When is the best time to introduce the new boyfriend?

Mothers often have a difficult time deciding when to introduce the person they're dating to their children. When is it appropriate to introduce your children to your boyfriend?

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40  Answers

0 0

I think that this would have been better off answered by women who had been in the situation discussed rather than by by rather smug self righteous married women who have nothing better to do than condemn other women for wanting to be happy while they are still young. Try walking a mile in their shoes!!! I myself devoted my life to my children, my husband went off with someone who he thought paid him more attention. Yes he is selfish but I will admit that I did spend a lot of time doing stuff for and with the children and was too tired to do stuff with him. I have learned my lesson and though I still do a lot for the children I have made them aware that mummy needs her time too, I think it has made me a more rounded individual. I have met somebody new and I am due to get married in a few months. We dated for a while before I was happy for him to meet my children and for me to meet his. It has not been easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. My children have a strong male role model in my future husband and I am close to his two teenage daughters. Should I have waited for 10years before I came to this point? No I really don't think so

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I am not even close to being ready to enter the dating world again. But I hope someday when my heart starts to feel alive I may find companionship with someone new. The happily married lucky ladies (yes smug) who got it right the first time need to not judge. Your post was encouraging, thanks!

160 25

"smug self righteous married women who have nothing better to do than condemn other women for wanting to be happy" was rude and uncalled for. I am married to the only husband I've ever had. We have our problems, but we work through them not only because we committed to do so, but because we want our kids to have a nuclear family. How dare you condemn us for doing so? It's rude, hypocritical, and unnecessary. Those of us who are still married have every right to pipe in anywhere we would like on Circle of Moms. The reason you ask for advice on here is to get a wide variety of answers to use to form your own opinion. While I am still married, I can offer insight from the kid's point of view on dating parents because my parents split when I was four and my mom dated a lot throughout my life and it sucked.

107 19

Let me ask you this...if your marriage were to take a turn for the worse...say, one cheats or begins to abuse the other...would you still stay together for the sake of giving your children a "nuclear family"? I was abused by my ex-husband for 8 years and finally was able to get out with my sons and only some clothes. I didn't want my sons to grow up thinking that the way their father treats us is THE way to treat others. I wasn't looking for someone when I finally left that hellhouse, but love happens when it wants to, not when you want it. I'm glad your marriage is going well. I like hearing when my friends' marriages are going well. It gives me hope that maybe there are some people out there who were raised right...to respect, honor, cherish, and love. It would be nice to be able to have a great marriage with the first person we marry, but anymore, finding a great marriage is almost as difficult as finding that dream job. If you haven't found it, keep looking. I'm not saying marry every guy out there until you find "the one", but don't chastise women who are divorced and wanting to show their kids what a truly loving relationship should be like. My boys see how much better my boyfriend treats me AND them than their father does, and they love it! While he and I have no plans to marry in the next couple of years, my boys can't wait for him to become their stepdad! I have known a woman who has made it her mission to put off "finding" someone new until all 4 of her kids are adults, and she is becoming a very bitter and grouchy person...she's a year younger than me and has only been divorced for 5 years. My boyfriend and I didn't start right off the bat in the sack. We spent a lot of time reminiscing about our high school years and what we remembered about each other back then. It was only after our divorces were final that we realized just how much we still felt for each other and realized we wanted a second chance together. My boys are getting a look at a loving, healthy, and happy relationship instead of one with a lot of anger and abuse. It is very important for children, especially boys to see how women should be treated and for girls to know how they should be treated. I don't agree with the "Man of the Week/Month" dating method...usually those kinds of relationships are mirror images of the marriage that ended. I have a cousin who has been married to the same type of guy in 5 different marriages, and her kids hate it. I have an aunt who is also on her 5th marriage, but it hasn't scarred her 2 kids. My boyfriend's mom is on her 5th and final marriage, and says she has been with her "the one" for almost 20 years now. My boyfriend and I agree that if we do ever marry, it will be our final stab at it. We like our relationship as it is now. We still love each other deeply after almost 20 years since we last dated in high school. He knows that I will not put up with abuse in a relationship and that I will not tolerate it with anyone else. I didn't want to start dating guys I had just met once my divorce was over. I wasn't even going to date until I started talking to him. I'd rather be with someone I've already met and know than some schmuck I just met at some sleazy bar in Cleveland. That's where I can see it sucking as it did for you. I knew he was respectful (the reason for us breaking up in the first place was heavily influenced by my mother, who is still trying to influence another breakup between us...I dislike jealous people) and someone I could trust. I'm glad I decided to agree to a second chance with him...he's a much better role model for my sons than their own dad. I am not chastising you for wanting your kids to have a "nuclear family", but for others that kind of family just doesn't work out when there's abuse and neglect on any level...and no kid should have to go through any of that just to say they had mom AND dad at home.

160 25

Yalana, no... I don't think anyone should stay where they (or their children) are being abused. If it's not safe, it's your responsibility to get them out of there. If you get a sitter and go on dates sometimes, fine - but bringing men into their lives while they're still healing from a divorce, then having those men around who might not necessarily stick around is irresponsible and just plain cruel. My husband and I are far from perfect, but we're lucky in that he would never hurt us, and I'm sorry you and your kids had to go through that. I guess what I'm saying is you can be with whoever you want, but I think it should be somewhat under the radar until the kids are much much older, if not out of the house - and the kids are taken care of and with a responsible sitter, I see no reason you can't go on dates. I just think it's unfair to create a jealous and unstable environment by bringing more "fatherly role" people into the house. And, the reason I responded to this post in particular was because the original poster was being downright mean. Thanks for your insight :)

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@ Nykee ...With all due respect I don't think Melanie intended to be mean, I think she made a fair point that the original question would have been more helpfully discussed by women who had been in the situation of having to introduce a new partner, sharing their experiences on the situation. Everybody is entitled to an opinion but in your first message you said you stayed because you had stayed in your relationship because you had made a commitment and wanted your children to be in a nuclear family, this implies that you consider yourself better than others, or that they didn't work at their relationships.....

