Dating with Kids – When Should They Meet?

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Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Lori Pace

So you bit the bullet and started dating as a single mom. First of all, I want to say – good for you!

You’ve been spending time with someone you really seem to hit it off with, and the two of you decide to take your relationship to the next level and become a couple. Then comes the really daunting part – when do you tell your kids, and how do you tell them?

When to introduce him to the kids?

My first and most important tip on when they should meet – as soon as you are serious about this man. If you can’t potentially see him fitting into your and your kids’ life, there’s no reason to introduce them. Children need security and stability, and you might end up regretting this new guy of yours if he doesn’t suit your lifestyle.

Other signs to consider before you tell your kids:

  • Your kids understand their father’s position in their lives (whatever that may be).
  • People start noticing changes within you.
  • You feel like a good mom for taking care of your own needs.
  • Your kids are happy, secure, and cared for.
  • He makes you feel like a better mother – not worse.
  • Your kids mention they want you to be happy.
  • You have open communication lines with your kids.

But if you feel that he has passed the family-compatibility test, the only thing you can do is to take a leap of faith and introduce them to each other.

Now that you are ready, it may be scary to decide how to go about this. Take some time to read through my top tips on how to introduce your children to your new boyfriend without scaring either of them.

Dating as Single Mom – How To Introduce Them.

Tip 1: Tell your child.

It’s necessary to prepare your child for what is going to happen.

You definitely don’t want it to be a surprise.  Let your child know that you would like to introduce them to a special friend.  It’s unnecessary to go into details about your relationship, but it’s best to answer all your kid’s questions as truthfully as possible. They will react much better to a new man in their lives if they don’t see him as a threat.

Tip 2: Please don’t do it in a one-on-one setting.

It is much better to introduce your child in a group setting.  Host a small family barbeque or plan a day at an amusement park.  The goal is to present them in a fun, casual environment where there is no pressure on making long-winded awkward conversation.

Also, try to avoid too much PDA during the initial introduction. Remember that this is a casual situation, and you need to ease your kids into this new chapter.

Tip 3: Take your time.

Watch your child for cues if they like your man or not.  Your child may be a little standoffish at first and may not want to be overly friendly. It can be an awkward situation, so try to give them both time and space to get to know each other on their own terms.

Their initial meeting may not be a slam dunk, and that’s okay.  The key is to keep communication lines open with your child and make sure that you ask them how they feel, what they think, if they have any questions, etc.

man and boy playing football

Tip 4: Don’t Force a “New Dad” Situation.

Ensure that your child understands that your boyfriend is not taking the place of their dad and that they are a friend.  Depending on your child’s age and whether or not their father is a part of their lives, children can react vastly differently to a new father-figure in the equation.

Explain that your boyfriend is not a replacement for their father.  This may be a little more appropriate down the line, but you don’t want to implement titles such as ‘your new father’ initially.

Moms have a lot on their plate – we need to arrange everything and everyone, and being a single mom doubles that job. Dating as a single mom and introducing your kids to him is genuinely stressful, but this guy may be the one that makes you happy, and they will see that too.

Tip 5: Don’t Expect too Much too Soon.

Don’t expect your child to love him right off the bat and that all of you will be a happy family.  It’s not a good idea to force your child into anything.  Everything needs to flow in whatever manner it will.  You can’t control if they will hit it off, and it has to be genuine.

Also, remember that it will take several interactions for your child to start to feel comfortable around your new man and that your man has to put some effort into getting to know your child, as well. The key is making sure everyone feels comfortable, and hopefully, as time goes on, your man and your child will become good friends.

Make time alone for your children and try to make time where it will be just you and your new guy. Soon enough, things will start feeling more natural.

My Final Thoughts on Dating as a Single Mom.

Children and dating come with their own unique set of challenges.

But, this is such an exciting new time for you, and if this is the right guy, he will be loving and patient with your kids. Create the right environment and just let things happen – you will see if this was the right choice soon enough. You will also notice that even if your kids are mad at first, there is no way they will be able to stay that way when they see how happy you are.

Happy moms usually make good moms!

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!