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Is 18 months too soon to move in with new partner who is a single parent?

(56 Posts)
Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:08:47

(Sorry in advance if there's too much detail in here. Didn't want to "drip feed.")

I need to have a conversation with my new guy (who is a single parent to his 5 yo)

Do you think it's reasonable to let him know that if we both think our new relationship "has legs" in a few months time, that I want to move in with a new partner after 18 months? Or am I going too fast?

A bit of background: I'm 36. I met this guy 2.5 years ago when I was overseas (in a country most of my family live in) and we had a fling for about a couple of months.

I had to go back home. After I left, we stayed in touch by email (and phone sometimes) when I went back to the UK. I always wanted to go back and be with him, however he met someone new and they were together for about 9 months during that time.

I was still in love with him and thought about him every day. I had a bunch of stuff at his place so as he had met someone new, I decided it was time to go get it, and say goodbye to this guy, and close the door on it all. So I went back to do that, but he split with his girlfriend a couple of weeks before my trip and we realised we were still in love when we saw each other.

I recently decided to go back to that country to live, partly to see if things could work with him. I'm now living close to him.

As mentioned, he has a 5 year old who he has on the weekend overnight and a couple of times during the week.

Re. the time limit: the reason for it is: I am not sure if I want to have kids.

I've only ever been in long distance relationships and would like to be in a healthy relationship with someone to be able to make the decision of whether I want children. It's harder to make that decision in a vacuum when you're single. But I don't want to mess around for the next 4 years or so because it feels like this is a pivotal time fertility wise and I need to be smart about it.

I think I feel apprehensive because he ended things with his last girlfriend because she was 43 and pressuring him to have kids & commitment after 9 months together.

I do love him but a small part of me wondered if at 36 I'm better off finding someone who has no kids. I know that he moves slowly in relationships.

I need to have this conversation tomorrow and any tips or advice are welcome. I feel like I don't know what is "normal" because I haven't ever been in this position of wanting to commit to someone. I don't want to be too rigid but at the same time I don't want to waste my time.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Mon 24-Aug-20 12:19:36

Have you met his son? Do you know if he wants more children?

I’m sure you don’t mean it this way but it sounds a bit like you want to use his son as a trial run and work out if you want your own?

If that’s at all right, spending time with someone else’s child, even a partner’s, is nothing at all like having your own.

If you think you may want a life which doesn’t include children I can’t tell you how much you don’t want to be a step parent. All of the costs - time, energy, money - and some or no benefits.

All you can do is be honest with him about what you want from life, ask what he wants, and see if they align.

Your life will be easier and simpler if you date someone who hasn’t got children. But if you really love him you’ll hopefully make it work. At 36 you’re right you don’t have to mess around.

daisychain01 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:27:23

I think I feel apprehensive because he ended things with his last girlfriend because she was 43 and pressuring him to have kids & commitment after 9 months together.

Is 18 months the total amount of time, including the split, or is it almost 18 months since his split?

I don't think it bodes well that you uprooted your life and relocated to this person's country, because you've now 'invested' too much to walk away without having to push the issue - that old chestnut "sunk cost fallacy" springs to mind.

I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling that he is meeting you half way and investing in the relationship - after all you moved to him, you went round under the pretext that you were collecting your belongings, and * bing * suddenly he decides he loves you. Hmm not convinced it was anything more than a convenience, sorry. He seems like a passive observer and not invested at all. He has a child who will be his no1 priority for a significant time to come.

Getting together with anyone when the biological clock is ticking is not a good basis for a relationship, especially when his last one broke up for the very same reason.

Open your eyes, and please don't throw away control over your life by making choices that aren't in your best interests. This situation feels wrong on many levels.

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:28:33

AnneLovesGilbert

Have you met his son? Do you know if he wants more children?

I’m sure you don’t mean it this way but it sounds a bit like you want to use his son as a trial run and work out if you want your own?

If that’s at all right, spending time with someone else’s child, even a partner’s, is nothing at all like having your own.

If you think you may want a life which doesn’t include children I can’t tell you how much you don’t want to be a step parent. All of the costs - time, energy, money - and some or no benefits.

