When considering dating, particularly if dating within the realm of divorcees, 10 tips for dating women with children can prove quite helpful. Along with the usual ways you should treat a woman you are interested in, there are additional courtesies that should be provided out of respect for a single mother’s situation.
- Take things slow when dating a woman with children. She may be cautious before allowing interaction with her child(ren) and this is to prevent hurting the child(ren). Should things get more serious, naturally she will allow opportunities for increased exposure and interaction with her family, but in case things do not turn serious it would be pointless to include children in casual dating so respect her wanting to take things slow.
- Accept that the children are hers, not yours, and what she says goes. Some women are very protective of their children when they begin dating again, and it is important to accept that unless the relationship has turned to marriage and adoption of her children, her say is the law when it comes to her children.
- Do not compare yourself to her ex, the children’s father, and don’t allow them to compare him to you. While it is difficult at times, especially if the children have an active relationship with their father, stepping aside and accepting her past relationship with him shows a major level of maturity and she will appreciate it. Additionally, children can become conflicted on how to treat the new man in their mom’s life, especially if dad is still in the picture, so to speak. Do not force the children into comparisons or choices, and if they seem to feel they must “choose,” try telling them that you care about them and their mom and that it’s okay with you that they love their dad. Also explain that you’re not trying to “replace” their dad.
- Children are smarter than most non-parents give them credit; do not try to “buy” them or treat them as separate from their mother. By this, understand that it’s okay to be friendly, but it is not necessary to have toys or “gifts” every time you interact with them. This will cause the children to interpret your presence as uncaring towards them, and your gifts as a means of silencing them. The toys are a way of keeping the children out of your hair, for example. It would be better to encourage conversation, family board games, and family time in general, as opposed to treating every member of the family as complete individuals. Besides, their opinions could prematurely end your relationship with their mother, so it’s best to treat them like a package deal.