leaves weekends for quality time, building family tradions, cooking, cleaning, disciplining, homework, playing, cooking, cleaning, laundry, visiting family and friends, sleepovers, resting, etc.

    I think if single parents date, someone will be neglected. All to often, it’s the child.

  • Pseudonym

    Women who had an unplanned pregnancy with the wrong man and are now stuck raising their kids alone exhibit a higher level of character than the women who didn’t make that unwise decision?…I don’t understand that logic.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    People find balance. There are articles about this in the Journal of Marriage and Family. But I do agree with you that too many kids hear (as Chris Rock said) “Ma be back!” all too often. Having said that I don’t remember dating much until my girls got older. Never really thought about it. I can say that before Jake nobody lived with us, and very few were even allowed to come around. I bought my first house when I was 23 it was mine and my girls’. I took pride in that, and I was extra guarded of all our space. I even disagreed with women who allowed relatives with children to live with them encroaching on their children’s space. Its funny how we grow and change over time.

  • victoria

    too

  • YeahRight2011

    My parents didn’t play that. No baby dads or ex hubs were allowed to date either us. At first though they were being stuck up. You know when you’re young and black old heads with standards and certain values seem uppity. But it was to save me a lot of trouble in the long run. Totally get it now. So when the time comes we’ll be saying the same.

  • http://seritatheresa.wordpress.com seritatheresa

    TT my mother was mentally ill. I wouldn’t be an Research Specialist. I certainly wouldn’t have an advanced degree were it not for my blended and extended families. Thank God and thank the black people who are willing to be in blended families. However, remember that being a part of one includes more than being with a single parent.

  • Kostas

    Excellent comment. I was just thinking how this can be framed from both the male and female perspectives.

    Were I single, I would definitively NOT date a man with children.

    Were I a single mother, I would NOT expect a single man to date with me and I would in fact prefer to date another single father.

    Perhaps I am cynical, but the best of relationships can be hard. The added complexity of children (who aren’t mine or his) and ex-partners (who may or may not be hostile) is too much…for me.

  • Kostas

    I noticed the author didn’t note that difference.

    A man or woman with children courtesy of a divorce or the death of a WIFE or HUSBAND, is very different from a man or woman who has children outside of a committed relationship.

  • Lynette

    This is such a good topic. All throughout my dating years I have pretty much held the position that I did not want to become involved in a serious, romantic relationship with a man who had young children. I had one bad experience with an early boyfriend who was a single father and he would put me in the uncomfortable position of trying to get me to play mommy to his daughter. After that-my rules changed. I would casually date single dads when the children were not around and during the times that they had custody/visitation I would step back and let them be dad. I always refused to be introduced to their kids.

    My girlfriends would pester me to death trying to get me to change my mind. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to find a man with no children or that I would be missing out on a good guy just because he had kids. When I refused to reconsider, the girlfriends would then resort to calling me “unrealistic” and “selfish”: and of course the loudest name callers were single mothers. Never mind that I didn’t want to have children myself.

    Now that I am older (forties) most of the men in my age group are parents to children who are grown and out of the parental home and I am more than willing to consider them for serious romantic relationships. I have met some men my age who don’t have children-some are like me and never wanted to be parents and there’s a small group of them who are still considering parenthood, but of course they are looking for younger women who are still of child bearing age. Surprisingly I have come across and dated some younger guys who seem to be pretty steadfast in not wanting children.

    And ladies, if you have girlfriends who don’t want to date someone with children, just respect their choice and stop trying to browbeat them into considering single fathers.

  • JaeBee

    Let the church say “Amen”!

    Call me selfish, but I’d rather my “family’s” income be used on my immediate family (me, a husband, and OUR children). A man who has another family (because that’s truly who his child and baby mama are) means that for years on end income will be taken out of our immediate family to support that child. It’s like taking on someone else’s debt. Before getting married to another person, you have to seriously consider whether you are willing to help take on their burdens (debt, children, etc).

  • au napptural

    Deal breaker. I don’t care if you were married/ unmarried or have one child or several. I have no children. That’s not happenstance; I’ve done everything right to avoid having any. I would respect a single dad who was divorced more, but I still wouldn’t date him. Too much baggage and too many sacrifices. Esp. if he was my age (23). Nobody that age should already be divorced w/ kids anyhow.

  • binks

    Compromise definitely! I was one of those people who simply didn’t want to date someone with kid(s) at all (my top preference is still not too) because I am young and don’t have any kids but I dated a man with a child. And it was one of my most fulfilling relationship to date. But as mention, it was a little easier to swallow because he was divorced and he had his kids (other child die shortly after we became involved) in wedlock and him and his ex-wife knew there place when it concerned their personal lives so there was “no baby mama drama”. It is definitely a compromise and give and take process because while you two are trying to get established and connected on a one on one basis you have to think about the child and whether you are aware of it or not the child(ren) are just as part of the dating process/relationship then you two because you have to learn how to split time, juggle schedules, think about activities, etc. Though seeing him being a great father and the way he raised his son drew me more to him. So it really depends on the situation and the person(s) involved. But in this stage of my life I’ am NOT READY for mommy mode at all so I think I would do a disservice to a man with a kid(s) and honestly if I’ am ready to become a mother I would want my husband to have his first child with me…it might sound selfish but hey some things in life you want to experience with your spouse and first time parenthood is one of them.

