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Dating A Woman With A Little Kid?


Simply follow these tips on how to have a great, grown-up relationship with a tot in your midst.

By Alan Goldsher

our girlfriend’s ten-year-old son is probably a relatively self-sufficient little dude. He can put together his own snacks, he can stick in his own video, and he can pick up after himself. (Granted he won’t pick up after himself, but at least he has the ability to do so.) Your girlfriend’s ten-month-old son, on the other hand, is not the least bit self-sufficient. Can he nuke up a burrito? No. Can he throw an episode of Blue’s Clues into the DVD player? No. Can he put away that pile of stuffed animals on the living room floor? No. The kid can’t even walk, for cryin’ out loud.

All of which means your girlfriend would appreciate a bunch of help…and that’s where you come in. Here are five things you can do to make your beloved’s life a little easier, and, in the process, cement your bond and make your relationship proceed as happily and smoothly as possible:

Get on the floor
Get in touch with your inner infant, and play, play, play. “It’s difficult for a mom with an infant to date,” says Tina Tessina, Ph.D, psychotherapist, and author of The Unofficial Guide To Dating Again, “and just being willing to care about the child is a big asset.” Toys are big fun, and most of us grown-up types out there don’t mess around with ’em nearly enough. So when you hunker down on the ground next to junior, and pile up those blocks or shake those rattles, not only are you entertaining the baby, but
“If you can stomach changing a diaper, the mother will love you forever!”
you’re giving your girlfriend some much-needed down time... and you’re giving yourself some much-needed play time.

Watch the time
Any woman who raises a baby by herself is a morning person by default, so if you yourself are an evening person, you need to adjust your clock. Chances are that on most weeknights, she’ll want to get to bed relatively early, so if she invites you over for dinner and wants you there at six, show up at 5:45. And if she crashes at 9:30, don’t kvetch about it. Just go home, watch a little SportsCenter, and get some shut-eye. Also recognize that a weekend brunch date may let you see this woman at her very best, energy-wise.

Lend a hand
Remember when you were a kid, and you’d leave your junk all over the house, and your mom would complain, “I’m not your maid,” and you wouldn’t do anything about it? Well, it’s payback time, buddy, because until her little one gets somewhat bigger, your love interest could really use some help around the house. Says Tessina, “And if you can stomach changing a diaper, the mother will love you forever!” But seriously, the more help you can give the woman you’re dating, the more relaxed and ready for romance she’ll be.

Commit random acts of kindness
Surprise, “just because” gifts are welcome in every relationship, but with an infant in the picture, you can multiply that times eight. Imagine how thrilled your girlfriend will be if you
Make a night out happen. Don’t leave the planning to her.
show up at her door with a dozen roses, or three bags of Thai food, or the one Tori Amos CD she doesn’t already have. Her time really isn’t her own anymore, and these little pleasures will do a lot to brighten her mood and show her how much you care.

Book the babysitter
Perhaps the best thing you can do for the object of your affection is this: Make a night out happen. Don’t leave the planning and telephone-tag with babysitters to her. Show up at her door with a babysitter and get her out of the house. “She may be too tired to go dancing, and may not want to leave the baby long enough to go to both dinner and a movie,” notes Tessina. However, she will want to get out of the house and reconnect with her pre-baby days... and you. The easier you make that for her, the better—and the better time you two will have.


Alan Goldsher is a Chicago-based freelance writer.
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