* If we got married, would I have a role in raising the child?
* Would the child ever respect me as their stepfather?
* Would there be an "us versus him" dynamic in the relationship? (Especially if it was a mother and daughter(s))
* Would I be a part of the family, or just an appendage?
I'd be concerned that I would have all the work of fatherhood with none of the benefits or joys.
This may sound selfish, but I'd be wary of dating anyone with a child that was handicapped or MR/DD.
Another question: is being a cougar "in" now? On match.com, I've noticed that the majority of women in my age group (mid-30s to mid-40s) have an age preference that usually extends far younger than older; for example, a 40 year old woman seeking a 28 to 42 year old man.
Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey
I agree with Dan on those points.
And Dan, your concerns are exactly the stuff I've thought about, wondering if there would be issues from the guy's end. On one hand I think my divorce would be more difficult on me if I didn't have kids, cause I'd worry that maybe I'll never be a mom, and I'd be extremely lonely without my girls around. But, on the other hand, having kids I fear will definitely make it harder for me to have any future relationships.
Personally, I wouldn't have wanted to date anyone who didn't have at least an approximate history frame of reference to mine. Like, knew what the Vietnam War was, or had seen "Jaws" first-run in the theater (much greater impact!). Nobody way older or younger, anyway.
Hmm I have a different view. As a gay man with many friends that are "gay dads" I won't go there. The baggage is really heavy.
The kid was four. Dad was not quite divorced when we met.
Couple time was an issue. Just about every holiday or weekend or early week (they shared visitation) revolved around Junior. The kid and I shared a birthday (the day, not the year!) so our First Year Together I was invited to Chuck E. Cheese. The next year, mom had custody, so "my" day was spent listening to whining about The Ex.
Dad's ex quickly landed a new SO. That guy's ex had more control over my holidays and special days than I did. (If she wanted to trade custody dates, things rippled down the line, and lil' ol' me, with no exes nor kids, was home alone.)
One year the three of us spent Valentine's Day eating dinner at Bill Knapp's.
Actually Junior was a sweetheart, and when I weighed the benefits, he tipped the balance. Dad considered me to be ahead of other contestants who didn't want to go to the water park, the putt-putt game, the kiddie b-day party.
Visitation issues abounded. Junior was not supposed to know about any adult stuff (although his mom was shacking up left and right). I did not care for being told, "it's 5 am, you have to leave before Junior wakes up."
Dad presented a full-custody pitch to the courts using me as leverage. "I will provide a traditional family for Junior." (At the time I was self-employed and working from home.) Didn't fly; good thing.
Hints from Veloise:
- If the kid is young, you'll be viewed as a cool avuncular figure and be immediately accepted, get to do cool things like make pizza and go on Easter egg hunts.
- If the parent (and you) are relatively young, you'll get to face the issue of future mutual kids.
- Discipline! Potty training! Time-outs!
- Mostly don't worry about it. Dating someone with a ready-made family unit is not unlike dating someone with a big loveable dog, or a NASCAR obsession, or a motorcycle, or who travels hundreds of miles every week to play in sessions. Whatever reality is offered is perfectly normal for this new potential SO, and if you fit, you fit. If you don't, you don't.
- Reading bedtime stories again is fun.
In retrospect I should have taken a stronger stance and offered more of an opinion. We'd have split up anyway.
OK, call me clueless; what is "Second Life"?
I would date a woman with kids. If the relationship evolved to that point, I would mind being part of a family again. There are things I really miss about it.
When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?
cch, you'll know when you're ready. Until then, don't let anyone push you into doing something don't know that you are ready for. For a long time after the last boyfriend, even though I wasn't upset any longer about the breakup, the thought of dating made me nauseas. That feeling is slowly going away, yeah!! So, you know when you know.... And I don't know about the online thing. I'd much rather meet someone in person or through friends. You're not too far away, we should plan a mini laefest and I can be your wing girl, ha!! jk (kind of)
rcgplanner I think that's a crappy situation. You have to figure out what bothers you most about it. You mention the lack of a job and lack of the motivation to get one, but is that the real issue? Or is it that fact that even without a job she isn't contributing really anything to the household or the relationship (from the way it sounds anyway). Only you can figure out what it is you are unhappy with, what would need to happen in order for it to be acceptable, and what will happen if it doesn't get better. Once you figure that out, you need to spell out your expectations to her using clear examples - don't just say you don't feel close to her anymore, tell her that it bothers you when she always goes to bed at 5 when you are waking up. If she doesn't make effort to make it better, *you* will need to make the effort to change things.
