Okay. So she’s absolutely beautiful, charming and mature. Where do I sign up? Well, if you’re ever presented with such a relationship, it may be best to consider some of the major components to dating a woman that has kids.
Here are a few things to keep in mind –
Different life experiences inevitably drive us towards maturity in different ways, at different times in our life. Have you just mastered the party scene in Ibiza while she’s celebrating 3 years of not nursing? Are you also a single parent? The question is, are you mature enough to date her in a way that addresses her needs while addressing yours as well? In instances where she is divorced, you may have to become comfortable with being lower on the totem pole at times as she addresses the immediate needs of her family, her own mental and emotional health, and any matters pertaining to her ex.
Bruce Lee may have said it best. “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” Thank you Bruce. Your advice can be applied to martial arts, business and yes, even relationships. For the relationship to succeed, you must be mature enough to know your worth while being mindful and supportive.
When you start dating, and especially if her children are younger, you will most likely interact with them at some point. If you are, you WILL need to figure out the type of interactive relationship you want to have with them. If you see the kid about to stick a screw-driver in an electrical socket while mom has stepped away, you’re going to need to react. You may need to be protector, authoritarian and all around cool guy. If thats the case, you have to know who you want to be in the relationship as it pertains to the kids. You are not their father, but you will need to be aware of them and presumably the issues they are facing.
Is this type of additional responsibility something you can see yourself adapting too? Or is it too much for where you’re at in your life at the moment? Whatever your answer, be honest with yourself and her. The sooner the better. As a man, you will often be endowed with qualities that society assumes is applicable to your gender. Be prepared to be more. Be prepared to define what works for you. And ultimately, be prepared to make decisions with her and her kids in mind.