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Baffled about new boyfriend meeting kids rules

(41 Posts)
Mintychoc1 Sun 25-Sep-16 16:14:31

I have posted in the past about introducing my boyfriend to my kids, and I've seen lots of posts on other threads about this subject, which has led me to be very confused about what is the acceptable course of action.

I've seen people told in no uncertain terms that women should wait a full year before introducing kids to a boyfriend. But I have also seen threads when people are posting congratulations to someone who's got engaged after a few months (so obviously has met the kids!)

So, which is correct?

HallowedMimic Sun 25-Sep-16 16:20:13

Are you sure the engaged people had children? grin

There are no rules. If your children are old enough to understand dating, and getting to know someone, you have no problems.

If you're planning to introduce someone to younger children, just let them see the person around as a friend.

chipsandpeas Sun 25-Sep-16 16:21:26

its entirely up to you

TippiNoodlegruder Sun 25-Sep-16 16:27:20

There's no "rules". People are very fond of applying what they they think they would do to someone else's situation, without ever having been in that situation themselves. Or think that because they did things a certain way everyone else should too.

Obviously it's wrong to meet a guy one night, have him sleep over and then introduce him as "your new daddy" the next day, but I think in most situations a few months is ok.

bloodyteenagers Sun 25-Sep-16 16:27:51

As a child, my mum had a constant stream of different blokes. It was really, really unsettling as it seemed that every time I got to know one, he was dumped for a newer model. Was even worse when I lived with her for a bit, she might as well have had a revolving door. The one's that did last were completed bastards who she literally brought back from the street/pub/club.

I had a guy that proposed after 3 months. It was declined. Another one that first date wanted to meet my dc's because thats what the norm was, on further chatting, within a week he would be expecting to sleep over. They were both where to go.
I need to be sure that I know him, and that I feel that we will still be together in years to come. Hence, although I have dated a lot, only two have ever been to my house, and both committed relationships. I don't want the endless string of blokes. I want to give the relationship time to see if there are any red flags, and to push a few buttons to see the reaction.

But each to their own.

TheVirginQueen Sun 25-Sep-16 16:28:42

I think waiting a year is stupid. What happens if they dont get on?
Is it all off?
Waste of a year!!

Bit of a wounded veteran of OLD and now if a man said to me that he'd wait a year before introducing me id insist that we be friends first.. see if they will fit u in as a friend. If they wont, it is a red flag and dont get invested.

The last time man said that to me i believed him. Now i see it is a way to keep you out of their real life iyswim.

AuntieStella Sun 25-Sep-16 16:28:43

Generally, waiting until you are sure the new boyfriend/girlfriend is a keeper is wise. And that should be after fairly rigorous auditioning for a role in their lives before introductions. No rush.

But if someone has announced an engagement, then of course my (public) reaction would be congratulatory. Anything else would be rude.

MrsHathaway Sun 25-Sep-16 16:29:09

I think the "rule" about waiting a year is really about waiting until it's serious and starting to look permanent, to avoid confusing younger children with a series of boyfriends.

Not that there's anything wrong with having a different squeeze every month if you want one, just being sensitive to the children's understanding of it.

There's a further point to be made about vulnerable women being too quick to jump into new relationships without closure/healing from the last, and how that can lead to further abuse of the woman and even her children. In that case, having to wait a year could put off opportunist baddies.

phillipp Sun 25-Sep-16 16:31:29

But I have also seen threads when people are posting congratulations to someone who's got engaged after a few months (so obviously has met the kids!)

I have been here about 6 years and never seen this.

If you have kids you should be as sure as you can be that it's long term and give it long enough that you really know someone.

We all think we know someone after a few weeks, but you don't. It's not fair to kids to bring someone in when you barely know them yourself

TheVirginQueen Sun 25-Sep-16 16:33:39

Next time round i will say to my kids "this is Y, we're still getting to know each other".

I should have asked that last man "are you 100% cemented in that ?" And he would have said yes i suspect which would have told me a lot. I could have avoided feeling used to boost somebody's ego.

UmbongoUnchainedInAPearTreeeee Sun 25-Sep-16 16:36:05

I waited 6 months to introduce my husband to my daughter and we were already married! It was only because I was worried about what people would think even though I'd known him for years and we had been married before she was born. If I had followed my own instincts I would have introduced them straight away.

Mintychoc1 Sun 25-Sep-16 16:38:55

phillipp I don't want to draw attention to particular threads as that's not fair on their OP, but there have been plenty of them. I notice them especially, due to a slating I got once!

PopFizz Sun 25-Sep-16 16:43:28

Somewhere longer than a few weeks and less than a year. Depending on you and your children.

Introducing him and having him stay over with them there when you've been dating two months, not so great

Happening to meet at a park and introducing him after three or four months , and going from there with the odd dinner and get together, and maybe a stay over, probably better.

