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With the woman of my dreams but she has a kid

I've been dating the woman I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. It's much more complicated though. I'm 30, she's 22 and she has a 5 year old daughter. I dated a girl with a kid in my past and it was hard. We've been together almost a year now and I'm starting to get to know the daughter more. I'm officially freaking out. See, the hard part is....I love kids, I really do...but as I'm older now and been through this before I realize it's just not the same when it's not your kid. I know everyone says if you love her you gotta love the kid too...but it's simply not that easy. The little girl is awesome, my girlfriend is awesome...I love her more than I knew I could love someone. My family freaked out the first time I dated a girl with a kid...we didn't talk for awhile. They don't even know about my girlfriend. I don't know if I can do this as I'm starting to have anxiety. I need help! What do I do?
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Avatar universal
Well.....you are absolutely correct.  Someone else's child isn't the same as having your own child and it is a difficult position to be in especially when you really care about someone with a child from a previous relationship, but it can work.  I am a stepmother of 4 and I can relate.  

What exactly are the difficulties you are having?  Sounds like you are bonding with the child; that's the first step.  Are you worried about what your family will say if they found out about this?

What were the difficulties you had in the previous relationship?
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
You know, when I was dating, I knew that I wanted to date a man that hadn't been married before and had no children.  I wanted to start my life with a man that was building his family for the first time.  So, I had to make hard choices at times.  I dated a man that I was very attracted to, had many great qualities and thought I'd just blow off my usual idea that I wanted a man without children from a previous relationship.  I started to have feelings.  

But, I say this all the time here, I'm practical.  I knew what I wanted and I did not want to take on the challenges a man who had once been married and has kids from that relationship presented.  

I broke it off.  I continued to date and eventually met my husband whom I married and began my own family with.  I was patient and knew myself well.  And that worked for me.

While ending a relationship over something that is outside of just the feelings for the other person is hard to do, it' can be a wise choice.  But it is YOUR choice.  You have to make this decision.  Your family's reaction shouldn't be the real concern.  It is about what you said---  while you love kids, if you are going to live with one, you'd like it to be your own.  It is okay to feel that way.  I'd cut my losses with a woman that has a child while it will still hurt you to break up but not kill you.  do it sooner rather than later and especially if she is trying to have you form a bond with her daughter.  Kids shouldn't see men come and go in my opinion.  One should be very sure before introducing kids to a new person.  And you aren't sure.  What you think you are sure about is that you'd rather be with someone without kids.  I really recommend doing that if it is a strong feeling.  good luck
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Avatar universal
I feel like You've answered Your own question

"I'm officially freaking out"
"The hard part is.....it's not the same when it's not Your kid"
about loving Her kid - "it's simply not that easy"
"I don't know if I can do this as I'm starting to have anxiety"

You should do Her, The Child and YourSelf a favor -  exit YourSelf from Them - They don't need this and neither do You
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Based on everything that you've presented in your post, the only option for you is to break it off and find someone without kids. I won't date a guy who has kids because I just do not like kids and, knowing that about myself, I don't want to end up in a situation like yours where I have gotten too attached to make a graceful exit.

I'm sorry I know you love her but since you can't handle the kid thing, you can't be with her. It's better to break up sooner rather than later because that little girl of hers has most likely already formed an attachment to you and if you stay any longer it will only be more painful for her.
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13167 tn?1327194124
If this child is "awesome" and you love kids,  I'm not quite sure what the problem is.  

My guess is,  you don't love kids - which is your prerogative.  Some people are open to loving children in general,  some people are only capable of loving kids that are biologically their own offspring.

You're that last kind,  guy.

I'm not quite sure - when you state you know you have this problem of not being able to care for nonbiological children,  you've done this twice in a row now.

You're not related to the mother and yet you have very strong ties to her.  I guess I've always been a bit bewildered by people who feel differently about children and have to sire them to like them.
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973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
You know Rockrose, I'm a huge kid lover.  I'd prefer the kids table on Thanksgiving that the adult table . . .

But I did not want to be a step parent.  That doesn't mean I couldn't love a child that I didn't give birth to.  I actually absolutely adore many.  But I never wanted to deal with the inevitable conflict that step parenting brings.  

The issues are much more, at least to me, about the practicality of the entire situation than just growing to love a child.  
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Avatar universal
I love children. I really do. But to love someone else's child (no matter how much you love that person) the same way as one that is actually yours is extremely hard to do. The love goes both ways. I mean, I sit here and watch my girl and her daughter interact and it's obviously hard for me to fit in. I'm like this guy who doesn't know what to say when she gets cranky or answers back to me or her mom. The kid is actually great. She's way too smart. She loves her mom a lot so it's not like the kid is a brat. I genuinely don't know that I can love a kid the same way that I would if it was mine. I don't think that makes me a bad person. I should have never let it get this far.

