Are My Kids Keeping Me From Finding Love?

Are My Kids Keeping Me From Finding Love?

Evan,
I fall into the majority of divorced women with a degree who are looking on line, but with children. Dating with children changes the rules of the game entirely. For both men and women. As a single person without children you are open to possibilities, open to long distance relationships even, but when the kids are around then we have to change our mindset to realizing that we are Teflon until the kids are out of the house, that the Brady Bunch was just a fantasy TV sitcom, and that living a life of dating without the kids makes us live two lives, one with kids and one without. Soon enough you’re going to resent one of them, if not both, and the idea of bringing your children along for dates is not really something acceptable.

So you can talk about what your dating life as a single man was like –you wanted a woman who you could have children with, so you probably didn’t date women with children and if you did you soon found out that they needed to be thrown back. That’s how I feel, that every man I meet will never really date me for a serious relationship because I have children, and especially if he has his too, then it’s like he can understand but he also doesn’t want to pick up someone else’s slack. Perhaps you can recommend a different resource…or you can explain how your comments apply when it comes to dating with children.

Try it with your wife…pretend the kids were not yours, and you were dating her…how would that change everything? –Joy

Joy,

Thanks for your email, as it reveals both some truths and blind spots.

Truth: it’s a lot easier to date if you don’t have kids.

People without children don’t have much of a concept of what it’s like to be tethered to home for feeding, napping, school, and extracurricular activities. Your life isn’t entirely your own.

The thing is: this isn’t news to anybody.

If you are confident, self-aware, have a high emotional IQ, a low tolerance for being mistreated and understand the opposite sex, you’re going to do well in relationships.

This just reveals your blind spot – you keep on choosing men without kids. And because you keep choosing men without kids, you’ve come to the conclusion that the Brady Bunch life is a fantasy. Hate to tell you, sweetie, but the reason that the Brady Bunch is NOT a fantasy is because both Mike and Carol HAD kids.

To be fair, you almost figure this out by the end of your email: “If he has (kids) too, then it’s like he can understand but he doesn’t want to pick up someone else’s slack.”

Pick up someone else’s slack?

He has his kids to raise. You have your kids to raise. He doesn’t have to pick up your slack. He has to understand that, as a parent, you need a little slack, because you don’t control your own schedule.

The tone of your email suggests that because I am a single guy who found love with a childless woman that my advice is invalid to you. That’s not remotely true.

Everyone likes to think her situation is particularly unique. It’s not.

Once people hit their mid-40s, tons of guys become available because that’s when the married-with-kids guys who got married in their 20s are divorcing, so suddenly you can date your peers again.

Advice for women over 50 is almost identical to advice for women under 50.

Advice for women who want kids is almost identical to advice for women who don’t.

If you are confident, self-aware, have a high emotional IQ, a low tolerance for being mistreated and understand the opposite sex, you’re going to do well in relationships.

That has nothing to do with kids or age or anything. If you understand 40-year-old men, you pretty much understand 60-year-old men. Men don’t change. But circumstances do. Which brings me to something that I’ve been sitting on for a few months and wanted to share here with you. It’s an update from my friend, Lori Gottlieb, author of “Marry Him,” my favorite relationship book. Writes Lori:

I’ve been dating someone for about six months. I guess I should change my Facebook “status” to “in a relationship” at some point, so I can stop being considered a “toxic maximizer” every time some guy asks me out. You should write a column about how once people hit their mid-40s, tons of guys become available because that’s when the married-with-kids guys who got married in their 20s are divorcing, so suddenly you can date your peers again. In my late 30s, I didn’t want divorced with kids, but once I had a kid and reached my mid-40s, divorced with kids was exactly what I wanted. So he’s 47 with 14-year-old twin girls. And then, of course, in the past year, all of these opportunities came about due to the demographic shift of an influx of 40-something men with kids getting divorced and not wanting to date women in their 30s who don’t have — but want — kids. They don’t want to go back to diapers at that age. And then there’s the financial investment of starting a second family. For all those reasons (not to mention, of course, my “charm”… ahem), I’m what these divorced-with-kids 40-something guys seem to be looking for. Fodder for your blog, perhaps?

Yes, Lori, it is fodder for my blog.

And it’s also my answer to your question, Joy.

