We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Dating Someone With Kids
Dating is difficult especially in this day and age.
You no longer have to sit and wander, ‘are they going to call me’. It is more of ‘why did they send a text/snapchat instead of calling’.
I could probably go on and on about dating in general but you are here to learn about dating someone who has kids.
If you have kids of your own you probably know a little on what to expect but some of the information may be a surprise to you as well. If you don’t have kids of your own then you need to keep reading.
Imagine spending time with kids all day with not a single moment to yourself.
It does not matter how much they love their children, they still need some grown up time. They need time to get out of the house and interact with other adults and do adult activities.
Because let’s be honest, you can only play go fish so many times.
Give Them Time
If you are going on a date you may realize that they are tense or short with you at first. Keep in mind that this may have nothing to do with you.
They could have had a bad day at work, came home to the kids fighting with each other, and then rushed out the door to meet with you.
They may just need some time to unwind and decompress. They didn’t have the luxury of getting off of work and having a glass of wine or beer while getting ready for the date for the last half hour before meeting up with you.
Give them some time to cool down from the stress of the day.
They Know Themselves Better And Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Usually people with kids know themselves a little bit better than most. They may have been through a rough divorce or break up and know that they don’t want to go through that situation again.
They know what they want or don’t want in the next relationship.
When it comes to the small stuff, they don’t sweat it.
This small stuff relates to the relationship with you AND the kids. Any little thing that may drive you nuts, your significant other will take it with a grain of salt because tomorrow something bigger may happen that will need their attention more.
Don’t Expect Them To Get Back To You Right Away
If you call or send them a text, don’t expect a call or text back right away. They are probably busy dealing with a temper tantrum and can’t get to their phone.
Give them time to get back to you.
Don’t be an added on kid who throws a tantrum because you weren’t number one at the moment. (Refer to the ‘Kids Come First’ section below)
All Their Friends Have Kids
As you get older you may realize that everyone that they hang out with has kids too.
You will find yourself at a party trying to join in on the conversation however you have absolutely nothing to say because every topic revolves around kids. Once you meet the kids you will have stories of your own to share which is a blessing.
But this can be especially difficult when they start talking about the early stages, such as being pregnant and breast feeding. Things you may have never experienced.
Try to switch topics about the trip you took to the Caribbean and if they have any trip plans in their future.
Spur Of The Moment Trip
Living the single life is amazing; getting up when you want, going out when and where you want, and going on vacations when it is convenient for you.
When you are dating someone with kids, you have to remember that they do not have these luxuries in their life anymore.
Their schedule evolves around,
1) The kids
2) The schedule with the kids
3) The ex and their schedule
You have to learn to be a lot more flexible with your time.
Something that has helped me a ton is by using a shared calendar. This way you know when they have the kids and any activities that the kids may have going on.
Depending on what happened in their last relationship, they may have some trust issues so be patient with them.
When they were with their ex, they saw some kind of future at some point, whether it was marriage and kids or just the kids.
They trusted that relationship with the ex was going to work and now that it did not, they don’t know if they can trust themselves to be in another relationship.
This will also have a lot to do with the kids and not knowing how to trust another person with them.
Just as it may be your first time dating someone with kids, it may be their first time getting close to someone after the split.
Give them time to trust again.
Don’t expect to meet the kids on the first, second, or even fifth date. Your new significant other needs to get to know you first and you should do the same and get to know them.
Nothing sucks more for a kid as to keep meeting all these new ‘friends’ of their parent. Keep it just the two of you for a while; trust me you will miss these days when they are gone. No matter how much you get along with the kids.
Find out if the relationship is going to work between the two of you before meeting the kids.
Take Things Slow
I understand, you are seeing some of your friends settling down, getting married, and maybe having children of their own and you feel like the late bloomer.
Take your time, take things slow, get to know each other, get to know the kids, there is no rush.
I say this because the last thing your significant other is going to want to hear is anything about marriage. They not only have to worry about how it will affect them but how it will affect the kids as well.
When You Do Meet The Kids, Take Things Slow With Them
You are a new person in their now crazy split parent life. They have had a lot going on and have had to deal with a lot as a child already.
Take things slow with the kids and let them come to you. Don’t push them into liking you. This will help later on when you want to bond with your step children.
Kids Come First
This may take some getting used to if you have never had to share your significant other before.
Those kids mean the world to them and they will always be number one. The kids will always be chosen over you. Remember this.
With kids, there is no time for being selfish so you need to grow up and realize this if you want to stay with this person.
Don’t Criticize Them
When your significant other is complaining to you about something that the kids did, just listen to them. Don’t join in on the fun.
I have been with my husband for about 7 years now, and still to this day, when I complain about the kids a little too much I feel him take a step back.
I know that I need to stop talking because if I don’t I’ll reach that point to where he wants to scream at me ‘My kids are angels’.
Of course this has not happened but you will know when they flip the switch and start defending the kid that they themselves were just complaining about.
Allow Them To Parent
In the beginning, it is not your place to discipline the kids.
Let your significant other be the parent and you should just relax and live the life of being kid free.
I am not saying that you should not be involved with the kids but any parenting decisions should be up to your significant other.
After taking the next steps in the relationship such as moving in or getting married, then would be the time to have a discussion on how much more you would be involved.
At Home Dates
Depending on how much your significant other has the kids; you may not be able to go out as often.
Stay at home and have home dates with movies and popcorn. Your significant other’s checkbook will appreciate this.
Remember, they no longer are just taking care of themselves and unless their a millionaire they probably won’t have the funds to go out every night.
Let Them Set The Price
They not only have themselves to worry about but depending on what end of the spectrum they are on can make a big difference.
Get to know what their price range is. They have a kid(s) to pay for whether it is child support, higher insurance, clothes, food, etc.; the list goes on and on.
Make sure that when you pick a restaurant or vacation spot that it is within their means.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Kids have great memories.
There are times that I look back and will never forget when my stepdad yelled at me and took things to the extreme because he had been drinking.
Alcohol makes you speak your mind which isn’t always a good thing. Too much verbalization can scar a kid.
No matter how you look at it, the ex will always be in the picture, some more than others.
They will be at sporting events, anything to do with school, church, graduation, wedding, grand-kids, they will be there.
Just remember, the ex is an ex for a reason.
Party With Your Friends
Life does get busy especially if the kids are in sports or other activities.
Time seems to slip away somehow and you forget about who you were before you met this amazing person.
You need time to get away and blow off steam too.
Don’t Cling Onto Adult Activities
When the kids are around find activities for all of you to do, don’t just stick with adult activities.
When the kids are able to play games, have a game night with them. This is your chance to be a kid again.
They will grow up remembering these times that you spent with them and your significant other will appreciate that you are trying to get to know them as well.
This is a big one. Communication in any relationship should be number one. Let them know how you feel if something isn’t right to you.
They are human too.
I once read that when talking to someone, always start with ‘I’, never ‘you’. Using the expression ‘I feel…’ is better than saying ‘you made me feel…’ because when you say ‘you’ first, it sounds like you are attacking the person and they will immediately go into defense mode.
Dating someone with kids can be scary. There are a million questions that will go through your mind.
You don’t have to let the kids scare you though. Keep communicating with your significant other on how you feel, take others’ feelings into consideration, be patient with your significant other and the kids.
Above all, be yourself