Dating someone who has a child can be difficult. There are so many moving pieces to consider. How will a new partner and your children get along? When is a good time for introductions? Is a blended family in your future or years of baby mama drama?
Dating someone with a child is a unique experience. It adds many more dimensions to dating. Instead of dealing just with the person you’re dating, children are added to the mix. And let’s not forget that the relationship between the person you’re dating and the other parent must be considered. You’re ultimately signing up to deal with someone who already has to put you in second place.
A parent’s children are their main priority. Every plan has to be made with the children in mind. Impromptu activities are difficult to pull off. Babysitters have to be scheduled and paid for. Time has to be divided equally. School nights might be off limits and planning vacations might be an all-out disaster. If the person is worth it, bear with them. Be understanding and patient. Value the fact that them being a great parent may mean they have less time for you but them being invested in their children should be something admirable to see. If this is a person you see yourself being with, and possibly being a parent to a future child of yours, seeing them dedicate themselves to parenting should be a trait that you’re looking for.
As a parent trying to date, you have to juggle parenting and dating. Once you’ve decided that someone is worth your time, you have to figure out how long you should wait before you introduce your children to your new partner. Once they’re introduced, how often should they be around each other. When should your new beau be allowed to spend the night. What if the children aren’t a fan of said beau. When is it serious enough that the new person meets the child’s other parent. Is your relationship with your child’s other parent cordial? Friendly? Terrible? Should their opinion be considered when you’re allowing another person into your child’s life? All these questions are too general to answer here and are on a case by case basis but take your time. Communicate with all parties and be open minded.
While there can be many difficulties to dating someone with children or dating as a single parent, there are many beautiful things about it as well. Children are a joy. Their innocence and happiness can bring extra joy into your life. Bonus: People who have children always have the best snacks in their house. On a more serious note, when dating as a single parent or when dating a single parent, communication, as usual, is key. Be open and honest about your expectations and rolls in each other’s lives. If integrating into a family, all parties need to be given time to connect organically. Don’t force anything. Like any relationship, this takes time to build and nourish.
Written by: Ayana Conry