Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Instant Fam: Add you and stir

A good guy friend of mine, who happens to be a divorced dad with two kids, took issue with the advice I gave the lady who wrote in the other day. I told her to stop pining away over some dude who’s got baggage (read: a soon-to-be ex-wife and a couple of kids).

He said (outside this particular guy still being technically married) that a man with kids could move onto a new relationship and be a wonderful, supportive and loving partner. That he could manage his new love life, as well as his fatherhood and his relationship with his ex properly, if he’s a good and self-respecting man. He said that when women skip over men simply because that man has a child, they could be missing out on what could be a wonderful and life-long love.

Well that’s beautiful, and I agree, a woman with no attachments can find a wonderful life partner in a man who already happens to be a father, but if she can find love in a man who doesn’t already have the instant family, why wouldn’t she? I mean there’s a reason that meeting, dating, falling in love, marrying and then deciding to start a family is considered the ideal. It’s because it’s ideal. I just feel like as a young woman with no attachments, she has a shot at that ideal. I think she should go for that, first.

My friend said kids don’t have to be viewed as "baggage." He’s dated women with kids and so have his friends and he doesn’t wanna be passed over either, by could-be romantic interests because of his own children. (Neither do I, but such is life).

I’m sure there are plenty of men who don’t mind dating women with children, but I promise you, no single man who doesn’t have kids is cruising Black Planet looking for profiles who specifically have the “I have kids” box checked. (Do people even go on Black Planet anymore? I haven’t checked my profile in like 7 years). Certainly those men are looking for other attributes, beauty, brains, ambition, is she funny, is she down to earth … and perhaps if she has all of those things plus a kid, well maybe he can accept that. But the kids in and of themselves? They’re a con, not a pro, in the dating pool. That’s all I’m sayin.

It’s a harsh and personal reality for me. I get that my becoming a single mom hasn’t increased my desirability. I know that, put up against a woman with the same characteristics I’d like to believe I have -- charisma, beauty, intelligence … all that -- I know the chick without the child, who has all that stuff too, probably registers a little higher on a guy’s list. I get that and I accept that. It’s one of the reasons I fought so hard not to be a single mom in the first place. Who wants that? (Though, believe me there are worse things). But still. Any dude who wants into my bedroom, my calendar or my life in any respect has gotta feel a different kind of pressure than he might feel dating a woman with no attachments. He has to know that at some point, I’m looking for him to settle down and be step dad. That’s right. Step dad. Because I am now part of a package deal. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about right out the gate, but I don’t have time to spend on some man frivolously any more. I’m somebody’s mama, y’know? (Except, of course for my new thing … LOL. He’s just for play. But he’s outta town so that doesn’t count right? Look, I’m grown).

Anyway, that’s my take. What say you?

-- Mel

By the way, I looove this song. (Though when it came out I couldn’t have been further from this reality. How the winds have changed).


Trin-Trin said...

I'm 22, no kids, but i have dated men with kids since i graduated high school. real talk, having kids is a con in a dating relationship. his kids are and will (should) be his priority. it would be a catch 22--either he cant spend as much time, money, etc with you because of his kids, or he does so at the detriment of his kids. and baby mama drama (because we all know that some women have problems with their exes moving on with other women, esp when they have already started a family) makes it even harder to develop and maintain a relationship. im young, attachment free and very selfish...maybe i'll grow out of it...but at this point, i need to know that i am priority.

also, from experience, i would be EXTREMELY careful in approaching the idea of a stepmom...just because i have had such bad experiences with all my step parents in the past. that situation is extremely hard on children, because the stepparent seems to be in constant conflict with the child over the parent's attention/affection. my father and my uncle will always choose their wives over their the point where their relationships with their children are strained. i wouldnt want to put any man in that predicament, because in my mind, his children should come first...and if he didnt believe that as well, then he wouldnt be for me.

Melyssa Ganache said...

That is exactly why I never really messed with dudes who had kids (before my baby boy, that is). I wanna be a priority, emotionally, financially, all that. And that's something a man in my life is gonna have to come to grips with. He can't be my priority. I would never choose a man, husband or not, over my son. Looks like it's bout to be the Brady Bunch tho. Damn.