Single Parent Dating: Meeting The Kids
I recently finished reading Steve Harvey’s book “Think Like A Man” and I must admit that it is a good book. I don’t understand why so many people are coming out against him and his book. It spoke a lot of truth and gave some good information. Now there are several key topics that he speaks on that I want to discuss further. I want to give you my direct opinion on the matter and see what all of you have to say about it. Today’s topic deals with single parent dating. When is it ok for the person you are dating to meet your kids? (I am applying this to both men and women). So let’s dive in.
According to Mr. Harvey he believes you shouldn’t wait a long time to have this meeting take place. He feels it will give you a better idea of the kind of person you are dating. It also is an opportunity to see if that person is willing to stick around now that they see exactly what they are dealing with. Without breaking his entire chapter down I will just say that I understand where he is coming from, but I have to disagree. I personally believe that your child or children should not meet the person you are dating until you are both certain you want to be together in a committed relationship. Most people make the argument that you shouldn’t have your kids constantly meeting different people while in your pursuit of a partner because it is not a good example to set. Not to mention exposing them to somebody you don’t know well yet. I agree with that to a certain extent but my concern goes deeper than that. I have seen too many people use their children as a means of determining their future mate. I think this is a horrible idea. I understand that you want your kids and that potential mate to like each other, but I think you are overlooking a key point. If a person “truly” loves you, they will want to love your kids and do right by them. If you are “truly” in the right relationship, your kids will naturally be happy with the person you are with because they genuinely make you happy. When the child does not like someone you can honestly say is the best person for you, it probably is because a) they are not over the fact that you are not with their biological parent and therefore nobody will be accepted until that issue is resolved. Or b) they are being neglected in the process and are jealous and hurt by your new love. Which means you need to find a better balance in the situation and take time to talk to them.
The point I am trying to make with all of that is, if you find the best relationship that truly makes you happy and fulfilled, then everything else will fall into place. On the flip side interjecting your kids to early can make things messy. That person you are dating may be good at manipulating their relationship with the kids in order to reel you in. They are using the kids for their goal to get you, and you will be so caught up in the fact that your kids “like them” that it will become harder to walk away when you recognize they are not the right person for you. If they have kids of their own, and your children become best friends, here comes another obstacle. Now letting go gets complicated because you don’t want the kids to lose their new friendship. I can give many examples, and they will all show how this introducing the kids too soon can get risky. If it is a simple introduction, then I guess it’s cool and maybe that is what Harvey was talking about. If it is some intimate gathering where bonding can occur then you are walking down a path that can possibly lead to more trouble than good.
You are an adult, and at the end of the day your relationship has to be about you being with the best person for you, and truly being happy and fulfilled. Your kids can love a potential mate all they want, but if you are unhappy on the inside, it will eventually have a negative impact on the relationship and with the kids. If you allow their fondness for that person to dictate your actions when you know deep inside that this is not the person for you; then you will end up in a relationship that will only serve as a bad example for your kids and set them on a course to have bad relationships when they get older. If your relationship has the right foundation, then everything can be worked out. In choosing the right partner, doing what is best for the kids starts with making sure you are truly doing what is best for you.