Dating After Divorce: When Should A Girlfriend Meet Your Kids?
Your Guide To Quickly Getting Back Into "The Dating Game" After A Divorce Or Breakup By Ken Kennedy www.Double Your Dating.com
Did you know
there's a critical mistake that divorced dads almost ALWAYS make when they
start to meet & date women again. And that this one mistake ruins more
father/child relationships than virtually any other?
That's right - I said RUIN.
Imagine your kids no longer trusting what you say, looking at you suspiciously, and no longer seeing you as Daddy-King- And-Protector-Of-The-World.
And imagine years later, when your kids have grown distant from you, perhaps they've physically moved far away, all because of this "little" mistake you made when they were younger.
That's what I'm talking about when I say "ruin".
Not only does this mistake poison father/child relationships, but it also screws up the child - making him less able to sustain relationships of his own when he eventually enters adulthood.
If you're a product of divorced parents, and you've been having some trouble sustaining long term relationships with women, then you may have first hand experience of what I'm talking about here.
When I first starting dating after my own divorce, I thought it'd be easy to protect my son Tyler, who was 4 at the time, from any harm coming from me re-entering the dating scene.
I thought if I wanted to be around a particular woman and if she made me happy, that he'd be happy too and would want to participate. I figured it was enough for me if I waited to introduce him until I knew the woman was steady, dependable, and trustworthy.
To be honest, there was a little bit of selfishness thrown in there too. Yes, of course I wanted to protect Tyler from getting hurt, but I really didn't consider fully all the different ways my dating could hurt him. I was focused more on getting my own needs met.
Little did I know I was setting the stage for disaster - but more on that later...
I HATE IT WHEN MY EX IS RIGHT
When Tyler was about 4, I start dating a very attractive, kind, and mature woman I had met in a very romantic location - the parking lot to my friend's apartment.
* By the way, if the thought of walking up to an attractive woman in a public place like a parking lot, restaurant, or book store and walking away with her number seems impossible to you right now, I'm here to tell you it's not.
Back to my story:
After a month or two, she started expressing interest in meeting my kid. She was a very down to earth & responsible woman, so I saw no problem to it. And best of all, I had a plan.
I read in a book about divorce that when you're ready to introduce a new woman to your child, you should go out for ice cream, show no physical affection, and introduce her as just a friend.
This made perfect sense to me.
But when I told my ex about my plan, she blew a fuse.
She said she was worried about introducing my girlfriend to our son. She thought it could lead to some emotional trauma or something.
This pissed me off and frustrated me. I saw it as just another way my ex was trying to control my life and keep me from being happy. Why should she make me suffer just because her life wasn't all that great after the divorce? I had gone above and beyond the call of duty to support her financially. But it seemed like it was just never enough for her.
(I just had to rant there for a second. - OK, I feel better now. Back to the story...)
Now, you can say I'm the typical "protective father." I'll do whatever it takes to avoid even the FAINTEST POSSIBILITY of doing harm to my kid.
But the way I saw it, the "introduce her as a friend" plan seemed pretty air-tight.
What damage could you do by introducing a new female "friend" to your little one, right?
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN HURT YOU - AND YOUR KIDS
My ex hated my plan. In fact, she thought it was downright DANGEROUS.
But me, being the intelligent and wise man I am, knew in my heart of hearts that this was just another case of my ex being STUPID and WRONG.
But I said, "Fine, fine, fine. Here's what I'll do - I'm going to call a child psychologist. If the shrink says my plan isn't a wise move, I won't do it."
My ex thought this was a great idea (of course in her opinion this was one of the FEW good ideas I've come up with since we split).
So I looked up a local child psychologist on Yahoo yellow pages. I explained the situation, and I explained my plan.
But my head nearly spun a 360 when she told me that my plan WAS INDEED dangerous... and that I should wait at least 6 MONTHS before introducing a woman I'm dating to my child.
This therapist must have been on too much Valium or Lithium or Prozac or something... Obviously she had no idea what she was talking about.
I must have had the bad luck of calling an "overly conservative" therapist right off the bat.
No worries, I thought. I'll just call another therapist.
I'm sure she'll be more sympathetic to my "introduce her as a friend" plan. After all, I got the plan from a book that was WRITTEN by a therapist.
So I called a 2nd therapist and explained my situation and my jaw
practically DROPPED when she told me exactly the same thing, that I needed
to follow a
6 month minimum waiting period.
But, of course, us guys are stubborn... and when we think we're right, we REALLY thing we're right.
So I figured I just had REALLY bad luck and must have called 2 quacky therapists in a row.
I picked up the phone and called a 3rd... and a 4th...
In all I called SIX therapists, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM told me exactly the same thing.
A couple of them even said 6 months was a bit early, and that I should actually wait until I put an engagement ring on my girlfriend's finger.
I was blown away, and very upset.
But amidst my anger and frustration, I began to get a little clarity and I began to see how the therapists' perspective made sense.
They all said that if you introduce your child to a girlfriend and then things don't work out and she leaves or you break-up with her then your child is going to be that much less emotionally open to the next woman you bring into your life.
