Dating A Divorced Woman With Kids: What You Need To Know

dating a divorced woman with kids

My heart went out to a sweet guy who emailed me to ask for my advice about dating a divorced woman with kids. The reason I felt so badly for the guy is because he has never been in this situation before, and because of that, the relationship is causing him frustration, resentment and disappointment.


Being a divorced woman with kids, I feel like I can help this guy understand where the woman’s mind is at and what she might be thinking.


So, here is a list of 8 things you need to know if you are dating a divorced woman with kids. By the way, this goes for dating a divorced man with kids, too!


  1. The kids will always come first—no matter what. That means that if you have plans with the woman you are dating and her child decides he or she needs some mommy time and she cancels the date with you, you have to accept it, be OK with it, not resent her, AND even respect the fact that she is there for her child.


  1. The relationship might go slower than you want. Jumping into a serious relationship is a lot easier for those who have never been married and/or who don’t have kids. It’s not easy, but you have to be patient. Your only other option is to walk away. Or, you can just constantly be disappointed and frustrated.


The Center for Divorce Recovery


  1. If the divorce is recent or going on, she might be distant at times. No one understands the impact of going through a divorce except for those who have gone through it. It can be draining, frustrating, upsetting, and infuriating, and cause intense anxiety, stress, depression, rage, or sadness. And if someone is going through a divorce, and they had a really bad divorce day—meaning something in their case happened that hurt them in some way, they sometimes want to be left alone. They want to just sit in a room and cry or hug their kids all night while watching TV. It is an extremely emotional time and that person needs to heal. Have respect for that and do not take it personally.


  1. She is busy. I know, I know…everyone is busy. But she is really busy. When someone is juggling a job, kids, and a legal battle, they don’t have the time to be on the phone with a new love for hours, and making plans is difficult. Again, don’t take it personally if they seem distant.


  1. Her self-esteem isn’t the greatest. Maybe her husband left her. Maybe she had to move back home with her parents. Maybe her ex-husband was abusive. There are so many factors that could cause a divorced person to have low self-esteem, and therefore be holding back a bit. If you realize that it’s not YOU, it’s her, it will help YOUR self-esteem, and you won’t be thinking she isn’t interested in you.


  1. Be willing to play things by ear a lot. Dating a woman with kids requires a person to be flexible and not have to make plans 10 days in advance. Because, anyone single parent can tell you that schedules and kids’ activities get switched around every hour. If you’re a planner, that might be a problem.



  1. Getting involved in her divorce is a huge mistake. If she vents about her ex or cries or tells you what a jerk he is, don’t make the mistake of hating him too. In other words, this is her divorce, not yours, and her ex isn’t there to defend himself so you don’t have the whole story. Just try to be supportive of her feelings and be there for her in any way you can. Give advice, but be careful. You don’t know the whole situation.


  1. If you love her, you have to love her children, too. It’s a package deal. You really have to want to be a dad or you shouldn’t be with her.


In closing, dating a woman with kids isn’t easy. That doesn’t mean the relationship can’t work. But knowing what to expect helps, as does taking your time, being patient, and understanding that you don’t come first. Some men/women can’t handle that, which is understandable. Just be honest with yourself.

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Guy Grinning is a blog for men facing divorce and dating after divorce. It's kind of like hanging out with your platonic female divorced friend and hearing her perspective on your divorce and your love life issues.

18 Responses to “Dating A Divorced Woman With Kids: What You Need To Know”

  1. Andrew Minch

    So the reason I read this article is because I have a divorced woman that my feelings have become really strong for. Twice now she has tried to end us and now that I’ve read/researched a lot of things.. I understand a lot more. It hurts, but makes sense. I’m also 10 years younger being almost 29 and she’s 39. She’s an amazing woman! But I think I came on way to strong. Our relationship started as a fun sexually driven one and she started to tell me personal stuff all he time and about her ex and her kids and everything was just becoming so heart warming to me and I just wanted to sweep her off her feet more and more. I think that vibe started to take place and now that I have feelings she wants to completely back off. 🙁

  2. Mavrin

    What if that divorced woman still freind with her ex husband she may sleep with him again while she is in relationship with you?

  3. Alex

    I am dating a recently divorced woman with 3 kids (ages 6, 4 and 2) our relationship started out with a lot of shyness on both our ends but was met with tons of passion and a love neither of us have ever experienced. She had just gotten divorced, we saw eachother everyday pretty much since the first day we made love. But we moved WAAAAY too fast! With all the passion and excitement surrounded by a new love and a man who actually wanted her (her ex wanted a open relationship 2 years ago) we found ourselves and her 3 kids living together. Tensions were high and she ended up moving out. However we are still in love and trying as much as we can. I’ve been working on myself and she has lots of time with her children and time for herself. It’s a lot for her, job, school, kids and me. Don’t ever feel like you’re on the back burner guys. Her ex husband will always be there (he’s a pretty good father and after all that’s actually GOOD that he’s there for his kids) All I can say is don’t rush things, like any relationship moving in too quickly can be dangerous.

  4. Dmitriy SH.

    If a woman can cancel a date just because her child wants to be with her (not because of him getting sick or some other problem), then I would look for another woman.

