All The Single Ladies: Dating a Man With Children?

dating-relationship-man-with-kidsBeing on the dating scene, I’ve been reconsidering what characteristics I desire in a partner and which are absolute deal breakers. A situation I’ve come across more and more lately are men with a child or children. Divorcees, single fathers, or men who parent part-time, they identify themselves in various ways. Dating these men comes with the implicit agreement that you will be meeting and eventually spending your time with a person under the age of eighteen.

Until now I never considered a man having children to be problematic. After all, there all sorts of families, many of them featuring stepchildren. I’m now realizing that the situation is far more complex than it may at first appear. Men with children, rightfully, can prioritize their children. As a woman in the beginning stages of a relationship, it can be off-putting to know that you are in second place by default. Then there is the issue of having the relationship become long-term and essentially becoming a stepmother and assuming all the responsibilities of mommy long before having any children of your own. And of course there are the issues that can arise with the child’s mother. She is free to interrupt your plans with emergencies, call at odd hours, and otherwise impose.

Dating a man with children has its upsides. Such a man is likely more stable, responsible, and past the stage of having his world center around his selfish needs. A woman can be assured that such a man will make a good father because he already is one. In many cases he is more than capable of sustaining a long-term committed relationship because he likely has already been in one.

Is the extra work of dating a man with kids worth it, however? Single women without children, I’m interested in your thoughts in particular. Other women and men are also welcome.

Advertisements

Hypocrisy, Sexism, Racism…Kanye, Did I Miss Anything?

kanye-west-amber-rose-relationship

Amber Rose, Kanye West

If you keep up with celebrity news, to any extent, by now you’ve heard of the back and forth interview-Twitter wars between socialite Amber Rose, her former boyfriend and my former favorite rapper Kanye West, and the Kardashian family. Tensions have always run high between Amber Rose and the Kardashians as Amber’s relationship with Kanye West ended in part due to Kanye’s involvement with the eldest sibling, Kim Kardashian.

Most recently the situation came to a boiling point when, in a mid-February interview with NY radio station Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, Amber Rose made some comments about a few family members when probed by interviewers. Khloe Kardashian took to Twitter in response, asking Amber Rose to stop talking about her family in interviews, but not before mentioning Amber Rose’s past as a stripper, adding, “don’t worry about my sister who has a career.”

However, the most interesting and headlining portion of this tit-for-tat was Kanye West’s response. He appeared on the same radio show several days later, with a few choice words about Amber.

Hypocrisy

Kanye calls out Amber Rose on her alleged promiscuity, saying that because of his relationship with Amber he had to take “30 showers” before being with Kim.

The first thing that comes to mind when one hears such a statement is simply “?”

Hypocrisy is when you attempt to slut-shame a woman for her sexual activities when your wife’s wouldn’t be known to you or the world if she had not taped her sexual activities with a random famous man and been in relationships with countless others. Since, apparently, his wife is free to have been with a million men in her past, he can not make it a crime for another woman to have the same history.

Sexism

Kanye says, “It’s hard for a woman to want to be with someone that’s with Amber Rose”.

Sexism is pinning a woman’s value on how many sexual partners she has had. Has anyone asked Kanye West how many women (and/or men) he has been with? Does anyone care?

Probably not.

His sexual past is irrelevant, as is hers.

Racism

We can not forget the difference in response when black (or black-identified) women display their sexuality versus non-black women.

Kanye, a serious as can be, considers Amber simply dirty for her sexual past. Why is her past such an issue, yet he pursued a woman with a similar background, making her his wife and the mother of his child? What is the difference?

Oh right, their racial backgrounds. Because when black women are open about their sexuality, they are relegated to the pile of unworthiness, to have fun with but not take too seriously. When white women display their sexuality they are made into idols by some, worthy of imitation.

Anything Else?

Kanye sees no issues with making a spectacle of a woman he once loved. This is one of my pet peeves: ex-bashing. Why throw your former partner under the bus because the relationship ended or because you believe you’ve found someone “better”? Those who bash their exes show the world how untrustworthy they are: lover and friend one minute, crucifier the next. We can only hope that the statements he makes about Kim if their relationship ends will be much less demeaning.

