Why It’s Important To F*ck Up When You’re Dating Someone

Name: jaylenedisappointed-women
Comment: So I have been dating a guy for nearly 5 months now. Things are starting to get serious. Met his mom, spend time with his kids, etc…. I havent seen him in 4 days and I missed  him. He told me he will be with kids this weekend, but I can see him whenever. So I thought i would surprise him. I went got some cheesecakes from cheesecake factory got dressed and went to his house to surprise him at 10 pm for a bit since i wouldnt be able to see him for a few days. I didnt call or give him heads up because i he told me earlier “you know where I will be”. When he opens door. He smiles very surprised and says “no call, no show, unannounced”. It ruined everything . I felt so awkward and told him i should leave because i felt as if he is bothered by my surprise. He said “it would have been nice to know, i wouldnt do it”. My sweet surprise backfired and i felt like shit. He apparently thought i came to see if he was in fact with kids. Which was not the case. I just missed him and wanted to spend some short time. Now he feels bad so he says. And i still feel upset as i didnt feel welcome. Am I wrong for doing that??
Age: 28
City: tampa
State: fl

This is one of those situations where you’re never going to understand it until you’re in it. That’s why it’s hard to date people with kids when you don’t have any. There really are a whole new set of guidelines that come with dating as a single parent.

I think that the problem was that you dropped by unannounced at 10pm when his kids were there. Yes, you’ve met them, but you don’t really know what he has told them about your relationship.  In general, I’m not sure most people like to have people drop by without any warning. It is, you know, a bit rude.

You feel embarrassed for what you did, and that’s understandable. I think maybe the two of you were taken off guard by the other and then things kind of spiraled.

Now, let’s address the fact that he suggested (at least you implied that he suggested) that you were checking up on him. I’m going to wager that, despite your claims to the contrary, you were.  Most experienced adults know that swinging by your mate’s apartment unannounced is fraught with landmines. Especially if you know they have guests, like their children. I’m not sure I believe it was that you missed him as much as you didn’t like that you had to take a back seat to his kids that motivated you to go over to this place. What I do know is that most people wouldn’t do that because they’ve done it and learned from that mistake. But that’s why experience is so important. That’s the stuff that helps you grow.

So, now you know not to do that again. Apologize for it, and say that you misunderstood what he said, and just never bring it up or do it again.



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15 Responses to “Why It’s Important To F*ck Up When You’re Dating Someone”

  1. John Says:

    Great advice. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George was considering dating a woman who was in prison. Jerry said it was a good idea because “there would be no popovers”. So even comedies know that stopping by unannounced is taboo.

    He knew that she probably didn’t have plans that evening and still didn’t invite her over. If he wanted to see her, he would have invited her over even for just a short while when the kids were asleep. But he didn’t.

    Someone should be able to read those tea leaves that they are not wanting to be seen that night. Now if the OP had written in and asked “I am seeing this guy for 5 months and he has his kids but he never asked me over even for just a bit-should I be worried?” That would be a whole different animal and certainly worthy of discussion here as to why not.

    OP- there wasn’t any funny business going on. Maybe he just wanted a break from seeing you on a Saturday night and having his kids over was his way of doing just that even though he could have had you come over later. When you showed up, it probably bugged him that you couldn’t read social etiquette and recognize that he just didn’t want to see you that night.

    Just curious though if after he booted you, did you leave the cake?

  2. noquay Says:

    Dropping by unannounced IS rude. Often folks want some “alone” time, the house may be a mess, maybe you aren’t at your best. Since I run a small organic farm and do my own home repairs solo along with teaching full time, I need alone time just to keep up with chores. Being expected to change plans at the drop of a hat, look good while sawing logs and laying mortar, is very annoying.

  3. Jamie Says:

    I will fuck you up if you show up at my home unannounced. … Well, I’ll be very irritated and unwelcoming, at the least. To do so is not only incredibly rude and presumptuous (“why yes, this person will be 100% at the ready for an unannounced guest”), but it absolutely smacks of suspicious behavior to pop by at 10 pm, uninvited, when kids are present. (Let’s be honest: the desserts were just a convenient excuse.) Better idea, if OP genuinely missed her boyfriend that insatiably, would have been to show up several hours earlier with ice cream in tow and suggest dessert with the kiddos. Much more endearing to act like you’re interested in spending time with everyone, versus waiting till the kids are sleeping so you can score some selfish, uninvited romantic time after-hours. And a final bit of “oh girl, please” to the OP: if you can’t go 4 days without seeing your man, you’re waving the “I’m clingy and possessive” red flag loud and clear.

  4. Chloe Says:

    I have to agree this smacks of ‘Is he really alone with the kids?’ or ‘How can he so easily put me on the back-burner?’ I’m not sure which, but if you were truly motivated by either of these then it’s a bad sign.

    I am a single Mum on the dating scene and I would never introduce a ‘date’ to my Son, so you are lucky that he has trusted and respected you enough to give you your place with his kids by even introducing you to them.

    Now give him that trust and respect back by understanding that when you are dating someone with kids it’s their pace that has to dictate how quickly things move, you should never try to force things along on your time scale, if you don’t like that find a man with no children.

  5. novelty718 Says:

    As I was reading the letter I was a little turned off about the going over unannounced but then I got pissed when I read 10p…then I was like “Hell no the kids are there!”

