How and when to introduce your kids to someone you’re seriously dating

You’ve been going out with this guy, er, man for quite some time now, and you feel you want to add a new dimension to your relationship by introducing him to your kid. Slow down, cowgirl! Letting your child in on your romantic endeavors is easier said than done. And of course, there is a right time for everything. Remember to think first before acting on gut feel. Sure, your significant other has given you rose-tinted glasses with which to view the world, but introducing him to your kid at the inopportune time might just break that newfound positive outlook on life.

There is no exact time frame to determine when the proper time is to introduce your special someone to your child. It varies from person to person. It depends on the level of commitment you both are in. If you both see yours as a lifelong relationship, even after seeing each other for only a month, then that may be a good sign. On the other hand, you may have been dating this man for 2 years now, but don’t really see the relationship going anywhere further than sharing a hot cup of latte after a sweaty game of pingpong. Then, this guy is best pigeonholed in the “friends” department.

It’s essential to assess how easily your child gets attached to people. If she tends to easily get attached to someone, better save the introductions until the time when you’re sure that the relationship has a future. Otherwise, your kid may develop some resentment and feel pain if and when your relationship with your significant other gets sour. The pain of loss may be too much for her, and you, to bear.

When you do decide that it’s time, start easy. Take your kid with you and your boyfriend to a kid-friendly place, or a picnic maybe. Introduce your man as your friend. Dividing your attention between these two special people in your life will be a skill you’ll have to master. Your kid may need more of that, since this new person you introduced to him or her poses as a threat, or competition when it comes to gaining your love and attention. If your man truly loves you, he’ll understand.