Dating as a parent isn’t child’s play

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It’s been six months.

Ok, four months, three weeks, five days…and like 30 minutes. But who’s counting? You think he’s great. He is funny, and smart. He says everything right, and even eats with his utensils. He calls when he’s supposed to call, texts you goodnight…and every morning. He’s met your friends, and even they like him! Delete the Tinder app, I think this is a relationship!

A real, drama-free relationship.

But now the big question…

Should he meet the kids?

Your schedules match, and things are going smoothly…but when is it the right time to toss the kids into the mix? Ugh. My stomach just flipped. I actually got a little nauseous. I have two boys, and can only go by experience. My experiences. Are you ready? Wait for it…like…NEVER. You heard me. I said NEVER. Keep that man all to yourself! Date, and be adults. Live it up! But unless you are planning on that new person being in your life FOREVER, do not introduce them to your kids. I know, it’s kinda harsh! But hear me out…

Unless the person you are dating is a “forever and always” in your life, don’t make them a “sometimes and maybe” in your child’s.

You are an adult, it’s hard enough for you to understand a breakup. You go through the pain, and sadness. And sure you recover…slowly. But can you imagine how your child feels? Especially if they have formed a bond with the  person? Look, I have done it. I’ve watched my boys ride the emotional roller coaster with me, and I am kicking myself.  No kid (at any age) should have to relive the feelings of loss, masking those of the divorce. I have made this mistake one too many times, and my boys are proof. My 12-year-old just told me after my last breakup, “Mom, you need to take a break. Until you can find a guy that stops lying.” Nice huh? And I thought he didn’t “get it”.

But they do, and they just want us happy.

Look, we all believe in putting our kids first; wanting what’s best for them. So, do what’s best. Be unselfish and leave the dating to the grown-ups! They don’t need to meet every Tom, Dick and Harry that pops into your Bumble box. I’m looking for a new partner, not a new DAD for my boys. I don’t need to see if he gets along with my kids as a “litmus test”. If he’s the right one, then he will be a good parent to his OWN kids. Share pictures, and tell stories about them. Unfortunately, as we all know… most of these post-divorce relationships end not so “happily ever after” anyway. I know, it’s negative! But don’t you agree?

So, unless there is a RING on my finger…my kids will be getting ME and only me. When I’m with them, it’s quality “us time”. And then, when they’re with their dad…I can date til the cows come home! Or not. But no man is as important as my kid’s emotional well being. Not anymore! And if the next guy I date finds it a problem, then he’s not the one for me! Hmmm. I think I’ll put that on my Match.com profile… “Single Mom, NOT looking to blend families…EVER!” 😉

Photos: Johnny Lail/Flickr

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