Dating a single parent requires commitment and can be complicated. That doesn’t mean a relationship with a single mum or dad can’t be amazing, and that you can’t enjoy it, but dating someone with kids is completely different than dating someone without kids.

People who date single parents often find these relationships challenging when it comes to making plans. They often find themselves disappointed when the single parent has to reschedule dates because of kid emergencies. Will you be prepared for that?

Being in tune with what a single parent is thinking and feeling can help you understand, accept and truly enjoy the relationship more.

The Kids Will Always Come First – No Matter What 

That means that if you have plans with the woman or man you are dating and their child decides he or she needs some mummy or daddy time and so they cancel the date with you, you have to accept it, be OK with it, not resent him or her, respect the fact that he/she is there for the child.

The Relationship Might Go Slower Than You Want

Jumping into a serious relationship is a lot easier for those who have never been married and/or who don’t have kids. It’s not easy, but you have to be patient.

If the Divorce Is Recent or Going on, He or She Might Seem Distant at Times 

No one understands the impact of going through a divorce except for those who have gone through it. It can be draining, frustrating, upsetting, and infuriating, and cause intense anxiety, stress or sadness. It is an extremely emotional time and that person needs to heal. Have respect for that and do not take it personally.

He or She Is Always Busy

When someone is juggling a job, kids, and a legal battle, they don’t have the time to be on the phone with a new love for hours, and making plans is difficult. Don’t take it personally if they seem distracted.

His or Her Self-Esteem Isn’t the Greatest 

Maybe her husband left her. Maybe he had to move back home with his parents. There are so many factors that could cause a divorced person to have low self-esteem, and therefore be holding back a bit. If you realize that it’s not YOU, it will help YOUR self-esteem, and you won’t be thinking he or she isn’t interested in you.

Be Willing to Play Things by Ear a lot

Dating someone with kids requires a person to be flexible and not have to make plans 10 days in advance. Because, any single parent can tell you that schedules and kids’ activities get switched around every hour. If you’re a planner, that might be a problem.

Getting Involved in His or Her Divorce is a Huge Mistake

If he/she vents about her ex or cries or tells you what a jerk he is, don’t make the mistake of hating the ex, too. Just try to be supportive of feelings and be there for the person in any way you can. Give advice, but be careful. You don’t know the whole situation.

If You Love Him or Her, You Have to Love the Children Too

It’s a package deal. You really have to want to be a step-mum or dad or you shouldn’t be with that person.

For the most part, the single parent is a parent who needs to be there for his or her children, so learn to be patient and you never know where it will take you.