Single dad dating tip #2: what about baby momma?

© by rakastajatar

This is the second in a series of posts where I’m giving up the goods about dating single fathers. Think of it as being given the other team’s secret playbook right before the big game.

As a quick recap, the first tip was to ask yourself:

“Do I even want to get involved with a single dad?”

 If the answer to that was an emphatic ‘no’ then you can stop now and go back to DWTS. Otherwise, keep reading.

Stringent scientific inquiry has dispelled that old myth about the baby and the stork, which means dating a daddy will probably mean crossing paths with a mommy. And since mommy and daddy aren’t together anymore take it on good counsel that things between them likely aren’t rainbows and butterflies. And if they’re divorced it gets even more interesting.

It’s a wise choice to assume a certain amount of drama anytime we jump into a relationship with a single parent. Co-parenting is as simple as Quantum Physics and when two people who would rather fatally stab each other must try to cooperate things can get heated and often out of control.

I’ve seen more than one ex-wife get blamed for ending the new relationship of her former husband. The Queen had her car keyed from a former boyfriend’s ex; I’ve witnessed the use of the kids as a way to control post marriage relationships, and I’ve seen women go to extremes with false accusations against their ex-husbands ranging from laziness and irresponsibility to charges of child abuse.

You might be saying to yourself “Why should I care? Their relationship is his problem not mine?” Don’t be misled into believing it’s only his issue. The first thing you must understand is when you start dating a single dad, by default, you’re also dating his ex-wife. What I mean by that is you’re going to have a front row seat to all the arguments, squabbles, and blow-ups that inevitably come with co-parenting. And you may suffer a fair amount of your own shrapnel from her mood swings, random bitchiness, and occasional insecurities that often become magnified now that you’re on the scene.

All of this requires a little digging and maybe some touch decisions. No matter how nice or cute he may be if dating him means you’ll be filing future restraining orders you seriously need to think it though. But how can you know if you’re about to walk into the Twilight Zone? I believe there to be three areas that can tell you a lot.

What does he say about the ex? – Does he ever say anything complimentary about her when asked? (He WAS married to her so there must be something?) Or is everything that comes from his mouth negative, vindictive, and harsh? If he ranks her up there with the Black Plague then either he’s an idiot for marrying a psych patient or he isn’t completely over the break up. If he is constantly throwing her under the bus he may be using it as a cover up for unresolved hurt. The opinion of my ex has softened greatly the longer I’ve been divorced.

Why did they get divorced? – Almost everyone I’ve ever met blamed his or her breakup on the other person. I can’t recall anybody who made even the slightest acknowledgement they had a part to play in the split. If he claims to have been the only victim and she was the bad guy he’s immature because it takes two to tango, he’s possibly wracked by guilt as a way to cover up his own mistakes, and he’s certainly living in denial.

How do they get along now? –  How does he talk to her when they are together or on the phone? He is cordial and respectful or does he talk down to her like a dog? Do their conversations quickly escalate and get heated over the slightest disagreement or does he remain in control when quarrels arise? Is he always complaining about every indiscretion while brushing over his own or does he let things slide?

And here’s something else. Isn’t the way he treats his ex wife an indication of how he might treat you? How can a man be a complete jerk to his ex and turn right around a be the sweetest man in the world to you? Maybe it’s just me but that just doesn’t seem to fit? Because in due time the real boyfriend will stand up.

Receive Essays By Email

* indicates required

8 responses to Single dad dating tip #2: what about baby momma?

  1. Anonymous

    I agree that relations with the ex are telling. But, as with everything, there are exceptions. I think it’s best to look at every situation case by case. I’ve experienced the red flag scenario where the guy speaks terribly of his ex and had bitterness overflowing, no responsibility for his part. And then there’s been  the opposite where the man was a door mat for the ex’s toxic behavior. Both cases not good. Middle ground, seeing the ex and the situation for what it is. When the real boyfriend stands up I want  to see emotional health. Being a jerk and/or being a doormat are not healthy ways to be. Both TH and I are completely removed from our ex situations. Both because of thoughtless narcissistic behavior, and in my case abuse. We have no choice but to move forward and be healthy and that requires no contact and sometimes moments of heated release of a bad memory or situation where we hold each other up. Had I generalized the situation and decided his stance with his ex was a red flag and run, we both would be losing out on the support we give each other.

  2. Lady Bren

    On the other side of this I have an idea of how to behave once the deed is done. 

  3. […] I’ve experienced the red flag scenario where the guy speaks terribly of his ex and had bitterness overflowing, no responsibility for his part. And then there’s been the opposite where the man was a door mat for the ex’s toxic behavior. Both cases not good. Middle ground, seeing the ex and the situation for what it is. When the real boyfriend stands up I want to see emotional health. Being a jerk and/or being a doormat are not healthy ways to be. Both TH and I are completely removed from our ex situations. Both because of thoughtless narcissistic behavior, and in my case abuse. We have no choice but to move forward and be healthy and that requires no contact and sometimes moments of heated release of a bad memory or situation where we hold each other up. Had I generalized the situation and decided his stance with his ex was a red flag and run, we both would be losing out on the support we give each other. Read more on Single Dad […]

  4. There will certainly be times where issues arise. As long as we don’t take it into our current relationship. 

  5. Claire

    I have a situation not covered here at all. My boyfriend has 2 kids under 10 from his marriage; his ex is not on the scene at all (except for phone calls – and I’m never around when she calls). I can’t really get to the bottom of why the marriage ended, except that he says they had a lousy sex life and that she emasculated him verbally. I do know that he left with the boys and drove 16 hours to move in w/his parents (he’s now moving to his own place and is financially independent) and *she* hasn’t seen the kids in 2 years. He has nothing good to say about her, except that she’s smart and has good business sense. But that was kind of a backhanded compliment because in the same breath he said she was money-oriented to an extreme degree. I enjoy his company and care about him and can sometimes see us staying together, but I don’t like the fact that I don’t really know why his marriage ended, I don’t know why she refuses to come and see the kids, yet she obviously misses them and cries on the phone, etc. Also, out of sheer selfishness, it would be great to have another parent on the scene as I’m v. busy and have 3 daughters, and he’s v. busy and a weekend away or just a day to ourselves would be lovely! Nothing I can do about that, I know. Also, I get the feeling he wants me to be ‘mom’ to them, but I’m maxed out with work, classes I take, and getting my girls raised (their dad is 1200 miles away so that’s another story!) so I really can’t commit to being anything other than his lady – for right now. Bleh. Guess I needed to vent a bit. 🙂

  6. Papa – Author

    Claire,

    I know this is 30 days late but I want to respond to you.

    You have every right to get the full story on his divorce. And if he isn’t willing to be truthful with you abut something so basic then he isn;t telling you the thru about a lot of things.

    You should be given an answer that you believe is the truth. Otherwise you need to stop it before it goes any further.

    Thanks for talking to me and I apologize for the delay.

Comments are closed.