Before I let you in on the 5 tips you need to know about dating a man with kids, let me hop up on my soap box real quick.

Just don’t, okay?

If you are a Gen Z woman without children, save yourself the mental anguish and hold out.

Now, if you’re a millennial woman like me, I can understand why it might seem a little more difficult. We’re at an age where most people have children and the pressure to not feel like a 30-something-year-old weirdo without kids begins to hover…

And – the dating pool becomes significantly smaller by eliminating the men that have already crossed into their parenthood journey. 

This doesn’t mean you all of sudden have to be open to dating men with kids – you also don’t have to consider the possibility of wandering into Cougarland.

This just means it may take a little longer to get exactly what you want and need. 

So, I’ve had some extremely interesting experiences with this in the past 2 years.

I’m going to share 5 Tips you need to know about dating a man with kids. 

dating a man with kids

1. Do not settle if it’s not what you want.

We all have boundaries and deal-breakers when it comes to relationships. If you have decided that you never want to date a man with kids (for whatever reason), it’s probably a good idea to stick to that.

There will be difficult moments in your relationship resulting in you resenting the fact that you entertained something you knew you were not okay with. Trust me, this IS going to happen, often.

You basically cross your own boundaries and find yourself questioning the choices you’ve made. However, in some cases, growth is also a result of these types of challenges – in these moments, you may discover strengths you didn’t know you had.  

But if the challenge begins to negatively impact your wellbeing, bow out gracefully hun. You gave it fair shot, no relationship is worth you not being okay.

2. Do not force a relationship with the kid.

Friend, don’t be extra – all in the kid’s face trying to play step mama / bff too early. It’s weird and comes off as disingenuous. And don’t overstep boundaries when it comes to disciplining the kid before you’ve established your role in their life; this also comes off super weird and suspicious. 

I had a situation where a guy understandably tried to force a relationship between me and his kid; and as a naturally introverted person, it was extremely uncomfortable for me, as well as the child. 

Unfortunately, I did project some of my own feelings towards my step-parents onto the child and assumed the child may have those same feelings towards me. Try your best not to project. Instead, pray for discernment and learn how to read the room. 

It’s very important to let these kinds of relationships develop naturally without reservations and not forcefully. Eventually, I grew to love the child dearly. Which is also tricky because breaking up with the father means also breaking up with the kid. So be really careful and only meet the child if the relationship is serious and leaning towards marriage. 

3. Be real with yourself and your man.

You have to be real with yourself. Dating a man with kids is not a walk in the park if you do not have children of your own. When you have kids, it’s highly likely that you have a much better understanding of blended family dynamics.

Coming from a blended family is not the same as having your own blended family. 

In fact – it may cause a bit more confusion because you’re likely to make unfair assumptions based on what you experienced as a child rather than having first-hand experience as a parent of a blended family. 

So, it’s important to just keep it real from the jump – explain to your man what your feelings about his situation are and allow him the opportunity to offer some understanding. 

From there, be real with yourself about how you can support the situation or if you don’t feel that you’re up to the challenge. 

Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Your lifestyles may be drastically different
  • You may or may not be ready to step into a parenting role
  • The emotional complexities and baggage from the previous relationship
  • Your attention needs

4. Provided that both parents are active, you will need to find ways to deal with the fact that their mother will be present.

If you decide that you don’t mind dating a man with kids, it’s essential that you understand the role you play in the child’s life. This includes being on the same page with both of the child’s parents in considering the best interests of the child. 

It could mean getting to know the mother of the child and/or learning how to exist in a co-parenting situation without reserve. This is especially important if the child has not reached teenage years.

5. Don’t lose yourself in the relationship.

rules for dating a man with kids

It can be easy to become consumed in the nuances of dating a man with kids – you may find yourself lost or confused about where you fit in. But don’t get caught up. Let him handle his business and only chime in when your assistance is requested. 

Focus on yourself and how you show up in your personal life, and how you can support your man in the relationship. The keyword there is support – do not try to manage or lead decisions that should be made between the child’s biological parents.

It’s not your job to solve their family issues, especially if you’re just a girlfriend.

Final thoughts on dating a man with kids.

The bottom line is, it’s not a great feeling. It can be extremely rewarding over time as you gain a new set of family members if you become a wife to a man with kids. But in the beginning, it IS going to be uncomfortable for you.

You will likely feel left out and will have a hard time adjusting. You will likely yearn more for children of your own, God forbid that be a struggle for you because that will make matters worse initially. 

The joy of it all doesn’t happen until way down the road when bonds have been solidified and full acceptance has occurred – with extreme patience and compromise, it is possible.

30 Unmarried & Childless

30 Unmarried & Childless pt 2

30 Unmarried & Childless  pt 3

30 Unmarried & Childless pt 4

30 Unmarried & Childless pt 5


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