If you or your partner are a single parent, the holiday season can make dating a little more complicated. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate dating during the Christmas break:
The Christmas break isn’t much of a break for parents. If you’re dating a single parent, expect that your date already has a long list of prescheduled activities and obligations on the calendar. Be gracious and understanding if you can’t see each other as often as you’d like.
Because of the aforementioned busyness, plan a date or two in advance. Go Christmas shopping together. Squeeze in a coffee date while the kids go tobogganing with friends. Decide when and how you’ll be exchanging gifts, don’t assume it will happen organically.
If you’re at a stage in the relationship where the kids know their parent’s significant other, consider events or activities that include them. Explore a holiday market, go on a hot-chocolate crawl, visit a decked-out historical village, or catch a screening of a beloved holiday movie.
Don’t Go Gift-Crazy
Don’t buy your partner’s kids presents without consulting your partner first. If you haven’t met the kids yet, don’t buy them anything. If you do have a relationship with them, keep the gifts modest, and/or related to something you’ve done together.
If you’re the one with kids and you don’t want your partner buying them anything, say so. And if you’re the one without kids, always respect their parent’s wishes in this area. Talk about family gift-giving traditions early in the season so you both know what to anticipate.
Make Your Date Nights Fun (For Them)
If you’re going to book a date night for two, make sure that the kids are having fun while you’re out. Arrange a fun sleepover with their cousins, cue up favourite a Christmas movie, or leave them at Grandma’s with snacks and fort-building materials.
Expect The “Ex”
If your partner’s kids’ other parent is still in the picture, he/she will be part of the conversation — and calendar — this holiday season. For the sake of the kids, the ex might attend the same parties, school recitals or winter activities as your date. Try to respect their co-parenting strategy, even if it’s awkward for you at times. Respect your date’s wishes regarding your presence at these events. (And never, ever trash the ex in front of the children.)
Have you dated with kids over the holidays?