With maturity comes the freedom to choose with whom you wish to begin a relationship with. This blog post dwells on the aspect of a potential partner who has a child or children from a previous relationship.
Just because someone has a child or children from a previous relationship does not always mean that they are NOT ready to commit to a new relationship. Having children does not mean that one is off the market. Having a child or children for that matter does not reduce on the attributes that attract you to that person. It just means that they have more responsibilities in life that is their child(ren).
So the first thing to ask oneself is - are you mature enough to date or begin a relationship with someone with children?
Dating a person with children in many aspects is the same as dating a person with no children. You will plan together and go out for dates, over time you may grow fond of each other to an extent that you agree to be mutually exclusive for each other and eventually leading to a permanent relationship such as marriage. The only difference is that when dating someone with children who is a responsible parent always know that their child or children will always be of first priority to them and anything that you decide to do together in future you will have to bear that in mind.
Know the role of the other parent on the children's lives. You are not obliged to be friends with them but you must be respectful and cordial to them. No matter what your partner says about his or her ex it is never in your space to begin telling or showing the child(ren) how bad their other parent is. Understand that even if the relationship did not work out they are still a parent to the child(ren). Know their roles and do understand that some if alive will wish to be active participants in their children's lives as the parent. In the case of widowhood, the other side of your partner's children's family may wish to maintain the relationship with their flesh and blood. Respect that too.
Also it is good at the onset to know your limitations and your boundaries when coming into a relationship with someone with children from a previous relationship. Otherwise you may find yourself in awkward situations leading to resentment. A good example is how far you can contribute to the upkeep of your partner's children, sacrifice your time and other resources for their children until you are married or in a permanent relationship.
Thing is when relating with someone with children it calls for a bit more of planning and a bit less of spontaneity. Say for example you had planned to go for a weekend trip together and a child falls sick, that trip will have to be put on hold. Never put your partner in a situation where they have to choose between you or their child. Because the reality is that if responsible they will choose their child over you!
When it comes to meeting your partner’s children, let your partner set the tempo. It is only them who know their children best and how and when best to introduce you as a partner to them.
Do not lose yourself in a bid to gain trust and friendship with your partner’s children. Most children tend to have a sixth sense and can tell when you are not being your authentic self with them just to please your partner. This will only lead to resentment from the children. Sometimes when dating someone you may feel like you are getting into a readymade family and somehow forget what you desired yourself as a person, again do not lose yourself.
Finally, get to know about your partner’s children, their likes and dislikes, their personalities so that when you eventually meet it gets easier to relate with them.
These are some random thoughts on dating someone with children from a previous relationship. Can you think of any that we may have left out? Please comment on the comments section.
Have a lovely week ahead. Next week we look at the other side, of the coin - you are the partner with the child(ren), what are some of the things to consider as you get your romantic groove back as well as still hold the best interests of your child(ren) at heart.February 2021 - To new beginnings