8 Things Women Should Know About Dating Men with Kids

October 12, 2016

You’ve found the ideal guy. He’s charming, handsome, intelligent, sophisticated and has a stable career. You’re getting to know him and then he reveals his secret — his has kids. You tell yourself it’s okay because you really like him, but you have questions and concerns.

Will the children like me? Am I ready to become a stepmother? What kind of relationship should I have with the children? Will he have time for me? Will I have to compete with the ex? Does he want any kids with me?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some timely advice from women and men, who have practical tips for future potential stepmoms.

1. His Children Come First

His children will always be a priority and there may be instances when they interfere with the development of your relationship. If you’re patient this type of relationship can work. During a video, relationship coach Jonathon Aslay, spoke on his experience of dating while he was a single dad “When it comes to children… our children come first. Just as they would for you… so a relationship was sometimes put on the back burner.”

Are you back-burner material? Even if the man has children, make sure you’re a priority. You won’t be more important the children, but you need to play an important role in his life.

2. Be Patient about Meeting the Kids

This is a sensitive issue for most single parents who are dating. Responsible parents will exercise caution and patience when it comes to introducing a potential stepmother to their children. While you’re dating, if he seems reserved about introducing you to his children, there is a possibility he isn’t ready.

In the Huffington Post article, What You Should Know About Dating a Man With Children, one woman mentioned that while dating the man who is currently her husband, she waited several months (not weeks) before meeting the children. In the end, she admitted that waiting until the two of them were in an established relationship was the best option.

3. The Kids May Not Like You At First

Depending on how long he’s been divorced, it may be difficult to establish a relationship with his children. They may resent you or compare you to their mother.

In addition, if there was a difficult divorce, the children may still be traumatized and emotionally torn between their parents.

An Eharmony.com article suggested that some children may be leery of you at first. Exercise patience and try to understand what they may have gone through.

4. The Ex Factor

Kinda sucks, but in one way or the other, she will always be around. You’ll have to find a way to avoid being jealous or comparing yourself to her. Try your best to be friends with the ex-wife.

After all, you’re going to play a pivotal role in her child’s life. If you find that friendship isn’t possible, make an attempt to be cordial.

5. He May Not be Interested in More Kids

Do you want to have children of your own? You really need to ask yourself that question. Although being a stepmother provides you with the opportunity of having some parental responsibilities, you may miss out on the opportunity of giving birth to your own children. If having kids is important to you, ask early on if he would consider having more children but be sure to leave out the “with me” part. That could scare him or make him feel uncomfortable if it is too early in the relationship.

6. Timing: Is He Ready to Move on?

Make sure he’s ready to move on. You don’t want to get involved with someone who is constantly warring with an ex. While dating, if he mentions that he has children, you really want to be patient and find out where he is — mentally. Sure, the legal part of the divorce may be over, but you may find yourself in a relationship with a vindictive ex who wants to sabotage your marriage.

Adversely, you may find that he’s too negative and can’t move on. The Your Tango article Dire Mistakes To Avoid When Dating A Divorced Guy included the experience of a woman who dated a man who was constantly speaking negatively of his ex. The anger was transferred to their relationship. There are always two sides to every story, if he is constantly slandering his ex, it may tell you some things about his character.

7. The Children’s Age

It may be easier for you to establish relationships with his children if they’re older. Older children are more likely to be optimistic that they dad meets a nice woman. Men need time to figure themselves out after they have a child.

If the man you’re dating has a young child, an infant or toddler, he may be very busy or extremely involved with his ex. In addition, it is natural and common for newer fathers to feel obligated to try to make this work with their children’s mother.

8. Parenting Style

After several months of dating and finally getting to know his children, you realize that there are certain things that conflict with your parenting ideals. Every parent has their own parenting style. If his style conflicts with yours, it could cause trouble later in the relationship. Not only with his children but with any children you decide to bring into the family.


Establishing any relationship takes a significant amount of patience and trust. When you add children to the equation, it will require that you’re understanding and willing to make sacrifices to make things work.

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