The following story of Tom illustrates a blogger who didn’t have his eyes wide open and was blindsided by blending his kids with his girlfriend too soon.
It’s important to assure your kids that your partner will not replace their other parent or change your relationship with them.
Have realistic expectations about your children’s acceptance of your new partner.
Renowned researcher Constance Ahrons, who conducted a 20-year study of children of divorce, concluded that most young children find their parents' courtship behaviors confusing and strange.
While adolescents may appear more accepting of your new partner than younger children, they may still perceive that person as a threat to your relationship.
If you’ve been dating someone for a while (at least 3-4 months) and feel relatively confident that you are heading toward commitment, talk to your children and explain that you are dating someone who you care about and that you’d like to introduce to them. Ask your kids where they’d like to go and don’t invite your partner’s children to join you on the first few visits.
Be sure not to plan an overnight with your new love interest in your home right away.
Rather than planning a long visit, it’s best to have a brief, casual meeting with few expectations.
Additionally, keep in mind the age of your children when introducing them to a new love interest, because younger children (under age 10) may feel confused, angry, or sad because they tend to be possessive of their parents.
If you have shared custody, it should be easy to spend an overnight with them when your children are with their other parent.