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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Musing on being Child-Free

I've been thinking a lot about my Child-Free stance in relation to dating. As I am Child-Free, is this something I should require of those I date? Or should I merely have a "no involvement with the kids" policy? As in, if someone I'm dating has kids, I make it very clear from the get-go that I will not be getting involved with the kids. I am not going to be a babysitter or 2nd mom to your kids. But I know that with most folks who live with and care for their kids that means our relationship will only be able to go so deep. The Artist argues that since one cannot control how one feels, this will most likely be a set-up for failure. But I argue that it might not matter. After all, I've not had a romantic/sexual relationship last longer than 2 years. Perhaps setting boundaries on my emotions will be a good thing.

But I know me... I like kids, we get along. There's a chance that if I hang out with the kids I will, without wanting to, become emotionally invested. So maybe, the policy should be, "no getting involved with breeders" since it's the over-population/uncontrolled breeding factor that I am philosophically against.

I was chatting/flirting with the Librarian about being child-free. The thing is, the Librarian is married with kids. The kids he acquired with the marriage. He is not a breeder. He is philosophically Child-Free and yet has kids. And not just "has kids" as unto, they exist but he's not all that involved in their lives. No. He, in fact, is a big part of their lives. He is deeply involved in raising & educating them. He's a really awesome guy & we have a lot in common, but that one thing... Maybe I should just see what happens.


Pandara said...

I haven't fully discovered where I am personally on my child free stance. I had been leaning towards not having children and if I'm ever in the position financially and emotionally to adopt to go for that instead. I feel no need for a miniature clone of myself to boost my ego.

And now Sal and I are finding ourselves in a rather entwined relationship with another couple. This couple has kids and are rather family centered. One of our dates involved me just hanging out and playing a game with their daughter and I found it to be one of the most beautiful dates we had so far. They have never asked me to baby sit, they have baby sitters. I can see how a relationships with kids added on could be a caution side for me normally but I feel it just depends on how they handle such an arrangement.

Paul said...

Dating people with kids brings with it's own unique "complications". I should know, I'm a father of two girls, dating a lady with her own two daughters. Add to the mix my wife's relationship with man with one son, and what you end up with is a master's degree course in Advanced Planning & Scheduling.

As a poly parent, my kids always come first. That's not to say I can't have fun times alone with my girlfriend, but someone always needs to be home with the kids.

Our life is made simpler by the fact we do not hide our poly lifestyle from the kids. They will grow up with the knowledge that we have boyfriends and girlfriends. But this is not true with all poly parents, and that requires you to be sensitive to their wishes.

Perhaps your life will be easier dating only kid-free individuals. Then again, you may find yourself in a deep and meaningful relationship with a devoted father or loving mother. Why limit your choices and risk missing out?

Ninian said...

Pandara: I'm with ya on it "depends on how they handle such an arrangement." To be honest, if I ever became involved with someone who had kid(s), I'd want them to be a good parent & to be intimately involved in the kid's life (or kids' lives). I suppose it would be different if the kid was grown or lived far away, but I think kids are WAY too important to be taken lightly... which is one of the reasons I'm not having any children.

Paul: "As a poly parent, my kids always come first." I completely respect & love that you & your honey don't hide your lifestyle from your kids. I also understand that not all parents are in a position to be quite as open about their lifestyle. I'm just not sure I could date someone who's in the closet to the people who mean the most in their lives & depend on her/him. (I'm not so good with closets.) "Why limit your choices and risk missing out?" Therein lies my conundrum...