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Dating someone with a child from a previous relationship...


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#1 NGF

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:47 AM

Hello Ladies

I was wondering if you could please give me some advice on this? (regular user going anon)

I have been casually seeing a guy for about 8 weeks now. We get along really well, talk every day and he is a great person to be around - I am loving every moment! We don't live close to each other so when we see each other it is usually for a weekend. Previously when we have talked about catching up, we have tried to arrange it for weekends where we does not have his child (8yo girl).

However, I am planning to see him in a few weeks and both weekends he has suggested is when he has his child stay with him, and he wants me to stay overnight too.

I feel a little nervous about meeting his child. Do you think it is serious if he is willing to have me stay when his child is there? I don't know where to begin in terms of introducing myself, what to say and do around the child, and it is freaking me out a little.

Is there anyone who has been in this situation before when dating someone? How did you cope and what did you do? Any suggestions from anyone else would be appreciated and suggestions from the 'other' side (being the parent with a child) would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance smile.gif

#2 Mrs Darcy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:52 AM

I can understand that this would be a difficult situation...

How old is the child, and is it a boy or girl? It might help give some more insight..
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#3 Lizzie1

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:54 AM

I don't have any personal experiance with this, but my parents divorced and both remarried when I was young so I got to meet the new partners, and those they dated in between. Can I ask how old the child is?
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#4 NGF

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:55 AM

She is 8.

#5 MrsRissaC

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:56 AM

Dating a man with a child is hard...

Are you prepared to take on another womans child? It can be hard work. DH has a son from a previous relationship and it was really tough at the beginning as I have to say, I am not a child person (ironic being i am now pregnant!).

I dont know how to interact with them etc, and found that I really pushed my boundaries and most of the time would end up just feeling closed off, and disconnected.

Not only that, the more attached I got to my DH, the more cheated I felt that I wasnt going to get to enjoy the "first baby" with him etc. I had a lot of my own soul searching to do in relation to the child apart from just dealing with another little person being around.

I dont think he would introduce you if he wasnt sure, but maybe have the chat with him first.. it is a big step and one I would hope he wouldnt take lightly as it can lead to confusion etc for the child.

Ultimately, if you want to be with this person and see it as a long term thing, give it a go.. all you can do is try
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#6 Lizzie1

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:05 AM

hhmmm 8 is a tough age I think.
I was pretty young when my parents were dating other people 2-4yrs, but my sister was 6-8yrs and I remember hearing stories about how horrible she was to the ones she didn't like, including kicking them ph34r.gif and telling them she didn't like them ect... she's much nicer now! blush.gif

I think though it takes a great person to take on someone else children, it can be tough but if you really like the person and see a future I think it's worth having a go.

I don't mean to freak you out or anything but I guess just be prepared for all outcomes.... hopefully she's a little angle!

Oh yeah by the way.... my parents both met people and remarried, and my sister and I both got along with them really well.
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#7 ~*Willow*~

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:15 AM

Am happy to talk in private about this. I had three children when I met Andrew and I must say I was a very lucky woman to have such an understanding man but it was actually the kids who wanted us to get together after we had met the first time in person.

Personally for me I dont like to sleep with people in front of kids or let them know at that age they are very observant. So maybe staying is okay but sleep in a separate room or on the couch until you feel comfortable.

I asked my older two girls your very question ( so here is the CHILDS view) their father was a 'gigalo" LOL when they were llittle and every girlfriend was there when he had them. They hated it!! They just wanted to spend time with their father and he was so obsessed with the new girlfriends that it really affected their relationship so much so now they have not spoken for four years. Are you the only girlfriend or has he been solo for a very long time. This is quite relevant I guess from a childs view as they only ever want mum and dad back together.

its important to be yourself around this child, talk to her and treat her fairly, dont be physically/intimate with her dad all the time especially around her and according to Kelsi our 16 year old ASK the child if you can hold her dads hand when walking or kissing him goodnight. Kelsi said as a child you dont like seeing your dad with another woman and being asked in your home is the polite thing to do irrespective of the childs age because it shows that you care for the childs approval and THATS the most crucial . Expect some No's though. our kids wished they were prepared for the "visitor" on their weekends so talk to the dad and get him to prepare her and say My friend ** is coming this weekend, what would you like to do.... go for a picnic, do her favourite things too and just be yourself, most of all have fun.

