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Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 201
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?Page 3 of 25    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)


It's not quite that simple...

Children and lovers are two different kinds of love. One cannot replace the other, nor should they attempt to. If anyone is seeking to be #1 overall in someone else's life, they're delusional regardless of the presence of children, because an individual should always put themselves first, which by the math used here, would leave you 3rd at best.

Look at it this way...Kids are 1A, you can be can be just as important, and obviously more important in some aspects of life, as the children are to your partner. All you can do is make yourself available, don't force yourself into any situation, and keep an open mind. Children are invariably going to face some "replacement" issues at some time, and it's up to their parents to ensure that the children are comfortable in whatever situation they may be placed in. By the same token, any parent that allows their children to manipulate them and control their lives deliberately is bad news, and should be avoided at all costs.

I'm a single dad, "enjoying" joint custody of my daughter, and I deliberately limit my social life for two reasons:

1: At least for now, I'm selfish with every moment my daughter is with me, whether she be sleeping, in school, fishing, in the tub, playing CandyLand with Dora and her Pretty Ponies, or whatever. This may change over time, but for now it is what it is; I don't want her to have to share me with anyone else.

2: The way my schedule is, and with my "availability" for a social life, perception is that I'm either cheating on someone, or just looking for "booty calls." My daughter is with her mom for a majority of the weekend, so that's my "me" time, and I guess since that's the opposite of how most single dad scheduling works, I appear to be a "wolf on the prowl" if I only go out on Thursday/Friday/Sat nights, and it doesn't help if Prince Charming's coach turns into a pumpkin at 11:00 AM Sunday!! Maybe i live in the wrong area, but there's not a whole lot of quality women around here looking for a Weekend Warrior, and I completely understand that, so I essentially eliminate the issue by avoiding it entirely.

I'm also kind of "old-fashioned" about bringing someone into my daughter's life until I know it's a serious relationship, because I don't want to be parading people in and out of her life. She's not stupid, and unfortunately, she's already been educated on the difference between friends and "friends," and this is definitely one situation where what's good for the goose is most definitely not good for the gander or the gosling.

The way I see it, at least for now, it's easier to focus on my daughter, making sure I can provide the best home for her, be the bestest Daddy I can, and worry about me when the time is right.

There's my 2 cents...don't spend it all in one place...

Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 202
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 8/27/2007 10:55:38 AM
Some people shouldn't date those with children.

The way I see it is that we all have demands on our time, responsibilities and obligations, and just plain things that we place "first"... kids, family, friends, pets, drugs or alcohol, video games, partying, etc.

So, come first as compared to what?! It all breaks down to the same thing... either our needs are being met or they're not.

A man with a child is quite capable of making the number one woman in his life the number one woman in his life, but there are always other things. I personally think that kids are one of the more acceptable other things.
Joined: 6/20/2007
Msg: 203
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 8/28/2007 9:09:13 AM
To answer your question, most people today do not know how to deal with the dating game when there are children from previous players involved.

Unfortunately, they like to smugly duck behind the phrase "my children come first" which alienates all their dates/2nd spouses, etc. This is a huge mistake. Of course, children's basic needs must be met. But, to make them your top priority all of the time and your significant other 2nd or third, maybe even fourth behind work and friends, sounds the death knell to a healthy relationship.

Who would revel at the chance to be second fiddle? I know I would not.

The best advice I can give you is to sit down with your new man and discuss your feelings with him. Explain to him what has happened in your past and how this current situation makes you feel. Do not blame him. Just say how you feel. If he really cares about you, then he will listen and make an effort to carve out special time for just the two of you. If he does not, then move on. There are greener pastures out there. Your best bet may be to find a man that does not have children already. It is certainly a lot easier and less dramatic. However, be aware that as you get older, this will be more difficult to do.

Good luck.
Joined: 8/8/2007
Msg: 216
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 8/30/2007 10:58:23 PM
Oh my goodness! I think if your issues are making sure you come first then you should date a man without children. I have two children, any guy I date needs to understand that if my kids are sick or need me, our date will have to be a raincheck or a pizza in. Perhaps the issue isn't the guys you date if you know what i mean. You need to maybe make a rule that you don't date guys with kids. Not necessarily easy but until you can find a way to make sure you have the time you think you need without thinking that a child is interfering, you need to stay away from guys with kids.

Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 219
view profile
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/2/2007 12:35:45 PM
I sure hope not.
Joined: 2/11/2006
Msg: 221
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/3/2007 7:26:51 PM
It is amazing how when a woman pay a little attention to the guy's kid(s),how everything gels and your one happy family...ignore and fight about the kid and you will never get the attention you so greatly seek.
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/4/2007 5:05:34 AM
When you become involved with a man with child/children you are also going to be part of that childs life. It's not fair to the child to be tossed aside. Just because when you met that man the child wasnt around much, what happens if somewhere down the line he gains full custody? I myself wont date a man who has never had kids, as they cant relate, and maybe thats what your issue is, if you dont have a child you dont know what its about. Good luck, and keep looking for that childless man.
Joined: 8/25/2007
Msg: 224
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/4/2007 9:10:22 PM
This is the way I look at all depends on the situation too.In your situation you knew he had a child.The wife should come first if you are married but he had a child before you.Parents have to set clear examples for their children to follow.But,you can't say "will I ever come first?".The reason I say this is because there is two types of relationships here.You can't say you'd love one child more than another,you'love them equally,right?So, in this case,you can't love a spouse the same way as a child.You can love as much but not equally.I hope you see where I'm coming from?I had a similar thing happen to me.The dad of my son said he loved someone more than me and I was like what.I thought he meant his daughter and I said to him that you can't love your daughter more than me because it's two types of love,you can love equally.But that's not what he meant,he meant his ex wife...another story.And one more thing ,if you knew he loved his child this way and you felt another way,why did you stay so long?
Joined: 9/11/2005
Msg: 229
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/6/2007 9:49:38 AM

The truth is YES you will always be 2nd best to the man's child but it does not mean you cant become a part of that childs life too. Try showing an interest in getting to know the child, offer to go with him when he drives a long trip to see his child and should give that man ALOT of credit for being a part of his childs life. There are too many children out there who come from a divorced family and do not have anything to do with their mother or father.

So in answer to your question: and I quote: How the hell can a child come before you??? You are supposed to be the ADULT, I suggest you act like one! If any man or woman puts their child, no matter what the childs age is, 2nd to someone they are dating then I have no respect for that parent at all.

To all who state unequivocally that the child *always* comes first, I hope you'll all be very happy when you're all alone after your children have grown up and are out living their own lives.

Yes, children do 'come first' in many, many situations, especially when they're small...but if a single parent, male or female, intends to have a partnership, including marriage, with someone, then they had better know how to balance things so that all people in the family, parent, child, and new partner/spouse get what they need when they need it. This 'comes first' mentality has frankly been beaten to death on here, and I don't believe people who haven't been able to make a relationship work to begin with will ever learn how to do that if they are blinded by this idea that a child always comes first and there's no balance there.

Children need love, support, understanding, attention, patience, boundaries, etc...and too many parents, especially separated and/or divorced ones, try to do/buy everything for their kids because they feel guilty the marriage broke up...This does such a disservice to those kids! Kids aren't stupid, and even little ones understand much more than some give them credit for. Overdoing out of remorse or guilt hurts them more than helps them. And frankly, seeing one's parent in a good, loving, happy relationship will do more to restore that child's faith in relationships being able to work than anything else, IMO.

If people don't put their new partner/spouse 'first' at times, they will have nothing left of their relationship by the time the children grow up and are on their own. Relationships - all of them, partner, spouse, children - need to be nourished; and some more will need it more than others at day the kids will need more of you, the next week it may be your spouse. People need to learn what makes a relationship good, and how to balance it all.

And before anyone decides to slam me for not knowing what I'm talking about because my profile says I'm single and don't have any kids, it doesn't mean I haven't had very long relationships and haven't raised kids; I have to both. So I'm talking from experience *and* common sense.
Joined: 10/7/2006
Msg: 239
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/11/2007 12:32:34 PM
Once you have akid talk to us andI will bet my house your point of view has changed
Joined: 10/7/2006
Msg: 240
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/11/2007 12:33:18 PM
better yet you and your man should have a kid together then you will have a reason to be home too
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 246
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/16/2007 9:40:05 PM

If she's at school and has a runny nose, should I leave my job and rush there to wipe it? If she wants to play checkers, should I forget about the pork chops on the stove and allow them to burn? Think I'm exaggerating?

Yes, I do think you're exaggerating, and being a bit ridiculous in your defense of a purely semantic issue.

To use your examples...

If I even knew my daughter had a runny nose at school, there'd be a problem with the school calling me for such a minor detail, and I'd change schools as quickly as I could. I consider that good parenting, to know that the other people who care for my child are capable of doing what is necessary while she's in their care.

If my daughter wanted to play checkers while I was cooking dinner, I'd turn the burner off, or down to a low simmer, and spend the 15 minutes to play the game. I'm a pretty rigid parent, but any time you can make with your children cannot be replaced, and pork chops are cheap. Those are the moments you cherish and hold onto, not "what we had for dinner on 9-15-07" To quote Dolly Parton/Aerosmith, I don't want to miss a thing...

Show me an example anywhere in this thread where any of the people boasting from their "children always come first" pedestal have drawn the line.

I may not be able to provide an example, but again, I believe your argument is based in semantics...some people say "always comes first" while others prefer to use the term "first priority." Arguing vernacular is a sure-fire way to lose an argument, which is why yours is invalid. To-MAY-toh, To-MAH-Toh, so to speak.

Understand why some of us are getting sick of this martyr syndrome?

Us? You speaking for a group now? Would they choose to identify you as their mouthpiece? I'm willing to bet on "No" for that one.

As far as "martyr" goes, that one word is the reason I even responded to this post in the first place. Speaking only for myself, I resent the use of that word, as if I somehow represent myself as better than someone else because I choose to put my daughter ahead of anyone else in my life, myself included at times. While I do consider myself a better parent than those who do not raise their children as their number one priority, only time will tell if I'm correct in that judgment.

I guess none of it will mean much if my daughter gets shot by their kid from the Stanford University clock tower with a sniper rifle...

I've read damn near every post in this thread, and I have yet to see any one of them where someone was looking for sympathy for their "plight," only empathy from like-minded people. Of course, with every point comes a counter-point, and you are entitled to your opinion. I would like to see where this "martyrdom" is presenting itself though, as I must have missed it along the way. Perhaps you can provide me with an example or two?
Joined: 6/26/2007
Msg: 248
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 9/17/2007 5:10:05 AM
responsabillaty 2 ones children should come first coaperation and resposabillaty 2 ur lover shouldent be put aside thers time for happyness and its now . . .
Joined: 11/1/2006
Msg: 252
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When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 10/17/2007 10:38:43 PM
Its hard dating as a single parent because, in the beginning, the kids come first and there really easy a strong imbalance.

However, I am with those that believe that kids do not come first over a spouse or seriously committed relationship -- definitely not a spouse. I remember when that woman in NY wrote the article on how she loved her husband more than her kids. She said that if she had to choose she would choose her husband. She was drawn and quartered. It was ridiculous. Her kids were a heckuva a lot luckier than any of the kids of people who criticized her. I think my parents for the great example of love for one another that they showed me. What about putting your spouse first FOR your kids sake? Historically, spouses were supposed to love each other first and through that support their children.

But I keep that in perspective. The post above talks about first in control of the relationship or family. I should hope the adults are working that out together and you have a new partner who doesn't have interests that conflict with those of your children. Being controlling is problematic any time. But a partner in your life can and should come first in your heart if it is a healthy relationship.

This putting the children first crap no matter what is a very new thing, post 60's anyway. What the heck does it mean? Of course you get them up and prep them and send them off to school, or do what is necessary on a day to day basis. But, given that they are certainly in no position to be in control of the home what does being first mean? Give an example, where in a healthy relationship between a reasonable man and woman that the parent should properly put the kids over the needs of their spouse.
Joined: 11/1/2006
Msg: 255
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When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 10/22/2007 11:41:07 AM
Beka, I appreciate your agreement but what actually happens that makes you feel you are not first?
Joined: 11/1/2006
Msg: 257
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When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 10/22/2007 1:12:35 PM
Sorry Beka, I didn't see you were the OP and had already expressed how you felt you weren't "first"

Beka, if he put his wife on the couch so his child wouldn't see you sleeping together he's a moron. Its unlikely you'll find many more who take it to that extreme. He needed to have it explained to him how ludicrous it was for him to be teaching his child that a man and his wife don't sleep together.

