What are the dos and dont's of dating when you have kids?

I’m looking to hear thoughts and tips, dos and donts on dating and relationships when u have children. I am a single mom of 4, we have had some bad experiences in the past, I’m wondering should I just wait till they are all grown. I’m 34 my baby loves are 3, 7, 14, and 16. I’m hoping to hear real advice from real experience or education on the topic, not a bunch of judgmental bs that won’t be received anyway. Ty in advance. Pics are me and my kiddos, so the post doesn’t get lost.


Do t be in a hurry with any man… dont Introduce to your children until you feel it’s right or going serious for sure… ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDRENS JUDGEMENT ON SOMEONE. specially younger children they are very intuitive


Don’t force it. Don’t push him on your kids or your kids on him until everyone is comfortable and ready. When the time comes DO be very obseverent, watch how he interacts with you children and watch their body language. Take ques from your children. Watch for fakeness.


I say go for it, I mean don’t just meet someone then introduce them but be open to finding someone and take it slow and if you feel like you can see a future with them then you can introduce them.

In my experience I kept anyone from meeting my little guy till it was a committed relationship and my current boyfriend actually sat down with my son and asked him bud are you okay if I date your momma I mean his answer was is that really my business lol but the effort to show him what he wants matters really helped to ease into having someone new in our lives and we have now been together for 4 years on baby number 2 together and he raises and claims my oldest as his own!! Just make sure who are dating is ready for the package deal and knows there will be some adjustment period when blending a family!!


Date casually, and don’t introduce the kids unless it’s getting serious. Do not lie about having kids though. Because if they are going to run from that, it’s better it happens before feelings are involved. I was a single mom for many years, and tried to play by these rules (and yes, still got burned sometimes), but ended up falling for a friend with a kid the same age as mine. Play dates and babysitting for each other, led to time together where we fell in love. (10years ago now. ) I hope that your road to happiness is less bumpy.


Kids dont need to meet them until you know its permanent. Run a background check if possible. If your kids dont like him walk away. Dont force him I to daddy mode. They are not his kids and shouldnt be expected to support or take care of them


I waited to date again until my youngest was 16. If I had it to do over again, probably would have started again when she started being more independent (maybe 14). The time focused on my kids has been very precious and we never had to worry about them feeling displaced, pushed aside or resent of a new person. But. .she is full blown into dating her own person now and for a bit, it bbn kinda left me a little lonely. Lol. I do not regret AT ALL waiting and having that time with them and time to discover/embrace who I have become!

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I’ll be waiting a kind ass time . I have a girl. No chances I will take . Each to there own

dont do it in the kitchen and dont let him spend the night


I didn’t actually force dating. I went out dancing to just be with girlfriends on Saturday nights. I ended up meeting my fiance, who is the father of my second and third child. My first born was 2 when I met him. I found it intimidating and really questionable at first when he would mention I could bring my 2 year old to a dinner date with me. I legit asked if he was a pedophile or something since he seemed so nonchalant about meeting a young one. He ended up just being a family guy and the best man that’s ever been in my life. I was skeptical, because I was preyed on a lot growing up by older men and have a bad history with men. He proved me wrong though. <3 When it’s meant to be, it will come naturally.


:slight_smile: Don’t be selfish. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about them. Listen to their thoughts and feelings about this person. Dont just force them into your kids’ life, or they definitely won’t feel comfortable.

Edit: It’s also a REALLY bad idea to introduce someone new to your 16 year old this late in your relationship with her. She’s about to be grown, so tread carefully with who you choose. How they treat your oldest will say a lot about them!

