I scoured the Internet for advice about dating people with kids. I got the same advice from multiple people: "Be yourself." OK, what next? We were on and off, and it wasn't the healthiest relationship I've ever been in.
The only books I could find were about step-parenting. Considering the divorce rate in this country, I thought finding the advice would be easy. *crickets* My relationship with this man continued for... But I did learn a LOT about the kiddos and how to deal with them.
(It's a small town, so we kind of knew each other, but not really.) I was extra, extra lucky because my boyfriend had a (mostly) good relationship with her.
This is not always the case, but that's another blog post.
So here is my advice about dating people with kids.
Take from it what you will: Wait Even though my boyfriend was eager to introduce me to his kiddo early on, we waited a long time before it actually happened.
You have to make sure you're serious and your partner is serious before you bring the kiddos into the mix.
It's not fair to the kids if you aren't going to stick around.
Overnight, I was thrown into a brave, new world -- one that involved a tween.
For now, my advice is to also play the waiting game with the ex -- take your time before you meet him or her. Realize you are taking someone else's child into your life.
I recommend waiting at least 3 months before the introduction.
Even if you already know the children, you shouldn't be showing up too soon. She was married and was actually pregnant with her third child when I "met" her.
Knowing that I was moving back to a small town after years of living in cities, I looked at my therapist and said: "I can't date someone who has children. And while I was in love with both the man and the kid, I was totally lost. There is nothing wrong with single or divorced parents. But my friends back home in the small town I was moving back to? He had a son with his ex-girlfriend, who I also remember from my past.
I was in a relationship with a man who had a 10-year-old son. I was 29 years old, and the majority of my friends in Chicago were childless or childfree, whichever term you prefer. I knew that by moving back here, I was inviting many children into my day-to-day life -- and probably my love life, too. Despite all of my fears, I reconnected with this man from my youth.