What You Need To Know About Dating A Woman With Kids & The Importance Of Her Children

By Sarah Fader |Updated July 29, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Nicole J. Johnson, LCSW
Dating a woman with a child or children can be very exciting, fulfilling, and challenging at the same time. Traditional dating allows two people to get to know one another, build a special bond and decide if starting a family is right for them. These are still some of the same steps that couples take when children are already involved, but with some added creativity and sensitivity.Though you may not be sure if you’re ready to be a parent, know that respecting a woman’s children is imperative for making a relationship work. At the end of the day, you want to be a supportive influence in her life.

1. Recognize That Dating A Woman with Kids Can Be Different Than Dating A Person Without Children

Dating a woman with children may be similar to dating anyone else in many ways. You can still enjoy fun activities and quality time together and get to know each other on a deeper level. However, it should be acknowledged that a woman with children will have other priorities. Understand that her children will likely be a higher priority than the relationship. If you’re interested in a woman with children, it’s important that your self-confidence and level of independence is secure. Dating a woman with children may also mean that, if the children were not adopted, she has open communication with her ex. This is generally a positive thing for the sake of the children. This means it’s important to again be confident in yourself and trust your partner.

Though you may not initially feel affected by her children in her life, it’s likely that you will need to be flexible in order to accommodate their needs. Depending on the age of the children, there may be times when family emergencies arise, issues come up, or she will have to put her children first. Know that this isn’t because she doesn’t care about you. Being a great mother is an amazing quality to have.

2. Know Her Priorities

When getting to know the woman you’re considering dating, ask her about what’s important in her life. What are some of her daily activities? When and how does she spend her free time? A woman with children will likely have structure and routine to balance her family’s life. Being able to be flexible for her schedule and that of her children, and creative with spending quality time together, can make your relationship exciting and full of gratitude.

dating a woman with kids

How Can I Make Her Know I Care?

 

Since so much of her life may be centered around her kids, making an effort to engage in activities that she loves can help her feel appreciated. By giving her time to relax and feel supported, you can help form a closer bond with you, herself, and her children. It’s also important to be curious about her wants and needs moving forward and respect any boundaries she sets between you and her children.

3. Show Her Gratitude

It’s always nice to show your partner how much you enjoy their company, and that they’re special. Show that you understand and appreciate the added effort she requires to spend time with you. One example of this would be to offer to cover the cost of a babysitter. This small gesture acknowledges her importance as your partner, but also appreciates her identity as a mother. By not adding pressure on her to act as if her kids don’t exist, you can help her feel supported and loved.

Help out with her daily routine. Offer to pick up dinner, help with activities around the house, or take her car for a wash. These small gestures can reduce her stress, and ultimately give her more time to spend with you. Though you aren’t responsible for stepping in as a step-parent right away (or at all unless that is something that you discuss and agree upon), doing little things to help ease the daily stresses of being a parent can help bring you closer together.

4. Let Her Handle Her Children And Her Ex

Depending on your partner’s situation, dealing with an ex can be a challenge of dating someone with kids. This however is not always the case, nor it does not have to be. In fact, the solution is really simple: stay out of it. Although it might be tempting to jump in and take sides, you must remember that if issues between them are present, they probably started long before you came into the picture and will continue with or without you. Instead of getting involved, simply lend an ear and shoulder for support. This can mean a lot to your partner and can even go a long way with the ex, which means an overall healthier environment for the kids. The same rules apply when it comes to her children. Allow her to raise them her way. Of course, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe if ever in your care, but leave the parenting to the parents.

Respect your partner’s boundaries when it comes to communicating with her kids or her ex. Your role in her life is to offer warmth and be present in a way that’s helpful to her. It’s natural to have questions, and keeping an open line of communication is important. Just remember not to put her in a position where she feels like she is being pulled in two directions.

5. How To Take An Interest In Her Children

It feels amazing when your partner has an interest in the things most important to you. It’s the same when dating a woman with children. If you have a genuine interest in her family, she’ll appreciate it. This doesn’t mean you need to throw yourself into having a relationship with her children, but it could mean showing genuine interest by asking questions about the family, her parenting style, and eventually discussing what a future blended family might look like. By getting to know more about her family, you’re getting to know more about your partner.

Once you move into a more involved relationship with the family, be sure to get to know the children as individuals. Talk to the children about their interests, likes, and dislikes. Building a bond through mutual respect is important for the growth of the relationship. You can try doing activities with them that they enjoy, such as drawing, going to a museum, or playing basketball (even if you’re not very good at it, it’ll still mean a great deal to the children, and likely your partner as well).

6. Take Time To Get To Know Her And The Kids

When dating anyone, taking your time to build the relationship is important. Going at a pace that allows you to learn more about yourself, your partner, and the family dynamics will help both of you decide if this is a good fit. If it’s a good fit, going slow and steady will also allow you both to develop boundaries and structure the relationship in a healthy way. Children can often sense insincerity, so make sure you both are sure about wanting the relationship to work.

It can take time for children to positively respond to a newcomer to the family, so exercise patience and respect as they adjust. Try not to take it personally if you aren’t immediately welcomed by her children, as adding new family members can be a challenging process for some kids. Be patient, kind and respectful. Remember that your relationship with your partner is the core of your role in their life.

Dating A Woman With Kids

Overall, dating a woman with a child or children can be a great experience, and you can form a very fulfilling relationship. Having a support system, as well as healthy communication techniques and understanding with your partner, can be great assets in understanding the relationship dynamics of dating someone with kids.

Where To Find Help? BetterHelp Cares About Families

How Can I Make Her Know I Care?

When you see an online counselor at BetterHelp, they understand that your relationship is important. They’ll help you work through any potential or existing relationship issues. Dating a woman with children may be a new experience for you, and you can talk to your online counselor about any challenges that come up. You may also consider online counseling for couples. If your relationship is getting serious, working with an online couple’s counselor is a wonderful way to improve your communication and get closer to your partner.

Finally, family therapists are out there to help parents and kids work through new changes in the family dynamic together. Though kids aren’t always keen to share their feelings right away, creating a space for them to do so can be extremely beneficial. This is especially true for blended families when the dynamic is shifting dramatically. BetterHelp has also created a platform specifically for children ages 13 to 19.

Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar relationships.

Counselor Reviews

“Dr. Ciraky has proven to be an excellent sounding board and has provided tools to work through my relationship issues. He has been insightful and given me things to think about to direct me in my decision-making process. I would highly recommend him.”

“Patricia is amazing. She helped me through some relationship problems. I am extremely grateful for her support. She is very kind and explains difficult situations in a way that they make sense. I especially loved the fact that she sends you a summary of your session so you can get back to it at any time. It helped me a lot. I felt very lucky to have had Patricia as my counselor.”

Conclusion - Dating A Single Woman & A Mom Can Have Its Challenges

You don’t have to navigate the challenges of dating a woman with kids alone. Talk to a counselor at BetterHelp and get the guidance you need to enjoy the best possible relationship with her. Take the first step today.

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