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Single dad tells coworker that her child with ODD is the reason he wouldn't date her. AITA?

Single dad tells coworker that her child with ODD is the reason he wouldn't date her. AITA?


"AITA for telling my coworker her kid is why I wouldn't date her?"

Disclaimer: This isnt one of those anti-dating single moms posts. I'm a single dad and have dated other single parents in the past. I have a coworker let's call Pam who Ive worked with a couple years now and she's a lovely woman. She's very pretty, good at her job, and I value her as both a coworker and a friend.

She got divorced about a year ago and has started getting back into dating in the last few months, nothing serious though. Im widowed and have a 7 year old. Im definitely not opposed to dating another single parent as I have before. Problem is her kid is honestly unbearable to me. Its hard to say how much is his fault as he does have ODD and I suspect some other things as well.

He's 13 years old but regularly throws tantrums you'd expect of a much younger child. He's been suspended from school multiple times and she's had to have him come into work with her to keep an eye on him and he always gets into trouble here as well. As far as non predators go, he's the worst kid Ive ever been around.

About a month ago we were at a work function lately and dating came up and she asked me if I was seeing anybody, I told her no and she brought up us going out as we get along so well. I gave her the whole "We work together and I dont shit where I eat" thing and she let it go but mentioned how a lot of our coworkers met at work and it worked out for them. For what its worth, we are in different departments are work on different floors, so while I see her at work a decent amount its not really a working together and seeing each other everyday thing.

The last week the weather has been beautiful and yesterday management let us all off an hour early to enjoy the weather and a lot of us went to the place next store. She brought us up again and again I gave her the same thing. She then pushed and said she doesnt believe me. She asked if I dont like to date other parents and I told her no its not that.

She kept pushing and I was honest that her kid is just too much. Not that I dont think I could "handle" a tough kid, but I just have no desire to put up with that for a kid who's not mine. From what little I know about ODD, it doesn't seem like a phase and I'm not signing me and my kid up to deal with that long term. Let's just say she did not take it well and snapped at me about talking about her kid and left shortly after. Today I'm working from home, but feeling a little guilty about it all. Was I an AH who should apologize or just let it go?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

AdAccomplished6870 said:

NTA. You tried to sidestep, but she wouldn't let you. This probably ends your friendly relationship, and you have to think if you want to bring this proactively to HR or not (at the very least, maybe let your boss know so he knows the full story if HR starts asking questions).

Electronic_Ad_2143 said:

NTA You initially declined tactfully, showing you tried to keep the peace. It's telling of her character that she didn't accept your 'no' and forced you to spell it out. While bringing up her child wasn't ideal, it seems more about explaining your perspective than attacking her parenting.

Boundaries, especially with co-workers, are healthy and should be respected. It's okay to say 'no' without further justification. You're entitled to choices best for you and your family. Everyone has their struggles, and moving forward, you can learn to disengage after saying 'no'. Your boundaries are yours to enforce, and sticking to them can prevent similar situations. Good luck with future work relationships!

MaryAnne0601 said:

NTA. You know if a man doesn’t take a polite No for an answer when he asks a woman out he’s a creep. It’s no different when it’s a woman not taking No for an answer! While she never should have pushed you were just honest about not wanting to deal with her son. You weren’t nasty about it. You as a human being have the right to say “This is not something I want.” It’s that simple. It’s better than the ones that date a parent then try and get rid of the kid.

Allonsydr1 said:

NTA. She should have accepted the no. I get why she snapped… she knows why no one wants to date her. I’m guessing her divorce likely came about because of the kid in addition to whatever other issues they may have had. She is realizing that her son is preventing her from finding happiness. She can’t control it or change it and she is upset about it. But it really wasn’t right of her to continue to push and then get upset when she got the answer she couldn’t handle.

One of my best friends has a severely autistic child. I’m happily married but knowing what her life is like, I would never have been able to be with her long term and expose my kid to that as well.

ODD is terrible. I have a niece who has it. It’s like watching a human tornado with only self interest in mind wreak havoc over everything they touch. I feel bad for her but if she wants happiness- when that kid turns 18 he has to go somewhere else. My sister can’t handle her child living with her anymore- it’s 100% opening your home to an abusive manipulative person. So no you are NTA. Protect your peace at all costs.

suziespends said:

NTA. You told her no but she kept pushing. You probably could have been more diplomatic but she should have let it be right after you said no.

NUredditNU said:

Badgering you about not dating her is reason enough to not date her. Unfortunately, most won’t want to deal with her child. But that’s her reality and her wanting to date doesn’t trump her real life situation with her child. Definitely NTA.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these coworkers?

Sources: Reddit
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