Today, things seem to move so fast. Social media plays a role in what we’ll call speedy culture. You’re done with one relationship and within the next 3-5 business days, you’re right back in another one. For single moms, sometimes we move faster than we should because we may miss certain things and we’re trying to replace or fill a void, for ourselves and/or for our children. This is understandable, yet dangerous at the same time.
A healthy relationship is a good thing, but still, when should you introduce your child(ren) to someone you have been seriously dating?
According to an article written by James M. Sama; Personal Development Coach in wikiHow August 10, 2021. He stated meeting too soon might be uncomfortable. Consider waiting six months to a year of dating before introducing your new boyfriend to your child(ren). Your kids may not be ready before then to see a potential new “father figure.” Contact between your boyfriend and your kids should gradually increase over time.
Let’s face it; meeting new people as an adult can be awkward so just think about the child(ren); they go from seeing mom and dad to mom and a new man. That’s a big adjustment and sometimes it can be too big of an adjustment.
That’s why small encounters over time are a great move. Also never jump to conclusions that it’s going to go off without any issues when they meet. Just because you know this person and are head over heels for this person doesn’t mean the children will do the same. Things take time and just as it took you a while to truly open and get to know them, we want to give them the opportunity to do the same.
Not all encounters will be good. Keep an open mind while dating and ask yourself not only is this a good fit for me but is this a good fit for my children? Prepping them before the initial meet and greet will help take a lot of tension off. Not just getting the child(ren) prepared but him also. Let him know this may be awkward or this may not go over well initially because they’re so used to seeing a particular setting. You can either do a small setting for you, him, and the kids, or a gathering such as a backyard bbq or something in the park. See how they interact with one another if you go out for a small dinner make any excuse to make a trip to the ladies’ room and watch how they take to each other when you are not around. If you do a bbq or park date do the same make an excuse to walk away for a few minutes and watch them interact with each other.
Whether they hit it off initially or not, allow them to take baby steps they feel comfortable with and gradually let them interact.
After each meetup have talks with the child(ren) and get their honest feedback and opinions, ask them their feelings, see how comfortable or uncomfortable they are. Yes, you are dating that person, but remember you come as a package and all parties should feel safe, secure, and loved throughout this new transition. Getting feedback from them as well as your new spouse will make this transition a smoother one.
On the flip side, don’t forget to consider the same patience, understanding and intention if the person you are dating has children you’ll need to meet as well. Blended families are a thing and can be very successful, however the children should be considered, involved and respected throughout the processes of introducing new people that will have roles and/or be present in their lives.
Be mindful to consider everyone’s feelings, make sure you are happy as well and let life take its course.