Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BLOWN OFF by the kids


I'm a total kids person. I love hanging out with kids, playing with them, teaching them new things. But dating a GUY with kids....now that's another story. I've found few relationship experiences to be as torturous as dating a guy who's kind of an asshole (but of course I'm crazy about him anyways), who also happens to have 2 ADORABLE kids.

It wasn't the kids themselves that were bad - there was no stepmama drama here. The kids were sweet and well-adjusted. It was the way this guy used his kids to manipulate me. He dangled his kids in front of me - showing me videos of them, parading them all over his Facebook page, but he refused to let me meet them. He did everything he could to make me fall in love with them (not that hard given their cute speech impediments and hair cuts), but he never gave them a chance to fall in love with me.

I get it - with kids, it's more complicated, and you have to think of their feelings before you think of your own. And I did - I was patient....very, very patient. Only after months and months, did I quietly mention that I'd love to meet them. After all that time, when he finally sprung them on me, I was post-workout sweaty and we were at an Islands. Not the romantic kids meeting I had always imagined when I was watching videos of them on Facebook, late at night, half drunk and totally misty-eyed. But the worst part wasn't waiting to meet them, or meeting them for the first time by surprise, in a strip mall. It was never getting to meet them again.

Despite my routine of buying them superhero trinkets I knew they'd love, the only thing I got from that point on was the chance to watch videos of them getting my gifts, and all the while Dad gets credit for the purchase! After I met the boys, this guy used his kids as an excuse to keep our now not-so-short fling a secret. The kids meant I had to sneak into his place late at night, and we could only have sex on his living room couch, silently. By transitive property, this means the kids were eventually used to make me kiss my dignity goodbye. They were the reason he couldn't call me for 5 days. In these silent treatments, I'd find myself googling the kids' names + obituary, for fear something terrible had happened to them. Because of course, the only thing that could explain my guy's sudden disappearance was the death of his child.

But the kids were sort of his prop, a trump card of an excuse, an easy way to never let me get too close to him. And I eventually realized I was using the kids as an excuse too. I used the kids to excuse this guy's ridiculous behavior all the time. This guy loved his kids, and he was a good dad, so how could a guy who was a great Dad be such an asshole? I don't know, but he was. I guess, not so surprisingly, being a great Dad doesn't make you a great partner. So when you're with a guy with kids - I say, watch out for the guy, not the kids. I gave my guy such a big handicap because of his kids. I assumed that if he would never do anything to hurt his kids, he would never do anything to hurt me. Big mistake. Huge.

4 comments:

  1. great post! It is true that just because someone is a great parent, it doesn't necessarily mean they are going to be a great partner. I've never dated a guy with kids, but what is it about single dads that are so darn attractive??

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  2. Question, did he ever lead you on into thinking he wanted something more serious? I guess this is the one thing that seems to get me most with dating: Is it wrong to date someone, treat them well, but be pretty sure they aren't what you are looking for long-term (or conversely, be at a point when you just don't want anything long-term)?

    I mean, if that's what he was doing; and it looks like he was giving you all the signals that that was what he was doing (by wisely not letting the kids form an attachment to you, because he was pretty sure you wouldn't be a part of his life forever), then I'm not so sure he did anything wrong. Right? Honestly, this is a genuine question.

    I mean, if he was telling you that you were the love of his life and that he wanted to be with you forever, then ya he's a dick. But if he was doing what I spelled out above, treating you well, but just not interested in something long term; or even if he was just really feeling out the likelihood that he could be with you forever, but didn't want you to meet the kids till he was more confident about it, then it seems like it's hard to blame him.

    But really, besides your particular situation, this is a broader question I have that I'd really like to hear what girls think about. Is it wrong to date someone, while being affectionate and faithful to them, EVEN THOUGH you know that 1) you only expect to want that relationship for a relatively short time (say 4 months to a year); and/or, 2)if you would want something more serious/long-term, but just don't think they would be the person for it. I used to take the 'it's-best-not-to-date-them approach' in these situations, but now think it's fair to go ahead and date them as long as you aren't dishonest to them. Plus, sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised and find yourself falling in love with someone you didn't expect you could.

    Of course, if you agree that it's fair to date someone like this, the next tricky thing becomes what constitutes honesty/dishonesty. Is it fair to both show them love and affection, but to avoid the long-term discussion if they simply don't bring it up themselves? I'm really interested to hear what people have to say about this -- girls in particular.

    Sara, perhaps you could even make this question a post of its own at some point? You'd be welcome to just use my words to do so, if you do decide to.

    Thanks!

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  3. This is a really good question O. Give me some time to think it over and we'll tackle it in a post next week.

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  4. also, i need to add that i have some insider insight into the Lucky D story and the guy gave her a lot of mixed messages.

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