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To not want a man with kids even though I have kids?

(40 Posts)
elancafe Wed 16-Sep-20 14:42:53

I have 3 children, separated from my husband. I’m not looking for anyone right now, but I’d like to get married again, the thing is I don’t want to date a man with kids, I know that makes me a hypocrite but still. I don’t want the drama from his ex, what if our children don’t get on? What if he treats them different etc, so many different things I don’t want to deal with. When I talk about it to my friends and family, some of them are like hmm, others just laugh and say nobody is going to do that if they have no kids themselves. They’re like maybe if you had one child, but you have three.

I’m not looking for a father figure for my children, they have a dad who’s very involved in their lives and lives close by. I want to spend the next 2 years getting my business off the ground, get in to university and just make my own money, so he’s not going to pay for my children. I’ve seen it happen before where the woman has 2-4 kids, and the man has no kids, but I know it’s rare.

To be honest, I’d rather be alone than date/marry a man with kids. Which makes me sad as I’m only 30, it feels so wrong to say that but that’s just how I feel.

OP’s posts: |
PomBearWithoutHerOFRS Wed 16-Sep-20 14:51:32

That was how I felt too. If my now DH had had children, our relationship wouldn't have gone past the but where he told me about them.
It would be more hypocritical for you to pretend to care about children when you weren't feeling it. That would be bad for all involved.

Sanitisethat Wed 16-Sep-20 14:53:51

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. Your kids are your priority, and having to factor in possible step siblings does complicate matters. It’s fine for you to want to avoid that possibility.

Waxonwaxoff0 Wed 16-Sep-20 14:54:39

A man without kids comes with its own set of problems. I wouldn't date anyone without kids because they can never understand what it's like to be a parent and always having to put someone else first before yourself.

I'm a single parent and I've decided it's best not to date at all personally!

HazelWong Wed 16-Sep-20 14:58:50

I don't think you're wrong to feel this way but I also think it's sensible to be aware that you may well not find many men who are interested in a woman with 3 kids, a point of view that you presumably can relate to since you also don't want to date someone with kids

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 16-Sep-20 15:00:06

I don’t blame you. I was a stepmum before we had one together and it can be lovely but also fucking hard work.

TwoBoysTooMany76 Wed 16-Sep-20 15:06:08

@elancafe I imagine your kids are all quite young? If you are willing to wait till your kids are older, then it's entirely possible. I split with ex when mine were 3 and 5 and when they were that ages, it was almost inconceivable to date someone who would NOT be involved in some ways as they are so dependent on your at those ages. Even if your ex is very involved and you have childcare, it's still hard to separate out the family/dating lives completely.

My kids are now 10 and 12 and I have dated a big range of men in that time... grin I only made the mistake once of having my DCs meet the man in my life at that time and never again. I now have completely separate family/dating lives. Interestingly, the two men I am currently dating are opposite end of the spectrums - one is a bohemia, chose not to have kids, no-responsibilites type of free spirit and the other has three kids with two different women, highly driven, successful... Funnily enough, I can see myself with either and having completely different futures, but that's the fun of dating.

I just wouldn't discount anything at this stage but would definitely wait till your kids are older to date. You will find yourself in a completely different headspace then.

NellyJames Wed 16-Sep-20 15:35:25

Of course YANBU as everyone is entitled to say what they want and don’t want in a relationship. Do you want to have further children with this man? Because if not then you’re limiting yourself to men who actively do not want children and that means there will always be that strange gulf between you because he will never understand how your love for your children is at times consuming but also totally unconditional.

KylieKoKo Wed 16-Sep-20 15:38:01

It's not unreasonable but I think rules like this often go out of the window when you meet someone you really like.

liveitwell Wed 16-Sep-20 15:44:02

YANBU. It's your choice what you want from a partner as much as it's others choice if they want a woman with kids.

I completely understand your rationale although personally don't think I'd mind either way as long as the guy was lovely

ameliajoan Wed 16-Sep-20 15:50:31

YANBU. We’re happily married but if we were to ever divorce I would not consider a single father; there’s too much baggage there.

2me2u2u2me Wed 16-Sep-20 16:00:58

I don't think you're being unreasonable, when I was single it was always my attitude not to date a guy with young children, mine and my partner's are older, so it's worked out fine.

