I recommend introducing/meeting children only when both people believe the relationship has staying power and are in it for the long haul.” Here’s what I hope this woman, and anyone else reading this, understands. It will have a lasting impact on them even if you think otherwise.
My kids still remember my first long term relationship after my divorce.
For single dads in such a situation, how to blend the kids and the new girlfriend becomes a matter of risk versus reward.
Am I willing to place that very high bet on bringing my girlfriend and my kids together when I likely know where the cards will fall?
But what really got my attention from her note, and the motivation for this post, is how she started her email: “I can understand your need to want to meet his children as I think it may signal a level of commitment to you and the relationship, that you are ‘known,’ and he is interested, etc.
And while I can appreciate that, I would ask you to look at it from the children’s perspective.
Let a daughter see her dad shack up with one woman after the other and watch how that little girl turns out.
Let me sidebar for a moment to emphasize an earlier point made about the complications of single parenting and how a single dad must balance the expectations of his ex, his kids, and his girlfriend.
I receive lots of emails from women, many without children, asking questions about dating single dads.
The common problem is meeting his children – specifically, why won’t he let her meet them, why he avoids, or goes hot and cold, about meeting them, and similar.
And though they are justified to believe that meeting his kids is a sign of his affection and commitment, there are many times when that very thing, meeting his children, is the very worst idea.
I was reminded of this in a recent email from a woman who, like so many others, is dating a single dad who’s acting wishy-washy about introducing her to his kids.
Note how he assured her that the children and the mother know about her.