Yes, this post is a little (purposely) late. And yes, who cares about what a few over-inflated celebrities spew about each other on Twitter and radio? Well, I do, when it is the perfect chance to illustrate the way sexism and racism are perpetuated in American society, while everyone has a good laugh.

To say I’m disgusted by this display would be an understatement.

See also:

Open Question: Does Persistence Pay Off?

courting-datingEveryone has their view on whether being persistent in dating works and whether one should even bother trying to get the attention and affections of a person who hasn’t reciprocated their interest. Many also have the opinion that being overly persistent can be an invasion of another person’s personal space and peace of mind. But does being persistent actually work or is it simply the last measure in a desperate situation?

My view on persistence is that it is highly dependent on the particular situation — sometimes it works wonderfully, other times it fails miserably. If the one being pursued had some initial interest or was unsure if they shared the interest that someone showed in them, persistence may pay off. By being persistent the pursuer shows that they are deeply interested and would take extra steps to make sure that something comes of it. On the other hand, if the one being pursued showed no initial interest and continued to show no interest, continuing to being persistent will only serve to annoy them and almost certainly fail.

What do you think — does persistence in courting and dating work? Has persistence worked for you or with you in previous relationships or your current relationship?

On Catfishing

manti-teo-catfish

Catfished.

What is a catfish and why are so many concerned about catfishing?

A catfish, as described by Urban Dictionary is someone who pretends to be someone they are not online to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” The term, and an MTV reality show centered around the phenomenon, are derived from a 2010 film of the same name.

However, while the term has existed for some time, it recently came into popularity when the case of college football player Manti Te’o‘s relationship hit the press. Manti Te’o apparently led a one-year long online relationship with a woman who claimed to be Lennay Kekua. After his girlfriend died of cancer, it was later discovered that she didn’t exist at all — she was merely an online persona created by a man who knew of Manti Te’o. The man in question later confessed to being in love with the football star.

Since then, there has been an explosion of interest: countless media outlets, social networks, and offline discussions have centered around catfishing and the illusions created by online relationships. Many have become more cautious about building online connections, worried that they too may be duped by someone hoping to forge a relationship or simply looking for a laugh. Relationships experts and writers have dedicated segments and articles to catfishing, how one can avoid being catfished on the Internet, and how to spot a catfish.

silhouette-computerAs always, catfishing highlights the need to be aware and vet all possible associates. If you’re seeking or have found a potential partner online, it is wise to take steps to make sure that you know who you’re dealing with and connect offline in a way that you can be sure that the way a person presents themselves is who they are in reality.

On the other hand, catfishing shows that many are still weary of online relationships. While many have been fooled and swindled offline, catfishing has been used as an example of why online relationships just don’t work. Yet catfishing is not exclusive to relations created in the online realm — anyone can be fooled by another person and stories of such existed much before the World Wide Web was created.

My thoughts on catfishing? Since I’ve previously written about the positives of online dating, it’s probably important to mentioned that is also good to keep your [virtual] feet on the ground. Things aren’t always what they seem. But don’t get too caught up in the hysteria and enjoy your online connections for what they are: another way to forge the bonds and mental stimulation most of us desire as human beings.

What is your perspective — any other thoughts on catfishing?

See also:

Seven Reasons to Try Online Dating

online-dating-womanDating online was once the uncommon route, only sought out by the very open-minded, busy, or love-seeking. These days, however, finding love online is becoming the norm — recent research has it as the second most common way for couples to meet. Some are estimating online dating to match or surpass all other forms of meeting in the future.

However, making the decision to date online is a very personal choice, and some are still not sure what online dating has to offer them. Online dating does come with its unique drawbacks, but it also has positives that don’t apply to traditional, offline dating. Considering your real-world options while keeping an active online dating profile could prove to be the most profitable way to find the perfect match:

1. Online dating widens your pool of prospective partners

You’re no longer limited to people you know, those your friends or family are acquainted with, or happen to see passing by. Distance is only an issue if you make it one.

2. Dating websites allow you to get a sense of who a person is, before talking to them

Unlike dating in the concrete world, when you use a dating website, you can read a person’s profile and get a good idea of what sort of person they are. You can note shared interests, goals in life, career, and personality. This greatly enhances your selection.