Choose men with kids who “get” what you’re going through and you’ll be that much closer to developing a Brady Bunch family of your own.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Karmic Equation

    Ruby #88
     
    I’m sure women could, but there aren’t any books like “Why SHE Disappeared” out there — Women care more about men disappearing than men do about women disappearing. That pesky unintended result of the Sexual Revolution raising it’s ugly head again. Men have more options for BOTH sex and relationships because they can separate them. Whereas most women want sex WITHIN a relationship, and thus limiting their own options.
     
    Hence, if a woman wants a relationship, it behooves her to go about it in the most effective way, namely being self-aware and controlling the perception she creates with a man to get a man interested enough to continue to date her to develop that relationship. You can’t go wrong being feminine and receptive. But if you’re neither, you start limiting your options. You can’t be in a relationship if a guy doesn’t want to date you.
     
    Ruby #89
    Oh, not second date, but second time they had sex.
    John #29 had written:
    “I dated a single Mom and after a few dates when we were sleeping together, I asked her if she would wear some sexy underwear instead of the big boring ones…Her reply to me was “Moms don’t wear thongs”. Major turn off to me. ”
     
    Where did you get that it was only the second time they had sex from? And where did all of you get the idea that John stopped dating her because of the mommie-lingerie? He only said “it” was a major turn-off, not that he stopped seeing her. (Aside; John, you need better sentence structure :) Too much is being left to interpretation!) But if he HAD, i would say her lack of receptiveness and shutting him down did more to make him decide to end the relationship than the actual mommie underwear. BECAUSE if he didn’t really want to date her anymore because of her boring underwear, he would have STOPPED dating her the FIRST time he had sex with her and saw her mommie lingerie.

  2. 92
    michelle

    Geez Louise, poor John, I understood what he was saying!  Haha…

  3. 93
    Ruby

    Karmic
     
    “Where did you get that it was only the second time they had sex from?”
     
    From John himself, #62: “I did bring up the topic in a good way. After our 2nd time, we were getting dressed again and I told her she has such a sexy body and would she ever wear something more skimpy.”
     
    “And where did all of you get the idea that John stopped dating her because of the mommie-lingerie?
     
    Again, I wrote: “He did write that he stopped seeing her, although I don’t know if there were other reasons, as he doesn’t say.” He also writes, “With this Mom who I dated for 4 months, there were a lot of things I compromised on. So while underwear type is low on your priority list, it is high on mine if I am making a ton of other sacrifices simply because she is a Mom.”
     
    Sounds like these two had very different priorities and were not a good match.
     
    “Women care more about men disappearing than men do about women disappearing.”
     
    Given the number of men who post here, on a women’s dating site, about how angry they are at women who don’t want to date them, perhaps they care more than you think?
     
     

  4. 94
    Karmic Equation

    Ruby
     
    I saw that Frimmel was as passionate about equality for men as women were about equality for women, is that where you saw the “angry” men? Then I guess you must be an angry woman since you posted just as passionately as he. Passion does not equal anger.
     
    There were posts from men who are angry at women’s sense of entitlement just as there are women angry at men for “not doing what women want them to do” — Opposite sides of the same coin.
     
    Men don’t angst about women the way women angst about men, you know it, I know it. So don’t play dumb.
     
    You quoted John out of context to support your nebulous position. His quote IN CONTEXT #90 reads, emphasis mine…
    So if I dealt with all of that, then I thought it would be fair to ask for some skimpy underwear whenever we were able to have alone time. So while underwear type is low on your priority list, it is high on mine if I am making a ton of other sacrifices simply because she is a Mom.”
     
    Since you couldn’t refute his desire for fairness under the circumstances he stated, you had to leave it out. To do otherwise you would have no leg to stand on. IMO, you can’t really defend the mommie-underwear woman for being rude. She was, regardless of whether she was self-conscious or not. If she was self-conscious, after a guy tells her she’s sexy, she should have blown a kiss, not tell him to shut up in so many words. Or as Anita #73 implied, she could have said something like, “If these are so boring, how about if you come over here to take them off again?”
     
    There were many ways for her to perceive and react to his statement that could have resulted in a more positive experience for both of them. But she managed to the ONE that would surely make him unwilling to open up further. You can’t connect with a guy if you tell him to shut up on stuff he’s willing to talk about. Most men are willing to talk about lingerie and sex. And, if you talk about that with them, they’re usually fair, and will reciprocate and talk about stuff that interests you (but not them). Lead by example. The important part of the exchange between John and mommie was not the lingerie, but that she shut him down. There was an opportunity to connect and she missed it.

