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Dating With Kids: Time to Meet the Man-Friend

Over a year ago, I was in a melancholy stage yet, had so much hope attached. There has been so much good that has happened since then. One of those good things has been a serious relationship with someone. Here I am, a single mom and in a serious relationship. A statement that even still, feels weird. It has grown and developed with such care and love thus now putting us in the position of “time to meet the kids.” Within that statement is a lot of nervousness, anxiety, and excitement. This is something that I had always wondered what I would do and how I would do it. I know a small handful of other people who have done these type of introductions. Watching others and taking from my own life experiences, I have kind of figured out how I wanted to handle this. The one thing I have always kept in mind, it’s about the kids; slow and steady wins this race.

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How I Knew It Was Time

I am not here to tell you when it is right or wrong to introduce your children to someone you’re dating. For me personally, there needs to be a level of commitment to each other, and readiness to take this big step. My kids are young, all people they meet are permanent in their mind. Even the guy who sold me stamps once at the grocery store, is remembered by my kids at this stage. I don’t take that lightly. It would be uncomfortable to introduce them to someone, have that person be gone shortly afterward, and my kids still asking about them. I wanted to make sure things felt serious, and that I envisioned a future with whom I am in a relationship with. I wanted to do this responsibly and respectfully to everyone involved. When you’re a single mom and dating, EVERYONE is involvedfun times.

Okay, How Is This Gonna Go Down?

We (Is boyfriend a term we use in our 30’s? Does Man-friend sound better? Significant Other? Dude I’m dating? You get the point) spoke about this lots before the meeting took place. I wanted to make sure that there was a level of BOTH of us wanting this next step. I went a lot on my gut instinct of what felt right for me, for my girls, and for him. We had to be in agreement. Once Man-friend (I’m gonna start that naming trend) and I were ready, I began thinking about the details. The how, the when, the atmosphere and even letting their dad (my ex-husband) know about it. Leading up the introduction, I started talking more about “Dude I’m Dating” and didn’t hide my interactions as much as I had previously. I wanted a familiarity with his name and that he was involved in my life so, it wasn’t a complete shock to my kids. 

This Is Really Happening.

I decided on having a casual BBQ with friends, as well as “Guy That Enjoys Dating Me” (any better?). The kids knew he was going to be at the BBQ and mixed it in with whom else was attending too. I wanted this transition as smooth as possible and to not make anyone feel awkward at first sight. Things felt like they were going in the right direction well before the introductions. The focus to be an informal, non-overwhelming to all parties involved, meeting. At ages 5 and 3, I didn’t want me, my kids, to feel anxious. This is a big change in their world as well as, for me and “Man I’m In a Courtship With.” There needed to be a chance to have some fun, and easy-going feelings on that day.

Once the “Boy More Than A Friend” arrived, it was effortless. He fit right in, and the kids just treated him like he was a part of normalcy. I had some fun interactions planned to help break any leftover nerves. The kids were able to play and interact as they felt like they wanted to. They were in a space that was comfortable for them and a space that was comfortable for my “Beau.” To my surprise, the kids were VERY receptive to being around him, playing with him and most important … respectful to each other. 

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… And Breathe.

So folks, my BOYFRIEND, has met my kids. I never really imagined getting to this point in my life. Sometimes it’s hard to see past the clouds. Dating when you’re a parent is sometimes awkward, a lot of times an automatic “dead end.” I looked at everyone that was a “dating potential,” and would think “could they fit into my life and be a bonus parent for my kids?” That’s a lot of pressure to put on a stranger I just happen to swipe right to because, they were attractive and probably not a serial killer. The Man-friend (it’s quite catchy I think) and I took the time to form a confident relationship and one with such beautiful possibilities. I have someone who sees the beauty in the “package deal” of my girls and myself in this and that was no easy feat.

Truth be told, I didn’t think I would find this. I’m not into fake happily ever afters, and riding off into the sunset with our perfect life. That doesn’t exist. What does exist is, enjoying this time of learning about one another. Forming our own version of the best relationship. My children discovering what kind of relationship they will have with him as well. I have excitement for the future, where normally as a single mom that can be overwhelming. Looking ahead feels exciting, but enjoying the moment is even better. 

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One Response to Dating With Kids: Time to Meet the Man-Friend

  1. Courtney May 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm #

    Wow! What a great post. I was reading with anxiety trying to see how the girls reacted when they met your “man-friend” lol. So glad all went well. I totally hope this works out for you! Second time should be a charm 🙂

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