Dating Men With Children

 

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There are certain things the woman who marries her high school sweetheart never has to worry about, and dating men with children is one of them. Changes in the dating pool are inevitable with more dating experience, and as time passes, we all have a little more baggage to bring along for the ride.

Most women who continue dating into their twenties and thirties will likely be faced with the dilemma of navigating around a man’s children at one point or another, and as we get older most of us see this as less and less of a drawback. After all, being given the opportunity to witness how a man interacts with his children gives you a sneak peek into how he would interact with yours!

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The regular dating rules still apply when dating a father, with a few additional caveats added in for good measure:

·        The children come first. It is important for you to remember that you will never be the number one priority in this man’s life, nor should you ever want to be. Just as you would want the father of your children to place priority upon them, you should admire and respect this man’s ability to make his own kids the most important people in his life. Dates may be canceled, and from time to time plans may require rearranging, but any man who would place your needs above those of his children is probably not a man you would want to wind up with in the end.

·        Take your time meeting the kids. Since they are such a big part of his life you may find yourself itching to ingratiate yourself to them, but go slowly. Make sure this is a man you truly see a future with before involving his children. They have likely faced plenty of heartbreak in their short lives (regardless of the reasoning for their father not being with their mother), and they don’t need to become attached to one more person who isn’t going to be around for long. Meeting the children should be placed right up there on the evolving relationship ladder with moving in together. It really is taking everything up a notch.

 

·        The children come first. Yes, this a repeat rule, but it is one that needs to be re-learned once you are actually a part of the child’s lives. It is likely that you may not instantly connect with his kids. He may have a teenage daughter who makes her distaste for you known, or a little boy who is clearly not a fan of sharing his daddy. You may find your feelings hurt, or your temper start to flare, but in the end; the kids still come first. The best thing you can do is slap a smile on your face and keep trying. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated with them, because they are just confused kids after all. Be calm, and supportive, and consistent. If you don’t allow yourself to deviate from the “children come first” mentality, they will likely eventually come around. They are just testing you in the beginning, and you have to be patient in order to pass that test.

Dating a man with children can have its own hurdles, but it can also be filled with plenty of rewards. Children see the world so much differently than we do, and if you don’t have kids of your own, this could become an opportunity to really test the waters and find out if motherhood is for you.

It’s likely that you will eventually become more attached to those kids than you would have ever expected, and in those cases breakups can be even harder than normal. It’s just one more reason to take your time when entering into this relationship, because when kids are involved your heart will likely also become that much more involved as well. If you can make it work though, you may find yourself happier than you could have imagined with a man who just has that much more love to share.

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