Monday, August 5, 2013

The Real Deal: Dating Men With Kids

What To Do When Your Prince Charming Has Kids!

Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome walks up to you, smiles at you, and introduces himself to you  You take one look at him and get excited because you think this just might be your lucky day.  You engage him in a casual conversation and find that not only is he attractive to you but he is also mentally stimulating as well.  You must be in heaven.  Before the conversation ends, he asks for your name and number so the two of you can continue the conversation over the phone.  Just as soon as you thought your prayers had been answered, he tells you he’ll call you once he drops off the kids at his baby momma’s house.  Your smile starts to fade and so do your dreams.

So what’s a woman to do when she meets men with kids?  Well, for starters, it’s certainly not the end of the world.  Even though there are obvious disadvantages to dating guys with kids, there are some really great advantages as well that women tend to overlook with these relationships.  We’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages to these relationships below.

Let’s Start With The Bad News:  The Disadvantages

1.    Lack Of Quality Time With You – Men with kids have to schedule their time around kids.  Depending on whether he has full or partial custody of his child, it can severely limit the amount of time he spends on leisure activities such as dates.  A simple act of going out on a date may require him to hire a babsitter or ask family and friends to watch his child for a few hours which over time can become an inconvenience.  There also may be times when dates are cancelled in cases where the child gets sick or when a babysitter is not possible.  Tip:  Have a life outside of him so that you’re not completely disappointed on days when it is necessary for him to spend his time with his kids.

2.    Less Financial Resources To Spend On You – If you are the type of woman where you like to go out on extravagant dates and adventurous activities, you may have to lower your expectations.  Having kids is expensive, especially when you factor in diapers, clothes, food, health and dental care.  If he is a generous man, he’ll want to give his kids the best life he can afford.  The more generous he is with his kids, the less money he’ll have to spend on you.  Tip:  Be prepared to pay for a few dates here and there or be creative with low cost activities that the two of you can enjoy together.

3.    You’ll Be Less of A Priority To Him – When you’re in a relationship with a man with kids, you’re really in a relationship with his kids, his kids mother, his own mother and then you.  Remember, his family was there before you came into his life.  They are more of a certainty because they have history with him and he’ll treat them as such when it comes to where to place his priorities.  Tip:  Try not to get upset with him if you feel you’re less of a priority but DO demand respect as you are (or will be) his significant other and may be a part of his life for a long time.

4.     Jealousy May Rear Its Ugly Head – This is where it gets ugly!  As women, we can become territorial when it comes to our men.  Whenever there’s a break-up, there’s a scorned woman and you would have to deal with her on a continuing basis, especially when a young child is involved.  I don’t care how nice of a person you are, the mother of his child could still drive you crazy.  Just put yourself in her shoes and understand where she is coming from.  She thought this man would be her soul mate and things did not work out that way.  Now, you, the new girl is in his life sharing the joy that she once had with him and sharing the family she helped to create.  Tip: Take the high road and be respectful to her as she is the mother of his child.   But DO require respect from her and let your man know when she isn’t giving it.    

5.    You May Be Considered An Intruder (temporarily!) – Children instinctively want their biological parents together and find anyone other than their immediate family a threat to their world, including YOU.  Sure, you may have good intentions but you’ll have to give the relationship time before the children can open up to you.    Remember, you’re an outsider so you’ll have to be patient with them so that they can see that you have their best interests at heart.  Tip:  Be patient!

Now Let’s Move On To The Good News:  The Advantages

1.    Having A Man With Nurturing And Sensitive Capabilities – I believe this is one of the best traits when it comes to men with kids, particularly daughters.  They can be some of the most nurturing and sensitive guys you’ll ever meet as they have gained these traits from being a good father to their kids.  Usually, when you find a guy who is nuturing and sensitive to his child, he’ll also be nuturing and sensitive to the woman he is dating as well.  The responsibility of having to raise kids really opens them up to other wonderful traits such as loyalty, compassion, and self-less type behavior patterns.

2.    He Can Be Less Of A ”Disappearing Act” – When a boy becomes a man, he puts away childish things.  Children provide men with a sense of responsibility and therefore tend to make them grow up almost instaneously.  Yes, a man can be a jerk with or without kids but if he’s taking care of his kids on a constant basis, then you probably won’t have to worry about him disappearing in the middle of the night.  He has developed staying power which can be a beautiful thing for a budding relationship.

3.    He May Make More Concessions For You – It’s really challenging being a single parent, particularly for men.  They can be used to their mothers and ex-wives doing all of the cooking, cleaning and changing diapers so this mothering role takes a lot out of them.  As a result, they tend to be more open to different types of women.  In other words, they may be more compromising on a woman’s attractiveness, age, weight and other factors in which they may not have been willing to before having kids.  This does not mean they are settling but rather focusing on deeper characteristics in a woman such as the ability to be a good step mother to his child.

4.    You Can Help To Nurture And Guide His Kids – If you’re a very compassionate woman, this may be the perfect situation for you.  You can have a direct influence on how his kids are raised.  Sure, you can’t over-step the boundaries put in place for the kids by their parents but you can still offer guidance and wisdom to his kids as a trusted friend or confidante.  Sometimes kids find it hard to go to their parents for advice so you would be the perfect person for them to come to in that situation.  Just be careful of being their ”friend” as you will still be considered an authority figure and they must listen to you accordingly.

5.    Opportunity To Help Heal Family Wounds – This is where it gets tricky.  Sometimes when outsiders come into an already dysfunctional family, it can create total chaos or it can signal a new beginning.  My hope for you is that it becomes a new beginning for yourself and that of the family.  This is an opportunity for you to bring a sense of hope in a bad situation.  There’s usually a lot of open wounds when it comes to divorce or family break-ups and you have a unique opportunity to bring healing to all involved.

In summary, dating a man with kids is certainly not for the faint of heart.  There can be many advantages to the situation including having a man who has learned to be more nurturing and sensitive towards others as he is with his own children and one who isn’t into ”disappearing acts”.  However, we simply can’t ignore the many disadvantages such as the lack of quality time and resources he’ll have for you and not to mention the jealousy and disrespect which may come as a result in this family situation. 

At the end of the day, no one can judge you if you decide to date a man with kids or simply decide against it.  Some women are happy dating men with kids and others couldn’t imagine it.  My goal in this article was to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision so that you can live your life accordingly.  My hope is that you take the information and make the best choice possible.  Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at or inquire about my date coaching services at

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