  5. 95
    Ruby

    Karmic
     
    “I saw that Frimmel was as passionate about equality for men as women were about equality for women, is that where you saw the “angry” men? Then I guess you must be an angry woman since you posted just as passionately as he. Passion does not equal anger.”
     
    Both women and men can get angry or upset with each other for the same thing. No disagreement there. But I’m not talking about debating Frimmel. You can find lots of places on this blog where men and women are angry with each other about the opposite sex being too picky, having a sense of entitlement, or whatever you want to call it. That’s exactly what you say here, “There were posts from men who are angry at women’s sense of entitlement just as there are women angry at men for “not doing what women want them to do” — Opposite sides of the same coin.” So why are you questioning me about noticing “angry” men? Not to mention that angst and anger are two different emotions. Women may feel more angst towards the opposite sex, but men may feel more anger.
     
    “You quoted John out of context to support your nebulous position. His quote IN CONTEXT #90 reads, emphasis mine…”
     
    What’s ‘”nebulous” about my position? The two were incompatible, IMO. If you want to think his ex was “rude”, that’s your call. She might have worn what he wanted her to wear, and I don’t know why she didn’t. Was she uncomfortable with her body, uptight, bitchy, maybe conflicted about him or the relationship? Perhaps she felt he didn’t really understand her situation? Who knows? Maybe he made a bigger deal about the underwear because he wasn’t all that happy with the compromises. Given their many differences, I don’t think the underwear issue was the nail in the coffin.
     
    However, lots of single moms have the sorts of issues John had a problem with, and that’s why EMK suggested that the OP date men who are fathers, because they’d have a better understanding of what parents (especially mothers who are the custodial parent) have to deal with.

  6. 96
    Sparkling Emerald

    It seems to me that John’s relationship with “Mommie with the boring underwear” was not a good one to begin with.  And it seems that he figured she “owed” him a particular type of underwear because of all the other complications her motherhood brought to the table.
    I don’t know if her tone was “(silly boy) Moms don’t wear thongs tee-hee” or if was “(you jerk) MOM’S DON’T WEAR THONGS arghhhhhhh !!!!!!” but I do think telling someone that their underwear is boring is rude, so no one should be surprised when rudeness is met with rudeness.
    I do think it is probably best for single parents to date each other, they can understand each others challenges.  Fortunately for me, I never had to deal with being a single mom & dating.  My son was grown when we split up.  So technically I am still a “single” mom, but it’s a moot point.  The only issue was initially my son was incensed at the idea that I might date again, but he’s over that now, and tells me he just wants me to be happy. 
     
    John – You are entitled to whatever preferences you want.  If underwear is a deal breaker for you, so be it, it’s YOUR love life, you want what you want, and if you don’t get it from one woman you are certainly entitled to move on.  Just hope you can understand the woman’s POV, when they want a man who is of a certain height, who wants to feel a certain amount of chemistry, or whatever her expressed preferences are.

  7. 97
    Karmic Equation

    Ruby

    You’re the one who introduced the word “angry” to the discussion. So I’m not sure why you need to tell ME the difference between angry and angst. You changed the subject, not me. I just went with your flow.

    #95
    “What’s ‘”nebulous” about my position?”

    Well you started with: John being picky @ #66 – “Talk about picky!”

    Then @ #86 you implied John might have a problem with commitment because “Blaming the other person for their boring underwear…is a good way to avoid any issues the other party might have with commitment. Heaven forbid that it could be the criticizer who has the problem!”

    Then when John clarified, and it was clear that he was neither picky nor has a problem with commitment, you changed to “Sounds like these two had very different priorities and were not a good match.”

    Your whole stream of posts was to deny that mommy could possibly have done anything negative. It was all on John. Then when you, in all fairness, couldn’t blame John anymore, you certainly still couldn’t fault the woman (careful, your feminist is showing) — you then blamed it their collective incompatible priorities…over UNDERWEAR??

    You tell me where you WEREN’T nebulous.

    My posts have been consistent from the beginning, without knowing any details. I didn’t have to keep shifting blame when more details were provided, because all that needed to be known was stated up front. Mommy’s unreceptiveness to a lover’s suggesion had a negative impact on the lover and thus the relationship. Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?

