Is your new partner compatible with your kids?


How much of a say would you let your children have in deciding who you date? Experienced internet dater Jo Middleton of Slummy Single Mummy shares her own experience and advice.

Dating can be difficult. As a single parent it is usually even harder. With so many potential partners out there, you have to make sure that you’re completely compatible with them. But what if they’re not compatible with your children? And what do you do if you think you really like someone, and then your kids turn around and say that they hate them?

It’s a big question in the single parent dating world – how much influence should your children have over who you date? Do you trust your child’s instincts when it comes to a prospective partner, or do you prefer to go with your gut feeling and hope they like them more when they get to know them?

Very luckily for me, both of my daughters get on really well with my new fiancée, but I know that this is not the case with a lot of dating parents trying to make it work between their children and a new partner. It can be difficult to know whether your kids are being negative because they don’t like the person or simply because they don’t want you dating anyone at all. The older children get though, the more mellow they usually are about any dates you happen to go on. I asked my then 19 year old what she thought of my fiance when we started dating and she said she thought he was an “average old guy”. As good a praise as any from a disinterested teen.

My 13 year old takes a shine to pretty much anyone who will pay attention to her and watch her do a dance, but when your children are dead set against someone, it’s a good idea to sit down and talk about it with them, especially if they are a little bit older. I always think that it’s important after every date to ask your children what they think and try and initiate a conversation. You don’t need to give them a feedback form or anything, but they will appreciate being asked their opinion. If they say they don’t like them, ask why. If they don’t have a particular reason, it may just be that they aren’t used to having them around yet. If they have a reason for not liking them, it’s important to take this on board when deciding whether or not to see them again.

I always make sure that I only bring dates over that I can already see potential in and that I already like myself. It’s not too nice for children to have to rate every person you meet, and it might make dates uncomfortable as well if you’ve only been out twice and then ask them to meet your children.

Every child is different and no two relationships are the same, so think about what makes sense in the relationship in terms of your new partner hanging out with your kids, and take into account how you think your child will react to the situation. Follow your instincts – if you can tell your child doesn’t like them and they aren’t usually difficult, this might actually be a red flag for your potential match.


Jo Middleton is a mum to two girls and an experienced internet dater. Read more from Jo on her award winning blog, Slummy single mummy or follow her on Twitter for more bite sized updates.


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