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Discussion Starter #1
do you have any? What are they?

For me:
I will never stay in a relationship with someone that is not sexually compatible.
I will never stay in a relationship with a non communicator.
I won't introduce my kids to a new partner in under 12 months.
I have a great life which is busy, full of friends and family, a new partner can add to that but not detract.
I don't want a stepdad for my kids, the have 2 functioning parents already.
I wont be a stepmum to someone else's kids. I am happy to be a "bonus" person/adult in their lives.
I have no desire to live with someone for many years.
There has to be protection around finances, what I have is for me and my kids. What he has is for him and his kids.
We need to share some common interests.

The really big one for me was that he should have an amicable situation with his ex. I do with mine and don't want to deal with other peoples problems from their past marriage.
However the man I am dating has a very messy situation so I am learning to bend a bit on this. He is respectful of my boundaries and does not draw me into his problems. We have had some discussions about his situation but I have made it clear that I am there to listen but not to offer advice. He has to work through his own issues.

I am sure there are plenty more but I would like to hear what self imposed guidelines and rules people set for themselves when looking at relationships post divorce.
 

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H,

Sounds like you have boxed yourself into a cage with all those rules. I'd like to look at it in a little different way.

I'd like to think of it as living free now to make choices along the way. I have some items that I'd love to find in someone that my past marriage was lacking but in everyone and everything there has to be a give and take. The question/decision that has to be made is whether or not you want to allow an exception for the person you are seeing at the time.

If you don't want to be a step mom or deal with ex's issues maybe you could find someone who has not been previously married or has kids. Sounds easier than finding someone and then arguing about their kids and ex.

Just my 2 cents.

Shoeguy
 

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I don't think you can really have so many rules. What you "think" you have to have is not necessarily what you really do want/need. I know I wouldn't want a,b or c but in reality, as long as he is religious and treats me and my kids good, isn't everything else a wait and see kind of thing? I'd like him to have never cheated too since my H has but I realize that most cheaters aren't going to admit it. Life has a way of deciding what's best for us if we're open. God has a plan.
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No set rules for me either. More my own behavior - I will not expect someone else to change, so I need to decide if an issue is something I can live with or not.

With that said, I have found a couple of things important that are tough to compromise on:

sexual compatibility
mutual respect and trust
common goals (big picture stuff, not details)
gets along with my kids
 

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I broke mine. :) But dating the second time aren't that much different than dating in general aside from the fact I have a better idea of what I'm looking for and better bullsh*t meter. So all of the normal compatibility stuff applies.

Although I'm not looking for a Dad to my daughter, a good male role model is a bonus.
I'm happy to be a stepmother, if needed, to other children while respecting their mothers' place in their lives. (not an issue as BF has none, but still...)
Happy to sign a pre-nup if asked.
I said I would never date someone who was only separated but I am and I'm happy that I am - I entered into it VERY carefully and if I get burned, well, tis better to have loved and lost...
I also did not stick with the 6 months before they meet my daughter but I've learned to not make it such a huge deal. I invited him over to a big cookout with lots of friends so he was just another guest - took the pressure off of both of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes re reading it sounds like I may be boxing myself in however I'm not.

Hard to explain, let's call them guidelines instead.

I come from a long term sexless marriage. It isn't the sex though that is the issue, it is the fact that I put up with being unhappy without taking real action for so many years. So I feel good about having some boundaries, guidelines, rules around my life.

I also am a mama bear and have to protect my kids which is where some of my guidelines come in.

Also I am not the type to need to be partnered up so could wait for years to find a good match. In the mean time I have no issues about dating non exclusively and these guys don't have to fit into any rules as long as the sex is good.

And yes I have had to bend on one of the rules so yes I can do it for the right man :) Some of my rules I would not bend on though such as not taking on the stepmum role, not for me ever. I would also never let anyone try to father my kids, they have a great dad already.

TBH I don't see a problem with having some rules/guidelines. I know I am a well sort after woman and I am comfortable with setting rules for my own life post divorce.
 

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Holland, if you married again, wouldn't that man HAVE to still discipline the kids or supervise or make sure homework was done, etc? I mean, he can't be powerless in his own home. You'd at least want the kids to respect him just like you would expect them with any adult, right?