3. Dating online fits into a busy schedule

If your life is hectic and you’re so busy that you don’t have much time to go out and meet people, online dating fixes that problem. Potential dates are provided to you with the click of a mouse.

4. Online dating emphasizes compatibility beyond the physical

While physical appearance is still important in online dating, most online dating websites present possible matches based on common interests, personality, and perspectives on life. Outside of dating websites, many meet through sites that cater to a certain subset of the population, such as those who enjoy writing or sports, or have a certain political or religious slant.

5. Being shy or socially awkward isn’t an issue

Online dating is especially helpful to those who are shy, introverted, or believe they lack social skills. On the internet, you can “e-approach” someone, talk to them when you feel ready, and rejection is never face-to-face.

6.  Dating comes at your own pace

You choose when and how you will date online. If you’d rather talk to someone online before meeting, you simply let the other person know. If you’d rather meet offline immediately, that is also an option.

7. Most are looking for a relationship

One dating issue is handled immediately with online dating, that of whether or not a person is looking for or serious about a relationship. The majority of people (although not all) who join online dating sites are serious about finding a partner.

See also:

7 Ways to Get Over a Break-Up

get-over-break-up

For many people relationships are one of their greatest motivators in life. If you’re one of these people, life can seem pointless when a relationship ends. It may take a while to pick yourself up. Here are seven ways to speed up the process, get over your ex, and move on.

7. Get a new and time-consuming hobby

You do need to fill up that time you used to spend with your ex with something else. The possibilities are endless.

6. Recall the negatives

Sounds sinister but it you’re still dwelling on your past relationship you’re probably remembering all the good things about it and your ex. Remembering the not-so-good times might help to balance things out.

5. Do what you’ve always wanted to

There is usually something that we’ve wanted to do but have put off until the right time. Well, now that you’re a free agent you’re given the green light to do it, now. Get fit, turn your hobby into a job, start a blog.

4. Catch up with old friends

When we’re in a relationship we devote a lot of our time to our partner and the relationship, so friends can feel neglected. Use this time to become the best of friends with your long-time pals.

3. Assess

Try to understand what caused your break-up and what role you might have played in it. Also consider what factors made you unhappy or happy in the relationship and use these as guidelines for any future relationships

2. Throw a break-up party

Some celebrate the beginning of a new relationship but you should celebrate the fact that you’ve broken up — it was probably for a reason. You’re moving on to better things. Invite all your friends!

1. Get a new relationship

The easiest way to get over a past relationship is to get a new one. Tested and proven effective.

Anxious Attachment and the “Plenty of Fish” Principle

plenty-of-fish
If you’ve discovered your relationship attachment style is anxious
, you already know how tough dating and relationships can be for you. You expect a lot, give even more, and are easily thrown off by a slight disagreement or change in your partner’s behavior. Unless you’re in a steady relationship you probably find this whole dating thing very difficult indeed.

Part of why people with the anxious attachment style find dating to be difficult is their tunnel vision perspective on potential partners. If you’re the anxious type, once you’ve found someone you think would make a good partner, you become fixated on them and convinced that they’re the only one for you. You don’t so much “date” as you “mate”. But by doing this you put yourself in a critical position when and if the situation doesn’t work out as you hoped.

The book Attached discusses what is called the Plenty of Fish Mentality as a specifically useful way of thinking for those with the anxious attachment style. This principle is not new, but simply the idea that there are plenty of worthy potential partners out there, and you don’t need to focus on just one. Many people already apply the Plenty of Fish Mentality principle in dating, but the thought that you don’t need to be hung up on one person is probably a new one to you if you have an anxious attachment style. In order to apply this method, you have to think and do things quite differently from what you normally would. Here are some tactics I’ve found useful:

1. Understand your needs and eliminate potential partners who don’t meet them

While you shouldn’t create a laundry list of standards for your dates to meet up to, you should make sure you understand what you require in a relationship. If someone does not have these traits, eliminate them as a potential immediately. Remember, there are plenty of other fish who will meet your basic requirements.

