Dating Girls With Kids

When dating a girl with kids, there is suddenly a lot more to think about.
You will have to consider the kids' feelings towards you in addition to the woman's feelings. You will also have to ask yourself whether you're willing to make compromises based around the woman's need to raise children---she won't have as much free time and will have more responsibilities than a single girl. Still, interacting with your girlfriend and her kids can be a positive experience that will brighten your world and open your eyes to new activities.

When to Meet the Kids

Talk to your girlfriend about the best time to meet her kids.
Preferably, you will be able to meet her children as soon as you agree to a committed relationship. The sooner the kids meet you, the sooner they will be able to understand the new person in their mother's life. Younger children will be more willing to warm up to you than older children. Your girlfriend should prepare you and them for the meeting beforehand. Ask her how the kids reacted in the past to new boyfriends, what activities they like to do, what her relationship with them is like. Based on her responses, you can get a sense of when it's best to introduce yourself into their lives, and how to do it. When you meet them, it should be in a comfortable place, doing an activity that you can all enjoy together.

Activities

Once you meet the children, it's best to balance time between seeing your girlfriend alone and nurturing that relationship with time spent hanging out with your girlfriend and her kids.
This tells your girlfriend that you're interested in developing a strong relationship with her, and tells her kids that you're also prioritizing them into your life and that you care about bonding with them. Take everyone out to activities that they enjoy as a family, whether it be getting a favorite pizza or going bowling. As you get closer to your girlfriend and her kids, you can start incorporating activities that you're passionate about and that they haven't had an opportunity to experience. Maybe they never get to play catch with their mother, or go to a baseball or football game. You can encourage your girlfriend to try the new activities with you and the kids. All of these family-oriented dates will help develop trust between you, your girlfriend and her kids.

Communication

When embarking on a relationship with a girl that has children, it's important to communicate with both your girlfriend and her kids.
Make sure that the kids know that you're not taking their mother away from them or trying to replace their dad. Talk to your girlfriend about whether she's happy with how the relationship is going, and she has any concerns about how the children feel about you and men, in general. Opening communication between everyone will ensure that you're creating the foundation of a strong relationship.

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About the Author

Damin Chu is a freelance writer, whose writing has taken her down a number of avenues. In 2008, she returned from Shanghai, China, where she served as the managing editor of a China travel guide, in addition to writing travel features for the local newspaper. Her other projects have included writing for a Shanghai expat guide, a education documentary, and an environmental NGO.