    ———–
    @Sparkling

    You keep focusing on the negative part of John’s comment to the mommy, as did most of the mommy’s here. Very few, if any of the women, focused on the UNSOLICITED compliment John gave her, that she has a sexy body. He’s telling her what he thinks without her asking him. Don’t most women want that from their man? Or am I alone in this?

    Apparently, very few women are aware of this fact: Men focus on the POSITIVE in their women…and are often either OBLIVIOUS to or ACCEPTING of a woman’s physical and emotional faults, but not their verbal miscues. They always remember when you say something that makes them feel bad.

    So do yourself a big favor, if a guy compliments you in one breath and negs you on the next. ACCEPT the compliment with grace and IGNORE the neg. Give him positive reinforcement for complimenting you: “You think I have a sexy body? I knew there was a reason I liked you” accompanied by big smile and hug.

    Or if that is too difficult for you, indirectly make him pay for his criticism:
    with a confused, innocent look, “You think my underwear is boring? Darn. Guess you’ll have to go shopping with me to pick out less boring underwear.” And we all know how men love shopping with us. You think he’s going to criticize you again? And an answer like that doesn’t shut a man down. It’ll make him think a bit.

    Stop focusing on the negative, Sparkling. Men are UNTHINKING a lot of times and may unintentionally hurt you with their unthinking-ness; but very very few are deliberately hurtful or rude to women. Most men have a sense of chivalry. If you think a man is worth sleeping with, then you need to believe that he isn’t out to hurt you. And if you don’t know a guy well enough to know he’s not out to hurt you, you shouldn’t let him anywhere near your underwear.

    1. 97.1
      Stace

      Karmic,

      I think I love you and I am a woman.lol 

  8. 98
    Frimmel

    We aren’t unthinking per se. We’re just taught that how we feel isn’t all that important. We are also taught that our feelings are our own responsibility and that we’d damn well better have them under control at all times. We’re only allowed appropriate emotions at appropriate times. This can make it easy for us to forget or not consider important the feelings of others.
     
    I’ll say it again, “Why Men Are the Way They Are” by Warren Farrell.
     
    Re #94
     
    Thanks, for sticking up for me Karmic. I also appreciate your defense of John’s comments. I appreciate that you can so often see where we’re coming from.

  9. 99
    Ruby

    Karmic
    “There were posts from men who are angry at women’s sense of entitlement just as there are women angry at men for “not doing what women want them to do” — Opposite sides of the same coin. Men don’t angst about women the way women angst about men, you know it, I know it. So don’t play dumb.

    Hmmm, sounds like you are comparing angst and anger to me.
     
    “Mommy’s unreceptiveness to a lover’s suggesion had a negative impact on the lover and thus the relationship.”
     
    Well, Mommie isn’t here to tell us her side of the story, and it’s hard for me to micro-analyze their relationship with the limited information I do have, nor do I care to. Yes, my position about what happened evolved as I got more details from John, which he didn’t reveal until after several posts. That happens sometimes when you get more information, what you previously believed to be true changes.
     
    There’s nothing wrong with your suggestions for what the girlfriend might have said. Could she have compromised? Sure, but she isn’t here to explain why she didn’t. However, the woman’s entire lifestyle had a negative impact for John, (re-read his comments in #90) so their differences were a lot more complex than her not being receptive to his suggestion that she wear different underwear. When a relationship descends into “I did x, y, and z for you, now you have to do x for me”, it’s not a good situation. John’s entitled to his preferences, but then again, so was she.
     
    You questioned me when you hadn’t even read all of John’s posts, but you didn’t like being called out for that. I still don’t think you can say with utter certainty how picky or commitmentphobic John really is, but I do think it’s pretty safe to say that these two were not on the same page, and why, which goes back to the OP’s question. Remember that?
     
     

  10. 100
    Karmic Equation

    @Frimmel

    YW. Your appreciation is appreciated :) I bought the book and started reading it. But it wasn’t available as an eBook, so I’ve been struggling to find time to read it since I no longer like to carry physical books around. LOL

    Ruby @93 wrote:
    Given the number of men who post here, on a women’s dating site, about how angry they are at women who don’t want to date them, perhaps they care more than you think?

    Again, YOU introduced the word angry. Not I. Anger also doesn’t equal caring.

