Updated: August 20, 2022
Dating a woman with kids can be an amazing experience, but it also comes with its own challenges. Single moms have a very difficult job. Whether they have one child or five, they’re responsible for another human life and that’s a great deal of pressure.
1. Recognize immediately that you are not, and will never be, her first priority
You need to be okay with coming in second. Her first priority has to be her kids, regardless of whether or not she’s alone taking care of them. She is responsible for them, from the big to the small things. You cannot demand her time without understanding that her time needs to be spent with her children first.
2. Don’t try to help unless you are asked to
It’s nice that you want to help take some things off your girlfriend’s plate. But you have to be very careful not to overstep any boundaries. Especially if the relationship is very new, having you around the children all the time and attempting to do things that a dad might do may upset them.
3. Respect her timeline
If she says that she’s not ready to introduce you to her kids, whether it’s a month into the relationship or six months in, you need to respect that. Constantly asking her when or questioning whether or not it’s a problem that you haven’t met her kids yet will put unnecessary pressure on her.
4. Even if you haven’t met them, show an interest in them
Any proud mom likes to talk about her kids. So you’ll probably be hearing a lot about them. But don’t just wait until she volunteers that information. Ask her about them. Even more importantly, though, remember what she says about them.
5. When you do meet them, get to know them in a low-pressure way
Put the ball in their court and let them get to know you on their own terms. When you talk to them, show that you take an interest in their lives. Learn about their likes and dislikes, their struggles and their accomplishments.
6. The ex and past relationship with dad is a no-go
If your girlfriend is a single mom because of a divorce or breakup, keep your nose out of her business. She’s likely co-parenting and that’s enough of a struggle without you offering criticism about her relationship with her ex or about her ex as a person or father.
7. Understand that this cannot be a casual relationship
If you meet her kids, or even if you’re not there yet, you’re still playing a role in their lives. A mother cannot play yo-yo with her kids’ emotions. Having men coming in and out of her life and, by extension, their lives is not an option.
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