Have you ever been attracted to someone and wanted to go on a date with her only to find out she has children?
Did questions pop into your mind such as "What will her kids think of me?" Or, "Is the dad still around?" Or, "Will she have time for a relationship?"
Stepdating is dating that happens when one or both people have children. For example, you don't have children but the person you're on a date with does, this is "stepdating." So stepdating can involve one parent and one person with no children.
As a single person, when you date another person who is single (without children), it's just the two of you, but stepdating involves taking the needs of children into consideration, and if you've never had children, or provided the care for children, this will need you to think differently and may take some time to adjust. For instance, you may not have as much free time with your partner to have a romantic weekend away and spend time together without children.
There are a whole lot of differences you may want to consider, and know whether you are willing to compromise on, "before" getting into a relationship where kids are involved. Kids come first and kids need the safety and security of their parents. Finding quality time for relationships can be hard enough for busy women, understanding that a dating single mother will have less time for you and the relationship will help to reduce pre-conceived expectations and resentment; kids come first!
If you are a single parent, consider the needs of your kids in relation to your date and her children even from the information they provide on their profile on a dating site or on your first date. For instance, if you have teenage kids and your date has a toddler, are you willing (and able) to get into a relationship with someone who has such a young child? Will you be expected to a father figure for the toddler or is the child's dad on the scene? What is your date's relationship like with the father of her children? Is this a red flag for you?
If you want a dating red flags checklist tool that is different from others that are available, click on the link below to download your copy. This tool will give you the confidence to make a decision whether or not your date is the right person for you.
A simple assessment tool to support you to make the right decision for you!
"Before" you date a single mom, know the potential destination, stepfamily living. Are you willing and prepared for all this entails?
There are many myths when it comes to stepdating, which can confuse you when you are dating a single mom. Understanding and knowing the following two myths will help you remove unrealistic expectations you may place on yourself when dating a single mom. These myths may make you consider doing a "runner" before you've even given the relationship a chance.
1. You will love your date's children. If you end up falling in love with your date, you will love her children as if they were your own. This is a myth. Just because you are attracted to and may even fall in love with your date, it is "not a given" that you will love her children. You may not even like her children at first.
2. You believe that you will need to be (and expected to be) a co-parent to her children. No—absolutely not and not during the dating stage of a relationship. It is the responsibility of the biological parent to remain as the primary parent and caregiver to her children; especially during the dating phase! Supporting your date in parenting is something that happens over time where you eventually share some responsibilities that only happen in a committed long-term relationship. Even then, you will not be the child's (or children's) parent.
“Stepfamilies—turn unique differences between two merging histories into opportunities for growth, creating a new identity and solutions to problems.”
Stepfamilies are built from loss, whether it's the loss of your date's children's parent through death or divorce, it's a loss.
Consider: has your date dealt with her past losses before she enters a potential relationship with you?
Not to scare you and put you off, but over 50% of families are remarried or re-coupled, and live in a stepfamily, and 66% of stepfamily relationships end up separating.
75% of stepfamilies complain there is not enough information or resources to support them. It's therefore important that you do your research about the dynamics of step relationships and look at related articles.
Statistically, the odds are not in your favor. Yes, I'm one of the 66% who went in blind, like a lamb to the slaughter...
Well, it doesn't have to be like that.
You don't have to be a statistic.
66% of stepfamily relationships end up separating!
You can plan your route when you can visualize your destination.
If you know you can not see yourself ever living with a person who is caring for children from another relationship, why go on a date with her?
As they say, "Forewarned is forearmed."
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Until next time
Relationship Coach and Dating Coach
Coach 2 Connect
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