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How Long Should I Wait To Introduce My Kids To My New Boyfriend?

Submitted by 4 Comments

Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:

As a divorced mother of two boys, aged 11 and 16, I’ve been dating a JDater® for one month. He is a divorced father of a girl, age 11.

He has no problems including me in his programs with his daughter; he said he would tell her that we are friends, and maybe one day he will tell her that we are more than friends. However, I’m afraid of introducing him to my children, with whom I have a very trusting relationship. For me it is too early to involve my children in something that is still beginning. I’m afraid that the relationship will not improve, and what shall my children think/feel then?

Am I too concerned? Should I also “take it easy” and not make a big thing of a new beginning? (I’ve been separated for nine years, and just got my divorce and “get”).

Thank you very much for your opinion!

―Cautious Single Mom

 

Dear Cautious Single Mom:

Given that your kids are “older,” I don’t think introducing them to someone you are just beginning to date should be a problem ― all the more so given you have a “trusting” relationship with them. (Congratulations on that, by the way. That is a real credit and testament to you!) I think your instincts are right, though, to not overly involve them at this juncture.

The balance between being “easy going” and being a responsible, careful parent is a delicate one. It’s worth continuing to wrestle with, in this or any future relationship you have.

To your question, “What will my kids think if the relationship fails?” Well, they will think you dated someone, and it didn’t work out. And if/when that happens, you’ll be sad for a while, and you’ll get yourself up again and go back to dating. I think that’s great, healthy modeling for your kids. Their first relationship(s) aren’t going to last either, maybe they will have false starts for years, and they will know that there is nothing unusual about two people breaking up.

Here is a question back to you: Is it possible your cautiousness about introducing your kids to this guy might actually be a reflection of your own reservations or “desire to take it slow”? Given your formal divorce is only recent, you may need to be more cautious for your own sake ― and that’s OK too!

― The Matchmaker Rabbi

To ask the Matchmaker Rabbi a question, email her at myrabbi@jdate.com.

Need help writing your profile, or would you like a phone consultation for dating advice tailored to you? Drop the Matchmaker Rabbi a line at MatchMakerRabbi@aol.com to learn more about her pricing and services. You can also read Joysa’s blog on progressive Jewish topics and politics.
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4 Comments »

  • Wendy says:

    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 2 years now & he has 2 little girls of his own I have no kids & he has not introduced me to his kids yet I think its been enough time I just don’t understand why he doesn’t introduced me he talks to me about marriage yet I don’t understand how you can marry someone when you haven’t meet there kids after 2 years of being together does anybody know why???

  • Nan Chandler says:

    I agree with the Rabbi…. If the relationship is not long term then it should still seem normal to your kids to know that dating is dating and long term happens sometimes when both parties are ready,,, but dating is essential before “long term happens”. Also, if your children do not like him or do not like you dating, it is certainly better to find that out sooner than later and deal with it ASAP…not after you have a good thing going and then find ‘a fly in the ointment’ with upset kids… Also your children could really feel left out of the ‘mix’ of mom and her new man and his child,,, I say: Relax and let everyone meet and be normal together after you have 3 or 4 dates with just the 2 of you. Since you and your kids are very close they will appreciate being on the ‘ inside’ of mom’s new social life. Mom needs her social life just like the kids do… One more thing; not every person your kids meet at school become friends forever… And it is the same with Mom’s girlfriends and male friends,

  • C says:

    Where’s the romance and courtship? I think that you need more romance at the beginning stage of your relationship. Bringing children along on dates does not sound romantic. I don’t think that your date should have his children involved at this point either. You need more alone time getting to know more about each other and being lovey dovey. But it is important that your children meet this man. They may notice a characteristic that you haven’t yet. When bringing children along it’s like do you like the person or just the children. Also, you need to know if your children would be against any person you would date because they still want their father. This would not be a good scenario. It’s too early.

  • Dave says:

    At their age, a simple, formal introduction when he comes to pick you her for a date, for example, is not a problem. But involving him in their lives is not appropriate until there is a commitment from both of adults that it should be permanent. Just my opinion, based on my own experience of dating women with children.

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