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Dating a Woman Who Has Young Kids

Dating a Woman Who Has Young Kids

A few months ago I went on a coffee date with a very wonderful woman and ever since then we have been seeing each other. In that post and in a follow-up one, I talked about my issue with her love of an occasional glass of wine and how it was really a “me problem”. […]

Personal Issues

A few months ago I went on a coffee date with a very wonderful woman and ever since then we have been seeing each other.

In that post and in a follow-up one, I talked about my issue with her love of an occasional glass of wine and how it was really a “me problem”.

Very surprised that the discussion of our date ended up on the Internet (hey, that’s the peril of going out with a blogger, right????), she ended up telling me that drinking wasn’t that important to her and that she would never drink in front of me, which she hasn’t — something that has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

So, we’ve been together for three months now and everything is going very, very well. We have tons of shared interests, practice yoga together and, yes, go to all of the NYC organic restaurants. She completely shares my organic lifestyle.

What is even more remarkable is that we have never had one argument since we started spending time together. Not one. This has never happened to me before. And believe me, I am no angel and have plenty of my own issues.

The Situation

She is divorced (well, right on the verge of it becoming legal and having all the papers signed) and has two very young children.

I am 41, have never been married and don’t have any kids. At this very juncture of my life, I have no burning desire to have kids.

There could be a few potential reasons why I don’t have this desire.

1) The 11 years of Prozac and 3.5 years of recovering from Prozac really threw me for a loop and delayed many things in my life, from both a professional and personal standpoint.

If one assumes that many people think about kids in their 30s, maybe I’ll get serious about having them in my mid-40s. I will have caught up and be ready by then.

2) There are several professional goals that I want to achieve before I even consider having kids. And the fact that I work 12 hours per day during the week and numerous hours every single weekend does not exactly help matters.

Furthermore, raising kids in NYC is an absolute fortune.

3) I am too selfish and want my life to be about me and my partner. Having kids is a tremendous sacrifice, and I enjoy having my weekends free.

4) Maybe it is as simple as kids just weren’t in the plan. Not everyone has them.

What I Think About

* This is the first time I have ever dated a woman who has young kids and am confronted with many things that I never faced before. Before the two of us even met, I was well aware that she had kids and was very open to the idea of being with someone who had children.

Despite the fact that I don’t want kids right now, I love kids. Having a conversation with a kid is much more enjoyable than with an adult. Why?

Kids aren’t jaded. They don’t care about money and they don’t care about what career you have.

They are concerned about having fun, they have a tremendous curiosity about life and they live in the moment.

I thought that even though I may not want kids of my own, it might be very rewarding to get to spend time with the kids of the woman that I am dating.

* I haven’t met the kids yet and there is no timetable as to when I will. Yet, I have many thoughts about when I do.

– How will this impact my life? Will my weekends then revolve around their schedule and activities? How will I feel about that? For the most part, they are with their father on weekends but this is not always the case.

What will happen to my freedom? Is that totally out the window?

– What will it be like to wake up in an apartment with two little kids? Will it be too much for me? Will it be strange?

After I meditate, I am used to watching Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN2 as I get ready for work. Does that mean no more Mike and Mike? (For those who don’t know, I am a major sports junkie and this is one of my small pleasures.)

– What will it be like to have an “instant-family”? What will my relationship with the kids be like?

I know that I am not their father (I will be their friend) and have no financial responsibility for them but the thought of having two small children in my life right away is a little overwhelming.

– Even though I do have concerns, having two kids in my life could be incredibly enriching. All of my guy friends who have kids absolutely love it and could not imagine their lives without their children. So, I definitely do see the many positives and there potentially will be a lot more love in my life.

* What happens if I want kids of my own several years from now? Assuming my girlfriend and I are still together then, it may be too late for her or she may be past that stage where doesn’t want another one. What then?


Getting serious with a woman who has young kids means that it is a package deal. The kids are part of the equation and I totally understand that. The children are her priority, as they very well should be.

Nevertheless, I have a lot of questions and don’t have a lot of answers.

The only thing that I can do is to communicate my honest feelings and emotions, and stay in the moment.

Whatever happens, things will work out and fall into place. They always do.


