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How to go about introducing ds to new man?

(9 Posts)
ChizChizChiz Tue 02-Aug-11 23:16:46

I'm in a brand new relationship and so, whilst things are going very swimmingly with NM, I have no intention of yet introducing him to ds. However, inevitably I've thought about when and how and if.

The thing is, last year I was seeing a man and I know now that I played the whole introductions thing wrong. It was too early, too full-on - plus the fact that my then bf was not a 'kid person' and just couldn't cope with ds (who is 8) on any level - could barely even talk to him (despite knowing I had a ds from day 1 and being apparently keen to meet him). He was obviously not the right man and the relationship ended - I was not prepared to compromise on ds's happiness for a bloke!

NM and I went away last weekend and had a chat about it all - he said that it was to be entirely in my timeframe and he would follow my lead. I told him about my last experience and he agreed that I'd had my fingers burned but that I shouldn't compare the two and that he 'was not that guy'. He says he knows that being with me in the long term means 'the whole package' and he wants to do this when I'm ready. He has no dcs of his own.

I guess what I'm asking is how does one go about doing this sensibly? I absolutely don't want to make the same mistake as last time - the thought of ds being introduced to a succession of 'mummy's friends' horrifies me. If, in a few months, NM and I are still going strong - which I think we will be - how should I start introducing ds into the mix? Any experiences would be very helpful!

OneHundredPercentFucked Wed 03-Aug-11 00:18:08

How about the three of you going for a trip out, rather than at home?

Would that work?

niceguy2 Wed 03-Aug-11 09:11:07

You can overthink the situation. Obviously a stream of men leaving your bedroom isn't the example you wish to set but at the same time, there's absolutely no harm in introducing him to your boyfriend and explaining to him that mum is dating.

Dating is something one day he will do...(yes really! Some horrible girl will get their claws into him grin)

The key is not to make it into a big deal or something really formal. So no big "meeting" as such, just keep it casual. Ideally I'd say perhaps when others are around. So for example if you have friends, he can be there. They get used to seeing him around so it's not a "Blam" this is my boyfriend and then next day he's seen in your bed.

When I was dating, my kids met several of my girlfriends. Neither of them were confused or anything. Both knew that I would always put them first. They knew who their mother was. In short, they were secure and didn't feel threatened. So any new person in my life didn't make any difference. Does that make sense?

hotrods Wed 03-Aug-11 12:50:33

I think you're right to be cautious. I introduced DS to DP when we'd been seeing each other for 8 months. It was at a social occasion related to a hobby that all three of us do, so it's something we all would have enjoyed anyway and there wasn't the pressure of expectations as the main reason for getting together wasn't a big introduction.

I had been in relationships for up to a year with other men before I met DP, but I only ever introduced a couple of them to DS, and then only after about 6 months and as 'Mum's friend'. I don't think he saw them as much more than one of my friends, really - we did the sort of thing we do with my friends anyway (hang out at parks or cinema).

DP is the only man DS has known as part of our family, goes to family/school events etc (bio father not involved). In hindsight I probably kept the previous men at a distance as I knew somehow that the relationship wouldn't last in the long term. I suppose I was lucky in a way because I've always had access to overnight childcare, I know other LPs who have to bring new partners into the family home early because they can't get a babysitter.

So I agree with OneHundred to keep this NM away from the home environment to start with, choose a low-key event that you might share with one of your friends anyway (I often take DS out with adult friends, for dinner or film). Trust your instincts, don't feel pressured by NM into moving more quickly than you feel comfortable. If he's in this for the long term then he won't mind waiting.

ChizChizChiz Wed 03-Aug-11 13:33:08

I'm definitely going to keep it casual - agree that a big formal meeting would be weird and wrong! And I was thinking that around the 6 month mark would probably be about right, so will stick with that. So a trip out, maybe with other people? I think I would prefer to keep it out of the home environment for a while.

Hotrods - re: overnight childcare; yes luckily I do generally have a pretty good network of sleepover help, and ds goes to his dad's once a week for the night anyway. It's nice at the moment because in a way it also gives NM and I an excuse to do proper 'dates' rather than him just come round to mine and have a takeaway and watch tv (not that there's anything wrong with that but it became a habit really early on with the last guy and I don't want to repeat that). But eventually I would like him to be around a bit more - we'll just have to see how things go, I guess!

And grin re: overthinking it, niceguy - yeah, that's something I have been accused of more than once!

I suppose I just feel that NM is a bit of a keeper (or so he seems at the mo) but equally I know I couldn't have someone in my life who couldn't interact well with ds. I worry about putting pressure on either/both of them. But, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, right?

MeMySonAndI Wed 03-Aug-11 15:57:39

My only worry about leaving introductions for a long time is to finally introduce them and realise your partner is totally incompatible once children are involved. It is a waste of time, honestly, and perhaps by then you may be totally in love with NM not to be able to put the children first straight away.

Is it possible for them to meet him in an environment full of people? think party, community activity, when there are other of your friends around? that would be a good opportunity to see the interaction without the pressure. You don't need to tell your child you are in a relationship until the time is right. (no holding hands and kisses permitted though, and definitively no bedroom visits until all is out in the open)

AandK Wed 03-Aug-11 16:00:41

Maybe if say some friends who also have children had a bbq or a gathering of somesort and you went with ds and nm was there?!

I did this with my ds and he was much more relaxed and so was nm there was no force to be together and you can introduce him as a "friend" and then that "friend" can come round for a brew a few days later and so on Xx

Lucy88 Tue 23-Aug-11 11:22:16

I have been single now for 4 years and have been on a couple of 'dates', but can't be bothered with anything serious at the moment.

However, (this is only my view), if I met someone who I really liked and wanted to have a relationships with, then I wouldn't be introducing then to my DS until the relationship got to a stage where I may want to consider moving in with them or marrying them. Certainally not after a few months or even a year.

I would then take things very casually and introduce them as Mummy's friend and maybe do something family orientated or invite them to join us and some other freinds for lunch or a trip to the park. I wouldn't go down the route of telling them they were going to meet Mummy's new boyfriend or making a big thing out of it. Just keep it nice and relaxed.

Your relationship is still very new, so I wouldn't even be thinking about the possibility of them meeting in the near future.

piellabakewell Tue 23-Aug-11 13:23:19

At 8, I think he's old enough to meet your man whenever you decide the time is right. My youngest was 11 when they met DP, we went to Thorpe Park for a day out and he came too - a combined mothers day/birthday event for me so it made sense that I would want the other special person in my life there too. It went really well, they got along brilliantly and he went on the highest, fastest ride with DD1 (and their dad would never go on any rides so brownie points for DP straight away!)

If he's the right man for you, and DS, the right time may be sooner than some people would expect. I've been with DP nine months and he met the girls after four months. I was getting fed up with sneaking around by then and they already knew their dad had a girlfriend so me seeing someone wasn't a terrible shock. Also, he has rapidly become the type of dad they deserve but didn't get...he's not their dad, but has a dad-type relationship with them and they adore each other. When he was coming over last Friday and was later than expected, DD2 was looking out of the window every few minutes and when she finally spotted him she went running out to meet him. She never did that when her dad came home!

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