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Don’t introduce everyone to your kids and make sure they know your kids come first

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You have to do what feels right for you and your kids. Period. If you start seeing someone, see them a few times before even thinking about introducing them to your kids. Get a feel for them and who they are, as well as how they are. But make sure on date number one that they know you have kids. When you’re ready, they’re ready and the kids are ready, introduce everyone in a public location or social gathering. That’s what I did. I have 4 kids… When I met my husband, my kids were 15, 15, 10 and 5. My husband and I met through mutual friends. I went out with him a few times, then when everyone was ready, I made dinner and invited him as well as the mutual friends and their kids (who are friends with my kids). I think it made it easier for everyone. He was comfortable. The kids were comfortable. A few days later, I had him over for dinner with just us. Whatever you do, don’t put your happiness on hold until your kids are grown. I took my kids from an extremely toxic and shitty relationship and I told myself I was done. I wasn’t dating. Then I went out to celebrate my best friends birthday, her husband brought one of the guys he worked with along… the rest is history!

Why do I feel like I know you?

It’s all personal opinion. The only real do’s and dont’s are what you feel they are.

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Id date but not bring him around unless u know its serious. The last thing u want is men walking in and out of their lives. U will know when its time


There’s no reason to spend your life alone. I’d say wait a decent period of time (6 months dating IMO) before introducing your kids. It would be tough to have people in and out of their lives. I feel with that amount of time, you know them pretty well. Its never easy, but wishing you well. I hope you find happiness!!

I agree with the previous women. I’m in the same boat about dating and my ex and I agreed to waiting six months of dating someone before the kids are Introduced. Best of luck!

Just my opinion, but why not wait till the kids are grown. I say that because there’s so many cases of step parents harming, abusing or sexually assaulting their partners children. In my opinion, enjoy your children and your life with them and once they have all grown up, begin to date. I hope this helps. No judgement here on other people’s opinion☺️


At least don’t bring him in home for a while,as its not good for children to maybe attach and then get let down if u split up

I get the comments about not bringing him around the children but how is a mother meant to date if the fathers ain’t involved if you can’t bring them home ??

I flat out never let anyone meet my kid as a rule. My son didn’t meet my husband until we were engaged. It’s heartbreaking for kids to get attached to someone when the relationship isn’t serious enough to become family (my parents split so I know). My now husband understood that perfectly. They get along famously now and I am 100% confident that he is father material and we are happily expecting a girl. Buuut the point is: no matter how good the guy is he doesn’t meet the kids unless you’re talking futures after 6mo + and he NEVER babysits period.


My recommended “don’t” is do not bring your date into your home. Whether your kids are there or not, that is their safe place and you don’t want to disrupt that. If you’re ready to date, I say go for it! Use your head and be smart about it. You can do a quick search to make sure they aren’t a registered sex offender or have active warrants in their county. Make sure another adult (friend, sibling, etc) knows when and where you will be meeting with someone if it’s a blind date or internet date. Have fun!


6 month rule. You usually know by then if it is serious, and if it’s not, then bye.

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I dated- see no problem with it, really. But I kept that life apart from the kids.
Once I had agreed to get into a relationship we waited 6 months before we were introduced to eachothers kids. It felt right to know someone fairly well. And it was fun going out again. Balance, gut feeling on timing and common sense were the key to our start and our kids always were and still are, priority over all.

I introduced my bf to my 4 yr old right away. I get the reasoning behind waiting, but I feel that finding out how the bf is with kids is super important too!! Why waste time with a guy who can’t connect with your child?? We’ve been together a year and a half now and couldn’t be happier :slightly_smiling_face:


Do a free background check everytime. Don’t bring a bunch of men in and out. Personally I lay everything out on the table pretty early on and make sure I know everything about them I can before wasting a lot of my time im to old for that.

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When I was with my ex we introduced a few months after we was serious and my son loved him. I got pregnant with my 2nd son nd things went sour in our relationship and he left both boys. Its heartbreaking especially more when kids are involved and attached. Personally I wouldn’t let anyone around my kids again. Not till they’re old enough to understand that not everyone stays. Go on dates have fun but have it separate from your children…the world we live in now you have to be very careful who you bring round your kids. Obviously we cant tell you what to do, you do what feels right but please dont leave your children alone with any man you don’t fully know even after a few months. Make sure your kids can communicate well.

