By: Rebecca Strong
Dating someone new definitely has its challenges: assessing your compatibility, getting comfortable enough to let your guard down, discovering your differences, and coping with new relationship anxiety. Add a kid or two into the mix, though, and it’s a whole different ball game.
“Dating someone with kids is a package deal,” says NYC-based relationship expert Susan Winter. “Even when your date has limited or partial custody, their children play a significant role in their long-term partner selection process.”
Not only will their kids probably play influence who they allow into their lives, but it’ll probably affect how they function in a relationship, too.
Keeping it casual probably isn’t an option
Point blank, a single parent is more likely to be looking for something serious when dating around.
“Dating involves the possibility of integrating a person into the family system,” explains Winter. “This is done with caution, over time, and with much consideration.”
This is why you should be sure to clarify your intentions early on before you meet their kids.
Be prepared for plans to change on a dime
Kids add a certain element of unpredictability to life, so at some point, your partner may need to bail on date night at the last minute.
“Anything can happen that will alter your plans unexpectedly,” explains Winter. “Health issues, school or behavioral problems can eliminate that romantic holiday you booked months ago. That’s why you have to have a flexible disposition to date someone with kids.”
Try not to take it personally when they need to take a rain check. It’s not that they don’t value their plans with you … it’s just that their kids come first.
Are you having a hard time dating with kids or dating someone with kids?
Book a consultation with Susan today!