  • apple

    i cackled at salad bowl and ramen noodle families

  • Joy

    Definitely a compromise. Dating, or marrying someone with kids (not always but a lot of times) comes with drama. Real/decent parents are always involved in their kids lives…..and when their Ex has a new significant other that doesn’t always come off smoothly

  • Nicoline

    No thanks!

    I dont have kids for a reason therefore I dont have time to play stepmom.
    Now when I have kids sure. Ill date someone with kids.

  • apple

    its a dealbreaker for me, i will not like the kid or love the kid.. i will see the kid as a burden and resent the kid…hence why i may not have kids of my own, i’m too mentally fucked up to have to take care of kids let along someone elses

  • gmoney

    hope you got tested

  • Nic

    I know right? That just sounds crazy. Is it opposite day or what?

  • http://Clutch SL

    “Which led me to the conclusion, “I don’t think there’s any room for me in your life.””

    You were right, there wasn’t any room for you and honestly he was trying to have his cake and eat it too. Sorry, anyone trying to balance dating with managing that act just isn’t being realistic or is being incredibly selfish.

    I applaud him for being an involved parent, but he should just forget about having a relationship until he is done raising his kids. I mean hell when does he even have time to think about anyone let alone really commit the time required to build a relationship?

  • http://Clutch SL

    I don’t follow the logic there. My husband was 36 when we married. He had no kids, because he was sexually responsible and only wanted to experience that with his wife. That was what attracted me. To me that is maturity – not someone who despite all the info had to learn as a result of making a mistake. I’m glad some do learn, but having a child does not boost someone’s credibility.

  • http://Clutch SL

    “That just sounds crazy.”

    Not to a man seeking to be mothered.

  • http://Clutch SL

    So you were the defacto babysitter -geez. And you loved his son as if he were you own yet he is not yours and Now you dont even hear anything at all from that child now post relationship breakup. Oh boy – I would have felt used and foolish if it were me.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Red Pill – yes to your post!

  • http://Clutch SL

    Me too – lol

  • http://Clutch SL

    The only time I feel “blended” is God-ordained is when two widows with children marry. I feel God will bless that. As for divorce, its just a mess most times and failure rate of 2nd marriages is higher than 1st time marriages complicating things even more.

  • http://Clutch SL

    “A man with kids is essentially a man who is taken.”

    Yes and sadly that struggle will never be overcome. I witnessed that with my own parents. My dad had 2 oow kids and really its no way to grow up. It creates not just tension in your marriage and between the kids not just for your lifetime but tension for your entire bloodline down through generations. And I speak as a daughter whose dad learned from his mistake in birthing oow kids, but was never able to overcome. It was a fissure in his relationship with my mom and it impacted his relationship with each of his kids.

    I’m so happy that there are men on this site who are really thinking about the life they want to create in the future.

    Kudos to you guys. Don’t leave it to chance. Have a vision and a plan for your life.

  • Humanista

    I’ve actually dated someone that age who was divorced with two beautiful kids (with a very un-stressful mom!)… people get married young all over the country–and sometimes it doesn’t work out. *shrugs*

    It happens. Not feeling it is one thing, but condemnation seems kind of overboard, especially when they’ve done everything “right”–getting married to someone they cared about, having children within that union, etc.

  • Humanista

    It’s so important for women to consider this before dating someone with kids! I’ve seen a lot of women who want a man–kids be damned–and treat the dad’s relationship w/ their kids as the relationship that needs compromising. Thank you from writing this in from the POV that it’s the s/o–NOT the parenthood!–that needs to be adjusted in these situations!

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    I would REALLY REALLY prefer NOT to, but the older you get the less likely you are to find men w/o kids. I do not have kids (for a reason) and I know between his schedule and mine … we would never be able to see each other.

    Also not one for baby mama foolishness or becoming too attached to the child (or vice versa) and then dealing with that if we break up.

  • I got sense!

    I can understand your pov in all post but #5.
    If a living will is in place you don’t have to worry about how things are divvied up. The law states it clearly. True people can get hostile but this happens with 100% blood siblings all the time. Happened in my family. Just because they don’t share DNA doesn’t mean they are not apart of your legacy. And if legacy is based on blood you’d have to take the good with the bad. So, a lot of people are damned because their parents/siblings/bloodline relativewas a rapist, thief, murderer, etc.

    Two very good examples.

    http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/widow-owes-rejected-adopted-daughter-millions-court-rules-124522554–abc-news-savings-and-investment.html

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/04/22/raising-katie.html

  • Gina Wild

    An honor it’s not. More like a compromise. Well, actually a deal breaker for me. I don’t have children now, and I refuse to date anyone who has kids.

  • Perspective

    Men have been saying this for years and all they have gotten it brow beat and shamed for not accepting another man’s responsibility who was irresponsible (a lot of times) to begin with.

    Its a less than ideal situation – my suggestion – don’t deal with the BS – if you are childless find love with someone who is childless. No ones expectations should be shelved simply because someone else has kids.

    I am childless and when I see a woman with kids – It ain’t for me, it’s just that simple.

    “Ohhhh but you may be missing out on a blessing!”

    “Well I guess that’s just one blessing I’m just going to have to miss out on!”

    1) There is no way you can be with a woman with kids and not come out your pockets for those kids

    2) The other dude always wants to show up after he discovers you are banging his old girl

    3) Disciplining the kids, how do you deal with a situation of disciplining the kids. If you put your hands on them – baby daddy wanna show up despite he ain’t the one paying for the kids.

