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Dating and the Single Mom…”He Pretended to Like My Kids”

Dating & Relationships / Single Mommy Stuff / October 10, 2013

A lesson learned as single parent

I was asked to share my experience among other single moms like myself that still believe in romance and love. Before I start this story, I ask for readers to keep an open mind and to use judgment after you put yourself in my shoes. I have a philosophy about MY life and that is:  I regret nothing that I do, but I always try to take away from each experience something that will make me a better mother, daughter, sister and friend. I am a 34-year-old single mom with two kids; a set of beautiful twins. I am a surgical assistant for a prominent surgical dermatologist in the Atlanta area. I consider myself to be an educated woman with good strong moral values and beliefs.

Shortly after my 8 year relationship ended with the father of my children, I became involved with a young man who I knew from my childhood. In fact, as a child I’d had a crush on him. We talked on the phone all night and would text all day. We had the best dates I’d ever had in my life! Because I was fresh out of a relationship, he was very understanding of that and never rushed me to become intimate or to do anything that I was not emotionally ready for. I just thought that was so amazing of him. men andI told him all about my kids and my need to keep them first in my life. I explained to him that I was not looking for a father for my kids. I never pressured him to meet my kids at all, greatly in part because I was not yet comfortable with the idea of them all meeting. You see, my kids as most kids do at their age thought of their dad as a superhero, the idea of me dating someone else…I was not ready to explain.

Being so new to dating again as a single mom, I wasn’t sure when the time was right. the manI’d asked other single girlfriends how they handled it and I’d read books about the subject (in particular Steve Harvey’s, Think Like a Man…) but all the advice was mixed. I had all kinds of answers everything from,  let them meet him immediately to wait until you become serious and then there was my favorite…let my ex meet him first and then the kids. LOL! I decided to wait and see how things developed between the two of us first and then introduce him.

Around the 6 month mark I began to test the waters with my kids and hint around at the idea that mommy may have a new friend and they seemed okay with the idea when talking about it. After about 8 months of dating we both began to really express how we felt towards one another and my kids began to ask more and more about my whereabouts, when they were away with their dad so I felt that it was time for the meeting. I’d asked my man over to the house for a visit and I told the kids that we were having company and I explained that he was a friend and someone who I cared about a lot. I also explained that I wanted them to be respectful and nice to him. He came over on his motorcycle and my son was blown away with that move. He allowed my son to get on the motorcycle and he took pictures of him sitting on the motorcycle, at that moment he’d won over my son; he was officially okay with mommy dealing with him. However, my daughter was not so easy. She was never rude or disrespectful but she never warmed up to him at the first meeting. I didn’t push her to like him at all. I wanted it to be natural. About 2 months after everyone meeting, he began coming around more and more and it was always just for visits that lasted 30 minutes to an hour at a time. I would invite him over for dinner but he would always decline. My children are very outgoing and at times they can be little hams so they would want to put on a performance for him when he came around and at the moment I was thinking things were progressing just as it should and that we were doing fine but looking back (hindsight being 20/20) they were not.

Whenever he came by to visit, he would always be very withdrawn from us. I remember a few times he had kattcome by and I had out the camcorder and I was recording the kids being silly and I would pan the camera over to catch his reaction and it was always a look of disinterest. When I would ask what was up with his disposition, he would always say that everything was fine… that he was just tired. Now I have to say that during all of these visits my son had warmed up to him very quickly and thought he was pretty cool, but my baby girl, now that was another story. Whenever he would come by she was always respectful but she just stayed in her lane. She would speak and then go to her room or come and sit by me. She would never interact with him; at first I thought she was just not pleased with the situation because it wasn’t her dad. I thought eventually she would get used to the idea and to him, but she didn’t.

