If looking for good advice for dating someone with children, you’ve got a difficult task ahead of you. Relationships are complex on their own, but adding children to the mix can make things a good deal more complicated.
A lot of people avoid potential dates with children and single parents are often quite nervous about dating. The emotions of everyone involved, including the children, must be considered.
Do not rush to meet your date’s children, but do not avoid it either. Generally, you should focus on developing a relationship with your love interest first before taking the step of becoming involved, even briefly, with the children. If the relationship only lasts a brief time, it can be confusing and upsetting for the children when you are close with their parent and then suddenly are no longer around.
Once you have met the children and become involved in their life, it is essential to consideration the situation and the children’s feelings. It is a good idea to discuss what your partner may expect of you in relation to their children. Some people may be looking for you to be a parental figure, while others may explicitly discourage you from trying to take such a role. Remember that while you are now dating their mother or father, they still have another parent and it is important that expectations are clear between you and their parent. If you both do not have a clear expectation, it may be very bewildering for the children.
It is vital to build a good relationship with the children as you move into a commitment with their mother or father. Be careful as some children may resent your presence, feeling as though you are trying to replace their other parent. This can cause children to lash out in mean, hurtful and angry ways. You and your partner need to be understanding and help the children adjust to your relationship. It can be very helpful to have a “family pow-wow”, sitting down with your lover and their children to discuss roles, boundaries and expectations. This helps the children feel engaged, giving them a sense of control and input into the situation.
If you know a single parent, it may be invaluable to get that friend’s advice for dating someone with children. They know better than anyone that pitfalls and problems that may arise in such situations. Most importantly, they can provide a clear view of the “other side” for you, which will help you be more understanding and sensitive to the needs of your partner and their children.
After you have developed a good relationship with the children, it is important to keep working on the relationship between you and their parent. With time, the difficulties will fade and you together act more and more like a “true” family. Dating a single parent can be difficult at times, but very rewarding. Keep this advice on dating someone with children in mind and it will help ease any difficulties, leading to a happy relationship and happy family.