If you’ve met someone new and feel ready for things to move to the next level, it might be time to think about introducing them to your children. As with many situations which occur after divorce, introducing a new partner to your kids brings with it a specific set of challenges to prepare for.
Being mindful of the following points could help you along the way.
Make sure you’re ready
Before introducing your new love to your children, stop and take stock. Are you sure this new relationship will be long term? Do you want this person to be part of your family? You may also need to discuss this with your partner first. Are they ready to play an active part in your children’s lives?
Your children may still be smarting from the break-up and it’s important to give them time to get used to their parents being apart. Introducing a new partner can raise all sorts of fears and anxieties and, if it’s too soon, they’ll be less likely to accept the new situation.
Make room for everyone
While your children’s happiness should come first, if your new relationship is serious, your partner will have a place in your life too. Talk to them about how they feel about becoming part of your children’s lives.
If they have children of their own, they will also need time and support to get used to the new situation. When families come together, it can be a wonderful thing but there will always be a period of readjustment.
Be sure about your partner
Has your partner shown enthusiasm about meeting your children? Do they want children of their own or would they like to have them in their life? When you first meet someone through friends or websites such as eHarmony.co.uk, the subject of kids may not come up straight away. However, as the relationship gets more serious, it’s advisable to ensure that you’re both on the same page.
Keep it simple
For the first meeting, try to keep things casual. You can’t force anyone to like anyone else, and it’s best to keep things relaxed.
An outing to the park, or a group setting with friends will take the pressure off and allow your new partner and your children to get to know each other.
Try not to show too much physical affection to your new partner during the first meeting. Give your kids a chance to get used to them first.
Dating after a divorce can be tricky but as things get more serious, there are plenty of ways to make things comfortable for everyone. Make sure it’s love, go slow and your children will see how happy your new partner has made you and they’ll want to accept them too.