If the other person has children as well, it might be wise to orchestrate early get-togethers with just one set of children. But you also need—and here’s where single parents fall short—a silhouette of the type of family you are hoping to create.
Instead, make opportunities for them to get to know each other, but don’t force it. At first reference your date as “a friend” or if your kids are prepared, call them your “date.” Casual introductions are fine when you start dating someone, but don’t proactively put your kids and the person together until you are pretty sure there are real possibilities for the relationship.
Soft invitations such as, “Roger will be having dinner with me on Saturday. Children of all ages, young to old, benefit when a parent says, “I can see that the idea of my dating scares you. and probably don’t want any more changes to our family. I appreciate your being honest with me.” Use phrases like “this scares you,” “you’re afraid that our family won’t be the same,” or “you don’t want to have to change schools or leave your friends.” This type of response validates the child’s fears. If you fall in love don’t abandon your kids by spending all of your free time with your newfound love. This is especially true for children under the age of five, who can bond to someone you are dating more quickly than you can.
Make sure to only make introductions with your kids if you have confidence in your relationship with your new partner, as to not have your kids meet someone new only to see them go away in a matter of weeks or less.
Whether or not they already know, think about how you expect your child to receive this new partner once they meet them.
This year I came home four times from college and he was in town every single time.
After I went back to campus each time Mom said, ‘I never get to see you!
If you and the other parent are still transitioning your kids into the new parenting schedule, you may want to wait until you notice that your kids are comfortable with the new routine.
Introducing new things one step at a time will help your kids not to feel overwhelmed by all of the changes, so consider that as you make the decision about when you introduce your new partner to your kids.
The first rule of thumb when dating after divorce is to keep your children's needs at the forefront of all decisions you make.