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Yalana, I agree with you and Nykee will be devastated when she finds out that there is no such thing as a perfect family!!!!! NYKEE, your goal should be to raise a well-adjusted child/children, NOT just keeping up with the STEPFORD WIVE's CLUB and the IDEA of a NUCLEAR family!!!! Give me a break girl. Your gonna break your arm patting yourself on the back about your NUCLEAR family!!! LOL.....

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My case is, I married with my husband for 10 years. We had a 10 years old girl and a 6 years old boy. For the past two years we started to argue and fight all the times as I had sensed he might have an affair with his business partner's wife. My girl witnessed sometimes of our fightings and she was sad about it. Finally I found the truth that he is cheating behind by back and he just walked away from the family. What lucky is that, he is still responsible for the kids. He pays us allowance monthly as agreed; he takes care the kids in weekends and sometimes we still go out together as a family. I am still stuggle when and how to tell the kids of our divorce. My girl should notice something changed. My boy has asked "why daddy not coming back home to sleep"? My ex and I would tell the kids daddy needs to work in other place and that's why he needs to move out and not coming back. But he will still see them on every weekends. Now I have a new boyfriend. I told the kids he is my very best friend. They have been talking to each other on the phone and my kids seem to like him. At this moment, I am still kind of passive. Not sure what to do. But no matter waht, I care of my kids' feeling than anything else.

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my mom remarried when i was just about 5 after separating from my biological father at 2 and my stepfather is my "daddy" bc i am closer to him then i will ever be to my biological father...and i now have a 3 year old daughter of my own and her father has NEVER been a part of her life im 21 years old and IF and WHEN i date someone i do NOT let them meet my child until or unless it is a serious relationship...am i supposed to be lonely until im in my mid to late 30's only bc i have a child i DO dedicate EVERYTHING i have at my disposal to my child...my time my love my advice...EVERYTHING but whats harder?? going through life lonely or having to answer my sweet angels questions about why her friends have daddies and she doesn't i agree w the married women who got it right the first time comment, you have no other point of view to give so i dont really see why youre giving advice on dating with children...

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Nykee I think you may have taken the original post the wrong way (yes it was a bit rude). I went into my marriage and left my marriage with a death do us part mind frame. The problem was my spouse did not. Even after I found out about the affairs I wanted to work it out! The last thing I ever wanted was a divorce. 2 yrs later he's practically remarried, and I am the frazzled single mom of 3 that is very lonely. I use to be the smug married for 15 yrs to my soul mate kinda person, and now I am very far from it. What the original poster was getting at is its hard to understand and empathize unless you have been there. And I hope all of you never have to go here because it is heart breaking. And my kids have always been number one! After the homeworks is done and the lunches are made and the dishes are done and the kids are in bed, its just me night after night............

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I have to say that I don't think that the married woman who left the comment on here was trying to judge. I think she was just saying that she has stayed in one marriage and worked through it. It's not to say that if she was abused she wouldn't get out, but that doesn't sound like that is the case. I don't think we should call her "smug" just because her marriage has lasted. It sounds like there might be some jealous going on here. Anyway, just my opinion. We are free to form our own on circle of moms.

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I'm sorry about your friend, but you shouldn't judge us all by one person's bad experience. I separated from my husband when my daughter was 8 and never gave a thought to making anything but my family my priority. After several perfectly happy years in which I enjoyed my child, my friends, my job and other interests, I am just getting to the point at which I might consider dating again, IF I ran across the right person. I certainly wouldn't make it a point to "find" someone--why would that be an imperative when life has so much else to offer? It troubles me quite a bit that so many people seem to equate the suggestion that a woman might want to put off dating or bringing another man into her children's lives with asking her to "give up her life" or "give up on being happy". Is that who we are, really, in 2012? Half people who can't be happy or fulfilled or living our lives to the fullest unless we're in a romantic relationship?

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Waiting until they are older sounds great in theory. I have a 2, 5, and a 7 yr old. My husband was dating other people during the marriage, which is why I left. I am heartbroken but it has been over 2 years. I don't have time to date..... but I do not believe I should be as lonely as I feel. If I had a chance at love I hope I have the strength to jump. I think having an emotionally healthy and happy mom would benefit my kids

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The OP didn't ask for people to give input on when she should get into a relationship. She asked when the best time was to introduce that relationship to the kids. If I were OP I would find the comments criticizing her chce to date easy to dismiss--they obviously come from women who aren't critical enough thinkers to read a question and answer it on topic, so their ability to intelligently advise others is most definitely in question (yes, that was intended to be rude, for those judgmental clucking hens who were wondering).
To answer the original question, I would say that there are many factors that go into the "when to introduce" conundrum. How do the kids feel about a new boyfriend in theory? Are they delicate right now, or are they in a good place emotionally? Are they used to dad having a girlfriend? How stable is the relationship? How sure are you that the guy is going to be a permanent fixture? Can you introduce him slowly, or will you be tempted to over do it, adding him into every aspect of your life once the cat's out of the bag? Once you answer those questions for yourself I think you'll know in your gut when the best time is. And your instinct is your best guide.
(For the record, I've only ever been married to my husband. Heck, he's the only g I've ever slept with! But that gives me no right to sit and judge someone who isn't in my shoes. You never know until you're in a situation, so empathy and an open heart are always the best policy. Unless you just like to hear yourself cluck to make you feel like a better person. Then just keep your clucking away from me!)

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This is really good adv ice here. I like the questions you have suggested for my own situation.

0 0

Very wise; great advise. Same here...I would definately use this advise in my situation as well. Although I am going on year 3 of not dating....very lonely place when my princess goes to sleep.

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This is great advice!! I would also add that 1) it's really important to not do it until you are sure they will be around for the long haul and 2) when you do introduce them I always did as "friends" fist, basically cut the PDA till the child/children adjust. I'm going on the assumption that by introduce you mean that your SO will spend significant amounts of time with your child/children. Significant would be coming over or going out for dinner, staying an extended amount of time or "dropping by" every day, you get the idea. My soon to be step-son knew his dad was dating me for several months before I actually met him. My daughter is younger and she met my hubby-to-be only a few weeks after I met him but we were still only friends at that time.

