Dating a Divorced Man or Woman With Children

New relationships always have their ups and downs, but dating a divorced man or woman with children adds a few more complications. The relationship may have to advance more slowly, but this will help everyone transition together in a healthy way.

Taking it slow

The best way to approach dating a divorced man or woman with children is to take the relationship slowly. Let your partner decide when it's time to meet his or her children. You don't have to meet the children right away or be in a rush to bond with them once you have met. Relationships that develop naturally will be stronger over time.

Respecting the children's feelings

Children of any age are affected by their parent's dating life. They will be wondering if you plan to become their step-parent, and may have concerns about anyone new becoming an important part of their parent's life. While your relationship with their parent shouldn't be dictated by the children, you should respect their feelings and attempt to make the transition easier for them.

Do not act like a parent

When the person you are dating has children, you should not attempt to act like a stepparent early in the relationship. The children are likely to resent you if they feel like you are overstepping your bounds or trying to replace one of their parents. Instead, develop your own friendly relationship with the children. Over time, you will build their trust and eventually ease into a stepparent role.

Coping with the former spouse

A divorced man or woman who has children is also likely to come with a former spouse. Just as the children are wary of a newcomer, the former spouse may feel jealous or anxious about your new role in the family. The best way to cope with potential problems is to let the person you are dating interact with his or her former spouse without getting in the middle.

Though dating a divorced man or woman with children may be complicated, it can lead to a rewarding relationship for everyone involved. Take your time, respect everyone's feelings and practice patience during the early transition period.

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