Many of us love the idea of men with children, but when it comes to actually dating a father, we sometimes get a little skittish.
When you’re dating a dad, you’re taking on some extra considerations and angles that aren’t usually present in the typical dating scenario. But if you’re interested in him and willing to make it work, dating a man with kids shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you remember the following three tips.
1. Keep It Real
A rookie mistake when it comes to dating a man with children is having unrealistic expectations. The children will affect your relationship, and you have to be willing to accept that coming right out of the gate.
Sometimes, dates you were looking forward to will be cancelled because of the kids, and you’ll have to get used to that. He’ll have more prior commitments that a childfree man would, so you’ll also need to expect schedule shuffling and date changing.
Try to see things from his point of view, even if you don’t have children of your own. Don’t allow disappointment or frustration to overtake you when he has to cancel or move dates around because of the kids. Accept his choice and respect it.
Communicate your disappointment if you feel you need to, but in a polite manner and not in a way that makes him feel as if he has to choose between you and his kids, as that will spell the end of your relationship. By having a real idea of what you’re getting into, you can have a much smoother relationship.
Acknowledge the children’s mother as well. She will be a permanent presence in your life should you choose to go the distance with him. While you won’t be interacting with her on a daily basis or anything, you need to accept that she exists and will be in frequent communication with your partner.
So, if you’re the jealous type, ask yourself if you’re going to be able to handle that scenario. Remember that he is no longer with her and dating you for a reason, but that she is the mother of his children and always has a place in his life.
2. Be Patient: Your Time Will Come
You’ll naturally want to meet his children, especially if you’re looking at the long term, but you need to be patient, as he may not want you to meet his kids right away. This is less about you and more about protecting them, because if they become attached to you and it doesn’t work out, it will be difficult for them.
It’s only natural for him to be ready for a long-term relationship with you before he brings his children into the mix.
Be patient when it comes to meeting your man’s kids. When the day comes, pick a neutral location, such as a park or other child-centric place. Keep your focus on the children. This meeting is about you getting to know them, so ask questions and interact with the children as much as possible.
Be prepared for some potentially awkward moments and questions as well, since his kids are probably curious and possibly confused about you.
3. Stick To The Rules
At this point, you’re just getting to know the children, and it can be tempting to correct some of their behaviors. But you’re a new figure in their lives, and the parenting needs to be left to their parents at this point. Note his rules for his children and follow them until more time has passed and you’re taking a more active role in their lives.