Time continued to pass by and holidays, birthdays came and went and we soon were coming up on being together for almost 18 months and this is where things started to change. Throughout the relationship he had always been very romantic and thoughtful and such the gentlemen. He always respected the fact that I was a mother first and never expected me to put him before my kids. I remember like it was yesterday when things changed.  It was Memorial Day weekend and I chose to work to earn some overtime. I only worked a few hours and then I was going to go home and pick up the kids and we were going to the park and have a small barbecue just the three of us and I decided to invite him. I called him to see if he was interested in coming and at first he said yes but then I mentioned that I had to go pick up the kids and he said and I’ll never forget “Oh –uh I wasn’t trying to be around them today I just want to see you” after explaining that I didn’t have a sitter and that it was a holiday and I had told the kids I would be with them he simply said, “Well call me later on. I don’t feel like dealing with all that today.”men and 1 I had told the kids I would be with them he simply said, “Well call me later on. I don’t feel like dealing with all that today.” I was hurt and shocked. Later I became angry because until that point I had never asked him to any family outings or any other social setting other than dinner every now and then that he never accepted my invitation to . I was so angry that I decided I needed to end the conversation to prevent me from saying something that later I may regret. I waited a day or so before I called him back and when I got him on the phone, I let him know how I felt and how hurt I was. I was hurt because I felt that if he wasn’t ready after a year to deal with having to spend time with my children that this was never going to work. He tried to explain himself but it only made things worse. In his defense he said that he didn’t mind me having kids but he just didn’t want to see them and be around them. He said that he would prefer them to be at a baby sitter and not around us. I was furious not because of his what he said but in all honesty because I felt that a year of my life had gone to waste with someone who was pretending. Needless to say we didn’t stay together and my daughter was elated.

The idea of being with someone who long and having them pretend for that long infuriated me to know end; the hurt of the relationship not working out took some time to heal from but I did and writing this is therapeutic as well. My lesson learned the hard way is this: to all single moms trying to date,  interview your potential mate the minute you realize the relationship is becoming more than just a fling. cupBegan to see where his head is really at with kids and the idea of interacting with your kids. By that I mean, of course, he will say in the beginning he likes kids and he wants to meet your kids but when your ready, really began to grill him about it.  I never thought of it that way before my situation happened. I thought he said he likes kids and eventually he wanted to be around them. I thought that was good enough but it makes so much sense now…I mean think about it, you interview your nannies, baby sitters, daycare providers and we have conferences and open houses with our child’s teacher to find out more about them; why not our potential mates? As I said in the beginning this is My story and a lot of you ladies may have already known to do that but when you are newly single from a long-term relationship you are “green” to the rules and what are the best ways to handle relationships.

Have you had anything similar happen to you?

What advice would you give a single mom who is new to dating?

Do you think that women should continue to date a man who does not their children or vice versa?

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JKristine is a surgical assistant for a surgical dermatologist in the Atlanta area. She is the mother of twins and also a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist

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on May 2, 2013


Thank you for your honesty and openess. I think you have really helped plenty of single moms who are in your same situation. I think the key for all women is to watch a man’s actions and not his words. Men will lie for many reasons. Many times it is really not meant to be deceptive or hurt a woman.

I would suggest asking a man clearly if he is wanting to be a family. If you are with him for too long, please understand that he will be a father figure whether you want him to or not. He will be an example of how men and women interact for both your son and daughter. To not think so is unrealistic. This will be the case even if the father is in the picture.

I would caution women DO NOT date a man that is not wanting to be a family if you have children. Someone is going to come up on the short end of the stick and it is not fair to either of them.

    on May 29, 2013

    Thank you and that is all I wanted to do was maybe help or at least let other women know that this is happening and that its not random it happens all the time and yes I agree that regardless of the intent for the future once you as the parent realize that they are commitment material that you have to know this person is about being a family man/woman .

on May 2, 2013

Overall, I think he was fair in his assertion but probably should expressed his true feelings early on. He probably felt that he could handle dating a mom but once he was put in the situation it wasn’t something he wanted to do. I don’t think either of you did anything wrong it was just a relationship that did what it was supposed to do.

I don’t agree with how some women introduce their kids to every guy that they date. I feel there should be a lot of discretion and honesty in regards to what they lady wants long term.

