Nowadays, the chances of dating a man with children is pretty high. Whether he’s separated, divorced or widowed, it all comes with unique challenges you may have never faced before.
It’s understandable if it all seems a little daunting, but while there are issues it can also be extremely fulfilling. Every single dad’s situation is different but if there’s a connection that you think is worth exploring, there are some things to consider before you make the decision to dive in. Because this isn’t something to take lightly; there’s more than just you and he involved.
Pro: You can plan accordingly
If he shares custody with his ex, he likely has every other weekend free. Do with that what you will. Bow-chicka-bow-wow.
Con: Lack of sleep
If you value your sleep and aren’t a morning person, then hearing the TV on full blast or a toy train whistle or a crate of Lego hitting the floor at 6 a.m. will be your new alarm clock.
Pro: He’s got a great sense of humour
They’re also playful and not worried about looking silly, be it cheesy jokes or knowing all the words to Taylor Swift‘s songs. He’s been there, he’s done that.
Con: No letting loose
With kids around (on his kid days), there won’t be any loud, crazy sex on the kitchen counter, or last-minute decisions to go away for a romantic weekend. They are always in the picture and spontaneity becomes a thing of the past.
Pro: He [hopefully] loves kids
There’s no wondering if he’ll be a good dad; you’ve seen him in action and know he is.
Con: You wanted your kids to be his first
Having your own children has always been part of the plan but starting off as stepmother to his kids wasn’t exactly what you had in mind. A ready-made family might be hard to accept but this is what people mean when they say “package deal.”
Pro: He’s less selfish
He loves and cares for others, not just himself. So hot.
Con: His parenting style conflicts with yours
Every parent parents differently. Some are strict, some are easy-breezy. If your parenting styles are vastly different and you can’t come to a compromise on how to let your beliefs mesh with his, it’ll only cause problems down the road.
Pro: He’s looking for a good woman
Yes, you’re sexy as hell but that’s not the only quality that attracted him. He wants someone who can be a good example for his kids, someone who values commitment and character and isn’t all about the shallow stuff. And you know he’s serious about you; he doesn’t just introduce anyone to his kids.
Con: The ex
Unless the divorced dad is a widow, all children come with a mom. Hopefully his ex is a reasonable, nice human being, they have a good (but not too good) relationship and co-parent well. If she’s difficult then this can cause problems later on. They don’t have to be on the same page all the time (there’s a reason they’re no longer together) but if there’s strain between them it could be a strain on your relationship too.
Pro: He’s already seen a woman look her worst
From having the kid to raising them, new moms don’t give a crap what they look like, down there or anywhere. So everything from now on is golden.
Con: His kids are the priority
As long as you’ve accepted that you’ll be a close second in his life, then you’ll be fine. But it can be a tough pill to swallow. It depends on the situation (if he has full custody or if his kid/s spend the majority of time with their mom) but if you need 100% of his attention then you’re in for a rude awakening. Date nights will probably be less romantic dinners and more Chuck E. Cheese.
Pro: He’s got his sh*t together
He’s emotionally mature, he’s protective and has created a safe environment for his family, he understands that he needs to be a good role model and knows how to be patient, gentle and encouraging. Um, yes, please.
Con: You don’t want kids
Well, this is the deal-breaker, right? Even if he’s practically perfect, his one “flaw,” having children, is a biggie. But if you don’t like kids, never envisioned yourself as a mom, or they aren’t in the cards, then being a stepmom makes zero sense. It’s a major reality check that some women aren’t ready to face but this is that time when you have to deal.