Advice Needed: What Are the Dos and Don’ts of Dating When You Have Kids?

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QUESTION: “What are the dos and don’ts of dating when you have kids?”

“I’m looking to hear thoughts and tips, dos and don’ts on dating and relationships when you have children. I am a single mom of 4, we have had some bad experiences in the past, I’m wondering should I just wait till they are all grown. I’m 34 my baby loves are 3, 7, 14, and 16. I’m hoping to hear real advice from real experience or education on the topic, not a bunch of judgmental b.s. that won’t be received anyway. Thank you in advance. Pictures are me and my kiddos, so the post doesn’t get lost.”

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Advice Needed: What Are the Dos and Don'ts of Dating When You Have Kids?

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“Don’t force it. Don’t push the man you’re dating on your kids or your kids on him until everyone is comfortable and ready. When the time comes, DO be very observent, watch how he interacts with your children and watch their body language. Take questions from your children. Watch for fakeness.”

“I say go for it, I mean don’t just meet someone then introduce them as soon as you start dating but be open to finding someone and take it slow and if you feel like you can see a future with them, then you can introduce them.”

“Kids don’t need to meet them until you know it’s permanent. Run a background check if possible. If your kids don’t like him, walk away. Don’t force him into daddy mode. They are not his kids and shouldn’t be expected to support or take care of them.”

“Date casually, and don’t introduce the kids unless your dating is getting serious. Do not lie about having kids though. Because if they are going to run from that, it’s better it happens before feelings are involved. I was a single mom for many years, and tried to play by these rules (and yes, still got burned sometimes), but ended up falling for a friend with a kid the same age as mine. Playdates and babysitting for each other, led to time together where we fell in love. (10 years ago now.) I hope that your road to happiness is less bumpy.”

“It’s all personal opinion. The only real dos and don’ts are what you feel they are.”

“After my last relationship, I won’t bring anyone around my kids until at least 6 months of dating, sometimes someone’s true colors don’t come out until later.”

“I didn’t date around my son until he was of age. I did date some when he was at his dad’s or a friend’s house. It’s half a dozen one or the other. I would say give kids time to heal. Then go out on a date or two. Just remember they are watching what you show them.”

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