There are a few ground rules that I follow when it comes to dating and being a single parent.
- I don’t bring dates home
- I don’t let a date pick me up from my house.
- If said date has children, I’m not interested in meeting them or even talking about them
- If it goes from dating to a full blown relationship, I don’t introduce the man to my son, until MONTHS (occasionally a year) later.
I’ve always been a private person when it comes to my personal life, even if someone happens to be a part of said personal life. It can be difficult when it comes to dating, partially because I am raising a child on my own. I always make sure to point out my rules to any potential man that I date, just so there aren’t any misunderstandings between us.
The last serious relationship I was in was almost two years ago. For the most part, during our courtship my ex was stationed overseas in Iraq, so the idea of him meeting my son really wasn’t something I was worried about. It was a fairly new thing before he left for Iraq, and I continued to look at it as something new while he was there. Practically before my eyes, his tour of Iraq was over, and we became engaged. I’m not sure if I was caught up in the moment from his return from Iraq, or what, but I thought to myself, “Damn, now I have to introduce him to my son.” Yeah, I know. Too late to be worried about that.
My son knew of “Adrian” from the countless phone calls from me and even the phone calls my son answered, but he had never met Adrian or even seen him in person. So a year later, it came time to introduce the two of them. Anyone who knows my son knows he’s pretty protective of me, but he’s not going to be rude and give anyone the stare down either. During the introduction, we all sat around the TV, shared pizza and played video games. It was pretty low-key and went smoothly. My son gave him two thumbs up.
Well, as irony would have it, a few months later the engagement was broken off crazy ass motherfucker he turned out to be and Adrian became public enemy number one in my eyes. Between the first meeting and the subsequent break up, Adrian and my son didn’t have that much interaction motherfucking hindsight is 20/20, which I’m pretty glad about.
I think women who date and are single parents need to be more careful when it comes to picking dating prospects and introducing them to their children. I’ve even heard a lot of my male friends tell me that if a woman introduces her children to them too soon, it’s always a red flag to them. Similar has also come from a male friend of mine who’s a single parent, he doesn’t introduce anyone to his children if he doesn’t plan on investing into a serious relationship with her.
If you’re a single parent and dating (even if you aren’t), when do you think it is appropriate to introduce your child to the person you’re involved with?