    4) You are supporting these kids and the woman has the nerve to tell you, “DON’T TALK TO HER KIDS IN SUCH AND SUCH A WAY”

    5) You make a genuine connection with the kids, but it doesn’t work out between you and the mom. You do not want to be the guy who the kid (who remembers you) calls you up 15 years later asking you why you just up and left one day, and how that made them feel.

    6) The kids turn on you – “You ain’t my daddy!”

    7) The time issue, because you do know the kids come first, and you ain’t seen angry until you get a woman with kids who is mad you aren’t spontaneous, but when you are, things get cancelled because SHE CAN’T because of the kids. Some women are ridiculous and will say, “Well if you are going to take me on a cruise, you have to bring the kids as well.”

    “What!?!”

    ” Don’t what me – you knew this was a package deal!”

    8) My suggestion – If you can’t deal with everything I listen – KEEP IT MOVING – DDSM

    (Don’t date single moms) – I’m telling you – If you don’t have kids – you are in for rude awakening.

    Oh and 9) When you end up being a better parent than they are. When the kids aren’t even yours and you make plans for the children’s future that she’s not even making. That will mess her head up too. Keep in mind she’s not USED to responsible men because chances are she wasn’t dealing with them, and clearly the father was not one, so to see a BLACK MAN – handling his business like that… they get messed up on that too and then its a contest of who is the best parent, as if that’s what it’s about.

  • Perspective

    I also want to point out that this is MUCH less of an issue for WOMEN because MEN typically don’t have custody!

    As a man – the situation is for worse for us because we would be dealing with women who MOST LIKELY retain custody of the children.

    You can’t simultaneously complain that black men don’t take care of there kids, and then act like there are JUST as many black men with kids and custody in the dating game as women with kids and custody.

    Keep in mind that a man who DOES NOT have custody of his children should be a GIANT red flag that he has nothing to offer you or your potential kids if you were to have any with him.

  • Ann

    Love your perspective, Perspective. I think that if childless men AND women have considered the cost and compromise it takes to date someone with kids isn’t their deal, it’s their right PERIOD.

    I am a childless woman over 35 and I refuse to date someone with kids. People can judge all they want, but it’s my life and I get to choose. Just like many of them did when they ended up being parents.

    The only thing I disagree with is that childless men have it harder than childless women. If 70% of black children are in homes with single women, that means there are also many black men that are fathers. Therefore, If you are a single woman that prefers a childless man, it does make it hard to find someone that also comes with a clean slate.

    So, even though childless men have to deal with women who are the primary care providers for their kids most of the time, childless women have to deal with a man whose time, attention, and finances are being split several different ways too.

    So, childless men AND women both have equal difficulties. Different experiences…Yes! Less of a problem than the other, NO!

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Actually it’s not much less of an issue for women. Even though a man might not have custody he still has kids and there are still issues that come up.

    A man with kids is much less of a deal breaker now that I’m older and wouldn’t mind being a parent. It depends on the situation though. would advise both men and women in their 20s to think long and hard about getting involved with someone with kids if you’re not serious about what it entails. One of my friends got married to a man with two teenagers and she endured utter hell.

  • SL

    I think anyone going into a relationship with someone who has kids had better go in with eyes wide open – even if you are older and ready to parent and even if the kids are grown and out on their own. Please make sure that you test those waters thoroughly.

    My older uncle married a beautiful older lady. Both had children from prior marriages. In short order, his kids never ever ever (as in T. Swift) accepted her. He did his best to shield her from them while he was alive, but he died unexpectantly. Those SOBs kicked her out of the house – boarded it up and let it rot to the ground rather than give her someplace to stay – you know why? CAUSE IT WAS THEIR MOM’s HOUSE FIRST and they couldn’t stand the thought of their dad with another women and another woman living in the house their mom use to live in. Moving was not an option when they married, because they were both retired. They just wanted to spend their senior years together..and the house was paid for. They could do it without straining their retirement income.by staying in his house.

    You would think at their age they could accept their dad wanting to enjoy the rest of his life and have companionship, but NO, sadly they could not.

    I say this to illustrate that sometimes kids, no matter how old they are, can be very resentful of a parent having a SO.

  • Anthony

    That’s a horrible story, but all to easy to imagine.

  • Anthony

    The whole “you ain’t my daddy” bit was at the heart of my shying away from women with children. This is especially true for boys as they get older.

    Once again, as one gets older, it can seem like everyone has children, but if kids are a sticking point, it makes sense to hold out. Once again, my advice is that men avoid getting involved sexually with single mothers. At the risk of stereotyping, some single moms can be more willing to make themselves available than other women. When this happens, it is up to the man to show some restraint, and think about the big picture before he gets caught up, or even becomes another of her baby daddies or husbands.

  • Perspective

    “If 70% of black children are in homes with single women, that means there are also many black men that are fathers. Therefore, If you are a single woman that prefers a childless man, it does make it hard to find someone that also comes with a clean slate”

    I’ll explain to the both of you why its less of an issue for women.

    1) One man can get several women pregnant, not the other way around. E.g. Desmond Hatchett – Good him. 1 man 31 kids – last time I checked 15 baby mamas.

    That’s 15 women knocked out the game – from the male perspective.

    2) If it’s just about the man being childless, then I see where you are coming from, but there are still more baby mothers out there than men who’ve fathered children. Look at Shawty Low – how many baby mammas does he have? Its not like for every woman there is 1 baby daddy. Again 1 guy can get multiple women pregnant.

    3) If the man doesn’t have custody the women can PLAY – boyfriend with the guy 26 days or whatever, out of the month.

