Parents Without Partners Dating Advice
Advice & Tips For When to Introduce Him or Her to the Kids
Dear April Masini,
I'm newly divorced and dating a great guy (at least he seems great after five dates). Things seem to be progressing so quickly - I'm excited but also wary. He has a daughter, and he wants me and my son to go to a movie with him and his daughter, but I'm not sure if it's too soon to introduce him to my son. I'm afraid my son will think I'm trying to replace his father. Do you have any advice for single parents who are back in the dating game?"
Divorced Mom Dating
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Divorced Mom Dating,
Go slowly. Don’t introduce anyone you haven’t been dating seriously (i.e.: mutually exclusively) for under six months, to your son. It’s okay to let your son know you’re dating. But let him know that this is grownup fun. Not a family affair. And stick to that.
If things do go well, and there comes an appropriate time to introduce Mr. Right to your son, keep in mind that you know you’re not replacing junior’s dad. No one will replace his dad. If you know that, it’ll be easier for your son and your boyfriend to ”get it.” You are (or may be), however, adding a lovely man to the mix, if in fact, at some point you decide to "add” him, to yours and your son’s life. Just because you’re divorced, doesn’t mean you’re broken. And neither is your son. (Read more advice on parents without partners)
A Few Things to Keep in Mind as a Single Parent Dating:
- You will never replace your child’s dad. Whether you’re in love or hate with your child’s father, he is your child’s dad. Don’t denigrate him. If you denigrate the dad, you denigrate the child. Allow your child, and yourself, the notion that his father will always be his father. Read Dating After Divorce for more tips and suggestions on dating as a divorcee.
- You may add a man to his life who is icing on the many layered cake. If you find happiness with another man, your child will be happy for you and for himself. If the child is jealous, it’s because they are afraid that you will be taken away from them by this new person. It’s a reasonable fear. And a good reason to go slow. Life changes, but usually for the good.
- You don’t have to feel guilty about adding a man to your life, and your child’s. Your child will take the good from the different adults in his life. This new man may add some wonderful assets to all of your lives. Relax. Having an extended family doesn’t mean yours was broken, and is now fixed. It’s just what it is. For some fun and unusual ideas for a fun date check out my book Ideas for a Fun Date.