Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Beau plus one

Published:Thursday | December 1, 2016 | 12:00 AMKimberly Goodall
A father playing with his two children.

For many women, finding the man of their dreams is mission impossible. Dating is complicated enough as it is, so imagine bringing children into the mix. That package deal may not be ideal, especially if they come with the extra baggage of 'baby mama drama'.

For most women, the question on the first date is, "Do you have kids?" This will determine if there is a second. According to relationship counsellor Sidney McGill, "Most young women ideally want to be in a long-term intimate relationship with a single man who is unencumbered by past love relationships, with children to boot. It takes a spiritually, emotionally, and most times, physically mature woman to commit to a man who still has to communicate with past lovers because of the need to play his fatherly role to his children. The saying: 'Ole fire 'tick easy fi ketch' rings true here, since the man is obligated to interact with his ex-partner because of his duty to care for his children."

He advises women who are dating a man with children to develop a cordial, but not too close of a relationship with his ex-partner. This will avoid unnecessary insecurities emerging between her and the past lover. Also, she needs to earn the love and respect of his children - a quality that she has to intentionally work at creating.

For some women, a man with children isn't a deal breaker, but others are not afraid to admit it's a definite no-no. Why? Take a look below.

I do not have a problem dating a man who has a child, as long as it is one, and it also depends on the relationship he has with the child's mother. If it is amicable and civil and not too friendly, then I am a go. They can't be any of the extremes - they cannot be best friends or toxic towards each other because I am not one for the drama. But him having a child is certainly not a deal breaker, it takes the pressure off me having one.

- A.C., 30


No, I would not date a man with a child. Call me selfish, but there is just something special about giving a man his first child. If I meet the love of my life and he already has a child, then probably I'd accept the child just the same, but I want to give my man all his kids.

- A.S., 24



It depends. If he has children but has his life together, I would probably date him. But if he is not making any strides then no. If a man can't provide for his children, how in the world is he going to provide for me? Not that I am looking for someone to support me financially, but I need to know that I will not need to completely support a grown man and his kids and if I should ever need a little financial help, to know that I am with someone who can make things happen. If he can't support himself and his children, then he can get lost.

- C.W., 24


As a mother of two amazing children, I do not plan to have any more and as such would not mind dating, and eventually marrying someone with children.

- A.A., 35

Before my experience I would've said "Sure, I can date a guy with kids!" But having been in that rut for four years, I can honestly say no and never again. When I met Marlon*, we were just friends and his then girlfriend was pregnant.

Months after we developed romantic feelings for each other. After his son was born, he decided that he wanted to be happy, but that meant not being with her. So, he broke up with her, and later embarked on a new and exciting journey with me. I understood that as the mother of his child, she had to play a part in his life, but I wasn't prepared for her constant calls, threats and schemes to take back what she said was hers.

This went on for about two and a half years until she realised I wasn't going anywhere. We eventually went our separate ways. He and I are still amicable and I have nothing but love for his child who still calls me auntie, but never again would I date a man with a child. I cannot take the 'baby mama drama'.

- R.B., 29

I would not date a man with kids because I would want to start my own family. Also, I don't want his child/children's mother to create any hindrance and I could not tolerate any possible disrespect from child/children because I am not there mother.

- D.B., 28