Single mom with a good man

by singlemomseeking on March 11, 2010

When single moms who’ve fallen in love again comment here… well, it melts me. Take Tinamarie Bernard — Modern Love Examiner and a remarried single mom — who commented on my “Love is Possible” post that she’s “living proof” of this kind of love.

“Any man who doesn’t see your children as an integral, vibrant addition to his life isn’t worth taking along for the ride,” she adds. You got that right.

Then, Solo Mother wrote in an amazing list of intentions about that post, with No. 4 ringing in my ears:

“Look for true kindness. It’s not about vacations or fancy dinners. It’s about being there.

It’s about trusting someone completely, finding someone who will cherish you, someone who knows your worth and is thrilled to be by your side. Find someone who cares deeply about you. And return that promise. Hold it sacred.

Here’s to true kindness: that’s what Lucky Guy is made of. Really. I’ve been working longer hours these days, and he has been there for me and for my kid: picking her up at school, making dinner, listening to goofy music together on iTunes until I get home.

On top of all that, he sends me an email, telling me how much he loves hanging out and being there. And, yes, my sweet girl seems to adore him, too.

Man_daughter

All that mushiness aside, let’s be real: How do you know when you can really trust someone you’re dating with your child(ren?).

Jennifer at Single Parents About.com wrote a great post that touches on this.

“While there is no easy litmus test to tell you for sure, there are some reassuring signs and qualities that can put your mind at ease,” she writes. “The following indications should help you assess whether the person you are dating can be trusted with your children:”

  • You’ve known him or her for a long period of time. (Jennifer says this means at least one year.)
  • You’ve seen him or her react to stressful situations. (You want to have a sense for how unexpected events change this person’s personality.)
  • You know some of his or her faults. (Sadly, if someone seems “too good to be true,” he or she probably is.)
  • You trust him or her completely with your own safety.
  • You have no nagging concerns regarding this person’s personality.
  • You can talk openly together.
  • Your friends trust him or her.
  • You’ve met his or her extended family.

Your turn: I’d love to know if these feelings ever come up for you when you’re dating:

How do you know when you can trust someone you’re dating with your kid(s)?

Is this something you worry about, too? Does it ever go away?


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

C March 11, 2010 at 6:26 am

This applied to any person in your life, but it bears mentioning:

If a person *tells* you something about themselves, even in “jest,” believe it. People tend to want to “get it out there” and they might disguise it as a joke, but it’s worth remembering.
When I look back at unhealthy relationships I’ve had or my friend have had, they all told us what we should worry about, but we didn’t listen…

Examples:
“I’m not really great with money.” (Guess who filed for bankruptcy a few years later?)

“I have a bad temper. Especially when I drink. But who doesn’t?” (Yeah…. he sure did! And he kept drinking until he lost his job and I still hear horror stories of his bad temper.)

“I’m not friends with exes. They all hate me, but I don’t understand why.” (I understand why, now that he’s my ex.)

“I don’t have a lot of close friends. I guess I have a hard time trusting people.” (Right. Because you project your own dishonesty on all of them.)

“I don’t really ‘get’ monogamy. It just seems illogical.” (Guess what happened with that guy? If you guessed that I married him and had two kids while he cheated with my friend the whole time, you win a sticker!)

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T March 11, 2010 at 7:29 am

Best comment ever.

Love it!
.-= T´s last blog ..Humble Pie can be tasty =-.

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singlemomseeking March 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

Yeah, I agree @T: Thank you SO much, @C, for just putting it all out there.

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Chinita March 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

I am currently dating someone and also a single mom. I have a 3 y.o baby girl and she is such a darling. However, our relationship with my bf is long distance so I have not really seen them two together… I guess I would have to wait till we all three are together and try to wait and see what happens…

Hopefully i am dating the right person. I am 26 and have a lot of time to study everything and decide what is best for me and my child…

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Deanna Leigh March 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

Great post! My heart is aching right now while I think of the one guy I dated that I ‘thought’ was going to be around for the long haul and how it just fell apart. But I did go with my gut and kept honest with myself about what it really was.

