Do you want to date a man who has children? According to a 2015 study, only 12% of women would refuse to date a man with children, implying that the vast majority would.
Most of us are raised with a rigid image of what the ideal relationship should entail: a whirlwind romance, a fairytale wedding, and a set of angelic children (ideally a boy and a girl). But, more often than not, life does not live up to our high hopes. Life is messy, unpredictably unpredictable, and unique to everyone of us.
You may have learned as a child that dating someone with children is not a good idea. However, as you get older, your chances of meeting a man you like who is already married and has children increase, and you may begin to doubt your previous ideas.
“So he’s got a family… “What’s the big deal?” you might wonder.
“At least I know he enjoys kids!” “This is a fantastic sign!”
“He already has children, which is fantastic because I don’t want to have any.”
“I already have a family, and there’s plenty of room in my heart for a few more.”
Others, however, will have something to say about it. Your family and friends may tell you that you’re crazy for taking on such a big responsibility, while other stepmothers and stepfathers hurry to offer you advise.
If you’ve never dated a man with children before, this will be an entirely new experience that will take some getting used to. Even if they aren’t your children, they will have an impact on your entire connection with this man.
Will it be a learning curve?
Will it be complicated?
But will it be worth it?
Only you can make that decision.
Pros of dating a man with kids
- He’s used to being a father (which is perfect if you want kids in the future or already have your own).
- He is dedicated to his children, thus he is no stranger to commitment.
- He won’t waste time with you if he doesn’t see a future with you; if he can’t see a future with you, he’ll tell you straight out and go on.
- If he loves his kids so much, he’ll probably love you just as much.
- He’ll most likely want to take things slowly and avoid making any hasty decisions.
Cons of dating a man with kids
- His children will always take first.
- You’ll have to adjust your schedule to accommodate his and the kids’ timetables.
- Throughout your relationship, you’ll almost certainly have to deal with the kids’ mother (his ex).
- Everything will be loud, messy, and chaotic (that’s what having kids is all about)!
- You’ll have to figure out how to parent while simultaneously acknowledging that you aren’t their mother.
This post was written so that you may go into (or run away from) this circumstance with your eyes wide open. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages, but you know yourself better than anyone else, so only you can decide whether dating a man with children is good for you.
Here are 17 Things You Need To Know Before Dating A Man With Kids
1. The children have a mother who isn’t you.
It’s likely that this man’s children are raised by an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend. And whether you like her or not, she will be in your life for the same amount of time as this man.
The way she raises her children will have an impact on you and your co-parenting relationship. And you’ll never be able to take the place of the child’s biological mother.
When people talk about the “baggage” of dating a man with children, they’re referring to this. You’re getting more than just him; you’re getting his kids, his ex, and everything else that comes with that unit.
2. There will be a lot that is beyond your control.
You’ll have to work around a custody schedule, as well as school runs, homework, extracurricular activities, screaming temper tantrums, and more. The kids’ existing schedules will define your nights, weekends, and vacation times.
There’s no need to drop everything and plan a last-minute romantic weekend getaway. There will be no more two-week vacations outside of school breaks. No longer can you do anything you want, whenever you want.
This is how dating a man who is preoccupied with his children will go. This won’t be a problem for some women, especially if they have children. However, it’s critical to understand what you’ll be giving up.
“It’s something to think about if you want to travel and never reside in the same location, but the person you’re thinking of dating wants to be close-by for his kids,” says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., a sex and relationship specialist.
3. It’s possible that your family and friends will object.
Expect everyone to have a strong opinion about why you shouldn’t date a man who has children.
Whatever anyone says, there’s still a stigma attached to dating a man who already has children, especially if you don’t have your own. Relationships are difficult enough on their own, but add in other people’s concerns and opinions, and things quickly become more complicated.
If you’re already pondering whether or not to date a man with children, the opinions of others may influence your decision. However, if you see a future with this man and have room in your heart for his children, don’t let anyone else get in the way. Have faith in your instincts.
4. You’ll need to be patient
There will be instances when he needs to cancel arrangements with you or when he won’t be able to return your call or text in a timely manner. There will be times when he is unable to be there for you because his children require his attention at the same time. And this can lead to a great deal of disappointment, if not outright resentment.
Dating a man with children necessitates a great deal of patience.
If you’re a single parent, it’s also important to consider if you’ll have time for each other while caring for both sets of children.
5. He can be rusty when it comes to romance.
You could be the first woman this man has dated in a long time, depending on how recent his split was. And it means he’s probably out of the dating game.
He might struggle to express his sentiments, say “I love you,” or be affectionate, for example. He might have forgotten what you require and desire as a woman. His home could be the epitome of a bachelor pad!
Sit down and talk to him about it if you ever feel underappreciated. He’ll want to do better for you if he’s the right guy for you.
6. His kids will ALWAYS come first
You’ve probably heard that before, but I want you to think about it.
The most challenging aspect of dating a man with children is that his children will always come first. They should be, too. This is an indication of a good father, and why would you want to date a bad father?
This isn’t to say that you won’t matter to him or that he won’t care about you; it just means that his children come first. If you’re a parent, you already know what I’m talking about. This man will prioritise you, but you will not be his top priority.
I’m not suggesting you let him treat you badly or use this as an excuse for his not contributing to your relationship, but there will be occasions when he won’t be able to accomplish what you want. That is something you must accept.
