As a woman who doesn't want kids of her own, I've always been a little apprehensive about dating someone who has a child. It's not like I'm Meredith in The Parent Trap who was eager to ship her fiancé's twin girls off to boarding school. I like kids. I love babies. I just don't know if I'm cut out to be a mom. And even if I am, I don't have any real interest in being one, which is fine by me.
Truthfully, if I ever found myself genuinely interested in someone who happened to be a parent, I would be willing to give it a shot. Of course, they'd have to be OK with my views on parenthood, too, but I think it could work. For me, it would come down to how we define our relationship. My role, as of right now, would be that of a romantic partner, not a step-mom. I'm not ready for the responsibilities that come with the latter and I think it's better for everyone involved that I disclose that going in. In the same way, I'd expect my partner to have disclaimers of their own about how they lead their romantic lives and their family lives. It's only fair.
Understanding and respecting each other's needs in a relationship like this is one of the first steps to navigating a potentially-complicated situation. Here are five other tips from people who've been there before.