You deserve love! I would say go on dates and not introduce him to the kids or bring him to the house until things start to get serious! Otherwise enjoy yourself mama!

Never let the kiddos meet until you know you are serious

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Date! Dont bring them around the kids or have them babysit until YOUR comfortable with him but if he never meets the kids you wont know if hes/they are okay together and that’s a deal breaker to!

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I don’t have this problem but from my stand point if I did, i wouldn’t let any guy come around my kids until i was 100% sure it was going somewhere. I would expect the kids father 2 do the same. I would also not introduce someone 2 my kids unless I’m going 2 introduce 2 my mother and ex 1st 2 see how that goes. 2 of urs are old enough 2 understand but with the younger 2 i just wouldn’t bring it up or say anything 2 them. Still at any age it’s easy 2 get attached 2 someone. Goodluck. Hope that helped

I never dated until my kids are grown my youngest will be 18 in May. My choice. They have been through a lot with my ex. They needed to know mama was always there for them. I think you need to do what’s best for you and most of all your kids


Kids need a happy mom at the end of the day. If they’ve been through a rough time with a different partner, give it time but dont let it hold you back for the right person. You deserve love too.


go at your own pace. don’t do anything you or your kids are uncomfortable with.


Go at your pace and dont introduce kids until you know its legit bc kids gets attached faster and are the ones who ends up hurting the worse in the long run if something didn’t work out.

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I remained single so my children had the mother they deserved. No regrets!


Staying single until you’re kids are grown doesn’t seem fair to you. You need adult companionship as well. I would suggest if you do start dating wait a long time before you introduce someone to them.


I didnt introduce my kids to anyone until i was sure of them. It was like 6 weeks of solid dates. And only one made that cut.


I think it really depends on you, I’m in a relationship currently and i also introduced my kids early as well. My mom has known him since he was about 2 and hes 28 now. I introduced my kids early on because I needed to know how he was with children before getting too serious. I’d rather know early on if hes good with kids or not instead of getting too attached. By the way, hes amazing with my kids and my kids absolutely adore him.

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Do what you feel is right for you and your kids. I’m married but if I were to start dating with my kids in the mix I would take it slow and wouldn’t introduce my kids until I knew that it was going to be serious. Pay attention to how the person you choose to be with treats your kids. If something seems off, your gut feeling most likely is correct. Once you do introduce your kids make sure you listen to them. If they don’t jive with him there might be something going on when you are not around. I always looked at dating as if I felt like we had a future, why rush into anything. Slowly getting to know someone usually has a better shot at longevity in a relationship.

I started dating and my kids are young. I didn’t let them meet or know about my bf until I knew he would stick around and I felt safe. We are now married. Happiness is out there


You deserve to be happy just as they are supposed to be. Do not wait until they are grown you need companionship as they do. Put them first tho. When dating don’t have a meet and greet until either the guy asks or the kids want to meet them if that doesn’t happen soon enough for you maybe between 3 and 6 months of solid dating then meet.

Don’t introduce your kids to anyone too soon! They don’t need to see either parent with a rotating door of partners. You don’t need to wait to date, just don’t bring him around the kids for a while!


Idk if I will be able to :date:. My children are young & my 1st responsibility. But if I do, the first rule would be, my children wouldn’t meet that person until I’ve known them well over a year.

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I cant wait till my kid is grown to date I mean I’ll be pushing 40 then. To me I think I’d be miserable at that rate, like being alone? Through all this hell? No I can’t do it.

I hope this is helpful… my husband didnt introduce me to his daughter until he was ready to propose to me… I thought it was a great boundary


I started dating my fiance 1 yr and a half ago, we’re a blended family. If you being with someone would make you happy then go for it. I’d wait to introduce the kids until you feel it’s the right time. Only you would know that though. Take your time and don’t rush.

