For the date, I ended up choosing Sally. She is awesome, but we did not work out. Surfing was a new experience for both of us. In surfing and during the dinner date that followed, I totally wiped out! But I liked experiencing something new. When I say something new, I not only mean surfing, I also mean the experience of dating someone who I consider to be my equal. Beyond being my equal, Sally was actually better than me at surfing. From my date with Sally, I learned that I could date women who are on my level and I could actually be the "weak" one in this situation.
My dinner date with Sally seemed to start out fine. I met her in front of the restaurant. She looked wonderful in her dress and she was smiling. We sat down at the table and began eating and talking. I soon realized that she had a few things on her mind. Well, actually, she only had one thing on her mind. One of the reasons Sally and I did not work out is because of her feelings about my past. She feared that I could potentially abandon her daughter if things got serious. I didn't think this was fair. I also didn't appreciate her using the "Dr. Phil-ism" that "the past is the best predictor of the future." In this case, we’re talking about something that happened 16 years ago. I have changed and grown a lot in that time and I didn’t feel that it was fair for Sally to say that my current mindset is the same as my old mindset. Her negative words go completely against everything I stand for, which is that people can and do change. After all, that's what self-help is all about, the concept of leaving your former thought patterns, and embracing new positive and powerful life choices.
It was established that his ex wanted this, not him, and it's not like there was no father figure - she wanted the stepfather to adopt the child and play that role. Steve could have fought it and possibly caused more undue stress for the family, but he gave her what she wanted. He does not seem to be the intrusive type of guy.
Who knows what the best father figure is for a child. Mine happened to be my biological father despite being estranged ages 3-19 and being adopted by another dad. However, in the case of my son, the man he calls dad is the one we met when he was 5 and who I am now married to, not his biological father, who chose to leave us before he was born. When he was 10 bio dad showed up and wanted him to call him dad; because of my experience I encouraged him to forgive and build a relationship. I tried to get him interested for three years, monthly visits and all, but it just didn't work out. When my son started having health problems, he bolted and showed his true colors. Now that I look back I am glad he left me so I could meet a good man that my son can model himself after, rather than the womanizing type.
I don't think Steve can fall under the same category as my son's biological father; take character and motives - they are completely different. I think Steve simply honored the wishes of his ex wife and sacrificed what he wanted for the better of their family, since there was going to be a new father whom he did not want to compete with.
Sorry, but I'm with Sally. I would never date a guy who deserted his kid, I don't care how sorry he is for it now.
My heart goes out to Steve! By the way, I too am a native Southeast Georgian, and I recognized his name because I had signed up to be on one of his newsletters a few weeks ago :) I must say, if I hadn't married four years ago to a great man, I might have looked him up! He seems really genuine and really sweet.
As a single mom for 10 years who is very protective of my son, I have to say that despite that fact and the fact that the same thing happened to me as his daughter, I am on his side. My mom divorced my father and intimidated him into signing over his rights to the new dad (the one my mom was having an affair with). I thank God he finally reached out to me when I was 19, when he felt it was safe to do so. I found out he didn't hate me as my mom said he did. He was threatened by my new dad's uncle and aunt who were a judge and attorney that they'd throw him in jail if he came around, and they actually did once. It was a rough childhood, and I needed him, but I don't blame him for "abandoning" me.
Sometimes moms can be very manipulative, and I suspect Steve's ex was very much so. I felt that Sally was picking at him unfairly. And he (reminding me of my dad) seems to be more on the passive side and did not know how to handle the conflict during their dinner. He seems to be honest to a fault, and maybe that's why it came out about his daughter in the first place. Now, I think the right woman for him is one who sees his honesty (and that is a rare thing in a guy, I know) and sees the bigger picture of where he's been and what he's learned and where he is going. It is wonderful that he is reconnecting with his daughter. Maybe this whole experience was meant to bring him to just that, a relationship with his daughter. Perhaps in time, it will pave the way to the right woman for him.
Steve, Sally is an awesome woman. I wished it would have turned out different because you two looked really cute together. I don't see how on a 1st date either of you could have gotten that much out of it...too much pressure. Sally is absolutely a Momma bear and her daughter is wonderful. I hope you can see why someone who is a single mother would look at you giving up your child, no matter what the circumstances were, would have a red flag go up. The thought would be 'could you do that to my child so easily?' Even if it wasn't easy and needed to be done, it shouldn't have taken Patti to get you to look into getting a relationship back with her. Just my opinion. Otherwise, you seem like a very nice man and I hope this same thing doesn't happen in the future and you do find happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy!
