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Things to Think About Before Dating a Man With Kids

by Emma Wells, studioD

Dating a man with kids means that there are more people involved in this love story than just you two. Although you might date secretly for a little while until he decides to introduce you to the kids, the children are always going to be a big part of his life. Once you do meet his kids, they become part of your life, too. Not to mention, if there’s a co-parent involved, that person will be a part of your life eventually as well. Think about some of the big-picture concerns before dating a man with kids.

His Kids are No. 1

If he’s the kind of responsible, caring man you want to meet, his kids do come first. This means that he won’t cancel plans for them to hang out with you, that he’ll always do what’s best for them and that dating him means you’re a potential candidate for being involved with the whole family. It’s important that you maintain your own life so that you’re not envious of the time he spends with his kids.

His Ex Stays in the Picture

You don’t have to be best friends with his ex, but you do have to understand that she’s in his life as a co-parent. Consider whether you can handle seeing them interact occasionally and speaking to each other on the phone about the kids. You may even have to interact with her if the relationship gets serious. Be prepared to speak with her regularly.

Prepare for Family Fun

When you first start dating, your relationship probably won’t be disclosed to the kids. It’s a good idea for him not to tell them in the beginning because kids can get attached easily and feel abandoned if you leave early on. Once he introduces you to the kids though, be prepared to spend time with them at child birthday parties, family-friendly restaurants or just at his house. Family activities are also a good time to gauge whether you mesh with his parenting style and how you might negotiate your role as an adult in the household.

His Thoughts on More Kids in Future

He might be interested in looking for a serious partner, and if that’s what you’re interested in as well, you’ll need to consider how you might deal with the question of having children down the road. He has kids, and he might be done with the diaper phase of life, says relationship expert Gilda Carle in "Happen," the weekly magazine for Match.com. You can ask whether he might want more children -- just don’t say “with me” if it’s early in the game. If he says no, decide whether that’s a deal breaker for you.

About the Author

Emma Wells has been writing professionally since 2004. She is also a writing instructor, editor and former elementary school teacher. She has a Master's degree in writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology. Her creative work has been published in several small literary magazines.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images