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5 24

I can't believe there are people saying that a mother should wait until their children to complete school to have a life....do they not have a relationship with their husband...go on date nights....spend a little time together to keep the relationship alive...lack of this can kill a marriage...of course you shouldn't introduce a new boyfriend after a few dates but only when you are sure they are going to be a part of your life on a long term basis. If a mother dedicates 100% of her time to a child and then tries to have a life when the child is older the child resents the new partner for taking their parent away... I have seen this with friends recently

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Hi. What you have written about when it's only been yourself and your child for years, the child does become jealous of the new boyfriend you've introduced. I went through that experience a couple of years ago. We'd been alone after my partner passed away for 5 years so she didn't like the fact there was someone else in the picture. She was always climbing in between us when we sat together and drew him dirty looks. He's in the army and has been away for nearly a year so I'm expecting a frosty reception from her when he gets to come home.

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I hope that she comes to accept him in time, it must be even harder in your situation where there are enforced separations due to his job. I wish you all the very best for the future

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Some people are so rude i'm married i was a single mother and we had started out as friends and you do't have to be so worried i had my husband meet my son properly about 2 weeks after when i knew it was becoming something more than a couple of dates its the mothers choice when to do the introductions and its when you feel ready and since then my husband has been the oly father my son has ever known i didn't push my son to like him it was just a bond that grew and watching your child be happy with someone else is the most amazing feeling the child needs a chance to bond with your boyfriend too children adapt pretty easy i had been on dates and had boyfriends before my husband and they don't notice too much because they do their own thing they will date when they get older so there is no difference its a part of life and hiding your child from it can probably do more harm than good i had a boyfriend i was with for six months and we stayed friends so he would still visit and say hello he just came around less and less and my son didn't even notice because he was still happy because we had each other so they don't notice as long as you include your child then there is no problems! Now i have been married to the same man for 9yrs and we have other children together just remember your child needs the chance to bond and feel comfortable around your boyfriend too..

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Thank you for sharing a postive outcome!

3 80

I agree @Amie!!! Thank you Erica for the positive insight!!!

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Use periods and commas please. It was kind of difficult to understand :)

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Thanks Erica for sharing.

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13 0

When it becomes a committed relationship.

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the only thing certain is death and taxes. I'd say go with what you and the kids feel comfortable with, no two circumstances are alike, and there is no way of you knowing if the relationship will last or if it is just infatuation getting the best of you, if we were certain in the "one" we would probably not be single right now...

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There is no right or wrong answer to this question. IMO you should at least wait until the divorce is finalized. My divorce was finalized in March of this year and by the first week of April, my ex had introduced the kids to his new girlfriend and her children. She and her kids moved in at the end of June.

I met a really great guy on line and met him in person at the beginning of June. He met my kids over 4th of July weekend. They've known about him since the day I met him on line. Keep in mind, my kids are 10, 11, 12 and 14. He lives a three hour drive from me and he is planning on moving here in the next month or two.

The kids and I have discussed the whole girlfriend / boyfriend issue. They want their parents to be happy. They know that we were both unhappy when we were together. They have all stated that if Steve makes me happy and Cindy makes their dad happy, there is no reason we shouldn't have those relationships. It doesn't detract from my time with the kids. I'm a better parent when I'm happy. My ex is a better parent when he is happy. It's important for mom and dad to be happy, too. If your kids aren't ready to meet your new significant other, then wait until they are, but don't deny yourself happiness because you think it is better for the kids that way. They will only blame themselves if they know you gave up the opportunity for love because of them.

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I introduced mine when we were friends. I wasn't dating him yet, but we were helping each other through our divorces. My oldest son saw how happy I was just to be around him that he asked me if we were dating. I told him at the time that we weren't, as we were both going through divorces still. My son then told me, "Well, if you two do decide to date, that's ok with me." Fast forward, we are now in a domestic partnership and are expecting our daughter within the next few weeks. My sons are excited to finally be getting a sister, they love my boyfriend, and they often express how they wish their own dad would move on. I let my boys get to know him first before we decided to make anything official, and it has been the best thing for them and me. My oldest one now asks me when he's going to become their stepdad!

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Children, especially boys, so desperately want to see their mothers happy and like most males will do and say most anything to see you that way. You are the THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THEIR WORLD!!! You introduced your kids to your ex sweetheart while you were nurturing each other through your divorces... and you didn't see the stage being set ...really? I am glad you are happy, and that your sons have a kind and caring male in their young lives but wouldn't it have set a better example on how to treat a woman by having you lover commit to to you (and them) before bringing another child into the world? Your boys (and soon daughter) are learning from you how women should be treated ...kudos to not tolerating abusive behavior but I think you are playing with fire by not marrying the man you are playing house and making a baby with. Do you think he would marry you if you told him it was all or nothing?

107 19

I want them to see that treating someone well does not come only in marriage. I'm not saying we will never get married, we just don't want to rush into marriage like we both did before. I became pregnant with my oldest son before I married his father and presented the "all or nothing" shpeal...look how that turned out. He ended up abusing me AND our boys. My boyfriend met and married his ex-wife in a span of 3 months and she thought he should be as devoted to her son from her ex-boyfriend as she was. She even tried to discourage him from seeing his own children. When she became pregnant a couple of months after they were married, she went and got an abortion because she didn't want anything to "distract" her attention away from her son. This devastated him. Since his divorce, he has been seeing his girls on a regular basis and is very close to getting custody of them. I can see your "playing house" theory, but I did push the marriage issue the first time and ended up nearly being killed in front of my children. Kids need to see that a good relationship starts at the beginning of the relationship, not when you get married. While it may be a sin in "God's" eyes, I am not a follower of a being who gives man free will to abuse, rape and nearly murder his wife in front of his own children. I've known people whose parents never married and they aren't no worse for wear, and I've seen kids whose parents should never have gotten married. Marriage isn't always the right option for some. I once loved my ex-husband, but every time he hit me during our marriage, that love died more and more. My boyfriend loved his wife, but she was just using him to help her keep her son and cared nothing for him. He even found out recently that she was cheating on him. He and I know that the love we have for each other has lasted through almost 20 years of being apart and going through everything we have been through. We haven't put the idea of marriage completely out of our heads, we just don't want to rush into it again. Our daughter has been conceived out of love for each other. For him, this is a first. His 2 daughters with his ex-girlfriend were not conceived out of love or marriage. She got pregnant just to keep him around and under her control. His baby with his ex-wife was conceived out of what he thought was love and marriage...she changed that real quick. He says that we may not be married, but our daughter was definitely conceived out of love. Yes, divorce is hard on kids. But 2 people don't have to be married to show love and respect to each other. My ex does not believe in showing anyone else respect, hence his "need" to force himself upon me when I had expressed that I did not want to have another child so soon after having our second son. My third son was not conceived out of love, but out of control and utter disrespect. I love my sons, but just because I was married to their father does not mean I should have had to endure the hell he put me through for the sake of my sons having both parents together. An expensive ring and a piece of paper saying that we're married means nothing to me, thanks to my ex. My boyfriend knows that I am committed to him, and I know he is to me. If we get married, it's going to be when we want to, not because everyone thinks we have to.

