Come from a place of respect and compassion and respect the differences in your partner
This is a subject that requires some prudence and delicacy. There are no hard and fast rules. The variables are many. I know of cases where it has been soon after a break-up and I know others who have been dating for many years while still not introducing the children to the “new” man.
So, what are the important considerations here? Well, the most important is the children’s well being. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
- How well adjusted are the children to the separation?
- How settled do they feel in their current circumstances?
- Have they had sufficient time to adjust to Mum and Dad not living together?
For many children, they will resist a new date and make it difficult for Mum or Dad to see someone new. If this is the case, it is kinder and more respectful to their world, to take it very slowly. It might be that you let them know that you are seeing someone but that you do not intend to bring this new person into the family, at least for an undefined period of time.
It could depend on the ages of the children. After all, the children don’t need to know everything and may be more comfortable accepting that Mum goes out with a “friend” from time to time and not need to know more than that.
Then again, if you are committed to having a long-term life partnership with this new person, it could be that you help the children adjust to this idea and gradually respectfully in incremental stages, expose them to this new person.
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