“What Would Happen If Things Don’t Work Out?”: Maintaining a Friendship Post Break Up
Relationships end. Sometimes this happens amicably because people just aren’t a good fit and at other times the demise can lead to both parties having a bad taste in their mouth. I have been asked “What would happen if you are with someone, you break up, but they have a relationship with your daughter?” Anytime I meet someone I ask myself this question. It may seem like I am dooming a potential relationship from the start; but I don’t see it that way. The way that I personally make decisions is by running the gamut of possibilities and narrow things down based on what I know about the other party involved.
It’s Okay to Meet the Kid(s)
I am a single father and my daughter doesn’t have a mother; so generally my daughter Cydney is with me everywhere I go. As much as I write in my blog and post pictures of her up on social media, girls I am dating normally want to meet her. Cool. No problem. I think it is a good thing for children to meet people you’re dating. It gives a chance for whoever you are dealing with to see you for who you are before anything else. It also makes it easier for one to make an informed decision early on if they are willing to accept that one is a parent. Personally, as a guy I think instinct kicks in and women love to be around my kid. While everyone may get to meet Cydney, having a relationship with her is much different: it’s a privilege. I don’t consider this until I am for sure that what I have with someone has the potential or is really going somewhere.
I will even ask if I am dating a woman “What would happen if things didn’t work out?” This question is the equivalent to while you’re dating someone and asking whether or not someone wants to get
married, have kids, etc. I’m being upfront. How one responds to this question tells me virtually everything I need to know in whether or not I should continue pursuing this relationship. Of course no one is going to flat out say “If we’re done, I’m done with the kid.” But I will look at body language, the tone in one’s voice, and how long they take to answer the question into consideration. I was once seeing someone for almost a year. She had developed a friendship with my daughter as well. The lady had an opportunity to possibly move and work abroad. I had been putting off asking her for a while and I guess one day it seeped out during casual conversation. I didn’t even think much about it. Months later she told me that I had upset her by asking “What about Cydney?” She felt that I was really asking about me, but I wasn’t. She could be gone living her life overseas and my daughter would be wondering where did she go. I would never tell her to not pursue a once in a lifetime opportunity like that. I even told her I didn’t ask about me because I’d pay to visit her. I told her I wanted to know what or how to do things if this happened. I let her know that I didn’t want to possibly resent her for breaking my child’s heart.
If Someone Else Comes Along
Things didn’t work out with the person I previously mentioned. But we are still friends. I loved her and at one point was seriously contemplating a future for the three of us. Some dreams are deferred
and in the future we see that they are for our own good. I started dating someone else who has met Cydney but hadn’t quite got to the point where she is privy to having a relationship with her. We’re
at the stage in which I know she still has questions about my past and she knows about exes I have had since my daughter’s mother passed away. I took a proactive approach and before she could ask or possibly jump to a conclusion I let her know that Cydney and my ex-girlfriend have a relationship. I may have felt a way about her at one point; but as of now romantically it is about the two of us. Cydney doesn’t have a mom and has been asking lots of questions recently, so who am I to turn down a woman who wants to genuinely be there for her? I even told her at one time all parties can meet and
she can see for herself and make a decision on whether or not this is something that she can deal with.
The Kids Will Be Alright
My ex and new girlfriend could both be gone by tomorrow. It would be unfortunate; but that’s reality. These kinds of things happen and I will have to roll with the punches. One of my most important jobs in life is to take care of my daughter. I can’t protect her from all hurt. If things don’t work out she will be alright. She may even be hurt for a while; but she’ll bounce back and probably would before I did. For all I know I could take a page from George Clooney and forever be a bachelor and Cydney have a bunch of women who are mother figures to her…and she will be just fine.