    How many options have you got on the list? Find more. Don’t be lazy!

  5. Anthony Gantt

    Thank you so much for this article. It really helped me out a lot with my situation and better understanding my fiancée. Thank you

  6. DAVID graham

    I would NEVER get involved with a divorced woman with kids–why should I have to deal with the hassles that come along with this–I would never assume the emotional/financial responsibility fo a kid that wasn’t mine–as for a divorced woman–most carry enough emotional baggage to fill a moving truck–NO THANKS

  7. Douglas

    Thank you for this article, it was very informative and explained a lot of what I was kind of expecting. Only time will tell what happens from here. Thank you again

  8. John

    Informative article. I am currently persuing a recently divorced coworker with four older children (teens). Before asking her out, I already understood that it is a packaged deal. And, if her kids may not like me, the relationship may not go anywhere. But she is a great woman, driven, strong yet feminine. I feel she is worth it and the risks & challenges involved. Life is not a cake walk…

  9. Curt Smail

    I’m looking for a hot women that is divorce or have kids is ok. And ride my side by side on Sunday. And have a good time.

  10. Ralf

    Thanks alot, and decision will be mine to make but I’ll take ur article as personal experience in kind

  11. TP

    When a woman says “My kids come first over all else!” One word I have to say to that. Run. The partner should come first. Not the kids. They are under the parent. Not above. And when the kids see that they are “the golden children” they take advantage of it and get rid of the step partner. I dated a woman in 2017 where her 12 year old kid was an obnoxious and disrespectful little sh#t. She worshiped her child as “the golden child”. Try “gold plated”. The kid was rotten to the core. Don’t date a divorced woman with kids. The step partner will always get the short end of the stick. Always. And the kid or kids, if they don’t like you, will become a constant albatross around your neck until “mommy” fires you from the relationship. If the divorced parent wants their kids to come first above all else? Stay single.

  12. Ralph

    I’m sorry but this article contains a bit of bullshit. Fact, it takes several years for a parent to get over a divorce. For anyone to date while in the process of a divorce, or shortly after is being irresponsible and wreckless.

    I dated someone while they were in the process of getting a divorce and this may have been the biggest mistake of my life. Yes, I am as much to blame. But the husband was verbally violent with her and she needed someone to give her support and strength through the divorce. I took it upon myself to help her and now, much like some of these stories in the comments, she’s all of a sudden distant and lacks emotional connection.

    Being able to get along with the kids is important, but I agree with one comment here kids should not come first, the partner should. I’ve seen many, many relationships get torn apart because of the superiority complex that’s developed when “kids come first”. It’s simply bad parenting brought about by guilt.

    In short, Love doesn’t need the stupid rules in this article. It should work itself out if it’s real. More important, you should be able to meet half way, on everything. If not, walk away.

    • david graham

      you’re absolutely RIGHT-I will not enter into a relationship with any woman if I have to take a “backseat” to her kids

  13. Anon

    Why is this article about just single moms? How about dating a man with kids? One half of single parents are dads and they date too. I’m done with the bias against single moms like we are some cautionary time bomb to be avoided or approached carefully – please – get with the times.

  14. david graham

    the divorce rate for a blended family (divorced with kids) is ~70%. I want nothing to do with divorced women with kids. I have no idea why anyone would want to assume emotional or financial responsibility for someone else’s kids. I want nothing to do with the ex-husband or ex-inlaws either. The disadvantages/risks for a relationship with a divorced women with kids FAR outweigh any benefits (if there even are any)

  15. Robert

    I entered into a relationship with a divorced gal with grown kids 18 and 24 and in the beginning, she said that she was not really looking for anything nor was I but let’s be real. I have known her since I was a kid and we went to all the same schools and grew up in the same area. I even knew her ex-husband from childhood and figured oh well his loss. We took things very slowly and after 6 months or so we started having feelings for each other. I was hesitant at first due her talking about how she hated him but little did I know that hate is not the opposite of love indifference is.

    The relationship would come to a grinding halt every time her daughter came home from college even though I never met the daughter, I sure did hear a lot about her. Holidays and important events in my life went ignored until the girl returned to school even though my girlfriend kept telling me how she had strong feelings for me. I noticed the pattern and brought it up in order to communicate and figure things out. She was not open to communicating or talking about it but kept saying be patient. well 2.5 years later I decided to pull the plug as the daughter was coming home from school with a masters. I did give it one last shot face to face and asked what we could do to change things and I kept getting the be patience line so I asked what would change that would require my patience and never got an answer. I broke up with her after a 2.5-year period and now realize that she got nasty with me and changed every time this girl was coming home and may never figure out why because I never met the girl. I do realize that even 3 years after a long marriage is not merely enough time for this person to heal.

  16. Constantine

    Every time ive dated a divorced woman with kids her behavior was extremely flaky the ex husband was ALWAYS around probably still sleeping together at times who knows. I got stood up too many times no call no show and it wasnt even because of the kids. You go through periods of time of feeling undervalued and unappreciated. It takes a toll after a long time and its just not worth it. Try your best but youll just end up getting rejected or ghosted.


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