Here's my completely hypothetical quesion of the day.... you have a good friend of the opposite sex that you've known for a long time. Always been platonic and you've gone out for drinks a few times just the two of you. Well, the last time, the friend ends up paying the whole night, even though you try. At the end of the night, the friend kisses you and you end up making out. Completely sober. Opinions as to motive/intent? Anyone?
CPSU, as long as you are not addicted there's nothing wrong with it. I enjoy playing the Wii from time to time, but I don't spend hours on it each day. My GF spends hours upon hours on Second Life. For example she was on it for at least 13 hours yesterday/this morning. She woke up from a nap when I got home at 6pm last night and was still on it when I left for work at 7:15 this morning.
OT: How do you like the SimCity on the iPod?
SW MI, good advice. I need to figure out how to put my feelings in words without sounding accusatory. Now on to your question, my thought is that is there has been a long term friendship and both parties are single, it may be the friend acting on long-held feelings. This may be an awkward situation, b/c romance between long-term friends can be strange, especially if one doesn't see the friend in a romantic light. OTOH, romance and eventual relationships between good friends can be a good thing, since there is already a friendship built between the two people.
Dating while having children can be interesting. I think it is easier when they are little like when I met my husband, R.T. was about 1.5 years old and her father was checked out of the scene so it made it easier for my ex and her to get on well with each other. I'm sure it's much harder as they get older and more cognizant about what's going on. There are a number of people on the forum that can attest to the uniqueness of dating while having a teenager in the house. I think it's very important that parenting/visitation/custody issues be largely resolved between the exes before embarking on a relationship with someone new to give it a fair shake.
cch: You just need to do what's right for you and your girls. Tell your ex that your dating life (or lack of one) is your choice and not his business. Frankly, I think he's just trying to get you to date so he can not feel so guilty about his own actions.
Dan: Sorry to hear about the split. Moving and long distances are hard on relationships. Some of the issues you pointed out probably would have come to play at some point down the road anyways. Take some time off, get settled into the new place and job.
rcgplanner: A number of things raise red flags. I am sure you know this in your heart. She has a relationship, it's just not with you. Internet use and gaming like she does is an addiction pure and simple. It sounds as if she has multiple issues that you have tried to be patient with over time. I don't think that it's an unreasonable expectation for her to have the house in decent order when you come home if she is not working or actively seeking work/improving her job skills, or doing something else productive. You deserve to be in a relationship where you are getting as much effort put into it from the other side as you are giving.
"He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16
My only previous awareness of Second Life is that some folks on a Cystic Fibrosis forum I belong to are part of it and promote it as a way for members to interact. I can see the appeal to someone with a very serious handicap that keeps them from getting out much. It's part of why I spend so much time online. But I am leery of getting involved in something like Second Life. I was a serious RPGamer in my teens. I know how time consuming such things can be. I gave up RPG's to get an actual life. I have known folks (including my ex) who remained immersed in such things, largely as an avoidance tactic. I knew one man who was 14 years older than me. He was in his early 30's when I was a gamer. He lived with his mom, delivered newspapers for a living, and was perpetually in college. Ran into him while visiting home in my mid to late twenties. He was in his forties. He was still a quarter short of his second bachelor's -- supposedly some technical detail on the college's end was denying him the chance to wrap it up. He still lived in his mom's house, only I think she had died and he had inherited it. Or maybe that came later. I think he finally had a girlfriend in his 40's. He was still delivering newspapers and part of the RPG culture. He was one of two men whose lives inspired me to drop out of college at age 20 on the theory that if I was never going to amount to anything, I could deliver newspapers without being loaded down by a mountain of student loans, thanks.
Anyway, he was a nice guy and I don't want to talk trash about him, but I also have no plans to fritter away my life pursuing RPG's, Second Life or anything similar. I think I did the right thing giving up RPG's to get an actual life. I don't plan to go back, so to speak.
If anyone is utterly confused, chalk it up to my raging fever. The guy in the next cubicle has bronchitis. Thanks for coming to work and breathing on us, buddy. (probably a topic for the "daily irritants" thread).
You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone
You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
"You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane
as another introvert and someone who is generally slow (i.e. retarded) when it comes to the whole dating thing - if i actually manage to make a move and im not plastered its because i like the person and want something to happen beyond being platonic friends. just my shiny nickel worth of input