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Is it too soon for boyfriend to stay overnight?

(25 Posts)
Mintychoc1 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:06:53

I'm a single parent, DCs age 7 and 11, no Dad around so they're always with me, no other options at all.

I've been seeing someone for 7 months, it's going really well, it definitely has a future.

He lives about half an hour drive away, and comes over usually 3 evenings a week after the kids are asleep. DCs have met him lots of times - he's a big football fan and they both play football, so he comes with me to watch their matches. We've been on a few days out together. So he's a familiar person to them, and they are gradually getting used to the idea of me having a boyfriend (it's been quite an adjustment for all of us, especially my 11 year old).

I hadn't envisaged him staying over for a few more months - maybe when we've been together for a year. However, we've been invited to a party a few doors down from me in a couple of weeks, so we're both going, and I have a babysitter for the kids.

It will be a fairly late night I think, and although neither of us really drink much at all, it would be nice if we could both have a couple of drinks. So I was thinking of asking the kids if they'd mind if he stayed over that night, after the party.

Do you think that's way too soon?

jeaux90 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:15:54

I'm a single mum too, no I don't think it's too soon from what you said. If you think it's right then it's right! Enjoy xxx

Somerville Fri 04-Nov-16 11:17:31

'Too soon' is so subjective.

What would be the potential downsides of it? Think those through. Don't do it just because it's more convenient for you/him.

And when you say 'staying over' do you mean sharing your bed? Shagging with the kids in the house? Him sleeping in a spare room or on the sofa like a friend might do?

Decide what you're happy with and make that clear when you invite him, if you do.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 04-Nov-16 11:20:51

I think it sounds fine. He's not a stranger to your dc so I'm sure they won't mind seeing him in the morning and it sounds as though it's a serious relationship. Just warn them that he 'll be there. Enjoy your party smile

LifeLong13 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:21:54

Do the kids wake you in the night?

If not have him stay then before the kids wake up have him go home or go out and him turn up with stuff for breakfast? This is what my mum used to do with my stepdad & we never knew until she told us a few years ago! They've been together since I was 8!

Mintychoc1 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:31:11

He'd be sleeping in my room (we don't have a spare room), but we wouldn't be shagging when the kids were in rooms just across the landing!

My kids wake very early, and just get up and go downstairs to play Xbox at the weekends, while I doze for an hour. They very rarely come in to my room these days.

My boyfriend is happy to go along with whatever I want to do, so no pressure from him at all. Both of us feel this relationship is going to be long term, so we want to get it right early on.

category12 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:36:40

I would go with lifelong's suggestion unless you go the route of telling the dc he is staying, which is probably preferable. Wouldn't be good to walk in and find him in your bed unbeknownst, but getting up early and getting breakfast, or straight out being open is fine, I think.

OhhBetty Fri 04-Nov-16 11:39:59

You've said you'll ask the kids if they're ok with it so I'd leave it up to them! I don't see a problem with it in theory though!

cantpickusername Fri 04-Nov-16 11:42:13

I can't see a problem with this at all. Ask the DCs first if they're ok with it though.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 04-Nov-16 11:42:23

Yeah I'd stick to your plan and see what the kids think. It sounds like they won't mind, as they know him, and it'll be infinitely easier than lying to them or kicking him out early.

LifeLong13 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:44:39

I also like the idea of asking them how they feel. Maybe add in if they're not happy for him to be there when they wake he could leave before?

AnyFucker Fri 04-Nov-16 11:45:32

sounds ok to me

SeaCabbage Fri 04-Nov-16 17:12:18

I think it sounds fine too but don't agree with those who are suggesting you ask your kids what they think. I think it is for you to make the decision and to just tell them what is going to happen. Dont' make a big deal of it.

If they get upset then you can deal with that, but really, why would they?

AnyFucker Fri 04-Nov-16 17:18:48

No, I wouldn't ask your kids either

They should not have any input into your sex life, tbh

Shayelle Fri 04-Nov-16 17:22:19

Enjoy yourselves and have a great time smile

Pootlebug Fri 04-Nov-16 17:29:06

I think it sounds reasonable. I would tell your kids in advance, in a low key way. But I wouldn't ask what they think, as a) it makes too big a deal of it, and b) if they say no, what will happen? Not just right now, but in a few months time? They shouldn't be dictating your relationships.

HuskyLover1 Fri 04-Nov-16 17:34:37

Don't ask for your kids permission. You are the adult here. If they said "no", then where would you be, they could say "no" for the next 5 years, so you must not give them this power.

Kids aged 7 and 11, assume that their parents are too old for sex. I remember this, as when I split up with my children's Dad, mine were 9 and 11, and they told me then that "they could understand why me and ExH were splitting up, because we were way too old for sex" kick me when I'm down why don't you

When I met DH, again they never once thought there was anything other than affection between us. I'm pretty sure that the youngest (now 18) still thinks that we don't have sex. But to her anyone in their 40's is practically on the scrap heap!

