Home Featured Men Are Not Perfect Vol 4: A Threesome Gone Wrong

Men Are Not Perfect Vol 4: A Threesome Gone Wrong

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This week in the Men Are Not Perfect series, which you can read in full here, I’ll discuss my experience in having a serious relationship with a woman with a child. For the record, I don’t consider a woman having less than three kids a “deal breaker.” I like to think I handled this particular relationship as best as one can for any serious relationship that doesn’t end in marriage. Still, with the clarity of hindsight, I realize there are a number of areas I should have managed better as a man and arguably as a person.

My friends and I were out having a good time and enjoying the nightlife at a familiar lounge. We had just decided to move to another happening spot up the street as soon as everyone finished their latest round of drinks. The night was young. I was sitting at the bar waiting on one of our friends to return from the back of the club. That’s when I saw her at the door.

As she fumbled in her purse looking for her ID I soaked her in. She had on knee-high black leather boots – many women’s favorite accessory and a personal weakness of mine. I took a swig of beer to calm my nerves. She was at a distance, but with the help of her boots, she looked to be around 5’8. She had long black hair and a form-fitting dress that accentuated the curves of her hips. Those hips! I could already tell from the front there was greatness in the back.

She was fine. Too fine. Like the kind of fine I definitely wouldn’t randomly approach. Besides, I didn’t have enough liquid courage in my system, yet. I decided it was too early in the night to get turned down. Not to mention I didn’t have my boys to act as a support system. It had only been a couple of minutes since I first laid eyes on her, but I had already decided she was out of my league. “She probably stuck up or got a man or something,” I convinced myself instead of accepting that I had punked out.

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The front part of the lounge was a small one-way entrance. She was going to have to pass right in front of me by less than a few feet. Since I didn’t think anything was going to come of it, I didn’t try to hide the fact that I was staring. She was laughing with her friend as they walked towards me. I might as well have been a bar fixture the way they ignored me, but then she let her guard down. It couldn’t have been more than a second, but I distinctly remember her looking me right in the eyes as she passed by. I was in shock.

For the record, this would later become a repeated debate of great contention whenever we retold the story of how we met. In my head, she looked me dead in my optic stems, licked her lips, and made the ‘come hither’ face (granted I was almost through my first beer at this point, so who really knows). Her version, admittedly more feasible, says that she had bad eyesight, which she does, and she wasn’t wearing her eyeglasses that night because “they make her look stupid.” Half-blind but still trying to look cute, she squinted in my direction for a brief second, ALLEGEDLY never licking her lips, and smiled because she thought she recognized me from high school. Regardless of who stared at who or what for how long and why, it was enough for me to go on. I WAS HYPE!

As she passed to my right, my friend finally returned. “Let’s bounce.” “Uh-huh,” was all I could manage as I ignored him walking in the opposite direction of my latest crush. I saw my friends collecting outside as they stared back at me trying to figure out why I wasn’t moving. Unknown to them, I was trying to figure out if I should leave or approach the woman who had (in my head) just stared me down.

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In a rare rule-breaking moment for me, I chose to give chase.

I veered away from my friends and fought my way deeper into the belly of the lounge. A few polite shoves, elbows, and Michael Phelps arm-swimming techniques later I was in the middle of the club looking for a devil in a blue dress with black boots. I spotted her standing at the bar with fresh drinks that I wasn’t sure had been purchased by her or any number of the potential suitors standing in her general area. I didn’t care. I did my best to gain my composure and approached the bar.

“Hello,” I said to the back of my enchantress’ head. I couldn’t see her face, but her friend was facing me. I’d seen this game unfold a number of times over the years. The girl-friend gives non-verbal approval or disapproval to their friend before she even turns to look at you. Her friend made eye contact with me, then with her, and slowly grinned over the straw perched between her lips. I took this to me mean I had the green light.

My potential love interest finally turned around, paused briefly to look me up and down, and then smiled herself. I couldn’t tell if she remembered me from earlier. A “Hey?” escaped her glossy lips. I wanted to kiss her right then and there.

I hadn’t thought this through. ‘Hello’ was actually the beginning and end of all the game I had, but I realized she was waiting for me to say more. “Hey…ummm…yeahh…uhhh…Hello… I don’t mean to be rude to you and your friend,” I was starting to gain some level of composure and think in complete sentences again. Tell her your name, fool!

“My name’s [WisdomIsMisery]. I saw you when you came in and ummm uhhhh, but my friends and I are about to leave. I was hoping I could get your number? Maybe uhhh, talk to you outside the club sometime?” Who the hell do you think you are man, Alicia Keys?! I was blowing it.

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“Is that all?” she laughed. “You don’t even know my name or anything about me….You’re not even going to offer to buy us drinks or anything? You’re just going to get my number and bounce?”

I was ill-prepared for a game of 21 Questions and it seemed like I was getting dissed. Normally composed, the beer or her presence was increasing my intoxication. “Nah, see, look…my friends and I really are leaving. Plus you already have drinks! (she laughed). But I’d love to get to know you better. What would you like to know about me?”

She peppered me with light-hearted questions. I answered some and laughed away others. I wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but suddenly I felt the pressure of a hand on my right shoulder. I figured her boyfriend had finally showed up and a fight was about to ensue. I spun around expecting the worst only to find one of my friends standing there confused. “What the hell are you doing?!”

“I’m talking to [name redacted],” I gestured emphatically with my head towards the curvaceous woman to my left while saying Get Lost with my eyes. My friend was undaunted.

“OoooooooOOOOOOOOOoooooooooh, well excuse me!” He had obviously partaken in a few shots during his absence. I used this as a justifiable reason to bring my conversation to a close. “I told you my friends were waiting on me.”

She laughed. “I see… Fine. You can have my number [WisdomIsMisery].” She seemed apprehensive. As I went to pull out my phone, she stopped me and her demeanor was noticeably more serious. “I should tell you now… I do have a son…Do you have any kids?”

“That’s fine. I do not.”

“Ok,” she said as she put her number in my phone. “Call me…”

1

She’d later accuse me of being distant in the beginning of our relationship. She was right. In reality, my X and I had been officially done for over a year, but emotionally I was still stunted. I kept my heart guarded and I entered this relationship with much greater hesitation. We’d date for months before I ever met her son. She never pretended like he didn’t exist. In fact, he was her priority. If she had him, I wasn’t allowed to come around.

The more we dated the more she told me about him, but she didn’t want us to meet until she was sure about where we were going. It was like I was trying out for an extremely difficult job position. That was fine. I enjoyed getting to know her and seeing her when I could. I liked her a lot. The slow transition into Love was a much healthier paced experience  than before. I was used to daily fights with little or no provocation or reasoning. I had forgotten what it was like to be in a “normal” relationship.

We’d date for months before I realized or to be more accurate, accepted how much I liked her. It all came to a head when she told me about another guy that she had been putting off seeing seriously because of me. I tried to pretend I didn’t care. I even figured I wouldn’t care. But I did. I cared a lot. Actually, I was outright pissed.