    If I, as a man, deal with a single mother who has custody (which there are more of) – every time I’m over there – SHE HAS THE KIDS! There is no escaping that reality as a man.

    There are more women on dating sites with (YES, KIDS, LIVING AT HOME) status than men.

    A man who’s baby mama has custody can still OPERATE as a single man 85% of the time. That’s the difference, therefore my original point stands. It is much worse for black men.

  • Perspective

    Let me rephrase number 3 – that doesn’t sound right

    3) If the man doesn’t have custody the women can have her (childless relationship) with the guy 26 days or whatever, out of the month.

  • http://www.sarahdjarnie.com sarah

    LOl Red Pill i Love that metaphor salad bow & Ramen noodles….
    but on a serious note I can say AMEN to that!!!

  • Fancypants

    My husband was married when he had his son, so I’m not sure where the mistake is. That was a huge contributing factor in my accepting that he had a child. I’m not saying that is the only way someone can learn,but as I said, in MY experience he is a lot more mature and selfless than some of the other men I’ve dated who’ve never been married and/or don’t have children. I’ve said before that I didn’t want to date someone with children, and I would advise anyone considering it to think long and hard before doing it, however the love of my life just so happened to have a child and thank God everything worked out fine.

  • Anthony

    SL, I am not doubting your post. I just worded my sympathy for your Uncle’s widow poorly.

  • http://Clutch SL

    “I just worded my sympathy for your Uncle’s widow poorly.”

    No, you were fine. I knew exactly what you meant :-).

  • Perspective

    I think most people are more understanding of someone who got married, and has children, but it didn’t work out.

    I think most have an issue with all the kids out of wedlock.

    @ the men – did you have to get her pregnant – damn
    @ the women – did you have to allow him to get you pregnant – damn

    I get irritated at the unaccountable black women that like to pretend like brothas are jumpin out of bushes as they walk to class spraying them with semen, and they just so happen to get pregnant.

    And I can’t stand the brothas who act like they were just walking down the street and just so happened to slip on a patch of ice and fall into a vagina with no condom on.

    “Hey man what happened to you?”

    “Aww, you know – I fell into some P****Y”

    “in MY experience he is a lot more mature and selfless than some of the other men I’ve dated who’ve never been married and/or don’t have children”

    This however is a dumb comment because A MAN WHO IS NOT MARRIED AND HAS NO CHILDREN CAN BE SELFISH!

    He has no dependents. Saying that only makes it sound like you were only comfortable with dating men who didn’t have the freedom of a childless man, aka – he was less of a risk, if he’s responsible.

    That’s like me saying, I prefer to date fat women because I know they’re less prone to cheat on me.

    The last sentence I agree with, but love doesn’t trump EVERYTHING as some people think.

    I hope it works out for you, because if it doesn’t I already know the fact that he had kids will be the first think you will most likely do. That is how people are.

    Date a non-white person and they will say – oh we accept the relationship. Let something happen and you and the non-white person break up

    The family: “I TOLD YOU YOU SHOULDN’T’ HAVE BEEN MESSING WITH THOSE…. YOU SHOULD HAVE STUCK WITH YOUR OWN KIND!”

    Thats how people are.

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    Deciding to date or be involved with a single person with children should be taken on a case by case basis. The same way I think all dating should be done. Some single parents have their situation well in hand and some others are drowning or barely keeping themselves afloat. Having a relationship with a single parent is a package deal, one that should never be entered into lightly, if it is not your cup of tea I don’t think you should feel pressured to do it. Most single parents know and understand this; some just refuse to accept it and try to make the other person feel bad for not embracing their children. But, I think the people who are mindful of dating single parents are probably being more considerate than the people for whom it is not even a pausing consideration.

    There are men in the community who have always targeted single mothers to pursue, primarily because they are envisioned as easier prey. They are thought to be a little “thirstier” than the women without kids. Not sure if that is true or not but I do believe it advises some folks thinking.

  • Anthony

    Perspective, did you mean non-black person?

  • Anthony

    I should have said single men who don’t want to deal with children should avoid single mothers.

  • Perspective

    Anthony – yea that’s what i meant

  • justanotheropinion

    It’s a complicated situation for all involved. Became a single parent when my kids were 6 & 2. The first few years I spent trying to regroup and get over the pain – a new man wasn’t even a thought. Once the smoke cleared, my heart mended and my head got right, I felt I had to make a choice – My kids or a successful relationship – having both seemed impossible. So many “If’s” to consider: what if I met a guy I liked but the kids hated him? What if my new guy disliked my kids? What if things just didn’t mesh? What if everyone was on board but I couldn’t give him the time & attention he wanted? What if…??? I decided that my kids didn’t ask to be in this situation nor did they ask for the stress of a ‘new daddy’ or a blended family. It was more important for me to be there for my kids 100% instead of them feeling like they were being squeezed into my life.

    After watching girlfriends having numerous ‘uncles’ for their kids or kids feeling like they didn’t matter, I’m good with my choice. My kids always knew they were the priority. With the ‘baby’ heading to college in August, it will then be my time. The kids are old enough, stable enough and it seems like they are mature enough for me to move to my next stage. They encourage it. My choice probably isn’t the norm, but I’m good with it. Nice to know my kids also appreciate what I gave up in the hopes that they would thrive.