    I did miss his statement that it was the 2nd time they had sex. Mea culpa. Does that change anything? If you think how many times one has sex with a man determines her receptivity to his suggestions on lingerie, then ok. But I would say that at the moment a woman decides take a man on as a lover, she should be receptive to his ideas on lingerie.

    How can you say you can’t micro-analyze their relationship because of limited information and “nor do you care to” and then go and micro-analyze it anyway?
    “When a relationship descends into “I did x, y, and z for you, now you have to do x for me”, it’s not a good situation.” How do you know it DESCENDED to that?

    It doesn’t matter what John was THINKING when he made the suggestion. And it doesn’t matter what SHE was thinking when he made the suggestion. All that matters is the interaction itself. WHEN John made the SUGGESTION, she SHOT HIM DOWN in a way that PRECLUDED further discussion. Being shot down made him feel bad. Guys don’t like to be around women who make them feel bad. Precluding further discussion meant he wasn’t about to open up again. So even if they were superbly compatible with her mommy status, her STYLE OF COMMUNICATING (if this incident was typical) left a lot to be desired.

    What I’m saying is that, yes, it would make all the mommies feel better if they can blame a non-parent-single-guy for not being compatible with and/or not understanding  their single-parenthood, than to take the responsibility for any failures of those relationships because of their own behaviors. I understand better the complexities of dating as a single-parent and I’m just glad I don’t have to do that…BUT if you sign on to date as a single-mom, you can’t STOP being feminine or receptive or thinking of yourself as a woman first. If you do, you’re just going to add to your own frustrations.

    IMO, John tried and did make concessions to her single-parenthood. What single guy wants to sleep alone on Saturday nights if they’re dating someone? What man wants his evenings with his date to be interrupted by kids’ texts? If he were as shallow as you gals are trying to paint him to be, he would have been out of there in month 2 not month 4.

    Ruby, I agree with you that the underwear thing was not the nail in the coffin. And I do agree that they had different priorities. Where we disagree is that in the mommy case, I’d say HER priorities were MISPLACED when she was John’s lover, because she was still thinking of herself as her children’s mommy, and not of herself as a woman first. Maybe single-dads would be ok with having a woman be a in her mommy state 24/7. But I doubt it.

  11. 101
    JustMe

    I really don’t want to get into the fray but if I were in an intimate relationship, I would want the other person to tell what they would like, from clothing to  . . . well, you know.
     
    Also, If I were to put myself into the woman’s shoes who made the comment, I might have said something like that because I was embarrassed.  We can’t really know why she did though.

  12. 102
    John

    Karmic Equation @100
    IMO, John tried and did make concessions to her single-parenthood. What single guy wants to sleep alone on Saturday nights if they’re dating someone? What man wants his evenings with his date to be interrupted by kids’ texts? If he were as shallow as you gals are trying to paint him to be, he would have been out of there in month 2 not month 4.
     
    Bingo. That’s exactly it. You are very intuitive. I felt like it was just too much work. The thought did cross my mind after a couple of months to end it but did want to give it a chance. I didn’t want to be accused of being too picky. But alas nothing changed. So when I saw this blog topic I spelled out my reasons on how a woman with kids could make herself more dateable. As for the underwear thing, I felt like it wasn’t a lot to ask. It was a lot less to ask her to wear a thong than it was for her to ask me to accommodate her kids schedules and constant interruptions. But I was willing to and she never felt the need to to reciprocate in a way that was important to me.
    Every girl I have had a long term or short term relationship with always wore the good stuff on their own. And the rare time they didn’t, they were very receptive to looking in a catalog. But this one was dead set against it.  So when you add that onto everything else, I felt the relationship ran its course. She probably felt it ran its course too.

