Dating and new relationships can be complicated, but appropriately integrating children into a new relationship is even more of a challenge. From what I have observed, most people introduce the children to their dating partners far too soon after the new relationship begins.Whether this is because a primary parent does not have sufficient free time to date when the children are with the other parent, or it occurs because of the loneliness that many of us feel as single parents, kids usually get involved with their parents’ new partners way too soon.Can you imagine his experience finding her in bed with a strange man? When they become teenagers, how will you be able to teach them about responsibility and appropriate sexual activity if their childhood included a stream of your lovers that spent the night?If we focus on our children’s needs following a separation or divorce, we will hopefully slow down and keep our perspective as new relationships bloom.While it’s normal to seek solace, companionship, and a sexual relationship after a breakup, it’s crucial to take it slow so you can assess whether this relationship is casual or might be permanent.The number-one thing to keep in mind when deciding when to introduce a new partner to your kids is timing after your divorce. Even if both of you are in love and seem to have a lot in common, breakups are common and kids get caught in the crossfire.One of the biggest risks of introducing a new partner too early is that the relationship will end and the child will experience another loss.
Another important consideration when introducing your kids to a new love interest is their age.
Children bond easily, and may fantasize that the parent will marry the new partner.
After all, this is the model of relationship that the child knew before the divorce.
Children are a blessing at this time, keeping it “real” and helping us resist the adolescent urge to plunge head first into a new love that blots out all of the hurt from the failed marriage.
Enjoy your children, take your time before beginning a new relationship, and wait before you involve your kids in that new romance.