Dating a woman with kids poses its own challenges. In most relationships, the chemistry is between a man and a woman. When you are dating a woman with kids, the relationship becomes between a man, woman, and child.
First of all, you should know that it is harder for single moms to find dates than it is for women without children. Many men shy away from single moms because they don’t want to deal with the challenges of children. This means that a single mom may be more approachable and eager to date you. That doesn't mean that she’ll have lots of time for you though. Dating a woman with kids means that you compete for her time, and her kids will always come first.
A single mom will probably be working full time, going to little league practice or ballet lessons, and having a social life besides. Where she fits you into the picture may be limited. For instance, she may want to see you for dinner on Wednesday nights only – because that’s dad’s night with the kids. She may only be available for dates every other Saturday.
You will have to decide together when to get to know her kids. It is bad parenting to bring a succession of men into her kids’ lives. So, despite the fact that her kids are the most important thing in the world to her, you may find yourself being excluded from this realm for six months or more. When you do meet the kids, you have to decide how you will relate to them. They’re not your children, but you will want them on your side. While younger children are easier to impress – just toss a ball or draw with them – older kids have their own activities.
Most children wish that their mom and dad would get back together. They are likely to see you as a threat to this fantasy. In almost all cases, there is at least initial resistance to having you in their mom’s life. You will also have the challenges of authority when you are dating a woman with kids. When you give an instruction to a child, they are likely to say “you’re not my dad.” Think through your response to this challenge carefully ahead of time as it may set the tone for the rest of your relationship with the child.
Another problem with dating a woman with children is that it can get quite expensive. After you have settled into a relationship and you know her kids, dates often become “family” outings. Instead of going for pizza and beer with your girlfriend, you are likely to end up at Chuck E. Cheese’s with the kids in tow. Forget going to an amusement park unless the kids get to come along.
And, sex becomes tricky when you are dating a woman with kids. Some women are reluctant to bring you home for an overnight because of the message that will send to the kids. She is also not likely to want to come over to your place because that involves finding someone to watch the kids.
If she does allow you into her bedroom, you may well be interrupted by children at a key moment. Be prepared for children to invade every aspect of your life. One final note – if you do get involved with a woman’s children and subsequently break up with her, you will almost always lose your relationship with the kids. In this case, you will suffer from double heartbreak. This is not to say that you should avoid dating a woman with kids. Instead, be aware of the challenges – and the possibilities.