  13. 103
    Sparkling Emerald

    John – Sounds like you two weren’t a match to begin with, which is one of the downsides of having sex after a few dates.  I don’t necessarily think you or she was wrong, but Karmic seems to think she broke some universally known rule of the relationship Universe and is WRONG, WRONG, double WRONG for not letting you decide on her lingerie wardrobe.
    What I don’t understand, since most women wear the good stuff on their own, and those who don’t were receptive, why you felt the need to come onto a primarily women’s blog and give a blanket scolding to single moms about “boring underwear” when so few women wear “boring underwear” for sex, and it probably doesn’t run along motherhood lines anyway.  (My underwear preferences didn’t change after motherhood)
    Also, in the great underwear debate of 2013, a men’s website (think it was ask men, not to sure) listed some “turn ons” for men, and listed white cotton underwear worn occasionally as a turn on.  So go figure, one mans “boring” underwear, is another mans turn on (but apparently only when worn “occasionally”) I have a feeling those white cotton undies are part of some naughty school girl fantasy, (plaid skirt and knee socks included) but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
    I don’t think this is about who is right vs who is wrong.  You guys were just different.  I have a hunch (unscientific hunch) that this was more about the single mommy feeling like she wasn’t being accepted for who she was. If a woman came on here and told the men to shave the beard, because SHE finds it a turn off, and her last boyfriend REFUSED to shave his beard, even when she said “Pretty please, I’d love to see more of your handsome face” I’ll bet you guys in the “We own your underwear choice” camp would be screaming bloody murder about how she should just accept him the way he is.
      I was a step mother in my first marriage, and believe me, I made many accomodations, but I loved my step son, and my husband, and I never would have figured that my my hubby “owed” it to me to start dressing differently, because I was picking up his son from school, or what ever.

  14. 104
    Sparkling Emerald

    Karmic – 97
    “@Sparkling
    You keep focusing on the negative part of John’s comment . . . . etc etc.
    ————-
     
      You DON’T know me, so don’t give me unwanted advice.  You have already back tracked on one statement, saying now that you had more info on me, you understood something I said in another thread. 
      As far as me focusing on the negative, you could say the same thing about John, she shared her body with him after a few dates, and in your mind, in your relationship Universe, at that instant he had the right to manage her lingerie wardrobe.  That’s YOUR rule , you can’t fault her for not know this “Karmic” rule of the relationship Universe. Instead of focusing on the positive, which is she shared herself with him early on, he focused on her boring underwear.  He initially only told us that he told her to wear different lingerie, instead of the boring ones.  When PROMPTED, he added in that he complimented her, he had to be prompted to think of the positives about her. 
     This isn’t about me wanting to make “mommies” feel better.  Read my posts in the thread about the woman who wanted her boyfriend to “dominate” her in the bedroom.  I agreed w/EMK on that, that she had a good relationship, why was she focusing on THAT ?  I commented something along the lines of her sexual entitlement (didn’t think she should have felt entitled) and I noted the irony that she was trying to get a man to be more “dominant” by telling him what to do.  So don’t make this about me defending anyone based on gender.
      Difference is John didn’t have a good relationship with her, and expected her to “compensate” him by catering to his underwear preferences.  Maybe THAT’s what she was picking up on, a sense that he wasn’t happy with the relationship, that he wasn’t accepting her as she was.  Which  is what we ALL want, not just men.  To be accepted as we are.  The “concessions” that John made were of a practical matter.  If you date someone with kids, concession MUST be made.  If you are in a long distance relationship, concessions HAVE to be made.  If you are dating a full time student with a full time job, concessions HAVE to be made.  To be thinking that this person “owes” you a particular type of underwear, or a particular bedroom kink because of the PRACTICAL considerations that MUST be made in the relationship, does not sound like the basis of a good relationship. Johns request for a concession wasn’t of a practical nature, they were a personal preference, not a neccessity.
    As for your assertions that it doesn’t matter what the THOUGHTS of your sexual partner are, that is nonsense.  If you don’t care what is in a persons, heart or mind, then there really isn’t a good basis for the relationship.
    BTW, I was a step mother in my first marriage, and I made a lot of practical concessions, but I loved my step son and hubby, and so I did that willingly.  I never dreamed of thinking that my hubby (or even when he was my BF) owed me anything for picking up his son at school, or being involved with his Little League.  I knew it was a package deal going in.  I went in willingly and my reward was getting a mini preview of motherhood, and a wonderful relationship with a great kid, who grew up into a wonderful young man, with whom I’ve had contact with, even during my second marriage.  I even got a mini preview of grand-parenting, since I have met both of my step sons children. 
    I still say, single parents will be happier with other single parents, and I was probably some sort of exception.  But if a single non-parent gets involved with a single parent, understand from the beginning, that for practical matters, concessions will have to be made.  Either go in willingly, or not at all.  If you are expecting some sort of sexual concession in return, then I doubt that you are conceding to the “mommy” wiliingly, and it would be best to move on.
    I said . . .
    @Sparkling #82
    …but if I think there’s a good chance someone cute will be viewing and/or removing my undies, I ditch the big boring ones, and go for the cute little ones.
     
    and you replied . . .
    I doubt this particular mom was having a one-night stand sex with John.
     