Its not easy being a step mum, not easy being a step child either. FWIW, my girls see their step mum even though their father divorced her also four years ago, she has been a huge support to them during the loss of Hannah and she always rings. Mind you when they were married we were always at logger heads but since he did the same thing to her as me she has since KNOWN why i was so angry all the time. My kids were TOLD to call her mum, they now call her by her real name.. leave this up to the child do not force it.

Become her friend, her pal to do girly things with and most of all dont try and replace her mum.

Happy to talk outside this post, goodluck. Your relationship with this child is important but also expect that if your relationship develops into a close one if your relationship with dad breaks down this child will want to seeyou.

My children still see my ex fiance he is great to us and a beautiful friend. Andrew has also called him at times when we have needed help and he has always been there for us. Some people can put aside their relationships and still continue to be friends others leave wiht bitterness. it can work out if you all work at it and do whats best for the child in that circumstance because its always the kids that get hurt.

#8 lori_lee69

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:59 PM

I have been on all sides,,. I have dated a man with a child and now I am the one with a child who is dating. Also, my parents separated when I was younger so I've dealt with them dating new people.

Without knowing you, your partner or the full situation the thoughts and impressions I'm going to share with you might be wildly inaccurate. Feel free to disregard anything i say biggrin.gif And none of it is intended to cause any offense.

It seems a little odd to me that he would want you to meet his daughter AND stay overnight, all in one shot. To me this is a little insensitive (to both of you) and makes me think that he either has dated quite a few women and had them stay over so it won't be a big deal to his daughter or else he is realllly serious about you and wants to start playing Happy Families right away and is just thinking that you'll meet, immediately feel comfortable with each other and everything will be how he would like it,

So I think you need to talk to him about that.

Other than that, some general advice:

Parent's aren't looking for a new Mum or Dad. In Bella's case, she never had a Dad so there isnt one that needs replacing and in your partner's case, the daughter already has a Mum. What the dating parent wants is someone who is interested in them but doesn't exclude the child or need to be top priority all the time.

Don't let her think u r 'stealing' her daddy from her. Ie,if you are all watching a movie, you sit on one couch and let the daughter snuggle up to daddy on the other. Let them still have their moments and you stand back. i agree with Willow, i think it was- it would be best to sleep in a spare room or the couch.

Include her, If you're going to grab a Coke from the fridge, ask her if she'd like one, etc. Ask her about her school, friends, hobbies etc. if you don't get much response, it could be her being difficult or she could just be shy. But at least you made some effort, You don't have to bend yourself in knots, just be friendly.

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#9 NGF

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:59 PM

Wow, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply, I really do appreciate it. I have made notes of a few things that I am going to do/try and we'll see how it all goes I guess! I have responded to each post below...

QUOTE(MrsRissaC @ Aug 14 2008, 11:26 AM) View Post

Dating a man with a child is hard...

Are you prepared to take on another womans child? It can be hard work. DH has a son from a previous relationship and it was really tough at the beginning as I have to say, I am not a child person (ironic being i am now pregnant!).

I dont know how to interact with them etc, and found that I really pushed my boundaries and most of the time would end up just feeling closed off, and disconnected.

Not only that, the more attached I got to my DH, the more cheated I felt that I wasnt going to get to enjoy the "first baby" with him etc. I had a lot of my own soul searching to do in relation to the child apart from just dealing with another little person being around.

I dont think he would introduce you if he wasnt sure, but maybe have the chat with him first.. it is a big step and one I would hope he wouldnt take lightly as it can lead to confusion etc for the child.

Ultimately, if you want to be with this person and see it as a long term thing, give it a go.. all you can do is try


Thanks for your response, Rissa. And you are right, all I can do is try. smile.gif


QUOTE(Lizzie1 @ Aug 14 2008, 11:35 AM) View Post

hhmmm 8 is a tough age I think.
I was pretty young when my parents were dating other people 2-4yrs, but my sister was 6-8yrs and I remember hearing stories about how horrible she was to the ones she didn't like, including kicking them ph34r.gif and telling them she didn't like them ect... she's much nicer now! blush.gif

I think though it takes a great person to take on someone else children, it can be tough but if you really like the person and see a future I think it's worth having a go.

I don't mean to freak you out or anything but I guess just be prepared for all outcomes.... hopefully she's a little angle!

Oh yeah by the way.... my parents both met people and remarried, and my sister and I both got along with them really well.


