3 Tips For Single Parent Dating
By: Dr. Aesha
I just got a question in my “Ask Dr. Aesha” mailbag. It’s from a single dad who is back on the dating scene after a divorce. He asked:
“I have 3 kids (I’m divorced) and I’m dating someone with no kids. When is the appropriate time to introduce the kids to her? We’ve been dating for 2 months, and it’s definitely too soon now, but we are getting serious about each other.”
~Single Dad Dating
This is a fantastic question because many of my clients are dating after divorce or a long relationship and want to know how to date when they have kids.
I’ve put together 3 questions for you to consider before you introduce your new partner to your kids:
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 it.
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 she treats your kids and how she gets along with them, whether you want to or not.
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 suggestion, then, 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.
Thanks for sending in your question!
Are you a single parent dating? Tell me, what’s your greatest challenge?