Arguably dating when you have a child is much more tasking than when you don't have kids. You have to think about your kids when choosing a potential partner. Dating when you have kids is a balancing act on your time, financial resources, and attention. You will need to ensure that, for the most part, no one is feeling left out and unappreciated. Below are a few pointers to help you have a successful dating life when you have kids.
Before jumping back into the dating pool, it is crucial to make sure you are ready. Ensure that you have dealt with the issues that led to you separating from the mother of your kids. This is paramount to minimize the amount of emotional baggage you bring into the new relationship. Making peace with the past and being fully ready to put yourself out there and be vulnerable again will help save you and your potential partner a world of misunderstandings. It would help if you also mentally prepared yourself that the relationship you are getting into may not be happy ever after. You may be left hurting when it ends. Yoga, meditation, and therapy may help if you are struggling with the idea of dating again. Be sensitive to your partner's needs and concerns and do what you can to make them feel secure in the relationship without neglecting your kids.
The hard truth is that your precious little angelic kids may become a nightmare to your new partner. They may feel like you are trying to replace their mother, which may lead to hostility toward your partner. It would help if you decided when is the right time to introduce your kids to your partner. If you have toddlers, find a suitable way to explain who your new partner is. As a man with kids, you are more prone to take your kids' side over your partner's, especially when there are disagreements. Being fair and impartial is imperative; try to see things from each side to don't judge a situation unfairly. Remember that the partner you choose will be thrown into a situation with kids which most people find challenging to handle. It is worth noting that it takes time and effort for your kids and new partner to bond, and you should be patient with the process. As a general rule, try not to make the whole conversation about your kids when on the first few dates.
Co-Parenting and Step-Parenting
The main reason why many women don't want to be with a man who has kids is because of the co-parent. For most men, your ex is someone you had planned with your future and hence the kids. It is advisable to let your new partner in on the dynamics you, your kids, and their mother/father have. Total discrepancy and effective communication will help smooth over any misunderstandings. If you are friendly with your ex, let your potential partner know so that certain gestures are not misconstrued. You need to ensure that the partner you choose is ready for the assumed role of a step-parent. Please discuss with your potential partner what they are comfortable doing with and for your kids so that they don't feel taken advantage of. Co-parenting and step-parenting are issues you will need to discuss significantly earlier when you start dating. Recognize that not all people can handle these responsibilities, and it’s okay. Avoid situations that may make your new partner feel like a third wheel.
Due to your responsibilities to your kids and maybe your ex-partner, you may be strapped for cash. This may be due to paying alimony for the ex-partner and child support. You need to be open to your partner if you have struggles limiting how much you can spend on dates and luxury vacations with your partner. There are also alternative dates like poetry readings, in-house date nights, and music concerts where you can have dates without breaking the bank. Again transparency here is critical.
Dating with kids has its challenges and benefits. Wisdom and patience need to be your second nature when making decisions, especially with your partner. Do not overly obsess over your kids, especially when you're alone with your partner. Planning cute romantic dates with just the two of you will keep the passion between you two steady and safe.