0 7

I know many people believe that marriage is necessary in order to "complete" a relationship, but it really is not. I know several couples, the kind who gave me hope that there were the kind of relationships out there with all of the ingredients that I wanted, and half of them were together for 10 to 20 years before getting married, *IF* they married at all. For many people, it is a religious thing, a legal thing, or an acceptance of the status-quo. If you do not subscribe to these, there is no reason a relationship should be seen as any less committed without marriage. Personally, while I see myself living out the rest of my days with my best friend and partner, I do not see marriage in my near future, either. I am happy, and so are my children.

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54 13

All of you women who saying a single mom should stay single till her kids are grown, are not only selfish nut with their heads in the sand, but are really not going to like my answer. I would not spring a relationship on a child out of the blue. Set some guidelines for the person you are dating. Example keeping behavior on a friendly yet platonic level when around the children. Let your children see that you have friends of all types. Let the person be an acquaintance to your child. If exposure is done gradually, it will not only give you an idea of your child and your friend relate, but if your relationship fails, your child is less likely to get hurt or disappointed. But not letting your child see you interact, (on any appropriate level) with other adults, will not only make id hard for them to learn to relate as they grow, but could give them a shock if you come home one day and say, "Hey, son, this Dave. We've been dating for a while now and I'd really like you to get to know him and get along with each other." Puts a lot of pressure on kid. Which can have disastrous outcomes.

I am happily married, 10 years, together for 12 with our oldest child being 11 years old. I am poly-amorous. I believe it's possible to love more than one person equally. (look it up before you start spewing judgmental comments) I have had a few girlfriends, over the years. We had a few steady relationships with other married couples, who have children. We hide nothing from our children, but we don't flaunt our relationships in their faces either. Our children have grown up in a loving environment. We're not always crunchy hippy happy. Our kids know they are loved by everyone around them. Our children have witnessed the relationships start as friendship and grow into something more. What they call our partners has always been their choice. They have also witnessed the relationships fall apart and how we, as adults, handle it. They have seen my husband and I always discuss outside partners with each other and nothing is ever done witouth the other's consent.

Currently, hopefully permanently, we have my husband's girlfriend and her daughter from a previous (not so healthy) relationship. We have 4 children total, the 3 oldest are biologically mine and my husband's, the youngest is our girlfriend's. I cannot ave any more children, so the plan is for the 2 of them to expand our family. All four kids call her "Mom" and I'm "Mommy" and he is Daddy.

Our husband treats us with respect. Things aren't always perfect, most monogamous relationships require to work to survive. Our "V" is no different.

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WTH?!

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I believe that any human does need the love of another person at some point. But first and foremost you need to learn to love yourself, because with out loving yourself first, you can't possibly feel for another person or much less allow that person to love you. So for those of you who are constantly dating different men, i believe its a lonliness that you are trying to fill in. Yes i am divorced and have 2 children, I grew up in a 'normal' family...mom, dad and siblings. But just because ppl say that is the 'norm', does not mean that i was going to stay in my marriage. I am currently dating but have not introduced my children to my boyfriend, and I have not met his children. And some point in my life right after my divorce, i did date several men, but like i said, i had that empty feeling and depression. I didn't want to be lonely. I learned to love my self and realized that I will never be lonely regardless if i have a boyfriend or not. Its been 5 yrs since my divorce and took me 3 yrs to finally learn to love myself.

So that being said, I think that after maybe a year maybe a little less, would be appropriate to indroduce you boyfriend to your children. This will allow the relationship to have grown and become solid.

Please dont chew my head off, i'm just making an opinion! :-)

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When you know it is serious and start talking about marriage.

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ok i get the comment about when u know its serious, but dont u think it should be a long time before thinking about getting married. I was a single mum and have now met a wonderful guy we have been together 3 yrs, but i as a mum needed to be sure that he could accept and treat my kids like he would if they were his own. I had step dads when i was a kid and some of them were just plain nasty. there is no way i would be with someone if they couldnt accept my kids and my kids couldnt accept them no matter how much i loved the guy, my kids will always be my first priority.

20 39

I waited almost 4 years to marry my husband! Yes I think it's very important to get to know them and make sure they are going to treat no only you with respect, but your children as well!

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I'm in agreement with Colleen and shocked to hear someone shares the same opinion. Waiting until all kids are done with high school may sound ridiculous to most people because they think it's about allowing your kids to take over your entire life. It is not. But the dating process takes away time that should be going towards helping the kids deal with the fact that not only does dad no longer live in the same home with them anymore, but they now have no choice but to accept both mom & dad's new choices of partners AND kids, if they have any. The worst part for me was when my dad told my sister and I that my mom & he were getting a divorce, he said nothing would change; that he would always love us & we'd still be his little girls. While it was true he may have still loved us, A LOT did change so that part definitely wasn't truthful. His words didn't match the reality and eventually a realization set in that my dad lied. It wasn't a conscious thought, it just happened, even though later as an adult I understood it was unintentional. But a lot of damage was done to our relationship.

