Last week we kicked off our Mondays With Mike series and introduced you to writer and blogger Michael Miocevich (My-oh-see-vitch), a native of Western Australia who is now our guide to Swirling in Australia.
(Mike also lends us his brain and lets us pick it at will).
In his first post Mike received three questions, one of which was to tell his idea of a fun date.
Whelp, Mike’s response generated this follow-up question from a fan on our Facebook page:
“I wonder how Mike feels about women with children? Is that deal breaker? It seemed like his perfect date would be for a women with no children and free time to spend a whole day (not knocking it but I have two boys who come first). I just wonder if this isn’t even considered when looking for a mate . . . Sorry I’m soap boxing :: steps down::”
This is quite a legitimate question, particularly because dating with children is a reality for millions of singles. I forwarded the question to Mike as fast as my little fingers could type it.
So, hmm . . . . Is a baby in Mike’s future?? What followed is Part 1 of his very thoughtful response:
“This can be an interesting but also sometimes a hard topic to talk about. Some men can be rather apprehensive, as often while they can relate to the woman they are dating, they might feel a gulf between them and her children. This is more a psychological barrier than anything. The man doesn’t know exactly what role he should play, and also might worry about the notion that he might be seen as someone who is supplanting the child’s biological father. This can be rather conflicting, and I have seen marriages being broken up early due to the intervention of kids vs their parents new husband/wife. I have seen this both in relationships of divorced men and divorced women, so there is no finger of blame being pointed here. If this is noticed early on, with the children not getting along with the new partner, it really does need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Other times it can be the wrong thought for men that if they were to date a woman who has children from another relationship, that immediately they would be expected to provide for those children as well, when what they want is freedom and fun to develop a relationship with someone who is unattached or has no children. This is a rather selfish way to go through things in life, always wondering what people are trying to get from you. Often the women who these men could date and have children already are quite used to providing for their children, and aren’t expecting their new beau to walk in and be immediately put on the spot for financial help. It would be my hope that if a person did date and fall in love with someone who has children, that they would offer to help out as a gesture of love. It says he cares for you and your children, even though they aren’t his biologically. A man is going to have to face up to this eventually, so if he doesn’t think he can manage it, he’s better off not stringing someone along, thinking that he’ll eventually come around to it.
So where do I stand in all of this? I’m 38, so I am kind of on the fence in regards to starting a family with someone I meet. On the one hand I might have left it too long, as I’d like to be the kind of guy who spends times with his children and is active with them, rather than being too tired after working to do so, and leave them to be raised by the TV. On the other hand, who says that this should be the case? If I were to meet the right person, why couldn’t my life be structured to have a decent job, but time available to spend with my wife and children? These are questions that can really only be properly sorted out once I have met that special person who is right for me. It’s got to be a joint decision. Trying to plan out things exactly how you want them to happen is an exercise in futility. Better to have broad plans that move you forward and are able to accommodate any curve balls thrown your way.
As for dating women who already have children, I don’t see why not! If we are lucky enough to make a connection with someone who excites us, challenges us, is great to be with and who you don’t know if you could be without, I don’t see why them having children would be such a barrier to having a relationship with them. The above preconception is something a lot of people automatically make as they have no experience of such situations. I would be prone to them myself as I have only dated women who were previously single and without children. To be honest perhaps I was too limited in my view of what a fun date would be because of it. Another limitation is that my place isn’t that huge, so dating a woman who has children and is looking to emigrate to Australia might be a touch difficult as I don’t have a lot of space for more than one other person. This is likely to be something which changes in the future, but at the moment it is likely to be a factor. However, as with all things, any problems will have a solution.
In which case a date with a women who has children might involve a day at the museum (the American Museum of Natural History is absolutely fantastic and I could have spent days there when I was in NYC) or a visit to a park for a picnic. If we go to a park I am going to have to pack a cricket bat and ball so we can have a hit before lunch (yes, I am going to hold on to my Australian sporting identity darnit!). A nice lunch and a walk around the park while the kids go roughhousing nearby. Pack it all up and head to the movies (at a cinema or at home) for something light-hearted and pants-wettingly funny, or even do so at home on the couch. If I have been dating the woman for some time, then reading the kids a story before bedtime, or even make up one of my own for them would be really cool. Then the rest of the evening can be spent talking and being together on the couch, conversations of everything and nothing, and sweet kisses before parting.”
Stay tuned for Part 2, where Mike gives us insight into what a man thinks when he considers dating a woman with children.
Got questions for Mike? Send them to us via inbox on Facebook or email them to ASwirlGirl@TheSwirlWorld.com.
Follow Mike on Twitter @500and50, read his blog at 500and50.com, or message him on Facebook.
Join in the Fray: What are your thoughts on dating someone with children?
Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, All rights reserved.