I think a lot of people are taking exception to your describing it as "competition." Certainly the above, isn't competition, its a complete lack of understanding of what you should be teaching your kids about a married relationship. The same is likely true for the anniversary. My children would learn that there are special things I celebrate with others just as they would get a special celebration on their birthday.

The only exception I can see is if this increase in visitation was a temporary thing then I might say, "honey I'll only get to see my child this often for one year and then circumstance will change and I might have to go back to seeing him once a month. You need to wait and be patient with me during this time." (that's an exception for the anniversary celebration, not the absurd sofa sleeping)

Your feeling of being outside with this new guy might be heightened by this bizarre prior experience. Have you shared it with the new fella? Its natural at the beginning. But if it became a serious relationship he should start at least making you feel like you're a family and involved when you're all together. He should even probably let you and his children spend time alone together if he plans to marry you. In a good relationship eventually there aren't any concerns of "first". If I were you I would be quizzing the new guy on his thoughts about what happened to you before. He will know why you might be a little sensitive and you'll know if you should run now and never look back.

I think I might put it to single parents who feel the need to categorize the most important people in their lives first, second, etc. Which of your kids do you put first? It just shouldn't be an issue.
Joined: 10/2/2007
Msg: 261
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 10/26/2007 12:58:54 PM

What I do not understand are single parents who start threads asking why single peple with no children will not date them

You trip me the out.
Shall I go back and pull up all the threads youve started about not dating single moms?
Joined: 10/17/2007
Msg: 265
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 11/14/2007 12:26:53 AM
Stop judging this girl, I'm sure all of you aren't perfect and have been prone to jealousy too at times. She's just open about it. It's usually the ones who are the most judgmental and preachy that have the most to hide. Think about all those preachers who've been caught in scandals doing the very things they preached against.
Joined: 3/8/2007
Msg: 270
view profile
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 11/15/2007 7:52:00 AM
I asked the same question...

I am fearful of men with kids now...
Joined: 11/9/2007
Msg: 273
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 11/17/2007 7:19:01 AM
Hi Beka,

Here is my two cents worth... i don't think you should consider yourself second. It sounds as if you are trying to compete for you man affection with his child. You should never put yourself in that situation. Remember a child will ALWAYS come first! If you have an understanding with your mate that at times he will be off with his child and spend some time with him/her that is healthy.

As far as your first relationship, he was crazy. And you should have held your ground. You were married. I think he was tryint to protect his child feelings, but he sonnser or later will have to come to terms with his child that he is no longer together with the mother... but i think there is more there than he wants to admit with his ex...

I think for now you should let your new man have his time with his kid, and then maybe if it starts to get serious, you can get to know the kid, not as his furture mother, but as an adult friend of his dad. You may find if you become more patient, you will not view yourself as second, but as an envolved person in that childs life as well.

Hope this helps.
Joined: 10/24/2006
Msg: 280
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When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 11/24/2007 4:45:55 AM
Off Topic Posting removed. Direct posts at the topic and not other posters.

I would agree with some here that it is more beneficial to the flow of the thread to actually read the entire OP and at least some of the other posts before just replying to the thread title. How are you contributing to the thread if you are not sure what you are contributing to?

Thanks to those who remained on topic.

Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 296
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When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 1/15/2008 6:16:11 PM
Dating no. Marriage equal.
Joined: 3/23/2008
Msg: 300
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 4/1/2008 1:32:10 PM
Wow, I think you are the one with some issues. A child should always come before another woman. You can be replaced, their child can't. I really hope you never have children because with an attitude like that you will not be a good parent.
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 302
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 4/1/2008 2:48:50 PM
Wake up people... I agree. If you want things to work, you will work in that direction. Let's face it, there is a reason why they are divorced. Obviously, they could not make it work. Not everybody is like that. This is very similar to the battered woman syndrome... where a woman is looking at a few specific thing in a man and she keeps on picking the same kind of guy. It work the same for men. The kinds have nothing to do with the relationship, is the type of man that she picks all the time.

Joined: 6/3/2007
Msg: 308
When dating a man who has a child, will I EVER come first?
Posted: 4/9/2008 9:05:04 AM
No you will never come first!!!!! Children always always always come first. My suggestion to you is never date a man with children again. Makes me wonder what you would do if you had a child of your own. Would he or she know the sitter better then he or she knows you? So what if your romantic weekend was put off because of his child. You are very selfish.
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