Single Dad Asks, When Should You Introduce Your Kids to Your New Love?

BY: - 18 Sep '14 | Blended Families

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Are you a dating as a single parent and serious about finding love and marriage? You’re probably wondering when is the right time to introduce your kids to your new love.

If so, you’re a lot like the single father who recently asked me for advice. He has three children from a previous marriage and is dating a woman who didn’t have any children of her own. He’s been seeing her for two months, but he was starting to develop serious feelings for her and was thinking about taking their relationship to a deeper level. 

“How soon is too soon?” he asked me.

Here’s what I told him: Before you introduce the person you’re dating to your kids, consider these three questions:

1) How old are your kids and how do they feel about you dating?

2) How would they feel if things didn’t work out with the new person and she went away? How will you talk to them about it?

3) How does your girlfriend feel about being a part of the kids’ lives since she doesn’t have any children of her own?

Bringing your family into your new relationship is going to change the relationship.

Your partner will see you in a new light. Watching you in “Daddy mode” is going to show her a different side of you than what she sees when you’re on a romantic date. She’ll likely imagine what her future with you might be like as well. So if you haven’t committed to each other yet, she’s going to have another experience with you that will affect her decision, especially since she doesn’t have any kids of her own.

Your kids also will need support in figuring out what role this person will play in their lives. 

How often will she come around? Do they have to follow her instructions? Is she going to stay forever or will she be gone soon? Is this person going to take you away from them?

Introducing your kids to your new girlfriend will also change the way you see her. You’ll evaluate how well she treats your kids, whether your kids like her, and how she gets along with them.

Also, just because you’re “getting serious” it doesn’t mean this relationship will work out. You might change your mind about her 3 months from now, or she may decide she’s not ready to date a man with kids.

My advice for single parents on the dating scene is to wait until you are in a committed relationship with this person and you’ve been seeing each other at least a year. It’s ok to tell your kids that you’re seeing someone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to bring this person into their world just yet.

Ultimately, when it comes to single parent dating, timing, listening and being aware of the feelings of your kids and your partner are very important.

BMWK: Are you dating as a single parent? Tell me, what’s your greatest challenge? 

It’s Blended Families Week on the site.  Please click here for more articles and resources.

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 134 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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3 WordPress comments on “Single Dad Asks, When Should You Introduce Your Kids to Your New Love?

  1. Pingback: Single Dad Asks, When Should You Introduce Your Kids to Your New Love? | Parenting | NeoBlack News

  2. Rhonda

    I loved reading this article because it fits right into my current situation. I have been with a man who I truly love and adore for 5 years. His kids live in Atlanta and we live in New York. He is making plans to purchase a house together and marriage. After 5 years…I still haven’t met his kids. He says his daughter is not ready! The real kicker… she is 19 and his son is 18! His ex-wife is behind this because she hates the fact that he moved on, but she knows that his kids is his world!

  3. storm

    I respectfully disagree with the author of this article. However, I, find her introspection I wanted to be fascinating I would like to talk about my point of view.

    it is my belief that you should seek balance at all times, if you deem your partner to be emotionally healthy and available; you should introduce your children to them because your children. as a single parent at least 75% of your time is focused on raising, providing, sheltering, and loving your children. you should bring the person into your life before you become too emotionally invested. Because if the children do not care for this person or it is too complex of a process to integrate them into your new blended family then you may need to consider moving on.

    this is my personal reflection,it may not apply to everyone, but I think that it is best particularly; if you have children who have special needs or really do require a great deal of attention. Your significant other needs to know, fairly, what they’re walking into and that also allows you to learn to love them in a different light.

    the icing on the cake is if they can rise and seek balance with you during a difficult moment and the children are accepting of their help this could be a great blended family in the near future!

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Why Living in Blended Families was a Gift and a Curse for Me

BY: - 18 Sep '14 | Blended Families

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My father has always had a tumultuous time with women. Being such, my brother and I have had the experience of being raised in a few blended families. As is true with most experiences, it was both a gift and a curse.

My parents divorced after 15 years of marriage while I was six and my brother was twelve. My father retained custody of both my brother and I.

After accepting the divorce was happening and moving away from our mother to St. Croix, my dad soon began a relationship with a woman from the island. When she moved in with our family, she brought along her daughter, who would become my new 2 year old sister. I had a new family now. Just like that.

Kids adapt – especially military brats. To adapt is normal and to be expected. All the kids around us were the same. New places – new bases – new countries – new students – new faces – new friends – new people – new teachers – new schools – new houses – new apartments – new addresses and new phone numbers. And every now and again, new mothers. That’s how life was. It was normal.

There was so much constant change, you didn’t know what was supposed to be static. It was life as we knew it.

My new Crucian mother loved my brother and I the same way she loved her own daughter. She helped to raise us in her own unique way. As a new family, we experienced life in St. Croix, Colorado, and even Germany together. It was a new life indeed, and I experienced life as the middle child. All the way until her and my father split during my junior high years.

I still call her my mother to this day. She still loves me as her own flesh. And my sister will never be anything less than. I love them both dearly.

My father’s third and current marriage, brought me another new ready-made family during my high school years, this time with a new older brother in the mix. Up until the time our parent’s married, he had been an only child being raised by a single black mother.

He had a history of rebelling. We got along great.

I remember taking a car ride with my newest mother, while I was around 15. I remember her talking as I was blankly staring out of the passenger window.

“I had this idea that I was going to be the perfect little mother for you. That I would try to connect to you on that level, and we could do so many things with one another. And then I realized that you’ve spent most of your life simply with your father. That you don’t need a perfect little mother in your life. You have a life. And you’re still going to go to your dad for everything you need just like you would have if I wasn’t here. But if you ever need me for anything at all, anything at all, just know I’ll will always be here for you from this day forward.”

I was looking at her by the time she finished.

“Thank you,” I said.

Over 17 years later, she has kept her word. Undoubtedly, she is my mother as well, and has done more for me than she probably knows. I love her dearly.

From the pain of divorce, I have gained a multitude of other family members who genuinely care and ask about my well being. Who can genuinely ask for more than that out of life?

Unfortunately, through the pain of divorce, I never learned how to fully open myself up to accept all of that love. To be open is to be vulnerable to loss and pain. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that open again. Scars are scars. They change the landscape. The sense of loss after losing the relationship I had with my biological mother changed me as child and those changes have rippled into my adult life.

Those changes are now simply a part of my makeup, and more than likely shielded a lot of the pain I felt when my new brother committed suicided a few short years again. I still love and hurt for him dearly.

At the age of 33, with my own son, and my own marriage, I still thrive directly from my ability to adapt to life changes. I also feel I have an untouched part of my soul and psyche I’m afraid to let get affected again, and I don’t know if it’s something you truly ever get passed. I just hope for my family’s sake, it’s not the part of me they need to thrive.

As a result of my rather large extended family footprint, my son has an outpouring of love from so many sources, I can’t help but to think my past pain is the source of his current blessing.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

BMWK: If you grew up in a blended family, how did it contribute to who you are today?

It’s Blended Families Week on the site.  Please click here for more articles and resources.

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 69 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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