I realized that if I wanted a serious relationship I was going to have to make a serious commitment. I was terrified at the idea of putting my heart on the line, yet again, but I knew if I wanted her in my life I was going to have to step up to the plate. We agreed to see each other exclusively. Still, she was clear about her expectations. She had a son. He came first, always. She was a package deal. Could I accept that? I assured her I could. I told her I didn’t see a future in Texas and I eventually planned to move. Could she accept that? She said she could. A few weeks later, she allowed me around her son.

Good or bad, instead of weeks my job search and personal obligations would take years to unfold. In that time, although off and on due to other events, she would be my only steady girlfriend. I grew to Love her. I grew to Love her son. Despite my shortcomings – outside of my parents, I’m not particularly close with much of my extended family – her family took me in as one of their own. Inevitably, her family (and mine) began wondering when we were going to take the next step in our relationship. They weren’t the only ones. We weren’t getting any younger and if the relationship didn’t have a future she wanted to know. Technically, she deserved to know. She always had to consider the effect her decisions had on someone more important than herself – her son.

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As we struggled to figure this out, another obstacle reared its head. Over two years into our meeting one another, I finally got the job offer that I’d been waiting for – and I’d have to move out of state to pursue it. We tried to dance around the obvious, but as the time came closer for me to move the difficult choices I would have to make became clear: 1) I could pass up the offer and stay with my new makeshift family; 2) Take the job offer and them with me; 3) Leave everyone behind.

I faced a number of difficult personal choices, the details of which I can’t share, but I ultimately decided to leave everyone behind. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in my life. I didn’t realize how difficult, until the weeks until my departure became days. We were shopping at IKEA. Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that I was making the right decision. A lot of people, my own family notwithstanding, were disappointed that I had elected to go at things alone. They figured I was doing the same old selfish WisdomIsMisery thing. I had convinced myself I wasn’t but I don’t know if I was telling myself the truth.

I figured this was the best decision for everyone. Moving myself across country was proving difficult enough without putting additional strain on our relationship, our families, and her young son. Or so I thought. I didn’t think it was the easiest decision. I thought it was the right decision. For weeks I had taken solace in that decision. I had withstood intense questioning from her. I had stood less intense, yet equally difficult questioning from her son. He couldn’t understand – and for the life of me I couldn’t make him – why I was leaving him and his mom behind. He wanted to know what they did wrong, so they could fix it, and we could all stay together. What was so difficult about that? … I never could come up with a a good answer for him.

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As I sat there watching their playful attempt to make light of the situation while knowing that they would have to move on with their life together, but without me, everything hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it was the fact that I was moving across country with no family or friends to work a job that I wasn’t even sure was going to last (there was 6-months of mandatory probation). Perhaps I realized that I was leaving the state I grew up in my entire life. It could have been that I was leaving the woman I Loved and her son behind. It was likely all those things and more that caused me to crumble under the pressure of it all. I had tried with great measure to pretend that none of these things were bothering me as much as everyone else. I had stared in the face of many tear-filled eyes without breaking as I stubbornly pushed forward with my “plan,” until my outward facade finally failed me. In the middle of the store, I broke down crying. In that moment of weakness my step-family gathered around me, but they didn’t join me in tears this time around. Instead, they both stood strong while I leaned on them for support. It turns out, if I had ever let them, they would have been ready to support me the whole time.

***************

I’m not positive what all I could have done differently in this situation. For myself, I wish I had a better grasp of how deeply involved in the relationship I was instead of pretending along the way that I could control and regulate my emotions as I saw fit. Further, instead of ‘playing house’ with a woman with a child, I should have better gauged the potential longevity of our relationship. She told me early, and I underestimated her statement, that she was a package deal. I knew this going in but I failed to realize that going out, I wouldn’t just be breaking up with her, I’d essentially be breaking up with a family. The easy fix, for some, is not to date women with kids. It was years later before I realized the full impact I had not only on my X’s life but on her son’s life as well.

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I don’t believe avoiding the relationship would have been the correct decision. I loved my X and I do not regret being with her by any means. I only regret how things ended – and I am assuming I could have done something different to make the ending any better. However, I do wish I had better explained to her son why his mother and I weren’t working out and made it crystal clear, to the degree possible, that it wasn’t his fault. If you don’t understand why this is important, then you should read this article from a 16-year old on the affect his father’s leaving his mother had on him. Even though I wasn’t the biological father, for a time, I played that role to the best of my limited abilities. Unfortunately, I played it poorly. If I ever play such a role again, I plan not to make the same mistakes.

If you have a child, what are your expectations for the roles of those who you date? If you don’t have a child, would you date someone who does? Why or why not? Have you failed or succeeded in this role before? As a single parent or step-parent, what tips or advice would you offer others if they date single parents or consider taking on the role of a step-parent in the future?

Editor’s Note: You can also check out my guest post for a talented writer who has been featured on sites such as Essence and MadameNoire to name a few at MissAleck.com, Church Girls…We’re Not Avoiding You, We May Just Not Be Into You.

Comment(99)

    1. Ummm, SOMETIMES it IS too late. Just depending on the length of time that went by, she may be involved by now, or moved on from the situation etc. On top of that, though she may STILL genuinely have love for him that trust is broken. Even if he came back today saying all that he's said in this post, how can she be assured that he won't up and leave again. I doubt she'd want the kiddo going through TWO bouts of that, let alone for herself.

    2. RIGHT! I thought the same thing.

      I mean, if he *really* loved her he'd go back and get his heart broken when he realizes she's happily married now…

      but at least sit her and her son down and tell them the truth of how awesome they are and how impactful that time was on his life. Having a conversation about it as retrospect would be good for everyone involved. THIS, yet again, is selfish. The *woman* who he claims to "love" and the son who now thinks he's flawed in the failures of two adults….suffer. Fix it. smfh. Go back, and fix it.

  1. Eloquently written, love the narrative of it all. Meanwhile *shakes my fist at you in the stylings of Fred G. Sanford… and the G stands for "God I hope you still make contact with them"* YOU BIG DUMMY!!! lol

    *continues my Fred Sandford* *magic fingers ensues* "If iiiiiiiiiiiii didn't caaaaaaaaaare*

    1. It's strange, it was actually only after I met another women with a daughter (whom I never met personally) that point him home. She said something along the lines of, "you should have stayed involved in his life." Keep in mind this was a bit contentious because his mother and I were trying to strike a balance between us being over and me remaining in her son's life. Anyway, she pointed out that children are very keen on internalizing the blame on themselves even if it's not their fault. This was something I did not consider. Since I don't have children of my own, it is difficult for me to comprehend what it's like raising a child from birth. My only experience has been in dating women with children, in which I have varying degrees of responsibilities based on their expectations.

      Since I failed to adequately guage this, it is definitely something I'd recommend other men/women keep in mind when dating someone with kid(s).

