Should Single People Avoid Dating People With Kids?

dorritos kid

I wrote this post for MadameNoire with men in mind, but I believe the same general rules apply for women. Please read and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

From MadameNoire:

After sharing a guest-post on step-parenting from the step-child’s point of view, one commenter asked an interesting question: “Should a man with no kids be hesitant to date a woman with kids?” First, whether a man has children of his own or not, there is nothing wrong with preferring to date women without children. We are all free to make up whatever dating preferences we want. They are called personal preferences for a reason and we don’t need the approval of anyone else when it comes to what we like. However, there are a few things childless men should keep in mind when deciding whether they are ready to date a woman with a child, or children. Women, would you agree on the following?

Figure out if you like or want kids BEFORE dating a woman with children.

When you are single and looking to mingle, you generally will not hurt anyone if you start dating “just to see where things go.” Plenty of men do this all the time. But when deciding to date a woman with a child, you should be clear about your expectations for the relationship upfront with yourself and her. In other words, if you’re still in the “dating just to date” phase of your life, involving a woman with a child is probably not the type of relationship you should engage in because…click here to read about 3 more areas you should consider before dating someone with children from a previous relationship.

Should a single person without kids hesitate to date someone with kids?  If you are a step parent or single parent, what advice would you offer a single person to know if they’re ready to date someone with kids from a previous relationship?

From Our Partners

  • http://www.lifeisablast.org payne well

    I think that there is not a singular right answer. It's a personal decision. You need to figure out what your tolerance level is, if you even like kids, and if the person with kids is willing to be the effective communicator that is needed to keep you in the loop of raising children. Both people also need to be patient with each other. He has to understand that you do not have kids, so he has to be understanding of you when it comes to those affairs and vice versa. I also believe they should date for an extended period of time before you meet the kids to make sure this is what you want. Dating someone with children can be a daunting task and if you do not think you are up for it, then do not pursue that person. However, I do not believe that just because someone has children, they should be passed upon because of such.
    My recent post Yeah I’m single…….

  • Angie

    I am a 25 y.o. female who dated an older guy for 3 years and was engaged to him for 1 year before i broke it off. He had 2 daughters by 2 different women. I look back at it now and see I had no business being with such an older guy who had kids but hey, it was my lesson to learn and I was in love. One day I would like to be a mother and I love kids, but I personally could never date a man with kids again. I loved his daughters and his daughters loved me, but the dynamics of that situation ultimately took their toll on me and our relationship. It's stressful enough making a relationship work and go smoothly…imagine adding in 2 kids and their mothers. Even if the mothers aren't creating crazy drama or even if your significant other isn't asking you to take on huge responsibilities, you still have to ask yourself if you are ready to be a parent? My ex's children were his number one priorities (as they should be!), but I couldn't say they were a priority to me at the time, and that is why i ended it.

  • Chocolate Vent

    I refuse to date men with kids. Unless he is wayyyy older (like 45+) and the kids are already grown & out of the house. I don't believe my income should go towards paying for someone else's children. Nor do I believe that a man will have the time & energy to devote to me, just like I would devote to him.

    Nuff said.
    My recent post My New Is Now

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      Bad experience

    • oh ok…

      @Chocolate Vent
      #NuffSaid

  • Qui8tstorm83

    My preference is not to date guy with any children (1 child is my limit) but at the same time I don't just rule a guy out simply because he has child b/c i could potentially be missing out on something good. With some guys it takes having a child to grow up and be more mature and responsible and they exhibit good qualities that i seek in a man. However, it's just hard dating a guy with kid(s) due to not being able to spend much time together or having to cancel or reschedule plans b/c something came up dealing with their child. It may seem selfish but i like being able to go whenever and wherever at times but that's hard to do dating a man with a child. I'm just not ready to take on the role of potential step mother. When you're dating someone with kids it is important to take part in their lives early on when dating…that's just natural IMO. If you care for the person you are dating….you should care for their child as well so if I'm not ready to be part-time mommy in certain situations then i don't think it's fair to the guy or their child.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    i dont think there is a cardinal rule for or against, i think early on it should be a topic briefly discussed and once the elephant is addressed its like any other person you’re dating. Not every single mother is looking for a father figure to her child, nor is every one relatively easy because they feel they have to overcompensate. I’ve dated single mothers who made time for me and took care of her own, others who early on realized it was a bit too much to take on. I wont hold her kids against her, as i would expect her not to hold my lack thereof against me. Dont tell me i dont understand, dont guilt me with your plight, step to me as a single woman, and I will court you accordingly.

  • caramelcovereddream

    I prefer to date guys who have no children. I have to admit that being a single black lady with no children, I'm a special prize :) But seriously, just like I've seen a couple of the other ladies say, it's time for the attention to be on myself. I've been in relationships before where I've been put on the back burner for some kids and the antics that their mothers provide. I'd love a guy with no kids, that way, we can focus solely on one another. Guys with kids, of course, give me heat for my stance, but tough t*tties. And of course, some of them have the nerve to have more than two children with multiple women. In the words of the wonderful Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that. If I ran into a nice man to settle down with that did have children and was capable of giving me all the attention I need while raising his children and no "babymamadrama," I MIGHT consider him. Otherwise, I prefer the man whose intention is to settle down with me and we both have our own children together with no outsiders.

    • Peter Parker

      Special prize…Interesting….

      • bossipsucksass

        Yessir. When a man dates me, there are no "babyfathers" to contend with. No drama, just a fun-loving yet very responsible woman. :)

        • Peter Parker

          I feel you because I feel the same way. No babymamas, drama free, and etc…

    • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

      Yeah, I'm hung up on that special prize comment too. Yes you are a special prize but not because you don't have children. Children are a blessing and not baggage.. as we all were children once before. But I understand your reasons for not wanting to date someone with kids. Nothing wrong with that.

