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Dating Advice For Women

May 21, 2013

Dating a Man with Kids, Part 4 of 5

Realizing-Your-Boundaries

Continued from Dating a Man with Kids Parts 1, 2 and 3

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 fourth 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.

 

Realizing Your Boundaries

I went through a few different stages of comfort when I first met my boyfriend’s children. The beginning was fun because I hadn’t been around children in forever. Every time we hung out seemed like an adventure because it was all new.  We did activities I hadn’t done in years! Going to amusement parks, bounce houses, arcades and more…it was great. But once the “newness” wore off, I began to notice myself becoming more opinionated about the way the children were raised. I couldn’t help it and started posing questions to my boyfriend such as:

Why haven’t your kids learned how to do that already?

Why would you discipline them like that?

Your daughter should totally be involved in this activity…

Why aren’t you helping more with your son’s homework?

But while I could ‘talk the talk’ – I quickly realized I wasn’t ready to ‘walk the walk.’ These questions and/or statements I made inherently put me in a parental position that I wasn’t necessarily ready to commit to. I had become comfortable enough in our relationship to put forth an opinion on my boyfriend’s parenting, but wasn’t ready to take on the responsibility of actually changing their family habits. This became an easy role for me to fall into, a lazy one if you will, but it started to drive my boyfriend a little nuts. He valued my opinion, but at times I would come across as a nag who refused to do anything about the very issues I was complaining about.

Now that time has passed, I’m at a stage in our relationship where I do help with homework and I do contribute to instilling good habits – but in the beginning, I wasn’t ready or willing to help. It wasn’t comfortable for me yet.  That being said: Realize your boundaries and comfort zone before you start spouting off opinions about your companion’s parenting style.  Allow yourself to fall into the parenting role naturally and when you’re actually ready to contribute. This will help to avoid any unnecessary conflict with your partner.

For more, check out Match.com’s ground rules for dating a single dad!

Also, check back next Tuesday for the last part 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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