When you date a man with kids, it’s easy to feel left out. His time is divided between his children and you, and it can be difficult to feel like you’re getting the attention you deserve.
Even if he makes an effort to include you in his life, there are still times when you’ll feel like a second-class citizen. It’s important to remember that his children come first and try to be understanding of the situation.
If you find yourself in such a dilemma then read on and see what you can do to involve yourself in his life more, get the attention you deserve and why you shouldn’t take his behavior personally.
5 Steps to date a guy with kids without feeling left out:
1- Remember that only time can prove your value and worth:
Obviously, if you’re dating a single dad it will be hard to get his attention and time fully straight away. After all, what type of parent will he be if he was to give his entire attention to every other person he meets? The point is that the more time passes; the more you become important and meaningful to him.
The more you stick around, the more you’ll be proving that you’re not just another hookup. If you become important enough to him, he will start to give you more time and consider you a priority in his life too. In fact, if you’re patient, chances are good that eventually, you’ll become a more integral part of his life.
In the meantime, enjoy the time you do have together and try not to let the kids get in the way of your relationship. But, try not to compete with them either or steal all of their father’s free time, especially if you’re not here to stay.
2- Love his kids and strengthen your bond with them:
If you want to date someone who has kids, you’re going to have to learn to love them too. It’s a package deal: if you want the daddy, you have to take the kids too. After all, this is the only way if you have intentions to get more serious or become life partners one day. It will also mean becoming a co-parent or step-parent that’s involved in the kiddies’ life too.
So if you’re looking for something serious, that’s exactly what you should do. Make them your family. Show them that you’re not just some fling, that you’re in it for the long haul.
Because if you’re not, they will figure it out eventually and they will hate you for wasting their time together, selfishly. They will not like the fact that you felt entitled enough to have their dad’s time or to want to separate them even for a minute; if you’re not even ready for commitment. They’re a family after all, so who are you to think yourself capable of such a thing unless you want to join the family and become a member of it, in the long term?
But, if you are serious, they will love you for it. Keep this in mind as it’s the only way to do it right.
3- Try to include the kids often:
If you’re dating a man with kids, another thing to do is to make sure you’re prepared to make time for family activities. This may include going to the park as a group, attending school functions, or even just spending time at home together watching an appropriate movie.
It’s important to involve his children in some of the activities you do together so that they don’t let feel left out, either. Because if they do, they could start attacking you in some ways and feeling like they have to compete with you over their father’s attention and time. This could create a lot of conflicts and put your potential partner in a very difficult situation.
They may not always be able to come first, but make sure they know they’re still an important part of your life and relationship. By taking the initiative to include them in your fun moments, you’ll be making a statement that you’re just a nice addition to the family and not competition.
Also, remember that parenting is a team effort. If you have chosen a partner that’s already a parent; then you’ll have to assume the responsibility that comes with it. You’ll have to be ready to dedicate some of your time to the kids!
4- Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about your role:
If you’re not ready to be a step-parent, make sure he’s prepared to take on the majority of the responsibility and that he’s well-informed of your position.
But, understand that even in such a situation; it will not always going to be possible to stay fully hands-free, in such a relationship. A time will come when you will feel forced to acknowledge that the kids have needs and whims that you too need to attend to. Dating a man with kids can be very rewarding, but only if you’re both on the same page.
So make sure that you’re informed about what your man expects you to do and what he doesn’t need from you. Also, make sure that you’re willing and ready to meet his needs, without a fight. If you’re not, then you should let him know your position but don’t expect him to drop his responsibility as a father too, just to be able to entertain you.
5- You may never be able to come first:
When you’re dating a man with kids, you have to accept that you may never come first. His children will always be his number one priority, and you’ll just have to be okay with that. You may never be able to schedule things last minute or spontaneously go on vacation together, either.
You’ll always have to plan ahead and coordinate with his ex-wife too because she also has a right over the kids. With time, you’ll learn to deal with the fact that his kids will always come before you, which is okay. After all, they may be toddlers or minors who are in desperate need of the care and guidance of a good parent.
But, you’re still an adult that should know better not to get jealous or annoyed because of the neediness of little kids and their possessiveness over their father. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but if you want to make it work, you have to be okay with being second best. Now, if that’s not for you then you should consider leaving and letting the kids have their dad, because that’s the right thing to do.
If you’re in it for the long haul, you may want to remind yourself that the kids grow up and leave the nest one day eventually. Then you’ll have the time to enjoy some time alone with your life partner and savor together a new chapter in your life. But, understand that it will also probably happen at a later age and not earlier. So until then, learn to love and accept them to your best capacity so that you don’t make everyone’s lives, including yours, into a daily nightmare.