As a single parent of a now adult child I can understand Sally's hesitance. Dating as a single parent is very tricky and for most of my son's childhood I simply did not date. But I have to be honest, I dont recall that Steve offered up this information on the date. I recall that he was asked and was simply trying to respond honestly to the question without providing too much information. Perhaps a more appropriate answer to the "Do you have children" question would be simply to say "Yes I have children I adopted from a previous relationship. Unfortunately we have lost touch and I am in the process of working to correct that situation." Period - end of story. Best of luck to you Steve and congratulations on reconnecting with your daughter.
@Crisco...respectfully I must point out that Sally brought it up, its not that Steve disregarded Patti's advice not to talk about it. However, i do think Steve could have said "NO" when asked if he had children at the mixer...would have saved a lot of trouble, as saying I had kids but now i don't at the moment is going to beg for more explanation! Either way, clearly he loved the kids to adopt them and it was likely with love that he stayed away, letting them bond with the man of the house. I do think its sad that there was no relationship after that, and he seems cold or blocked about that...but for all we know there could be a reason for it, maybe the mom freaks when he is around and he stayed away not to subject the kids to it. No idea. I think its sad to disappear from a child's life under ANY circumstances but I think its also terrible to shut down and not hear a person who had clearly been through something difficult with his family. Yet she had a right to ask, given his answer when asked if he had kids, and good reason to back off. That became a mess as soon as he answered anything but NO at the mixer. Hope he gets that now! Wish all of them good luck in their search to connect.
I am proud of everyone in this episode...Patti for identifying the issue, Steve for trying to fix his mistake the best he could and Sally for making the best decision for herself and her child. Maybe Steve could've tried to reconnect with his daughter and then tried to date later.
Steve, (and Patti),, Sally was THE pick of the litter for sure. She's hot and smart. Steve kinda got set up to fail. OF COURSE a single mother isn't going to be cool with a guy who abandoned his kids. Its like getting set up on a blind date with OJ Simpson... you are told he's good looking, a great athlete, famous... then you find out he killed his wife! OMG... Sally got wealth, smart, adventurous (oh yeah! He abandons his families!). What? Single mother... She saw through his lame crap! Just shows that her brains are for real. Steve, keep dating down.
This is Lynn Miller from the show. I wanted to say I had a wonderful experience on the show. Everyone was great! It really is a difficult dynamic when you have so many people in one room and I imagine for the men in that short time trying to connect. Like Steve said and it made sense on "paper" in picking Sally. I found her to be extremely intelligent and quite beautiful. Chemistry is a hard thing detect right off the bat. Everyone has different life experiences and sometimes we project those onto people we meet. I feel like this may have been the case on their date....Unless we are in that person's shoes we should really try and realize that there is always "another side" to every story...Having said that we all seek to meet that "special one: and that comes with trial and error. BTW Patti was a hoot!!
Steve & Patti, I am appauled!!!! Your comment that dating a "hairdresser is dating down". We are all human, some good, some bad... I am a sylist, and earn a honest living. I dated Steve, and can tell you our conversations we're limited on his part... Shocking but true! His idea of making plans.... was to never follow through... if it meant he had to go out of his way to get there! "He serves his own interest's and gives lil" I'm sure that Sally realized his shady attitude when he was so aloof about his past... A single mom's protection is like a lion with her cub!!! Women have instinct's that go beyond the seeming. Good for you Sally! However, it's never a good idea to put your past card on the table on first date's or meetin
Glad you're reconnecting with your daughter. I saw the episode and was conflicted about how I felt about what had happened. After reading your entry and listening to Patti, I do think that Sally heard that you left your daughter adn from there wasn't going to hear anything else or change her mind so you were done with her. Good luck in both your search for love and your reconnection to your daughter.
Dude, Patti TOLD you not to bring up that subject so early, YOU didn't take her advice, and lost out! I totally hope you learned your lesson! It was Sally's perogative to say and do what she wanted, as was yours. She was turned off, so there's nothing to do but keep moving! I hope you find that special girl and I'm happy you and your daughter are trying to establish a relationship.