In other words, he'll be hesitant to BOND emotionally with the next one. He won't be open to trusting her and relating to her. He'll remain distant, he might even get hostile.
Not to mention, your child will be sad and hurt that the new woman he bonded with is no longer around.
Think about it:
Your kid grows up seeing mom and dad together, and remembers at least a few happy times.
You and your ex split up, and the kid begins the long road of slowly adjusting to this new reality.
You eventually get a new girlfriend, your kid starts to have positive experiences with the two of you as a couple, lots of laughs, making new memories together, physical contact (hugs, etc) with the new woman.
But then, one day, suddenly, the kid wakes up and this female presence in his life that he has slowly grown to accept and trust and open up to is GONE, and you (dad) have a hard time explaining to him in simple terms what happened.
Your kid is left confused, mistrustful, and hurt. You think he's going to be bouncing for joy the next time you introduce him to a girlfriend?
USE YOUR CALENDAR, NOT YOUR FEELINGS
There are a couple of lessons I learned in going through this myself.
First, I don't always know what's best for my child, even if I THINK I know best. And sometimes I UNDERESTIMATE the effect of my personal life on my son.
Another lesson I learned is when it comes to introducing your child to a new woman in your life, don't make your decision based on your feelings.
Feelings can come and go, and chances are you'll have strong feelings for several women after your divorce who won't be in your life for all that long.
We've all heard of the idea of "Rebound Relationships."
Chances are you'll have several of them when you starting meeting women and dating again.
Now that you're no longer married, you're probably figuring out for yourself who you are now, what you want in your new life, mistakes you want to avoid, etc.
And that's OK -
Rebound relationships are fine as long as you don't get sucked into getting EMOTIONALLY attached to these women and as long as you avoid setting your kids up for disappointment by entangling them into these initial flings.
When it comes to deciding when to introduce your kids to a new woman in your life, base your decision on your CALENDAR, not your feelings.
Yes, you'll be tempted to break this rule, especially if you're excited about a special woman.
But be strong. Don't give into your feelings, and don't give in to her subtle hints that it'd sure be nice to finally meet these great kids of yours.
In fact, if a woman is pushing to meet your kids, or to have her kids meet your kids, you better interpret this as a big ole' WARNING.
She might be one of those women who look for "Instant Relationships" - women who meet a guy, and then want to skip the whole "dating" phase and move right into a serious relationship - usually because they're insecure and believe if they don't sink their claws into you quick and deep that you'll manage to escape.
And the whole "why don't we have my kids meet your kids" thing is something you REALLY need to watch out for.
Insecure women use this to manipulate and hook you. They know that once they get in with your kids and establish a relationship with them, you're much less likely to leave them.
It's a power play. Is this true with every woman?
Of course not. But if a couple of weeks after you meet a woman she starts talking about meeting your kids, you're going to have to tell her about the rule you have to protect your precious ones - "It's going to be 6 months, baby, before you can meet them."
As much as you want to get your own life going, your kid's life is what you need to consider first. You have a big responsibility to make sure you do the right thing here.
So, to sum up:
1) Wait 6 months before introducing your kids to a new girlfriend.
2) Explain to your girlfriend that this rule is in place to protect your kids.
3) Watch how she respond to the rule. If she gets angry, says it's ridiculous, etc., you have a controlling bitch on your hands and you need to move to a different zip code pronto.
4) Thinking you can introduce your girlfriend as "just a friend" before the 6 month mark is a recipe for disaster.
Don't do it.
HOW MY STORY ENDED
Let me share with you how my story with the girlfriend and the 6 child psychologists ended.
I took their unanimous advice to heart, and I told the girlfriend she couldn't meet Tyler for 6 months.
She was disappointed, and quite frankly, we argued about it.
A month or two later, for unrelated reasons, we broke up.
This proves the power of the 6 Month Principle -
Had I introduced her to Tyler, we still would have broke up - Tyler would have gotten hurt, and he would have started to mistrust me and any future women in my life.
Thank God I listened to those quacky therapists.
This is just one of the many situations I went through with my divorce that you can learn more in my eBook.
If you'd like to read more tips about how stay close to your kids during the difficult time following a divorce, and at the same time meet new, exciting women in a responsible way that protects your kids, you really should go check it out.
There's another lesson I got from this experience that I want to share with you...
Things aren't always what they seem... and what you think you know, sometimes you DON'T.
If you don't believe me, you have just one place to look for absolute, undeniable proof -
Unless you were the guy who was about to walk down the aisle and you KNEW deep in your heart that you were making a mistake, then you know that your emotions can lead you to make the wrong long term decisions sometimes.
I've been there man. I know how it is.
The fact is, no matter how much we achieve in business or in other parts of
our lives, our divorce is proof that in some areas we simply don't know as
much as we think.
And you can always learn more.
Thinking we ALREADY know everything gets us into trouble.
If you want to avoid more trouble in your life, the first thing you should do is get an education on how best to conduct your life, and in particular your DATING life, now that you're divorced.
To get all the details... to learn more tips about protecting your kids while creating a life with new woman... AND to learn a simple move that will drive a woman CRAZY anticipating your first kiss... just watch this video
To your success with women,