'It's not good for the children to see their Dad jumping in and out of bed with lots of different women,' says Suzie.'But if and when you do start sleeping together, be honest about it and don't try and keep it a secret.'• Vow to yourself that you will always remember you are not the children's mother, and neither are you trying to replace her. Make it clear that, while you are a parental figure, you want to be someone important to them, but nothing more than that.'This is key to success,' says Suzie.And after all, they're a part of his life - delaying meeting them isn't going to change that!• It is a good idea, however, to delay sleeping together when the children are at home, and only to do this when the relationship is becoming serious.'Say you understand that, and you understand that they're hurting, but that there are family rules and they have to abide by them.'• Realise that getting together with someone with children means you can't have a courtship in the way that you would if you were both free.'This is just one of those things you have to accept,' says Suzie.'It's unrealistic to desire a romantic life alone - because, from the outset, dating isn't just about you and him.You have to make the most of any time you do have alone together, whenever it comes.'• Get a support network around you ¿ of understanding friends, others in the same situation, or organisations like Parentline Plus (08) who offer help, support and information to anyone looking after children.
But if there's one thing any woman who dates a dad needs to realise, it's this: that your relationship with him will be overshadowed - and may, ultimately, be destroyed - if you don't sort out a workable relationship with his kids.
Suzie says that choosing to have a relationship with a dad can have some real advantages - if you go about things in the right way.
Here's how:• It doesn't actually matter when you meet the children - there's no 'right' time, and it doesn't matter if it's on the first date.
As model Heather Mills became Mrs Paul Mc Cartney, the question on everyone's lips was: 'How will they get on?
' 'They' being Heather and Sir Paul's three children, in particular his eldest daughter, Stella, who, according to increasingly gleeful press reports, despises her new stepmum.
What's important is that you don't say, or imply, that you're 'someone special'.