  2. I cannot date a woman with any kid.

    The problem is very time I read a story like this I ask myself, what would I do? The first thing that comes on my mind is always: THAT'S F*CKED UP! Basically, I don't know what I would do in these situations. So I would avoid these situations with the best of my abilities.

  3. I am a long time reader, and this is my first time actually posting a comment about a post that I have never experienced. But, personally, I wouldn’t mind dating a someone who has a child. I know going into the relationship that I really do not want to see her son/daughter until we both make a mutual agreement that our relationship is moving in a direction beyond casual. And if we do decide to take our relationship to the next level, I would embrace the fact that they had a child. Because I know this child is going to be a part of my life if this relationship continues. But I would be really hesitant to push the relationship further if I wasn’t absolutely certain that this relationship is worth pursuing. I would hope that me being so reluctant to move forward with the relationship wouldn’t be my downfall in missing out on something good.

  4. It's always hard dating people with kids. As a single mom I've struggled through that. Mostly I just never let them meet my daughter except in group settings and I try not to pay any particular attention to that individual coz I'm just never sure where the relationship is going. Except in my last relationship which just ended like a month ago. I rushed headfirst and belly flopped into that. Two months after we were dating he had met my daughter, it was clear that this was mummy's boyfriend whom she wanted to marry , he spent the night and she knew. She loved him, he loved her, I loved them both (yes it was too soon). Then we broke up on a technicality a while later. I thought it was the dumbest reason for breaking up but he had his dealbreakers and that was one of them. Now I'm faced with questions "why doesn't he call anymore? I wanna show him my painting? He promise to make me this? Can we sing him a song? Let's send him a video? Do you miss him, mummy?" I have no idea what to say to any of those questions. In hindsight I never should have let him get involved but then we both honestly and truly believed we were heading towards an extremely long term relationship. It's hard to predict the future but now I feel like just cause something feels right now doesn't mean it'll be right tomorrow. How exactly do I tell which guy won't find his deal breaker in lighthearted convo and leave my daughter heartbroken coz he chooses to leave?
    Sigh

  5. Idk I think it’s different for a woman to date a man with kids vs a man dating a woman with kids. I mean most of the time the mother is heavily involved in the child’s life, so your not really filling in a mother figure role. Not saying there aren’t single fathers, but i dont think there are as many sf as there are sm.

    I wouldn’t not date a man because he had a kid ( no more than one at this point in my life). But I would have to know a few important things.

    1) how involved are you in your child’s life ? ( weekend parent, full custody, shared custody)

    2) how is your relationship with the child’s mother ? ( If it’s bad, why and how bad)

    3) how old is your child ( if the child is 2 and under there’s a good chance him and the child’s mother are going back and forth tying to figure out if they an make this young family work)

    4) what role do you need me to play? ( do you need me to be ready to be a potential mother figure or just a good role model that you don’t mind exposing your child to. Most of the time when the mother is in the child’s life, you don’t won’t to over step your boundaries Trying to be mom number 2)

    1. Your number three "How old is your child" is a very good question to ask; alot of people tend to miss how important this vital piece of information is when deciding to date a MAN or WOMAN with a child.

      1. Agreed!

        The younger they are, the easier it is to get along with them.

        But, little kids limit what you may be able to do with your partner (needing a sitter, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.).

    1. And you have every right to be, whether you have kids OR not, at the end of the day it's your personal preference.

      I myself choose NOT to date men that have 2 or more kids. 1 kid I can deal with but 2 or more… NAH I'll pass.

  6. Being a single mother of 2 (just recently single), I have to admit that this post really pissed me off. And it’s not so much of what choice was being made for “self”, but the fact that that extra amount of consideration was not takin. I wouldn’t care too much about something that could be worked out or discussed between US, but when my babies have to be caught in the middle and affected by an inconsiderate decision being made by 1 party, then you might want to watch out for the bitch in me.

    I understand why she kept her child away because I do the same. It also make guys look at me with the side-eye like I’m treating them as if their a pedophile (which I do) This post was a good example of why. A person without kids would never understand doubling their decision making process or accepting that a mother will always put their child first before any “potential disasters” being made. For her to eventually let her guards down and STILL get burnt in the end is heart-breaking.

    Shame on you WIM!! However, you are still an awesome writer! 😉

  7. I prefer not to, I have tried twice and both to poor results…

    The first time we was kicking it before she got pregnant (long story) so it wasn't more or less me playing step dad i was kinda around from the beginning. So one time we was out and arguing about something, now personally i hate public displays of arguing more than affection so eventually I just told her I had somewhere to be. I dropped her and the baby off and left. Later, she calls me fuming like "not only did you walk out on me but you walked out on her". Major low blow. I could've said the obvious here but I preferred she kept her out of it. I didn't like her being a wedge between us, which she has been considering when, how and by who she was conceived. She knew I had a bond with the child and would constantly use that as leverage. Eventually we broke it off…well honestly it was more of a drift. I still call on her birthday, we run into each other alot and the baby still lights up when she sees me. She breaks my heart more than my ex did. Part of the reason why I'm reluctant to do it again. Of course I don't always listen to myself which brings me to my second time…

    The second time i'm a lot more cautious, i have no real attachment to the child outside of what you would have for any child. My issue with this girl is simply time. She's never free to hang out, I hate going over her crib because she's one of those always have company types, its just too much concession and compromising that I as a single man do not want to deal with. I'm selfish.

  8. I would rather not date someone with a child. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't – especially since I love children – but there are a lot of complications there. Aside from the ones you've touched on, there's the issue of it not being your child and you having no say in how he/she's being raised. Since men don't usually have full custody, I may have to deal with drama being fuelled by the other woman. It infuses some additional dimensions to a relationship that I would rather not deal with. Selfish or not, I want it to be him & me for a time, and then us making plans to be 3 or more.

    But I tell you what… if I meet a great guy with a great kid and a decent relationship with the birth mother, I would likely give it a shot.

    1. Naija hopefully when your engaged a woman doesn't come out the woodworks claiming to be the mother of your fiance's child and he is 99.9% the father. Real situation that happened to girlfriend. Now that his son is 15 yrs old they are all finally getting along much better than they were 10 yrs ago. When this first came out the child was 5 yrs old and the woman never said she was pregnant with my friends now husbands child until then. Talk about a really messed up situation. Guess who suffers more than anybody though…….

        1. She is selfish Naija….I feel for my girlfriend because her husbands family side with the babymama. My girlfriend who is his wife and mother of his 2 children they give her hell always telling her she needs to be more sensitive and not keep him away from his son. Which she isn't doing, but she has her own kids to consider and how they will feel about this and how they will react to having a brother they don't even know who they only share a father with, not a mother.
          I told her yesterday to take her time and do things in her own time and not let his family pressure them into just forcing the situation to be one big happy family. It really is a messed up situation, and even more messed up that nobody seems to respect my friend as his wife, and they make her look like the bad one for not bending over backwards to kiss everybody's azz and make them happy when she is miserable.

