When you’re single and looking, it’s not really the first thing on your mind to consider dating someone with children. However, sometimes you just can’t fight the circumstances when you meet the person you know is the one. So, before falling too deeply in love with them, read these helpful tips that will get you through the challenges you are about to face by dating someone with children...
1. Your Friends and Family Might Not Understand
There’s always a risk when dating someone with children that your friends and family members might not understand why you would put yourself in this “situation”. I can actually speak from experience. In the beginning, they have a lot of questions and concerns, but over time after getting to know your guy/girl and the kids, they will start to come round. However, there may be some people who will never come round, and you have to decide for yourself how to deal with this.
2. The Kids May Not like You Right Away
As amazing as my relationship is with my step-children today, it wasn’t always the case. When I met my husband, my oldest step-daughter wasn’t too sure what to think about me. Your partner’s kids have been through a lot in their young life; a divorce perhaps, or just two parents who were never together. In their minds, you are stepping into their family territory and maybe even crushing their dreams of their parents getting back together. Don’t be too overbearing or try to force the relationship; they will open up when they’re ready and will respect that you gave them the space they needed.
3. Things Won’t Always Go as Planned
Whether your partner's relationship with the other parent is on good terms or not, sometimes when dating someone with children things just don’t go as planned. Kids get sick or hurt and dad/mom might get called away from date night to help out. Or perhaps the other parent is jealous of dad’s new girlfriend and may not show to pick up the kids when she is supposed to. Life can be challenging for blended families, but it can also be very rewarding...you just have to learn to take the bad with the good.
4. Be Committed
This isn’t a relationship you can just toss to the side or play games with, this is a commitment that must be made to your partner and his/her children. Do some heavy thinking before you meet the kids and read up on step-families, seek advice, and ask your significant other any questions you have before taking the next step together.
5. Don’t Be the Jealous Type
Your partner is going to have some type of relationship with his Ex because they have children together, but this isn’t something to get jealous over. Yes, you can talk about it and set boundaries if needed; for instance, she shouldn’t be calling him to fix her plumbing leak or when she gets lost every time she goes out. However, if the call is in regard to the children, even if it seems to happen every time you sit down for dinner, do your best to not become the jealous type and allow it to come between you.
6. You May Need to Step up
Ready or not, chances are high that you may need to step up to help out with your significant other’s children, especially if the other parent isn’t in the picture. There may be times when your partner is running late and may need you pick up his/her kids from school or make them dinner. Those are just a few little things that seem like no big deal, but there may also be bigger situations that you need to be prepared for as well. My younger step-daughter played softball when she was in middle school and one year during practice she got hit in the face with the ball! My husband was at work, but my older step-daughter was there with me in the stands. When she saw her sister’s bloody face she started freaking out, so I told her she had to step away because she was only going to make it worse for her sister. We got her cleaned up, put some ice on it, and headed over to the pediatrician. Luckily, there was no damage to her eye, and would just be some bruising and swelling around it. When dating someone with children, you just never know when you’re going to need to step up!
7. Love Them like You’re Own
A bond isn’t going to happen overnight, but you should always show your partner’s children love and respect. This is especially true if you are bringing your own children into the relationship. You should never favor or give special treatment to one child over the other. Eventually, you will be one family, so love them like your own.
Have you ever considered dating someone with children? Did it work out? What are some things you have learned by dating someone with children?