    Would this work for everyone – nope. Did I miss out by making this choice – probably. But at this point, I’ve got no regrets. It also makes me realize that if I didn’t have time for man while raising my kids, a man with kids won’t have time for me at this point. I couldn’t hate on a man because he didn’t want to deal with my kids, but I shouldn’t be thought less of because I don’t want to deal with his kids. Because of this, I’d prefer to not date a man with young or middle age kids. I’ve done my tour of duty and don’t have an interest in signing up for another enlistment.

    To each his own.

  • http://gravatar.com/dasugo dasugo

    I think dating a single parent is a compromise. Not an honor. Few people want to go into a situation where the No 1 spot is already taken for the next 2-18 yrs.

    Few people dream about that scenario has an ideal situation. There are simply more barriers in that relationship than a woman without kids.

    That being said, compromise is an integral part of finding consensus in any relationship..

    I would find it difficult to marry someone that says with pride that her child is top priority over me. I don’t want that level of complication in my life.

  • http://twitter.com/scbeauty77 SCBeauty (@scbeauty77)

    Ann I like your perspective and respect your views on this topic.

    I am a single woman without children and my beau and two sons ages 11 and 12. When I meet him his sons were 5 and 6.

    He is a great father in my opinion to his sons. When I meet him I was a little hesitant at first because we were not serious at first.

    I was kind of back and forth with dating men with children since I do not have any of my own. Since I do not want children of my own it does not bother me however there is
    the compromise of going places and doing things that require finances that can get a little frustrated at times because he has to take care of his sons first and foremost..and to be honest if he was not a responsible father we would not have a conversation let alone date.

  • Ash

    I thought Emily from the Bachelorette is a brat for saying that. It’s a compromise, it could be a rewarding compromise but its still a compromise. I can’t remember why she was a single mother but I highly doubt people would let her comment slide if she was a woman of color.

  • Anthony

    If something were to happen to my wife, I would make the same choice you have made.
    One of the big problems that people run into is that they act as if their romantic or sex lives are the most important things imaginable. It is easy to ruin what can be a happy life by focusing on an aspect of life that simply is not optimal for you at a given time.

  • Nikki B.

    MCasey13 I feel you but please, stick to your principles. I’m 27 and I thought I would have to compromise because it seems like everyone our age already has kids. I’m glad I didn’t settle because I met my man after close to 2 years of dead end dating and hookups. I just could not get down with being 3rd place to a man, his kid and the mother of the child. I tried and it never felt good to me. Stay strong!

  • Perspective

    “Since I do not want children of my own it does not bother me however there is
    the compromise of going places and doing things that require finances that can get a little frustrated at times because he has to take care of his sons first and foremost..and to be honest if he was not a responsible father we would not have a conversation let alone date”

    @ SCBEAUTY

    This reinforces my point, about the money and when a man is being responsible.

    Unfortunately, for a number of men with children (especially if they were married) they are placed in a financially subordinate position to women. This has added to the matriarchal structure of the black community.

    If a man divorces his wife, chances are she gets the house. He will have child support and possibly alimony if he was making more money than his wife.

    When he goes to woman number 2, he is financially HALF the man that he was. If he has kids with the new woman – he’s basically taking care of two families, and we all know child support takes out more money than what most people spend on their kids as a couple, because it’s based on what the man makes, as opposed to what the child needs. (I am not suggesting he just pay what would minimally take care of the child. I’m making a point about the excessive child support payments)

    In your situation since you do not have children. I don’t think you can look at it from the standpoint of him having HALF AS MUCH. If he didn’t have kids when you met and then you had 2 kids with him, it would be the same situation – except they would just be YOUR KIDS.

    That would be the only difference. Its when men have kids by woman number 1 and then woman number 2 – that you end up with the Wesley Snipes situation in disappearing act were a man is pushed into a subordinate position in any subsequent relationship, because his money is diced up several different ways.

    This causes other problems with black men having dependents way too early since they are supposed to be the builders and maintainers of any community – which requires resources. Unfortunately when they get jammed up with babies – THAT’S ONE LESS BLACK MAN TO MAKE MOVES WITH AND CREATE ANYTHING IN THE BC.

  • http://www.noirlove.com Karin Coger

    When you enter a relationship with someone who has children, and you don’t, it is a compromise and that should be viewed as a negative term. It’s just the truth. All children are a gift however, when you don’t have children you have to come to grips that you are dealing with someone who has priorities that are higher than you. Many people make this work. A blended family is more common than a nuclear family today. However, the feelings of the person who does not have children should not be invalidated.

  • e. breezy

    For me, it is a compromise. I have no problem admitting I’m selfish when it comes to relationships. I expect 100% because I give 100%. An older guy who had been divorced and has a young child has been pursuing me for a while. Between not having enough time, or ever any money, I don’t see how he thinks we could foster a good foundation for a relationship. If you have kids a percentage of your focus will always be directed toward them, as it should. It also means that a little bit of that focus will be on the baby mama/daddy. Even if it’s not romantic, how and what they are doing will be of importance because it affects how and what the kids are doing. I don’t have time for that. I don’t like to share time that should be spent on our relationship.

  • Luci

    I think it’s weird that hardly anyone has said, “Eh, I don’t really want to take care of a kid while I’m trying to have fun dating!”

    It’s gross that so many people are worried about “not being #1″ when the so-called competition is a child.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Wow, you should try again @Luci – your post makes absolutely no sense.

  • brooke

    Actually, I wholeheartedly agree! How come the child-free always has to compromise with the child-having. Sorry, deal breaker for me!

