7 Things You Should Know When Dating Someone With A Child

7 Things You Should Know When Dating Someone With A Child

It's honestly the coolest thing.

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Seeing someone with a child is far different than seeing someone without. They have a different set of roles and responsibilities than most people do, and you'll quickly learn your relationship doesn't just involve you. Here are seven things you should know when getting involved with someone who has a child.

1. The kids will always come first

And that's exactly the way it should be. If you can't handle not being your significant other's first priority 24/7, then you might not be the person best suited for this relationship. You have to learn to put your own needs second.

2. Life is easier when you respect the other parent

It takes two to tango, and two to make a child. Hopefully, you're in a situation where as both parents are still happily involved in their children's lives. In that case, life is ten times easier when you respect the other parent. After all, you're becoming involved in their child's life, and they could easily decide they don't want you in the picture.

3. You won't replace the other parent

Unless the other parent is totally uninvolved in their child's life, they already have a mom and dad; they don't need a new one. As a child of divorced parents, I hated when my Dad's girlfriends tried becoming my new Mom when I already had one. You're not their new Mommy or Daddy just because you're dating one of their parents.

4. Kids aren't all fun and smiles

Just like we have bad days, kids have bad days. Sometimes they'll cry, whine and not understand how they feel. You have to be patient and understanding.

5. And sometimes they'll misbehave

No matter how angelic they may act the first time you're around them, no child is perfect all the time. Even the best-behaved kids can be bad sometimes. In those moments you have to breathe, keep your cool, and not overstep your boundaries.

6. On that note, understand there are boundaries

Having open and clear communications with BOTH parents will clear any confusion on what those boundaries may be.

7. Kids are so easy to fall in love with

Kids have a special way of creeping into your heart before you even realize it's happening. Soon, you'll find yourself loving them in a way you didn't know you could love before, and it's so rewarding.

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When We Get Swept Up In The Idea Of Love, We Fail To Understand The Meaning Behind It

We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it.

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Love is something we celebrate year round. That is why, despite Valentine's Day having passed by the time you read this, I am still choosing to dedicate this article to it. We strive to love and be loved. We know that it's important. We idealize what it feels like and spend our whole lives speculating about what it truly means.

Unfortunately, the price we pay in being swept up in the ideas of love that are presented to us is that we find ourselves more enthralled in our idealization of love rather than love itself.

We seem to enlist ourselves in a battle to love and be loved. To love and be loved. You see, in embarking on this journey, our motivation lends itself to more selfish terms. People begin to treat love as a transaction where they love with the condition of feeling that love in return. Love has never been a game, yet that is so often what people make of it. They are blinded by the idea that there should be a certain degree of "fairness," an even exchange, of actions and emotions. Couples keep score. Should I tell him I love him before we part ways if he didn't initiate it the last time? Do I buy him a nice gift for his birthday when he forgot to buy me flowers last Valentine's Day? Maybe if I don't do x, y and z he will realize he needs to "step it up" and treat me the way I treat him.

Love doesn't involve scores or holding out on giving someone our best just because they are not meeting our expectations.

Real love carries no expectations and builds and flourishes solely on itself. This being said, you cannot go out and truly love someone unless you have built that relationship of love and caring for your own needs with yourself. A loving relationship consists of two whole people, not two halves looking to be completed by each other. Two people with the mutual understanding that the responsibility of generating the other's happiness is not their own.

For some reason, we tend to view love as the ultimate end goal. Love is not a static destination, but rather a living breathing entity, constantly evolving. We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it. With time the feeling fades and because we were hasty and mislabeled the feeling, we automatically assume we have fallen out of love. You have not fallen out of love, you have merely reached the crossover between your idealized version of love and what it actually is.

People will nod their heads when they are lectured with the idea that love isn't easy yet will quickly become lazy once things are no longer as simple as they once were. They bow out when things become too hard and blame it on the fact that "they just weren't right for each other" or that "the world was against them." People find comfort in the idea that they can always find someone else and they traverse from relationship to relationship with new expectations built upon ones that hadn't been met in the previous one.

This is not love. To label this as such disgraces its true nature.

I don't really know what love is, to be honest. These are simply things I've learned and drawn from my own encounters with love, or what I think love is. Above all else, I believe that love is a vessel for growth. Real love is about learning and growing together. It is absent of "keeping score," there are no preconceived notions. It's about relishing the happiness you have when you're together. We should love not in exchange for love, but because we can. Because we want to, without restriction or expectation.

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