All you can do is be honest with him about what you want from life, ask what he wants, and see if they align.

Your life will be easier and simpler if you date someone who hasn’t got children. But if you really love him you’ll hopefully make it work. At 36 you’re right you don’t have to mess around.

Thanks for your response. Yes I guess all I can do is ask, and see what he wants.

He says he's more than 50% wanting kids. He's 7 years older than me.

I've spent a lot of time around nieces and nephews (including babysitting 3 times per week for several months) so I know what it's like to be around kids.

It's not so much that I want to use his child as a test run.

I want to know how it feels, the prospect of having kids once I'm in a serious relationship. I think that'll help me to decide. I'm not one of those people who've always wanted kids and would have them with a sperm donor if I was single.

OP’s posts: |
Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:31:31

daisychain01

*I think I feel apprehensive because he ended things with his last girlfriend because she was 43 and pressuring him to have kids & commitment after 9 months together.*

Is 18 months the total amount of time, including the split, or is it almost 18 months since his split?

I don't think it bodes well that you uprooted your life and relocated to this person's country, because you've now 'invested' too much to walk away without having to push the issue - that old chestnut "sunk cost fallacy" springs to mind.

I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling that he is meeting you half way and investing in the relationship - after all you moved to him, you went round under the pretext that you were collecting your belongings, and * bing * suddenly he decides he loves you. Hmm not convinced it was anything more than a convenience, sorry. He seems like a passive observer and not invested at all. He has a child who will be his no1 priority for a significant time to come.

Getting together with anyone when the biological clock is ticking is not a good basis for a relationship, especially when his last one broke up for the very same reason.

Open your eyes, and please don't throw away control over your life by making choices that aren't in your best interests. This situation feels wrong on many levels.

Hi Daisychain.

I partly moved to his country to escape having to shield in the UK. I'd already done months of it and didn't want to do it anymore. There isn't any covid where I've moved to, at least the city I live in.That was the main impetus.

I didn't understand this:

"Is 18 months the total amount of time, including the split, or is it almost 18 months since his split?"

He split about 8 months ago with his last gf.

I arrived here 4 weeks ago and what I'd be wanting is to move in say 18 months from now.

I am willing to move on if he doesn't want the same things as me. I didn't move here just for him.

OP’s posts: |
AlternativePerspective Mon 24-Aug-20 12:36:31

TBH, I don’t think it’s a red flag that he ended a relationship after nine months because she was pressuring him to have kids.

Anyone with half an ounce of common sense would run a mile from someone who wanted kids that soon into a relationship.

Have you discussed the future at all? Talked about where the relationship is going? Uprooting yourself and moving to a different country is a massive step to take for someone when you don’t actually know if there’s a future, that suggests that you are very impulsive and liable to make decisions too quickly.

You need to have a conversation about the future and where you both see it going. As long as you’re both upfront about where you do or don’t stand on having kids that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, just as long as the lines of communication are open. But before that you need to talk about where the relationship is going in general.

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:39:45

AlternativePerspective

TBH, I don’t think it’s a red flag that he ended a relationship after nine months because she was pressuring him to have kids.

Anyone with half an ounce of common sense would run a mile from someone who wanted kids that soon into a relationship.

Have you discussed the future at all? Talked about where the relationship is going? Uprooting yourself and moving to a different country is a massive step to take for someone when you don’t actually know if there’s a future, that suggests that you are very impulsive and liable to make decisions too quickly.

You need to have a conversation about the future and where you both see it going. As long as you’re both upfront about where you do or don’t stand on having kids that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, just as long as the lines of communication are open. But before that you need to talk about where the relationship is going in general.

Thanks for your input.

I wouldn't say I am impulsive.

In the UK I had just moved to a new city then covid happened. I had to shield due to a health condition. I was alone for months in a new city, working from home and not seeing anyone I knew. After several months I was on the brink of losing my sanity. That's why I moved. I am in a country with very few cases of covid and if it doesn't work out with this guy I can at least date. I couldn't do that in the UK.

