Even though you may have sworn that you’d never date again after going through a messy divorce, the odds are that you won’t be single forever. If you already have children from your previous marriage or relationship then you’re probably going to be wondering when, and how, is the best way to introduce them to your new partner. This answer can change based on many factors, so here are a few different things to consider before making that leap.
How Long Has It Been?
If you’re recently divorced and have already found yourself in a new relationship with a partner that you feel you’re compatible with you might be considering making the introductions now. Don’t. Not because this new person isn’t amazing and not because it’s likely that this is just a rebound relationship. Don’t do it because that may be the fastest way to send this relationship on a downward spiral and complicate things for your children as well. Even though the divorce is finalized and you and your ex have severed all romantic ties, the odds are that your children are still hoping that Mom and Dad will make up and get back together. Introducing a new love interest to them too early is going to cause emotional stress on them, which in turn will lead to stress for both yourself and your new partner.
Are They Good for You, or You and Your Family?
It’s easy to have tunnel vision when entering into a new relationship. You may find yourself falling for someone who is the polar opposite of your ex. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is pivotal that you take the time to consider whether or not this person is a good fit for your children as well. In most relationships you take things slow in the beginning and save the tough questions for down the road. Once there are children involved that’s no longer an option. You have to consider from the beginning whether or not this person is stepparent material and how they will handle the fact that your ex will probably always be in your life.
Keep It Simple
When you have decided that it’s time for the introduction to take place do yourself a favor and keep it simple. Planning an extravagant weekend together at the very beginning will most likely result in bad feelings all around. Realize that your child is going to need time to get used to the idea of their parent having a new partner. Keep the first few visits brief and casual. Also, remember that it may take some time for your child to warm up to the idea so it’s probably wise to keep the public displays of affection to a minimum.
Having your children get along with your new partner is imperative if you want to have a happy home. Take it slowly, make sure this person is going to be a part of your life for a long time, and let your children warm up to them on their time. Slow and steady wins the race.