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You sound like a VICTIM Sylvia. Hate to hear it but it appears that you are not mature enough to recognize that everyone needs love (even divorced parents). I don't know how old you are but you really should have gotten OVER IT by now. I'll say it AGAIN, a sad, lonely, bitter and struggling DIVORCEE (male or female) is NEVER as good as a well-balanced, emotionally and physically healthy BACHELORETTE (or BACHELOR) !!!!! Finding a new spouse after a divorce opens so many doors and allows children to feel LOVE from SO MANY people (what a wonderful support system). If the DIVORCEE is a REAL psycho, then staying single or dating/remarrying will NOT change the person; the fact is, the DIVORCEE will harm the children with toxic venom about the opposite sex and the children will grow up suspicious and insecure. Join a convent and give up your children if you have sworn OFF healthy man/woman relationships. Just sayin!!!!

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Cindy- everyone needs love, but that love should come from the *inside* .

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Sylvia, I'm sorry you had to go through that. None of us can deny how formed and affected we are by the experiences of our childhoods. My father died after a long illness when I was 14 and when my mother remarried 3 yrs later, we hated him on principle!! Looking back now as an adult and a parent, I can see the how their actions in introducing him into our family were fraught and affected by fear. Imagine how different your view point would be if your parents had been responsible about how they handled things with you. If they had discussed before hand what to say, and if they'd sat down together and been open and honest with you to a point that was age appropriate. If they had trusted you with the truth, you could have trusted them with the outcome. You may have learned positive things about how to handle other people with regards to responsibility, trust and love. I hope that that is what I can accomplish with my child if and when there is someone else in my life worthy of being a part of OUR lives. Every day we have the opportunity to teach our children the right things in the smallest of ways. When handling something as fundamental as the loving relationship between a man and a woman....we owe our children to handle it to the best of our ability, without selfishness, but also with a degree of self preservation so that our children learn that they are not omnipotent, but part of a circle of relationships in which they play their own important part. A circle within which each other person is due just as much love and respect.

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I would introduce all men in my life (as a single mother) as a "friend" and I would not introduce any of them until I felt it was serious. They should remain as "friends" until lifelong commitment is about to occur, especially if the kids are young.

Kids are impressionable and I have a dear friend who has introduced far too many "boyfriends" to her young kids over the years. They grew attached to all of them and they, too, had to go through the loss and pain. A divorce is painful enough without a repeat situation with a boyfriend break-up. Her children now shun any man that comes into the picture because, in their short lives, they always leave.

The man in your life better be there for the long haul or I would not introduce him to my kids at all. Introducing him as a friend, however, is not bad if you have been dating for six months or more. I would keep activities with my children few and far between and refrain from discussing the "boyfriend" as anything more than a "friend" with the children. This way there is no emotional attachment until he is really ready to play "dad."

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37 29

I introduced my boyfriend right away but I didn't make a big deal out of it. He was introduced as a friend. The kids got to know him at about the same rate I did. I don't think waiting is a good idea because if my kids didn't like him he wouldn't have been around very long. It would have made things hard if I had gotten to know him and formed an attachment to him and then my kids didn't like him. My kids will always be first in my life. Luckily my kids liked him right away. We have been together for 8 years now and the kids love him just as much as I do.

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I agree with this method. I was on my own with my daughter from birth as her father chose to walk away and has never seen her. I appreciate that in many cases this makes it easier to introduce a new man as she has no paternal bond. I introduced my boyfriend to my daughter after about 6 weeks. This was done in a group situation so that as far as she was concerned he was another of my friends from work. She gradually saw us spend more and more time together and was therefore at ease with him before it became apparent that we were together. I then allowed her to essentially lead their relationship until one day out of the blue she decided to call him daddy, and he let her. She had some slight moments of jealousy and at times made my boyfriend a bit sad. Now she just plays us off against eachother like any other child. If anyone was thrown in at the deep end it was him, at their meeting another friend got her so overexcited she wet herself, which caused her to drop her muffin in the wee, which she then picked up and tried to eat (before I took it off her). Then a couple of weeks later she got threadworm at nursery and he was presented with some medication. Bear in mind he was young and had no experience of children at all. Almost 4 years later we are still together, my daughter adores him and is very excited that we are planning on having another (we had to choose between marriage and a baby due to finances and I believe we made the right choice). My advice would be to introduce them when you feel it is right for your child (you know them better than anyone else) but in a way in which they don't feel threatened that way whichever way the relationship goes in those first crucial months. Also BTW I had to put up with lots of smug "my life is so perfect" mums who looked down on me for being a single mum, most of them are divorced or seperated now.

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YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD NIKKI!!!!!!!!!!!!

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8,375 7

I have not put myself in that position. My ex-husband decided early on to start dating once again after we divorced. It was hard on our two kids as they were introduced early to those girlfriends. Eventually, one became their first step mother. Fourteen months later, their dad and step mother divorced. Less than two months after this, their dad started to see another woman and once again a few months later after that she became the second step mom. Its been hard on my kids who said, "Mom, if you do remarry, make sure the kids are older than me." "Mom, I don't want a step dad." I can understand where they are coming from after the experiences they had with their step moms who did not foster any kind of relationship with them that was positive. I also did not want to date because there were too many men out there that had these high expectations I could not meet or did not want to meet for example one wanted to have kids of his own and the age of 38 I had already had two half grown up and I was not willing to have a baby that late in life. And we had not even gone on a date yet. I am happy being single. I had the chance to focus on my kids that way.

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I have the same dilemma. I am very selective about who I bring around my son. I have been divorced for 5 years now and my son would like to have a father figure in his life. On the same note, he gets attached quite easily so it has been my choice to NOT introduce him to anyone until I feel like the relationship has the potential to last. I agree that having a happy mother makes a happy child - so I am not waiting to date. But, as I said, I am very selective so I don't bring a lot of guys into my life. I am open to finding love again...but I don't have to have a man. I am a bit skeptical when I see friends introduce their kids right off the bat, but its their choice how they raise their kids. Sometimes you cannot help it - say you start off as friends and it develops into more - chances are you have introduced your kids to him. I think it is a very personal decision and there is no "right" answer. We should use our mother's intuition.

