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Dating with Children in the Picture

Once you reach a certain age, as a s.ingle person you may have children of your own, or you may not have children, but are meeting people to date who do.  This definitely makes dating more challenging and possibly very rewarding at the same time. 

Let’s look at dating from each perspective:

 As a s.ingle parent…

Finding time to date can be an issue.  Between work and your children, that leaves little time for personal time, let alone dating.  That means you have to be very efficient with your time. 

It helps if you have a support system – either friends or family that would look after your kids while you go out.   Many s.ingle parents have their kids every other weekend, so they can plan adult activities for when they are solo. 

A lot depends on the age of the children.  Younger kids are more pliable than older kids to accepting a new person in their parent’s life.

There is the perspective among s.ingle parents that they are less selfish than those people who don’t have kids because they have to focus on others and not only themselves.  

The comments that I have heard from my single parent clients are:

  1. “The person I am dating has to accept me and love the entire package- children and all.”
  2. “ I really need the person I am dating to be flexible and understanding because I can’t always control things when it comes to my kids” 
  3. “I wait awhile before I introduce my child to the person I am dating.  I want to make sure that it’s serious.  I don’t want my child to get attached and then have to deal with a loss if things don’t work out.”


The benefits that the s.ingle parent gets from dating are having an adult companion and someone who can offer emotional support. 


Article continued below:

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 As a single person without children looking to date a single parent….

A whole new world is opened up for the s.ingle person who doesn’t have kids once this person is introduced to the kids of the s.ingle parent you are dating. 

You have to have patience and be willing to put the needs of your partner’s kids before your own- many times.  You will be going to kids events and spending time with your partner’s kids in addition to your alone adult time. 

The child(ren) may accept you readily or you may have to deal with some resentment as if you are an intruder and taking this parent away from the child(ren).

The s.ingle parent may expect the partner to pitch in and help- with feeding time, cleaning up after the children, entertaining the children or other parent-like responsibilities.  The issue of discipline and how much say you have comes into play. 

The comments I hear from my clients who do not have children and are dating s.ingle parents are:

  1. “I need to feel that I am special and that my partner is thinking of me.   I understand that most times the kids come first but I need to see that he is making the effort for us to have alone time.”
  2. “I really like the idea of being a part of a child’s life since I doubt I will have children of my own at this age.” 
  3. I have to see that the woman I am dating has a good relationship with her ex and that the kids’ interest comes before their own.  Also, I need to feel accepted by the kids for me to stick around.”
  4. “My biggest transition was having the kids around and knowing what to do with them.”


The benefits of dating a s.ingle parent are being a part of a child’s life and building a bond that can last a lifetime and having a ready made family.  What I hear from my clients that it is not easy, but if you hang in there for the long haul, you do become a part of the family and it can be very rewarding. 

The key to both sides feeling happy about the relationship is being able to communicate each other’s needs and come up with a solution that works for both parties. 

Dating with children bring in a whole new dimension.  It is definitely challenging at times, but from what I am told, the rewards most times greatly out weigh the downsides. 


Amy’s Vision:
“As a personal life coach, my goal is to bring you the information you need to make intelligent and heartfelt decisions about the most significant relationship in your life.  We all desire our best life possible.  My hope is that you find this information helpful and achieve all your life long dreams.”

Amy Schoen, MBA, CPCC
Heartmind Connection®, LLC
Life Coach and Dating & Relationship Expert
Helping s.ingles create their best possible lives!

Rockville, Maryland   

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