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post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
20% of all Americans don't know who their real Daddy is anyway. Sucks, doesn't it?

I dont think so. I never knew my biological father or what he looked like, never had much desire to anyway. I was adopted as a result of a long custody battle and have a wonderfull familly.

I dont get why people say "real ____" What makes them more real than a dad who raised you? Nurture over nature I always say. I hate to think of the person I would have become had I been raised by my birth mother.

As for the poster of this thread. I would advise to keep on dating this woman, but let her know that you want to build a wall between you and the kid. Have little to no contact with him/her untill you get serious with this woman. It would be a horrible thing for the kid to become attracted to you and see you as a father figure only to have you break up with the woman and never to be seen again. Just limit yourself at first and things will work out for the best no matter what you decide.
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Probably true in a lot of cases. Also, it's amazing how quickly children can forget a person, sometimes out of sheer survival. However, I wonder what it does to a child to be repeatedly befriended, only for the person to drop out of their life after a few months.
It does a lot of things. They get used to it, which I suppose is one of them. "Repeatedly befriended" is really not what it is for the child.
post #33 of 61
Fundamentally, the relationship is between you and the woman. That is the relationship that requires work, and the one that will last. Kids eventually grow up and leave home (we all hope!).

As for your relationship with the kid, if the mom is smart, you will be at most a friend to him/her (unless you make a permanent commitment), and not even that until you are fairly close. I was not married when I had my son, and was quite young (21). Going through graduate school, he developed close relationships with several of my male friends (only a very small number of these did I ever date). We do not live near any of these men now, though we do see some of them occasionally. My son does miss his friends (the adult ones more than the children usually), and sometimes asks to call them. However, I think that his life has only been enriched through his friendships. To be entirely honest, I did not let anyone "be dad" (not even the biological father) until Fok and I were married, (though I started to let go of the reigns some once we were engaged). None of the other single mother's I know let their boyfriends fully take on that role either.

I also think that there is a HUGE difference between a single woman with a child and a divorcee. In either case, though, a relationship with a mother is almost never casual (if she doesn't let you meet the child that's a different story).

My other advice (which is harder to follow than it should be) is not to have adult conversations in front of the children. By this I do not mean avoid discussing politics , but arguments and meta-relational discussions should be saved for after bedtime.
post #34 of 61
I don't think there is a problem with "befriending" the child if it is to a level not exceeding that of the relationship you have with the mother. As your relationship with "mom" gets stronger and deeper, so to, should your friendship with the child. If you get really close to the child while still simply exploring things with the mother, both you and the child will hurt if and when you and mom part ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
My other advice (which is harder to follow than it should be) is not to have adult conversations in front of the children. By this I do not mean avoid discussing politics , but arguments and meta-relational discussions should be saved for after bedtime.
While this comment is slightly off topic, Jen, I think it is some of the best advice I've ever heard. Thank you for the insight, which obviously comes from personal experience.
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
I don't think there is a problem with "befriending" the child if it is to a level not exceeding that of the relationship you have with the mother. As your relationship with "mom" gets stronger and deeper, so to, should your friendship with the child. If you get really close to the child while still simply exploring things with the mother, both you and the child will hurt if and when you and mom part ways.
No, there is. The relationship will be taken far more seriously by the child than by you, and you may walk away feeling like nothing was serious and no harm was done. The child will not feel the same way.
post #36 of 61
The issue of loving children not your own seems to be an exclusively Western notion. As I've heard in Asia, they find it extremely eccentric that Americans would pay to adopt China's unwanted children, usually daughters. There can be enough animosity among close family lest be said of "strangers."
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
The issue of loving children not your own seems to be an exclusively Western notion.

As I've heard in Asia, they find it extremely eccentric that Americans would pay to adopt China's unwanted children, usually daughters.

There can be enough animosity among close family lest be said of "strangers."

I have no idea what the last sentence means.
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Checks
I have no idea what the last sentence means.
In Asian families, especially Chinese, there can be huge amounts of animosity not characteristic of Occidental families. They used to treat in-laws with disdainful coldness, possibly with less respect than a servant. You can imagine what they would treat an "adopted" stranger, which traditionally would only happen if they required a personal servant or possibly a slave. Slavery was never really abolished or condoned in China.
post #39 of 61
To the extent that is true, it certainly reflects poorly on those non-Western notions.
post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dah328
To the extent that is true, it certainly reflects poorly on those non-Western notions.
I suppose it's a question of historical culturalism.

