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Tips for dating when you have kids?
I haven't actually dated yet, but there might be some chances in the near future. Since this was one long-term marriage, I've never before been a single parent.

I'm trying not to see the fact that I want to date women as a wrench in the plans, but it kind of it. My family is my best bet for watching the kids if I go on a date, as I can't afford a sitter. Asking them to watch the kids so I can go on any date would be awkward, but this is on another level. Not that that's what I'd be telling them. More like "Hey, I want to go out with a friend," but that feels like a lie of omission.

Even if I didn't have a problem with that, you know that people get suspicious if you're going out with the same "friend" all the time.

Then there's what if it gets very serious. The kids have no clue that Mommy has no interest in men--she married Daddy, of course. I'm sure "Breaking it to your young kids" is a whole other thread. Not to mention not telling Daddy.

At this point, my only prospects for dating are every second or third week, when their dad visits. And he's already bitchy about that, even though I have not seen anyone!

But there are a couple people I think I would like to see. It doesn't seem fair to put that part of my life off forever. But with all that's going on in my life, I can't afford to be out, especially as I am around other kids in a very, very conservative community. *I* know I would never do anything stupid around kids, but if it got out that I am gay, yeah, that would end real quick.

Why oh why do I get myself into these situations?! LOL

Anyway, I would very much appreciate any thoughts or advice that may be out there. Just remember, it's not as simple as just telling people and then telling them to deal with it. If I didn't have kids, fine. But I do, and they come first.

the first date say you have children and you need to be back at 12:30 or whatever time, sober. he she should sound enthusiastic about your family. maybe have on eof their own.

around the third date he she would offer to pay for a sitter, want to meet the children, have a small token gift for them so they feel part of the process.

your a big girl but your children are not, dont introduce a date that is not going anywhere.
To be fair, some of the women I've been talking to also have children. Those kids already know about their moms, but they're older than my kids. Also, my daughter, who is 10, is autistic. I can prepare her for things, and she's generally okay. It's my son, who is almost five, who I worry about. He is very, um, precocious. It would be awkward dating a man, let alone a woman. :/

Well, If I had to bluntly honest, I'd say just be as honest as you dare and open as you believe you can be.

I mean, of course your kids come first, as they naturally should, but the more of a big deal you make it out to be, the bigger of a deal it will be.

I never ran around saying, "oh gosh, I'm gay, but I've got 5 younger siblings looking up to me, what do I do?" . I was just myself, and they love me anyway, although my youngest brother is still alittle too young to understand the implications[he's 8 now].

I'm as gay as a 3dollar bill [which I heard exists in some forms of currency lol], and yet, my brothers treat me no different and my Sisters love it, and they aren't even from the same father or mother. [My 3brothers and one of my sisters and I share the same father, while my other Sister and I have the same mother]

Sometimes, the more you make of it, the more it will be.

Let your partner know at some point when you feel comfortable with your compatability with one another, that you have children, because as Pellaz said, you want to make sure she or maybe he[if that's what you want] is going to be able to be around your children, and preferably for the long haul.

If you get a girlfriend and things are going well, and it's time to introduce her to your kids, you must be honest, because if you go around saying "she's just a friend" or something to that effect, not only are you going to confuse your children later on in life, as to why mommy was spending so much time with her friend and why mommy didn't spend time with a male friend, you're also going to be, perhaps unintentionally, insulting your partner, making her seem like a shame or thing to be hidden and not loved and celebrated.

With children, they learn heavily from observation and if they see mommy keeping secrets or telling lies, then this is what they will do and not only that, but you're showing them that mommy having a girlfriend is wrong and that's why mommy is hiding it, which teaches them that liking the same gender is both wrong and something that's supposed to be hidden and regressed.

And I absolutely believe you will do what you believe is best for your kids and I have no jurisdiction in the raising and teaching of your children [unless it's in regards to music or animals :p ], but I believe sometimes you just have to be brave, even with your own children and raise them right and hope they come out healthy and happy.

Strictly heterosexual families, with "perfect" lives and "perfect" children have their own problems and though they're so perfect and happy and blah blah, their children turn out to be rapists, murderers and sociopaths, and though it's not entirely the families fault, as they may have raised them by the book, it's just how things happen sometimes.

I'm sure no parent plans for their child to be a mass murderer, but I'm sure they did they best they could or best they thought they could and only hoped for the best.

So I'm sure that your kids will come to terms with whatever comes their way, so long as their mommy teaches them and makes sure that they know right from wrong and up from down :tongue: .

All you can do really is love them the best you can, and raise them. They will become who they will become, sometimes regardless of how you wanted or expected.

And I'm sure whatever you decide is the best course of action, will be the best according to you and your family Confusedmile:

Kisses boo! Loveya
I luh de vibe enuh! Sheep

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Sounds tricky. I just woke up after a few hours of sleep and I plan to try to catch another hour or so soon so I'll just throw a few things out and may add more later when I'm thinking more clearly:

One, make dating a treat for the kids (for example, letting them see a movie). Of course a boy and a girl 5 years a part can make that difficult (but doable, Harry Potter movies would've worked just a few years ago and maybe it still would). I don't have any experience with autism or even heard of anyone who had who was dating so caveat emptor.

I'd suggest a baby sitter coop but it sounds as if you might not be healthy enough for that (and those involved can sometimes be really nosy & judgmental).

