I’ve written about this before. If you introduce a new man too soon it won’t be good for anyone, and leaving it too long can cause problems too. There is a sweet spot, but the most important people you should be thinking of here are your children. You cannot have your dating life become a revolving door of men your children meet, get close to and then disappear. It damages their attachment abilities later in life, their self-esteem, their ability to trust and the way they see you. Worse, it damages their views of women. So be responsible about this. It’s ok for your child to meet your boyfriend, as a friend, have a casual dinner as you would any other “friend,” but roll out official “boyfriend” status only after your relationship has become serious enough that you think there might be a future for you as a family. That’s not in three weeks when you’re on cloud nine. That’s in at least three months when you’ve started to come down a bit…If it doesn't work out, it's ok and there will be important life lessons for your children in that.
Now on the flip side, waiting too long can create a false impression of what life with you is really like. You both get to live in this every other weekend fantasy of lounging in bed and lingering over bottles of wine that completely ignores the reality that on alternate weekends you’re cooking pancakes in your bathrobe with curlers in your hair and a cigarette hanging out the side of your mouth while rug-rats run around the house screaming. OK, it’s not 1973, but you get the idea.
3. Don’t Date A Man Who Doesn’t Like or Want Kids
Just don’t. Don’t even sleep with him. It will go nowhere. You’re a woman and you have female hormones, so you will likely get attached at some point and it’ll just go downhill fast from there. Like an out of control freight train. So just don’t do it. Trust me on this one.
I have a very good friend who once said to me, “I have thought a lot about this and I have decided I don’t want to date a woman who has a kid. It’s just not something I want to take on.” It’s not that he didn’t like kids (he’s actually a new dad now); he just didn’t want to take on the responsibility of step parenting and I respected him immensely for even thinking it through. As a mother I was relieved someone could take it so seriously so as to come to that conclusion and express it.
Not a lot of men think so clearly about such things, so you are going to have to do the thinking for them. Don’t be afraid to ask the question on a first date. It should be a deal-breaker.
4. Don’t Talk About Your Kids Ad Nauseum