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Introducing kids to new partner

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

How long do you wait when dating someone?  Are there milestones in the relationship you look for?  This is way far down the road but now that I'm dating again, I'm curious.  I've always said 6 months but.....now I'm not sure.  It seems so arbitrary.  I am just looking for ideas from people who have done it.  My neighbor introduced her kids way too early because she wanted to make sure that he got along with her kids and it didn't work out.  The kids hated him anyway but if they had liked him, that would be yet another man out of their lives.  I don't want that for my girls.  And the guy I'm seeing has a very young daughter too.  I don't want to meet her and like her or have her like me.  She's too little to "get it."


ETA: My kids are all school age from teen to kindergarten if that matters.

post #2 of 6

I think it really depends on factors: you, your partner, your children, how long it's been since you and your ex split, if you actually intend to find a co-parent or are just enjoying dating, etc.


I have no experience iwth this, but I feel like introducing new partners as just friends is comparatively safer. Most children meet friends/acquaintances/co-workers of their parents and those people come and go. If the kids become especially attached to the person, it's difficult, but that's true no matter what your relationship to the person is. It gives your kids and your new partner a chance to get to know each other without the pressures of "Here's the person I'm considering spending the rest of my life with". If your kids are still having a hard time with the relationship ending, it also won't mean that your partner has to start out being judged against the kids' parents or automatically pushed out to avoid being hurt again. Sometimes kids will lash out against a new partner because they want their parents to get back together. Introducing a person as "This is my new partner", there are a lot of reasons that the kids will never give the person a fair chance.


I don't know if this is actually a good idea or not- it just feels safer to me.


Make sure that you know your children well. The boyfriend of my mom's who I most loathed, she thought I most liked. (I found this out after things fell apart) If things hadn't fallen apart and she decided to move in with/marry him, she would have suddenly been shocked to be dealing with a VERY difficult child. I could barely stand dinners with the man, living with him? No way.

post #3 of 6

for me there was just a point where I didn't want to go any further along in the relationship without having those 2 parts of my life meet each other. Like I didn't want to keep dating this person if he didn't fit in with my kids. I think it was after about 3 mo of seeing each other several times per week and it was definitely getting serious. The first meetings were very casual.

post #4 of 6

Very much against "just friends" -- first because it's lying and second because unless the kids are really dim, they'll come to suspect every "friend" is a boyfriend.

I'd do it this way: If you're actually good at choosing men, and the relationship is likely to be stable, then give it a good six months first, if not longer. If you're not so good at choosing men? Honestly...unless you're seriously considering marriage, and not in an impulsive way, "never" may not be a bad idea. If you're in the second category, the odds that the relationship will fall apart are very good, and there's no reason to drag your children through that.

I've been involved with two men seriously since my divorce several years ago. The first man never met my daughter, and a damn good thing too, because he killed himself. The second man...well, what a trainwreck. I had him here twice for extended visits; the first was fine, the second, not fine, and it's clear that it has an effect on my daughter.

post #5 of 6

i am struggling with this. My exdh is being super controlling in this regard. I let the cat out of the bag that i was dating someone new this week, of course it wasn't a surprise because he has been hounding me about it since the day he got back from his out of country trip. Now he is thoroughly going bananas. I am literally at a breaking point. Last night he informed me that if i don't sign a written statement i won't introduce my dating partner to the kids for 6 months he is going to stop paying me support on time and not take the kids anytime i want. Since we don't have set schedule we pretty much will switch off on the weekends if one of us has plans etc. So....I tell my new DP these things and tell him that all this pressure is clouding my judgment on dating. It really hurt him. But it is the truth. How in the heck can I make rational decisions when My exdh is threatening me? My new bf is pretty understanding though not happy that my ex is pretty much controling our dating life, but I am mad as heck! I was not planning on introducing my kids to any new dp for months anyway and 6 months was fine by me, but it is my exdh's constant authoritarian role that makes me mad. I know this is slightly off topic but I am in a very low place right now. exdh is mad, dp is upset and I just wish I could run away and never return. exdh is essentially blackmailing me and I am at my last straw here.

post #6 of 6

This is crazy. You need a court order. You're split, he doesn't get to dictate what you do datingwise, and you don't get to dictate what he does. And he certainly doesn't get to threaten withholding c/s or playing games with visitation.

Don't allow him to control you, but do pay attention to his concerns. Offer to meet with a mediator, where he can (a) learn what 'controlling' means and why it's not okay; (b) air his concerns; (c) give you a chance to respond in a sane and adult manner, and -- if you can -- hammer out some sort of informal agreement that works for both of you for now. Informal, because things change, and that's something both of you are going to have to get used to.

Personally, I think it's a real mistake to introduce SOs early, and yes, it can damage kids. But your ex's behavior is totally out of bounds on this one. Take control.


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