Divorce and Dating

One of the hardest things to do is dating after divorce when you have kids. I know it’s hard and complicated because I’ve been there. You want to have a social life and date, but sometimes if you’re parenting full-time, your schedule doesn’t allow that. I get it.

My mom was a single parent. She and my dad separated when I was 9 and my siblings were 6 and 9 months respectively. It was hard. I swear, I don’t think she dated for the first 5 years. How could she?

She worked 3 jobs to support us and she didn’t have the time to focus on dating when she was busy paying bills and raising us. She went to school to complete her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate all while raising and putting us through college. She was quite busy.  Between her jobs, working on completing her education and raising us she really didn’t have time to date.

I think part of me wonders had she had the opportunity to really grow in a relationship with a man would she be a different person. I suppose she would, but I know that wasn’t in her cards. She sacrificed. She made us her priority. She never had random men around us. We only met 3 men in our entire lives. They never hung out at our house and they came and picked her up and left.

There was no string of men in and out of our lives. I’d like to believe that was absolutely beneficial for us. We never called her male friends “uncle so and so” or got attached to people who were not relationship possibilities.

Knowing how I grew up it seemed pretty standard for me in terms of dating after divorce.  I wasn’t going to introduce Munch to anyone that I was dating. I didn’t want him to see a string of men who could honestly just be friends hanging out with me. If you were special, he would know it.

Munch approached me about meeting Mr. C. His response was pretty cool for an 8 year old…“Mommy, why haven’t I met him? I know all your friends.” He was right. He did know them all, but part of me wanted to keep my relationship with Mr. C and my relationship with my son separate. I wasn’t ready.

I reflected on my childhood and the relationship that I had with Munch and then made the decision that they could meet each other. It was 9 months after dating him that there was an initial introduction and a year later before he was seeing us hanging out. I am careful to craft the boundaries of the relationship with the man that will most likely be helping me raise my son.

Last October when Munch and I were travelling to a wedding in Virginia. He asked me where Mr. C was. Mr. C had come over to spend some time with us prior to us heading out of town. I told him that he was at home. Munch asked “Did you take him home this morning?” “No, he went home last night” I said. I reminded him how I tucked him into bed and then went to sleep in my room.

He said “Oh”.

I’m careful of the narrative I craft for the young man that I love and adore. I never thought I would have to answer these questions, but I understand and respect his curiosity. So I explained that I love Mr. C and he loves me too. I told him that we have agreed that our love is amazingly special and we will not disrespect our children by playing house and not being married. I told him that he will never live in a home with a man that is not my husband.

I asked him “Do you understand?” He responded “Yes”. The funny part is that I don’t know if he understands. However, I know that dating with children is hard and it is a balancing act. Although I would never judge anyone’s choices I choose to make sure that Mr. C is going to lead my son like the man I know he is.

The thing is this…I was never good with setting or keeping boundaries. I am now. I have no choice. It’s not about me anymore. It’s also about Munch.  My boundaries require Mr. C and I to be married before living together. Why? Because I don’t want my son to see me playing house with a man that is not my husband. I want a man to know that if he loves me like he says then he’ll put a ring on it and a roof over our heads and we’ll be a legal family. I’m not rushing a marriage, but I’m not breaking my boundaries either.

Do you believe that you should live together prior to marriage if you have children? Have you ever lived with someone and either of you had children prior to marriage? Did you get married? How long after living together did you get married?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

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31 thoughts on “Divorce and Dating

  1. This is a tough one. I don’t have a problem living with someone beforehand. To be clear, Ive not done that since Ive had kids, but if I did you can be damn sure it’d be a hell of a long relationship before it happened. My kids are 5 and 15 and even though they havent witnessed any cohabitating, they attach. And the loss of that has been heartbreaking enough for me to watch. I cant imagine that on top of feeling an empty space in the house where they weren’t used to one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly. That’s my fear. I don’t want Munch attaching himself to someone who could just walk out and not give a damn. If we live together we have a mortgage, bills and cars and we would have to figure that out. Mr. C has clearance – he ain’t trying to lose his job. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m an advocate of living together before marriage. My wife and I dated for a year then lived together for three before marrying. But, when kids are involved, it changes everything. I was raised by a single mom too, but there were men around. It was not ideal. I think you did, and continue to do, the right thing with your son. Children should be the priority. 😃

