Some time in the early 90s, one of my cousins got pregnant while she was in Yaba Tech. From my young eyes, it must have been a very serious issue because my relatives started arriving from Ogbomosho. There were plenty hush-hush meetings but the curiosity of a child should not be underestimated. I remember that one of the issues an older aunt had was the fact that she had reduced her chances of finding a good man to marry her now that she had gotten pregnant. It really struck me as odd because as a young girl, I didn’t understand why having a baby would reduce one’s chances of having a happily-ever-after.
As I grew older, I gained greater insight in my Family Law class. One of the things we studied was the rule of primogeniture in inheritance rights. Under this rule, (in the absence of a will) the children inherited by virtue of who came first. It was not a question of was born within the confines of matrimony but rather, the children – as they came. At that time, one of my best friends was dating a man who had 2 children and we teased her about how her children would take after the children of his baby mama under law. It was not a deterrent for her she took it as one of those things and was willing to love him for who he is.
This was a very bold and optimistic move on her part and it was one I admired greatly. However, it gives room to think about the issue of whether you can love the children as your own (if the relationship proceeds beyond just dating). Also there’s also the issue of the dispersion of affection. Does one begin to feel suddenly less loved when one’s lover is showering affection on a child he had before he met you?
On the other side of the spectrum is how guys relate to women who have had children prior to their relationship. I know certain women who have boldly said they would never deny the existence of their children just to be in a relationship. Like my old aunty said, the existence of a child somehow does have an effect on the dating/dating dynamics?
Does having a child scare off guys? Someone said it gives off a signal of the woman’s loose past. For some ladies, they believe that as they grow older, and the dating pool narrows down, they find themselves being approached by men who already have children.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you date and or marry someone who has a child? Is it a deal breaker for you? If it is, please share your concerns. If you’re dating someone who has a child, please share some of your experiences with us. Do you feel threatened by the presence of the child (and his/her mother – if applicable). How do you balance the situation?
Photo Credit: itavcec.org