Dating a man with children
James and I met on a snowboarding holiday in early 2011, and he was perfect for my non-committal tendencies.Recently separated from his wife of five years, he was proud dad to a three-year-old boy, and living in his parents’ spare bedroom awaiting a divorce settlement. The prospect of me – a carefree woman not yet 30 – dating a man with kids was met with fear and trepidation by my friends. The only thing she’d previously seen me take responsibility for was which pub we should go to for a night out, and I often got that wrong.I cancelled that trip to South America weeks before I was due to leave. Don’t presume that if they’re upset, it means you’re doing something wrong. Why go to the other side of the world for an adventure? Me, James, his boy and a small dragon who goes by the name of Spyro, lined up on the sofa and watching Return of the Jedi. Things to know before dating a dad By Wednesday Martin, author of 1. Learn a bit about development and you’ll realise what’s normal for a tantrum-ing two-year-old or a sullen seven-year-old. Don’t attempt to recreate your boyfriend’s original house rules from his previous relationship. I spent far too long in an unhappy marriage, so when it was over I recognised The One the minute I met her. There’s so much hostility from my embittered ex-wife – it’s like she holds a gun to my head in terms of access to the children. But it’s an ongoing challenge that we’ll only realise the enormity of as time goes on.
I wave awkwardly at this tiny yet enormously significant human being – all gangly limbs and pretending to be a dinosaur. I have no idea how I got here, but in this moment I realise that life as I know it is about to change.
This constant tug-of-love is tough for the father, too.
Christian, a 35-year-old dad to girls aged three and six, puts it neatly: ‘My girlfriend is the most understanding person on Earth.
But I ended up feeling like a frustrated outsider.’ Charlotte and Evan split after five years.
‘Selfish as it sounds, I just didn’t want to share him,’ she explains.
Most of my friends were settling down, but I had no desire to have children – I’d never felt the maternal pull.