  9. Man, I was pissed at you till I read this: "In the middle of the store, I broke down crying. In that moment of weakness my step-family gathered around me, but they didn’t join me in tears this time around. Instead, they both stood strong while I leaned on them for support." WIM actually does have a heart, lol…smh.

    I have 2 kids…and plenty so say on this topic. *ehem*

    1. If you have a child, what are your expectations for the roles of those who you date?

      My children's father is VERY active in their lives. So, I don't need a father for them. I'm looking for a life partner…a support to me in all that I ever have to do which includes my task to raise them. I waited 2 yrs (6mos dating, 1 1/2 official) to involve my bf in my children's life. They were around him in neutral, non-personal places to kinda get a feel for how they feel about each other. But, this summer is the first time they're really getting to know each other. I wanted to be sure that we were really on the path of "marriage is def on the table" first. I don't want a revolving door of men in and out of their lives.

      1. I'm allowing it now because I need to make sure that the 3 of them will mix…cause he has no children. And you people without kids act like y'all are gonna run a military camp, lol…y'all kids ain't never gonna nothing, lol. I need to make sure we can all be happy together…even though I only have them every other week, my bf and I need to be good every week…thats real. So, he and I are both observing and seeing how this phase goes. They don't see us being intimate beyond hugging. I haven't even used the term bf to refer to him. But they know we're important to each other.

        1. Have you failed or succeeded in this role before?

          I've never dated a man with children, interestingly enough, lol (I would, just haven't). But, my last bf met my children immediately. And was fully integrated into their lives from the jump. When that relationship lasted after a year, I swore to never EVER involve my kids that quickly again. You need time to vet a person and really work out any kinks that arise. My current bf initially planned to relocate out of state. Getting to know my kids wasn't on the table till he told me he'd decided to cancel those plans and remain in the area permanently. That was a gamble I was NOT willing to take…especially since my kids were still feeling the effects of my last breakup. Its a risk at any point, but I've learned to do as much leg work to lessen the risk as much as possible to protect them.

        2. As a single parent, what tips or advice would you offer others if they date single parents or consider taking on the role of a step-parent in the future?

          Be very honest about your intentions. Be very honest about your capabilites or willingness to live with children…they are not all created equally. Some days, I don't like my kids, lol. But, I have no choice but to raise 'em anyway. You have a choice. Exercise it. Once you've BOTH reached the "potential spouse" phase, spend impersonal time with the kids to get a feel for them. Are they off the hook? Are they…um…a tad special? Get a sense of what you're getting yourself into. Then, when you reach the "we most likely getting married" phase, start hanging out…with your partner and the kids. Talk to them. Play with them. Even try your hand with correcting them verbally…small stuff, nothing major…just to see if they'll respect you and your word…and how your partner reacts to it. After these visits, assess how you feel. Is this doable? Then talk about your progress.

        3. I'll also add that its smart to let the other parent know that you are integrating a new partner into your kids life as a heads up (if he/she is an active parent). That way, the parent is aware of a new element in their kids lives…and they can observe the kids and how they're taking to it from their end…asking questions and stuff. The parent should be able to voice concerns and ask questions…to a degree.

          This type of communication limits confusion.

          SN: I have all types of errors in these posts, lol. Mutitasking…I am at work. But I meant to say my ex-bf and I "ended" after 1 yr.

      2. "I don't want a revolving door of men in and out of their lives."

        We Here <<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>

        My rule is 9 months to a year before I would consider letting them meet MiNI-ME because by then it means I am in this for the long haul and we've already had "The TALK" they may know of her and see pics on my phone but they have not had a formal introduction as of yet.

    2. Thanks for expanding cynicaloptmst81. I specifically chose to write this post on this relationship because I wanted to reach a different audience than just the typical single folks – no offense to the typical single folks meant. Preciate your response and your perspective.

  10. I think it depends on the parent. [He who shall not be named] was an expert communicating that while she may be fun to be around, she is here for DADDY. So when it ended, I was missed, not mourned. I was directly involved for over five years and was able to make a clean break- all the boo-hooing was mine alone.
    HOWEVER, I will say, nothing on this earth prepared me for how it would feel to lose the 'family' aspect of the relationship. Children are a lot more resilient than you think. Parents are used to keeping it moving. There is nothing to distract you, single person, from how it will feel, and there is NO sympathy for you. People will tell you you got off easy, that you should feel lucky, that you should 'get over it'. I lost a lot of friends who just could not relateor empathise. Now, I can definitely say while it is not completely ruled out, MWK is something I approach with caution in the future.

    Shoutout to WIM for this entire series, and putting yourself (what has to be uncomfortably) out there. It's interesting reading the adventures of a logical man trying to quantify love.

  11. Yeah, I'm not dating a man with kids. I don't have to,so I won't. Now perhaps if I get older,married and divorced with children, then yeah. But for now, nah buddy..

  12. first off the title of this post had me all kind of confused, WisdomIsSandusky.

    2nd I don't understand the comments from all the single mother to this wonderful insightful post. Why are we just focusing on the break up, shouldn't we be thinking about all the right things Wis did. Now there comes to a point where a relationship has to end, and if you ask some people a career is a reasonable reason to call one off. Just because a dude gets into a relationship doesn't mean he can't call it off. Women already act like breaking up is a moral violation, now you are just using the kid to demonize a nice guy. Unless you want to hold off on all SO/child relationships until rings are purchased… you really have no grip. My mom dated, but I was just a mature kid, I knew relationship end. I didn't expect these guys to be around forever. Some I expected to come back, but never did. At the end of the day, I just wanted her boyfriends to give me a ride to football practice, don't eat my food, and convince my mom to extend my curfew.
    My recent post Falling Skies Death March Recap

    1. The dating scene + child has a lot to do with child's age too. You stated, " My mom dated, but I was just a mature kid, I knew relationship end"

      Some children are too young to understand. Younger kids are more clingy as opposed to a pre-teen/teenager who actually have somewhat of a grip on the reality of the situation. If my kids were old enough to understand that me and daddy are no longer together, the dating scene wouldn't be so hard. If people weren't so biased towards the fact that there are a lot of people out here with kids, then the dating scene wouldn't be so hard.

      I'm not looking for a "baby daddy", I'm looking for a date/life-partner/possible husband. But it's too much confusion in between when kids are involved. And there are those that are afraid of a little extra responsibility. People make things way more complicated than they really are.

    2. cheekz money: "first off the title of this post had me all kind of confused"

      Now I don't feel so bad since I wasn't the only one thinking that.

      "Now there comes to a point where a relationship has to end, and if you ask some people a career is a reasonable reason to call one off. Just because a dude gets into a relationship doesn't mean he can't call it off."

      This. If someone is really that worried the child will get attached and you may eventually break up, then don't introduce your children to him/her until you're engaged.

