Have you started a relationship with someone who has a child? Maybe you have met someone who has a child, but you don’t know whether to take things further or what the best approach is?
Whatever the case, we can help you make sense of the situation so you can make the right decisions for all concerned. Read on to find out more.
When you date someone who has children, they come as part of the package. You won’t be able to date a man or woman without their kids becoming part of your life. It doesn’t matter how great your new partner thinks you are. Their kids will always be a priority. This means you shouldn’t become frustrated if they need to cancel a date or postpone something because they are looking after their offspring. In many cases, you won’t even meet the children right away. The parent may wait until you have settled into a steady relationship and have built up a trust for each other. If you also have kids, you should have a good understanding of their situation. Another reason why the parent may be reluctant to introduce you to their kids in the early stages is that the relationship may not work out, and they don’t want to confuse them.
It’s important to show an interest in their kids rather than seeing them as a source of irritation. Whether you are dating a man or a woman, you are far more likely to impress them if you ask about their kids. Try to keep up to date with how they are doing at school, what their interests are, and so on, so you have plenty to talk about once you do meet them. You should also be patient if your partner doesn’t respond to your messages immediately. If you do get a delayed response, this could be because they have been met with a tantrum, are in the process of feeding them, getting them to school, or getting them ready for bed. It’s also important to behave maturely – the last thing your new partner needs is an overgrown child to content with.
If you are dating a man or woman with a kid from a previous relationship, the chances are that you will have to meet their ex at some point. Try to be grown-up and mature about this, and avoid appearing jealous. Your relationship has a much better chance of working if you are prepared to accept their ex being part of their life. Another thing you will quickly notice about dating someone with children is that you can’t be as spontaneous as you would be when seeing someone without them. It’s unlikely you will be able to embark on many impromptu road trips or nights out. If you do want to make these kinds of plans, you will need to do it well in advance so they can arrange childcare. Avoid cancelling once you have got something in place. Single parents tend to be more cautious when starting new relationships, so don’t be offended if they aren’t quick to let their guard down or trust you. Take things slowly when you date a parent – most aren’t in a rush to start cohabiting or get married. You should also be patient once you’ve met the child for the first time – don’t expect them to see you as a mother or father figure immediately.
Sometimes it’s not possible to know if a new partner has a child or not. They may be unwilling to disclose this information until they know you better. Some people choose not to ask and wait to be told, although there is always a chance that they will let this information slip, or that you will see them with their offspring. There are many reasons why someone may decide not to tell you that they have a child until they have established a connection with you. They may fear that you will run a mile or may wish to be seen as a person first and a parent second.
Many dating experts disagree on what the perfect amount of time to date is before you move in together. Sometimes, it is best not to put a specific time-frame on it but to wait until it feels right. You shouldn’t move in together until you have met the child and established a good relationship with them. If you do not get on with the child or children, it may be best to look elsewhere or wait until you have been able to improve relations. You shouldn’t use moving in together to test the quality of your relationship – you should want to live together because you know the relationship is a good one. Many couples wait until the honeymoon period is truly over, and they have argued together at least once before they start cohabiting. You need to ensure you are on the same page financially. If you are already experiencing problems in your relationship, avoid moving in together to try and fix them as this won’t work. You should also avoid moving in together if you are only doing it due to pressure from the other person. If you do start cohabiting because you have been forced into it, you will quickly start to feel resentment, which won’t be good for you, your partner, or their child.
There is no need to rush things if you have become involved with a single parent. It’s unfair for the child to rush things, and your partner will want to know that you are definitely right for them and taking things seriously before they make any long-term commitments to you. Remember that their kids come as part of the package, so make sure you are prepared to treat them right before things become serious. If your partner seems happy with you, chances are they aren’t going anywhere, so try to take things at a steady pace. You can meet single parents by starting an online dating profile.