I think that’s the hard part; staying honest with me and keeping it real.

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singlemomseeking March 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Oh, @Deanna, I’m sending you a BIG hug… and I’m off to read your blog. Take good care of yourself, ok?

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Pippi March 11, 2010 at 11:54 am

My special man adores my boys and they adore him. I can check off all of the above and am happy to say that he is an exceeds/exceeds. Even though they have a father, he’s the fun Dad they never had.
.-= Pippi´s last blog ..Pip-eBay – All contributions to benefit the Send Single Mom Says to Las Vegas for her 40th Birthday Fund =-.

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Anna March 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I think the “knowing them for a long time” is a biggie. I’ve known my BF for several years, as friends first. One of the things that first attracted him to me was when I had been chasing my son all afternoon, and he (now the BF) took one look at me, told me to sit still and relax, and went of to chase/occupy the kid for a bit. I was smitten!! And the boy loves him as much as I do.

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Mommy to the Monsters March 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I’m still working on the trusting part…I’ll let you know when I get there!…lol

I was going to marry my best friend 2 years ago. Completely trusted him around my children even before we were dating(I knew him 6 years before we started dating)…He was the only person in my life that I TRULY trusted..he walked out on me and my kids and never looked back…..He had proven everything on your list above…..So I very hesitant to put my trust in anyone after him ….SAD BUT TRUE..

I never use how much my kids like or don’t like somebody as the “ultimate measuring stick” for anything… anybody who pays them the slightest bit of attention is their new best friend….and anybody who won’t do what they want is their sworn enemy….especially when it comes to fighting for mama’s attention.I’m sure that will change as they get older(They are only 4 & 5)….but let’s hope that I won’t be single that long….I do consider their feelings, but use my VERY CAUTIOUS JUDGMENT as the final determinant.
.-= Mommy to the Monsters´s last blog ..As Seen On TV =-.

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Kat Wilder March 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

It’s a good list, but it’s missing one glaring omission — the parent needs to ask his/her child if he/she would feel comfortable hanging with the BF without mom/dad.

The child is part of this process, and needs to be heard, too!
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..Every breakup is a lesson learned =-.

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singlemomseeking March 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

@Kat: I hope you saw my Tweet, in which I said “Thank you!!” That’s one glaring omission indeed. And it’s crucial that you ask your child if he/she is comfortable with Mom/Dad.

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Legal Editor Mom March 12, 2010 at 7:04 am

I’m fortunate in that I knew my s.o. long before we reconnected this time around (he was my bf in college who I should have stayed with!), and he is an awesome father to his own kids.

We’re long distance also, so when we began talking on the phone a lot, my daughter just thought of him as mommy’s friend from college. After I went to visit him twice, she began to sense more, but we still maintained it as a friendship, since that’s how it started out, and that’s what it will continue to be…even after we’ve relocated to the same city and are eventually married. I’ve been open and honest with her about my feelings for him, as well as encouraging of her in sharing her feelings with me. She’s only six, but she is aware that he’s someone special to me and she is comfortable with it because she knows that no matter what, she’s #1 in my life.

He was here last month for a week and offered to stay in a hotel near our house. I wasn’t having it, but he slept in the guestroom out of respect for her. And as it turned out, it was great to see how they interacted with each other. (She’s crazy about him, and vice-versa.)

He asks about her constantly and is concerned about her as well as me; he helps me through difficult periods with my ex, and even talks to her briefly about her dad and assures her that while he cares for her, he’s not trying to replace him in her life. We’re taking baby steps since we’re in this for the long haul, but so far, so good!

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MC March 12, 2010 at 9:29 am

Oh, this is a huge question!

I’ve heard the horror stories, and at times it seems there’s no option except to never trust anybody with my kids. Trusting someone in general is something that I’m really struggling with.