Thanks Lizzie. I am glad your sister is much nicer now wink.gif laugh.gif


QUOTE(~*Willow*~ @ Aug 14 2008, 11:45 AM) View Post

Am happy to talk in private about this. I had three children when I met Andrew and I must say I was a very lucky woman to have such an understanding man but it was actually the kids who wanted us to get together after we had met the first time in person.

Personally for me I dont like to sleep with people in front of kids or let them know at that age they are very observant. So maybe staying is okay but sleep in a separate room or on the couch until you feel comfortable.

I asked my older two girls your very question ( so here is the CHILDS view) their father was a 'gigalo" LOL when they were llittle and every girlfriend was there when he had them. They hated it!! They just wanted to spend time with their father and he was so obsessed with the new girlfriends that it really affected their relationship so much so now they have not spoken for four years. Are you the only girlfriend or has he been solo for a very long time. This is quite relevant I guess from a childs view as they only ever want mum and dad back together.

its important to be yourself around this child, talk to her and treat her fairly, dont be physically/intimate with her dad all the time especially around her and according to Kelsi our 16 year old ASK the child if you can hold her dads hand when walking or kissing him goodnight. Kelsi said as a child you dont like seeing your dad with another woman and being asked in your home is the polite thing to do irrespective of the childs age because it shows that you care for the childs approval and THATS the most crucial . Expect some No's though. our kids wished they were prepared for the "visitor" on their weekends so talk to the dad and get him to prepare her and say My friend ** is coming this weekend, what would you like to do.... go for a picnic, do her favourite things too and just be yourself, most of all have fun.

Its not easy being a step mum, not easy being a step child either. FWIW, my girls see their step mum even though their father divorced her also four years ago, she has been a huge support to them during the loss of Hannah and she always rings. Mind you when they were married we were always at logger heads but since he did the same thing to her as me she has since KNOWN why i was so angry all the time. My kids were TOLD to call her mum, they now call her by her real name.. leave this up to the child do not force it.

Become her friend, her pal to do girly things with and most of all dont try and replace her mum.

Happy to talk outside this post, goodluck. Your relationship with this child is important but also expect that if your relationship develops into a close one if your relationship with dad breaks down this child will want to seeyou.

My children still see my ex fiance he is great to us and a beautiful friend. Andrew has also called him at times when we have needed help and he has always been there for us. Some people can put aside their relationships and still continue to be friends others leave wiht bitterness. it can work out if you all work at it and do whats best for the child in that circumstance because its always the kids that get hurt.


Kat, as always, thank you for taking the time to reply. Thank you to Kelsi as well. You raised some very interesting points, and I have taken note of a few things! biggrin.gif

QUOTE(*Lib* @ Aug 14 2008, 12:14 PM) View Post

My Dh has children from a previous marraige. I went into the relationship knowing full well that he had 2 children, 1 being his, the other his step son. When their mother found out we were dating they disappeared off the face of the earth. While this has made our relationship 'easy' I wold love to know them, god knows we are paying enough money for them! tongue.gif If you really like this man, you'd be willing to see the children as a package. Kids really are a blessing, and make life fun! Good luck, but I wouldn't read too much into it at 8 weeks. Relax and enjoy the time getting to know him and his daughter!


Thanks Lib, I will try to relax and enjoy this time we will spend together. smile.gif


QUOTE(Heelz @ Aug 14 2008, 12:55 PM) View Post

My FH has a daughter to another woman, and i remember feeling exactly the same as how you feel before i met her. My FH always said from the start though "Your not meeting my daughter until i know this relationship is stable, and a longterm thing, I dont want her meeting anyone unless they are going to be around for a long time" He also mentioned that would probably be around the 6month mark, before i was introduced. It ended up being 3months blink.gif which shocked me, because he had always been so firm about it, and when i was told "i will have my daughter that day, will you be right to meet her then" i was like OOoo so this is now considered a long term relationship, along with the thought of meeting his daughter, and being nervous about BOTH!

When i met her, he spent alot of time with her, and i didnt say much at all really... He was being a dad, which was lovely, and was FAR more interested in her, rather then me. Not because he was trying to be a pig, but because he didnt get to see his daughter alot, and really if i couldnt put up with that his daughter will ALWAYS be more important them me, i could bugger off!