    OP, if the guy feels bad he must be a keeper because I would seriously think about whether or not I would want to continue seeing someone that pulled that stunt.

    First his time with his kids is HIS time, like another commentator said if he wanted you there he would have asked.

    Second, it was 10p and he had his kids. It screams selfish and childish and rude.

    Take Moxie’s advice- say sorry and don’t bring it up again or do it again.

  6. fuzzilla Says:

    Yes to all the comments.

    I’m thinking OP read “you know where I’ll be” as an open invitation to drop by any time, whereas he intended it as gently drawing a boundary when she kept pushing to see him while he had his kids over. That could be a concrete communication thing to spell out with her BF to make everyone feel a little better/more relaxed/more understood.

    I wonder if OP’s BF is a lot older. Even if he’s not, he’s clearly in a much different stage of life since he has kids. A 10pm drop-in might be fine if he lived in a dorm room (though it would still smack of neediness and checking up on him), but people with kids have more complicated schedules/lives, and that needs to be respected.

  7. fuzzilla Says:

    I know OP is already kicking herself, but: At the very least, call first to test the waters. Let them say yay or nay from a distance, don’t put someone in a position where they feel like a dick rejecting someone bringing over a cheesecake. That’s kind of manipulative, and that’s why people are questioning your motives.

  8. Hard ache Says:

    Assuming that the “I missed him and so dropped by” was a lie, it’s quite remarkable how we seek validation over true advice even when posting anonymously. Surely we all have enough friends willing to lie to us if all we were interested in was validation? I am fascinated at this strong compulsion for acceptance that we would even lie to attain. Myself no exception too, I’m sure!

  9. Jaclyn Says:

    I’m sorry op- I know you already feel really badly about this. The thing is – his kids might have woken up when you rang the doorbell (guests to homes with kids are usually given specific instructions not to ring the bell, plus which entrances are least likely to wake the kids). Also, if the kids wake up there are awkward questions. And then – god forbid- the kid might tell mommy that daddy’s new friend woke her up, which might create a lot of unnecessary stress with the ex (the ex is not going to want to find out about daddy’s new girlfriend this way). He might not want the ex to know about this until it is serious. I would sincerely apologize and explain that I understood the consequences of my actions a lot better now. But it’s really hard to date a man with children – you will never be able to come first for him, and it takes a really secure and compassionate person to successfully do that. I wasn’t that secure, so after one relationship where I lived with the guy and was a stepmother for awhile I realized I could never do that again. Well at least not until I had my own kids and they were my priority

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      To speak on behalf of divorced moms and dads, not all situations are minefields. Some people manage to behave with maturity and grace.

      Don’t presume that dating divorced parents means walking on egg shells.

  10. D. Says:

    So, the “Yeah, bad move” thing appears to have been covered pretty well. You screwed up, life goes on.

    Generally speaking, you can do an “impromptu” thing with a little bit of a heads-up. Example: girl I’m seeing and I aren’t supposed to get together until Saturday. Friday night, I’m chilling at home, just hanging out. She was going out for drinks with friends, which I knew. I get a text from her around 10:00 saying she knows it’s late, but do I want to meet up?

    I said sure, picked her up and brought her back to my place, and we ended up having a terrific weekend, but that’s not really the point. The point here is that even if I’d said “Oh, sorry, let’s just wait til tomorrow” it wouldn’t have been a problem AND she’s giving me the opportunity to gracefully pass, rather than putting me on the spot.

    It’s nice to want to surprise someone, and I expect that at least part of the impulse to do this came from that. But the fact that you show up unannounced seems to hint that you want to force the guy’s hand, or kind of don’t want him to really have the ability to say “Yeah, can’t tonight. Soon, though!” Even if that’s not what’s intended, that’s how it can be read. Better to give the guy the option to either say “Sure!! Come on over!” or “Crap. Just put the kids down. Can we wait til tomorrow?”

    When you’re dating someone who has kids or other major life commitments, there’s a degree to which you REALLY have to be able to put your ego on half-rations. Not necessarily that you have to put all your desires aside for them, but you can’t take their unavailability as indicative of their level of interest. It really COULD be because they’re busy. If that’s not something you feel comfortable or able to do, then stick to people who don’t have those kinds of demands on them.

  11. monica Says:

    Also, I really think it’s the timing. If you would have stopped by in the afternoon with that cheesecake, I think you might have been more welcome. In fact, when he implied that you should feel free to stop by, I think he had the general 10 to 10 rule in mind (not before 10 am and definitely not after 10 pm). In fact with kids involved, I would definitely try to make it before 4 pm and no earlier than noon. Don’t take it personally. Now you know.

  12. erine Says:

    I agree that the girl probably was making sure he was with the babies and not with a babe but it slis absolutelt possible to really miss someone hours after you had last seen them, let alone days. When I was in the unfatuation phase of my only two super passionate relationships I needed to see the man so badly. All I thought about was him.

  13. j Says:

    Many years ago there was a group get-together & one of the young ladies was showing off some photos from a cruise, which showed the same guy in most of the pictures. She said he lived about 100 miles away. The guy she was dating didn’t mind.

    About an hour later, her mom came by and told her, “You’ve got a visitor” A minute later, the guy in the pictures was there.

    Now that was awkward. I’ve known to never make an unannounced visit ever since.

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