    3. real LOL. Yeah, I chose that title to lure in a wider audience to keep it 100. Had I titled it ‘Dating a Woman with a Child’ I think I would’ve missed some folks who bipassed it on GP. That’s how the blog game goes sometimes. I’m not above the title swindle life.

  13. "If you have a child, what are your expectations for the roles of those who you date?"

    I have a child and honestly, I have no expectations for any roles for whichever man I choose to date in regards to my child because at the end of the day My Daughter has HER FATHER and he is active in her life.. Therefore I am not interviewing in hopes of fulfilling the role for potential stepdads.

    The only thing I would expect is respect on both their parts, (she's a young teen now) they may not necessarily become BFF's or him trying to step in and play role of "SuperStepDaddy" but mutual respect/manners/courtesy is something I wouldn't tolerate if there is a lack thereof.

    1. I actually got into a debate with someone about this. They couldn't understand how the new guy wouldn't have to be a father. I'm like its easy! Legally, their father and I decide what's best for them. You help me walk out that plan during my time with them. If I need your assitance picking them up…and you're free, do it. If I'm not home and they're beefing, handle it till I get there. If they're hungry and I'm busy but you aren't, feed them. Be my assitant, so to speak…but be the man of your house. If they ask you for something major, tell them, "you'll need to talk to your Mom about that first." I don't get the confusion…

  14. I have a summer cold, but this post inspired me to turn on my laptop and reply. It was a great piece. First, I am a recovering single mom. Like the woman you dated, prior to being married, I did not introduce men to my children unless I KNEW they were going to be serious with and about me and them. I only had ONE serious relationship outside of my marriage, and it took him about 3 months to meet my children. When we became rocky, and especially when I knew things were completely going south, I totally cut them off from contact with him. My children were young enough to not ask very many questions, as well as not hold onto the relationship or blame. They also have a great dad (who is now my husband), so there was no loss of father figure. A lot of people are suggesting you should have remained involved in your X's son's life. I disagree. First, while it may seem nice to continue a relationship with the child in order to provide stability or preserve sentimental ties, its unrealistic for you, not a biological father to stay involved with a child who isn't yours. Sure, its fine when you both are single, but do you enter another relationship having to explain your ties to a woman you used to date and her child who isn't yours based on a relationship that no longer exists? Does her son become your "packaged deal" now? That's unfair. The same works for HER. Moving on to another person who could possible BE in her life forever and nurture her son for life could be hindered by a lingering ex and his ties to her child. I often don't like it when single mothers blame an ex for not sticking around in their child's life. I think that as a single mother, its important to recognize that even if you MARRY someone who isn't the father of your child, you are the ONLY constant in your kids life. You have to always bank on the possibility that your relationship could end, and if it does, they have no ties to your kid. You can hope for the best in divorces, of course, and I know firsthand that step parents can be very emotionally involved and stable even if relationships end, but its not a guarantee. Also, oddly, as a single mother, I didn't prefer to date men with children. It sounds selfish, but first and foremost, I don't particularly care for other people's children. Then, in addition to that, I didn't want anyone to be before myself and my children in a man's life. Like I said, it sounds like I have a lot of nerve, but I knew myself and my preferences. As I said earlier, I really enjoyed this piece.
    My recent post No Sleep Til’ Union: The Dress

    1. "A lot of people are suggesting you should have remained involved in your X's son's life. I disagree."

      +1

      I as well.

    2. "You have to always bank on the possibility that your relationship could end, and if it does, they have no ties to your kid."

      Exactly! That's why you gotta ease the kids in after a long vetting period. My kids aren't in contact with my ex at all…they were old enough to feel the breakup. It was a mutual decision. When I was single, I allowed him to see them briefly (10-15 mins) periodically…just so they could be certain they were not the issue…he was still nice/friendly with them. Once I was sure they understood his distance wasn't about them, they stopped seeing him altogether.

    3. Thank you for the comment/perspective. Somewhat related, one of my Xs biggest (and valid) complaints is that I simply could not fully grasp the idea of putting a child first in all my decisions. Im not going to share the age of her son and I’ve left out a few details out of respect for their privacy but her son was old enough to understand what was going on. Regardless, the main point is that I have no real scope of what it’s like to raise a child from birth. My only experience has been in dating – and my responsibility varies based on what the woman expects from me. Also in this instance, the father was involved but not heavily so I’m sure that affected the expectation for my role as well. I admit I made mistakes but I was also “learning on the job” in some cases. This likely increased some of the mistakes I made, some of which I didn’t know were mistakes because honestly, just like adults, kids can be adept and hiding how they truly feel as well. I did underestimate the impact I did/would have on his life and he actually hid it from me pretty well too. I found out more from his mom second hand than I ever did first hand from him (this isn’t a bad thing. Merely an observation. Naturally he would be closer to his mom than me. It was just interesting to find out later how much I really didn’t know.)

    4. "its important to recognize that even if you MARRY someone who isn't the father of your child, you are the ONLY constant in your kids life. You have to always bank on the possibility that your relationship could end, and if it does, they have no ties to your kid. You can hope for the best in divorces, of course, and I know firsthand that step parents can be very emotionally involved and stable even if relationships end, but its not a guarantee." All this I so agree with. This is the very reason why I feel like the parent has a responsibility to handle new relationships with their child in mind, always being mindful of the fact that there are no guarantees. When u have kids who you will have to explain "why" to if that person decides to leave for whatever reason you can't afford to be all whimsical, and misty-eyed with your head in the clouds when it comes to relationships.

  15. Good write up here and great perspective, IMO.

    The whole, "who am, Alicia Keyes?" had me rolling, lol. And good observation with them already having drinks. #Smart! lol. I did find it interesting she found it very important to tell you she had a son right before she gave you her number. If it came up in the conversation that's fine and all…or maybe during the first phone conversation/getting to know you talk…but right when you have your phone out ready to enter in the digits and hits you with the, "oh by the way…". Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just found it interesting.

    1. She did that to let WIM know that basically he was signing up for the combo package if he chose to see what's good.

      1. Well, I understand that. In my experience the woman will casually bring that up in the initial conversation when I first approach…you know, the whole "where you from/what do you like to do/hobbies, interests, etc….or after I received the number and called/went out with her and talked then.

        I just never spoke to a woman for an extended period of time…have a great conversation and right before we exchange information get the ol' , "Oh, and uh…by the way…" . I'm not saying this doesn't happen (obviously it does)….just thought it was interesting, that's all.

    2. Hmmm. Actually in my experience, especially as of late, more and more women tell me if they have a kid before I get the number. I used to think this was weird but it’s almost the status quo. Of course on the other extreme is the woman who doesn’t tell me she has kids until I’m chillig at her house and I hear a baby start crying in the distance.

  16. If the chance ever arises for you to get slide back through her and her son's lives, be mindful of all that doing so will entail. That being said, the transparency you got going on in this series is admirable, and relatable. Hopefully the folks reading it are learning something and being introspective of their own lives and decisions.