2. Date more than one person at a time

This may seem like it has the potential to backfire on you, but if you date more than one person, you’ll lessen the likelihood that you get too attached to just one. It also makes it easier to let go of dates who don’t meet your needs or wants.

3. Approach dating with a practical approach, vetting each potential partner

Instead of seeing what a partner could be like, judge each potential on what they currently are or are not. There’s no need to grade on a curve or ignore possible red flags when there are more people to choose from.

4. Increase the time period of the getting to know each other stage

The longer you wait to get to know the other person, the better you’ll know if they’re the right fit for you.

5. Don’t be too strict with your criteria for a good partner

The longer your list of requirements, the less people who will be able to meet them. Keep your list to basic but important traits your partner must have.
6. Don’t close yourself off to others who may be interested

Even if you think you’ve found a good potential partner, don’t dismiss others who may come along after. Unless you’ve made a solid commitment to one person, be open to new people.

Those are just some general guidelines of the Plenty of Fish mentality, can you think of any others? If you have an anxious attachment style what have you discovered works (or not) for you?

See also:

 

Emotional Cheating vs. Physical Cheating

blind-in-loveMost people would probably agree that cheating in a relationship isn’t generally the best thing to do, even if some of these same people have cheated in the past. But by cheating most are referring to physical infidelity — an intimate touch, a kiss, or more. What is less discussed and less clear to many is emotional cheating — the building of emotional and psychological intimacy with someone other than one’s partner, even while remaining physically faithful. Is emotional cheating actually cheating? Some say no, others say maybe, and I say yes.

Not only is emotional cheating as much of cheating as physical indiscretions are, I suspect that emotional cheating is the much more common form of cheating. This is supported by surveys that show that over half of men and women have formed an emotionally close yet physically platonic relationship with someone other than mate. Emotional affairs seem to be the way out for those who are no longer satisfied with their formal relationship but will not or can not be physically intimate with another. By creating closeness with someone else the cheater renews the spark of romance and feelings they once had, without the disruption of ending their current relationship or worrying about being caught cheating.

It may be much harder to definitively pin down what makes up emotional cheating, but many are aware of its existence. However, as with physical cheating, partners find ways to excuse emotional infidelity. Many turn a blind eye to emotional cheating with the thought that, “Well, s/he’s still going home with me.” Songs have been written describing this situation, the singer unabashedly proclaiming to the other woman or man that their partner will be with them in the end. All is well, as long as their partner remains with them, physically.

But it is my view that emotional cheating is as bad or even worse than physical cheating. Neither are preferable, but emotional cheating violates a relationship at the deepest level. By having an emotional affair, a cheater takes away from the intimacy of their relationship and is less emotionally available, if at all.

What their partner is left with is the shell of a relationship, little of substance remains. One may say the relationship no longer exists once the cheater checks out emotionally. Relationships may be dealt with in the physical realm, but they are created in the emotional realm.

What are your thoughts? Is emotional cheating still cheating and how does it compare to physical cheating?

See also:

Life and Times of the Love Junkie

love-wanted

Are you addicted to love?

The love junkie is quite simply, hooked on love and romance. Whereas some people fall in love with individuals and the experience of being with them, love junkies are primarily in love with love. The love junkie’s life revolves around love, romance, and relationships and even when not in a relationship, relationships and love remain their priority and primary mental focus.

The truth is, the love junkie does not feel truly complete without love and romance, although they may not recognize this fact. Many believe that a full life can’t be lived without a partner. So the love junkie will often be found in a relationship, and will not end one unless they have no other option, or another potential partner is available. Which is a  significant point to note about the love junkie — what’s most important is that they have a partner, not so much anything specific about that person.

Love junkies differ from other romance addicts in one major way: they actually care about their partners. Although their mate can be seen in a way as a means to the end of obtaining love, the love junkie does love them and is usually  in love with them. But they could have just as easily been in love with someone else.

