Tips For Dating A Woman With Kids – Dating a woman with kids can be an amazing experience, but it also comes with its own challenges. Single moms have a very difficult job. Whether they have one child or ten, they are responsible for another human life and that’s a great deal of pressure.
If they co-parent, at least they aren’t doing it alone, but it’s another added pressure that they then have to deal with their ex on a constant basis.
They’re also some of the toughest women you’ll ever meet and dating one can be a beautiful but trying experience. Here’s how to navigate dating a woman with kids for the first time.
1. Recognize immediately that you are not, and will never be, her first priority
You need to be okay with coming in second. Her first priority has to be her kids, regardless of whether or not she’s alone taking care of them. She is responsible for them, from the big to the small things. You cannot demand her time without understanding that her time needs to be spent with her children first.
2. Don’t try to help unless you are asked to
It’s nice that you want to help take some things off your girlfriend’s plate. But you have to be very careful not to overstep any boundaries. Especially if the relationship is very new, having you around the children all the time and attempting to do things that a dad might do may upset them.
And if her kids are upset, she’s not going to be happy with you either because, in trying to help, you just added another stressor to her life.
3. Respect her timeline
If she says that she’s not ready to introduce you to her kids, whether it’s a month into the relationship or six months in, you need to respect that. Constantly asking her when or questioning whether or not it’s a problem that you haven’t met her kids yet will put unnecessary pressure on her.
She’ll introduce you. But it’s not only about when she’s ready. It’s about when her kids are ready and only she and they know when that will be.
4. Even if you haven’t met them, show an interest in them
Any proud mom likes to talk about her kids. So you’ll probably be hearing a lot about them. But don’t just wait until she volunteers that information. Ask her about them. Even more importantly, though, remember what she says about them.
Also Read : How to Talk to Girls: 10 Tips to Break the Ice
It’s not enough that you remember her kids’ names. Remember the little things that might not be so little to her, like that her youngest son was struggling in math and finally got an A or that her daughter made the basketball team. It may seem like small things, but, to her, those things mean a lot because they mean a lot to her children.
5. When you do meet them, get to know them in a pressure-free way
Put the ball in their court and let them get to know you on their own terms. When you talk to them, show that you take an interest in their lives. Learn about their likes and dislikes, their struggles and their accomplishments.
Don’t bombard them with questions and, if they’re only giving one-word answers, recognize that they aren’t ready to talk yet. In time, they’ll open up, but it has to be because they want to, not because you try to make them.
6. The ex and past relationship with dad is a no-go
If your girlfriend is a single mom because of a divorce or breakup, keep your nose out of her business. She’s likely co-parenting and that’s enough of a struggle without you offering criticism about her relationship with her ex or about her ex as a person or father.
She and her ex need to figure things out on their own for the sake of their kids. Neither of them is going to appreciate you trying to get involved and tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. On the other side of the coin, it’s not wise to try to become friends with her ex. She looks to you for emotional support and some of that support might be to listen to her talk about what’s going on with her co-parenting situation. But that trust may disappear if she thinks you’re on her ex’s side.
7. Understand that this cannot be a casual relationship
If you meet her kids, or even if you’re not there yet, you’re still playing a role in their lives. A mother cannot play yo-yo with her kids’ emotions. Having men coming in and out of her life and, by extension, their lives is not an option.
Her kids lost a sense of stability when their parents’ relationship ended, regardless of how it ended. A mom is concerned about getting that stability back. If you’re just popping in for a relationship that’s not a stable one, she’s not interested.
Dating someone new with children can open the door to a new life that might even lead to you being a step-parent one day. But you’re going to need to take your time to get there and decide if that’s a path you want to take before you get involved in the first place.
Dating a woman with kids demands a higher level of responsibility and commitment as it entails the emotional impact on children in addition to your partner, however, the rewards of creating a new family unit together are beautiful and boundless.
8. Expect Serious Discussions Early
You may want to steer clear of any kind of talk about marriage, children or future plans too soon. However, she will likely bring up serious discussions much faster than a woman who does not have a child. A single mom doesn’t have a lot of time for wasting with someone who does not have the same relationship goals as she does. Expect this topic to come up much earlier than usual.
9. Pick Date Destinations Close to Home
Even if you know a fabulous restaurant an hour away or have ideas of heading a few cities over to catch a show, dating a mom will usually mean she needs to stick closer to home. Not only will a date located further away take a lot longer, she may be uncomfortable with the idea of being so far away from her children. Before you plan an outing that involves travel, you should always clear it with her well in advance and don’t take it personally if she just can’t go.
10. Understand Sleepovers Will Be Rare
You can pretty much forget the idea that you will have an awesome date and then wake up in each other’s arms the next morning. Surprise sleepovers will be a rare occurrence with a single mom. Therefore, don’t be offended when she asks you to leave after an amazing evening spent at her place and be understanding when she has to go home after spending time with you at yours.
Different, but Not Bad
Dating a single mother may be different, but it is not always a bad difference. After all, you will likely be dating a woman who is well grounded, responsible, and on the lookout for meaningful relationships. Be patient, genuine, and understanding of her position and you may just find that her having children already is a bonus rather than a burden.