Doesn't Everybody Love Dogs and Kids?

Finding a good match for you means finding someone who has a similar lifestyle. And similar goals. And similar interests.

If you're very involved with your kids, you'd do best to stick with dates who enjoy family time. Keep in mind that just because someone has had their own offspring, that doesn't mean they want to hang out with yours now.

When you're past the stage of rearing children, you're likely to revel in the newfound freedom. After spending 20-plus years raising kids, who wouldn't crave the ability to take off for a weekend without a second thought?

Keeping It Family Friendly
Some parents will never stop enjoying the patter of little feet around the house, though. If you're one of those, then seek out potential partners who feel the same. Family ties can feel binding to the wrong person.

Likewise, be prepared for pet peeves. If you're all about your dog and yet your sweetie gets distressed when your pup's climbing all over them, you might need to rethink your involvement. If your cat is your cuddle buddy and your lover's annoyed by that, you might have to claw your way out of this relationship.

Be careful not to demand all or nothing from your dates. Give them a chance to warm up to your precious pets or your beloved half-grown babes. And vice versa.

Shifting Life Goals
Plenty of couples have started out with one of them saying they didn't want children. That view can change over time.

And the desire for pets can work the same way. Falling in love can give you a different perspective on what you want out of life.

But if you ask your dates to adore you and your pets and children equally from the start, you'll be putting unfair expectations on them. And you could be missing out on potential partners who'll come around if given a little time and space.

Of course you want to pick prospects who'll fit into your life well and be good companions for the rest of your clan. Just be careful not to present your brood as a love-it-or-leave-it proposition.

If you respect their wishes, you're more likely to find someone who fits in well with your human and animal family. Then they might even become a permanent part of your terrific tribe!

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