Dating Someone With Kids? 6 Do's & 5 Don'ts to Help You Navigate

By Dominica


Last Updated: September 8, 2022

Dating for single parents has an entirely different set of rules than those who are single without kids.

Maybe you’re a single parent and you’re looking to date another single parent. Or maybe you don’t have kids, but the majority of singles your age have one or more.

Either way, you may want to take into consideration several important factors when you’re dating someone with children.



6 Dating Someone With Kids Dos

1. Be patient and understanding.

Being a single parent takes up a lot of time and energy.

Don’t expect to be the center of their universe or their attention at all times. Be understanding of their priorities. This could be in the form of rescheduling a date due to sick children, school plays, and so on.


2. Be flexible.

Things can be rather chaotic at times raising kids by yourself.

Take into consideration a lot of factors such as, homework, noisy evenings, the babysitter arrangement and so on.


3. Be sensitive to the children’s feelings.

The children of the single parent should not get the feeling that they need to compete with you to get the attention of their parent.

The parent concerned should maintain a healthy relationship with their kids so that they don’t feel left out when you enter into a new relationship.


4. Try more for low-cost dates.

An expensive meal at a fine restaurant could well equal the grocery bill of a single parent for a whole week.

Try being considerate and not put your dating partner in a financial problem.


5. Understand that should you pursue a person with kids, you’re not just taking on that person.

You’re also accepting the fact that they have a family, and you ought to be able to embrace the children too. 

If not, you shouldn’t date someone that has kids.


6. Educate yourself on the topic.

There are plenty of books and videos that can help you learn the ins and outs of dating someone that has children.

Take time to invest in learning what to expect and how you can show up as your best. You’d be surprised at how much this tip can help.



5 Dating Someone With Kids Don’ts

1. If you're new to dating a partner that has children, don’t meet the children immediately.

It would be better to get introduced to them at a little later stage in the courtship.


2. Never try to win the kids over in the beginning by buying them gifts.

Just show an interest in their life and activities by making some cheerful and positive comments, without overdoing it.

Kids can be very smart and can realize when someone is pretending to be nice to them.


3. Keep public display of your affections to a minimum especially if the kids are around. 

Kids may not react too warmly when a stranger shows such affection to Mom or Dad, especially in the early stages of adjusting to the relationship.


4. Try not to sleep over at the partner’s place, as kids could find this a little difficult to process.

They might not take too kindly to a new person coming into their home so soon. The new dating partner has to be introduced gradually.


5. Never interfere with your date’s parenting matters and don’t criticize the single parent’s parenting style.

This should especially not be done in front of the kids.

If you have an issue, you can have a mature discussion with the parent when you’re alone.



Running Into Problems?

If you’re dating someone who has children and you really like this person, but are struggling with adjusting to the children, consider reaching out for help.

There are plenty of marriage and family counselors that may be able to help you get to the root of the matter. You can attend counseling by yourself, or you could even take the person you’re dating too, if you think that would be helpful. The key is just to reach out for some support if you need.



These are some of the common things you should keep in mind while dating a single parent.

Understand the challenges and keep communication open and honest as you progress in dating. Single parenting and dating may have more twists and turns, but it can be very fulfilling when two people understand the dynamics and take things as they come.

Have fun with it and try not to have too many expectations. Go with the flow and enjoy it.

Photo by Marcial Comeron


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