How to Date a Man with Kids
So you've met the man of your dreams...and he's got kids. Maybe kids weren’t part of your initial plan. How do you deal with the situation? There are a lot of ways that you could react to discovering that he has children, but if he truly is the man of your dreams you should be able to have a relationship with him and with his children.
Determining Whether to Continue Your Relationship
Ask yourself what you want.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. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you handle sharing his attention and time with his children?
- Will you be jealous of the time he spends with his children?
- Are you willing to act as a good role model for his children?
- Do you want a relationship with his children?
Know that he likely has a connection to his ex.Whether they are amicable or fight like cats and dogs, your man probably has regular interactions with the mother of his children.While this is for the well-being of his children, it can place a strain on his relationship with you if you are jealous of his ex, if you and his ex don’t get along, or if his ex decides to interfere with your relationship in any way.Ask yourself if this is something you could handle.
Ask about his custody arrangement.You’ll want to know how often he spends time with his children and if he is their primary caregiver. This will allow you to set up realistic expectations of the amount of time that you will be able to spend with him. You’ll also want to know if he has a co-parenting plan with his ex that requires him to spend holidays, vacations, and other parts of the year with his ex and his children as a whole family unit.
Get acquainted with his parenting style.It is possible that he will have a parenting style with which you disagree. If this is the case, know that you have no right to argue with his parenting style since these are his children and not yours.If you cannot abide by his parenting style, you should walk away. Know that if you stay and ask him to change his parenting style, he will likely leave if you push him too hard. Compromising the wellbeing of his children to make you happy is not on the table for him.
Interacting with Your Significant Other
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 complain about every little thing, but repression is unhealthy. Let him know if you feel apprehensive or have reservations about continuing the relationship and talk through those issues in a mature fashion.
- You might say something like this: “I’ve never dated someone with children before and I’m a little nervous about it. I was wondering if we could talk about that.”
Be flexible.When you’re dating a man with children, his schedule might change quickly to accommodate the needs of his children.This means that your dinner date might go out the window when your man’s son ends up in the ER for stitches after falling off his bike.
Take things slow.Don’t rush getting to know your man in the hopes that you’ll meet his children sooner.Sure, maybe you want to meet his children, but before you do that you should know with certainty that you are in a healthy committed relationship with your significant other.
Be mature.Don’t play manipulative mind games with your man. Don’t put him in a position where he needs to choose between you or his children.A good father will eliminate a potential love interest if he feels like she is acting jealous, playing games, or competing against his children for his attention.
Building a Relationship with His Children
Have a cordial relationship with the child's mother.You don't need to become best friends, but don't be cold (the children might feel you are a threat to their mother and act out against you). Don't be afraid to ask your man about his relationship with her.What they did, but more so, why they broke up? Sometimes figuring out her quirks will help you communicate better with her.
- Try coordinating transportation to school during the week — maybe she can't pick them up on Thursdays, so you can offer to do it — or offering to help plan a birthday party with her. If you're helping plan an event like a birthday party, keep in mind that you are not running the show — just be there to offer your assistance. Ask if you can pick up the cake, get balloons, assist with decorating, or if there are any specific things she'd like you to do to help. Don't turn it into a power struggle.
Decide when to meet his children.Make a point not to meet his children until you've been dating for a while and have a very strong agreement that you will have a future together. Meet in a neutral location and take the time to really get to know his children well.Don't forget that every relationship is different and his children may appreciate knowing the person that their parent is dating.
- You might decide to meet his children in a place where you can undertake a group activity, such as an arcade, a bowling alley, or a trampoline gym. This depends upon the ages of his children and their interests. Try to find a group activity that everyone can participate in to diffuse tension and ease discomfort.
Have an honest conversation with his children.Tell his kids that you are really nervous about meeting them because you love their father. Let them know that you don't ever want to give them the impression that you are there to replace their mother.Finish the conversation by telling them that you're looking forward to getting to know them better and be open to their questions.
- You might lead in with something like, “Hi, my name is _____. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you because I enjoy spending time with your dad and he always has so many nice things to say about you. Just the other day, he told me how proud he was of you for getting an A on your spelling test.”
- You might also say, “I want us to be friends if that’s okay with you. I know that you already have a mom and aunts and uncles and other family members who love you, so I thought that perhaps, we could be friends.”
- Finally, you might say, “I’m really looking forward to spending more time with you so that we can get to know each other better. How does that sound to you?”
Realize that his children may dislike you initially.Don't be upset about this or take this to heart. You are a stranger to them. Children have thoughts and feelings all their own and at times they may act impulsively. Be sure that you think before you act, offer to get to know them in their own time, and take things in stride.Manage rejection gracefully and talk to the child with respect.
