Dating with Kids

I seem to be struggling with the dating-with-kids thing. I am lucky that my almost 14 year old is willing to babysit my 9 year old while I am out for dinner. But last night she got freaked out and started texting me, and I had to come home.

Yesterday, I was driving with my kids in the car and I saw him on the street. I yelled and he saw me, waving like a lunatic, so I pulled the car over before even really thinking about it. And then, there I was awkwardly having to introduce him to my kids, something I vowed I wouldn’t do until it was clear that I wasn’t competing with others, and there was something more serious between us, which might never come.

So is it possible to be dating where all it amounts to is dinner once a week? The whole thing seems doomed.

What do you do, when you want to date, invest time to see where something might lead, but don’t have the luxury of an ex to pass your kids off on occasionally?

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  1. anniegirl1138 April 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    The luxury of an ex. For some that doesn’t exist even if there is another living parent, but for us it is (was) a given and when extended family is far away, we are often very stuck in all situations – not just dating – when we need to leave kids with someone.

    Lots of people “date” with kids in tow. My daughter was included in the dating process with Rob as soon as we began to talk “future” and “marriage” but for us that was early on.

    It’s about your comfort level and your “sureness” of the person and situation and what level of risk you think your kids can tolerate. People come and go in our lives, right? Few outside our families stay around and adjusting to this is something we learn to do from childhood on.

    So the kids got a glimpse of this guy and “hello’s” were exchanged. It’s a small thing and perhaps having a face to put on him will be reassuring to them?

    I think though that your actions speak of a growing attachment, or hope of one, and that is a bigger issue perhaps.

  2. Ms. Single Mama April 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I felt this way too.

    Exactly this way. And it is possible. I promise. But it seems like it’s doomed, I know. I think though that stigma that “OMG, if our kids meet the guy they’ll be screwed up forever,” I think that stigma is a bit of a joke.

    Granted you’re not going to be crazy wild making out with the guy in front of them… or even holding hands if they’re your age. But still. It’s okay.

    It’s okay for them to know that their mother survived the lose of their father.

    Believe me. My mother has yet to prove that to me and I wish every day she would. The thought you’ve put into this is already much more than many would… really, just follow your gut. Your kids will survive all of this because they have you and your love.


    My therapist can verify everything I said above.

    ; )

  3. Abigail April 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm


    I’m not sure if its growing attachment, or feeling like I don’t have the space to fully investigate the potential of something, as my ability to date is limited by a 9 year old who doesn’t let me out of his sight and a 13 year old’s very busy social calendar.

    Instinct is telling me that bringing kids into this one isn’t going to fly, which is a bit of a deal breaker, but I’m just trying to enjoy the moment (at least for a while). There haven’t been a ton of moments lately, so what the heck.

    Ms. Single Mama:
    I’m actually not that worried about introducing the kids, though I have had one experience when they were younger where they were very attached to the person and when we broke up, they were crushed. That was tough. So perhaps I am a little gun shy at this point.

    Thanks for making me feel better for at least getting out there. I guess I forget how much of a feat that is in a single mom’s life.

  4. Anonymous April 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I can relate to the delimas of dating with kids. I am a single mom that has her kids full time. Last weekend I went out to dinner with a man I had been seeing and we took the kids. My son half way through dinner said, “If you marry my mom…..”. I didn’t really hear the end because I was on the verge of blacking out. My kids dad is not in their life so with me dating, my kids are more excited than me because they really want a dad. Needless to say I’ll be sraping up money to get a babysitter before any future dates. Check out my book, Survival of a Single Mom at for other struggles of being a single mom. Catherine Green

  5. Supa Dupa Fresh May 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Ummm… not to be flip, but… babysitters??



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