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When to tell teenagers about new relationship

(14 Posts)
max78 Sat 13-Jun-20 07:36:10

I'm really hoping to gain some insight and advice as to how to go about doing this. I know it's a pretty small problem compared to others on this board, but it's causing me so much anxiety at the moment.
I started dating a friend before lockdown, but with the Corona virus striking, it was put on hold during lockdown, so I decided to hold off telling the children. Now the new rules about single people have come about, and our relationship can go back to normal, I feel like I need to tell the children, but I'm really struggling with when to do it for the best.
One is 17, and it is her 18th birthday in 4 weeks time.
Me and their father split up 18 months ago, and they had an awful time accepting his new girlfriend last year. He told a lot of lies about his new relationship, and hid a lot from them. As a result, my daughter still refuses to meet his new girlfriend, and she was upset for months afterwards.
My son (13) still does not trust his dad after how dishonest he behaved.
I know I need to tell them, but do I tell them now, which is what I want to do, so that they don't feel like I am keeping things from them? I'm very worried that if I tell them now, then if my daughter reacts badly, it will ruin her 18th birthday in 4 weeks time, which I would never forgive myself for....you're only 18 once! Or do I hold off till after her 18th, but then I feel like I am lying to them for the next month sad
It's frustrating as I don't believe children need to know the ins and outs of their parents dating lives, but after how my ex behaved, they were left very nervous about their parents dating again.
I know it's a really trivial problem compared to others, but I'm lying awake the last few nights, really overthinking what to do for the best.
Thank you to anyone that has read this!

OP’s posts: |
Tadpolesandfroglets Sat 13-Jun-20 07:40:15

I would tell them as soon as possible. It’s very early days (you can explain that) and you are taking things very slow. You do not want a repeat of the situation with their father (being accused of not telling the truth), they are old enough to be informed but you don’t need to make a big deal out of it. Sounds like you are just ‘courting’ at the moment and seeing how things go rather than a full on girlfriend/boyfriend situation. Am I right?

canigooutyet Sat 13-Jun-20 07:43:16

Personally I’ve not told mine yet. I started seeing someone at the beginning of the year. And I’m not in any rush to let them meet until I’m sure he’s worth it.
I’ve known him for a few years as a friend and we’ve fooled around a bit before getting together properly. We’ve had a night or two together here and there, but not enough to know.

1moreRep Sat 13-Jun-20 07:43:45

tell them, sit them down one by one and explain, a huge part of them will be relieved that you have someone

1moreRep Sat 13-Jun-20 07:44:24

it will never ruin her birthday - be kind to yourself and remember they love you

pumpkinpie01 Sat 13-Jun-20 07:51:33

Tell them sooner rather than later , they are old enough to know and will more than likely be happy for you.

JustC Sat 13-Jun-20 08:11:21

I have no experience, but they seem old enough to be told you are dating someone. Tell them you are not sure yet if it's something serious, but just wanted to be open with them.

max78 Sat 13-Jun-20 09:35:09

Thank you for the replies, I think I will tell them when they get back from their dads tomorrow. It's just so hard when you know you're causing upset to your children, and I know they will find it hard initially. I have deliberately stayed single to prevent this upset and let them settle after me and their dad split, so it is hard.
CANIGOOUTYET, yes I completely understand. I feel it's to early to tell my kids, but I've been pushed into a situation through no fault of my own annoyingly, due to my ex's behaviour. My son actually asked me a few months ago to tell him if I started dating again, as he hated that his dad had lied so badly, so I feel pushed in a corner here.
TADPOLESANDFROGLETS, yes I would still class it as dating in my mind, although there are strong feelings involved. We are exclusive, but I'm not ready to get heavy yet and need to take things very slowly.

OP’s posts: |
SRB450 Sat 13-Jun-20 10:45:15

My dad introduced a new girlfriend to me when I was 10, and it was under a year after he and my mom split. He asked me if I wanted to meet her one day after already driving to her house. I said no and so he left me waiting in the car, but he brought her out to meet me anyway. I was only 10 but I remember it being incredibly awkward and I felt trapped and duped. My father has never won any father of the year awards to this date, 30 years later, and I can say I absolutely resented him and hated her in that moment and for a long time afterward. Their relationship was short lived but they stayed friends. However, I still to this day really dislike her.

My advice to you is to maybe approach the subject with your kids as "if I was to start a relationship with someone new, how would you feel? Would you feel comfortable with me introducing you or would you rather I don't?" Questions like that may help gauge the situation before forcing them into it.

763freedom Sat 13-Jun-20 10:55:45

If it's still quite new why don't you just say you have been texting an old friend who seems quite interested in going on a date and you are just keeping them in the loop?
Im sure they will have seen you texting and calling and will have already put 2+2 together?

Windyatthebeach Sat 13-Jun-20 11:02:07

Ime it's catch 22. It's a new relationship - how can it progress if he hasn't met your dc? As a couple it could be amazing... Add a few dc and it can go one way /other. Be honest, say you have met someone, if they don't want further details or to meet fine, but you can still see him. They don't get to dictate... I had adult dc who met now dh within a few weeks. They hit it off immediately and they suggested he met younger dc. Who in turn were very happy with the situation...
Keep it positive - don't feel like it's an apology when you tell them. Just because ex screwed up his initial announcement doesn't mean they can't and should not be happy for you op...

0hforfoxsake Sat 13-Jun-20 11:09:21

Tell them you are dating someone. They will want you to be happy and will appreciate your honesty.

But don’t make him part of your lives until you know it’s going to last. My advice is tell them, but enjoy the dating as something for you.

You being happy will be important to them. When they realise your relationship doesn’t impact them, they won’t be arsed.

MorningNinja Sat 13-Jun-20 11:11:05

How long have you been dating?

canigooutyet Sat 13-Jun-20 15:17:08

The upset last year could have also because they felt it was too quick after you split. Perhaps they blame her for you two seperate.

Just say to them an old mate has asked you out on a date and see what they say. Although be prepared for them to be unhappy about it.

Reassure them until they are happy he will not be in the house. They don't have to meet until they are ready.

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