Why I’m Glad I Broke My Rule About Dating Guys With Kids

Every woman has what I like to call a “No-go List“
“He doesn’t have a car? No-go.”
“He doesn’t have a job? No-go.”
“He still lives with his parents? No-go.”
One very common no-go, “He has a kid.”

This was a major no-go for me. But as you get older it’s nearly impossible to meet a guy who doesn’t have baggage, be it in the form of mommy issues, commitment phobia, an ex-wife entangled in his credit or an 8-year-old that resulted from careless sex as a 22 year old. You just have to decide if the “good” outweighs the “bad”.
When I met my now ex, let’s call him Thomas, it was the result of Tinder. We chatted for about a week before deciding to get together at a sports bar. The night was going fine, he seemed nice. He had tattoos that were pretty visible so the conversation started off, “How many do you have?” “What/where are they?” He pointed to the inside of his wrist, and when I couldn’t make out the scribble I asked what it was. He casually said, “My son’s name.”
And that was pretty much the end of that conversation.
It was crazy to me this was the second guy I’d met on tinder that pulled the ‘surprise I have a child card’ on the first date. (Like how did that not come up?? Why isn’t that in your profile? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?!?! HA!)

For whatever reason, be it the vodka waters or the victory shots we took, when the Spurs won the game, I agreed to a second date. Which turned into a series of dates over the next few weeks. Soon he asked me to be his girlfriend. Two days later he invited me to a family BBQ for Easter Sunday, I hesitantly agreed to go. Two thoughts jumped into my mind… “I’m going to meet his family…. Holy shit, I’m going to meet his kid!”

It didn’t go all that bad. He introduced me and the family was great… Turns out his son had mild autism and contrary to many characters on television, little Pete just had a few ticks as a result. He would have periodic outbursts of random incoherent noises he couldn’t control and certain things he had to have a certain way.
He was in no way the problem. Thomas and I had our own issues (Thats a story for another time) but what I noticed was he was very bitter about having a child. I mean it wasn’t totally insane. He was raising a kid he wasn’t totally sure was his. He felt like a loser and most of his money went towards Pete’s doctors.

I never interacted too much with Pete one-on-one. In my honest opinion, because Thomas spent so much time away while his mother raised his son, I didn’t feel like he was the most attentive father. In fact, he was very selfish and self-involved.

I think that’s when I realized it. There are things I want to do in my life, and I don’t want to resent some innocent child for preventing me from doing them. I got a look at the requirement of having to be constantly available, not being able to go on a whim, and having to be there 24/7 for someone else. It allowed me to realize it wasn’t for me. I decided that for the time being I didn’t want kids. Some of you who want/have children may think I’m a completely selfish and horrible person. But isn’t it so much better to make that huge choice before it’s just forced on me, to not waste potential partner’s time by letting them know up front that isn’t what I want?
If I hadn’t broken my ‘no kids’ rule I never would’ve seen parenthood the way I did. Sure I’d seen my friends and family members with kids and I know the sacrifices my mom made for us, but this was different. When I commit to someone I fully submerge myself in their world. Yes, I keep my own world, but I like to feel truly like their partner. I like to feel what they feel, care about what they care about and learn what they know. So I got to see parenthood from a very difficult angle and it really opened my eyes.
So maybe consider reconsidering some of your No-gos. Best-case scenario, you are totally wrong and that person is your soulmate. Worst case scenario, you learn a little bit about yourself and confirm what works and doesn’t work for you. The only No-Gos I wouldn’t suggest reconsidering would be things like sex offender, murderer, puppeteer…

Do It For Love,

Edited by M.L. Scarbrough

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *