Dating someone with kids
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Why date with someone with kids
There are many advantages to dating someone with kids. Parents are more likely to be more responsible, mature and on top of things, as raising children, be it on their own or with a partner, tends to make adults more resilient and quick-thinking. They are also more likely to be very clear about what they are looking for in a relationship, in a dating scenario or in a partner, which is always a good thing as it means less time-wasting for everyone!
Dating single parents may even work out positively and engaging with the kids could prove to be a very uplifting and transformative experience – it may help you grow on a personal level and may well allow you to discover aspects of your character which you didn’t know you had, such as a more caring, parental or fun-loving, spontaneous, joyous side. It may help you reconnect with your inner child again! Here you’ll find some tips to date single moms!
Tips for dating someone with a child
So what should you be looking out for specifically? You should start by understanding that parents usually have a lot of time constraints in their daily lives, and you should be ready to adapt to their schedule. If the child is very young, the parent will be dealing with feeding times, nap times, possible medical o pediatrician appointments, nursery or kindergarten drop-off and pick-up times, and a whole host of other commitments and obligations. So if you’re truly interested, you’ll need to move around their calendar, as the child or children will always take first place for someone with a child! What to expect when dating a single parent:
Tip nº1: Don’t panic
Don’t worry too much about the fact that they are a parent! It may seem daunting at first, but there are many different types of parent. You won’t necessarily be expected to fully engage with their child, if you prefer not to at first! Parents will be sympathetic and understanding with non-parents and will appreciate that it looks a little scary at first. They will remember what it was like before they became a parent! So it’s important to remember that you won’t necessarily be asked to “parent” the child – in fact, the parent you’re dating may even be dating because they want a bit of a break from being a parent, and connect with the “real world” again, even for a couple of hours a week. It’s a tough job!
Tip nº2: Be flexible
Flexibility is key, as parents are typically very short of time. For example, they may only be able to meet at certain times of the day, for example late in the evening or just after lunch, or certain days of the week or weekend, or even for short dates.Make sure you don’t make strict demands on their free time, such as planning a full weekend away somewhere, or a long romantic dinner late at night, as these kinds of plans just might not fit around their hectic schedule. They might have to be working late at night, or getting up very early to feed or look after their child. Again, this will depend heavily on the age and number of kids they have.
Tip nº3: Lower your expectations on their priorities
Parents will obviously prioritise their children above everything else, particularly in the first years when the children are still very young. So don’t expect to always be at the centre of their attention! Demanding a lot of attention from a parent who’s dating will not work, as it will come across as a mark of disrespect and lack of understanding of their lifestyle and needs.
This will be a great opportunity to show your caring, understanding side, by being flexible and lowering your expectations. The parent you’re dating will notice this and will definitely appreciate your maturity.
Tip nº4: Don’t hurry, every relationship needs time
Don’t rush into things! All relationships develop slowly, over time, and dating with a parent is no exception. In fact, a relationship with a parent probably needs even more time to develop and progress, considering the divided attention and priorities the parent will necessarily have and the time constraints on their free time.
So don’t hurry the parent and get into the mindset that dating a parent won’t be a quick fix – it’s more of a slow burner, but most likely very much worth the wait!
Tip nº5: Don’t compare yourself with the kids
This is a big no-no: you’re not one of the parents’ kids! Remember your place in the equation, and appreciate that a date will never, and should never, replace the parent’s child or children in importance or priorities. You’ll need to be OK with taking a back seat from time to time – it’s not always just going to be about you! So a high level of self-esteem and self-assuredness will be required, as you’ll need to remind yourself often that just because the parent is prioritising their kid, it doesn’t mean they’re not into you! It’s sometimes difficult for non-parents to appreciate how much time it takes to be a good parent as there is always so much going on at once.
Tip nº 6: Mind the kids’ ages
It is not the same to date someone who has toddlers than to do so with someone who has young adults for kids. Both instances are particular and need to be approached in different ways; you need to be clear of the age range you are dealing with, that way you can have an idea of how to act around them.
Be careful not to level excessively with them though, as knowing their age range is more of a mental preparation for you; don’t want make things awkward by assigning them unwanted nicknames or trying to get in on inside jokes, just act normally, get to know who they really are and show interest in what they actually enjoy overall.
Tip nº7: Understand you actual role
You are your partner’s romantic interest first and foremost, and though it is important that you understand what being with someone who has kids implies along the way, remember that you are not being chosen as a replacement parent, but as a caring partner who has personal qualities that are recognized and appreciated.
Do things from a place of actual love, understand that what your partner wants is for you to be a positive addition to her life, someone that they don’t have to worry about and who won’t hurt her loved ones in any way shape or form; if you are willing to make things work, and if you focus your true emotions into this new connection, then everything else will fall into place.
Tip nº 8: See beyond their parenthood
It is important to not minimize who your partner is because of their parenting. Of course you can allude to their parenting skills in your conversations sometimes, and why not gift them something every once in a while in that tone. But do not base their identity on their kids; keep in mind their individual traits and interests whenever you think about doing something special for them and try to ease the stress that comes from parenting by proposing activities for both of you.
At the end of the day they are their own person, and you are dating them because you like them and want to spend time with them; don’t be afraid of diverting from the parenthood aspect.
Tip nº 9: Participate in family activities
You might be invited to family gatherings or activities after a while if your partner considers it is the right time, and though it may be a nerve wrecking proposition, there really is nothing to be afraid of. Simply be patient and respectful, but most importantly, be yourself (that is the reason your partner wants you to be there anyway).
Being invited to these events is important, not only because it means your partner wants you to be more involved in their lives, but also because it might mean that their kids are comfortable having you around and knowing that you will be present in their parent’s (and their) life for a long time –be confident in what you have built.
Tip n º 10: Respect boundaries
Both, their boundaries and yours, are necessary to keep things flowing nicely.
Understand that your presence will be required during some moments more than others, so learn to identify the moments when you should give them their space – normally any type of delicate moment during which you feel uncomfortable giving your own input. These tense moments are just a reflection of the dynamic and how it is working at the moment, nothing to feel bad about.
Also, know that you too are granted time and space for your own hobbies and rest; taking time for yourself and doing things that solely benefit you is a healthy practice that helps balance intimate relationships, so honor your limits as much as theirs.
Dating someone can be a fully rewarding experience
In summary, dating someone with kids can often be a fully rewarding experience, and may give you the chance to date someone who is clear about their needs and desires and doesn’t waste time. But you must be ready to take a back seat and not always be the date’s number 1 priority, as well as lowering your expectations on the free time they have available. But if you can do that, you may even find yourself engaging with the children and bringing out a better side of you in the process! Macbeth Matchmaking can help you dating again after a divorce, or with the best Christmas date ideas, just check out our website!