30 April 2013

Introducing Your New Partner to Your Kids.

Some of you have noticed that there has been no reference to the man who was my lovely man lately.

Unfortunately, we've had to part company, because of reasons that are beyond both of our control. We're both devastated and we don't know if this situation is a permanent one, but for now, we have no choice.

I regret that we never dated properly. We settled straight into domestic bliss - with him being my lodger and us being friends beforehand for quite a while.  He and the children already knew each other and things were really easy between us all from the off.

I haven't been able to bring myself to write about it because it's too heartbreaking.  Suffice to say , I used to think that things were too good to be true and, perhaps, they were, because something has come up and his commitments to his children have to presently take precedence, despite them all being adults.

Me having young children is one thing - I don't think I could have coped if his were school age too.  The hell that I went through with my ex-husband and his kids split him from the rest of his family as well as them, so it's not something to be taken on lightly.  It was nothing short of a rigmarole, full of heartache and has left scars, so I'd never planned on having a boyfriend until he landed in my lap, so to speak!

Getting involved with anyone who has younger children is less likely at my age anyhow, but not impossible, so when I was contacted by a company who wanted to do a feature about dating, this was the subject I asked them to talk about and they actually give some cracking advice:

Featured Post. 
When you’re in a new relationship there comes a time when you ask yourself, is this romance going
somewhere or is it just a bit of fun? Once you realise you really have met someone special and you
see a future as a couple, it’s a great feeling but it can also leave you somewhat anxious.

You may start to wonder: will things work out long term? Do they feel the same way? And, most
importantly, does this mean I have to introduce him or her to the kids?


Image courtesy flickr.

It can be difficult enough to make that decision to start dating again but more questions lie ahead.
Deciding to introduce a new partner to your children is certainly a milestone in your relationship, but knowing how and when to do it is something that you need to handle with tact and care. The last thing you want is to cause problems between you and your partner, or you and your children.

Here are some things you need to consider:

Timing.  In an ideal world, you should not introduce a new partner until the dust of your former relationship breakdown has settled. Your children will need time to accept that your relationship with their other parent is over – this may take some time.

Activity.  If the time is right, try and make that first meeting as low-key as possible. Avoid dramatic reveals or involved heart-to-hearts on the first meeting – this is not fair on your children or your partner.  Instead try something fun like a night ten-pin bowling or a day out at the farm.


Image courtesy flickr.

A low-key activity gives everyone the chance to meet each other without too much pressure. After
this first meeting, allow a bit of time to pass before you arrange another. During this time your
children can organise their thoughts and you can answer any questions or concerns they might have.

Sensitivity.  Remember you have nothing to feel guilty about. Just because you’re a single parent, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy some romance in your life. However, you do need to be sensitive about it.

If you've been single for a while, your children may be used to your undivided attention and fear that they’re losing you. Reassure them that you love them and that your relationship with them will not change just because you have a new partner.

Be pragmatic.  We all dream that things will go smoothly. Unfortunately there is no guarantee your children will feel the same way about your partner as you do – nor that your partner will click with your children.  Take things slowly and be prepared for hiccups along the way.

Be honest.  The best way to alienate your children is to make them feel they’re being kept in the dark about your plans. Discuss your relationship with them and signpost your plans clearly before making them happen. Make decisions together and be prepared to take things one step at a time.

Above all, forget those fairy tales! Stepfamilies do work but you need to work at them. Keep talking, keep loving and keep happy. You deserve it.

If you’re still looking for that special someone, you can find out how online dating can help you
meet like-minded people at e-harmony.

30 comments:

  1. I'm really sorry, I hope it's something that can resolve itself and work out for both of you. Sometimes a break is needed to get back together better and stronger than before. Sending you good wishes xxxx

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  2. So sorry to hear your news. Still, rice, peas and pesto can be back on the menu!

    Don't mean to make light of it! Hang on in there xx

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    1. You're so right - yay! Nice to see you here Julia. Thank you for your kind words xx

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  3. Sorry to hear your news, hope you're ok xx p.s. good advice btw.

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    1. Hiya, am OK thank you and yes, brilliant advice (which I secretly hope neither you or I will ever have to use!;))

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  4. It's tough when things work out this way, but perhaps your relationship will mend? Also sending you good wishes.

    And about introducing partners to kids--I dated several guys without my daughter having even the vaguest idea I was dating! I don't think it would have been bad, but I just felt perhaps it was less complicated. For me.

    xx

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    1. Thank you Michelle - get you! 'Several guys!' I think that is the easiest course of action all round. Glad you got your happy ending though :)

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  5. Really sorry to hear things haven't worked out.

    This is really useful advice though, having seen a few kids who've been through this and have come out very confused and mixed-up, it's made me realise that its not something that should be rushed or taken lightly.

    I'm sure it will be useful to those in that position x

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    1. Thank you Liz and the advice is simple yet makes so much sense. I love the 'no big reveal' bit particularly :)

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  6. I know how hard the past few months have been for you but it's good to see you healing yourself x

    Love the tips - totally agree with the 'not making a big deal out of a first meeting' one !

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    1. You've been a great friend Annie, thank you. Yes, I agree :)

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  7. So sorry to hear about that. It sounds like rotten stinking luck. Fingers crossed for a happy ending. xx

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  8. I'm so very grieved for you, my dear. You are going through hard times.

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    1. I am well over the worst Anna and fine generally, thank you. I'm grateful for all the good in my life :)

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  9. Keeping fingers crossed that things do work out somewhere along the line for you guys. I know you're still hurting about it now so it's brave of you to share and to offer advice to others. Take care Anya xxx

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    1. Thank you Michelle - so kind of you when you're on such an adventure yourself! You take extra good care missus xx

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  10. Sorry to hear that lovely. But don't give up, hang on in there xx

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  11. I'm so sorry things didn't work out for you both. Maybe in the future you might be able to be together again? Hope so x

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  12. Hey lovely, hopefully just getting this out there on the blog is a step towards finding some respite from the pain of splitting up with someone special. And as I know from personal experience, if it's meant to be, it will come right - that's what happened for me and my husband, Just give it space and time xxx

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    1. That's interesting Luci, thank you very much xx

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  13. I have just caught up with the whole story... I am so sorry to read this, Anya. :o( My heart goes out to you and I do hope this situation is only temporary.
    I was lucky that my children accepted Sexy Hubby - well, boyfriend back then - from the first moment they met him. He does not have any children so I guess it made everything easier too.
    Sending hugs. xx

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    1. Thank you K - so glad it's worked out for you all. Time will tell :) xx

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  14. Oh I am sorry to hear this and hope it all works out.

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    1. You're so kind Joy, thank you. I can't think of you without hearing 'Mother of four sons!' on the end of your name! I'm sure it's all for a reason and that the right thing will happen :)

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  15. I am really in agreement with Luci.... You just never know what's around the corner - hang in there, if it's meant to be, it will be. Also, some very good advise in those tips, especially the one about the first meeting. (I'm always here if you need me :o) ). XXX

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    1. Whatever or whoever it is will be the best thing in the long run - these things normally have a purpose behind them, as you say. Thank you and thank you :) xx

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