If you are a single parent, and have taken the plunge into the dating world again, there will come a time when you need to introduce your new partner to your children. This is a potentially tricky situation for a number of reasons. However, if you have jumped into single parent dating and have met somebody new, then there are some steps you can take to make sure the process of your children and your new partner meeting runs smoothly.
Make sure your children are ready
When you are single parent, your primary concern should be for your children. While your divorce or separation will have been a big step for you, it is equally, if not more, life changing for your children. It is your responsibility to make sure that introducing a new partner into their life is as stress-free as possible. You must make sure they have accepted your separation from their other parent first before you attempt to introduce a new person into their lives.
Often parents who are looking to move on too quickly, don’t take into consideration how their children will feel about another individual around, where they feel their mother or father should be. This is all very dependent on the age of the children in the relationship, generally, the older they are the more consideration you should have. It can often be as simple as a sit down with them to discuss your feelings about the separation, gaining their understanding is of utmost importance.
Think about the introduction stage carefully. Don't just dive into this phase freely without thought. Plan the best time for you children to meet your new partner and make your decision wisely. Try to make it a time when everyone is relaxed at the least stressful part of the day. If you have met your new partner on one of the online dating sites in the UK such as adults.co.uk, you can contact them online to plan this. However it’s often better to discuss this over a couple of dates in the build up to the big meet. That way you’re both relaxed and can plan together, which will only strengthen your communication skills.
Talk to your new partner
Your new partner's opinions are important, and dating etiquette requires you to consider this. Not only do you need to make sure that you and your children are ready for the meeting stage, you must also make sure that your new partner is ready to meet them and is prepared for all that this entails. Good communication is a key element of dating as a single parent to make sure you are both comfortable with each stage of your relationship.
Make sure that your partner is aware of your situation early on, if you withhold information about having children then he may feel a level of betrayal that’s difficult to mend.
Meet on neutral grounds
It can be helpful for your new partner to meet your children on neutral ground. If they meet your partner in your new partner's home, your children may feel uncomfortable. Similarly, if you meet in your home, your partner may feel at a disadvantage and as though they are invading on family territory. Therefore, neutral territory is the better option. Try to think of a place where your children can have fun and everyone can feel relaxed.
A great example would be a day out that appeals to both adults and kids, somewhere like the sea life centre or a day at a theme park allows for equal measure of time spent all together and the children the time to do their own thing. It’s paramount that you are able to keep everyone relaxed and provide an atmosphere to not only get to know each other but have fun doing so.
Although it may not always be easy, introducing your children to your new partner an important step to take. By following these steps, you should find introducing your new partner to your children a whole lot easier.
David is a regular writer for the online dating site Adults.co.uk blog, he has 5 years of experience working for some of the biggest dating sites in the uk, with interests in analytical study of dating site member behaviours and loves to dish out tips based on information he gathers.