    Where in hells bells did I say anything about having a ONS ????????  
    If I’m dating a guy, and I think “Tonight might be the night”  then I dress from the skin out as you suggest.  Now dressing from the skin out as you suggest is indicative of ONS !  Please, feel free to offer your opinion on what I say, but please, no more of your advice, don’t want it, especially since you make such  HUGE OUTRAGEOUS  assumptions (like I’m some ONS Jezebel) about me based on NOTHING.
    Also, if you have read EMK’s “Why he disappeared” and “rounding the bases”, viewing undies doesn’t necessarily mean full on sex.  And it certainly doesn’t mean a ONS either.
    I don’t do ONS, and I don’t appreciate you implying that I do.

  15. 105
    Ruby

    Karmic

    ““When a relationship descends into “I did x, y, and z for you, now you have to do x for me”, it’s not a good situation.” How do you know it DESCENDED to that?”

    John says it. Repeatedly.

    While John’s ex sounds a bit more uptight than some, the things he complained about are fairly typical for the single and divorced mothers i know. Actually, they weren’t uncommon for one divorced father I dated. It also depends on how difficult and demanding the kids themselves are, and if the relationship with the ex-spouse is strained, that adds yet another level of difficulty to the situation. John didn’t like it, so he moved on, as was his right.

    
However, there are men out there who wouldn’t have been fazed by the ex’s underwear preferences, or her kids interrupting dates to text, or any of the other issues that bothered him. Or they might not have been entirely happy with every aspect of the situation, but they could accept it. That’s why EMK advised the OP to “choose men who ‘get’ what you’re going through.”

    “Then when you, in all fairness, couldn’t blame John anymore, you certainly still couldn’t fault the woman (careful, your feminist is showing) — you then blamed it their collective incompatible priorities…over UNDERWEAR??”

    And if you can’t fault the man, I guess that makes you anti-feminist. But lack of compatibility isn’t about blame. Especially since the ex herself isn’t here asking for advice.

  16. 106
    Sparkling Emerald

    IRT John 90
    “constant interrupting phone calls and texts (the kids were 12 and 14) when they were at their Dads if we went to dinner or the movies.”
    ————————
    I think this is the BIGGER issue, kids should not be constantly calling mom when they are with their dad. To me, that IS a big red flag.  Dad s/b supervising/interacting with the kids, and Mom should turn her cell phone OFF on a date.  The co-parenting arrangement doesn’t sound good here.
     

  17. 107
    Goldie

    Re texting kids, my 17yo used to do that a lot. We’d be hiking on a Sunday morning and out of the blue I’d get the text “I need contact lenses” – dude, it’s Sunday morning and I am out in the woods!! Finally, bf complained. I talked to them both, and the compromise we all came to was, on the days that I am at my bf’s place, I check my texts a few times a day and may reply if I have the time, or I may not. I will however answer a call immediately, or call back immediately if I miss it. I told my son to call me (not text) if there is ever an emergency. (Hasn’t happened so far.) I assume any grown man should be okay with his date taking an emergency call from her family? Though after reading through the whole underwear discussion, I’m not sure what to think. It’s just underwear, people! No reason to blow it out of proportion (seeing as it is already large enough, lol)

  18. 108
    Sparkling Emerald

    Goldie 107 –
      My concern is that the kids are WITH their Dad, and they are texting Mom.  Seems to me something is off.  Dad should be supervising/interacting with his children when they are with him.  Any “emergency” should be handled by Dad.
     Of course, if a true emergency comes up, and she gets a frantic text from DAD, saying meet me at the hospital, one of the kids got into a serious bike accident, then OF COURSE, that a valid interruption of Mom’s time. 
      But it sounds like there was just a lot of pestering by the kids, not constant “emergency calls” and to me, that is indicative of unresolved divorce/co-parenting issues.
      I don’t know all of the facts here, and she isn’t on this blog to explain, but to me, that is a bigger issue that is not going to be solved in the bedroom.