I'm thinking this is just a matter of semantics when you mean "father" them... being the male leader of the house is going to lead to inevitable fathering of sorts - a kid will come for a bandaid ask permission to have a snack or he'll attend school events, right?

And you don't want to have any relationship besides being the adult friend of Dad as it relates to his kids?

As I said, maybe it's just a matter of phrasing. I would want my BF to tell my daughter No to a bowl of ice cream before dinner or to put down her cellphone in a restaurant or whatever... but these are things I would also expect from a visiting female friend if I were out of the room as well.
 

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i can't date a man who has children living at home.

i have boundaries about things but no set list of rules except for that one particular issue.

hmm...one more would be: he must be ok with pitbulls and not buy into breed discrimination.
 

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It is important to know your limitations and what you are willing to compromise on. My biggest deal-breaker is smoking - I can't date a smoker.

Scarlet, I think a lot of men feel that way about children - I had my daughter late - most men my age have children grown and out of the house and I think they are enjoying that freedom and aren't interested in a woman with a child, although having only ONE does seem to be a benefit in the dating world.
 

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It is important to know your limitations and what you are willing to compromise on. My biggest deal-breaker is smoking - I can't date a smoker.

Scarlet, I think a lot of men feel that way about children - I had my daughter late - most men my age have children grown and out of the house and I think they are enjoying that freedom and aren't interested in a woman with a child, although having only ONE does seem to be a benefit in the dating world.
I feel this way bc of how i was treated in my marriage while he dealt with his ex and child.it was horrible.i was an afterthought.
I never expected to be first above his kid but I expected to be treated with the same dignity and respect that I gave every one else involved in the situation.
 

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I feel this way bc of how i was treated in my marriage while he dealt with his ex and child.it was horrible.i was an afterthought.
I never expected to be first above his kid but I expected to be treated with the same dignity and respect that I gave every one else involved in the situation.
Yes, that would make someone gun-shy for sure.
 

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Hi Holland,
I have a history of having really squashy boundaries and putting up with stuff I never should have put up with. I think it is important to decide in advance on certain issues such as many of the ones you have noted. So much stuff (red flags) that didn't seem important at the beginning caused me to compromise myself almost into oblivion. Never again!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Holland, if you married again, wouldn't that man HAVE to still discipline the kids or supervise or make sure homework was done, etc? I mean, he can't be powerless in his own home. You'd at least want the kids to respect him just like you would expect them with any adult, right?

I'm thinking this is just a matter of semantics when you mean "father" them... being the male leader of the house is going to lead to inevitable fathering of sorts - a kid will come for a bandaid ask permission to have a snack or he'll attend school events, right?

And you don't want to have any relationship besides being the adult friend of Dad as it relates to his kids?

As I said, maybe it's just a matter of phrasing. I would want my BF to tell my daughter No to a bowl of ice cream before dinner or to put down her cellphone in a restaurant or whatever... but these are things I would also expect from a visiting female friend if I were out of the room as well.
Hi Enjoli

I really do mean that my kids don't need another dad, they have a perfectly good one. Ex and I are very amicable and have sit down discussions in regard to all aspects of our parenting including things we are not overly happy about at the others house.

If the kids didn't have their dad in their lives then I would bend on this issue.

Honestly I have seen it go wrong so many times with blended families when the step parent does not understand boundaries.

My parents divorced and I had 2 step parents that I cherished, they were bonus people in my life. Both understood their place in the new family dynamics and did not interfer.
To me a step parent is there to support, say drop the kids at sports, give help if the child asks, enjoy fun times with but not to discipline, indoctrinate with their own morals and other similar things.

I am not sure I will ever remarry, I am not against it but in my mid 40's and mine and my partners kids are all in high school so there are no little children to parent. makes it easier.

But when I was first dating I did have it as a very strict guideline not to date men with young children, lucky for me that in my age bracket most of them had older kids.
 

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Sounds like you have a very good idea of what works for you. I'm really glad you have an amicable relationship with your ex. I do not and wish I did but that's not going to change, unfortunately.

I WANT my daughter to have a father-figure who exemplifies all of the good qualities missing from her Dad. You don't have this problem and fortunately my BF seems to be really good at this so far while respecting the fact he isn't her biological Dad whom she loves.

I'm glad you had good stepparents and you are right some will not respect boundaries.
 
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