Dating is always complicated, but dating with kids poses its own unique set of questions: Will it be harder to meet people? How will your kids feel? Will everybody get along? Is it normal to talk about your kids on dates?
Raising children takes tremendous empathy and patience, skills that make you a major catch. So though you may have a few more questions and complications then most singles out there, you also have a fair number of advantages. Never saw it that way? Well, here are a few reasons why dating with kids can actually be pretty empowering:
1. When you’re dating with kids, you know what you want…
Let’s be honest: this isn’t your first time toe-dipping into dating. Even if you’re not an experienced dater, you’ve done it, and, as a result, you know what qualities you’re looking for in a partner. Stay true to your instincts, because it’ll save you a lot of time and energy when meeting new people.
2. …and what you don’t want.
Do you loathe the outdoors? Do you hate smoking? Just as it’s nice to know what you want, it’s also empowering to know what you don’t want. Listening to that voice in the back of your head that says “no” is half the battle, so be sure to trust it.
3. As a parent, you know how to set boundaries—and stick to them.
Your entire life is schedules and boundaries. You’re a pro at it with your kids; you’ll be a pro at it in the dating world. Need to be home and in bed—your bed—by 9:30 p.m. because you have an early day tomorrow? Done. Can’t do Wednesday nights because of soccer practice? Fine, no questions asked.
4. You don’t have time to play games, either.
When you have kids, you can’t devote as much time to dating, which means you really can’t let people waste your time. Dating with kids is different, because this time around they’ll always be your first priority. Your kids come first, then you, then things like family and work, and then, eventually, somewhere in there, dating. If someone doesn’t get that, it’s their loss.
5. It’s easier to say “no” when you’re not interested.
You say no to your kids all day long, so you won’t think twice about saying no to a date. If they don’t like it, who cares? Not you.
6. Dating with kids gives you an opportunity to have more open conversations with them.
Whether your children are teenagers or young kids, they’ll appreciate honesty and can sniff out lies. You might be hesitant to talk to them about dating, but it’s actually a great opportunity to have more open communication with them. Acknowledge their feelings and discuss their fears, concerns, and worries. It’ll put them more at ease and bring you closer together.
It’s normal to feel nervous about dating with kids. Remember that being a parent is one of the greatest gifts we have, and it’ll help, not hurt you.