Dating a single parent is not always easy, albeit, it’s not impossible either. If you’re in love with someone that has kids, for that relationship to be successful, you need to follow some tips to make it a seamless experience.
1. Do keep in mind that the kids will always come first.
No matter the situation, this person’s kids will always take the number one spot. If you’re one to fight for and constantly need attention, you might be better off looking for someone who doesn’t come towed with ‘baggage’.
2. Subsequently, the ex will someway, somehow, always be in their life.
Unless the person is a widow or widower, in most cases, separated parents end up co-parenting with their exes, meaning each parent spends some significant amount of time with the kids. So, you have to be ready to deal with the case of the ex. The best way to handle the situation maturely is to maintain a level of respect and friendship with the ex to avoid unnecessary drama.
3. He/she may not always be available when you need them.
When you’re dating someone with kids, schedules can keep changing due to unexpected parent duties or emergencies. Think of a scenario where you plan a date but then the child falls sick and the parent has to drop everything else to go take care of that emergency. You have to understand that schedules could change anytime and be okay with that, which takes me to the next point.
4. You need to be willing to be flexible.
If for instance a date slotted for 5.00pm can no longer work, are you willing to meet at another time? Are you flexible enough?
5. Do know that you have to mention weekend plans in advance.
Unfortunately, surprises may not work so well for parents. You have to alert them of any weekend plans prior to cause hello? There’s a child that needs a baby sitter.
6. Do not rush to meet the kids, in fact, do not rush at all.
You will meet the children when the time is ready. Don’t insist on it. Remember the children, especially if grown, have also been through a lot, such as seeing their parents separate and they can be very protective of their parents.
7. And when you do meet the kids, be patient with them.
Chances are, they will not immediately like you. It may take time to warm up to you. What you can do is try your best, be nice to them and genuinely show that you care about them.
8. Be ready to love not just one person, but more than one.
When you do date someone with kids, you have to be ready to love both the person and the kids. That said, you have to be someone that loves children.
9. Keep your expectations low.
A person that has already been through a failed marriage or separation for instance might not particularly be willing to do that all over again. Moreover, they may also not be willing to have more kids. It’s important that you find out from the start what each other’s expectations from the relationship are.
10. Do show your interest in their kids.
People with kids love to brag about their children. Whenever you’re together, constantly ask how the kids are fairing and show genuine interest in wanting to know more about them.