Dating on its own is a challenge, but dating with kids is a whole different kettle of fish! There are many different elements that come into factor and ‘are they ok with kids‘ comes up a lot quicker than it might normally do with the best time being on the first date! Now that Covid easing means that you can go out and grab a drink rather than aimlessly walking around cold parks, here are some tips for helping you get back out there!
Be honest with what you want
One of the most important things is to be upfront about what you want. This will drastically change the sort of person you are dating. Having children will take the flirtatious ‘let’s see how it goes‘ and chuck it out the window. When you are dating with kids they should be your priority, so difficult conversations such as ‘where is this going‘ will happen quicker. If the lady you are casually seeing isn’t up for eventually being a step-mother, this is an important factor for both of you to know and consider.
What should I tell my children?
Depending on your child’s age, it is really important to let them know that you have started dating, or at least looking around. They need reassurance that they are still the most important part of your life, and finding out about a new girlfriend from someone else, or by meeting them unexpectedly won’t be good for any of you going forward.
Be upfront and honest about your ex
Make sure that your new partner feels comfortable knowing about your past relationship. If she is going to be spending time with you and your kid, then it is important that she knows about their mother!
How involved should my children be?
One thing you have to negotiate is how to walk the fine line of not having rotating significant others in your children’s lives, and how early can you introduce them to your potential long-term partner. Some single fathers want to see how their children are around their new girlfriend and set that as a benchmark for pursuing a relationship. While their opinions about their dad’s new partner are really important, if it is a short-term affair, then it isn’t good for them to get close.
Things to look for
When settling with a new partner, it’s important to know that they share the same values, and will support you even if you don’t always agree. Your girlfriend is sacrificing a lot, being put into a situation where she doesn’t have the same authority as you do. While she might respect and care for your children, you have to be the one who disciplines them. If she loves and accepts and is good to you and your kids, don’t miss out on love! But certainly don’t rush into things! Take your time before you move in together or get married so you know it’s right.
Where to look for new love?
While hanging out at the park with your kids and the school gate might have been a good place to bump into other single parents in the past, modern love is being taken online. One such place is the new app ‘Playdate‘, connecting single parents together. Not only do they match you, but they also offer local babysitters allowing the two of you to work around your schedules. Find out more at www.gotoplaydate.com!