Dating a guy with kids can be an immensely rewarding experience. Often, dating as a single parent means a contrasting dating experience from normal. Date nights function differently, alone time changes, and plans — by necessity — begin to look a little different. That’s not to say any of this is a bad thing. But, these are things that should be kept in mind when you’re dating a guy with children.
Below we’ve laid out the benefits and drawbacks of dating a man with kids, as well as a few key points of advice to try to help you navigate the relationship in the best way possible.
6 Benefits of Dating a Guy With Kids
Every personality and every relationship is different, of course. But, generally speaking, there are a few common benefits you can expect to enjoy when dating a man with daughters or sons. Check out our top six picks below!
1. They’re mature
Having children forces us to reassess our lifestyle and put somebody else’s happiness firmly before our own. That newfound maturity, empathy, and compassion won’t stop at his children – it can extend to you as well.
2. You can see other sides of their personality
It’ll be hard for him to look cool and collected when his children are throwing spaghetti bolognese at one another. Conversely, there’s something so tender about watching your date read his kids a bedtime story.
Dating a guy with kids means you’ll get to see him in a whole new light, acting in a variety of situations you might otherwise never see. This can tell you a lot about whether you want to be with him.
3. You can bond with his kids
If you’re the kind of person who simply adores children – great! You have a real chance to bond with them, help them grow, and make them happy.
4. He won’t be rushing
A man with children will likely be happy to engage in slow dating, meaning you have plenty of time to think about what you need and what you want. No high-pressure decision-making!
5. He’s used to responsibility and managing a household
Getting one (or more) children up and washed and dressed and fed is…let’s just say it’s not easy! If the guy you’re dating is juggling all this, you can bet he’ll carry that sense of responsibility and capability into your relationship.
6. Let’s be honest…it’s kind of sexy
What more is there to say?
5 Potential Drawbacks of Dating a Man With Kids
While dating a guy with kids can set the foundations for a genuinely good relationship, there are a few potential drawbacks that are worth keeping in mind. Below, we’ve outlined five of the most common ones to watch out for.
1. His kids will always come first
If your love language involves a heavy focus on quality time, this might be difficult for you to contend with – at least at first. The simple fact is this: His children are always going to be his priority. But, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You want to date a man who would make a doting and attentive father, right?
2. Aspects of your love life will be outside your control
This is an extension of his kids always being the priority. There will be times that he has to change plans at late notice, check his phone during dates, or even leave early in an emergency. These instances might be frustrating, but when your time together is scarce, it can almost add to the romance.
3. There’s likely an ex in the mix
Again, not always a bad thing, but still, it’s worth being aware of. Unless he’s a widower, your new partner has an ex out there somewhere, who’s the mother of his children.
All you can hope is that their split was amicable and that they’re able to deal with one another healthily and respectfully. It’s not always the case, however, so it’s worth being ready for this until you find out for certain.
4. There’s no telling what the kids will be like
There’s not much you can do about this, of course. They might be sweet little angels, or they might be grease-smeared, shrieking demons. Well…fingers crossed!
5. There’s sometimes a stigma attached to dating a man with kids
If you get too involved, people might think you’re nosy. If you keep your distance, you seem severe and cold. People make assumptions. They might assume there was an affair and you were the “other person”.
These are just words and should definitely be ignored. But, words can still be difficult to contend with at times. Thankfully, the stigma around dating a man with children doesn’t have the same social stigma as it once did, but this is still a factor to keep in mind.
7 Top Tips For Dating a Guy With Kids
1. Anticipate that it won’t be easy
Don’t expect it to be a breeze and you won’t be disappointed. Dating a guy with kids can be an immensely fulfilling, rewarding, and exciting experience. But, there will be times when the road ahead isn’t smooth. If you enter the relationship expecting this, you’ll feel ready and stronger for any potential challenges that lie ahead.
2. Don’t meet his kids until you’re an established couple
His children have already been through a turbulent time with the separation of their parents – they don’t need to see other partners come and go as well. Before you meet his kids, you ought to be feeling secure in an exclusive relationship that shows you’re committed to one another.
3. If you want children, tell him early on
Given that he already has children, he may not want more – or he may want lots! Have this conversation early (ish – not the first date!) to make sure you’re on the same wavelength.
4. Avoid PDAs around his children
Don’t be too touchy-feely with your partner in front of his children. It’ll likely be a strange experience for them to see another person caressing their dad. Be gentle and respectful with their emotions and wait till you’ve got some alone time before engaging in those intimate things to do together.
5. Give him plenty of one-to-one time with his children
You don’t need to be there for every father-child activity. Sometimes it’s good to busy yourself elsewhere for a day or two and let your partner enjoy some one-to-one bonding time with his children.
6. Pick the right time and place to meet the children for the first time
You don’t want to meet them by accident, stumbling over the threshold of his house after a boozy brunch, for example. When the time is right for you to meet his children, make arrangements beforehand. Choose a set time and place in which the kids can be comfortable and feel at ease.
7. Remember that his children may take time to warm to you
They’re kids, after all. They’re going through a major life change so, when you first meet, don’t feel too disheartened if they’re a little frosty. Try your best, be friendly and warm, and your partner will be proud of your efforts (and likely be attracted to you all the more).
Dating a Guy With Kids Can Be Genuinely Special
So, is dating a guy with kids worthwhile? Absolutely! Yes, it might not always be smooth sailing – but which relationship really is? Whether you’re getting back into dating after a divorce or looking to reignite the spark with an old flame, dating a man with kids can be a rewarding, insightful, life-affirming experience.
If there’s someone out there that you like — and you’ve spotted those surefire signs of attraction from his side — but you’re holding back because of their children, it’s time to make a move! Keep the potential benefits and drawbacks in mind, follow the advice above, and you’ll be completely fine. Good luck!