How do I date someone with children?
Dating someone with children can be a new but rewarding experience
If you decide to date someone with children you may feel apprehensive at the beginning and unsure of how this will affect your relationship. There are many factors which will decide how much involvement you will have with your partner's children such as how old they are, how much time they spend together and how much you want to be part of their lives. Take your time to figure out what arrangement works for you, your partner and their children and try and take from the situation all the positives that come from having kids in your life.
Tips for dating someone with children
Be honest with yourself
When considering to date or beginning to date someone with children it is important to be honest with yourself about how you will feel in the situation. Dating someone with children can mean a lifestyle change and may not be for everyone. Think about what you would like from the relationship and if you think that is achievable while dating someone with children.
Take things slowly
Wait until you feel comfortable and confident in the relationship to meet your partner's children. Talk to your partner about when if and when they would like you to meet their children and do not take it as a negative if they are not ready to introduce you yet. Meeting someone's family is always a big step regardless if it is there mother, child or brother.
Give it time
It takes time to build a relationship with anyone; children included. Ask your partner for their input. They may want you to be very involved in their children's lives and be happy for you to spend lots of time with them. On the other hand, they may not want you to get too close, too soon.
Talk about it
If you run into problems, sit down and have a talk with your partner about it. Depending on the age of the children in the relationship you may also be able to talk to them about issues when they arise. Communication is always the best way to work through problems.
Dating someone with children can be an positive and rewarding experience. Make the most of your time together to learn and grow from one another. If it is right for you, dating someone with children can open you up to being part of a family unit and allow you to experience a different side to life to one without children.
Don't take it personally
Very often it has nothing to do with you if your partner's children dont like you. Resist the urge to force a relationship and instead give it time to grow naturally as you get to know one another better and figure out what sort of dynamic works for everyone involved.
Invest in the relationship
If you see your relationship as a long term investment then when you feel ready you should try to also build a positive relationship with your partners children. Do not try and force a relationship but by being open to building one hopefully it can then develop over time.
Remember that although a relationship with someone who is a parent can be tricky and bring some challenges, it can also be very rewarding. Only you can decide if it’s for you.
Share your experience of dating someone with children
If you are being 16-25 and would like to share your experience of dating someone with children you can contribute an article to our opinion section. For more information on contributing to SpunOut.ie click here.