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that was me about 2 years ago minus i was a single mom to a 1 yr old, two special needs kids ages 5 and 6 at the time and 3 months pregnant. He didn’t get to meet the kids for awhile, and he wasn’t a part of bdays or holidays for a while for that same reason until i knew we were serious, gonna be serious and had the same long term goals for the relationship established and agreed upon. Then slowly he got to meet them and spend a little more time around them. After about a year of being together after the one i was pregnant with was born, he would stay the night with me or weekends sometimes and so I could get a little extra sleep he would ask if it was okay to take the kids five minutes down the road to grab lunch at BK for all of em or take em down still five minutes down the road to walmart and let them pick out donughts for breakfast. By this time we were engaged so i didn’t mind. We still were doing sep holidays (he also lived 1.5 hrs away in one direction,) but he did participate in bdays and special occassions. About 1.5 yrs in, we now live together, each weekend he rotates my oldest two kids out who’re now 6 and 7 to go out for a few hours and eat together and have a daddy daughter day together. My 2 yr old is with her father on the weekends so it gives me some peace and quiet at the house with the almost 1 yr old. We’re expecting our first together aka baby number five and honestly i’m glad i did things the way we did. My rules were always don’t introduce the kids until you’re together for some time, if you have a long term possible marriage goal mutually in mind, and know this is a good person and someone you want to be with long term. They were introduced by his name and thats what they called him. They knew he wasn’t dad and there were rules and boundaries established. He always had to ask permission to take them anywhere for anything and at first it was just only very short term ten minute or so trips.

maybe talk to your 2 eldest too see/ get their take on it…(obviously you care about them otherwise you won’t be asking and in the end it is up to you not your kids)but I would still talk about it… if you do date keep it in public places dont bring your kids into the potential relationship until you are 100%sure of the person and had known them for a while…and when you do introduce them keep it light. You need to get a feel of how your kids are around said person and vice versa…you need to know if the person you are dating will be 100% in it with you and your kids…you need to be happy as well, but your kids come first.

My fiancé had two girls that where 6 when we met. They are 10 now and we have one of our own. He didn’t introduce me to them until we where dating a year and very serious. And even then he introduced me it was as a friend so they could get used to me. It wasn’t until they told their dad they wanted him to ask me out that we told them we where dating. I personally think you should date if you’re ready. Everyone deserves to be happy. And you’re kids want to see you happy. But definitely put up boundaries and make sure the other person respects that your kids will always come first.

I don’t understand the “I stayed single so my kids had the Mom they deserved”…so you can’t date AND be the Mom they deserve? Just curious. To each their own, but you know what’s best for all of you♡


I just dated and didn’t bring men home to them. Now I have but we are getting married this year

And mine were 4,7,12,13 when they met him finally last year, they were 3,6,11, 12 when I started dating him, but I said nothing to my kids until I felt it was time for them to meet

Be very careful who you bring home.

I’m with my kids dad but if I wasnt then the person i was dating would have a seriously long wait before meeting my kids. I dont know how people can introduce someone to their children so soon, it’s dangerous honestly. You should get to know that person, hell do some background checks because my childs safety comes before some relationship. Last thing any kid wants is a different guy/woman coming through the house every few months

When a man starts dating a single mother, he needs to understand that mother and kids are a package deal. Take your time, go slow, and make sure that he is on board with being the father figure in the home. He isn’t replacing the kids father, but he will have responsibilities in being involved with raising the kids.

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Don’t let men come to your house. Dont introduce every man to your kids. Dont let any babysit your kids!
Wait until you’re sure its serious. Lots of sick weirdos in this world.


Wait to introduce children until the relationship is serious, like “ready to marry” serious. Be open with your children, though, to their level. “Mommy’s going to have dinner with a friend” is good enough. Listen to your gut, and the kids come first. Anyone who doesn’t agree with that, doesn’t deserve your time.


