When is it appropriate to introduce a child to a boyfriend or girlfriend?  Since becoming a single parent, I have gone on a few dates and had one relationship.  When I started dating the guy I had the relationship with, I made it clear to him that I did not want him to meet HJ until I knew we were serious.  I don’t want HJ to be use to men coming in and out of his life.  And even though HJ is at an age where he will not remember my dating life, I still don’t feel comfortable bringing just anyone around.

I waited until B and I had been dating for close to four months before letting him and HJ meet.  This meant that B would come over and hang out for an hour or so after HJ went to bed.  Or we would go on a date and I wouldn’t let him come to the door.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Then they meet.  I slowly started including B into our life.  Letting him come over before HJ was in bed, or coming over to play.  That is when I noticed that B was slowly fading from me.  It was obvious that my life was freaking him out.

For 4 months, he did not know me as a mom.  He didn’t know what my life was actually like.  He quickly realized that HJ was my number one, and he would never be.  We talked about it.  He apologized, I apologized.  I realized I should have brought HJ into the picture before I did, before hearts were broken.  That way he would have known what he was getting into right away.

So now what do I do with the next relationship?  Do I let him into our lives right away?  How long do I wait?  How can I avoid this cycle?

Single Parents, what have you done that you think works best?  Non-single parents, what would you prefer if you were in a relationship with a single parent?

7 Thoughts on “Introducing the Boyfriend to my Son

  1. Sweetie, I don’t think you were in the wrong to wait to introduce the ex to your son. Afterall, HJ is the focus, here. You can’t take the responsibility onto yourself for what happened. Meeting HJ was just the catalyst for what would have likely happened in the end anyways. True, if you had introduced them sooner, maybe the relationship would have been over sooner, but that’s not good for HJ. That guy wasn’t right for you simply because he wasn’t mature enough to handle a woman who was already a mother. The right man will wait four years if that’s what you ask him to do. Because it’s what’s right for you and HJ. PLEASE do not renegotiate your values or what you feel is right for you and HJ just because of this one experience. Hang in there, mama! Stick to your guns. . .I think you’re right to keep the HJ/boyfriend integration on the backburner until there is a serious relationship established and a mutual understanding that you both desire for a future together. Y

  2. I always thought that you should wait until things were serious, but it seems it doesn’t work all the time. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now, but I haven’t really had him hang out with my kid. I’ve introduced them to each other once, but a “Hi!” was all that passed between them.

    I guess it really depends on how much the guy loves you, whether you’ve been dating for weeks or years. If someone really loves you, he’ll love you not DESPITE the fact that you’re a single mom, but BECAUSE you are a single mom.

  3. I think when I start dating I feel the same way I definitely don’t want my daughter seeing guys in and out like that so I agree with you completely where I’d wait tillit was serious. I agree with the previous comment that guy was just not right for you. He knew you had a kid so he should have had some idea of what he was getting into.

  4. Hi! I Found your site through Shaunna’s blog this morning. I’ve been skipping around your blog and even added you to my Google Reasder so I can keep up! I’m an Iowa blogger, too!

    So…I’m a single mom, too. Have been since my daughter, Kaydin, was born. I did meet my now boyfriend a long time ago when Kaydin was only 3 months old. I never kept a strong boundary between the two of them but didn’t force him either. We dated casually on and off for that first year and have been dating steadliy since June 2008, when Kaydin was 18 months old. He would come over later in the evening before she went to bed. He didn’t really interact or hold her, though. Once we had been dating again for about 6-8 months I told him we would have to start interacting with her, that he couldn’t ignore her forever cuz we were a package deal. I wanted someone to blend my life with. Not necessarily to be her dad, but some type of meshed life. He explained that he was scared to get attached to her in fear it may not work out with us someday and he would lose not only me, but his relationship with her, also. Well it’s now been 4 years and they are inseparable! She started calling him Dad on her own a couple years ago and now that’s all she knows. She will be 6 in January and looking back I can say I didn’t raise her on my own (I did for the first 2 1/2-3 years) because he has been around all that time.

    So…I guess my advice would be to do what you feel is right, don’t force anything, and if that person is a right fit it will all fall into place naturally. I did have my doubts in the beginning because there was a divide and he wanted to build on our relationship of just us, but I also didn’t put up a huge wall between them either. I can also say that it was easier with her because she was so young when he was first around. I got extremely lucky that I didn’t have to date multiple guys and juggle being a mom. I met the right one early on and he’s the only one that’s been in her life.

    Excited to keep reading 🙂

  5. and PS…my boyfriend has some single friends 😉

  6. Hi Mollie, thanks for sharing your experience with dating as a mom! It is not easy…I have only had 1 relationship since I had HJ, and that ended a year and a half ago…so I haven’t had to deal with it much 🙂
    Any of those single guys in cedar falls?!?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think so, lol.

      So I slacked at work today a read a ton of your posts. I love your blog and totally relate to your dealing with a deadbeat dad and not getting any financial help. I’m in the same boat. But really, think about it this way. Would you rather have him know his loser dad and then be hurt by him, or just have no contact and hopefully not be negatively affected. It took me a long time to realize that my daughter was wayyy better off just not having anything to do with him. I wanted them to have a realtionship in the beginning, I wanted him to magically be responsible and take good care of her. But that just wasn’t going to happen and she would be better off that way. When I finally started really believing and wanting that, I moved on was happier in life. I didn’t let him get to me anymore. So much better 🙂 I stopped hoping he would change and she would know him. Because really, in the end, she will be a better more stable person without him. It’s totally his loss. The same for HJ’s dad. It is him missing out and HJ will be better off in the end if he is gone forever.

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