It's easier for kids if the same sex partner is introduced first as a friend and I hear first introducing them at like a pizza place or other place both kids like going to is a good idea because they're usually in a good mood then (and less likely to bother too much with details until they've had some time to get used to the idea). A partner coming along to family movie night and the like can also get kids used to them.

But heads up, while some kids will be on better behavior in front of people they don't know as well, others will instead try to take advantage of it thinking they can get away with more because you'll be more hesitant to crack down on them in front of others. I suppose if the latter happens you can try to see it as a test of character for ALL involved...

Kids will talk, especially 5-year-olds. Of course he may not understand what's going on (and thus can't bluntly state it) and even if he does many people have a tendency to not pay attention to them anyway.

If either of the kids really want you to get back with dad (and unfortunately too many Disney shows will encourage such a fantasy) then be very careful, as many kids don't handle disappointment well.

But even if they handle it well then resist U-Haul Syndrome. This can turn out bad enough even without kids involved and is going to make it even harder for everyone else to accept as well.

Most important, take sure your kids don't feel threatened that you'll love this other person (and that includes paying more attention to) than them.

You might also want to start documenting your husband's behavior with some proof however possible, too, because if he decides to use this against you it will likely get very ugly. It might be a good idea to cultivate future written (and perhaps on the stand) character witnesses (note, you don't HAVE to tell anyone you're gay). Even without the gay issue child custody battles are brutal (especially for the kids). And if he's paying any child support then not only might he want to get out of it, but any woman he dates later can also want him to get out of it (and thus motivate him) and that includes finding ways to get the kids into his custody where he can at least (in theory) spend less (I speak from bitter experience having been caught in such a tug of war in my early teens). And if it gets bad then calling some of the women's shelters and hotlines can sometimes help set you up with legal groups and feminist groups tend to favor lesbians right along with other women in custody battles. My mom got helped by one (can't say I remember them fondly as they screwed me over right along with Dad but they made sure my mother came out on top, though in part that was because my dad played right into their hands with his stupid drunken temper tantrums and rages and violations of the restraining order Mom got against him with that feminist group's help).

And one last warning: be aware that there are a few lesbians who will take revenge and out you to others if you try to break up with her or whatever. I think they're very rare because this will get a lesbian blacklisted in the community really fast but I have heard stories about it, some that turned out really bad.

Good luck. Now I'm going back to bed.
I'm in almost the same predicament myself. Only my kids are a little older. The best advice I could give on the kids is be as honest as you feel you can be, given their ages and mental capacity. I only say that last part because of your daughters autism. Not to be rude. Smile But kids are smarter than we give them credit for. I also agree with the waiting until you know it's more than just a short term relationship before introducing the kids to them. But once the kids see momma is happy again, I think they'll warm up to whoever you're with.

As far as anyone else in your life goes, it doesn't really matter what they think. As I've said before, you only have one life in which to be happy and you have to do whatever it is that makes you happy. Be true to yourself and put your kids first!
You a single woman, divorced? Even if you were straight it would be kind of expected that a "recently" divorced woman would go out on 'dates' with other women, how else is a woman to defend herself from the beasts that are called men?

Quote:More like "Hey, I want to go out with a friend," but that feels like a lie of omission.

How is this a lie of omission? If you are seeing someone then you want to be their friend. IF you are going to have a relationship it helps to be on friendly terms - ergo still a friend.

Quote:Even if I didn't have a problem with that, you know that people get suspicious if you're going out with the same "friend" all the time.

If you were a guy, yes it would ring warning bells and sound off alarms. But being a woman in a 'man's world' women are nearly expected to go around in packs. Women who go out singly tend to be called 'sluts' and everybody knows that if a woman is a slut its a very bad thing.

It is obvious to anyone that after a 'recent' divorce and with the problems you are having with the ex that you will naturally be gun-shy and want to have nothing to do with the 'dating men' scene.

But you are still a young person who needs to do more than be at home or working all the time thus need a 'safe' way to blow off steam. What is more logical than a woman going out with her gal-friends for a little safe fun?

Sure the first three dates you will want to do alone (leave the kids at the folks) but you will want to include the kids later on. You are a parent (first and foremost) and your life choices are going to reflect that, thus any potential partner is going to have to accept not just you but the little people who follow you around.

Don't under estimate the smarts of kids. Children are not blinded to the realities of situations, they have yet to put on blinders and come up with ways to explain away what they see.

They will know that mommy and her friend are a bit more than mere friends. And they are not going to try to explain it away, they will see it and accept it at face value.

Its not until kids get older that they start wearing the blinders and having programed opinions.
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I agree, at least a couple of dates without the kids, maybe only one if they have kids too. But after that, plan late nigh weekday dates if you want one on one time and, weekend stuff that includes the kids.

If it gets serious, you'll be glad you gave your kids the chance to get to know your partner at their own pace, and time to see them as a friendly adult and, not just someone mommy threw at them and they have to like.

None of this "Here you are dears, an new aunt, you'll love her." The day said new aunt whom kids have never met moves in. Be you, be honest and really having kids isn't near the turn off it used to be when it comes to dating. Most are okay with kids and, if they aren't, you don't want them anyway.
I can't imagine anyone moving in anytime soon, at least. I am very, very, very protective of the kids. And of me.

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