Just say he's staying, he will be in your room and leave it at that.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 04-Nov-16 18:26:52

I'd say "Hey kids, you know XXX and I are going out on Saturday night. It'll probably be a real late night so XXX may be staying here the night. What would you think if we all had <insert favourite breakfast treat> for breakfast on Sunday morning since he'll be here?". You're not asking them if it's OK (since you're the adult), but you are making it seem like a 'good thing'. OK, it's bribery.

AnyFucker Sat 05-Nov-16 15:39:47

Bribery can be good smile

Mintychoc1 Mon 07-Nov-16 11:22:18

Thank you all for your advice.

I spoke to the DSs yesterday - asked them how they'd feel about boyfriend staying over after the party, and threw in a bit of bribery about having a treat breakfast rather than the usual healthy stuff I make them eat!

DS2 (age 7) said that was fine, not bothered about boyfriend staying over at all, and is just happy to have a treat breakfast.

DS1 (age 11) wasn't happy. He asked why I'd want boyfriend to stay over, what would be the point, it was weird and "messed up". Bizarrely he said that his friend's Mum had got a boyfriend and he just moved in, which was "more normal". I tried to explain that that wasn't normal, that was too fast, and I was trying to take things slowly for all our benefits. But he remained unconvinced - just can't seem to get his head around the idea of what an adult relationship (that isn't between a mother and father) is. I've been single since he was born (both DSs conceived by anonymous sperm donor) so he has no concept of me in a relationship. Obviously he's getting used to me and my boyfriend being together, holding hands when we're out etc, but staying overnight is a new thing.

So now I'm not sure what to do - whether to go ahead anyway, in the hope of proving to DS1 that it'll be OK, and not the huge drama he's anticipating. Or whether to leave it for now, and try again in a few months. But to be honest, if he thinks it's "weird and messed up" now, I'm not sure how the passage of time will change that view.

It's so tricky. DS1 has a fear of the unknown - always has done - and sometimes I allow him to opt out of things, and sometimes I don't. So far I've never made any big mistakes - all the things I've pushed him into doing he's ended up enjoying. I just don't know what to do for the best this time.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 07-Nov-16 11:34:26

Bizarrely he said that his friend's Mum had got a boyfriend and he just moved in, which was "more normal".

I don't think that's so bizarre, objectively speaking. He's probably used to his friends parents living together. I think, although it seems odd, that your boyfriend staying over might actually help normalise this for him, because it's closer to his "norm" than what you're currently doing. I don't think he'll understand that you're trying to go slowly to protect them because the concept of break ups is probably world's away.

I'd go ahead, if he's just unsure and not devastated, and just keep an eye on him. I can't see why time would help; it may do the opposite and cement his view that you are single.

DS1 has a fear of the unknown - always has done

I used to have the same thing. It's much better now but it's only got that way through testing it out. For me, at least, indulging it means it gets scarier next time. Living through something unknown gives you the confidence that you can face the next unknown thing. I find remembering that I've survived 100% of the unknown things I've attempted so far comforting too.

Somerville Mon 07-Nov-16 11:35:24

Hmm. Does DS1 ever have sleepovers? You need to find a frame of reference he can understand.

I also wonder if some sessions of family counselling might help.

I wasn't in a standard dating-again-after-divorce scenario either, when I met my now fiancé. Initially I planned to not introduce him to my kids for months - or years. I realised through some family counselling my kids and I were having at the time that it would be beneficial for them to meet him early on. They needed to separate out the roles of my significant other and their father, and introducing while he was just a boyfriend - and telling them that I may well go off this one and have different ones in the future - was helpful to them. But because of that he and I trod carefully and didn't share a bed (when they were in the house) until we told them that we were thinking about getting married.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 07-Nov-16 11:50:57

I think you're handling it well. Most children don't like change and it might be as simple as your son wanting you 'all to himself' or worrying that he'll be pushed out in some way. Some reassurance is perhaps all he needs, I don't think he can dictate but he needs to feel like his concerns are listened to.

Conversely, children do adapt surprisingly well to change even if they show some resistance to the idea. I'm sure it will be fine and I think you should stick to your guns and let him stay over. If your older son is not comfortable with your bf being upstairs when he gets up, then perhaps let him know that you'll be up and dressed before he gets up?

Drawing parallels with a sleep over is a good suggestion.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 07-Nov-16 14:49:49

I'd go ahead. Passage of time isn''t going to change DS1's view and (IMO) giving in to his misgivings wouldn't serve any of you. Keep it low key between now and then, don't bring it up other than to say (once) that BF will be staying there, then not lots of discussion with DS1 or trying to explain things to him. If he mentions it, answer any questions calmly, and just keep repeating 'It's no big deal, you'll see'.

But I would tell BF that DS1 may be a bit 'off' with him for a bit.

Offred Mon 07-Nov-16 15:23:00

I wouldn't ask the kids, I'd just let them know!

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