Are you dating someone but are skeptical because they have children? Children should not be a factor deterring you from dating a single parent. However, you must know that dating a single parent may not be easy.
Matching your schedule with your date’s schedule plus their kid’s schedule, impressing your love interest, getting along with their kids, and going on dates only after ensuring the kids are taken care of are some of the many complications that can arise.
Read on as we tell you the things you need to know when dating someone with kids.
Is It Ok To Date Someone With Kids?
Dating is an entirely personal choice. If you are single, and you like someone who is also single and interested in dating you, why not give it a try? This applies to dating someone with kids too — although the dynamics of dating might change drastically.
Being a stepparent to a child or children is not an easy task. You probably are only interested in being with the one you like and may not have factored in the kids. So, before you start dating someone with kids, you need to consider every aspect attached to such a relationship.
After considering the relationship from every possible angle, if you think you are ready to commit, not only to a partner but also to their kids, then nothing should stop you from going ahead with it.
17 Things You Need To Know When Dating Someone With Kids
You must be prepared and excited about the new person in your life. But before you get into a relationship with someone who already has kids, here are a few things you need to know.
1. Dating a parent is different
The first thing you need to understand is that dating a parent of kids is different from dating an individual who is single. For them, their kids are their priority, and you must be willing to accept it. They will also likely be in touch with their ex to coordinate their kids’ lives, and you must be secure enough to handle it. You should also trust your partner and be accommodative.
2. Learn about their availability
If your partner is co-parenting, there will be days when they have to look after their kids and days when the kids are with the other parent. Learn about their custody and free days and plan your dates and meetings accordingly. On days they are busy, you may also have to help pick their kids up from school or offer to look after them till they finish their work and return home.
3. Consider your compatibility
An essential factor you need to consider is how compatible you are with them and how much your lives are in sync. You need to know if your plans align with their’s, as this could make a great difference to your partner and their children. Your lifestyle needs to match theirs so that it is easy for the children to accept you as a part of their lives.
4. Don’t expect to meet their kids soon
It is natural, and rightfully so, for parents to keep their children out of their dating life. You never know how long your relationship will last. No parent would want their child to get attached to a partner who would not be around for long. Hence, they might prefer you to meet them only after they are fully sure about the relationship. In the end, it is their choice.
5. Offer to help
If you want your partner to spend more time with you, make provisions to have their children cared for. You can find them a good nanny or offer to bear the cost of a good babysitter. Once your date knows their children are taken care of, they will be at ease and more willing to see you. You could also offer to pick them up from work and drive them home. Remember, you may have to do things that will make it convenient for them to meet you.
6. Know your role in their children’s lives
Some parents are actively involved in their children’s lives, while others choose not to show much involvement. You need to ask your partner the kind of role they would want you to play in their children’s lives. Should you be actively involved, or do they want you to meet their kids only during holidays and special occasions?
7. Have patience with kids
Are you worried if you would be able to get along with their kids? Remember that you do not have to force yourself to like their kids. Also, do not expect them to like you in the first meeting itself. Give yourself time to get along with them. Open your heart and mind to accept and love them, and do not be in a hurry or try too hard to get them to like you. Be genuine, and hopefully, the kids will gradually warm up to you.
8. Always have a backup plan
With children involved, you can never predict how your date plan might go. There will be times when your partner will have to choose between you and their children. So, instead of putting them through this dilemma, have a backup plan in place. Also, plan the date days in advance so your partner can work it out around their children’s schedules.
9. Try to be comfortable with kids talk
For most parents, their favorite topic of discussion is their children. When talking to your partner, they might likely mention their kids in their conversation a couple of times. Since they think so much about their kids, it is only natural for them to talk about them. So be prepared to listen to stories about their children.
10. Get accustomed to ex talk
They might mention their ex too. This will be more frequent if they are co-parenting their kids. From coordination of parenting duties to complaints about the ex, you may have to listen to it all. Their ex, with whom they have had their children, is an integral part of their life, and you will have to accept it.
11. Understand the ex’s place in their life
Your partner’s previous relationship may or may not have ended amicably, but there is no denying that when children are involved, their ex will be involved in their life too. You need to understand their co-parenting responsibilities and arrangement. If the ex is not too friendly, it is best you stay away from them as they might not appreciate your interference, especially in their children’s lives.
12. Know that your date will have clear plans
You may be at a stage where you wish to see how the relationship shapes as time goes by, but it may not be the same for your date. Your date has many things to take care of and might be looking for some serious commitment. So, assess if you are ready for a long-term commitment.
13. Try to be understanding
There will be times when your partner may cancel on you at the last minute or may not show up at all. They may even forget to meet you. Try to be more understanding as managing kids and their personal life is not easy. In such a situation, you need to understand that your partner is not doing it on purpose and that some situations may be beyond their control.
14. Accept that their love and time will be shared
When in love, you might want your partner to shower you with lots of love and attention. But this may be a tad bit difficult in this case as your partner’s love and attention will be divided between you and their kids. You have to be accommodative enough to accept that you are not their center of attention.
15. Be ready to make compromises
Impromptu dates or surprise weekend getaways may not be an option when dating someone with kids. Additionally, you may also have to learn to make compromises for the sake of your date and their children. For instance, you may want to spend the night at their place or may want them to stay back with you at your place, but leaving kids alone at home may not be a feasible idea for them.
16. Exercise caution around kids
Kids are impressionable, and you need to watch your words and actions in front of them. Be at your best behavior around them no matter what age. You cannot bad mouth your partner’s ex in front of them. They will only resent you and never accept you in their life.
17. Remember that sex could be challenging
With children around, there will be times when the little ones will need their parent’s attention right when you are getting some action in the bedroom. You may feel frustrated, but do not give up easily. If you make the children follow a regular schedule and know their sleeping time, you surely can make your intimate moments a lot more exciting even in the allotted time.
Dating someone with kids may not be easy, but it is also not too difficult. Yes, your partner may come with some baggage, but if you truly love them, you will eventually accept it all and love them for everything they bring to your life. However, such a relationship requires serious commitment. And if you think you are not cut for it yet, give yourself time, or do not proceed further.