Today, I want to give you an earful of caution. Do you have kids? Do you date gay girls with kids? Do you have friends with kids or friends dating women who have kids? Yes, right, so this applies to all of us, because I want you to start talking about this with friends, with your kids, and with anyone else that is in your gay girl world.
As a mom, what are you doing to keep the hearts of your children safe?
This is much deeper than putting helmets on kids when they ride bikes.
As a single gay girl, what are you doing to respect the hearts of the children of that woman you are dating?
Here’s the deal: children have very tender hearts. Much more tender than our adult hearts. The younger a child is, the more completely open the child is to falling in love with each and every person that shows up in their world with any consistency.
Children are little love machines. It’s one of their special charms. My children have taught me more than any other people in my life. They have made me grow up in ways nothing else ever did. For that I am extremely grateful. And they have taught me so much about love and loving.
With that in mind, I want to share something about my personal story as it relates to my daughter and being a gay girl mother.
I’m the mom of a now 17-year-old daughter. I came out when she was just 6 years old. She’s fallen in love with every woman I ever dated who she spent any considerable time with. Now remember, time for a child is very different than time for an adult. In her short little life, I gave her some really big hurdles to have to overcome as I dated and then broke up.
When she was about 12 years old she sat me down to have a conversation with me. I had recently broken up with someone I had been dating off and on for almost 5 years. My daughter proceeded to tell me that she loved me and that she loved my ex-girlfriend. She also told me that she fell in love with the woman I loved too and every time I broke up, she lost someone she loved. I wasn’t just breaking up with someone, I was breaking my daughter’s heart at the same time.
Can you say OUCH?!
That truth really hurt and I was astounded at my daughter’s ability to communicate this truth.
She then proceeded to tell me that she really wanted me to find a partner but she didn’t want to meet women I was just dating. She’d prefer that I wait until I was seriously involved with another gay girl before I introduce her to my daughter and bring that woman into “our” little world.
Again, I was floored with her very logical thinking process and her plan to protect her own heart. I loved on her and told her that actually, it was exactly what I had been thinking we needed to do.
Was this new little dating rule going to make my life a little more complicated? Yes and no. Was this new rule going to put some pressure on any woman I dated? Yes and no. Was this new little rule going to make my daughter’s life simpler and better? Absolutely.
So what’s your rule for dating and kids?
You don’t need to be the mom to have a standard about when you meet someone’s children. I’d also suggest that the idea that you have to spend time with the children in order to know if you’re going to love that woman is not true. That’s just a tad selfish and isn’t looking out for the best interests of those children.
The younger the children are the more important it is to have ground rules that protect children’s hearts. Once your children are into their teen years this rule can be a lot more flexible but you still need boundaries. Teenagers are far less focused on their life with mom and far more involved in their own world than really little ones to adolescent aged children.
Now, if it helps, Oprah did a show on this a few years back. She had a child psychologist on the show who talked about what children need from us as parents and when it’s best to introduce your children to the person you are dating.
So hold on to your gay girl baseball cap – the expert suggests ONE YEAR! Wow, right? Can you imagine if we really did this, how different our dating lives would be as lesbians? This would signal a big dip in U-Haul rentals for those of us with children and those dating gay girls with kids.
What if you decided to wait at least three months? Really think about this, will you? What if you decided to wait 6 months? Imagine how this would change things for those children.
I actually agree with this time frame if you’ve got really young children. Again, here’s why – it takes at least 3-6 months to actually start to know someone, to really start to figure her out. If you’re seeing anyone for more than a few dates, it’s because there is great chemistry and hopefully important commonality in values, lifestyle and activities.
As a mom, if we’re having fun with this gay girl and the sex is hot, we really want her to sleep over and wake up and have breakfast with the kids. We think “she” has to meet my kids and get to know them because this hot chemistry is making me want her around all the time. The only way to do that is to make her a welcome part of my family.
Well, maybe and maybe not. Can she show up and just be Mom’s friend? Or do your kids have that radar that tells them Mom likes this woman a lot more than her other friends? My daughter has that radar.
I’ve seen far too many women end relationships around the 6-month mark. Think about it, because so have you. You might even be the woman who has ended relationships at the 6-month mark.
If you’ve got kids, what does that mean for your kids? If you’re the one who doesn’t have kids, but you’ve really enjoyed the kids of this lesbian mom, what do you do? You miss them a whole bunch. And what do you think these kids are thinking and feeling?
We would all be nuts to think this doesn’t affect the children. It does. It’s hard for our little ones and we need to be the adults and keep their hearts safe.
Here’s what I want you to do.
If you’re the single, no kids woman in this dating combo, come up with a rule for when you meet her children that respects their little hearts and your big girl heart, too. ‘Cause you know if you really like children, you’re falling in love with those kids.
If you’re the mom, get serious about setting boundaries that keep your children’s hearts safe and sound. Yes, your children should meet the woman you’re dating at some point, but your kids should not be spending any extended time with your date until you are seriously ready to commit to something long term.
Yes, I agree this makes dating more complicated, but that’s why you’re the adult. Figure it out and discipline yourself to do it. Your children will respect you for it – something that is often harder to get from kids than love. You will respect yourself too, eliminate lots of confusion, and if and when you decide to stop seeing that gay girl – there will be far less drama at home with your children – and that’s how it should be.
What about you? Are you a mom? Do you date moms? What’s been your experience with children and dating? Leave me a comment below and tell me your story.