I didnt try FORCE myself onto his daughter, and i never do with any kids, it frustrates me when people try pick up kids and push themselves onto them. I just acted as myself, whcih i think is the best thing to do. If you are stand-off-ish with kids, then be like this, but still be pleasent.

I would talk to the man your dating about this, just ask what he expects of you when you meet his daughter, and maybe since shes 8, ask if there is anything you should know, or maybe if there was any good idea to get her to like you.... Such as reading up about POWER PUFF GIRLS or something! HAHA!

Like MrsRissaC said, i think as the relationship continues, and maybe you see things leading to marriage and you own kids, They feeling that you wont get to experience the whole "First Child" experience together may become an issue. It has with me, and i hate to think when i finally have children with my FH, he will be so much more knowledgable, and i will feel hopeless in regards to parenting. I have discussed this with my FH, and he doesnt understand the issues i have. But it doesnt stop me wanting kids with him.

My FH having a child has definatly been a BONUS to me, first off i may not have said so, but i love seeing him being this fantastic father, and its lovely to hear him talk about her, and the love he has for her.

I have become very close to his daughter,... I am her "Georgie" she sees me as her family, and as she everyone she knows (except me) is either "nanny" "poppy" "mummy" "daddy" she sees me as a "georgie" and i have been at the supermarket with her before, and she has said to another kid "is that your mummy?.... This is MY GEORGIE"
Its lovely... and i love her.

We have great fun together now, i give her her baths, and watch her if FH has to go out for a little while. I even pick her up / drop her off to her mothers. At Xmas i set up a heap of crafts for her to do, to make her Xmas pressents with.... Its great fun....

If i had known life would be like this (and yet so FANTASTIC) i would have been terrified when i first started dating FH. But I have just taken things as they come... I never forced myself to do things i was uncomfortable with. Just be yourself. I took maybe a YEAR before i felt really connected with his daughter.

I was 19 when i met his daughter! SO it was a huge scary step....

Just be yourself,

ALSO... Its hard, because he will always have to be paying maintence of his other kids... and there will be the fights for equal time with his ex. You have to also osrt of realise his Ex will always be somewhat in your life... I HATE my FH Ex, but shes going to always be coming up... so i have to put up with the stupid slapper tongue.gif wink.gif


Thank you so much for your response, really appreciate it.


QUOTE(lori_lee69 @ Aug 14 2008, 01:29 PM) View Post

I have been on all sides,,. I have dated a man with a child and now I am the one with a child who is dating. Also, my parents separated when I was younger so I've dealt with them dating new people.

Without knowing you, your partner or the full situation the thoughts and impressions I'm going to share with you might be wildly inaccurate. Feel free to disregard anything i say biggrin.gif And none of it is intended to cause any offense.

It seems a little odd to me that he would want you to meet his daughter AND stay overnight, all in one shot. To me this is a little insensitive (to both of you) and makes me think that he either has dated quite a few women and had them stay over so it won't be a big deal to his daughter or else he is realllly serious about you and wants to start playing Happy Families right away and is just thinking that you'll meet, immediately feel comfortable with each other and everything will be how he would like it,

So I think you need to talk to him about that.

Other than that, some general advice:

Parent's aren't looking for a new Mum or Dad. In Bella's case, she never had a Dad so there isnt one that needs replacing and in your partner's case, the daughter already has a Mum. What the dating parent wants is someone who is interested in them but doesn't exclude the child or need to be top priority all the time.

Don't let her think u r 'stealing' her daddy from her. Ie,if you are all watching a movie, you sit on one couch and let the daughter snuggle up to daddy on the other. Let them still have their moments and you stand back. i agree with Willow, i think it was- it would be best to sleep in a spare room or the couch.

Include her, If you're going to grab a Coke from the fridge, ask her if she'd like one, etc. Ask her about her school, friends, hobbies etc. if you don't get much response, it could be her being difficult or she could just be shy. But at least you made some effort, You don't have to bend yourself in knots, just be friendly.

8yr old girl? Brush up on your knowledge of ponies, Hannah Montana, HighSchool Musical etc wink.gif


Lori, thanks for your response.

He has dated a few women in his time, but he does not make a habit of bringing people into his home when his daughter is around. He is quite protective of her. I think I will chat to him about it though, I am quite surprised and a little nervous that he has taken this step. Thank you for your suggestions also, I will take all of them on board.

Thanks once again girls biggrin.gif





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