I like designer bags but I don’t necessarily like baggage. Not the “ex” kind of baggage. At my age, it’s more likely than not that anyone I would date/end up with has baggage. It’s a term I don’t like because when you find the right guy, his baggage doesn’t seem so much like “baggage” as it does a “pretty package.”
For example, before I met the man I’m now dating, I made it perfectly clear to any man I went out with that I come as a package. If you date me, you’re also, for lack of better description, dating my kid. Meaning, you have to get along with her, she has to like you, and you almost certainly will be my second priority.
When you have a kid, it’s easier to date someone else who has a kid or even children. They usually understand if you have to bail at the last minute because your child is sick, they like children (because they already have them), and they understand why a child can turn from an angel into a sobbing heap on the floor within 10 seconds.
But what I’ve never quite understood is the baggage that is known as “the ex.” Rather, I understand it; I just don’t like to deal with it.
One of my exes had an ex-wife who acted as if she were still his wife. They had no children and it was hard for me to fathom why this woman would still want to go out of her way to decorate his place, ask him to drive her to the airport, and buy him flowers. There is nothing worse than an ex who doesn’t realize she is an ex (at least for the person dating the man/woman.)
The man I’m dating now has gorgeous, kind and sweet children. I thought God was looking down on me, finally, when I fell in love. Plus, his ex lives a 40-minute drive away, is not in my social circle, and we didn’t have any friends in common.
But of course, I was a little naïve. I recently found out that this ex is following my every move on Facebook — which is fine, but, it makes me uncomfortable, especially when exes of the man I am dating, or the men I have dated, check me out. My boyfriend and I are serious, to the point where we both would like to be included in every aspect of each other’s lives. This includes school plays (which he attended with me when my daughter was recently in one) to birthday parties. One of his children has an upcoming birthday party. As we slowly blend our families together, I don’t want there to be any drama.
My ex’s ex-wife (the one with no children) actually wanted to meet and hang out with me. My response was, “Why?” But if I do plan on being a stepmom with my new man, I do understand why I may have to meet my boyfriend’s ex-wife. Do I want to do this? No. Do I think if we can get along at least politely it will be best for the children? Absolutely. Does she have to like me? No.
But if my ex was/is dating another woman who could possibly be my daughter’s stepmother, I would for sure want to meet her, at least once, to make sure that my daughter is safe. My daughter, her safety and her happiness, will always be my first priority, just as I’m sure that’s my boyfriend’s ex-wife priority.
Question: If you have any ex-partner/parent advice… I’d really like to hear your thoughts.
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