  19. 109
    Helen

    People… it’s just one poor guy’s comment and one poor woman’s response. John’s viewpoint is not indicative of how all men think and speak; nor is the woman’s behavior indicative of how all mothers behave. There is no need to get into a scuffle over it.
     
    Back to the original point of the entry: “Are my kids keeping me from finding love?” It seems obvious that the answer can be no, as long as the single parent in question, whether a woman or a man, compartmentalizes a bit. There is parent mode and then there is romantic relationship mode. For them to be constantly blended, one interrupting the other, can be jarring for the prospective partner. I think one can still be a good and caring parent without having to be interrupted all the time by kid-related things when it comes to building a romantic relationship. It’s hard, but it can be done.

  20. 110
    Karmic Equation

    @Sparkling

    Ummm…you need to re-read the ONS thing. While I was replying to you, it was NOT about YOU. My point was that the woman didn’t “happen to meet John” while on an errand in her serviceable underwear and impulsively decided to go home with him. She scheduled a date–she’s a mom–she HAS to schedule things…and having ALREADY had sex with John–not sure about you–but once I’ve had sex with a guy and a go out on a subsequent date, I assume that sex is on the agenda and will dress accordingly.

    With the “you don’t know me” complaint. It’s ok for you to jump to conclusions and give YOUR opinion and advice but not for others? How come you’re so special? I’ve read many of your posts…somehow, you’ve stretched “being receptive to a man’s ideas on lingerie” to “letting him manage your wardrobe” — you read a few pages from a book and denounce the whole book because it’s about “picky men” — when a man says a woman’s underwear is boring, you leap to the conclusion he’s not valuing her — you read a sentence about interruptions during a date and assume that there are co-parenting issues. Got it. It’s only ok for you to give unsolicited advice and opinions.

    Except for Evan’s posts, all other advice and opinions are unsolicited.

    Ruby,

    I know I come across as hard on women and not compassionate. There’s a reason for that. It’s NOT because I’m anti-feminist, but because I think women have MORE POWER and INFLUENCE over how a relationship progresses (or not) than she’s willing to admit to. If a woman takes responsibility for every feeling and interaction she has with a man in the early stages of a relationship, she has the POWER to “manage” that relationship into something meaningful and longt-term. Chalking up a failed relationship to “incompatibility” is just letting onself off the hook and abdicating her over the relationship.

    If you read Rachel Greenwald’s Have Him at Hello book, one insight she gave is that men take special notice of annoying things about a woman in the initial stages of dating. Once she does ONE annoying thing and he forms an opinion about it (e.g., she’s bossy, she’s uptight, she’s selfish, yada yada), he looks for OTHER signs to confirm that opinion.
     
    So, with the mommies-don’t-wear-thongs woman, it’s more than likely that particular way she has of shutting down a discussion is her communication style, and this just added to/confirmed his opinion that she’s close-minded/uptight, whatever. If she ISN’T uptight or close-minded and she recognizes that she has a communication-style issue, she can then MODIFY it. While John may have indeed been incompatible with her, SHE should have been the one to decide that and ended it when she recognized that incompatibility. She shouldn’t have ceded that power to John simply because she was unaware that her communication style was off putting.

  21. 111
    Karmic Equation

    @marymary
     
    The Hanky Panky thongs are absolutely the most comfortable thongs I have ever worn. Thanks so much for the fashion tip!
     
    I don’t like their boyshorts, though. Too much material, even with the lace along all the edges.
     
    @JustMe
     
    Where do you get your cheekies?

  22. 112
    Britney R

    There’s no doubt that some men will resist entering into a new committed relationship if there are kids that pre-exist by a different father.  Some guys just want to put their genetic stamp on things otherwise they may feel that they can’t assert any parental authority into the relationship, especially if the biological dad is still around.  Having said that, a new potential partner’s offspring may be an added attraction for a variety of reasons including where the other partner has a child (or children) and sees it as an opportunity for peer integration and thereby help to overcome any loneliness that their kids may be experiencing.
    I’m just saying that it can be a dual edged sword depending upon the individuals in question, how they view children and what they’re wanting to get out of the relationship.

  23. 113
    JustMe

    Karmic @ 111
     
    I get almost all of mine at Victoria’s Secret.  A couple of times a year, they have a 7 for $25.00.  I get them during the sale. 

  24. 114
    Karmic Equation

    Thanks, JustMe. I’ll have to keep my eye out for when they go on sale.

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