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Aww, thank you. Yep, I lived with my ex prior to marriage and we didn’t have kids, but now I don’t believe that you should put children in the middle of something that may not last. Children get attached.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. Nor should they be exposed to yelling and screaming if it’s a bad relationship or break up, or any potentially unsafe situations. That child should be priority one. I think you’re doing a great job, and Munch will know that too some day. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great blog! I definitely see how dating with children really makes things more complicated. I don’t believe in living together before marriage with or with out kids, just not the way i was raised and I have heard so many negative stat’s against it. Definitely sounds like you are doing a great job setting and enforcing your boundaries for the benefit of all involved, especially Munch. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I absolutely adore the relationship you have with your son. I admire the kind of mother – the kind of woman – that you are. I can’t speak to the questions, as I don’t have children. But I certainly respect your decisions and feel that you are raising a strong, respectful, beautiful young man. Thank you for that…we need more good people in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did live with my ex boyfriend with my daughter, the boyfriend is an ex and unfortunately it wasn’t the greatest of my mommy examples. That relationship had many issues I couldn’t see while in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this post Tikeetha because it shows your own personal growth. As far as the question, you know I’m married, with two daughters, but I’ve always said that if anything were to happen where I was single, I’d never bring a man around my children. It’s for every reason you’ve mentioned here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow your mother is amazing and now I know where you get your power. Yes I moved in with a guy when I was 17 and he totally changed on me and I answered no to his proposal to marriage and to make a long story short he tried to kill me several times he is the maine guy unfolding souls is about

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, she was pretty strong. I actually liked that she didn’t have a bunch of men in and out of our lives. I learned a lot from her. Did you move in with your husband prior to marriage? Would you encourage young women to do so?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. when my husband came along I was ready for marriage. I knew who I was. I had enough practice with men to know how to direct our relationship. I prayed to God I asked him to send me a man and I promised that I would not take him to the club I would take him to church. I promised him I wouldn’t move in with him. I do not encourage women to move in with the guy before marriage. Unless he buys a ring and you know that this is your man. People ask me all the time, how do you know when it’s love? you know it. It’s a special feeling that makes you do everything differently. You know by the way he treats you. My husband treated me like God created him to love me. I knew my husband was mine I knew he was God sent.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, I lived with my current boyfriend and son. We moved in together after 4 months. It was hard on my son. I then moved out because we broke up. We got back together. Would I do this over again? No. My son has met another guy I dated before this one. He hasn’t liked either one that much. He wants his dad to be with me but that won’t happen. He’s married to someone else. My boyfriend has always been nice to him. If he wasn’t, it would be over. Since we aren’t living together, I just keep my interactions with them separate for now. It’s pretty hard to deal with. I’m not a perfect mom but for the most part I try and do what’s best for my son. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved in with my boyfriend after 4 months but it already happened and there is no going back. My son stays with me and my grandparents. They live a few minutes away. My boyfriend wants me to move back in. I’m going to really think about it, especially for my son’s sake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Understood. I think that you should just try to tell your son that you love him and you deserve to be happy like his dad is happy. That adults can choose to be happy or sad, but the love that we have as your parents will never ever die. You deserve to be loved and happy and your son will understand that as long as he knows that you’re not going to stop loving him. Let them spend time together. A baseball game? Anything where they can get to know each other one on one. I understand Lisa. Our sons always want to protect us. It’s crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s Nice to see other S.m.’s have standards. I would encourage people to live together if they had been dating for awhile and wanted to take it to the next level. Being from a conservative baptist background I didn’t and then it turned out to be a nightmare behind closed doors. Best of luck. Dating is not what it used to be. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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