How Do You Build Relationships for Those Who Already Have Children?

When you watched “Yours, Mine, and Ours” as a kid, did you, too, have a soft spot for Frank and Hellen’s family coming together? Chances are, far more likely you empathized with their malicious offspring, who tried their best to keep their parents from getting married. But try revisiting this comedy now. We are almost one hundred percent sure that your sympathy will be on the side of the parents in love.

Yes, there are harder things in the world than pulling gum out of your hair – building a relationship with someone when you already have kids, for example. There’s nothing clear at first in this business. When should you introduce the kids to your new chosen one? How to do it? And is it even worth it? No one can answer these questions better than a single parent. They have been through this many times and tell you exactly how to act you if you find yourself in the same situation.

When do you let potential partners know that you have children?

“I indicated that I have children on my dating profile. It’s such an important part of my life! At first I was worried about whether I should post about it on social media, but then I reassured myself, it’s not like I’m putting my kids at risk by mentioning them online,”

Adam, 34, Atlanta, Georgia

“Until the first date, but I don’t write about the baby in my profile. I don’t want to fall prey to some horny maniac who is interested in single moms,”

Kelly, 32, Charlotte, North Carolina

“My profile says a lot about kids. They are the most important thing in my life; I have nothing but them,”

Andrea, 44, Dallas, Texas

“I wrote on a dating site that I had gotten partial custody of my children. I hesitated for a very long time about whether I should write about it. But after some deliberation, I decided it would just be unfair to keep something like that quiet. What if I start a serious relationship with someone who doesn’t know about my kids, and when she does, she’ll reject me and my boys. It would be a disappointment to everyone,”

Brandon, 36, Providence, Rhode Island

Why is it harder to start a relationship when you already have kids?

“From my experience as a single dad, I can tell you that the difficulty is the lack of free time. A lot of the girls I dated appreciated spontaneity, and I just couldn’t drop everything and come to their house with flowers. Moreover, I provide for the children myself, so the financial issue also sometimes comes up. It seems like the only way a woman will know I really love her is if I can hire a nanny for the kids and a personal assistant to do everything for me while I make a spontaneous romantic gesture for my beloved. And that’s hardly possible. Basically, I’m just not dating anyone,”

Adam, 34, Atlanta, Georgia

“First of all, it’s hard to find time for a relationship. Second, a lot of people aren’t interested in a relationship with someone who has kids. And third, I wouldn’t want my kid to think I was having affairs with everyone. So I’m very selective about girls,” Benson, 49, Toronto, Ontario.

“When you have kids, relationships develop very slowly. I can’t dive into them headfirst, finally get involved with my lover and spend most of my time with him. I have kids, a house, a job. It turns out that I can not know everything about the man at once. So I have to look at him for a long time,”

Annie, 30 years old, Idaho

What do you worry about most in a relationship?

“My kids live with me 24/7 – they’re always home. So my boyfriend just can’t come to visit me. And sometimes I want to. We have to wait until I decide to introduce my chosen one to the children. And it may not even come to that,”

Hannah, 43, Dayton, Ohio

“When you’re absolutely in love, you have a hard time not losing your head completely and starting to drift away from your child. I could afford a babysitter, but I set clear priorities by designating that a child is the most important thing to me.”

Susan, 57, Phoenix, Arizona

When do you know it’s time to introduce a loved one to children?

“It’s a complicated issue. I dated a guy for three months (he also has a daughter). And we decided that we would only meet each other’s children when we were in a serious and solid relationship. There is no specific time when this important meeting should take place. A friend of mine, he introduced the children to his girlfriend after only two weeks of a relationship. A lot depends on the age of the child and the situation itself,”

Hannah, 43, Dayton, Ohio.

“I have a rule of thumb to introduce a guy to my kids no sooner than a year into a relationship. The only way I could change my mind and set this meeting up earlier is if my man had kids about the same age as mine. They would have been able to hang out together, which would have been great. Then that would have avoided that awkward moment of, “Here, honey, with this weird uncle you’re seeing for the first time, you have to share your mom. I hope you like him,”

Annie, 30, Idaho

Would you stop dating someone your child doesn’t like?

“You need a good reason for that. If a kid doesn’t like my boyfriend’s sense of humor, it’s not serious. But if they notice that he’s being disrespectful to me, then I wonder. I trust my kids,” .

Hannah, 43, Dayton, Ohio

“I would definitely listen to my kids. They’re kind, they like everybody. So if they didn’t like someone, there was probably a good reason for it. My first responsibility as a parent is to protect my kids. If they don’t like someone, I definitely have to figure out what’s wrong,” .

Andrea, 44, Dallas, Texas

Has having children changed the process of finding a partner?

“It definitely has. I used to look at a guy’s physical attractiveness first. Now it’s much more important to me that he be reliable, kind, and without bad habits. Before I met my current boyfriend, I talked a lot with men on dating sites. One of the most important criteria for whether or not I would continue to communicate was my desire to introduce the young man to my children. If I didn’t want this or that guy to know my boys, communication would stop,”

Hannah, 43, Dayton, Ohio

Do you usually go out with people who have children or who don’t?

“More often than not, I get into relationships with women who also have kids. Those people who have already become parents have a completely different mindset,”

Jeff, 52, Boston, Massachusetts.

“I’ve never dated anyone who has kids. Purely theoretically I’m okay with it, but it hardly applies in practice. Everyone would be forever busy with their kids, and we’d hardly get to see each other,”

Brandon, 36, Providence, Rhode Island.

“I’ve dated both of those women. I have no doubt that you can have a good relationship with ladies without children. But when you date a woman who has already become a mother, it’s different. You share the experience of raising children, you have similar moral values. I dated a woman a few years older than me. She had three grown children. What she helped me realize in raising my daughter was invaluable.”

Matthew, 45, Huntington Beach, Calif

What do people who are dating single parents need to know?

“Remember: even if a mother has a terribly naughty and simply unbearable child, there’s no way she can trade him for anyone else. No matter how much she loves her new chosen one, the child will always be her priority.”

Susan 57, Phoenix

“As a widowed mother, I would like my man to be more accepting of the fact that I am the only parent to my children. If anything, I’m ready to snap out of it and rush to them at any moment,”

Hannah, 43, Dayton, Ohio