Coming from a single parent household (dad) he always over involved me and my sister in his relationships. I always hated it, because things dont work out, and then your children are emotionally involved. I wouldnt introduce your children to anyone until you’ve dated them for atleast a year. If you want, let your 16 year old know you are seeing someone. But that’s it. Dont give details or involve or talk about your relationship to your children, ask for advice or even complain. My dad did all of this, and it just made us uncomfortable and upset… you 100% should date, but I wouldnt bring him around until you are a year in and truly understand what your relationship means and what kind of person he is, and how he is with children. Your babies are too young to understand an adult relationship, Even your 16 year old.


You can date if you feel like you’re ready. Nothing wrong with it! This is only how I see it… (so no one take it personally) never introduce the kids to a bf at the beginning or at all unless y’all are getting serious. (Again this is my opinion on it, not everyone’s) You don’t know how many bf’s you will have & kids see & do! You don’t want to set a bad example or have them get close to one & then 1 day they are gone. For me personally that will confuse the ever living crap out of the kids. And not only will you be hurting but they will then, too. I think that’s the downfall to that situation :woman_shrugging:t2:
Again… just advice! Good luck!

You don’t have to wait to do what makes you happy. Be honest upfront with having kids and hold off until you know your relationship enough for an introduction. Dating for awhile will help ease things together. You’ll be comfortable which will make kids and S.O. more comfortable with meeting.

To be honest, dating someone with children is hard. If dating is successful and a relationship starts then it’s gonna be a blended family. The younger the kids are the more attention they need and they can possibly cause problems with your significant other , in addition to that your way of parenting may be different from that of your partner and culture clash may occur. Form experience it’s very hard and I wouldn’t advise anyone to date a person with kids under 18 to be honest

Same single mom of 4. Kids are 14, 10,8 and 3. I went through a bad experience the 1st time i tried so ive decided to wait until my youngest are a little older. Plus who has the energy for a man after 4 kids all day :joy::joy:🤷 lol. Just put your kids well being first, which is what you have been doing it sounds like :purple_heart:

Ok I am a single mom of 3 with a boyfriend and I have an honest question: why don’t people think it’s ok for kids to see a relationship not work out? I get that they’re little and there’s attachment and you don’t want to parade strangers around. But like… if things don’t work out that’s an ok lesson too? I think it’s up to the person and the kids. I would never wait a year of dating someone to introduce my kids, but I never made a big deal about it either. My friend started hanging out and then my kids wanted us together. I dunno I guess I just don’t understand why people think you practically have to be married to bring the kids into the picture.

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Single mom here :raising_hand_woman:t2: now living with my so but here’s my advice. Hard truth is most men do not want to take on 4 kids so you have to really weed out the creeps if you want a committed long term relationship. Don’t introduce your kids to any man til you’re dating at least a year. Do not run to see anybody. Plan dates ahead and make them understand your kids are always first and you are only available one or two nights per week. A happy mom makes a better mom and there’s nothing wrong with meeting people and making new friends even if it doesn’t work out romantically

Roll with the flo , & dont ever ignore your gut.


I have introduced early and later. Waiting has been the best possible decision. Its super hard but it was for the best to give our relationship lots of time to grow before bringing in my kiddo. And it wasn’t he hadn’t met her then had to spend every day with her. It started he would just see her a couple hours at a time and now he spend every weekend with her a year later.

do what YOU feel is best. there is no ‘rules’ i met my husband’s kid 2.5 weeks into dating him :woman_shrugging:t2: there’s no rules.

I always dated three months prior to them meeting my kids. Granted I didn’t date alot. And I have my kids dad do the same. Cause well let’s be blunt. He dates alot …lol. Just go with what feels right to you. Set boundaries and stay firm with them. If you can’t go out with him or her and they say bring your kid. Don’t do it unless your ready for that. Take your time and be patient.

