Dating these days is hard if you are over thirty looking for someone to start a life with. After thirty most people have children or have been married. I recall wanting to have someone without children, even though I had children. I also didn’t want to be with someone who had been married. This was not realistic because the men I was meeting would be quality, but then they would have kids. I mean they would be this really great guy, but he had been married before. Often the problem was not the ex-wife or the children it was me and him. Check out this scenario:
You have met a guy and he passed the 15 day test. Hooray! He seems great. He says the right things, heck he is even useful around the house, what a dream come true! You have even considered telling your family and letting him meet the kids. He said he was a family guy, so let’s see if he means what he says, right? Your stomach is churning with excitement and anxiety, flipping and flopping. Many questions go through your head like will the kids like him too. Even more than that do you think the Ex will receive the news that there is another man in his children’s life? You are looking forward to getting more serious with this guy so these are roads you will travel as you and Mr. Right progress along.
I am not done yet because we need to add more to this equation. We have viewed your side, but what is he bringing to the table? Mr. Right has children of his own, family to tell about you, and an Ex who will need to know there will be another woman in her children’s life. So you did just gain Mr. Right, but you have now blended your family with his family. How will things work out? In your head I can imagine you seeing an episode of the Brady Bunch playing and all is going well. Unfortunately it will not work out that way you will hit some bumps in the road as you mix your ‘bunch’ together.
As I am thinking of this scenario I know a lot of people who this applies to as they brave the dating scene. You and Mr. Right may be good together as long as you are alone, but have you discussed rearing methods for the children? Will you be allowed to discipline the kids and vice versa. How much interaction will you have with the Ex? I will stop here for a moment because I can imagine some necks rolling and words something like this, ‘I am not dating the Ex and should not have to be involved with them. That is their responsibility to deal with the Ex and they ought not to be too cozy either!’ The truth is everyone had a life before blending your families together. Accepting this fact will be healing more than you know. The expectation is not that you are ‘friends’ with the Ex, but with the children involved you will need to get along and be an example they can be proud to follow.
Here are some tips on making things work in a blended family and embracing it:
- Get everyone together who is a part of the immediate blended family and take a family portrait together.
- Host the birthday parties together.