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Well being a single Mom, when I dated it was for ME, I wasn't daddy shopping, so I didn't push anyone into meeting anybody. When I did become serious, with my,now husband, i just let nature take its course. I too came from a split home, my mom dated and it wasn't so bad,but I just never got involved,she never pushed it.Take your time, you'll know by the way it feels, how interested the man and the kids are...:) Hope this helps

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1 16

I recently grappled with this question. I don't think there is a right or wrong way and a different approach will suit different families and personalities. The introduction of my children and my boyfriend went very well and exceeded all our expectations and I can share our approach. Hopefully this will be helpful to some of the other moms.

It is something I discussed with my boyfriend at length before I mentioned him to my children. We discussed all our respective concerns and hopes and how we wanted to go about it. I am lucky to have a very understanding and patient boyfriend who was happy to give me as much time as I needed. I had to know he was the kind of person I wanted to have around my children and someone I could see a future with. I also needed to know he was ok with meeting the children and was willing to put in the time and effort with them. Once we were both happy I told the children about him and from that moment on we let the kids set the pace. I answered all their questions about him and when they said they wanted to meet him we invited him over for dinner and made it as relaxed and low key as possible. Of course we were both very nervous because we wanted it to go well. We were very lucky that they immediately liked him. after one or two casual meetings they started asking when he will come again and even said to me they would like to spend more time with him.

My advice would be to talk about it. To move at a pace that suits everyone. Never rush. If you have a good thing going, moving too fast can cause either party to feel unnecessary pressure. There will be pressure enough!!

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I was a single parent for many years after a disastrous marriage. As I'd grown up with my mother being a widow, I didn't want my son to experience the heartbreak of becoming attached to adults and then losing them due to differences in personalities.
My ex introduced our son to his new girlfriend within weeks of us splitting up as "this is your new mummy" - our son was 3 at the time. Thankfully, they are still together 15 years later.

For the next 8 years, most of my boyfriends were seen in my time... there were 3 that had children the same age as my son (1 I knew through work for many years), so we arranged family picnics with a large group of friends who had children the same age so we could see how well the kids interacted without any pressure to impress or be on their best behaviour, and the first sleep overs were actually arranged by the children, not the adults.

When I met my husband, my son was living with his father so by then it was more about me - they met very quickly, and my son was hanging off him from the first day. We took that as a sign, and then my son asked my partner if he would be his "MSD" (My Step Dad), so we eloped that weekend! There's been a few ups and downs through the teenage years, but that is to be expected in any family, and now at 18 they have the same cool relationship they had 9 years ago.

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I've decided it wouldn't be okay to introduce a new SO as such, until after we were engaged. I think once you can really trust the person and it was serious it'd be ok to let them meet the kids, but only as a "friend".

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8 16

Wow, who would've thought this would turn into a heated debate.....? I guess those with adequate experience can answer this one....
My opinion, when YOU feel you are ready to introduce the new boyfriend. Maybe also get to know him a little away from the house and have date nights together once in a while with the children. Then when YOU are ready have dates at your house maybe....You need your own life too, it is healthier that way, especially for you : )

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It can be hard to know when it's appropriate for a child to meet a new boyfriend. I had a couple of boyfriends in between splitting with my first son's Dad and settling with my present OH and father of my second child. My son didn't meet all of the boyfriends. If he did meet them, it was when I had known them for a couple of months at least. He met my current OH fairly early on in the relationship but I had already known him all my life so that made the decision a little different. I think sometimes it is good to introduce them early on so they can get used to each other and, for me, it was important that any boyfriend knew that my child came first and always would do.

For those saying to wait until the kids have grown up because it's time to spend with them, it is possible for mothers to spend time with their kids and have a life of their own and, in my case, once my son had met my boyfriend, my son was included in most of whatever we did so I was still spending time with him. Mums need time to themselves and, if that time happens to include someone else, why should that be a problem? As some others have said, a happy parent is better than an unhappy parent. Also, if it's a matter of spending time with a boyfriend which could be time spent with the kids, we could use the same argument for working mothers, mothers who have a night out with their girl friends, go to the gym, or anything else they choose to do. All of these things can be looked upon as time that could be spent with the kids. So are mothers not supposed to do anything other than be with their kids? Or is it just boyfriends?

My world revolves around my kids and has done since I had my first. That doesn't mean I can't have some time to myself. When I split up with his Dad, I didn't go looking for a relationship straight away but when one came along, I wasn't going to not let it happen. Yes, I was happy in myself and I'm perfectly capable of being happy and fulfilled without a man. My son was happy because I was happy. I still spent almost all of my time with my son. If I hadn't have had another relationship while my son was little, I wouldn't have had my second child.

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I actually went through this...when my son first met my new boyfriend I introduced him as a friend. As far as my son was concerned that's all we were. We did not kiss or anything intimate whenever my son was around. I did not want my son to feel any pressure or feel left out or anything. After a few months I asked my son what he thought of the new boyfriend and he replied he liked him. I then slowly began acting more like boyfriend and girlfriend. I took it slow and easy because I knew it would be a tough time for my son. Now my son sometimes accidently will call my boyfriend "dad". We have been together 2 years now. I definitly recommened not being physical or emotional with your boyfriend in front of your son. Introduce them as friends so that there is less pressure....

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I see alot of people answering on this topic yet few speak from experience. What I did worked for me and you should do what works for you. Each situation is a different situation. Just keep your children's feelings in mind at all times. Put yourself in your children's shoes and ask yourself how they might think or feel.

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I dont really think there is one wrong or right answer here, i think it all depends on yourself, your child and the situation that your in! I think waiting until your child/children have finished school is a little out there as even if you stay with your childs father then u still have to have one on one time with that person u cant just have children and not have any time for your other half, or we would all be alone!!! A child needs and likes a happy family lifstyle, wether they get that from both real parents or wether they get it from there mum dating anther guy and making that better happier life for both her self and her child! in saying this i think we all need to really know the " new partner " before introducing them to our children and feel happy that the relationship is going to last a while that way you are not involving your child in something that is just going to blow up not long after introducing your child to that person. As parents we all try to look out for our kids and protect them from anything that may hurt or upset them, so i think all of us just need to make what we think is the right decision at the time for both our selfs and our children!