My twins were 2 when my husband and I started dating. He was my high school sweetheart. I told him from the beginning that I had twins and they came first no matter what. We hung out as friends for about a year prior to starting to date. That gave me a chance to see if he was legit. Here we are 7 years after starting to date and we have a son, been married 3 months, and he is adopting my girls. I found that introducing him to my girls as a friend for that first year helped their relationship with him blossom.

My point is maybe introduce him as a friend and do not rush things. Live by the golden rule. 1 year friend zone. 2 years dating. 2 years engaged. Minimum 1 year living together before marriage happens.

Never been in that sitituation but my bf didn’t introduce me to his two til he knew I was goin to be around for a while so 2 1/2 months of dating I met his kids. We been together goin on 10 years and we have two together now. So dont rush into things and make sure hes the right one before introducing ur kids to him

Give yourself time to get to know whoever You are dating I waited Over 6 months To introduce My now Fiance to my daughter But once I did I could tell right away How much he loved her Try To do What feels right in your heart

I met my current 5 years ago at work. We hung out alone for awhile then I introduced to my 3 kids after a few months. We did family activities and dated another year before we moved in together. It’s now year 4 of us dating we have a 3 year old.

He also met their dad a few times at bday parties

After my last relationship I won’t bring anyone around my kids until at least 6 months of dating, sometimes someone’s true colours don’t come out until later.

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I’m 38 with four kids 16,14,10 & 4 and tbh if I start dating I won’t be introducing them to my kids unless I know it is going somewhere maybe after about six months but not before then but that’s just me lol it’s whatever makes u feel comfortable x

When I met my guy we had a wonderful hibachi date planned out but my babysitter canceled on me an hour before the date I told him we could reschedule and he insisted that if I felt comfortable we could do something more child friendly. Our first date ended up being to Chuck E. Cheese. My daughter had a blast and she loved him immediately which is rare for my kid. A year later she’s his world and we’re expecting a daughter of our own. I’m not saying that there isn’t validity in taking caution and not taking your kid around people you’re not sure about but I introduced her to him as my friend not my date and the reason there was a second date at all was because of how kind he was to her throughout the duration of the date. There’s no right or wrong way to date when you have kids. Do what makes you happy and keeps them safe. Never do anything you’re uncomfortable with.

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As my opinion is honey yes. I. Would day just be really careful you have feelings to and you need time away I had 3 boys who I loved with all my heart :heart: but I just wanted to relax and I did all went well.Be careful honey

How about you stuck with any of the FOUR father’s :nauseated_face:

They should be doing background checks on you.

Do not bring your date home til you know him. From experience, some act weird when you want to break it off. They will show up unannounced, sit outside your house. I now have a rule I have to know you a 6 months to a year before I introduce you to my kids. Some come off totally normal til you want to end things. Go to their house until you know them.

As a kid who had divorced parents who went on to date other people, the best advice I can give you is to let your kids know you are dating. Keep them updated so they know if the relationship is getting serious. My mom dated my stepdad for 2 years and didn’t tell me anything until they were getting married. Don’t do that. And if your kids don’t like the person you are dating, do not continue the relationship. My Dad married my stepmom after I told him I didn’t like her, and it destroyed my relationship with him. Now for my Dad to spend anytime with me or my son, I feel like a side piece because we only get together during lunch when my stepmom is at work… Don’t do that either.

The only advice I’d have Is if you find someone with his own children then be careful. It’s very hard work and, I’m the easiest person going and I find myself tolerating my partner at the moment. His children are fine but it’s been hard work, a tough road and I’m actually more miserable now than I was alone. The arguing, sarky comments,disrespect and slagging matches is just not me but I will not be spoken to or treated like crap without having my say so it happens. Trying to combine two families is tough.x

You don’t have to wait till there older you just need to be careful and not bring them around your kids till you been together a bit and you know what hes really like and hopefully he understand kids come 1st and its a package deal dating isn’t like it use to be thats for sure