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You Asked: How Do I Tell Him That I Have a Child?

Dear Sugar,
I met a guy while getting my MBA about six months ago, and we have been casually talking when we see each other in class. Recently there has been some flirting going on, and we have even met up for drinks with friends a couple of times. I'm starting to have a little crush on him, but I have a child and I don't know how to tell him that. I haven't told him yet because it was always a casual conversation, but now that things are starting to take a new direction, I feel like I should. I am just really confused as to how I should tell him about my son. Any advice?

— Worried About His Reaction Reese

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Worried About His Reaction Reese,

Obviously you really like this guy and don't want to scare him away, but I think the best way to tell him is just to go ahead and do it. The bigger deal that you make out of it, the more awkward it will be; he's going to take his cues from you, so if you act confident, he'll be comfortable. At the same time, don't undermine the importance of the issue. You're a mom, and that's a significant part of your life, so don't be afraid to talk about it with him. Keep in mind that no matter how you say it, it doesn't change the fact that you have a son, and in order to date you, your crush has to be OK with that — trust me on this one, if he's not OK with it, it's a dealbreaker.


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CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
some of these comments are very interesting. This is what my BF said to me (it was 5 years ago, so it may not be verbatum..but you get the drift) "I have a 3 year old son, I try to be friendly with his mom for his sake, if you cant handle that then kick rocks" There was no apologizing or hiding, and it obviously worked out ok for us.
Marci Marci 9 years
Just tell him. It's not like the child is going to go away anytime soon, so any guy will need to know about that. But I think it's really such a shame that you feel ambivalent about sharing this information, as though it's something to hide or that hinders.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
yea thats a brilliant idea kristin make him seem like a dumba$$ for forgetting or not being able to read minds......dont lay it on him
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I can't see why it hasn't come up already, and why your son would be a problem to bring up, but anyway chances are he may already know from mutual friends and word around. Just casually mention something regarding your son, if he seems schocked, just say, Oh I figured you knew.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I also find it strange that by now the topic of your offspring hasnt come up in conversation, so i suggest you go out to dinner and in the middle of it say "I have a child, can you pass the peas" (love the movie For Keeps if you cant tell)
sass317 sass317 9 years
Speaking as someone who was kept in the dark about the fact that the guy I was seeing was expecting a child (oh yeah the baby wasnt even born yet!) you need to figure out a way to tell him. It doesnt need to be a big heavy situation- but you have to bring it up, bc he might not want to date someone who has kids, but you have to let him make that choice.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
:baby: I had a bff who had this same "issue". :prego: The plus side is that it helps weed out the shitheads and dickwads! I totally understand why you couldnt have or didnt tell him by now. Its sometimes one of those things that doesnt come up in casual conversation right away. Maybe you could let him discover it, like have a picture on your key chain or something?
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
That is weird, why wouldn't you have mentioned your child immediately? Now it looks like you were hiding something. I would get to know him for a while before you introduce him to your son as you want to make sure that he is someone that you want in your childs life.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Thats kinda weird. Its your child, why would you want to keep him as a secret? If you feel as if you have to lie about your kid to a man, then hes not worth it. How did your son not come up in any of your conversations? WEIRD!!!!! When you finally mention your kid he'll probably think it was strange that you never mentioned him in the first place. I think its a turn off when parents try to hide the fact that they have kids. Its tasteless and says alot about the person.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
It's kind of strange you've been talking to this guy casually for 6 months and you haven't mentioned your child once. Every mother I know mentions their kids a ton...because they're proud. Could it be you're ashamed? So you keep from mentioning it until it becomes an issue? Just tell him. He's going to wonder why you haven't mentioned it until now...anyone would.
jaxon jaxon 9 years
First TELL HIM NOW!! There is no reason to beat around the bush or hint. just tell him. it's your child for landsakes stop hiding him. If you want to date him it's going to come out it's not a pimple you can hide with makeup for a few dates. He either stay (which is most likely) or go... And dont introduce him to your child for a while. Women are to quick to make instant families. Children need to remain separate from your dating life
vmruby vmruby 9 years
He would know I have a child within the first few minutes of the conversation so there are no misunderstandings about where my priorities are. If he can't handle the fact that i'm a parent then it's better that it's made clear from the very beginning before a relationship could ever happen.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Firstly, thanks for not being one of those parents that constantly talks about their child/ren. Ugh. Kills me. Secondly, sho'nuff, girl, you gotta just throw that out there. Not the kid, the fact that you have a kid. Don't plop the kid on his lap as a surprise. If he doesn't like it, I echo earlier sentiments: deal breaker. Oh my god, y'all, let me tell you what my little 4 year old niece did the other day...
karlotta karlotta 9 years
When you go out, just tell a funny story about your kid (I'm sure there are tons!); if you bring him up casually, and don't make a big sit down deal about it, maybe it will be ok? I understand why you're nervous, but the longer you go without telling him, the worse it will get! Good luck. I hope he's a good guy! .