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Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:42:25

We have discussed the future. He doesn't seem that hot on marriage but would like to live with someone in a committed relationship. He says he "more than 50%" wants more kids.

I told him what I wanted - committed relationship and possibly kids.

OP’s posts: |
Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:43:02

I also have ties in my new country. Most of my family live here. So I'm not here "just for him".

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Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:52:59

I'm more interested to hear from single parents/parents as to whether you think my timeline of 18 months is reasonable (Rather than whether it was a good idea to move in the first place.)

I won't be regretting the move even if it doesn't work out with him as my quality of life was so poor in the UK.

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PortugalPlace Mon 24-Aug-20 12:59:02

Gosh just reading this is making my head hurt. It's too complicated and confusing (for you and everyone).
You are second guessing this man, the relationship etc so I would never ever commit to him.
You deserve a man who is solid as a rock that you can build a future with.
He doesn't sound like he's convinced he wants to commit to you.
What's with the %s?
You don't commit to a man saying things like '50%' sure. That means he's 50% unsure

sittingonacornflake Mon 24-Aug-20 13:02:55

Have I understood this right - you want to have a conversation tomorrow about whether he wants to move in with you 18 months from now?

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:03:29

PortugalPlace

Gosh just reading this is making my head hurt. It's too complicated and confusing (for you and everyone).
You are second guessing this man, the relationship etc so I would never ever commit to him.
You deserve a man who is solid as a rock that you can build a future with.
He doesn't sound like he's convinced he wants to commit to you.
What's with the %s?
You don't commit to a man saying things like '50%' sure. That means he's 50% unsure

We've spent maybe 6 weeks together in total. Is that enough time to know if you want to commit to someone for the rest of one's life?

I think it's reasonable to give it some more time rather than just pack it in now. Otherwise we'd all be ending relationships that hadn't ended in marriage after 6 weeks.

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AnneLovesGilbert Mon 24-Aug-20 13:03:44

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it might be interesting but it won’t tell you what he thinks.

On paper, a man who has a 5 year old, is in his mid 40s and is 50% sure he doesn’t want more kids is not a good bet if you think you do.

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:05:26

sittingonacornflake

Have I understood this right - you want to have a conversation tomorrow about whether he wants to move in with you 18 months from now?

Yes. The point I want to make to him is, I don't want to take ages to date someone before we move in together.

I want to know if that sort of timeline sounds reasonable to him, or if he'd want to live separately for a long time to come.

OP’s posts: |
Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:07:29

AnneLovesGilbert

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it might be interesting but it won’t tell you what he thinks.

On paper, a man who has a 5 year old, is in his mid 40s and is 50% sure he doesn’t want more kids is not a good bet if you think you do.

The problem is, I don't know if I do. I'm about 50% sure I don't, too.

Oh well. I just wanted to ask for opinions about the timeline as I've not been in this situation before.

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PortugalPlace Mon 24-Aug-20 13:08:45

Look in my opinion having to ask others is not a good sign. I think you know in your gut this guy isn't worth pursuing.

We've spent maybe 6 weeks together in total. Is that enough time to know if you want to commit to someone for the rest of one's life? Possibly.
I met my partner and within 2 weeks we decided we'd get married and spend our lives together. I moved in after 2 months and we are happily married now years later.


Yes it was quick and probably seemed silly BUT the point is we have always been on the same page. There was never ever an issue with us on timeframes or wanting different things.
The second date I said I wanted a committed relationship, marriage and kids....not necessarily with me but someone with the same life plan. If my partner was wishy washy I'd probably have cut my losses

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:12:06

PortugalPlace

Look in my opinion having to ask others is not a good sign. I think you know in your gut this guy isn't worth pursuing.

We've spent maybe 6 weeks together in total. Is that enough time to know if you want to commit to someone for the rest of one's life? Possibly.
I met my partner and within 2 weeks we decided we'd get married and spend our lives together. I moved in after 2 months and we are happily married now years later.


