Real love should be unconditional without any expectation. When you love somebody unconditionally, you are ready to do anything for that person, if they return your feelings.
However, what happens if your loved one already has a child? This should not be a problem if you are sure this relationship is what you want and you are ready to make the level of commitment that dating a single parent requires.
Singles that already have a child are quite rightly choosy about their dating options – particularly in introducing a person to their child. At the end of the day the parent will want to protect the child and make sure that anyone who comes into their life is going to be accepting of their young one.
For that reason, you need to be realistic and do not pretend it will have no effect on your potential relationship; it will. While you are dating, children will limit the time you can spend together and put your love life on a curfew. If things get more serious and long term, they will play a major role in your relationship.
Dating someone with kids is a matter of compatibility and acceptance. Therefore, if you want to be part of their family unit and to be accepted, you must win the child’s heart too.
Meeting their child is a very important thing in establishing and maintaining a functioning relationship. However, this should happen only when you have been dating for a while and things become more serious. Only then should you look to form a relationship with the child. You may start by showing them that you could be their friend and your relationship will not hurt them.
Prepare a meeting out, try to spend more time with the child and make them feel good with you. Spend time at their place playing games, watch cartoons. Be aware to the child feelings and wishes. Gradually over time they may come to accept you.
Take care as sometimes children can be seemingly difficult, do complicated things and ask a lot of questions. That is why you should ask appropriate questions before you meet them, so you know what to expect – and hopefully help them to be comfortable in your presence.
Also, be sure that your behaviour in front of the child is appropriate. In particular, be careful about displaying physical affection when the child is around. Do not do anything in front of them that would make them feel uncomfortable. Children use their parent’s behaviour as a model for their own lives. The examples you set for them will influence them over a lifetime.
If their biological parent is out of the picture due to death or divorce, they may use you to replace their parent or may act angry and hurtful towards you. Assure them that you do not want to take their parent’s place. Tell them that you know that they’re an important in their life; you just want to be more like a friend.
Discuss with both parent and child about what role you will play in their life. This is a good opportunity for all to express their feelings. This way you will know what your place is and how to act in this relationship to make it work.
With a little care, compassion, commitment – and a bit of luck – you might find you have the family you dreamed of with the person you love.