You may be wondering why we’re back to this when you and I both know that we have discussed the whole dating with children thing before.
A couple reasons:
- It’s been a while
- The concepts evolve as the kids get older
- It’s been a while
Not only has it been a while since I have had to think about it, but it’s a little bit of a different situation. I have only dated guys who were really quick to accept my kids to be with me. It didn’t matter to them that I had kids, they wanted to be with me and were “totally fine” with it (lies. All lies). JFTP is much more honest about his feelings with the kids. And although I wish it was a (truthful) “I’m totally fine with them”, I am thankful that he can just tell me how he feels.
Having this, it has made me (us) approach this whole dating thing very differently. And I like it. It makes it feel like it’s going much slower, things are much more chill. So what’s different? Rules and outcomes.
He doesn’t stay…all night. He does snuggle up with me for a couple hours. And on occasion, he will spend the night snuggling on the couch or spare bedroom. But it is so not the time for my kids to wake up with JFTP in my bed. Maybe someday, but not today. We need to know where we’re going.
He only comes for dinner once a week. Sure, it would be easy, and fun for me to cook for him whenever, even daily. But, no. That’s family time, and he’s not there yet.
There is time for him to get used to my kids. And they are getting used to him. He gets to see what the fam looks like in different situations. The way that we get along, and how we interact with each other. And most importantly how I parent and treat my kids. It gives him a baseline without being pressured into picking it all up and running with it right away.
All that said, I know it’s hard for him. I believe that when he has to see J and I fight over that damn phone, or when the little twerp doesn’t come home, it kind of makes him crazy. I’d bet that sometimes the things I say about how LMC’s dad behaves gets under his skin. And the thought of having adult children probably makes him a little nauseous. But he’s sticking it out. Being quite the champ about it, too.
How do you approach the dating with kids scene? What rules do you have?