  17. "It's interesting reading the adventures of a logical man trying to quantify love." omg you took the thought right out of my head Amaris. Yeah WIM that last part that Amaris said I cosign 100+. I'm sure it's not easy putting yourself out here on the chopping block to be judged and scrutinized, but your u take it like a champ and I respect that. I'm sure your giving a lot of insight to women and answering some long time unanswered questions. So thank you WIM.
    Four guys I've dated with kids all had daughters, and had full or partial custody of their kids. One guys daughters mom was in jail, another mom was on drugs, the other mom died, and one had 4 daughters.
    It's a really supercomplicated situation. Definitely has to be handled with "kid gloves." It's good that the woman u were with gave it ample time before bringing you around her son. With men it seems like they are looking for a replacement mama immediately if they have a daughter. I had to be the one to tell all of them except one that I wasn't ready to meet their daughters and get them to slow way down.

  18. They all seemed to move way too fast with trying to bring me in. I did meet their girls eventually and helped their dads out with their hair and helping them deal with the girly stuff that comes with raising a daughter.
    When it comes to relationships you have to be mindful of the effect that what you do and/or don't could potentially have on the kids. Not to mention the fact that most people don't really know how to explain it to their kids when a s/o leaves after being there for so long. Kids thrive on consistency and stability, especially when they are very young and it's impnt that they receive that. When they don't it confuses and scares them. In my situation I made sure the girls understood I was not a replacement mom. In fact I told them I was their dads friend, nothing more. Never was serious enough with a man with kids to live with him so this worked well. I was around them, but moreso in the role of daddy's friend and a female to relate to and play with, nothing more.

  19. Fortunately there was never any major drama with me and these men, though I did feel bad that these girls moms didn't play a more active role in their lives, with the exception of the one who's mom died.
    I have no problems dating a man with kids as long as the relationship with the mom is not in turmoil and there is no baby mama drama. The man also has to be able to "deal with" any drama with his childs mom because thats his job, not mine. I'm a part of a blended family myself, I have 2 stepmoms and my siblings and I have different moms. I've seen blended families work very well. It really just depends on the people involved and their maturity level and how well they handle the situation. That makes all the difference.

  20. I've dated several women with kids. For some reason, kids really love me. This is the main reason I tell women we need to date around the kids. I don't need to meet them.

    My last serious relationship was with a friend of mine, and we dated for about four years. I met her kids when they were pretty young, before we started dating, and by the time our relationship was over, one was in high school and one was a freshman in college. I'm still in contact with her kids because I've known them for so long, they are really attached to me, and their father wasn't exactly Cliff Huxtable. However, I would strongly recommend keeping the kids away. Some kids get attached very easily if their father isn't that involved. My current girlfriend's daughter didn't want to visit her father for the summer, and told her mom, "[Hugh] is here, so I don't see the point."

    "I was hoping I could get your number? Maybe uhhh, talk to you outside the club sometime?” Who the hell do you think you are man, Alicia Keys?! I was blowing it."

    LOL!

  21. No matter how much someone convinces themselves they are ready to take on the responsibility of a relationship, none of that matters if you’re not where you want to be professionally and emotionally.

  22. Another great piece fellow scorpio. In my own admission I have attempted a few times to court a woman with kids. Both developing into serious relationships. But to no avail they simply did not work out. And admittedly the strain stemmed from the children. Problems arose when both women would not define the role I would have around her child. Specifically when it pertains to correcting them. The kids would be hellions and no I would not say something to the child, but I would say something to the mother. The statement of them coming as a package deal I accepted on both instances but it ended up being a no win. Also, when it pertained to the personal relationship between them and the child's father, it would be very grey. And I found difficulty being the man for them when I would frequently have to adhere to the Baby father syndrome or drama. So what did I learn today?….. I will politely pass the long term, a good time sure.

    1. You gotta do the leg work before you meet the kids, man. That's the real lesson.

      My bf was fully aware of and cool with our parenting agreement first. He made sure I understood that, as a man, he'd need to be able to manage his home…meaning, when you're kids are tripping, I'm speaking up whether you're in the room or not first. He also knew before we became official that ex-hub is my ex-hub for a reason, lol…no worries there.

  23. I don't have no whole lot of time today.

    I've seriously dated about 3 women with a child. None with more than one, that's probably where I draw the line… for myself. My grandfather married my grandmother and she already had six kids, I ain't got that in me. Anyway, all i'll say is that kids need consistency. That's the biggest reason why mothers have to be careful bringing a man around the kid. Kids don't understand why you are there one day and not the next day. For me, i've always dated that way with those women. I'm still cool with all the kids and if I was to see them at a BBQ they would remember me, but i'm not cool with their mother.

    All that to say, kids need consistency. If you can't give them that, don't go around them. If you say something, you got to do it. If you establish an expectation, you got to fulfill it.

    There's a chapter in my eBook about dating women with chil'ren. I don't think I ever will again, I almost died the last time.

  24. If you don’t have a child, would you date someone who does?

    For a long time, having no children was a hard requirement for me. Only for the reason that fatherhood is something I wanted to experience as a 1st with my future wife. The pregnancy test, hearing the baby's 1st heartbeat, the liquor-laden baby shower, I wanted us to be ecstatic in unison you know? But the older I got, the more I realized that you can't help who you're attracted to and ultimately who you fall in love with. While I knew I'd miss out on that newness with a woman, I also realized that seeing her as a mother would show me a different side that I wouldn't necessarily see in a woman who wasn't already a mom. Now, I'm more open to dating a woman with kids with the only prerequisite being that the kid has to at least be 4 yrs old or older. As stated up-thread, the younger they are, the tougher it may be to get in that quality, alone time.

    Overall, WIS, I think you did what you knew was right for both yourself and your X. People make it seem like making decisions for YOU (when you're in a relationship) is a bad thing. But in some instances, you shouldn't be too quick to embrace "I don't wanna be the bad guy, so I'll say yes, when I really mean no".

    SB: "It all came to a head when she told me about another guy that she had been putting off seeing seriously because of me. I tried to pretend I didn’t care. I even figured I wouldn’t care. But I did. I cared a lot. Actually, I was outright pissed." <<<< Too Real! When we really care, that "options" thing is tough to swallow
    My recent post 5 Types of Passive Aggressive Behaviors I Hate

  25. I would prefer not to date a man with kids. This man would have to be pretty spectacular for me to want to take on the step-mommy role, mainly because I am a bit selfish and would get annoyed by our inability to spend time together because of all the various factors involved with having a child. The baby's mother would have to be in a relationship or married and the child would have to be of a certain age if I ever did.