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I hate hints because i think theyre from the weak and the foolish. Just say that you have a son and let that be the end of it. He or she is a fact of life, you guys are just friends at this point.
goesmyheart goesmyheart 9 years
Yeah hotstuff that is a good point too. I didn't even think of that. My mom and step dad met and married... he didn't run away! Think of all the step-parents in the world. And if he runs he is not good enough for you and your son.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
"Just to play devil's advocate for a minute... to be realistic, when you tell a lot of guys who haven't previously been married or aren't older than 30/35 that you have a kid, they're gonna bolt. It sucks, I know, but it's kind of true, isn't it?" I don't think this is true AT ALL! I'm usually more shocked at how much men don't care that you have a kid or 4 or 5. I've seen so many women with children get men left and right. I think many men aren't as hung up on kids as women are. Guys are usually like, as long as they like the woman they don't really care too much. This is just what I've seen A LOT.
goesmyheart goesmyheart 9 years
Um yikes guys.. I feel like almost everyone is jumping down this womans throat! She was asking for advice, she doesn't deserve a lecture. We don't know her reasons for not bringing her child up in conversation, and personally I understand how that's possible (not everyone talks about their children... especially while taking MBA classes! How many men do you know that don't mention their kids everywhere? And we never assume they're ashamed). I agree with lickety split. The necklace can be a great idea, but some guys are so clueless. I would go with the mentioning-in-casual-conversation method. Maybe a cute story that relates some how?
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
what about wearing something that makes it obvious that you have a son, like a one of those chains with the little boy hanging on it. then next time you go out you could casually bring it up. something like "oh my son's birthday is in june" or "my son has a peanut allergy too", depending on what you're talking about. i don't think it's odd that you haven't mentioned it before, why is it anyone business, and sometimes people take single moms less seriously.
girlfriday girlfriday 9 years
Firstly - way to go for you being a single mom and getting your MBA. Those are two really hard things - and at the same time! That's awesome. Just to play devil's advocate for a minute... to be realistic, when you tell a lot of guys who haven't previously been married or aren't older than 30/35 that you have a kid, they're gonna bolt. It sucks, I know, but it's kind of true, isn't it? (Obviously there are some more openminded guys out there of course!) I think many guys can be ok with it, but I think their first instinct is fear. So I would say, if you two go out on an offical date - like just the two of you or whatever - then that's the time you should tell him. I mean, cause yeah, you and your son are a package deal. But before you are actually dating, I don't think you have an obligation - it's up to you. In the end though, if he rejects you because you have a son, then obviously he is not worth your time!
petite42 petite42 9 years
Your kid is NOT GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON. Sorry for the all caps, but sheesh. What do you want here? If you want a sex partner who doesn't get involved with your child, then just tell him that. Go ahead.. be blunt. Some guys will be fine with that. You'd be surprised, how many people are out there, willing to be in temporary arrangements that aren't going anywhere long-term! If you want romance and a potential partner who is there for you helping you raise your son, then you should find out whether he's okay with your son's very existence right from the start. When it comes to serious long-term relationship, you and your son= package deal. Unless all you want is some fun on the side, someone who fits into the nooks and crannies that your son doesn't occupy ... which is perfectly acceptable to want too!! Maybe now is not the time in your life. Maybe right now you want to keep that separate. Perfectly fine... as long as you state it upfront.
Meike Meike 9 years
You shouldn't be ashamed to tell about your son. You need to definitely put it out there. At the same time, don't have any clear-cut expectations of this man. Not everyone wants to be parent immediately or wants to be a parent at all. If this man is one of those, I wouldn't hold it against him. The right person who loves children and loves you will surely come along.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I have to agree with what everybody said've had plenty of opportunities to mention your son, but you haven't...which I just find really odd. But that's not the problem here. The best thing to do is just casually bring it oh, can't make it a late night tonight because I need to put my son to bed. He'll probably be surprised and a bit concerned that you haven't told him earlier. Or say something like: hey, since we've been getting to know each other a little better, I would just like to let you know that I have a son. I mean, it will all feel awkward (but it shouldn't, you should be proud of your son!) In the future, make sure to come straight out and let everybody know that you have a kid. That will save you some time.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
This is silly...why haven't you told him already? Why haven't you mentioned your son in random conversations already? Are you ashamed for some reason? When I met my husband (it was in a group setting) there was no question as to whether or not I had a child...I mentioned my son quite frequently. For some reason I'm getting the feeling like the poster's son is not her first priority, and it's irking I'm going to stop while I'm ahead.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I agree with Hotstuff. I'm surprised you haven't casually mentioned you have a child, as you've been socializing with him. I'm not a mother, but isn't being a mom a significant part of your life? I would think that you having a child or being a mom would have lightly applied to some of the social topics. I think that subconsciously you withheld that information for some reason. I think it's time you make it a point to casually reveal that you have a child. Work it into the next social conversation you have with him. It could be as casual as,"I have to run. It's time for me to pick-up my son (or daughter)," or "I had a nice weekend. My son (or daughter) and I saw a good movie." Reveal it.
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