None of this is to say that love junkies are insincere or “bad” people. Not at all. Everyone has their motivation in life — what drives them and makes living worthwhile. The love junkie’s motivation just happens to be love and relationships. They can’t be faulted for that, although it’s important to be able to recognize a love junkie. Some of their more clear traits and behaviors include:

  • A tendency to gain strong feelings for anyone new they are involved with or the potential to be involved with. Oftentimes they will feel that they are in love, after a relatively short amount of time.
  • Idealizing their partner and ignoring the faults of partners (or potential partners).
  • Daydreaming about their partner when not together and considering time with their partner to be far and away the highlight of their day, if not their life.
  • A strong dislike for being without a relationship and a clear renewal of happiness when in a new relationship.
  • A love of romantic stories, movies, and songs which highlight the passionate feelings of love.
  • Tendency towards jealousy, though they try to hide it.
  • May enter into a relationship simply to be in one, even if the relationship does not satisfy their needs.
  • Willingness to suffer strongly or ignore their needs to keep a relationship.
  • Thinking and claiming that every partner they become involved with is “the one” or “perfect” for them.
  • When their love life isn’t going well, their life isn’t going well — their satisfaction with being depends on the state of their relationships

Love junkies will have many of these traits in varying degrees, though they may not have all. Having one or two of these tendencies doesn’t make you a love junkie but if you find yourself agreeing with many of the points, you might just be a love junkie. In fact, if you’re reading this, you probably are one or know one.

How many points do you check off? Are you a love junkie?

Your Partner is a Jerk and Why You Should Care

rude-partnerYour partner is a jerk. They yell at service people, are quick to engage in an argument or fight, and make sure to put anyone who crosses them back “in their place.” When they come around, people who are familiar with them are wary. To put it bluntly: your partner is a rude, unbearable torture.

So what do you do? If you’re like most people I’ve known: nothing. You ignore it. After all, your partner is sweet as pie to you, and is only rude sometimes. You just know deep down that they are truly a kind, humane, and civil individual. But you laugh at their jokes at the expense of others. You may even find their surly manner to be admirable and attractive and are proud of how easy they “assert” themselves.

There seems to be an epidemic of rude, outright gruff partners. Particularly these partners with people who are quite unlike them — the most polite and kind people you could ever meet. Opposites attract, right? Well, in addition to this epidemic there seems to be more break-ups of this type, and more people complaining about their unbearable ex-partners.

When I hear about a friend or acquaintance remarking how horrible their ex is now being to them or was to them during their break-up, I’m usually not surprised. What did they expect? Their partner has always been on the rude side — this is not a new development. The only thing new about the situation is that their partner’s rudeness is now directed towards them, instead of only to others. Which brings me to one reason why you should care if your current partner makes Spencer Pratt look like Mother Theresa:

1. You Are Not Immune

For reasons unknown, persons who find themselves in relationships with rude people believe they will never or rarely have to deal with their partner’s “other” side. They believe that is reserved for everyone else, those the person doesn’t love as much. This delusion remains up until the break-up, when they realize just how wrong they were.

I’ve yet to see a rude person spare former partners from their jerkiness. Try as they might, questionable comments slip out here and there. Or they might not try, especially if the break-up was a difficult one. And in either situation, their former partner, the one who would look the other way as they cursed out their favorite enemy, end ups having to clean up the mess.

spencer-pratt-heidi-montag

Spencer Pratt and gloriously oblivious victim, wife Heidi Montag

2. If You Lay Down With Dogs…

When in a close relationship with another person, you may begin to take on their traits. Subtly though this may be, one day after years together you may find yourself their opposite sex twin. Same clothes, same hair. And same insufferable attitude.

However, even if your transformation is not as obvious, your association with this person will begin to affect you socially and personally. Friends and even family members may decide to avoid dealing with either of you. By linking up with someone who people find immediately, or eventually, to be unbearable, you become unbearable. Just ask the people whose relationships with close friends and family has been ruined by their tolerating of a rude partner’s attitude.

3. Relationships Are About Growth

Ideally a relationship should bring out the best in both partners. Both should learn from each other, and become better people for being in it. But this takes active participation — it doesn’t happen by accident. You are short-changing your partner –and yourself– by disregarding their disrespectful manner and way of handling issues. Neither of you grows, neither of you learns from your mistakes and becomes a person that others enjoy dealing with.

Have you ever had a rude partner or known someone with a rude partner? How did you deal with the situation (if you dealt with it)?