  • Rick says:


    Our situations are a little different as Candy’s kids were 14 & 18 when we met, but some of the same challenges. If you want to talk sometime, just drop me a line and I’ll give you my cell phone. I think you could be great with kids and it may help you grow in ways you couldn’t imagine.


    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Rick,

      I really appreciate the offer and I am sure you would have lots of great insight to share. I’ll be in touch.

      Thanks very much.

      Live well,

  • stephanie haughey says:

    Hello again Max,

    Just wanted to let you know that my parents divorced because of philosophical differences when i was 10 and my older sister was 17.
    My mother remarried and my step-father had never been married and he
    was 41 years old. He met my mother and fell in love with her the day they met skiing in Austria. My parents are Swedish and my step-father lived in SF. I was born in Mexico City and and had a bicultural upbringing– Sweden and Mexico because I lived in Mexico and spent my summers in Sweden and Europe.

    My step-father was an orthodox Jew and it created many problems for him, my mother and my sister, however love prevailed. I am very close to my step-father and father and they are very compatible. My step-father’s parents and extended family grew to love and accept me and my sister. My father told us to just take it one breathe at time and not to take issue with anything being said. Be respectful and mindful that our new family may not accept us and they just may down the road which did happen. I am blessed to have two fathers so to speak but it worked out that over time. My step-father wanted me to accept him as a father
    as well, as long as I was comfortable doing so, which I did.

    When I relocated to the US I had to adjust culturally to my new life in SF. It all fell into place eventually.

    All the best,

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      WOW, that is some life story you have! How interesting. You are very lucky to have “two fathers” and that is all worked out so well for you. Again, some great advice and wisdom here.

      Thanks so much for giving us all the details of your life and for opening up.

      Live well,

  • stephanie haughey says:

    Hello Max,

    Congratulations on meeting someone you may want to integrate your life with. Take it one breathe at a time and try to not write any scripts.
    Honest and genuine communication will help cultivate your relationship, as well as letting spontaneity be the rhythm and the flow. It sounds like you are doing that already (:

    All the best,


  • Damaged says:

    “I know that I am not their father (I will be their friend) and have no financial responsibility for them”

    If you get serious with this woman, you will have to be more than their friend and treat them more like they are your own, even if they don’t treat you that way. That includes financially.

    You might get away with the “friend” thing if they were in their mid teens. A “friend” for the kids won’t stay friendly with mom too long.

    Not that I know much about this, I divorced when my kids were 6 & 4 but quit dating to concentrate on raising them (the SSRI induced apathy, etc. made that very easy).

    There are probably books out there on step parenting. I think I would be afraid to date someone with young kids. Even though I’ve raised two of my own. Best of luck.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Yes, you are right. I will have to be more than their friend since they are so young. All of this is very new to me and there is much uncertainty.

      Thanks so much for your input. I appreciate it.

      Live well,

  • Jon Willis says:

    Hey Max,

    I’ve been seeing someone for two years now and she has 2 children – at first I also found it overwhelming – and the kids did at first too – they were aged 8 and 10 at the time – and I can clearly associate with the “Kids are a major sacrifice” as I felt that at the time – and you are already pointing to the flip side of that, the pleasure to be gained from having children around – and pretty soon it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, it’s something I want to do (not dissimilar to your post about ‘cheating’ on organic food – you don’t see it as a sacrifice, it’s your choice)

    Plus, I started seeing one person in a relationship and I got an extra two thrown in – bonus – and while all relationships are a work in progress, I’m glad they are in my life – do I want kids of my ‘own’? No, it’s not an issue for me, they are great kids and it’s enough for me – I don’t feel that the lack of desire to have kids of my own is incompatible with caring and loving for them. As her boy recently said to her, “Mum, you are the best Mum in the world and Jon is the best Mum’s boyfriend in the world” 🙂 And this from a boy that when we first started seeing each other there was jealousy, resentment, a desire for me to not be there and a defiance that I wouldn’t be around for long (or were they just my feelings about him?!).

    One last word on freedom, I’ve heard it soemwhere as ‘true freedom is not freedom from, it’s freedom to’

    Much love my friend,


    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on this issue. It is comforting to know that you felt overwhelmed at the time as well. So, I am not alone here.

      It seems like it has all worked out for you which is fantastic. Talk to you soon my friend and thanks again for sharing.

      Live well,

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