  • Blue

    @Brooke, because it’s a child, not an old pair of shoes. A child is a person you have to care for. You can’t just stick the kid on the shelf & pick it up when you feel like it (well you shouldn’t) That’s irresponsible & neglect. And if you were to date someone who puts their needs before their child’s you should run for the hills never to return again. Who would want a person that can’t take care of responsibility. Don’t date a person with kids if you can’t handle it.

  • Cocochanel31

    Kudos to you justanotheropinion. God forbid I had children and something happened to their dad, I would probably be the same way. It’s a shame more women don’t have your mindset. My kids would come before any man/dating/party/me time etc..so this would not be much of an issue.

    I know women who put chasing behind a man/men their priority so this is refreshing to see.

  • brooke

    Exactly, which is why I refuse to date men with kids. Too many compromises for something that isn’t worth it to me. I have no kids, you shouldn’t either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.johnson.31586526 Ron Johnson

    I’m glad this article was written by a femaie, I 100% agree with her assessment. She should not be pressured to date a man with kids if she wishes not to. Now if a man had written this article expressing his desire not to date women with kids, I have a funny feeling some of these comments wouldn’t be so nice.Just my suspicion.

  • CEB

    Let’s be real, how many guys have you come across recently who don’t have a child or more? I’ll wait.

    It isn’t an issue for me. I don’t get jealous because a man wants to spend time with his child. That’s ridiculous.

  • brooke

    @ CEB it has nothing to do with being jealous of the actual child (ren). It has more to do with lack of quality time, finances, effort and energy to put towards the relationship.
    And let’s say for a sec it was about jealousy. Who wants to be last in the lineup for ANYTHING? I know tons of ppl who cried getting picked last for kickball teams! Let’s not act like being someone’s top priority isn’t important.

  • Bonjour

    I don’t see dating a man with kids as a compromise. I don’t mind dating someone with kids. I used to be like that in my early 20′s but now that I’m older I have to be realistic and know that the majority of people my age have a child or two or more and I’m cool with that. I love kids so it’s no biggie to me.

  • val

    Great article!!! I understand and relate to eeevery point made!

  • Debratante

    Precisely why I refuse to date men who have children. And, if they’ve got grown children who live with them (or vice versa), that’s a deal breaker, too. I don’t have kids and I’m not interested in a man who does. My life is a “kid-free zone” and I like it that way.

  • Chris

    I am a single dad of 2 kids (6,2) and have just started dating again.

    Please believe me, this is one of the hardest things in the world to do. I love my children deeply, I would die for them in a heartbeat. Recently I have met a single woman and our relationship has become quite intense. I am a good father, I see my kids 3 times week and play a big part in their lives. I need something for me, a woman who I trust with my heart and the love children bring. To accept someone else’s children must be very hard. I’m damn sure that the relationship I get into next will be the one. If that person can meet me half way then I will move the earth to show them what a wonderful blessing children are. Yes, commitments get in the way. It’s not possible to live your life as you did in your early twenties. There is so much love that goes unseen, I just need that person who can see beyond the immediate and want to be a part of a family. I hope it works out. I never planned to bring up my children this way, all I can do is be me and shine the light.

    Good luck to everyone

  • SL

    Kids are a wonderful blessing to the parents that bore them and usually to the extended family, but I’m not of the allusion that someone else will feel that way about my child. I don’t know your specific circumstances, but it’s evident that your kids mother(s) are still alive since you don’t maintain primary custody. It’s a lot to ask anybody to come into – it’s a bigger risk for them than it is for you and while right now, you really want someone for yourself, there’s no guarantee your kids. will be accepting. You have tall fences to leap, so don’t kid yourself. Once the intensity (which is usually mostly about romance and sex in the beginning) wears off, will you honestly be willing to put your kids needs second to someone elses? Will you be strong enough to set the rules of engagement for your baby mama(s)? I think you should really think long and hard about it cause it most definitely will be a factor and hopefully, you’ll be upfront with this other person and let her know where your boundaries are – and yes, you should be very clear on that for yourself out the gate. Also, you should really think long and hard about WHY you could not make it with your BM – when you choose to bring kids into a relationship the ME factor should go out the window. It is no longer about you or your BM – its about the kids and whatever difficulties you have with her you two should move heaven and earth to try and fix it so you can be together to raise the kids you both chose to have. Unless you were really a knucklehead and just randomly laid with some chick(s) who hves none of the qualities you were looking for in a lifetime mate, then you should make that committment to the woman (and hopefully it’s only one) who bore your children. A man who has children with someone else will not make a good mate for the long run, because unless he’s a half-stepping baby daddy, he will remain split for the rest of his life. You love someone else but you cannot love that person more than your own flesh and blood – think about it long and hard before bringing someone into that kind of situation. Your 1st allegiance will always be to your children – that person will never hold 1st place in your life. Is it fair of you to ask someone to be ok with coming in second for a lifetime, because that is what you will be asking.

    This is why I say that guys don’t get off scott free when they have children oow. They pay a price too!

  • chris

    Thanks for your words.

    If you can’t go back you can only go forwards. Yep hands up I behaved badly. I never wanted this, I just have to deal with it now.

    The woman I fell in love with changed, as did i. It was a kinder thing to call it a day rather than end up hating and fighting.

    Towards the end I was a d*ck. I hate myself for that but as is always true, it takes two.

    I cant go along with everything you say otherwise I will grow old on my own for the sake of the kids. They ask me if i’m lonely and I say yes.

    I don’t want a new mother for them, they have a perfectly good one. We both continue a healthy and positive friendship.

