Snapshot: Getting married to a man without kids

by singlemomseeking on February 11, 2011

For years, I vowed that I would only date single dads. I thought, “If he’s a father, he’ll just get it, right?” Clearly, that wasn’t a very realistic assumption — and in the end, I found myself dating a guy without kids.

So, when I recently connected (via Twitter) to a single mom blogger who’s getting married to a man — without kids — I knew that I wanted to know more. If you haven’t yet landed on Sarah’s well-written, informative My San Francisco Budget Wedding, please do!

Wait until you hear about how Sarah and her guy found each other:

“Tony and I met in Tucson, Arizona, when I was 14 and he was 17, way back in 1987. It was love at first sight. We dated for one and a half years, but parted ways at the end of Tony’s first year of college,” Sarah says, explaining that the age gap between a 20-year-old man and a not-quite 16-year-old girl is quite a bit larger than it is today.

Sarah and Tony went off to college — after which they both got married to other people. In the meantime, they moved around quite a bit and lost touch. Sarah had two kids — and then she and her ex decided to split. In the meantime, she and Tony “bumped” into each other on Facebook, when they realized that they lived just an hour from each other.

“We exchanged emails for a few weeks until we decided to meet during lunch one day,” Sarah says. “As soon as I saw him again, we hugged, and I held onto his hand as if he was going to blow away. Our timing was not perfect because I had very recently separated from my now ex-husband, which meant that I was still quite raw from my separation.”

“The thing with a lost-and-found love that a lot of people don’t understand, though, is that we didn’t need months or years of dating to get to know one another. So, we never really “dated” in the traditional sense. I met him for lunch one day, we held hands, and that was it.”

Sarah waited a few months to introduce her kids — who will soon be four and seven — to Tony. “Tony does not have any children of his own, and had never been around children much. As a result, we had some conflicts over parenting. Part of this was that he did not have a good understanding of their developmental stages and expected them to behave in ways that they were not yet capable of behaving.”

One of the first things they did was take a parenting class together. “When we find ourselves disagreeing about kid-related issues, we go back to the class materials as a refresher…. The kids love Tony, especially when we are together, but they had some tension because their dad was angry about the situation.”

Finding special activities just for Tony and the kids has helped their transition. “Tony is teaching my daughter how to paint. And he and my son play together beautifully — with matchbox cars or action figures.  There are still moments, especially if I am around, when they only want me and fight with one another about who gets to sit next to me or hold my hand.”

Stay tuned to hear about Sarah’s upcoming family-friendly wedding — and keep in touch with SF Budget Wedding via Twitter.

So, have you ever dated a man without kids?

Or, maybe you’re a single mom — or dad — who got married to someone without kids?

Has being with a kid-less partner brought up any challenges? Say, with your kids? Or, with your ex who might feel threatened by your new partner?


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February 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

T February 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Love this story! And yes, I agree completely with how she described it. That love & lost feeling… comes back.

Facebook.

Better than any dating site, I’m telling you!

Reply

gregpeckfan February 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

My husband had no children when we met. I was a single mom with a 2 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. He was 46, and never married, no kids. He’s 49 now and my kids are 5 and 10. Most of my friends were shocked I dated someone without kids. But I have one really wise friend, who I wrote an email at the very beginning. The email happened to sent the day prior to my daughter’s 7th birthday. “He doesn’t have any kids!,” I wrote to her, “He won’t know the first thing about parenting.” She wrote back, “So? You don’t know the first thing about 7 year olds. Tomorrow you begin learning what it means to parent a 7 year old. That’s parenting. He can learn it just like you are learning it.”
!!!! WOW.

He’s amazing. He is the most loving dad to those children, and they are devoted to him and our family has come together in a truly amazing way. And honestly (selfishly) it’s a relief in some ways – there is a lot we don’t have to juggle (siblings, exes) because he comes without prior family.

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BlueBella February 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I had a bit of a similar situation with my now husband, MM. He and I have known each other for nearly 10 years, and during that time he was married and I proceeded to have 3 children. When his childless marriage collapsed we reconnected and not much dating was involved before we got married.
When he expressed his fears about becoming a parent I explained that I’m learning it as I go, too – every day is a new day of being a parent and that we will learn it together as we go.
There is the upside of not having to juggle two or three separate families for us with prior relationships and children – we get to be a whole family unto ourselves, and the only family for the children. Some things just work out that way, and for that we are thankful:)

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I have made it a rule that I only date guys with children, but maybe I need to be more open-minded. You and Sarah are inspiration!

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Rebecca February 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I am mama to two beautiful little men (5 and 7 years old). I have been dating a childless man for over a year now. He was completely out of his element in the beginning; he held a 4 and 6 year old responsible for event tickets, haha. He has come a long way and my boys adore him. He recently took on ‘school drop-off’ duty!! It was his idea…this was a huge leap!! We are moving forward, but it is still scary at times.
My biggest challenge yet has been his family. They see my single mom status as a red flag, not an asset.

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Katie (aka Kekibird) March 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I’m a single mom. Never been married. I have a 5 year old son. About a year ago I was in a relationship that was doom to fail though it wasn’t a bad relationship. I just wasn’t happy and knew it was best to get out but I didn’t know how.

In walked my best friend from 2nd grade. Yes….2nd grade. We went to elementary school together, had mutual puppy love crushes and I even exclaimed at 8 years old that I would marry him. In he walked after a 15 year gap and it was like time had never passed.

Soon my relationship dissolved and my friend was there for me. He had no relationship and has no kids. But we didn’t want to date, it didn’t feel like the timing was right even though the feelings were there.

We built our friendship and after months of being best friends, we found ourselves in love. It’s been a year now and we’re talking big stuff, scary stuff and I’m worried about my son. He loves my boyfriend and my boyfriend loves him back but there is the fear that if we move forward and start a life together, somehow my son will get lost in the shuffle and I can’t have that.

I guess I’m sharing my story and reaching out for advise. Or just to share. :)

Reply

singlemomseeking March 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

@Katie: What an amazing story. And I hear you.
I’ve had those same fears (and still have them sometimes) because I’ve also raised my child solo, so she has just known the two of us.
There’s jealousy and hurt and fear…. but there’s also MORE love to go around. It takes a ton of communication and patience.
I’m wondering: how does your boyfriend feel about joining your family?

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Katie(aka Kekibird) March 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

From the feeling I get and from what he says, he’s ready to do it today. He sees my son and I as a pair and he wants to join to make us a more complete family. Those feelings from childhood help because we have history and a great family connection so we feel like we’re standing on a pretty steady foundation. Both of our families are very, very supportive so that helps too.

My son, on the other hand, would have me married this weekend if it were possible. He’s very smart and very perceptive and since moving to his new school for pre-K, a very formal private school, he’s seen more nuclear families than in our past experiences in daycare. So he’s had lots of questions about dads and moms and siblings and having babies. Oi….my brain is like scrambled eggs trying to answer his questions in a way that satisfies him and helps him to appreciate different types of families like ours.

I’m very lucky to have the support of my family and my boyfriend’s family. I’m also lucky to have met a man, who happens to be someone I already knew, who is very much a family man and is not shaken off by a single mom and her child.

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