Stepping into a relationship with a single parent is a little like stepping onto a dance floor mid-song.
It’s challenging, but if you get the rhythm down, it can be really rewarding.
The danger, of course, is that you run the risk of not being in the same rhythm as everyone else, and you might just step on some toes.
A Redittor and Original Poster (OP) found themselves in just such a situation and brought the case to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subreddit for judgment before the original post was deleted. The responses can still be found here though for those interested.
“AITA for buying a 2 seater car when dating a father?”
Of course, they started with the background.
I have been dating Thomas for about a year, he has a two-year-old girl.”
“We’re at a point where he trusts me to watch his girl for a day as a favor but we haven’t gotten to a co-parenting stage of the relationship.”
Sometimes, a slow dance is the best dance.
“It started as a very casual thing and stayed that way for a while, it’s only now getting more serious.”
One step at a time.
“I was in the market for a new car; my 98 Camry was overdue for the junkyard. I wanted a convertible, something small because I live in a cramped city that was laid out before cars were invented.”
Gotta get around!
“Short and easy to parallel park. Cheap to maintain and reliable.”
It’s good to be reliable.
Living within a budget is also important.
“I told Thomas that I was shopping for a new car, I wanted something small and reliable. But I didn’t say much more than that, he didn’t seem that interested.”
“I bought a 2005 Mazda Miata for a pretty good price, it was low mileage and in great condition mechanically.”
A working car is a good car.
“When I showed Thomas the car, he was upset with me. He said that he didn’t realize I meant ‘two seater’ when I said small and that it wouldn’t be possible for us to go places with his daughter in the car.”
It seemed she lost the rhythm of this dance.
“I said that he still has a car, a huge Lexus LX which fits so much. And that my parents always had one family car and one or two fun cars.”
“Like one practical sedan and one doorless jeep with the back seats pulled out. And various project Vettes.”
“The jeep didn’t have seating for the whole family but that was OK. And the Vettes didn’t have the newest safety features so they weren’t used as kiddy transport”
“Thomas said that the Mazda I’d bought wasn’t even good for him to be riding in, he had responsibility as a parent to keep himself safe, and riding in an old small convertible wasn’t safe like a newer large vehicle.”
Safety is important.
“Let alone me driving his daughter if I was looking after her for a day; she is at backseat-only age and my car has no backseat.”
That does pose a problem for the child seat.
“I said it was safe enough, it was probably an upgrade from my busted Camry anyway.”
“He said it was a selfish reckless choice and even if we were trying to do the ‘one fun car one family car’ dynamic that’s something to talk through. Not go buy a car that excludes his daughter for ever joining things I do.”
Communication is important.
“He also asked how long I plan on keeping the car, and I said I plan on driving it into the dirt, I’ll keep it as long as it keeps going.”
“He asked if I’d even thought about how I’d still be having this car when his daughter grows up, and I said I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“He got frustrated with me saying I was being thoughtless.”
It can be hard to find the rhythm once you’ve lost it.
“I said I thought stuff would be fine since he already has a family car, and how many cars does one kid need? My family always got by with one car for the kids.”
So OP was left to wonder:
“AITA for buying a 2 seater car while dating a father?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some were unimpressed with Thomas.
“Keep the car, lose the guy.” ~IHaveSaidMyPiece
“What a winner! Next he’ll tell her to get a new home with more bedrooms.”
“NTA and eject eject eject!” ~Fredredphooey
While others were concerned about a possible lack of communication.
“I feel like a year is a weird time where it’s not a new relationship but they also haven’t quite melded into a single-family unit either.”
“On this specific issue I don’t know that either is really wrong (aside from the car possibly being unsafe for the daughter to ride in—you’re allowed to have a kid in the front seat but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea), more that they’re not on the same page about what their relationship looks like.”
“They’re both making assumptions using different metrics. That’s the real issue.”~Jayn_Newell
Many did not miss the nuance involved.
“If he’s anticipating a joint future, and isn’t accustomed to thinking in terms of owning several cars (let’s face it, being able to view cars that way is pretty privileged, and OP doesn’t seem to realize her guy might just not be able to enter that mindset so easily).”
“He’s probably looking at it as, she won’t be able to drive anywhere with his child in the car because the girl isn’t old enough to safely ride in the front.”
“That really does seem to signal that she’s not seriously considering co-parenting unless she’s planning on buying herself a second car.”
“So no, she’s NTA for buying what she wants, but she did fail to consider how it would come across and what it would seem to be saying to her bf.”~needsmorecoffee
“NTA. there is nothing wrong with buying a 2-seater convertible with your own money when you don’t have commitments or a need to have safer features.”