    You have to move on. I will not let the past sadness consume me. My children deserve to be happy and their happiness is a reflection of my own. Although none of this is ideal, of course I can only make the best of the situation.

    I have to believe my life is not over to carry on working, providing and being the best I can be. I can sit here and wallow in the mistakes we both made in our marriage but that helps no one.

    I didn’t make the descision to have kids lightly, I don’t take their welfare lightly now. This is life today, not some bulls*it Disney film that gets pumped at kids.

    My folks are still together and have survived some awful circumstances side by side. I have a good example behind me and this is not taken lightly.

    It must go forwards to survive is all i’m saying. Yes a new relationship is fueled by desire but christ – what’s wrong with that? It keeps the human race alive. I’m not entitled to those emotions or feelings because I have children? and when the dust settles is she the one? Well how does anyone else find out? You get stuck in and work that out as you go.

    I was honest with this new lady from the word go about having kids and what that means if there was a road ahead. She said she is fine with this, I hope she is and continues to be.

    Thank you for replying

  • Pat

    @ Chris

    This statement – “I love my children deeply, I would die for them in a heartbeat” leaped right into my heart from the computer screen. I say this coming from a patriarchy male dominated family where there are more men in my family than women. However, these men are providers. So when you make that statement – I can feel your desire. I’m just not accustomed to reading it in blogs, articles, or even seeing it playing out on television (well TP’s Daddy’s Little Girls).

    I just believe where there is a man who is willing to die for his children, a good woman who loves your kids as much as you love her or she loves you will follow. It is something about a man loving his family and kids that will make some women love him even more. Congratulations to having the heart to date again. I am sincerely hoping that the right woman comes into your life and your children’s.

  • Pat

    @ Chris

    This statement – “I love my children deeply, I would die for them in a heartbeat” leaped right into my heart from the computer screen. I say this coming from a patriarchal male dominated family where there are more men in my family than women. However, these men are providers. So when you make that statement – I can feel your desire. I’m just not accustomed to reading it in blogs, articles, or even seeing it playing out on television (well TP’s Daddy’s Little Girls).

    I just believe where there is a man who is willing to die for his children, a good woman who loves your kids as much as you love her or she loves you will follow. It is something about a man loving his family and kids that will make some women love him even more. Congratulations to having the heart to date again. I am sincerely hoping that the right woman comes into you and your children’s life.

  • chris

    Thank you – i appreciate it.

    I’m a good man. I’ve made some dumb mistakes in my life, I’m not perfect. I work hard, I have a good job and i want a simple life. That’s it.

    I’ve cried myself to sleep for over a year and i’m not doing it any more.

    I will put myself 110% into a new life and show my children that although life has given them some tough breaks, there is a future with me being happy and in love. They need to see that.

    I don’t know why all this is coming out on here. I don’t have many friends and don’t talk at all about it. I guess things are changing for me and i’m optimistic about the future for the first time in ages.

  • SL

    You’re welcome and I hope you don’t think I’m hating on you cause I’m not. I’m seeking to grow too in my understanding of things. I can only share with you my beliefs and my understanding which has been forged by my own experiences.

    My dad had 2 oow kids before he married my mom. My mom knew prior to marrying my dad that at least 1 kid existed (says she didn’t know about the other). I had a front row seat to the strain his love and obligation for his kids placed on my parents marriage – at some points nearly pulling it apart.

    My dad loved my mom. They were married 35yrs before he passed, but in all that time – that THING always came between them and to some degree it impacted all his kids. There was jealousy and resentment and bitterness. My dad lived his life being split. I can only guess at what he must’ve really felt – he often couldn’t give his wife first priority cause these other kids had needs…and sometimes those needs were encroaching upon his family.He wasn’t the kind of man to walk away from his children – any of us.
    Man – when I think about what he must’ve had to suffer because he made some bad decisions early on.

    So you can’t undo what is done – how to move forward and have a life for yourself.

    I don’t know, really – I don’t know the state your relationship with your ex. But if she hasn’t moved on (as in remarried), I’d start there.

    Since you own your screw-ups maybe you’ve learned how to be a better mate. Maybe you two can work on rebuilding your relationship – instead of you trying to forge a new one.

    Knowing you screwed up is 50% there dude. Can you for the sake of your kids travel the other 50% to repair your relationship with your ex?

    I’m not so sure I would be with my husband today if it were not for our daughter and I don’t feel any shame admitting that…but we are sticking it for her sake and in that time we have grown to understand each other more and to even love each other more deeply. She needs us to do this thing called marriage.

    So everyday we are working to forge that intimacy to sure up that commitment. Marriage is not for chumps – marriage is work.

    And if you go down that road with this new chick, the same is going to be true.

    You said you’ve been straight up with her about your situation. That’s great – let’s hope she really understands what you are saying to her….sometimes if we haven’t walked down a road before its hard to see that road being anything less than what it is right now – just be sure that you test it best you can over time to see how she really handles it.

    Blessings.

  • SL

    “It is something about a man loving his family and kids that will make some women love him even more.”

    Yes to THIS :-).

  • Michelle

    I’m 23 and I’m a senior in nursing school. I still live at home due to not being able to work because of school. I have been dating a guy,my age, for a year. His son is now 16 months old. He has him every other weekend overnight and every friday and monday for 5 hours. We have been talking about moving in together, which I was on board for. But now he might get full custody this summer. Now, I am not sure I am ready to go from living in a house as full time student/daughter to a faux full time step parent. I suggested I live on my own for a year to gain experience while our relationship adapts to the possible change of having a child full time in our life. My boyfriend is very upset because of this and says I’m taking steps back in our relationship and I do not care about him or his son. I’m at a loss. I’m trying to do what is best for me because I have to look out for myself just like he has to look out for his son. I’m not sure what to do. Thoughts?

