If you have kiddos in addition to a developing relationship, you know firsthand the challenge this can be.
Sometimes it feels like a tug-of-war match. The only thing is, you feel that if both sides don’t win, then everyone loses.
If you’re looking for some tips to help, here are a few.
Good Enough is Good Enough
The first thing to realize is that you won’t magically find the perfect, ideal balance. As bad as it sounds, you’re looking for good enough–Good enough with all its rugged edges.
This will be roughest at the start of your relationship. That’s because there should be a healthy distance of your potential mate from your children.
Because you do so much separately, either your date, children or both will feel left out at times.
You want to protect your children and rightly so.
What if they grow attached to your date faster than you do and the relationship abruptly ends?
What if you “make” your kids abruptly accept your date as a part of the family when the date hasn’t earned that honor yet?
Sometimes it will seem like one side is more of a priority. Just work at making a balance.
As the relationship progresses, this will become easier once the time is right to spend time with your significant other and children at the same time which leads us to our next point.
Just Ask Them
We all can be good at feeding “the elephant in the room.” You know, the nagging fear that your kids or date aren’t getting enough quality time. We tend to avoid touchy subjects instead of tackling them straight on.
Ironically, this usually makes more work for us in the long term.
Ask your date and kids if they’re getting enough time with you. Sometimes the responses you get will be emotionally charged and leave you scratching your head.
You’ll wonder if they are accurate assessments or just feelings. You’ll have to decide that for yourself.
But at least you won’t be playing the guessing game.
One caution with this: be prepared that you may receive an answer you don’t want.
Prepare yourself beforehand not to become angry or defensive in that case.
You want to keep lines of communication open. You also want to make sure that you don’t discourage transparency and honesty from your date or kids.
Do Things Together
If your date and children start doing things together at the proper stage in the relationship, things will gradually become easier.
As the level of commitment increases, so should the time you all spend together. At first, you’ll have to decide when to even introduce your date. Then, you’ll get to decide how to slowly include everyone.
Dating emotions can be strong. You know that already. Don’t make these decisions on the highs and lows of emotions. Ask the opinion of those closest to you or a skilled therapist.
This likely won’t give you an exact answer. But you won’t be shooting in the dark anymore. You’ll likely hit close to where you should be. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.