You have to make sure you're serious and your partner is serious before you bring the kiddos into the mix.
(It's a small town, so we kind of knew each other, but not really.) I was extra, extra lucky because my boyfriend had a (mostly) good relationship with her.
This is not always the case, but that's another blog post.
For now, my advice is to also play the waiting game with the ex -- take your time before you meet him or her. Realize you are taking someone else's child into your life.
I scoured the Internet for advice about dating people with kids. I got the same advice from multiple people: "Be yourself." OK, what next? We were on and off, and it wasn't the healthiest relationship I've ever been in.
The only books I could find were about step-parenting. Considering the divorce rate in this country, I thought finding the advice would be easy. *crickets* My relationship with this man continued for... But I did learn a LOT about the kiddos and how to deal with them.
So here is my advice about dating people with kids.Take from it what you will: Wait Even though my boyfriend was eager to introduce me to his kiddo early on, we waited a long time before it actually happened.Knowing that I was moving back to a small town after years of living in cities, I looked at my therapist and said: "I can't date someone who has children. And while I was in love with both the man and the kid, I was totally lost. There is nothing wrong with single or divorced parents. But my friends back home in the small town I was moving back to? He had a son with his ex-girlfriend, who I also remember from my past. I was in a relationship with a man who had a 10-year-old son. I was 29 years old, and the majority of my friends in Chicago were childless or childfree, whichever term you prefer. I knew that by moving back here, I was inviting many children into my day-to-day life -- and probably my love life, too. Despite all of my fears, I reconnected with this man from my youth.It turns out there is very little literature on how to date someone who has children. After running into him over a period of months, we began dating.Overnight, I was thrown into a brave, new world -- one that involved a tween.