  • FRANCIE

    I AM DATING A GUY WHO SOUNDS MUCH LIKE YOU. I SOUND LIKE THE LADY YOU DESCRIBED. I LOVE HIM AND WANT TO BE IN HIS CHILDREN’S LIFE. ITS BEEN TWO YEARS AND I STILL HAVE NOT MET HIM. WHAT GIVES?

  • Bsk

    My sons Dad is Chris … Hasn’t paid court ordered support or seen his son in over 2 years. He has a new love and is not a father. The Alcoholic has a father who is a Judge he claims he loves his son just like this man. Oh ya right!!! Funny how corrupt and sick it all can be but they are right for abusing children is acceptable in today’s courts. Children don’t pay taxes. Sad and sick!!!

  • Jess

    The love of my life came back into my life after 30 years apart, and he came with three children, all girls age 12, 15, 17. All I can say is NIGHTMARE. Not the kids, they’re great, but all the baby mama crap and the daddy guilt is just too much. I am single, childless, free as a bird and love to travel, go out, or just do nothing as long as we’re together. Let me tell you, this isn’t for everybody, and I already know this is not going to work. It’s too bad, because I think it COULD work, but he is inherently weak and is so easily manipulated by these four girls (counting the BM–and btw, what a FITTING name for this piece of work) that I will always, ALWAYS be in last place having to deal with her BS games. We are soul mates, but in this case it means nothing. BTW, we broke up because I didn’t want kids. He had to have them, so he married TWICE after we broke up and both were total disasters (he claimed he never stopped loving me, but who knows if that’s even true) but he got his three kids from the third marriage (he had been married once before he met me; twice after we broke up). Thank god only ONE BM to deal with, but that’s enough. My heart goes out to any single, childless woman thinking of getting mixed up with a man like this. I will always love him, but the one consolation I have is that kids eventually grow up and have lives of their own, and he’s going to realize what he threw away. Or maybe he won’t care. He’ll find another woman with her own kids so they can make it all about the kids and not worry about actually being in love. Me – I want love, romance, attention, affection and I want to GIVE ALL OF THAT to a man who is in a position to appreciate it. He says he wishes all things were different, but “together” we can make some of them different. Nice words, but where is the “together” if I don’t even get a vote? It’s like I’m some shadow in this “relationship.” BTW, he has no plans to tell BM or any of his family about me. I hate being some kind of dirty little secret. We’ve been in each other’s hearts for 30 years; it’s not like we just met. I asked why the hell did he come back into my life if he knew he couldn’t finish what he started? No answer. Just “I love you.” More nice words. But NO action to back them up as long as he’s got his getaway car running and three kids inside waiting for daddy 24/7. I did tell him something that I think struck a chord: I told him you do realize that of ALL the people in this scenario, I am the ONLY one who wants to see you happy, even if it is without me (and I mean that). NOBODY else in his life cares whether he’s happy or not; in fact the more miserable he is the happier the BM is. She doesn’t even know about me yet – can you imagine what a living hell she is going to make his life? And all because he has no spine and won’t stand up to her. Me he has no problem standing up to LOL. So, short version — I will be outta here soon, and thanking my lucky stars I got out with a minimal amount of pain. Sure it hurts, but nothing compared to what he will do to me later if I let him set all the rules, regulations and boundaries while I sit here like a fool waiting for the date of our next secret date. Screw THAT lol.

  • Abby

    Wow, I came on this page because I am only 19, and recently found an amazing man but… with a child and an ex wife. I really Just wanted real women answers and responses to this because scientifically speaking; it is reasonable to be with someone with children. We are here to procreate! But, emotionally speaking, and i’m not done growing emotionally so, emotionally speaking! Like these fine ladies have said, I will never be number one! I feel like if i had a baby with that man; it wouldn’t be as special to me because he already went through the motions and heartfelt sonograms and stuff like that. He has already felt this so it wouldn’t be like in my head wow look at his face as he realized hes a father. No It would be like, oh here is another baby i have to take care of. & it shouldn’t have to be that way and it kills me. It is a compromise because i am 19 and i deserve to have a first everything and my partner as his first as well! I need feedback, i need responses!

  • http://Clutch SL

    Well the good news is you’re 19 and not 39. You have time to experience these things as a “first” with someone who is also experiencing the joys of marriage and fatherhood for the first time.

    Some ppl are succesdful with blended families but many are not. At 19 you are still learning a lot about yourself.

    I can only speak for myself. I am glad I waited and met a man who had not been married and had no children. We got pregnant within 6 weeks of getting married. I can tell you the joy on his face when he found out – he really wanted to be a dad and he held her first before I did and he’s been an amazing dad.

    This not to say that a guy who has already experienced these things would be less excited. You would have to talk to him and do a lot of observing of how he talks about things.

  • Reyna

    I don’t have much feedback for you, except that I am in the same boat. I am 22 & my boyfriend is 27 with a child. He is great & I love kids. If I were older, I feel that I would have a bit of an easier time accepting the fact that he has a child, but I am a child myself!!! I am very unsettled in my life and want to be spontaneous and am selfish in wanting his attention and being able to do whatever we want to do. It is a difficult situation & for me, it certainly feels like a compromise… but very possibly worth it.

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