For most people navigating the hell-scape that is modern dating, they know that a good portion of the viable candidates on the market will have kids. For some it’s become something of a four-letter word, viewing them as brats that you have to endure in order to get some quality face time with Mom or Dad. Dating someone when you have kids is already practically an obstacle course – but what happens when fame is also a factor?
One of our favorite couples continues to be Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso. In 2003 he was filming Stuck on You in Miami and stopped in a bar where she worked slinging drinks. However their storybook meeting and subsequent marriage did come with one small caveat – her five-year old daughter Alexia. The pair married in 2005 when the girl was just seven. It’s difficult to guess how she felt early on about the man who would become her stepfather. Perhaps she was smitten by Damon’s charm and good looks. Or maybe she was shy and standoffish for a while – some kids can be like cats in that regard.
Either way, parents will tell you that children become aware of fame (popularity) at a very early age, and certainly without grasping any notion of a downside. Fame carries that most elusive of properties which the little ones respond to most… shininess. Stars are like keys with headshots. The point is, kids can get distracted by those objects, which can be an issue in the relationship. It’s hard enough to explain to a child that someone they adore will no longer be a part of their life. When that someone happens to be People Magazie’s Sexiest Man Alive, it’s gotta be tougher for a kid to accept. Probably tougher for Mom in that scenario, too.
BlogHer’s “Advice for Dating People With Children (When You Are Childfree)” recommends taking everything slowly, with both parent and child. They also warn not to try being just the kid’s friend – instead setting boundaries to ensure proper discipline. It’s also advisable not to be too afraid of falling in love with a parent.
Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox have been married since 2010. He had a son from a previous relationship when they first met. The boy is named Kassius (I’m rolling my eyes with you). Babyrazzi.com quotes Brian on Fox with the kids: “She’s an amazing stepmom. [My son] loves her. They have a great relationship. She’s always had a special bond with him.”
Moms and dads are people too, even if their name is on a sidewalk outside of a Chinese movie theatre in L.A. They too want to find their way to true love, but some kids can make this difficult. That can be said of older kids, but more often it’s the newer models who have the most trouble with being overly-territorial. This is where being the star of the latest comic book adaptation must comes in handy.
Having a famous step-dad might be awesome, assuming he’s not a professional wrestler or former member of Menudo. The glitz and glamour involved might be thrilling for the kid, but in reality it’s just one more speed bump for the couple at hand. In many relationships a child can serve as sort of a grounding element, keeping things more real. That’s crazy valuable in Hollywood.
The Boston Globe reports that 25% of the of all children in the U.S. are raised by single parents. That’s a major shift in societal norms that would have been unthinkable just a generation before. And we can only blame the Octo-Mom so much. In reality it’s the landscape of our modern social sandbox, where divorce is common and unions less often. And it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. With a child involved in the mix, all prospects for a partner must be more closely scrutinized.
When we lost Heath Ledger so instantly in 2008, there was widespread heartache among those who knew him and those who felt they did. Perhaps no one will have been ultimately more impacted then his daughter with Michelle Williams, Matilda Rose Ledger. Four years on, Williams continues to cope and is actually seeing Jason Segal of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. Good for her! But you have to imagine she remains cautious about letting attachments build. Parents are quick to do that if you think about it – risking their own happiness against just the possibility of pain coming to their child. It’s just part of the job.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: We all love kids, but do we love the baggage? Make sure you are ready for a partner that has children! If you are not at that stage in your life yet and are not mature enough to be a good role model for a child then don’t date someone with a kid. It’s that simple. I recommend this DiscoveryGame to make sure you are ready for life with kids!
Giulia: Children of single parents have to learn to live without the physical daily presence of one parent and learn to adapt to new physical surroundings. In this case, they must also learn to live in a re-structured family with a new “parent” in the stepparenting role. Regardless of the age of the child, that’s quite an adjustment! I recommend this Tokii Lab article to help make that transition easier for your child!