Are you a single dad who has met someone after divorce? You’re probably contemplating whether or not to introduce your new love interest to your kids.
Starting a new relationship is indeed exciting, but it usually comes at cost. Fathers fear their children’s reaction to their new relationship. Timing is everything in this situation. Often, kids still hold on to the idea that their parents will eventually reunite in the future. So, it may take them time to accept a new person in their dad’s life.
If you’re wondering when, how and where to tell your kids about your new partner, it’s important to consider these factors:
- How old are your kids? Their age and maturity level are fundamental factors. In most cases, older children are more possessive about their parents. Your older children could find it more difficult to accept a new woman in your life. They may feel that you will have less time for them. On the other hand, the younger ones can bond quickly.
While having this conversation with your kids is important, it’s also important to consider their age.
- Before you tell your children about your girlfriend, make sure you ask her how she feels about meeting them. Be honest and realistic with her. Tell her why you want her to meet your family. If she isn’t comfortable with meeting them, don’t force her. Do not rush things and let your relationship progress naturally. It’s important for both of you to be on the same page.
- Talk to your kids alone. Tell them about your new partner and how you would like them to meet her. Explain how she will fit into your family. Most importantly, let them know that they always be your priority and that your relationship won’t change. Ask them if they have any concerns, questions or feelings to share with you.
Keep the first meeting short and casual. It’s best to have lunch at a restaurant. Give your kids the chance to get to know your new girlfriend. Don’t push them to converse with her. With time, you can invite your new partner on some outings with your kids again. That said, make sure you continue spending time alone with your kids as much as possible.
While it’s perfectly normal to start a new relationship after divorce, it’s important to consider your level of commitment to your new partner. If you’re not seeking long-term companionship then don’t introduce your children to your new girlfriend.
For more information on divorce, legal separation and family law for men in San Diego, check out Men’s Legal Center’s educational resources.