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How To Be A Great Boyfriend To A Mom In Five More Easy Steps.
In this article I will be going over five easy steps a person can take when dating someone who already has children. This article is a continuation of a previous article http://hubpages.com/family/How-To-Be-A-Great-Step-Boyfriend and is meant to further help someone unfamiliar with what to expect when dating a person with a child. Some may find the situation difficult or awkward at first, but if you follow these steps and take my advice, you may find the experience very rewarding and worth while.
Step 1. Try To Be Understanding
Dating a woman who has a child is not always quite as easy as it may seem. There will be times when your girlfriend tells you that she is too overwhelmed with school, work or preparing dinner to be able to go out. This is something that should be expected and this creates a great opportunity for you to show something that will be greatly appreciated. That something is Understanding. Being understanding shows maturity and helps develop more growth in a relationship with your girlfriend. Be understanding and know that things can get a little hectic being a single mom sometimes. Explain to her that you understand the stress she is going through and you don't expect for her to have an open schedule where she can just to go out spontaneously without any thought.
You should also understand that activities that other couples do will happen a little bit differently than with you two. Don't expect her to be able to meet you at the bar Friday nights for shots or to go to a late night screening of a brand new blockbuster. You have to keep in mind that finding a babysitter late at night is impractical and would rarely ever happen. Don't be upset because that she isn't able to join you though. She would love nothing more than to go out with you and party all night, but you just have to be understanding that she won't always be able to do that with you.
What Would You Do?
Your girlfriend tells you that she can't see you tonight and that she is completely swamped. How do you respond?
Step 2. Be Helpful
If you took the last poll, then you can see how a situation where your girlfriend is feeling swamped with being a single mom and stress can be a little complicated. When your girlfriend expresses to you that she's been under a lot of stress lately and is feeling too overwhelmed. Let her know that you understand that it's hard to maintain a new relationship while simultaneously being a mother. It would be hard for anyone to take care of a child on their own.
Offer her help in order to relieve that stress. Offer to cook dinner or to help with homework or babysit. Find some way to help her and make it so it isn't so hard for her to have to take care of everything on her own. Doing that will show that you are willing to share some of the responsibility and lighten her load a little. She will then see that she really doesn't have to choose between being in a relationship or being a mother. She can have both.
Step 3. Bonding
I covered a little bit of this before, but I would like to truly emphasis how important it is to bond with her child and let the child feel comfortable being around you. You could play games together or watch a favorite television show with them. You need to Listen to what they are interested in and join in and relate to them. Another thing you can do is share with them the things you are interested in. Teach them about one of your favorite hobbies or activities. Take them on a fishing trip or offer to take them all go kart riding. Just make sure whatever it is, that it's something appropriate for their age. Nothing shows how unfamiliar you are around young children then doing something way out of their age range. Like buying a BB gun for a toddler for example.
What Do You Do?
Your girlfriend's son is acting up in the grocery store and not doing as he is told. Should you..
Step 4. Keep Your Emotions In Check.
You, your girlfriend and her child are driving to a restaurant to spend a nice evening meal together, but a vehicle in the other lane just cut you off and even had the nerve to honk at you like it was your fault. Now this is a situation where even the most level headed of us would lose it and start honking the horn or maybe even perform a few inappropriate hand gestures just for good measure. Unfortunately for you, your girlfriend's child just saw the whole thing and now learned a few hand jesters of his own. That's why even in a situation like this you have to remember that you are being watched by a little person who is constantly learning.
When dating women who have children you have to always remember that every single thing you do will be seen by a young child. This child will be looking at you as an example of how someone should act and behave. So, losing your cool and getting angry should rarely ever be done in front of her child. This is something you may need to start working on immediately. I know it won't disappear over night, but your girlfriend will definitely appreciate the effort and the child will benefit from your control as well.
This book is very helpful in controlling your emotions around young children
Step 5. Participation Is Important
When dating a woman who has a child you need to understand that sometimes she will be very busy taking care of her child's needs first. Things like school plays, birthday parties, family functions or even just going to the grocery store are things that she has to make a priority for when taking care of her child. So next time she tells you that she can't go out because she is too busy.
Why not ask if you could join in? Participate in these activities. Go to the birthday party or the school play. if you don't, it may come across like you aren't really interested in the same things that are important to your girlfriend. When you go to these functions it is important to understand that you are there to help your girlfriend and child feel more comfortable. Don't make the mistake of just showing up out of some form of jealousy or mistrust. Be there cause you want to be and don't make any of it about you. You are there to make things happier and better. Not worse.
I know for some of you out there who are maybe just now getting to know her and her child, may feel like your participation is something that is not wanted yet when actually the opposite is more likely true. If she has already gone through with introducing you to her child and family then it wouldn't hurt to at least ask if you can join them. Even if she was to say no, asking would show her that you aren't afraid of participating with her and her child in things and doing that will likely score you some major brownie points.
In conclusion if you follow these five easy steps, I believe your relationship with your girlfriend will be a happy one and it will grow and be very healthy and rewarding for the both of you. These steps will also help show her that you willing to help and be supportive for her and you would have ended up making a positive influence in the child's life as well.