Dating a single dad is a challenge. You may feel like you are in competition with his children, or that you need to work hard to gain their approval. You may even sense that if his kids dislike you, he will swiftly dump you and move on as if nothing ever happened. Whatever the case, there are a few things to keep in mind while dating a single dad in order to protect yourself from heartbreak and potentially win his affection--and that of his children.
Understand that his kids come first. Darryl Wooten, a single dad interviewed by Lambeth Hochwald in "Happen" Magazine, states that if you are not into his children, there is no future for the relationship. Patrick Morris says that he is going to talk about his children on a first date because a parent's life revolves around their children. If you are interested in a guy who has a child, you must not only understand but embrace his role as a parent, as well as the children he is devoted to.
Start slow when getting involved with the children. Robert Grand states in "Happen" magazine that single dads want to choose the timing when it comes to introducing you to their children. Mark Kasserman would not introduce his children to you right away because they bond quickly, and does not want to bring women in and out of their lives. Furthermore, Dan Grogan claims that you should resist taking on the mothering role because of the fact that there usually is also a real mom in the picture, and you may be too much for the kids.
Be authentic. The importance of being real with your man's children cannot be overemphasized, as they will be able to sense if you are simply trying to please them to gain their father's approval. Wooten explains in "Happen" Magazine that he would not want you pretending to be into his children in order to get a second date, and that he can tell if you are sincere. Kasserman claims that even if he liked you, if his kids did not, he would assume there was something negative about you he could not perceive. Dating a man with children is a big commitment, and if you want to stay involved with him, you must genuinely like his kids.
Do not bring up controversial topics in front of the kids. Kasserman warns against "hot-button" topics and says that if you were to begin talking about something inappropriate in front of his children, he would break up with you immediately. Despite the fact that certain topics may be okay to talk about on an ordinary date, if children are involved, you need to take special care with what you choose to discuss.