Introducing Boyfriend

Updated on December 22, 2009
S.L. asks from Beech Grove, IN
9 answers

I have been dating my boyfriend for about 5 months now and as we move closer to introducing each other to our children, I wanted some advice on how to do a proper introduction. I have been a single mom since the beginning, and Matthew is 7 now, almost 8. His dad has never been involved and he has only known one other guy that has been with me, who he has not seen since he was 4 yrs old. I am very protective of him when it comes to me dating and don't feel like anyone should date someone AND their kids; he doesn't need introduced to that unless the relationship is going somewhere. My boyfriend is divorced with 2 kids of his own, an 8yr old and a 5yr old who I've not met yet either.

He seems very standoffish about meeting my beau. Says things are just fine the way they are and why can't it be just me him and the dog? I'm nto sure what the best way way to make the introduction should be; at home? Not at home so it isn't on his "turf"? Do I let him meet both my boyfriend and his children, like we all do a group thing at once or should I meet his kids first and then he meet my son and then we all do something together? I am new to this and don't know what I should do. Some suggestions from those who have some experience with this would be very helpful!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

I've never gone through this, but I do come from a divorced family, so I know the affects of this type of situation from a child's perspective. I think 5 months is a decent amount of time, but if you can wait longer, I would wait. The main reason is because if your son meets him, ends up liking him, and you guys break up, it's going to really affect him. It makes you end up feeling like you can't give out your heart because in the end, that person may leave. So if you break up, and down the road you really DO find someone that you are going to marry and be with forever, your son will have major issues with him because he's going to treat him as if he's leaving soon anyway. My mother had a couple of boyfriends after the divorce, (I was around 8 or 9 I think, but my mind has blocked a lot of it out because of the devastation I felt), anyway, I really liked one of them, and it was her first boyfriend. I thought that since she brought him home and introduced us, and then he kept coming around, it meant that he was going to be staying with us. Well, we were wrong, and then when she met my stepdad, I was 14. I HATED him. It took YEARS for me to like him because he wasn't going away like her other boyfriends had.

Not having your parents together is hard enough. At any event in his life he's going to feel pulled as to who he is talking to. When his kids have games or music programs, he'll feel bad about who he's sitting by. At my wedding my dad wouldn't come see me beforehand because my mom was in the room, and I couldn't (and wouldn't) very well kick my own mother out, so I talked to him for the first time at the doorway of the sanctuary when it was time to walk down the aisle. Talk about a special moment....but that's what happens when you come from a divorced family sometimes, the parents tend to be more selfish with their own needs.

I wanted to tell you all of this because I think that divorced parents, or ones who were never married also, tend to not think about long term effects on their children. They tend to think about right now and what's the best way to do something at that moment. But many of the real effects come much later. I don't even remember very much of the days when my parents split and my mom brought home boyfriends except just maybe a few things, but it's much harder now having parents that don't get along and having 2 kids in sports because you feel guilty that if you're talking with one, the other one is by themselves and may think you are closer to the other one. Sounds nuts maybe, but it's the lasting psychological effect of divorce.....guilt guilt guilt

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kokomo on

I introduced my boyfriend to my daughter sooner than I expected. Her dad and I were trying to have a good divorced relationship for her sake and then he texted me something totall inappropriate. I then told my mom that I needed one more ticket for her dance recital. I have had a few boyfriends since her dad and I split but she never met any of them. When she met Ryan she took to him right away. I was nervous about her meeting him since she never net anyone else I dated but now she says she loves him. They only met in June. I would just see how things play out for now. If you arent 100% sure about them meeting then I would wait a little bit longer.



answers from Indianapolis on

Ideally it would be great to have you meet his children and he meet your child separately at a family type outing, however you have all ready indicated your child is not interested and feels it should remain you, him and the dog.
I don't know about his children and how they feel about daddy dating someone. Your child is resistant to the idea of sharing you or having someone else influence his time with you.
I would then suggest your child meeting him at a family type outting situation where the children of the man you are dating are also present. Maybe the interaction with other children doing something fun will lighten the strain for all of you. Like dinner at a Chucky Cheese type place.



answers from Cleveland on

And, what happens if the kids don't like him or vice versa? Do you put the boyfriend on hold? Put the kids on hold? Steve Harvey, in his book, Act Like a Lady and Think Like a Man, suggested that the children be introduced to the potential mate from the beginning, in natural settings, so that Mom (that's me) can ascertain whether there is a good match. They guy may not be good with kids and the Mom may want to rethink getting involved with him from the beginning, not after she and he have developed feelings for each other.

Good luck to you. Being a single mom is not easy. I know, I am single with 3 kids!



answers from Indianapolis on

Diffently someplace neutral like Chuckie Cheese. You both come separately with your kids & meet there at a specific time to just "happen to meet" each other. Say hi & maybe even hug each other like friends. Hopefully, it will be busy engouh that you will have to share a table. And if your boy has a hissy-fit; tell him in no uncertain terms that mommy needs someone special in her life other than him. A grown-up to help with what grow-ups have to deal with everyday; not a 7 almost 8 year old. Besides, he would have someone to play with as well. Remember your the parent. Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

This is definately a sensitive subject! Your son is already apprehensive about so Id be extra extra sensitive. I was a single mom for a LONG time so I totally get where you're coming from. First I would think about where your relationship is going. If you and your boyfriend arent sure this is going to be long term, or permanent Id think long and hard about introducing the kids. Im sure your son already feels a void that his father has left, wether he talks about it or not. So getting him possibly attached to someone who may walk out of his life for any reason in the future may leave him bitter, and feeling abandoned. Although you want to include your kids in your relationship, I think it's better to do that at a minimum or not at all until you know it is long term. Its SOOO hard dating when you're a parent, its more of a job lol. But if it's right, you'll know. And when that time comes, go slow. And make it not about "meeting the new man in your life" its meeting a new "friend, and maybe having his kids there would make it less awkward. But talk to your son too, make it him feel like he has a say. He already feels like he's the "man" your life!! Good Luck!!



answers from Indianapolis on

You're SMART in taking it slow and being protective. I've seen first hand, a friend get involved WAY too quickly with the kids and then get taken advantage of, get attached to the kids and it's not worked out. As hard on the kids as anyone. TAKE IT SLOW!

How about meeting at an ice cream shop or something non-threatening, like that? Introduce him as your friend (as he should be FIRST, anyway). Take it from there. Don't feel like you have to address him as your boyfriend right away. He should understand that you need friends like he does and that having a friend does not (SHOULD NOT) take priority over him.

I might even do that several times, depending on how he reacts, etc. Meet at a park, ice cream store, some place where you might "run into him", etc. You'll certainly be able to get a feel for how he feels about him and the situation. TALK about it! Ask about his feelings, but don't be pushy about it. Ask things like, "Did you have a good time?" NOT...."So, how did you like HIM?"

When you start talking about HIM, talk about what you like.....I like his sense of humor, I enjoy his appreciation of nature, I appreciate his honesty and integrity, etc. This will help him understand WHY you like him and that these values ARE important to you.

I talk all the time about values and character and how important those are in choosing friends and mates. What's on the INSIDE is far more important than what's on the outside.

When it comes to meeting his kids, do the same thing. Don't force it on them. Meet at a neutral place and go from there. When EVERYONE has gotten comfortable with that, then all of you go bowling or something FUN, NOT at either house.

Regardless, remind them how VERY important they are to you and that no one will ever take their place. Grown ups just need to have grown up friends they can talk and relate to, just like kids do.



answers from Cleveland on

Hey S.
I wouldnt introduce them unless you and your boyfriend are serioulsy talking about getting married...
Your son already seems hesitant about meeting him, so I wouldn't force it. 5 months isn't a long time to be dating anyway, and to bring your son and your boyfriend's children into the picture may just complicate things even more. No rush, take your time and get to know him more yourself. If you decide to break it off, your kids won't be involved in the first place and it'll be easier.

God Bless



answers from Evansville on

I raised 3 children without their fathers basically. In looking back, they are 37, 19 and 17, I would get your beau's outlook on all of it first. If he is not ready to meet your number 1 man, I wouldn't push it. As for your son, kids are so very adaptable and you can understand why he doesn't want the threat of change. But when you are older, and even now, he is not the one who will fulfull your need and desire for normal male companionship. Believe me kids are smart and bounce back when thrown a curve. Enjoy your relationship and don't worry about the know your child, and you sound very responsible about will come to you. Guess I'm trying to say....don't rush anything if your beau is a little hesitant. Good luck S. and be natural. I'm sure you will get lots of good advice.

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