They lack certain empathy to put it simply.
post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Probably true in a lot of cases. Also, it's amazing how quickly children can forget a person, sometimes out of sheer survival. However, I wonder what it does to a child to be repeatedly befriended, only for the person to drop out of their life after a few months.
That happened to a close friend of mine. Bio dad barely plays a role in her life, and she had some other people drop out as well. She feels it has messed her up to some degree, and it does have to suck to feel like it's a recurring theme of your life that significant people abandon you. Since she's only 20, I hope she'll get over it at some point, but it's been a real problem.
IMO: The kid's mom should be the one to decide who plays what role in the kid's life (based on the premise that she's the one taking care of the kid). Unless she has a history of making sucky choices and being a horrible mom, in which case entering into a serious relationship with her is a bad idea anyway. If you trust her, let her be the judge of what is good for the kid. Just don't mislead her as to your intentions etc. so that she can base her decisions on a correct set of facts. As can be seen from Jen's post she will probably have put some serious thought into the handling of the situation.
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
In Asian families, especially Chinese, there can be huge amounts of animosity not characteristic of Occidental families.

They used to treat in-laws with disdainful coldness, possibly with less respect than a servant. You can imagine what they would treat an "adopted" stranger, which traditionally would only happen if they required a personal servant or possibly a slave. Slavery was never really abolished or condoned in China.

Very true, especially for women. Consider that in many ways, marriage was a method of combining lineages, rather than out of love (kinship based traditions are rather common in all pre-20th c. civs). Children were expected to continue this bloodline, so adopted children (rare) were ignored, or worse, abused. Women married into the husbands' families, and were treated poorly and expected to be fully subservient to the in laws and husband. Apart from the husband/blood son, the wife was nothing. In fact, widow-suicide was quite common, celebrated, and encouraged by in laws. Some of these aspects still exist.
post #43 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
You asked the question. Any thoughts on the feedback you've received so far?
Ya'll internet too fast for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret
What's her relationship with the child's father? That's what I'd be concerned about.
They're married. Relax, I'm kidding. He isn't involved at all. I don't even know the last time she's seen him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrysalid
how old's the kid?
6 or 7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Have you already met the child?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
I went with a couple of girls with kids, but other issues ultimately drove us apart.
That's what I'm interested in. How'd that work out for you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
it wouldnt work me *me* because I can't stand children....
I'm not incredibly fond of them, either, which is one of my bigger qualms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Fundamentally, the relationship is between you and the woman. That is the relationship that requires work, and the one that will last. Kids eventually grow up and leave home (we all hope!). As for your relationship with the kid, if the mom is smart, you will be at most a friend to him/her (unless you make a permanent commitment), and not even that until you are fairly close.
Exactly. She is (smart). I really didn't mean to spur a million takes on what my relationship w/the little guy would be. I'm 23 years old; I don't want a relationship w/a little guy. We've tossed a ball around and goofed off, but he's got enough older dudes in his life that I'm sure I get lost in the shuffle (we all live in a college town, and she's got plenty of male friends). But, how different is she from the girls I'm used to? I mean, she isn't out hunting for a daddy or anything, is she? I don't know; I know ya'll can't answer that over these internets. She's different enough, I suppose: sort of a quasi-neo anarchist hippie. (I can't seem to attract normal girls, nor do I seem to be attracted to them.) She loves her little guy to death, though, which I also find attractive. And, perhaps the clincher, was that she told me not to try to have sex w/her the first time we were on a bed together, instead of the opposite. Damn that was refreshing. Thanks all.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken
We've tossed a ball around and goofed off, but he's got enough older dudes in his life that I'm sure I get lost in the shuffle (we all live in a college town, and she's got plenty of male friends)
Don't be so sure of this. You may be right, depending on who those guys are and who he is, but you might also be understimating your presence in his life rahter enormously. I can't really comment more specifically, internets an' all, but you should be very careful about how close you get to him and remember that his perspective is nothing like an adult who grew up in a "normal" home.
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken
Ya'll internet too fast for me.

They're married.


Damn -- you got me. I was so surprised, I didn't get to the next sentence until about 5 seconds later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken

Relax, I'm kidding. He isn't involved at all. I don't even know the last time she's seen him.


If you think there's a remote chance you could get serious about her, you might want to get clarification. If the situation doesn't have real "closure", that could leave the door open to some future issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken
And, perhaps the clincher, was that she told me not to try to have sex w/her the first time we were on a bed together, instead of the opposite. Damn that was refreshing.


But... I thought they ALL said that. God, am I relieved to be out of touch about all that stuff...
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