My best friend has 2 dcs and she met a guy who didn't have any, she said it's been a blessing as hers have been a nightmare at times and he's been a saint, she said not a lot of guys would have put up with her two and she couldn't imagine putting up with that kind of behaviour from step children.

jimmyjammy001 Wed 16-Sep-20 16:05:46

I would never date a women with children personally if I myself did not have any children even in my 30's, I would rather just stay single, no chance I'm putting up with all the hassle/problems /dramas of some else's baggage and ex dramas

AlternativePerspective Wed 16-Sep-20 16:09:06

No yanbu. And not a hypocrite.

The more children there are in blended families the more issues there are. Not just with ex’s, or prioritising kids over your own time, or children’s behaviour, but children who don’t get on with each other/children who don’t like either of the step parents, I think it’s almost unheard of to have a blended family with children on both sides where there aren’t some kinds of issues.

My DP doesn’t have children and he has always put mine first. To the extent he has come here to stay when I’ve been in hospital etc even though we don’t live together and he lives 120 miles away.

If I ended up back on the dating scene there’s no way I would get involved with someone with children. And that view wouldn’t change depending on who it was because children would be an immediate deal-breaker so it would never get that far.

Mine is almost eighteen now, but I totally understand why a man wouldn’t want to get involved with someone with children either, so wouldn’t have seen that as a rejection...

safariboot Wed 16-Sep-20 16:12:15


The scenario that comes to mind is you have three children, you get involved with a man who also has children, and you end up doing everything for all of them while he gets to carry on with his career and time-sapping hobbies.

ExtremelyBoldSquirrels Wed 16-Sep-20 16:24:22

I think you are fair enough. It’s important to recognize what you don’t want, as well as what you do.

Both DH and I have children from previous relationships. Knowing what I know now, I think I’d take the stance you are. Having stepchildren is not easy (having children is not easy), but it’s dealing with fathers of stepchildren with divorced dad guilt that’s really, really tough. Vicariously experiencing the co-parenting (or parallel parenting) relationship with their ex can also be extremely hard.

I love DH a lot but his Disney dad parenting and tendency to take his frustration with his ex (and the behavioral effects of his own parenting) out at home is not easy to live with. If I’d known in advance, I think I’d have elected to stay single and not complicate my life so much. Lots of stepmothers say much the same.

If you aren’t certain that this is what you want to get into, its best to err on the side of avoiding men with children.

elancafe Wed 16-Sep-20 16:26:32

Just picked the kids up from school, will be back soon blush

OP’s posts: |
2bazookas Wed 16-Sep-20 16:37:43

Your choice, so what's the problem?

Ishihtzuknot Wed 16-Sep-20 17:16:59

I don’t blame you. I’m a single mum and if I met someone I wouldn’t let it progress if he had children. Nothing personal I just don’t want to be involved in that life and complicate things even more. Similarly I’d accept it if someone wasn’t interested in me because I have children. It’s a personal preference and no different to having a particular physical type for example, so no one can judge for it.

Redraptor Wed 16-Sep-20 17:20:54

Yanbu. I'm happily married but If i wasnt i wouldnt want to be with someone who had children unless they were adults.

Also, i understand my options would be very few as not many men would want to date a single mum and that would be fine with me to

Lockheart Wed 16-Sep-20 17:21:54

It's up to you who you date of course, however you may be limiting your options quite significantly.

As a general rule, I would say not to expect anything of a potential partner that you're not bringing to the table yourself.

lioncitygirl Wed 16-Sep-20 17:25:57

Yanbu. But I also think a lot of it depends on the age bracket your in. If you were say 45, your not going to meet many many around the same age that wouldn’t have already been married/had kids themselves. And if you met someone a lot younger - not many would want to be with someone with kids (I suppose)? Speaking from a friends experience.

hammeringinmyhead Wed 16-Sep-20 17:26:47

YANBU. Some men whose partners on here have children seem to think that they're getting a ready-made carer for their contact time, and their kids' laundry/school runs/meal prep will slot very nicely alongside the woman's mum duties.

movingonup20 Wed 16-Sep-20 17:28:27

You aren't being unreasonable but you are limiting your options. I restricted myself to over 16's, I get on fine with dp's dd but she's independent, at university, as are my DD's.

Schoolsout2 Wed 16-Sep-20 17:39:26

I don’t think you are a hypocrite but I have heard people say this many times that if you have kids you should not expect to date someone without any kids. I don’t agree everyone is entitled to their preference whatever that may be.

I agree with @KylieKoKo and also another poster mentioned a man with out kids.... their was a thread about this not too long ago.

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