“BUT, it does tend to indicate that you’re not at a stage of your life where you want to factor other people, and their children, into your big life decisions. And i would Honestly be reevaluating the relationship.”
“His and your reactions obviously indicate different levels of involvement and commitment in this relationship. First off, tailing the top comments that your age gap from 32 to 23 is a huge red flag that it sounds an awful lot like he’s looking for a stepmother/caregiver for the kid.”
“And it doesn’t sound like you want this level of responsibility. I say that fairly confidently because if that was a goal for you, and you were planning on assuming it on the near future I’m fairly sure you would have stated it in the original post OR bought a different kid friendly car.”
“Second, he’s already expecting you to make decisions after thinking how it will impact the both of you, while you’re clearly making decisions with the thought on how it will impact you alone.”
“You both are definitely in different head spaces in this relationship right now, and he is expecting you to be leaps and bounds more serious that it appears you currently are.”
“Conversely, if you actually do see this as a long term & serious relationship then you need to do some deep soul searching on whether you’re actually willing to make that commitment yet.”
“Buying a 2-seater convertible screams, ‘my car’ and if you are serious enough about this relationship to invest long term, you could have gotten a newer car with more safety features for that price.”
“BF sees that, we see that, and the fact that the only thing you did see before showing it to him was ‘zoom zoom’ tells me that he and his daughter are NOT the priority in your life.”
“For a single father dating that’s a huge red flag and pretty big indicator of where you want your level of involvement to be.”
“Again, it absolutely does make you the a**hole, it just shows you might not be the right person to be dating him right now.” ~ liveda4th
“NTA, No the key word here is ‘dating’, you said yourself it has been casual until recently. If he wants to have a say in your life, or you in his there needs to be commitment.”
“At the moment it sounds more like he wants it to be convenient.”
”You are 23, a Miata is a brilliant car and lots of fun to have right now in your life. He is in the father stage of his life and so his outlook is differnet to yours.”
“I have to say that objecting to what car you buy with your own money on the basis that he needs to keep himself safe as he is a father is just so much self indulgent pomposity.”
“He has to up his game and stop being so selfish about his needs and prove he is worthy of you, not make you feel bad for being yourself and treating yourself to a car you are obviously happy with.” ~ Zabkian
“Eh, in a serious relationship, major purchases are usually talked about. Sounds to me like you never really planned on being with this guy long term if you didnt think it would be something to talk to him about.”
“Yes you can do whatever you want, but in a committed relationship, its normally expected to be a discussion rather than just doing it. His points ARE valid.”
“If you wanted the ‘family car’ ‘fun car’ thing, then the car you got should’ve been something he liked too.”
“If he goes somewhere and you watch the kid, you literally couldn’t go anywhere with them because he would be taking his car and not yours.”
“And no, a 2 seater is not safe for a child.” ~ jesiweeks3348
“What 23 year old wants to drive a sedan because they might have to drive a child around?”
“Has Thomas even mentioned his plans for the future?”
“OP says he didn’t show much interest when she was looking at cars. Was he planning to help foot the bill for a newer, more safe car?”
“Or was that supposed to be solely her obligation for the few times that he wants her to take the girl? I think he’s annoyed that he can’t ask OP to take the more often now yet he hasn’t committed to anything with OP.”
“Dump the guy and enjoy a fun car until you need a more utilitarian one. NTA.” ~ Scrapper-Mom
There was also concern about OP losing her freedom.
“To be honest, personally, (please remember Im a stranger on the net lol), I dont feel like you really want this relationship.”
“Yes, its been a year, but people who actually want kids in their lives or accept a child as part of the deal, normally have the child’s best interests with their own interests in there somewhere.”
“I understand he has a family car etc, but you made a choice that was really in your best interests (rightfully so, its your money, I didn’t see any mention of sharing expenses etc).”
“He’s mad because it wasn’t a benefit for all three of you, just two of you. I think maybe you’re not actually ready (or even want tbh) for that responsibility.”
“A kid I mean (Not because you’re terrible for choosing a two-seater car lol). I feel like you do like the kid, but that kid isn’t going to be the centre of your universe like she is to her dad, know what I mean?”
“This comment is just an opinion and in no way reflects who or what you are. Best wishes!”
“I apologise if I’ve offended you in any way through this post. It is not my intention! NTA op.” ~ Pretzeltwisty
“Honey, don’t let him steal your youth. This is not a relationship, it’s a scam and you deserve waaaay better. Be free in your awsome sounding car.”~aspermyprevious
Stepping into a relationship with a single parent is like stepping onto a dance floor mid-song.
We can hope that OP found her rhythm again with Thomas but it’s always important to make yourself a priority in your life.
Dancing with a partner is fun, but sometimes you have to dance alone.