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11 16

This is a tricky one and there is no "one answer fit all".
As a parent, you most important role is that of being a role model. This is the biggest responsibility you will ever have probably.
As a parent you also know what is best for your children.
\\introducing a new boyfriend can have many implications and a lot has to be addressed. What are your children age; what were the circumstances of the divorce/separation; do they have a relationship with their father; what state of mind are they in presently; does the boyfriend have children...the list can go on quite a bit.
Although it is not recommended to introduce someone too quickly, you will know, deep down, whether it is someone you can introduce sooner or later. Whatever reservations you may have, listen to them, they will indicate whether it is suitable or not. There is no time delay otherwise. Some children will welcome a new person in their life while others won't so easily. You'll have to be the detective on your own situation and what is appropriate for you and your family and most importantly, you will have to be the one to act as an adult!
Nadia - SADSA | The South African Divorce Support Association

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15 0

I waited 2 years until my children met my boyfriend. At that stage we knew that we were committed and looking forward to marriage. It took another year until we decided to buy a house together but during that year he built up a very good relationship with the children, it was also a good time to see how he got on with them.

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3 9

My husband and I made that pact too. Then I found out after 15 yrs of marriage and 3 kids (youngest 2 yrs old) that he was sleeping with 2 women at work. Is there anyone out there who understands the big picture? I have 16 more years of single life and as a single mom? Really?

107 19

I do, Sara. I have seen all sides. I have seen women jump into another marriage only to be divorced again within a few months. I have seen women jump into a marriage shortly after divorce and be married for the rest of their lives. I have seen women who follow the "man of the week" method, and women who have decided to wait until their kids were adults. This one woman I know has 4 children and her youngest 2 are 6 years old. She has been divorced since they were a year old. She has become a very bitter and grouchy person because she has decided to forgo her own happiness to make sure her kids don't have to see her being abused again. I don't want my sons to see me being abused, but I'm not going to become an old maid to do it! A friend of mine once told me, "Love doesn't follow a schedule...it happens on it's own time, whether you want it to or not." I wasn't looking for anything when my first love and I started talking, but we realized we still love each other. Now, we are waiting for our baby girl to arrive soon. We have no plans to rush to the altar right now because of the reasons for our divorces (mine was abuse and alcoholism, his was abortion and deception). We like things as they are and want to live together with all our children under one roof. If love knocks on your door, don't shut off the porch light and go back to bed...open up! Maybe meeting strangers is not your forte...maybe a second chance is in store for you! Go with it! Kids need to see healthy relationships in ANY form, not only in marriages.

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AMEN Yalana....very well stated !!!!

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Thanks Yalana! Trying to keep the porch light on...........

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blakestar is my name in hawi Hawaii.the whole town loves me and kids have fun with my inner child aesthetics.i am single and never been married/I am married to my art.i am dating a single mom and her daughter demands attention when I try to get close to her mom,hmm?

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I am 48, have 3 children, 2 boys age 25 and 22 and a daughter of 11. My husband left me last year after 25 years of marriage (he turned 50). It has been the most difficult year of my life, but full of lessons about myself and what life and marriage are all about. I am passionate about marriage and i didn't give up on my husband. Am Arice Stringer by name and resides in USA and here is my Cell number +1 (772)-7745-454. I entered online in search of advice on how i can amend my marriage while i was at work. I saw so many positive reviews and nice feed back about how a Doctor called Osemu Okpamen has been wonderful with his spells. I gave a shot to make contact with him via his Email and he assured me that my marriage will be peaceful and i believed in his words. 16 hours after he finished preparing the spell for me, my husband came back home pleading and now, we are living peacefully again. Get in contact with him if you need any help via E-mail: doctorokpamenspelltemple@hotmail.com, website: http://doctorokpamenpowerfulspelltemple.webs.com, what's app or call on +2348135254384.

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My question is the same, but my kids are 17 and 20, and his son is 6, we really like each other, and are both single parents, my kids are missing a dad, even at their age, and his son is missing a mom. We eventually want to get married, but i am concerned about the age difference in the kids. What do I do, i have not met his son, and he has not met my kids. My kids do know however that I am seeing someone.

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The one thing that I cannot believe are a certain few women who cannot see the damage done to there children when they introduce boyfriends into there children's lives and homes after a couple of dates only for them to disappear once the novelty of another notch on the bedpost has worn off! Of course single mums are totally entitled to want the chance of happiness with a new partner, but I believe that you should introduce the new guy slowly and not until dating for at least 6 month. This gives you the time to also get to know the new man and make a decision on how the relationship is progressing. When you have children it is your duty to put them first and teach by example. Letting them witness there mother bringing one man after another into there homes and there mothers bed then disappearing a few months down the line is terrible behaviour. Have they no idea what this is showing there children ? also once they reach an age when they understand relationships what will they then think of there mother and the way she gave herself to these men so easily . I wouldn't want to think of my own mother in this way . We have a duty to our children to give them decent morals. I know that the majority of single parents are not like this , it's just a shame that there are some self centred parents out there that think its there given right to have needs met before there children's.

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Here is a thought. Dont get a divorce and u wont have to worry about this being an issue. Have a clue in life. I can understand getting a divorce under abusive situations, but for the well being of your damned children...act like adults and work things out. My gosh, your kids r going to grow up and learn that when the going gets tough to just give up and run away for no greener pastures. It is not fair to your kids...i have seen my grandchildren leave to stay with their father in their teens. Their dad went through a rough patch and his wife divorced him. He is a good man and his kids love him, but when the kids got older, they figured it out and now they resent their mother like there is no tomorrow. I have seen this same thing happen with a friend of mine...all three daughters in high school wanted nothing to do with their mom anymore. Good luck

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3 9

What if you want to work things out and he wants to sleep with his secretary? I have a clue in life, but you can't make someone stay who doesn't want to!