Oddly, my inability to trust has just gotten worse–even as my circumstances have gotten more solid since the divorce. I guess I’m worried about upsetting the current balance that me and my kids have? I can’t help it—it all seems so fragile. It’s been almost a year since my kids’ father last threatened us, took me to court, contacted my workplace and tried to get me to lose my job etc—a really long time. But I just keep waiting for it to all start again, I guess.

My BF is really wonderful in every way and we’ve been dating for 8 months and it’s all going very well . But I’m still afraid to let him too much into my life with the kids. I’m afraid of the risk…

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Honey March 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

It had been just over a year when Jake moved to a different city than me…and my 3 kitties went with him, including a sweet diabetic Siamese lady named Hailey. That was a lot of trust, considering he had to give her an insulin shot twice a day on the days I wasn’t able to be there!
.-= Honey´s last blog ..Is This Funny? I Can’t Tell =-.

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from the desk of ...me March 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

my manfriend, oops my fiance, just watched my son last Saturday. first of all, he’s absolutely wonderful and didn’t call me one time. he literally had my 3 year old from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. my little one had a ball and i am so glad they had that time together. it really allowed them to bond and spend some quality time together. i don’t know if you ever feel comfortable with someone else watching your children. however, i can say that mother’s wit and intuition play a big role. sometimes it just feels right.

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MommaSunshine March 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm

This is kind of timely for me. Next week, CBG will be hanging out with my girls, alone, while I am at work for the day (they’re on March Break). It’s kind of a big deal, I think. My girls are very much looking forward to it. I think for him and I, it’s just another milestone in our relationship together. It’s definitely not something that we’ve rushed into, it has come on it’s own time and feels natural and good for everyone involved. :-)
.-= MommaSunshine´s last blog ..Recipe For a Cranky Mood =-.

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Jenni March 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I agree with C and Kat.

My rule of thumb has always been: If they say it as a joke or later add “I didn’t mean it!” at some point, at least consider it a half truth. There is truth to everything that comes out of people’s mouths.

And I’m glad you’ve found yourself such a great guy!
.-= Jenni´s last blog ..Stop! [In the Name of Love] =-.

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ame i. March 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

My husband of almost 3 years reminds me almost daily of what a good choice I made.
I was widowed when my girls were 3 and 5. I met “now” husband a year later, dated for a year before my girls met him. Some, even my father, said he would never commit to me. 45 never-married, no children men aren’t falling over themselves to take in such responsibility, they said.
He is so brave! He’ll clean out the fridge,pick up something gross a cat coughs up or kicks out of a litter box.
Being the only dad to help at school uniform re-sales doesn’t bother him. Staying up late to meet the school bus after a field trip? He’s on it. Science projects, checking our miss 12 year old’s alegbra, check.
Taking the girls plus a couple of friends to a movie, the park, for ice cream…he may be more insane than kind;)
love him!

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Nile March 16, 2010 at 2:17 am

Sean and I have been together over a year and we both have kids from our previous marriages. We both came from tough situations, but it has been a good journey. Out of the both of us, I took the longest to fall in love with him. I had been hurt by every semi-decent guy that ended up rotten. Took a lot of counseling too.

He gets along with my son and I get along well with his. They are nearly the same age…so it works out well that they can play together.

Something to worry about – hmm… probably old insecurities. Being cheated on by the last 2 long relationships had been a big factor, but I have been over that for months…lol.

.-= Nile´s last blog ..The Yo Gabba, Gabbas =-.

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manuel May 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm

just whanted to say that as of 8 months ago I became a single father my self,and have great respect for all single parents,I am 32 proud father of two girl,I dont have book on how to race children,but my daughters,are fine.I will how ever look for one just in case I may need it,I talk to my daughters give them the best advise I can,and they almost make theyr own desision.good luck to all you single mother,and if there is a father in the same position I am in,good luck to you too…

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