Dating After Divorce: 5 Tips For Introducing Your New Boyfriend To Your Children

Finding yourself in a new relationship after a divorce is inevitable for most people. Eventually, someone will spark your interest, and you will find yourself wanting to ease him into your family. After being a single mother for months or even years, introducing your children to your new boyfriend may be exciting and nerve wrecking. If you don't introduce him the right way, your children may not respond well. Here are some tips for introducing your boyfriend to your children after a divorce.

Don't Introduce Too Soon

One of the biggest mistakes that women make when introducing the new boyfriend is doing it too quickly. Even if your children's father is very active in their lives, a divorce may have left them feeling slightly abandoned. If you introduce your love interest too soon and things don't work out, your children may feel abandoned all over again. It's important not to introduce your children until you are certain that your relationship is going somewhere. Allowing your children to meet random dates may leave them confused.

Make Sure Your Boyfriend Is On Board

Does your boyfriend even want to meet your children yet? He may not be ready to turn your one-on-one relationship into a family dynamic. If he isn't, that doesn't mean he never wants anything to do with them. He just may not feel like he's in the same place in your relationship as you are. If you introduce your children before your boyfriend is ready, he could wind up feeling overwhelmed and suffocated. If he's not 100% on board with the idea, wait until he is.

Don't Have Any Expectations

Children are unpredictable. Your most understanding child could freak out and your most emotional child could be thrilled when meeting your boyfriend. You never really know how it will go until the time comes. You children could be 100% on board before the meeting, and then change their minds the moment that they meet him. They are used to seeing you with their father, and seeing you with a new man may spark a lot of emotions.

 Don't Expect A Father/Child Relationship

You may want your potential new husband to read your children bedtime stories, give them piggy back rides, and kiss them goodnight, but you can't expect that to happen. Your boyfriend is as uncomfortable around your kids as they are around him and they need to take time to get to know each other. Just being a positive influence in the household is enough in the beginning. Your children could resent him for trying to act like their father even if he tried. It's important to ease your boyfriend into the family and take cues from your children to follow their lead.

Don't Move Him In Too Soon After Introducing

This means don't have him over to the house every day either. If your children are indifferent, that doesn't mean you should bring your boyfriend around constantly so they can get used to him. If your children are thrilled, it also isn't a sign your boyfriend should be over every day. Your kids may change their minds about liking him if he's suddenly attached to your hip. If they don't like him, they it may make them dislike him even more. Start with a weekly dinner. Once your children are comfortable with Friday night pizza nights with mom's new love interest, having him over a few times a week could be a positive thing. Save the overnights until your kids get to know him well and everyone is comfortable around each other.

A divorce isn't the death of your love life. It's the beginning of a new love life. Once you find someone else you could potentially spend the rest of your life with, it's important that your kids get to know him. It may not be love at first sight, but they'll eventually become comfortable with the idea. Seeing you with someone who isn't their father will take some getting used to. Indifference doesn't mean you need to scrap the boyfriend. Your children just need time to adjust. Eventually, things will become normal and a new marriage could be in your future.

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