    I dated a man with kids, but I never really interacted with his daughter, so that situation was much like dating a man with no kids, although there were times when something would happen at school and he'd have to go get her or someone tried to break into the house in the middle of the night and he was obligated to go check things out, unwilling to leave until he was certain his daughter was safe. It's a bit too much for me.
    My recent post Embarrassment Parenting is the New Time Out

  26. Are your memories of love truly so powerful you reflect on old prospects, appreciating the support? or are you mulling over your mistakes and failures as a man in not wanting to subject your permanent woman and the offspring you have with her to those parts of you? Whatever the answer, it seems a bit scavenger for a man to be with a single mom. It’s distasteful to have not acted on what was best for the woman and child and that speaks volumes to your character as half a relationship and also as head of a household. Maybe. Or perhaps it speaks volumes to the lengths you’ll go to for self-preservation and fulfillment (you’re so intent on bettering yourself you’ll even throw a woman and child under the bus…) At least you have so much as a thought about it….even though the reoccuring theme of your life is ‘do what’s best for me.’ I hope your sons observe your selflessness in how you treat their mother.

    “If you don’t have a child, would you date someone who does?” No. I wouldn’t get involved with a man who had children. Nice picture. and speaking of threesomes, you and Tunde and peter parker should be brofriends and sit just like that and we’ll say the location is a Sports Bar and Grill. You look like how important people look when they get off their big boy careers and are winding down before they go to their empty bachelor pads, wishing the wings and burgers were homemade. I won’t even lol @ the irony of your patterned attraction to Alicia Keys. The opening imagery was awesome; I almost stepped into it for a second there….

    1. At the end of the day that’s not his biological son so he still has leeway to be selfish. That’s not his child and she’s not his wife. He told this young lady that moving to another state for his career was an option, she told him her child came first. They took a chance with each other and things just didn’t line up. I am also assuming Wim was in his early to mid twenties in this post. In all honesty this is the time in your life where your suppose to upgrade yourself and focus on you. If you can handle that and be selfless with a significant other in the picture that’s great if you can’t it’s understandable .

      1. When you yourself admit to playing house you don't get to selectively play it. You take on the role of a man in that woman's life and in the life of her son and therefore, you are the pretend head of household. Your decisions are for woman and child, family. Not self.

    2. Sorry but I’m going to ignore the majority of this comment because it’s misplaced. However as a point of clarity, I’m reflecting on the choices I’ve made not regretting them. There’s a difference. I’m merely sharing the male perspective, limited to my own, on past events that I have long since made peace with. That’s the whole point of the series. Sorry of that escaped you.

      Best regards.

      1. "Or perhaps it speaks volumes to the lengths you'll go to for self-preservation and fulfillment…"

        All crazy over-analyzed hyperbole aside, I am actually surprised that no one has spoken to that reoccuring theme in this series, ESPECIALLY considering how critical they were of Single Sam. I don't see anything wrong with it (in fact, if someone were to chronicle my history, you would find the unhealthy OPPOSITE and how I learned from it), I just chalked it up to living & learning. It was just interesting how open-minded everyone has been (of course, it helps that WIM is an incredible writer and present to be accounted for, which mught deter internet thuggery)
        I'm reminded of a quote from one of my FAVE movies, ShopGirl:

        "How is it possible, he thinks, to miss a woman whom he kept at a distance so that when she was gone he would not miss her. Only then does he realize that wanting part of her and not all of her had hurt them both and how he cannot justify his actions except that… well… it was life. "

        Live & Learn.

        1. "…it helps that WIM is an incredible writer and present to be accounted for, which mught deter internet thuggery"

          LMBO! Single Sam was like adult story time. The MANP series has already told you upfront that he's exposing his imperfections…areas of his life where he now sees he could have handled things differently…he even highlights some of these areas. To then beat him up about what happened would be like kicking a man that's already down. And that's just mean, lol.

        2. Hmm…

          I saw both as stories of reflection told from a place of awareness. Both stories were told from the perspective of a person who was highly unlikely to repeat their history. I just find it interesting that she was lambasted for decisions she made which led to her own heartbreak and the difference in response from a person whose personal decisions led to someone else's. Even here, people are questioning the woman's role. Again, no right or wrong, I am not judging and I enjoy every story & point of view here. I cannot stress enough how great the series is, it is just interesting how both have been received by the audience.

        3. Yeah, I wasn't one of the ones yelling, "stone her", lol. But, I def feel the presentations are different…so the comments/reactions reflect that.

        4. There’s a few flaws with your logic. The most obvious is you only have the details I’ve shared, so the rest of your assumptions are merely conjecture (this is the case with any story not limited to todays). In addition, the whole point of the series is to focus on my own mistakes. You’ll notice I have made not one mention of the mistakes and/or actions of the women that lead to my choices because this particularly series isn’t about them. Lastly, and most evident (and funny) is that (some) people have labeled me “selfish” – fairly or unfairly – because I did hat I thought was best; sometimes for myself and sometimes for others.

          What is “selfish” about doing what is best for you? In fact, there is a very clear argument that could be made that all of these women (and every person on Earth) is selfish in wanting what is best for them. Had these women forced me to make a decision that was better for them but worse for me would that not be selfish on their part? There are clearly different sacrifices I could have made but I chose not to – as cynical points out above. That’s life. You cant learn from a mistake without first making the mistake or at least i can’t. I’m not psychic.

          I appreciate the comment but at the end of the day, as I said above, I’m fine with the choices I’ve made. Trust me, i wouldn’t be telling y’all these stories if i wasn’t at a place of peace with how things unfolded. Overall, it’s interesting that I’m telling stories from my past yet y’all assume I’m not happy in my present.

          But I’m sleep. 🙂

        5. lol @ the hyperbole description. I don't think it is that exagerated. If you hink about it, men probably date around because it allows them to experience the love of a woman and in this post it seems as if he experienced the love of the woman, her son AND her family in preserving himself during this particular portion of his development….which is a commonality in his posts and especally this series.

    3. "Or perhaps it speaks volumes to the lengths you'll go to for self-preservation and fulfillment…"

      This isn't, in itself, a bad thing. How you go about it makes it good or bad…and motives. The first line of defense for protecting the boy was the Mom, not WIM. She brought WIM around her son KNOWING there was a very strong possibility he'd eventually move away. That's her bad, imo. And, not that it didn't happen, but I don't see where she asked him if they could relocate as well (not that I would've…without a ring, lol). She…they…should have worked out this kink before bringing baby boy into the mix (if, then, or else type scenarios), imo. But this may have been her first go at being in this predicament (I didn't get it right the first time)…it was certainly his (at least at this level of seriousness…correct me if I'm wrong, WIM). Life doesn't come with a manual. Somethings, you actually do learn the hard way, intentionally or not.

      1. Pff @ leaving a woman open to criticism for her choices in parenting because YOU decided a career was more valuable to you than her. That is usury. and it's wrong. but the act of choosing career over this relationship isn't something I disagree with per se (because I do it all the time) because I understand where he's coming from, I'm just saying. Hurting people and you know you're going to eventually hurt them, is wrong. especially when a child is involved. but hey. A single mother is the perfect way to practice the emotion of fatherhood and gain experience in the station of being a patriarch.

