Dating someone with a young child

One of the huge things about dating someone with kids is that they're going to need their family-alone time — and so do I.I have a lot of weekends where all I'd like to do is drink a glass of wine and watch Bridesmaids in my underwear, with my little dog sitting next to me on my cheap IKEA sofa.

I'll admit it, dear reader: I have a very sordid dating history.

I'm closing in on 30 and while I have never been married, I have been in enough serious relationships to know exactly what I don't want in a partner.

Example: I don't want to date anyone whose parents still pay all his bills, someone who lives a double life as a secret stoner, someone who is intolerant of religion, or someone who rarely showers or trims his facial hair (the lumberjack/rocker thing is sexy until weird smells start permeating the vicinity).

But with the bad comes the good, and my past exes did teach me a few things about what I do want in a relationship: a partner with a sense of humor, and someone who's more than willing to eat cold pizza and marathon watch/geek out over Twin Peaks with me (trust me, not many folks are willing to put up with this). He was funny, had a grown-up 9-5 job (I immediately made note of his Netflix-marathoning potential), and had ridiculous comic book tattoos.

Same when it comes to carousels and the Dumbo rides.

Because I will never, ever get tired of watching Pixar movies or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I was so incredibly uninterested in any stories about his kids, hanging around his kids, talking to his kids, going on outings with his kids...

They both annoyed me all the time, especially the youngest one who would try to force me to play with him every 20 minutes.

Be their friend, tuck them in, tell them to shut up and eat their vegetables?

Despite the fact that I work with children every day in an education environment, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to family life, bedtimes, and the art of things called Skylanders.

In relationships where there are no kids involved, sometimes it's easy to get upset when the other person needs some "down time," but when you're both busy adults with other stuff going on (and birthday parties at Chuck-E-Cheese, boy scout meetings, etc.), it's natural and healthy to do your own thing.

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