What do you do when your heart tells you that you have met the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with but your head tells you otherwise? Not only would my family freak out - long story there but my parents mean everything to me - I know I'm an adult, etc but I don't want to do this to my parents again...but at the same time how do I just ignore my feelings? We actually had a rocky time in our relationship very early on. She had some legal trouble I didn't know about - that she pretty much lied to me about...nothing crazy, but it was enough to where I had to push her to take care of it...and she said another guys name while we were having sex. That was really hard for me to forgive but I did. To this day she says she has no idea whose name she said and can't say sorry enough. She says she was so tired because we were up all night talking and arguing that she didn't even realize she did it. Again, I should have ended it then but I didn't and I got past all that. She has definitely grown up the past 6 months and she is molding into the person I thought she was and who I've always dreamed of being with.

Something about my girlfriend is so special to me and I don't know what it is. When it's just US it's so easy. We've been together about 10 months now. I've been in 5 serious relationships. This has by far been the easiest and most fitting relationship I've had...aside from what I described before. On a day to day basis we simply don't fight very often, sex is great and we love all the same things. I've come to the conclusion that I have all the right pieces but I can't seem to finish the puzzle. This makes me really sad. It stresses me out daily. I don't want to hurt her. I don't want the daughter to hurt. And I don't want to hurt. Would I be walking away from my soul mate or do I have blinders on?? It doesn't help that she tells me everyday how much she loves me and how grateful she is to have me in her life and how she can't wait to marry me, etc. I feel the same way, but do I?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I forgot to add...my girl never has her daughter. After her divorce she made a deal with the dad. He pretty much has her full time, my girls parents have her a day or 2 a week...and my girl sees her when she can. She is trying to get her life and work career on track. So it's 99% of the time just she and I. So, I haven't really experienced the whole living with her and her child aspect.
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Okay, let me just say to each their own but it isn't a red flag to you that a mother would sign over custody to the dad?  

You said the girl of your dreams in the heading, but the girl of your dreams would not have a child.

Hey, I know it is hard to break up with people but best case scenario for that little girl is that her mother begin to share custody and spend MORE time with her.  I cheer that on and HOPE with all my heart it happens.  

Love is an emotion and you will meet someone else to love.  Let this woman get her life on track by being a mother that is involved without a man that wishes she'd stay uninvolved.  good luck
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Avatar universal
Yes, You do have blinders on if You think this Girl is Your 'soul mate'.  People don't start out as 'soul mates' but sometimes B E C O M E "soul mates" (key word:  S O M E T I M E S!!)

A "soul mate" is actually a R A R E form of intimacy.  It doesn't just 'appear' - it grows and it builds and it takes much time.  A "soul mate" is someone who we B E C O M E profoundly connected to.  It has to do with Depth and Value, Relatedness, Personal substance, etc. -  things that take MUCH time and MUCH growth between 2 people.  "Soul Mate" has become a 'buzz' word to lovers who don't realize how R A R E it is to have a "Soul Mate" or to BE a Soul Mate."Soul Mate" is not a 'thing', it's a Q U A L I T Y, a  D I M E N S I O N of experience between two people.   I don't think You've had enough "time" in any relationship to develop the state of "soul mate" (as evidenced by Your statement that You've had 5 "serious" relationships.  You are only 30 years old - EACH of those "serious" relationships could not have lasted very long for there to be FIVE "serious" ones)

Do You think Adoptive Parents love Their Children less than They would if those Children shared Their DNA?  I think not!!  I think those Parents would be unable to understand Your thoughts on this and Your GirlFriends' as well.  Your Girl sees Her Daughter "when She can"?? !! - That's unfathomable to many of us, including Parents who have adopted.

BUT, all that being said, why is this eveb an issue if She doesn't have Her Daughter and only sees Her "when She can"?  It's not like She's a full time Mom or that You would be a full time Step-Dad.

and if You two get married and have a Child, which one ought She to love the most - They will BOTH be of Her and She's liable to resent You showing a difference between Her two Children.  

You have much to consider.  I hope You and She make the right choice for the Children


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You definitely shouldn't let this go on any longer.  I would let "your girl" sort out her life and a man is the least of her worries at this point.  

Her unsorted life+your doubts about being involved with someone with a child=disaster.  

Definitely something wrong when "your girl" sees you more than her own child.  I mean......she is able to fit time in to see you and not her own daughter?  Oh my.  Then you have this issue with your family that doesn't approve of you dating women with children.  

I would suggest you date women who aren't too complex for you.  

I think there are more issues than "she has a kid" that you should heed to as well.  

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