Yes it was quick and probably seemed silly BUT the point is we have always been on the same page. There was never ever an issue with us on timeframes or wanting different things.
The second date I said I wanted a committed relationship, marriage and kids....not necessarily with me but someone with the same life plan. If my partner was wishy washy I'd probably have cut my losses

I would not be comfortable deciding to marry someone after 2 weeks. You don't really know them. That's not me.

I don't think it means the relationship is doomed because I am asking about if my timeline is reasonable. I've not ever been in a relationship where I've wanted to commit to someone before.

I'm not asking you if you think my relationship will last or will be worth it.

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DancingCatGif Mon 24-Aug-20 13:13:26

"I've spent a lot of time around nieces and nephews (including babysitting 3 times per week for several months) so I know what it's like to be around kids."

That's totally meaningless because having your own is totally different.

If you are already contemplating if it is worth it, I think you know deep down it's not. You already have doubts, those are unlikely to vanish.

MrsPworkingmummy Mon 24-Aug-20 13:13:44

Hi,

As a stepmum to 3 children, I don't think 18 months is long enough. I moved into my now husband's house after we'd been been together well over two years. I met his children after a year, then moved in after another year had passed. To be honest, I was happy living in my own place whilst giving him time with his children (who lived with him full time). Take things slowly. Don't meet his child until you're absolutely sure you're in the relationship with his for the long term. We bought a house together in the third year of our relationship. Slow and steady worked for us. We've been together 12 years now and have two children together.

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:15:42

MrsPworkingmummy

Hi,

As a stepmum to 3 children, I don't think 18 months is long enough. I moved into my now husband's house after we'd been been together well over two years. I met his children after a year, then moved in after another year had passed. To be honest, I was happy living in my own place whilst giving him time with his children (who lived with him full time). Take things slowly. Don't meet his child until you're absolutely sure you're in the relationship with his for the long term. We bought a house together in the third year of our relationship. Slow and steady worked for us. We've been together 12 years now and have two children together.

OK thanks very much for your input.

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Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:17:47

DancingCatGif

"I've spent a lot of time around nieces and nephews (including babysitting 3 times per week for several months) so I know what it's like to be around kids."

That's totally meaningless because having your own is totally different.

If you are already contemplating if it is worth it, I think you know deep down it's not. You already have doubts, those are unlikely to vanish.

Really? Some friends in successful relationships have told me they've had doubts at times about their relationship and that it is normal when dating.

According to people on this thread, you should only stay with someone if you're engaged after 2 weeks and never have a single reservation about the relationship. In my book, that's not real life.

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DancingCatGif Mon 24-Aug-20 13:22:58

"Really? Some friends in successful relationships have told me they've had doubts at times about their relationship and that it is normal when dating."

Having some doubts is normal. You seem to be having more than is normal. Just my perception. Especially when kids are involved and you've already moved country for him.

"According to people on this thread, you should only stay with someone if you're engaged after 2 weeks and never have a single reservation about the relationship. In my book, that's not real life."

If you have the answers, why are you asking? You ask people their opinion then don't like the answer you're given. It makes no sense.

You want everyone to say "yes that sounds fabulous" because that will take the burden of making a decision from you.

Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:25:13

DancingCatGif

"Really? Some friends in successful relationships have told me they've had doubts at times about their relationship and that it is normal when dating."

Having some doubts is normal. You seem to be having more than is normal. Just my perception. Especially when kids are involved and you've already moved country for him.

"According to people on this thread, you should only stay with someone if you're engaged after 2 weeks and never have a single reservation about the relationship. In my book, that's not real life."

If you have the answers, why are you asking? You ask people their opinion then don't like the answer you're given. It makes no sense.

You want everyone to say "yes that sounds fabulous" because that will take the burden of making a decision from you.

I didn't move country just for him. I mentioned this repeatedly in this thread. I moved mainly because of covid. I don't have to shield in my new home.

I'm asking about the timeline of 18 months. I'm especially interested to hear from single parents who have actually moved in with their partners and become step parents.

OP’s posts: |
Chocaholic9 Mon 24-Aug-20 13:26:08

The clue is in the title:

"Is 18 months too soon to move in with new partner who is a single parent?"

OP’s posts: |

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