    4. …….I actually wasn't expecting a response to that comment but @ WIM. It seems as if I offended you but the funny thing is, I literally watered down that comment about ten times before submitting so that it would be comprehended by the mass majority. In my original comment I actually felt as if this was a reflection of your younger self which more so speaks to a fully matured man in the present. My original comment was from the perspective of your present self but then I read it and I was like….'I wonder if he'll get what I'm saying.' So I watered it down. and LOL. I find it funny most everything you're saying to me reflects what I would've said the first time around.

      that sucks.

      When I'm honest I'm hated and misunderstood but when I tone it down I'm offensive to people who likely were completely on par with the natural version.

      1. on top of that I wasn't being critical or ebrasive….I'm actually just like you and it sorta peigned me a little to see how negatiely impactful that is on those who love me so I was more so telling you to be more considerate of women in your decision-making and in this case, ESPECIALLY with a child involved. but as far as the scoffed response to me calling you selfish, I didn't say there was anything wrong with it though I do see a problem with you admittingly playing house with a woman and her child yet not "playing" the role of provider and head of household.

        As far as the general rest of it, your posts have a very clear and obvious pattern to me that reflects your present self. It's not my fault. and it's actually rather simple to grasp a rhythm; I was just pointing out your patterned behavior and in my original comment I was actually going to ask how you'd prefer I speak to you. Clearly, like I'm as shallow as everyone else isn't the way to do it — even though that means the 99 other people reading won't get it. Meh.

  27. Huhu!! I love the series Men Are Not Perfect series. I am a new fan and still reading excellent impression of relationship issue. It teaches me some tricks, compromise and get a guy interested. Thanks! 😉

  28. (1/1)
    @Amaris: "How is it possible, he thinks, to miss a woman whom he kept at a distance so that when she was gone he would not miss her. Only then does he realize that wanting part of her and not all of her had hurt them both and how he cannot justify his actions except that… well… it was life."

    I can't speak for WIM, but I'm not sure this applies. Although it's a great quote that applies to many a stubborn man.

    There are levels of love. The first moment when you realize you love someone isn't that battle-tested love that has withstood the trials of long-term relationships.

    1. (2/2)
      Part of being a man an adult is being able to make difficult decisions, and being able to live with them. Sometimes you are forced to choose between life's milestones and potential love. We all have had "what if?" relationships that we reflect on, but at the time you are forced to make a decision regarding holding on to a person or letting them go, has that love grown to the point that the person is number one in your life? In this case, was the love for this woman greater than his career? The answer appears to be no.

      That doesn't mean the love wasn't there. That doesn't mean leaving will not be a painful experience. But if his love for her wasn't greater than this career opportunity, a choice has to be made. When you come to Robert Frost's fork in the road, you can only take one path. You can only wonder what was missed, but you have to be confident that you've made the best decision for yourself. As I stated in part three of this series, life isn't always fair, and neither is love.

      1. I agree Hugh…..I think in all these WIM did what he thought was right for him at that time. There isn't always a right and wrong, especially with regards to relationships. It's about what u feel is right for you.
        As Hugh stated it seems that as great as these women were and as much as they meant to WIM and as much he probably loved them, for him it wasn't enough to sacrifice all that he had to sacrifice be with them at that time.
        Was WIM selfish and namely looking out for himself, yes. But it doesn't mean he was wrong to do so. Who's to say these relationships would've lasted forever had he decided to be with any one of these women. Who's to say he wouldve been happy with them and Not later regret choosing these women over his career.
        Every man is different and makes life decisions based on what he thinks is the right thing for him at that time.

      2. "But if his love for her wasn't greater than this career opportunity…"

        Women are the most de-valued, low-ranking priority to men. Which, to me, makes getting involved with anyone inherently wrong. Even if the perfect woman were sitting *right there* a man would choose something over her. and it will likely be the dumbest possible thing he could think of. I'm not saying that was the case I'm just saying, men don't rank love the same way women do.

        Personally though, I don't rank love very high either unless I'm in a blind panic. Then I'm like 'oh sh*t let me make a decision here.' But I always end up regretting putting love first. I'm not really dogging his decision, I actually didn't even care to discuss it because it has nothing to do with the present him. Which is why — that's kinda getting away from your comment though, lol. I think when a man is faced with a great decision he will always put himself above the woman. and it's wrong (even though I put other people before I put my man). Tit for tat though. +1 also.

        1. Alakaii Hawaii: "Even if the perfect woman were sitting *right there* a man would choose something over her.

          I think when a man is faced with a great decision he will always put himself above the woman."

          It depends on the situation. Love has to grow. A woman can be "perfect" to one man, and just not the right match for the next man. And even if she is "perfect", love still has to develop. Hopefully a life-changing event doesn't occur before that love has a chance to blossom.

          But it's true, men do some dumb things at times.

  29. I think many times women can't understand why a man can't just be with them if the relationship is great and she knows the man is in love with her, and knows that she is perfect for him. But for a man timing can make all the difference in the world. His circumstances can also make all the difference in the world, as well as where he is at that time in his life.
    Women should realize that no matter how badly you want a man and no matter how great everything is, if his heart isn't fully vested in the relationship and you, u may not get the ideal man that u want. Even if you force him to choose and he chooses you out of fear of losing you, it may not make for an ideal union.
    I think that when WIM knows for sure that he is ready, willing and able to make any and every sacrifice and compromise to be with that one woman, then he will. That woman that he easily and readily commits to for the long haul and chooses over all else will be secure in knowing that just as he chose her because he wanted to. Then she won't have to worry about losing him to something else like a job or a dream that could have easily pulled him away. At least they all knew sooner, than later.

  30. I have dated one man with children and that was last year when I was separated and his youngest son was 20. His wife was deceased. He was also the oldest man I had ever dated which was good in a lot of ways because I was wounded and still hurting from my failed marriage and he just dated me and was my friend, never pressing me for anything physical.

    But back on topic: I don't date men with children. I take up a lot of time and energy. I don't want to spend my free time with someone else's child(ren). I don't want to deal with another woman connected to my mate. The older guy with three grown kids still spent a lot of time with his children (the youngest two were in college) so I can imagine the kind of time commitment younger children would require.

    Basically, if you are a great dad, you are too busy for me. If you aren't a great dad, why would I want you?

    Also, when I was younger, I didn't date guys with children because I wanted my husband's first child to be my first child. That's how my parents and grandparents did it.

    Finally, as others have said, if you are still in touch with your ex and her son, maybe show them this piece and help them to understand that it was YOU and not them. It may make a world of difference, especially for the young man.

    1. “Basically, if you are a great dad, you are too busy for me. If you aren’t a great dad, why would I want you?”

      ^^ That ^^ is the be-all and end-all of my view on men with kids.

      1. Rhenewal & Sing Like Sassy the caveat to that is unless he is a man who just never ever wants to have a child, most men that do not have kids do at some point want a child to carry on his legacy and all that good sh**.

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