Dating after your Maryland divorce can be a difficult transition. How do you manage your child custody responsibilities while attempting to meet someone new? In addition, how should you introduce your new beau to your children? Experts weigh in on the right way to bring a new partner into your family.
It is most important to remember that you do not have to bring home every person you date. If you do this, in fact, your children will likely become confused and even start feeling abandoned as a string of parental figures come and go in their lives. If you can, go on dates during periods when your ex-spouse is in charge of childcare and custody. You can avoid intrusive questions from the kids and enjoy more privacy.
If you have discussed long-term possibilities and you are ready to take your relationship to the next level, it is time to introduce your beau to your children. A casual meeting is best for the first encounter. Have a picnic lunch in the park or go to the zoo. You want to gradually increase the amount of time your kids are spending with your new partner rather than expecting a full immersion.
Explain to your children that you know this new person cannot take the place of their other parent, but you expect them to show respect. It may take some time for your kids to warm up to the new beau. Experts say that most kids secretly harbor the hope that their parents will get back together, and a boyfriend or girlfriend will shatter that perception. Be kind, compassionate and honest with your children through this transition.
As a single parent, you will have to define your new relationship goals much faster than a childless dater. If you are having difficulty with the introduction of your new beau, consult your divorce team, which should consist of an attorney, financial planner and mental health professional. This team can help get you back on your feet in all ways after a breakup.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, “When (and How) to introduce your new beau to your kids” Marni Battista, Aug. 05, 2013