Dating when you are a single parent can be difficult at times and with it brings many decisions, one of the biggest decisions being, deciding when the time is right to introduce your date to your children. It is something you will need to think carefully about. Everyone is different and have diverse opinions on this. Some people feel introducing a new partner right from the start is a good idea; while others feel they should wait months before introducing them. There is no ideal time to introduce a new partner; it is down to each situation and your personal judgment.
If your child has shown great disapproval of you meeting new people, then it isn’t a good idea to introduce your date straight away. You risk scaring your new partner away, not to mention causing even more negativity from your child and bitterness towards the situation. This isn’t to say that you can never introduce your date; it simply means it will just take a little longer. Spend time talking and listening to your child’s thoughts and concerns and reassure them that you love them very much and won’t be going anywhere. It is important that your child’s views don’t stop you from dating, how ever bad they may make you feel. If your child is at an age where they understand about you dating again, then there is no reason why you can’t introduce them to your date, again depending on when you feel the time is right.
It isn’t a good idea to introduce your children to every single person you date, especially if you go on several one-only dates. This will confuse your child, and possibly create resentment. It is a good idea to only introduce someone who will be on the scene for more than just a couple of dates. If your child takes well to meeting your date, then another problem you risk introducing your date early on, is your child getting hurt if things don’t work out with your date.
The first meeting between your children and your date should be kept short. This is so the situation isn’t too overwhelming for everyone involved. You don’t want the meeting to become uncomfortable, so keeping it short will help to avoid this. As time goes on you can gradually extent the length of the meetings.
It is vital that you don’t force your date to like you children and vice versa. Forcing a bond will more than likely have the opposite effect. You need to allow a relationship to form naturally at a pace that is comfortable for your children and partner. This also applies if your partner has children of their own and your children are meeting them for the first time. You can’t expect all children involved to get along, it can do more harm than good forcing them to do so.
As long as you don’t force your children to be best friends with your date, spend quality time alone with your children and allow them to have time to adjust to the idea of you dating, then eventually everything should work out, it just needs time and consideration.