Single parent dating is a lot of work. And then some.
It’s a tall order.
That is why the way you present him to your children is a critical part of your relationship.
It’s a unique experience for everyone. The idea of bringing a new person into the picture when you’re not sure just how long they will last is a scary thing. So the question was posed to internet users on Netmums for personal experiences. Take notes ladies, this is what 5 women had to say:
I may well get slated for this but my boyfriend met my boys (who were 3 and 6 (just) at the time) after a couple of months. It was sort of by accident though. The boys were with me and he stopped by to drop some things off. They didn't know who he was so I introduced him as a friend. They wanted him to play football then they asked him to stay for dinner. My boys loved him and asked if he could stay for a sleepover so a few weeks later, he did stay. They loved it! Next day they asked if he could be my boyfriend and that was that. That was nearly a year ago and I don't have any regrets but I can say that because we are still together. To be honest, there are no hard and fast rules but obviously you don't want a situation where you start relationships all the time and introduce everyone because you think they are 'the one' but just go with what feels right. The longer the better though!
There is a world of difference between having a guy pop over and possibly staying for dinner or going on a day out as a 'friend' compared to introducing someone as your boyfriend and have them stay overnight while the kids are there. I would be quite happy to do the first option after a couple of months of seeing someone but the second is much more serious and would be better when you are fairly certain the relationship is going to last. Even with the first option I would keep it fairly infrequent or the children will get used to him being around and therefore possibly cause upset if things don't work out.
I met a guy back in May, fell head over heels & after about 6 weeks he met my kids as a friend. Then I met his kids also as a friend. We didn’t kiss or hold hands or anything like that in front of any of them so we did appear as just friends. We broke up on weds, he isn’t ready for a relationship & I'm gutted. Not only for me & the fact I'll miss him but I grew extremely fond of his kids & I'm really upset about not seeing them again. So whatever you choose to do just be careful. I thought that this would be forever, but it isn't & it hurts like hell.
Go with what you feel is right- not what anyone else thinks. Some children are very sensitive others can have people in and out their lives without batting an eyelid and let’s face it even friends come and go - I've lost a few since splitting with my husband! I'm confused and devastated by recent events (current boyfriend has always thought he'd be fine with kids as he loves being with his friends' ones so this has upset him too) and almost wish I'd found out in the first few weeks as it would be far less upsetting for us grownups (again the kids are fine - they see him once every couple of weeks and think he's great!) As long as you aren't moving him in and getting them to call him dad after 2 weeks, I'm sure whatever you decide will be fine.
Ooh I'm going out on a limb here and saying I don't agree with my children meeting 'male friends' even genuine platonic ones. Just felt after I threw their dad out I didn't want them to see me interact with other men regardless of relationship. I introduced them to my current husband after I knew he wanted to marry me and vis versa because if it wasn't going to be forever then they might have needed to meet another man later down the line. For me it was only acceptable to make one mistake so the emotional upheaval of seeing mummy with someone other than daddy only ever happened once in their life. I also asked their permission to get married and told them I'd get rid of him if they didn't like him. Lucky it's worked out perfectly but if anything went wrong and we divorced I'd stay celibate till they'd left home.