I Stayed With A Guy I Didn’t Love Because I Loved His Kids

When I started dating a guy with kids, I felt like I’d gained an instant family. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before my bubble of happiness burst. I had to break up with the guy, but I didn’t really care about losing him—it’s his kids I didn’t want to leave.

  1. At first, I thought the guy and I were a great match. I ended up adoring his kids, but at first, I really did like the guy too. There was definitely a spark on our first date and we enjoyed each other’s company. When he told me he had two kids from a previous marriage, I was a little worried. I’d never been much of a kid person, but I was open to the idea.
  2. I was really nervous about meeting the kids. Meeting a guy’s parents is tough, but being introduced to his kids was even more stressful. I really hoped they would like me because if they didn’t, that would ruin my relationship with his dad. He made his kids a priority, which is how it should be, so I knew if his kids didn’t want me around, I’d have to leave. Around our fourth or fifth date, he decided we were serious enough to introduce us. Eek!
  3. It was a match made in heaven! His two daughters, aged 5 and 8, were fantastic! I really enjoyed getting to know them and we all had such a fun time together. I felt like I’d gained two younger sisters which, as the youngest in my family, I always wished for growing up. At one point during our get-together, I forgot that my boyfriend was there. The kids and I were just having so many laughs. The waitress at the restaurant where we were eating dinner even asked if we were sisters.
  4. Dates became bonding time with his kids. I always had so much fun at my BF’s house when his daughters were there. I enjoyed doing their hair, helping them with homework, and listening to them talk about their lives. I realized that I’m really good with kids, which was great to learn about myself.
  5. Dates without his kids were completely different. When his daughters went away on holiday with their mother for two weeks, my BF and I were alone and I must admit that it really wasn’t the same. I missed having his daughters around and I found myself wondering if I’d want to date him if he didn’t have kids. It was quite a shocking thought, but it was definitely important to consider it.
  6. I had to take stock of the situation. I took time to wrestle with that question. I knew in my heart there were problems in our relationship. We weren’t that compatible with each other. It didn’t help that we had a nine-year age gap between us. We also had different future goals. The only common element in our future goals was that his kids were a part of them.
  7. Houston, we have a problem. I didn’t really enjoy spending time with my boyfriend anymore. When he planned dates where his daughters wouldn’t be present, I didn’t look forward to them. As time went on, he became quite moody and sometimes just wanted to work instead of spend real quality time with me. This made me see that I wasn’t the only one in the relationship who thought we had serious problems.
  8. I battled to break up. Even though I didn’t see a future with the guy, I didn’t want to end our relationship because that would obviously mean I’d have to “break up” with his daughters too. I was really sad at the thought of never spending time with them again, but I also knew that it was unfair on everyone in the situation to try to stay there for my own selfish reasons.
  9. It was time for a clean break. I also knew that I couldn’t stay in touch with his kids. That would just hurt them, so I had to make a clean break. I wasn’t expecting my BF to be so hard on me. He didn’t even let me say a proper goodbye to them. I was devastated but I had to move on.
  10. Months later, his daughter got in touch. His oldest daughter sent me a text to say that she knew me and her dad had broken up, but she just wanted to say she missed me. Damn, it was so heartbreaking. I chatted with her for a while but knew I couldn’t get attached. I used the time to say goodbye. I grieved the end of the relationship for weeks because I missed his kids. It was much easier to get over the guy.
  11. I’m wary of getting into relationships with dadsSince that relationship and difficult breakup, I’ve been very careful about getting into relationships with men who have children. The relationship made me realize just how much I love kids. I don’t want to risk connections with my partners’ kids because it just makes breakups harder. I’d rather avoid all the messy complications that can arise, my big heart being one of them.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.