My boyfriend puts his child before me (the ultimate reality)

In this article, we will look into relationships wherein the child will always go first in priorities, and everything else.

My boyfriend puts his child before me

For single parents, it is easy for your boyfriend to put his child before you, if you are not in a serious committed relationship. Single parents make their child the center of their lives.  But if the relationship becomes serious in the future, your relationship should come first before the kids. For now, the child’s well-being comes priority.

Even if his kids are a handful, accept the fact that he will never compromise his relationship with his kids before you. HIs kids will be number one in his life, no matter what happens. Unless you get married, then the priorities should shift to you.

Guilt is the most important point to understand why your boyfriend puts his child before you. Parenting is what they think about most of the time. Parents always wonder if they are doing right in raising their children. Most of the time, your boyfriend feels guilty of not having the “perfect or complete” family for his child or children.

If your boyfriend has been through a divorce or a crisis that made him a single parent, it is more likely that he wants to give his child or children the extra care and security he can afford. Having another person involved in his life will always be second priority. 

However a bitter pill that may be to swallow, there are also advantages of dating a single dad, and here’s what they are:

Advantages of dating a single dad

  • Single dads are as transparent as they can be

The best measure of his character and personality is how he treats his child or children. His character is measurable as how he is as a father, as far as we know it’s not really an easy task raising kids on his own. 

Single dads also have a wealth of experience already on how to raise kids. A big plus when you are ready to take on your relationship to the next next level. They can also be charming as to how they go soft when they talk about their children and the funny stories they have compiled through the years.

  • Divorced dads can be amazing dads

Divorced dads show a myriad of strength in raising the child or children alone. In many cases, these dads have parental self doubt. Some are fighting for custody cases with the ex, which can be taxing. Dads can be pretty showy with their kids’ achievements.  it definitely shows what kind of father and partner they will be in the future. If that future is with you, this can be an exciting part of the discovery.  And a sure glimpse of what lies ahead.

Reasons not to date a single dad

It is perfectly fine if you want to date a single dad, or are already involved with one. If there are a few advantages of dating a single dad, there are considerable cons on this kind of relationship. To name a few are:

  • They might not have much time with you as they are busy with the kids
  • Drama, drama, and more drama with the ex
  • He may not have lots of money as kids are way too expensive to raise
  • He will not rush things into the relationship – which is actually an advantage.

You’ll always be second place:

It may sound harsh, yes it is. When dating someone who has kids, you’ll always be in second place. Your boyfriend will always put his child before you, treat you as second-rate and most of the time neglected due to the more pressing needs of his children.

But it won’t be too bad. Kids will always come first, yes it’s a given, the truth in dating a single dad. But second place is not that bad too. Second place is a special spot in his life. This is where family members and close to his heart reside. A place reserved for special people or the second most important people in his life.

Being second place is not that bad after all. If he considers you special enough to become second place in his life, that’s already a plus in the future for you.

His kids will always be his kids, he created them. So the love for his first place will be immense, but the next best thing, which could be you, has a special place in his life too.

One day, when the relationship is more serious, the ball will most likely eventually shift to you.  If you have trouble accepting this fact, try to do relationship counseling. Develop healthy interests and hobbies that you would enjoy yourself. 

If you have a jealous streak or has the need for codependency or the fear that you will lose them, it’s your turn to look at your inner self and work on healing old wounds and rewind new healthy relationships  around love. 

Cultivate relationships with your own children (if you have), a business or friends that will help you cope. You should have a life outside of the relationship where you are the priority. This way, you don’t have to be so dependent on being number one in your boyfriend’s life. You are already number one in your own life.

Happiness is not how others treat you or make you happy. But it is how you make yourself happy with the things that are within your control. 

Don’t try to mother his children:

His kids have a mother, somewhere out there, the mother of his kids lives. Unless he is widower, then there’s a big chance that the mother of his children is still involved in their lives. 

Some ex-couples have been through an ugly divorce and have shared custody.  While some could still be amicable and perform as a family in important events for the kids. Some mothers are missing in action, and the responsibilities are completely with the father. 

Whatever the dynamic be, a mother was there to begin with.  And your presence in their life now, should not mean that you are eager to replace their mother soon. That should be clear to begin with.

The sooner you accept that fact, the harmonious the relationship will be. If for some reason you have a jealous streak and some kind of possessive kind of girlfriend, a boyfriend with children already will not work for you.  Everyone has baggage, only his is with wiggling arms and feet.

Try to slowly include yourself with his life with the kids. Be part of his daddy routine. Be the supportive girlfriend to help him out with the kids if needed. Competing for his attention is never a good idea, it can easily backfire. 

Always be the supportive girlfriend, and eventually he will include you in his life with the kids. If you keep on complaining like a player playing the outside field, he will resent your presence and will make him feel that he always has to choose.  

And you already know how that situation will end, him choosing his kids. 

Tips on dating a single dad:

A few tips on how to navigate through the relationship with single dad/person:

  • Be aware and respectful of his time with his children. Try to be on his side, and not another handful that he has to deal with. He probably has his hands full already.  He may hire a sitter if you have a date, or insist that he cannot just leave his child alone, defer to him.
  • Remember that he is the parent over his children, he gets to decide on his parenting style or punishments.  If you were to be involved or eventually will blend families, then and only then you can have discussions about parenting his child or children,
  • It is fine for you to discuss how your time together can be managed, or anything new in the relationship that involves his children. But do it in a respectful manner and not a nagging one.
  • Equal rights. You have equal rights in the relationship, and do not let him control yours only because he has more kids.
  • Most importantly, have fun dating a single dad.


What if your boyfriend puts his child before you? Or you feel neglected because of his relationship with his kids. Try to be amicable to the kids, and not compete for their competition. Slowly integrate yourself into the lives. You are the intruder anyway. Do not target his kids or use harsh words or become too clingy to your boyfriend. 

Be gentle with confronting your boyfriend on your feelings of neglect. He will most likely respond with care and concern if you broach the subject with care.

FAQ’s on “My boyfriend puts his child before me (The ultimate reality):”

My boyfriend always puts his kids ahead of me. Is it acceptable?

If the relationship is still new, it is fairly acceptable for your boyfriend to put his child before you. Some will answer this is mainly due to the fact the blood is thicker than water. And for him to prioritize his kids before you is reasonable at this stage of your relationship.

My boyfriend won’t spend time with me when he has his kids. Should I be patient or end the relationship?

Your boyfriend does not consider you important enough to be involved in his life with his kids. Try to slowly integrate yourself to his life with his kids. If it still doesn’t involve you, then it’s high time to have a serious talk with your boyfriend.

Is it wrong to put your children/teen’s needs before your romantic relationship?

It can be. Children will always need nurturing and care and time, no matter if they are young or teens. As long as they are a minor, they are still under the care of the parent. However, if it is affecting the romantic relationship with your partner, you can have a second look and see how to make up for the lost time with your partner too.

My boyfriend puts his adult daughter’s need before mine, is that acceptable?

If your boyfriend’s child is already an adult, it is time for her to move on with her life without interference from her father. If there are no more minor children left to take care of, your relationship should be his priority.

Should a man put his girlfriend first?

No, if the relationship is new. But once it becomes a serious relationship, the girlfriend should come first before the kids.For now, child wellbeing comes first.