QuestionI have a boyfriend. He's about to divorce and his wife is going to leave their son to live with her family. Is it normal that I feel jealous when he keeps in constant communication with his son's aunty? It hurts to accept that I never come first for him .
M.A, Clinical Mental Health CounselingM.A, Clinical Mental Health CounselingExpert AnswerAlthough I don’t know all of the details of your situation, it is perfectly normal to feel jealous from time to time. What’s important is to not let your feelings of jealousy inform or dictate your actions. We all feel jealous sometimes, but it doesn’t give you the green light to nag him about this choice to keep in contact with her family or treat his son coldly. Let him know how you’re feeling and tell him what you need from him to help you feel like a priority in his life.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can you do if your boyfriend didn't tell you that he have a child and you have seeing each other for 6yearswikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere isn't much you can do about this. You boyfriend clearly meant to shield you from this information for a reason. Perhaps he was trying to protect his children because he is worried that their mother will be mean to them if he brings another woman around. Perhaps he thought that you would leave him if you found out that he had a child and he was trying to preserve the relationship with you. Or perhaps he didn't want to bring you into the child's life because he wasn't sure if you were going to be a constant part of his life and he didn't want to unsettle the world of the child by bringing someone into it who would leave after the child formed an attachment. There are so many reasons he could have had for not telling you about his child. That being said, this could demonstrate a lack of trust for you. You should have a conversation with him about this, though be careful not to be judgmental or accusatory.Thanks!
Questionam staying with my boy nd his child,the problems is that mother of the child dnt wnt me near her child and my boyfriend do thing that makes worried over protective to his child when I said something he look me in a bad way and the child is very tense to me ,my boyfriend when he comes to work he first greet his child then me I wnt be greating ,when I ask him y he do that his getting angrywikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis father is working hard to maintain his relationship with his child. The child's mother may be causing problems and saying negative things about you and the father to the child because she is angry that you are spending time around her child. One of the best things you could do at this point is to take a step back and let the father and child spend time alone. This will likely improve everyone's relationship. Additionally, don't expect the father to greet you first since it sounds like his child is his first priority. This is the mark of a good father. He can care about you and love you too, but his child will always come first. If you are uncomfortable with this dynamic, be aware that it won't change. You might consider exiting the relationship if you find yourself jealous of the child or wanting more time with the father.Thanks!
QuestionHow married can be handled while still YoungwikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBeing married is about being a part of a team. You both have goals and dreams. Sometimes those are the same and other times they compete with each other. Being married, regardless of your age, is about compromise, love, and doubling down when the going gets rough. You've entered into a partnership and it won't always be easy, but if you work together through the good and bad times, you can accomplish anything.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you already told the father you can't stand his kids or X wifewikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA good father will put his children first all of the time. With this in mind, you should expect that he will end the relationship with you to preserve his relationship with his children if you have expressed your dislike for them. If he continues this relationship with you there will likely be tension, anxiety, and even resentment that builds as a result of your dislike of his kids and ex-wife. Being in a relationship is being part of a team and his kids and his ex-wife are part of his team. If you want to be on his team, you need to be ready to accept them.Thanks!
QuestionMy boyfriend has 4 children with his ex wife , him and I have been dating for 8 yrs but his ex wife is constantly bugging him and telling him things about me and it has become an issue with him and I, the kids aren't allowed to be around me ( per her) with all said I can't accept the kidswikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnless she has a court order, you cannot be barred from spending time with the children. If she is making your relationship uncomfortable with your boyfriend, that is a serious discussion that needs to be had by you and him. You need to tell him that he has to set clear boundaries with her. If he still lets her bad mouth you and cause problems in your relationship, then he is showing a clear preference for her over you, which means that you should consider leaving this relationship. It makes sense that his children would come before you, but his ex-wife should not. Finally, if you cannot accept his children, you are not playing on the same team. Being in a relationship is about being a part of a team, and his children and his ex-wife are both parts of his team. If you can't accept them as a team, you might consider leaving.Thanks!
- Be honest with yourself about your long-term relationship goals.
- Be honest about your ability to accept his children.
- Don’t try to be a replacement mother for his children. Instead, strive to be an aunt or an adult friend.
- Don't go into the relationship looking for a ready-made family. Be there for the man, everything else is a bonus.
- Remember that if you become involved with this man and his children and then you break-up with him, you are also breaking up with his kids.
Video: DATING A MAN WITH KIDS DO's and DONT's | Immensely Iman
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