Date a Man with Kids
So you've met the man of your dreams...and he's got kids. How do you deal with the situation?
- Take a deep breath and make sure you can handle this kind of relationship. Being with a man with children is never an easy thing and it isn't for the faint of heart. Don't feel bad if you can't deal with the division of attention. Consider it self-preservation. Take some time alone to make sure this is what you want.
- Talk to your man. Sometimes discussing how you are feeling will not only make you feel better, but it will let him know how you are feeling. Granted, you can't whine about every little thing, but repression is bad.
- Try to have a cordial relationship with the kids' mother (if she's around). Don't become best friends (your guy will feel like he is being double teamed) but don't be cold (she may turn the kids against you). Don't be afraid to ask your man about his relationship with her. What they did, but more so, why they did they break up? Sometimes figuring out her quirks will help you deal with her better (him too).
- Make a point not to meet his children until you've been dating at least six months and have a very strong agreement that you will have a future together. The best scenario is to wait until you are engaged, then meet the children and wait an additional year and really get to know the kids well. Don't forget that every relationship is different and your children may appreciate knowing the person that their parent is dating, especially in cases where the children are older.
- Don't talk down to the children. They know what is going on. Being overly nice will set off warning bells. Sit down with the kids. Tell them that you are really nervous about meeting them, because you really love their father. But - most importantly - you don't ever want to give them the impression that you are there to replace their mother. Emphatically state that you know you could never take that place, but you will always be there if they need support. Tell them you don't want to change anything about the way they've been running their lives, their family traditions, or their relationship with either their father or mother. Tell them that you may need some help learning those traditions. Finish up by telling them that you're really looking forward to getting to know them better and be open to questions.
- Don't be upset if one of the children initially doesn't like you. It could be for one of the reasons above. Or it could have nothing to do with you. Manage it gracefully and talk to the child with respect.
- Be honest with yourself. Sure, the guy is great and you guys have the best time, but if kids are not your thing and you can't overcome and try - it is ok to feel that way.
- Talk it out. Talk with your man, your friends, or blog. Sometimes getting the feelings and fears out will make you feel better.
- Any man that you fear telling your friends and family about is probably a man you know isn't good for you.
- Don't go into the relationship looking for a ready made family - be there for the man, everything else is a bonus.
- Try not to talk too much about his ex, especially (but not only) if he is a widower. It can be hard for him, as it is in the past, and he probably doesn't want to be reminded of it. Remember that right now, he is with you.
Things You'll Need
- A clear mind
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