      But I have a mom of one, so what am I? Chopped liver? lol.
      My recent post How Black Girls Rock

      • payne well

        I think people see the "baggage" of the child's father or children themselves and think I do not want that. Which is very commendable, who wants drama? However, that's where viewing the parent comes in. A good parent isn't looking for someone to help raise their kids per se, because they already got this. They are looking for a companion who will eventually grow into the partner and then they can work on a future with the children. However, it takes special people to date people with kids.
        My recent post Yeah I’m single…….

      • Devontay

        What what was that are you special did guy you had a kid with think you where special ? If so why? Real question no lol.

        Gentleman Always B-)Devo out.

      • InsomniaPoet

        naw boo – children are a blessing to THEIR parents…to everyone else – they are baggage

    • InsomniaPoet

      I LOVE YOU FOR THIS COMMENT!

  • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

    Personally I do not think that single, childfree people under 35 should date someone with kids. I don't have any children and when I date a man he gets my full attention so our relationship gets a good chance of being a succesful one. I believe that I deserve the same back and a good father is spread way to thin to return the favor. I want kids, when I am married and would like a man that has made sure he can do the same. As a 27 year old lady, who is college educated, black, childfree and single I feel that this personal preference is a good one. I would advice the childfree single men to do the same, in that way, more single, childfree ladies can date childfree men and have a chance on having a nice marriage and no outside kids.

  • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

    That being said, my mother had to start over after her divorce and so did my dad. It worked best for the both of them to have a new spouse that didn't have any kids but was willing to love and nurture their own kid (me). The result was an amazing stepmother and a challenging stepdad. I find that it is much harder for a lady with child to not have to deal with the bruised ego of a man who isn't fully ok with not being the first "baby daddy" of his lady. Seeing the spawn of the ex everyday can be a thorn in a man's eye if his dream is a perfect family with no outside kids.
    From my experiences as a stepchild I would say that it is really important to be willing and able to be a stepparent before you date a woman/man with kids, The kids need love from every one who parents them so if you can't love the kids… let the ladies/gentlemen with kids be.

    Other than that I am only open to childfree men.

    • http://twitter.com/chris_1010 @chris_1010

      I agree with you but it's becoming hard to find single, educated, and responsible sistas with no kids. May be I'm in the wrong place but here in NC is becoming the case..

      • InsomniaPoet

        yea you need to move

  • Peter Parker

    Man did you right this article directed to me WIM? I have posted on here before about how I do prefer to date women with no kids as I myself have no kids. Just seems to work out better, more attention can be given to both parties, and doing things on the "fly" just seems to be easier. I have nothings against single mothers though and would be open to dating a single mother, but the situation would have to be a good one for the both of us.

  • The CPT

    Short answer: YES. Avoid them and give the one's who haven't had any a chance.

  • sp

    In the last year and a half, I’ve dated two men, each of whom have a son. Each of their situations is different, and their relationships with their sons’ mothers are very different. But I don’t mind dating a man who has children at all. I think a lot of that has to do with my father; he dated and then married my mom who already had a son (my big bro) in her life. My father has never treated my brother any different than me, in fact I didn’t even know he was my half-brother until I was about 12. So seeing my father’s ability to love a child that isn’t his as if he was his own, has definitely left me open to the possibilities of doing so in my own love life. What may look like a hindrance (a potential partner with a child), may be a blessing you could never imagine. #JustMyTwoCents

  • Devontay

    It all depends on the Person you should know if you should date the person not their child.

    Gentleman Always B-)Devo out.

  • Britt

    I tend to rule out guys with baby mommas. Dated a guy with 2 kids, respected the fact that he was a good father. . . but i need someone who is of the same caliber as myself. If i were to ever reconsider dating a man with children, he has to be a great father, i can't be in a relationship with someone i do not respect.

  • InsomniaPoet

    man if your baby mama didn't want you, why would I?!?! I'm just kidding…kinda.

  • http://supertravesti.org travesti

    :) )))))

  • tyeseknighten

    As far as single people dating people with kids, it is truly a matter of preference. I have no problem with men deciding that they don't want to date me because I have a child.
    As far as a single parents dating, I STRONGLY believe that your children should not meet the people that you "date." As a single parent, you have to be very careful with the people that you bring around your children. Children do not need to meet the people that you date until things are serious. Why keep bringing your children around people who you are just dating and confuse them and why subject them to people who may be here today and gone tomorrow?
    My recent post Monica Talks Child Support and Making Blended Families Work

  • vanessa

    in most situations ive seen, its easier to date a man with a kid versus a woman with a kid. Most of the time the woman is the main caregiver, so how much time does she really have to devote to her new man? I kind of question the women that have so much free time for their man as a single parent. For most men…they just see their kid on the weekend smh… But to me….I don't know how somebody without kids can date somebody with kids. They cant truly understand the time and effort it takes to raise a child. The childless person would have to be willing to spend less time with you…you cant be spontaneous, you always have to be mindful of your schedule. Now if both of the people had kids, they can easily incorporate the kids (depending on the ages). I guess it just depends on the person…I personally don't think I would because if he was truly a good father he would really want to be involved in his child's life…not just every once in awhile.

  • vanessa

    I just feel that…I couldn't trust somebody else with my kid. Of course when you start dating somebody they aren't really interested in your child especially if they don't have any. Their probably just trying to get on your good side. That's just my personal opinion…hopefully you have a tolerable kid. If not then its going to be hard for you out there to find somebody that genuinely loves your kid…not just because they have to in order to be with you.