Everyone has baggage. Whether your baggage is an ex that always resurfaces, a dark past or anxiety problems, we all have flaws that keep us from being the perfect partner.
I’ve had many people tell me that I shouldn’t be with my fiancé because he has too much baggage because he has a 9 year-old daughter.
To which I countered, “I’ve got trust issues and abandonment issues. I’m super needy and a stage 5 clinger. I’m a cry baby, but I will fight like Rocky. I have raging OCD and I’m a neat freak. I’m impatient, stubborn, and I hate being wrong. So if you want to talk about baggage, I’m the epitome of everything you wouldn’t want in a girlfriend.”
Just because my “baggage” doesn’t take on the form of an actual person from a previous life or relationship doesn’t mean they aren’t as difficult to deal with.
Dating someone with a child is a situation that is becoming more frequent as we get older.
It changes the whole dynamic of the relationship. There are several cold hard truths that I quickly realized being in this situation myself.
Mom’s approval isn’t the only approval you’ll need. Let me tell you something, if the kid doesn’t like you, it probably won’t work. It’s a scary feeling when the fate of your relationship lies in such tiny hands.
The most difficult aspect of the relationship is probably the fact that the ex will never be out of the picture. If you see texts from the dreadful ex on their phone, you can’t get angry or jealous. They basically get an all access pass to your significant other, waving the child in front of your faces like the golden ticket.
You will never come first. In a normal relationship, it’s just the two of you. That’s it. Any decision you make whether substantial or trivial, it’s between the two of you. When there’s a child in the mix, you have to take them into consideration when doing anything.
As the child gets older, they’ll be getting more involved with school and all the sudden your dates went from nice, romantic dinners to school plays and basketball games.
Your significant other will never be yours. You share them 100% of the time both with the child and the other parent. Your boyfriend or girlfriend is no longer “on demand.” You don’t get unlimited access to your own partner, and you aren’t even allowed to be angry about it.
Another weird feeling is the constant reminder that the child isn’t yours. You have to part-time parent someone that doesn’t belong to you. It’s strange because at first you don’t feel like you’re allowed to, like you don’t have the right, but you have to.
All of the sudden you have this little person looking up to you for guidance, advice, consolation, praise, or sometimes just someone to play with. It makes you grow up pretty quick.
The best part about it though, is that you get to be this person between a parent and a friend to them. They respect you, but they also trust you and confide in you, and you will come to love that child like they are one of your own.
Then one day you wake up and realize the parties and fancy dates don’t matter as much because you have your own family and that is what you’ve wanted all along.
So I suggest that if you enjoy being the center of someone else’s world, do not date someone that has a child.