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Dating Advice For Women

April 30, 2013

Dating a Man with Kids – Part 1 of 5

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Written by: Angela Potrykus
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I take the stubby pencil from the hand of my boyfriend’s nine-year old daughter to erase her chicken-scratch of a math solution. Instead of stacking numbers to multiply, she’s been taught to create a complicated matrix that looks completely foreign to me. Four of her five problems are wrong and her chances of improving aren’t getting any better with my assistance.

I was not prepared for any of this.

Had someone predicted that after college I would start dating a man who already had two fairly-grown kids, I would have laughed…a lot. But here I am, in my twenties and unsuccessfully attempting fourth-grade math on a Saturday morning.

Three years ago, dating in college was another world – if you can call it dating that is. Meeting men – or boys (as many of them were) – usually meant joining up halfway-inebriated at (a) a dimly-lit college bar with loose-dancing and ESPN-watching (b) a football tailgate complete with bonding over beer pong, or (c) a crowded house party where I barely knew anyone there.

The contrast between dating in college versus after college, or dating a man with children versus without them is stark to say the least. For myself, the transition from one dating world into the other was a jarring experience and my current relationship with my boyfriend and his two children has had its share of bumps. But I’m here to tell you with a full heart that my near three-year journey has been completely worth it and fulfilling in more ways than one. It’s been a challenging and yet an amazing soul-searching experience for a woman who never considered herself the motherly or “settling-down” type-of-gal.  And believe me – while I may be doing fourth-grade homework this morning, tonight I’ll still be getting rowdy with my girlfriends downtown.

Balance is everything.

Whether you are already dating a man with kids, are considering it or are simply interested in hearing more, this blog series is for you. Below is my first piece of crucial advice in a five-part series about what to expect when dating a man with children, including specific steps you can take to ensure a successful relationship for everyone involved.

1.       Date the Man First

I will stress here that you must date the man first – then incorporate his children into the relationship. I understand that any parent feels that their children are literally “part” of themselves, but it is vital that the two adults develop a relationship that can stand on its own. Take time, preferably four to six months to date the man without spending an abundance of time with his children. If the two of you are in a solid place after this time, then begin to develop a relationship with his children. I know this may sound harsh but the intent is to protect the children and yourself.  You never want to be in a situation where you feel guilty about breaking up with a man because you became attached to his children before deciding how you truly felt about being with him.  Staying with a man to avoid hurting his children doesn’t do anybody any favors and ends up hurting the children in the long run.  Avoid this dilemma by being patient and making sure he is someone you really see a future with, first.

 Check back next Tuesday for Part 2 of this series!

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About the Author

Angela Potrykus
A freelance writer based in Denver, Angela earned her M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She’s “that” friend who isn’t afraid to dish about the good, bad and, yes - the ugly - aspects of dating, relationships and sex. Angela looks forward to sharing her relationship advice through the use of humorous first, second and third-person accounts.




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