I’ve dated guys with kids but in no way did I ever want to meet his kids. I had no interest because I couldn’t ever become serious with a guy with kids.

    on May 2, 2013

    Dr Regina,

    I completely agree with you on introducing children to every guy or woman that you date. When I saw that in the article I could not imagine who thinks that would be a good idea.

    on May 2, 2013

    I agree with you, Dr. Reginia. I don’t believe that women should introduce their children to any man unless they are serious and going to be committed. Being single and dating with kids is truly a hard thing.

    on May 29, 2013

    I agree that no one should ever introduce their kids to anyone who openly says I don’t want to meet your kids. But in my case this person made comments such as ” your the last person I want to date and just things that let me know he wanted commitment and yes now looking back I have forgiven him for not being more honest with me about his feelings as I now see it may not have been something he was aware of at first until he met my kids and it definitely taught me to just be more inquisitive of the person regarding my kids because when its a serious relationship it’s not just me that he will date its all of us and I also agree that your kids don’t need to meet every person that comes in your life there is a certain criteria that should make that person worthy of getting into that part of your life

on May 28, 2013

If the father is still active, why not only date when the kids are with the father? Your kids don’t have to meet your bf until they turn 18. As long as you can keep your dating separate from your children you will be successful..

Also, why not date a single father?

You should also wait before dating again. Many kids, like your daughter seemed to be, against parents dating especially when it is “shortly after” breaking up with the father. Allowing time to process the breakup helps somewhat. I don’t know how recently the relationship in this article took place, but if it is recent (that is, 2013), don’t date again for the remainder of the year, and wait until 2014 before trying again.

    on May 28, 2013

    Hi Someone,

    I agree that they children don’t have to meet the person that she dates but I am not sure about the whole “waiting” situation. How long should she wait before dating, but then it goes back to your child not having to know that you are dating?

      on May 29, 2013

      To the person that asked why ot date while the kids were at their dad’s? Ok before you comment please READ very carefully as I stated that that was the only time I did see this person until it got serious and we are talking about over a year of dating before the idea of my children meeting this person came into play and wait till they 18 ?? Clearly you are not a single parent while I have learned from that situation and tbh my daughter has since gone on and accepted the fact that I will ot be with her father as I and her father are both in relationships. But would you wait 10+ years to find companionship? Now I dont agree that everyone you meet or date should meet your kids but if this is someone that is in your life that you feel will be in your life and YOU not anyone else feel the commitment is there then they should meet our kids and that way you know how everyone feels about each other which can only be seen and not just talked about. And why not a single father again you must not be a single parent where I’m from that means nothing most single fathers even the ones that care for nd spend time with their kids are not 100% responsible for their kids they are part time parents and can and will have the same outlook towards a single mom if that is not the type of relationship they are looking for as I stated in beginning of my story this was my story and how I chose to handle the situation I don’t feel I did anything wrong or handled the situation inappropriately I was merely sharing this to other single moms that may have gone through or be in the same type of relationship to put it out there that are not alone and that this type of ish happens all the time

        on May 29, 2013

        And don’t date for the rest of the year if this was recent ?? Who ever this is this was not written seeking advice from anyone and while I do realize opinions are like….everyone has one it certainly should be logical

on October 10, 2013

I am a single mom with three children. I will interview the hell out of guys before they can meet my children. I too have dated people where they never met my children or I have met his kids. Honestly, I don’t let a man meet my children until he introduces me to his (if he has any). Reason being, I feel that children are very impressionable and bringing seasonal people in and our of their lives, do more harm than good. Children needs stability.

JKristine don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t do anything wrong. Hell you did better then some woman. He just wasn’t ready to handle playing second to the children and some men are like that. Dating with children has it perks because we are quicker to walk away from foolishness!

Thanks for sharing!

on October 11, 2013

So I actually wrote a piece from a male perspective here which chronicles my preoccupation with what your ex eventually showed. Love this piece,I’m still trying to figure myself out. Check the article,tell me what you think.

on December 4, 2013

[…] reality, a large cross-section of single mothers will attest to not introducing their children to suitors until their relationship seems to have gained its sea legs. This could take weeks or […]

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