If you’ve been dating for a while, you might feel like you’re prepared for anything. You know how to make small talk, and you’ve perfected being charming – but what happens if you find out that your date is a parent?
Dating a parent is often very different to dating a person who doesn’t have children. Here are a few things that you should expect when you’re dating a parent.
1. Their free time is precious
If you are dating a parent, it is likely that their time is limited – especially if they have young children. Parents have more responsibilities than single people, and it can be tough to juggle so many commitments. It is likely that they have a full-time job and a household to run on top of raising their children – and that doesn’t even factor in dating or socializing with friends.
It is important to be understanding about their commitments, rather than jealous. They won’t be able to spend all of their free time with you, but you can always make it easier for them to spend time with you. For instance, you could offer to help them clean their home and then have a drink afterwards.
2. Their children are their priority
The easiest way to sabotage a relationship with a parent is to assume you are their number one priority. The children are the main priority, and you cannot be jealous about this. Ask yourself these questions; am I willing to date someone with lots of other priorities? Do I enjoy spending time with children? Am I okay with sharing a relationship with children?
Your answers to the questions will make it clear if the relationship is a good idea or not. You should support your date in all aspects of their life – not just the ones that involve you.
3. Their children, their decision
If your date doesn’t want you to meet their children, you must respect their decision. For some parents meeting the children is a really big deal, and it should only be done when the relationship is well established. For others, meeting the children is a good way to see if everyone gets along or not.
There are also other factors that may influence this decision. Maybe your date can’t afford a babysitter, so you may meet their children soon. Maybe they don’t want their children to know about their romantic life at all. It is the parent’s decision, and trying to force their hand is likely to sour the relationship.
4. It is likely that they still have a relationship with the other parent
If your date has children, it is likely that they are still in regular contact with the other parent. This may make you feel a little jealous, but it is important to remember that this relationship continues mainly for the children.
Your date had a life before you, and that included a partner they had children with. At a certain point that relationship ended, and they moved on and met you. Be accepting of this and your date will appreciate your maturity.