If you’re a single parent or dating one, the question, “When should we introduce the kids?”, is an important one.
A client once told me, “I don’t introduce anyone to my children until I’ve been dating them for at least a year”.
While I understood she didn’t want her kids to meet a revolving door of men, I told her I didn’t think that was the right strategy.
So, when should you meet the kids when you’re dating someone new?
Each situation is different, but you shouldn’t wait a year or even six months. Why?
Here’s a personal story that’ll show you why you might want to introduce the kids sooner rather than later.
Years ago, when I was a single mom…
I met a sexy Spaniard; I’ll call him “Miguel”. He was handsome, fun, he had a good job, he was a total gentleman, and I loved his family. Miguel treated me like a princess. We also had great chemistry – I got excited whenever I saw him.
After a month, we decided to date exclusively. When we went out (or stayed in), we sometimes included my three year-old son on our dates. The three of us spent a good deal of time of together.
As time passed, I noticed Miguel wasn’t connecting with my son. He didn’t play with him or seem to enjoy spending time with him. I also realized his relationship with his own teenagers wasn’t very good.
So even though Miguel and I were having a blast together (we had just gotten back from a romantic trip to Miami), I ended our three month relationship.
Yes, I ended a relationship with a gorgeous, gainfully employed sweet man who treated me beautifully and had a great family.
Because I knew he wasn’t a good fit for my son. And that meant he wasn’t a fit for me.
When I ended things, Miguel was upset. He told me he’d get to know my son better and he’d try harder. That was very sweet, but I knew this wasn’t something that would change. Miguel was an awesome guy with so much to offer, but kids just weren’t his thing. It was definitely time for me to move on.
What if I had waited six months or a year to introduce him to my son?
I would have wasted a ton of time on the wrong person (it wouldn’t have worked out in the end).
I was ready to find “the one”, and I knew exactly what my deal breakers were. In fact, before I met Miguel, I had written them down.
Do you want to know the best part of this story?
Because I had the insight and courage to move on, just two weeks after I broke up with Miguel, I was in the right place at the right time and met my future husband!
I didn’t waste a minute of my time on the wrong person. And you shouldn’t either.
Make sure you have a list of deal breakers. These should be value-based and impact your happiness (not things like height, hair color, education, job or location – they don’t really matter).
And when kids are involved, use your best judgment. Should you introduce your kids to everyone you meet? Of course not! But once you decide to focus on someone you feel has real potential, I recommend you include your kids in the equation so you can see if everyone’s a fit. After all, a family is a package deal.
And if you want to have kids someday and you’re dating a single parent, you’ll get a preview of the kind of parent he or she will be.
Spending time together with the kids is a great opportunity to learn more about the person you’re dating.
Not everyone will agree with my recommendation and that’s okay. Kids, divorce and dating can get complicated and every situation is different. But this IS food for thought. And I wanted to share my story with you.
Wishing you so much happiness and success on your dating journey!