Dating people who have kids

I’ve never wanted to date someone who has a kid. The older I get, however, more and more people in my dating pool will have kids from previous relationships. I’m starting to wonder if I should be open to it, although I still don’t really like the idea of it.

Have you dated someone who had kids? Did you not want to date someone who had kids, and did it go better than expected? Did it go poorly? Have you always been open to dating people with kids? Basically, if you have any dating people with kids experiences, share them! And share any feelings on the topic in general.

6 thoughts on “Dating people who have kids

  1. Happy Pants says:

    [I do think you should keep an open mind and see how things go, with whomever you date, but especially with people with kids. Like Sparrow said, you’ll probably have enough time to decide whether you really click with this person or not before you meet the kid(s), and if you end up really liking them, the kids will probably be something that brings you closer together. I do think (hypothetically, not from any experience) that it might be easier to date parents of small children; even though there’s a greater chance of ex drama, the kids themselves are easier to get along with, or at least easier than the teenage “who the hell are you, you’re not my mom/dad” stage.

    For me, not wanting to date someone with kids has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t want kids, because I do, but because I think I’m too young to deal with that complexity. If I get serious with someone, I’d like a few more years of irresponsibility before I start having to worry about other mouths to feed.

  2. DavidIsGreat says:

    [My question to you is, do you want your own kids? If you never want kids I wouldn’t date somebody with them at all. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to know about yourself. Not wanting kids doesn’t change for a lot of people.

    That being said, when I met my wife she had a three year old. She wasn’t looking for a father, but it was clear from the beginning that they are a unit. I had to make a choice early on to pursue this relationship with both of these people. Keep in mind, if the relationship ends, you now have to say goodbye to the kid.

    I’ve never thought of my stepdaughter as anything less than my own flesh and blood. I didn’t know if I wanted to date someone with kids either, but thinking that I might have missed out on my daughter in my life, would have been totally different.

    I think it couldn’t hurt to keep an open mind for a little while. It’s fine if it doesn’t change your mind though.

  3. Sabrina says:

    [One thing to consider is whether this person’s ex (the child’s other parent) is in the picture, what the relationship is, whether there’s unresolved feelings or drama, etc.

    Since I don’t want kids, I won’t date someone with children. If an ex-girlfriend/wife/fling is permanently in the picture, it’s not for me.

  4. Claudia says:

    [I’ve seen several times the change from not wanting kids to wanting them. Usually happening around 30-35. For me, I was extremely adamant about not wanting kids ever. I like them, I just didn’t want to make the extreme sacrifices that is necessary to be a good parent. Several relationships ended because I got tired of them trying to pressure me. That is until I was 33. During that year I went from no absolutely not -> maybe if the person is right -> yes I want a family, but the person I am with would make a horrible and extremely selfish father so now I’m single again.

    The majority of my friends were the same way, sometime around 30.

    Anyways… I’m in the same predicament. I seem to only have about 3 choices: 1. Someone younger and immature. 2. Someone who doesn’t want kids at all (and usually hates them). 3. Someone with kids.

    I’d rather have someone who treated me well, had similar values and wanted the same things in life over worrying about if they have kids or not.

    If you can go either way about having kids, I’d try it out and see how it goes.

  5. AKchic says:

    [As a mother, I was always very clear that not only did I have kids, but that I was the SOLE custodian of my kids and I wasn’t going to give them up just for a date, let alone a relationship. My kids come first, and I would happily replace a long-term partner before a child. And part of having a child, or having children means dealing with the child(ren)’s OTHER PARENT(S) and family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc). I have dropped idiots to the curb who didn’t like the idea that I was on friendly terms with my 2nd ex-husband. One guy tried to engineer fights between the two of us (and refused to speak to my ex at all) because he was threatened by the idea of me talking to my ex-husband. Boy did he get it when I showed him the metaphorical door.

    Not everyone who has kids is looking for a replacement parent. They are just looking for an ADULT who is willing to accept that they have a child (or children), and will treat their kid(s) with respect and dignity. Who, if the relationship progresses, is willing to help out with some of the parenting aspects (i.e., take the kids to school if they are running late, go pick up cold meds at the store, or come to a function at the school). Our kids are a big part of our lives, and if our relationship progresses, we’d like to be able to share that part of our life with our partner.

    You don’t have to be the biggest “kid person”. Just treat the kids with respect and be nice. It’s okay to be nervous. Don’t force anything on yourself or on them as far as feelings. Be honest with yourself and with your potential paramour. But at least try to forge a relationship (even a tenuous one) with the kids. Once they hit the teen years, they will be getting more independent and spending more time with friends rather than at home anyways. Or, more friends will be hanging with them and they won’t need to be entertained.

  6. Sparrow says:

    [Another thing to consider is that most people will not want to introduce their child(ren) to you until the relationship is well established. Children undoubtedly add complexity to the relationship, but you could meet a great match, who happens to have a kid you clique with and really adds something special to your life you will be glad not to have missed. (I feel like my verb tenses are all wacky, but I’m too tired to try to fix them.).

    My nieces did that to me. I wished I could spend time with my sister without her kids, and I was the babies-are-cute-but-kids-are-annoying aunt, until my nieces moved to my town and I spent more time with them. Then I learned that kids can be so much more awesome than adults, and funnier, with their fresh, innocent, clever outlooks on life. Or maybe my nieces are just better than all the other brats out there.

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