PopFizz Sun 25-Sep-16 16:43:42

How long have you been with your boyfriend OP?

Trifleorbust Sun 25-Sep-16 16:48:50

Obviously there is no rule. Do what you feel comfortable with, as long as you're putting the kids first.

hermione2016 Sun 25-Sep-16 16:52:58

I think you have to see it from the child's perspective.My step daughters mum moved on very quickly and step daughter talked about the experience.Firstly her mum changed, she was in dating mode often preoccupied.New partner had a different set of house rules which mum and him were negotiating, children were in the middle of this.Her mum was keen to blend families so they had to play with partners children.No one asked them.
Put yourself in your children's shoes and then take decisions which feels the right speed for them.

IneedAdinosaurNickname Sun 25-Sep-16 17:04:56

There are no hard and fast rules imo. It depends on all sorts of things including age of children and how long you and previous dp have been separated..
My ex introduced his 1st dp to our dc 6 weeks after we split up. They were 5 and 3 and thoroughly confused. They never liked her.
He introduced them to his nown wife a week into their relationship. Moved in with her that week and she was pregnant within a month. Our dc have struggled with the massive change so quickly and once again don't really like her.

They met my dp about 2-3months in. They asked to meet him. He hasn't stayed over yet, even though we've been together u months now. The dc really like him and have bonded well.

That doesn't make my way the right way though. But it worked for me.

littleblackno Sun 25-Sep-16 17:06:43

Myself and dp met each others kids after only a few weeks. This was far quicker than I ever would have expected to before I met him. I've had previous relationships where i'd not introduced them after nearly a year, but we both agreed and it's worked out fine. Although they were introduced it was very much "this is my friend" rather than boyfriend iyswim. The kids didn't know that he had slept over for a long time and genuinly didn't realise he was a bf for ages (probably nearer to a year). They were a little young to make the connection at the time.
I don't think there should be any rules, it's what is comfortable to you and being sensitive to your kids. I've been with dp for 2 years now, kids get on well but we won't live together- mainly for reasons around the kids. I do think you can overthink it and kids- depending on their age - don't see it in the same way.

MaddyHatter Sun 25-Sep-16 17:12:58

i think 6 months and at a neutral event, like a family birthday where they can meet the kids as part of a group rather than 1 on 1 is the best.

Natsku Sun 25-Sep-16 17:23:05

There's no rule but for me personally I went with introducing as a friend early on (roughly a month) because its important to see how they get on before deciding whether to make the relationship serious or not - when they're just "a friend" then there's no issue with DC getting too attached and then upset if the relationship fizzes out.

Some people prefer to wait until the relationship is definitely serious but I do think there's a risk they won't get on with the DC and then what do you do? I wouldn't stay in a relationship with someone who didn't get on with DD.

Mintychoc1 Sun 25-Sep-16 17:38:35

Well this certainly served to demonstrate the huge variety of opinions between people.

I've been seeing my boyfriend for 6 months. Kids have met him on days out but he hasn't stayed over yet. I am as certain as I can be, at this stage, that this is going to be a long term relationship.

PopFizz Sun 25-Sep-16 17:43:02

Minty if it's worked for you, it sounds like it's gone ok.

My DC orchestrated our first sleepover. They suggested DP stay, we had been together about 5 months. I asked where he would stay, they replied my bed. This was three years ago, they were five and seven. We are very aware of their feelings with everything,and it works ok.

SandyY2K Sun 25-Sep-16 17:51:40

There isn't a hard and fast rule ... but it's sensible to wait until you know the guy well enough and certainly establish that your dating exclusively.

I'd also wait until he thought it serious enough to introduce me to his nearest and dearest before I had my kids meeting a new man.

WinterIsHereJon Sun 25-Sep-16 18:05:46

It was almost a year before I properly introduced DP to my DS. We'd met for coffee a few times before this, but DS was only about 1 when we first got together. I wanted to be sure it was a long term thing first. I don't really understand the need some people feel to include a new boyfriend/girlfriend in every aspect of their lives from the word go. I enjoyed our time alone as a couple, dating was my chance for some time off from being cleaner/cook/nurse/mum. Parenthood is wonderful but it can be monotonous, difficult and tiring at times; I preferred not to involve DP in that at first.

Whoooodat Sun 25-Sep-16 18:17:24

It depends on logistics for a lot of people. In my case exh doesn't have dc overnight so it is difficult to find child free time.

I was with a guy for a year and i introduced him relatively early on because it was the only way we could see each other. He turned out out to be very possessive and controlling which I did not see in the early days so I do agree that you need a year to get to know someone.

I find a lot of guys put the pressure on to meet the kids early as they can get a shag stay over. I have given up on men for now for that reason.

In your case I would say after six months you could introduce them and don't make a big deal about it.

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