If you are dating a parent, their children will be part of the picture at some point. Are you self-assured and independent enough to accept that the children of your date will be the priority? These boundaries can range from time devoted to children, to dietary/nutrition concerns, to when late night guests are acceptable. If you are dating a single parent and your relationship has progressed to the point where you spend time together with the kids, notice how your date parents, the kids’ behaviors, and the family culture. Maybe we try too hard: excessively friendly, overly generous, or uncomfortably upbeat. It is natural that children may be somewhat leery of a new person in the mix.It will save everyone a lot of angst if you simply ask your date and openly discuss how you can help make this a positive experience for all concerned. This may sound like a covert operation, but if you find you are uncomfortable with or disapproving of these things, this may not be a situation that is compatible for you. Everyone will feel much more at ease when the new person in mommy or daddy’s life is kind, sincere, and genuinely caring. They may worry that dad or mom doesn’t love them as much as before or that they are lacking in some way. Once you have managed to thread your way through some of these obstacles that are inherent when dating a single parent, relax and enjoy the experience.
The good news is that millions of men and women make it work, which is proof that it is possible.
Still, even though it can work in many cases, do you want to risk the odds?
Sure, you as an addition to that will change the dynamic and you can help to become a part of it, but you need to a very flexible person to make the situation work with a new partner and a child who’s not yours (yet).
If you tend to be more of a take-charge, shot-calling personality, dating someone with a child is going to be challenging and you may not be happy because so many of the interpersonal dynamics and daily practices have already been set up.
It can take time to develop a comfort zone, not only with a new person, but also with the kids and with the new person as a parent as well.
If you answered YES to Tip #1, you are a special person who likely has a great deal to bring to the relationship.
The tips below will help you thread your way through some of the intricacies of dating a single parent. Ask yourself: Am I willing to be in a relationship with someone who has children? Am I willing to enter into a relationship with children?
This is important because you cannot separate the parent from the children. Often, the attention, time and resources that a parent devotes to his/her children can make one feel jealous or resentful. Single parents are likely to set basic boundaries with regards to their children. Sometimes when we meet the kids we want to make a good impression.
Right off the bat, there are many reasons why it’s not ideal to date someone with a child.
After all, it’s not just the fact that you have to make it work with the person you’re dating and the child that comes along with him or her, but you also have to deal with the ex who is the other parent to that child.
Are you a flexible, easygoing personality, or do you veer toward a more “Type A” personality?