7. If things aren’t serious, don’t meet the kids.
If you choose to date a man who has children, keep in mind that meeting his children is a big matter that you should not hurry into. Hold off on getting introduced to this guy unless you envision a future with him and are happy with the direction things are going. You don’t want to put the kids through it again after they’ve already experienced their parents’ relationship fall down. It’s easy for children to form attachments to adults, so only enter their lives if you intend to stay for the long term.
Some people swear by waiting until they’ve been dating for six months, while others refuse to date until they’ve been engaged (WHAT?!). To be honest, there is no such thing as an ideal time—just make sure you’re at ease. Before meeting his children, we recommend waiting until you’ve progressed to at least Little Love Step #7.
8. Allow the children to trust you at their own pace.
While we’re on the issue, his children must also be prepared to meet you. So that they aren’t surprised, have your partner tell them ahead of time that they will be meeting you. Consider what they’re going through.
How well are they coping with the divorce of their parents? When did you and your partner split up? Are they ready for a new person in their lives? It will be difficult to date a newly divorced man with children.
This isn’t only significant for you; it’s also significant for them.
Allow them to open up to you at their own pace, regardless of where their brains are at. Nothing should be forced or rushed. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or have unrealistic expectations when meeting someone for the first time. It may be fantastic the first time you meet them, or it could be disastrous. Be ready for both scenarios.
9. Make no attempt to be their mother.
If you’re dating a man with children, keep in mind that these children already have a mother and aren’t searching for another. So don’t strive to be their second mother. Avoid becoming a severe disciplinarian, as well as the opposite extreme of allowing children to walk all over you. Find a comfortable zone somewhere in the middle and stay true to yourself.
10. However, you must finally establish a bond with his children.
If your relationship with this man develops as you hope, you’ll need to be ready to develop a relationship with his children as well. They will become a natural part of your life. So don’t be afraid to try it. Make an attempt to communicate with them and build a relationship with them over time.
11. He needs to establish some limits.
If you’re dating a man with children, it’s critical that he establishes limits with them. It’s natural for them to behave out and try to get away with it by claiming that “you’re not our mother.” Girls, in particular, may feel threatened by the presence of another woman as they get older.
However, if his children are ever disrespectful to you, it’s critical that he confronts them and makes it clear that this is not acceptable. He needs to establish the tone straight away so that you both understand what is and is not acceptable. There should be a level of mutual respect.
12. Allow him to deal with his ex-parenting wife’s issues.
Whatever you do, don’t become involved in a custody battle, parenting techniques, timetables, or anything else between this man and his ex. Allow him to handle his own affairs and save yourself the trouble! They are both mature adults who are more than capable of resolving their differences.
13. Have an open and honest discussion about money.
When dating a man with children (or any man, for that matter), it’s crucial to bring up the subject of money. I’m well-known for suggesting that you should never date a poor man, and this is no exception. If he has children, though, you may need to have this chat sooner than usual to obtain a clear picture of his financial situation.
Is he paying child support, and if so, how much is he paying? Is there anything he owes to lawyers or other professionals? Even if he has a terrific job, he may find himself in financial difficulty. And you must consider how this will impact you and the life you wish to have with him.
14. It’s better to talk about marriage and children sooner rather than later.
Are you interested in those items?
Is he willing to repeat those actions?
Are you on the same page about these major lifestyle decisions and values?
Because if you aren’t, it’s better to call it quits now rather than risk developing a relationship with his children only to abandon them in the not-too-distant future.
15. It will be more difficult than you anticipate.
It’s simple to plan and plot when you’re on the outside looking in, and it’s even easier to figure out how you’ll handle all of the potential complications that may develop.
What’s more, guess what?
Real life isn’t always so black and white.
When you’re genuinely in the moment and going through something, your emotions, as well as the emotions of others, will come into play. Things get a lot more complicated as a result of this!
Every woman I’ve spoken to who has dated a man with children admits that it was more difficult than they anticipated.
16. You may feel as though you have no idea what you’re doing at times.
It’s natural to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing if you’ve never dated a man with children before. When was the last time you were fantastic at something the first time you tried it?
This is a rare occurrence.
So get used to feeling a little uneasy in this new position. Allow yourself to make mistakes, to fail, and to find your own rhythm in your own time. Believe that this phase of transition will pass and that things will improve.
17. Take on the challenge wholeheartedly.
Dating a man with children is likely to be one of the most difficult experiences you’ll ever have. Women who have taken up the challenge, on the other hand, would tell you that it is one of the most fulfilling experiences they have ever had. Perhaps meeting or marrying a man with two children wasn’t in your five-year life plan, but how often does life go as planned?
If you’re willing to fully embrace and incorporate this man and his children into your life, this could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Conclusion: Every woman has a distinct experience dating a man with children.
Be aware of any woman you know who has dated a man with children or who has become a stepmother. You might hear stories of how she took the kids for a stroll in the park on a hot summer day and how they embraced her as if she were their true mother. The concern is that you will then expect things to go the same way for you. And if they don’t, you can be in for a rude awakening.
When it comes to dating a man with children, you should have no expectations. You’ll only be able to prevent disappointment if you do this.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve dated or are considering dating a man with children. What was the most important thing you learned? What didn’t come out the way you expected?
Or, more specifically, what are you most concerned about? What are you looking forward to the most?
Tell me everything in the comments section below.