Dilemmas Of Dating A Man With Kids

February 7, 2019  |  
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dating a man with kids and an ex

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So you caught feelings for a man with children. You know he has kids—you’ve always known. But have you really known? What I mean is, whatever context you currently know the man in, the kids probably aren’t there. You’ve seen photos. He talks about them. But you, as of now, interact with this man in the part of his life that doesn’t involve the kids. Maybe it’s at work, the dog park, or a volunteer group. If you decide to take that step towards being more than friends, you’ll realize just what a big factor the children are. You were isolated from them before, but now you won’t be. Maybe you’re fine with that because you love kids! But it still won’t be what you’d expected. Here are the dilemmas of dating a man with kids.

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Don’t get hung up on plans

Do not make plans that require expensive, non-refundable tickets. Do not get your hopes up too high about plans happening. Do not start daydreaming, weeks in advance, about the trip or outing you’ve planned. If anything happens with the kids, plans will be cancelled.

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Truly, cancellations will happen a lot

And don’t think that just because you made it off the ground, on your flight to Costa Rica with your man, that he won’t turn this plane around at any moment for the kids. Well, not literally, but if something comes up with them, he will have to bail, mid-plans.

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There’s an ex factor

The ex is probably in the picture. Maybe they have a respectful relationship. Maybe she behaves inappropriately. Maybe they mostly hate each other and fight all the time. Either way, you’re going to hear about (and possibly see) your man’s ex a lot—she’s the mother of his kids, after all. She isn’t going anywhere.

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And the custody schedule

It will feel like the custody schedule rules your life, and it kind of does. On the weekends he doesn’t have the kids, he’ll be rearing to do something fun and active with you and if you’re not up for it, it feels like you’re ruining everything.

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He often feels guilty

If it is his time to have the kids, and he gets a sitter so he can go out with you, he’ll feel guilty the whole time. You can feel it. He’ll insist he’s fine and having a great time, but you both know he’s missing the kids.

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Then, you feel guilty

When he feels guilty, you feel guilty—you feel like you forced him to choose you over the kids. Then you can get really frustrated because, you weren’t trying to be evil—you just wanted a normal dating life. But you don’t get that when you date a man with kids.

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But it’s good he prioritizes his kids

You have to remember that you want a man who prioritizes his kids. Imagine if he didn’t. That would be so repulsive and upsetting. It’s better this way, than if he paid all his attention to you and neglected his kids.

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Everyone has an opinion

People love to give you those, “Oh no—you’re in for a tough time” looks when you mention that your boyfriend has children. Everyone feels that it’s their responsibility to warn you.

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There’s no rush in meeting the kids

Though it can feel like he’s taking forever to introduce you to the kids, remember that, on his end, he only wants to introduce his kids to someone he thinks is the one. If you go away one day, it will be confusing to them. There’s no rush to meet them—and when you do, you can know it’s because this relationship is going somewhere.

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They may not be nice to you

When you do finally meet the kids, you’ll expect it to be this adorable, lovely, playful interaction. It may not be. They may not speak to you. One might straight up cry. They may be mean to you.

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But you’ll become invested in them

Even if they aren’t nice to you, eventually, you’ll become invested in them. That’s a whole other element you hadn’t expected—caring deeply about the daily activities and wellbeing of children. Emotionally, it’s a lot.

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What about your kids?

Eventually, if you want your own kids, you’ll need to have that tough conversation with this man: will he have more kids with you? It’s best to have this conversation as soon as possible to minimize possible heartbreak.

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You never know when to step in or out

You’ll always do the dance of wondering when you should be involved with the kids, and when you should step out. You’ll get in trouble for overstepping your boundaries, and you’ll also get in trouble for sometimes seeming to not care enough.

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The kids give you some hints

Luckily, the children will give you some hints. If they want you involved in their lives, they’ll tell you. Kids are pretty honest like that. They’ll personally invite you to their recitals or ask for help with their homework.

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It’s going to be tough. Really.

It is going to be much tougher than you thought. There’s no such thing as being prepared for it. There is no fail-proof equation for it. You have to take it day by day.

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