0 0

I have lived through this...
I feel this depends on the age of your children, and the mutual feelings between you and your boyfriend. If your romantic relationship has a future, introduce your man in a comfortable, casual
atmosphere that is not pressured. Ask your children first, if they would like to meet your special guy, so you can gage their feelings on the subject.
Set some 'ground rules' for both parties ( off-limits topics, behavior)
Plan a date that you know your kids will find fun.
You will be a better Mom with love in you life, so go find it!!

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I was only just divorced but separated for years before I moved with 3 kids (14,12 and 2) in with a man who had 2 littler ones just older than my youngest at the time. He was only just divorced and not separated as long as I had been. It is sad to say that looking back on that relationship, it was probably just a rebound "thing". I loved him but he had way to many battle scars from his previous much younger wife. I had since moved back out on our own and met a man almost 2 years later that pretty much turned my humdrum world upside down. Within a week of starting to date, he asked me what my teenagers would be interested in - if an amusement park would strike their fancy. I asked them (I knew better, but better safe than sorry) and he loaded us all up and off we went! My teens have been through witnessing a bad relationship between me and their dad, to moving in with someone who's kids had no rules to this wonderfully easy-going yet disciplined (former Marine) man. I am crushed that we may never marry, but he is committed to being around to watch my littlest grow up. This would only be a second marriage for me, but his 3rd and I'm guessing he doesn't feel it would be a charm. He has a son and grandson of his own that he never sees and never was allowed to participate in his son's upbringing. Over the last 2 years he has proven to me he is dad material and I am glad I introduced him to my kids. I do strongly suggest that before you begin dating that you set boundaries for your children but always make sure that they can tell you when or if things just don't feel right to them. Sort through what they tell you, don't be blindsided by how you may feel that you can't gauge what your kids may tell you.

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In my opinion I think your feelings for the new boyfriend will determine how quickly you introduce him to your children. When I met the man who I've been dating for 6 months now, I knew he was going to be a huge part of my life and it was therefore necessary for him to meet the other people who are the biggest part of my life!
If I'd not been sure about him I would have waited a lot longer though!

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I agree Susan :) I think it also hinges on how they feel about being introduced. Mine was so eager to meet my very small family and he attends all holiday functions as I do his. He has even attended a funeral on my ex-husband's side of the family with me and my kids. Most awkward moment: him telling me at his daugher's powderpuff game that he really hoped nothing happened to the mister and me, but if it did he was sorry but he was "keeping" him. LOL!!!

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Ive been in the situation and its scary because you always hope for the best. i thought my last boyfriend would be around and he turned out to be a lying cheater, Ive met someone else that seems really nice he is older and i dont think he would walk out. but its so scary although my kids are older its never a good look.

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I haven't always made wise decisions when it comes to my child meeting my boyfriends, but I finally got it right this last time around. When I met my husband a little over five years ago, I waiting at least 3 weeks to make sure that we were going to stay steady with dating each other. I didn't want someone who was just going to take me out for the night and then dump me the next day! I wanted someone who I could trust and that was great with my child. So eventually I knew I would have to bring Todd around my son because I needed to see how he would interact with him. He was wonderful! He has put up with a lot because my son can have a bad attitude especially with being a pre-teen. We have worked with him by going to counseling and all that, but it still takes lots of patience for Todd to stay and not leave our side considering that his child was full grown and on her own! I will always feel blessed to have this man in my life as my husband and my best friend!
Don't get me wrong, I am human and I have brought my son around a couple of men that I should never have done it, but I was going through some kind of a rebellious stage because Todd and I had broken up and I was devastated! I guess all we needed was time apart to adjust our hearts and attitudes because Todd came back home to me after 6 weeks and we started to work on our relationship and that is when he decided he was going to pop the question! It was an awesome marriage in Jamaica and I could not think of a better person for my son and I to spend the rest of our lives with!
I say just take time to get to know the guy first and make sure he isn't just going in and out of your life! I say it also depends on the emotional state of the child. If the child is ready to meet the guy. My son was going on 7 at that time. I asked him if he wanted to meet Todd and he said he did. So that makes a big difference to me. I also am big in the faith so I say find someone who shares your common ground when it comes to God if you do believe in him because I do! At least someone who shares your interests and wants to be not just a part of your life, but your children's lives as well.

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7 0

I've never had that problem.Hubby and I have 5 kids, and are still happily married after 31 yrs. However, our daughter has two kids,and divourced. Her kids are 5 and 3, and they just call her boyfriend by his first name. I think honesty will work best. Just tell your kids the truth.

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I feel that you should only introduce your boyfriend if you are committed to a long term relationship with marriage in mind. It is true that there will be jealously at first especially when it's only been yourself and your child for years. I am going through that experience right now. We'd been alone after her dad and I broke up when I was still pregnant with her. .(he is still a part of her life not physically, he lives in another country, but by phone calls pictures etc. and she knows he loves her a lot) She is now 9 years old and at first she didn't like the fact there was someone else in the picture. She was always climbing in between us when we sat together or seeking attention when he's around. He's working in a different part of the country and only comes home every 2 to 3 weeks. The way we deal with this though is that I keep reassuring her that I love her and he tries to spend some alone time with her when he's home and keeps reassuring her that she is not losing her mother as he is not taking me away from her but that she is gaining a father figure and that we will always be a family. She is a very loving child and has already accepted him as a part of our lives and even call him Dad. I know the jealousy is still there but it will take time we just have to keep showing her how happy the three of us are as a family

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256 8

I think it depends on a few factors. 1. the child's age. 2. the 'seriousness' of the relationship. My daughter was a year old when I started dating someone new. We're still together, and we have a son. Before we started dating, we had been friends for a VERY long time, so I had no issues introducing them to each other, because they had already met.

If the relationship is new, and the child is older, however, I think a few months should be appropriate. If you think the relationship is leaning more towards 'long term' rather than a 'spring fling', then by all means, as soon as you feel secure in the stability of your relationship, you should introduce your boyfriend to your child. There is no need to establish another parent-like figure in their lives if the relationship is a temporary thing. Kids need permanence, kids need reliability from their parents, and a new boyfriend every few weeks is effectively teaching kids that commitment is not important.

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