Divorce

14 Things You Need To Know About Dating Someone With Kids

Their time is limited but SO worth the wait.
07/23/2015 03:44pm ET

Dating a divorced or single parent? It goes without saying that your partner and their kids are a package deal. But there's so much more you need to know than that. Below, we summarize some pointers from single moms and dads on our Facebook page about dating someone with kids.

1. No matter how dashing and wonderful you are, the kids will always come first. That means you need to be understanding when your date goes into another room to call and check on the kids.

--Brandy Paulk Lemon

2. Accept that you probably won't meet the kids for at least six months. Depending on the parent you're dating, the wait may be longer.

-- Lisa Smith

3. The truth is, these kids been through enough since the split without having to be introduced to a revolving door of their parents' new "friends."

-- Angela Robbins

4. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ask about your date's children. There's nothing sexier for a single parent -- y'know, besides a super smart date with a smokin' six-pack -- than a person who seems genuinely interested in soccer meets or the A+ your kid scored on a math test.

-- Laura Lifshitz

5. And hey, you must be pretty special to have gotten this far. You don't make it into a divorced or single parent's life unless you complement it in some way.

-- Robin Burton

6. Don't expect them to get back to your text in a matter of seconds. They're probably dealing with some crazy, overwrought mall temper tantrum as you text.

-- Amy Marie Blanchette

7. And on that note, remember: They don't need another child to rear, so behave like an adult.

-- Brette Monteiro

8. That means accepting that your S.O's ex is going to be in the picture. They share kids, after all. If you can't deal with that, it's simply not going to work out.

-- Roxana Miranda

9. Thinking about taking a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip? Sorry, but single parents aren't the fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants type. They need some notice. (Also, once you do make plans with them, don't back out. They went through hell trying to track down a babysitter.)

-- Laura Lifshitz

10. Understand that your S.O. may have trust issues since they separated, so be patient with him or her.

-- Amy Marie Blanchette

11. The key is to take things slooooow. Single and divorced parents aren't there to give you a ready-made family. Please, please, please don't go mentioning marriage anytime soon.

-- Alexis Luttrell Tutor

12. Ultimately, they're worth the wait. Single moms and dads have an amazing capacity to find time for everything and to love more than most people think is possible.

-- Stacy Lamb

13. When you finally do meet the kids, take things slow with them as well. Don't try to force a relationship. They don't need another parent -- they may just need a friend who wants to binge-watch "Adventure Time" with them.

-- Evelyn Hernandez Parrinello

14. And here's the great part: In the end, you may very well end up loving those kiddos just as much as their mom or dad does.

-- Gregory Lintz

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