I’ve not been with anybody since splitting from my partner in [name]November[/name], i’ve been too upset and too focused on baby girl.
I’m in no rush to get back on the dating horse, but I know that I think I would like to meet somebody in the future.

If it’s not too personal, can you share some experiences with me? [name]How[/name] long were you single parents? After how long did you introduce kids to partners etc? What were the dynamics of it all?

I’d ask my dad…but he was single for nearly 7 years and then got with my step-mum, who we already knew from our childhood, so it was a bit different for us and we didnt have to be introduced, we’d already stayed at her house before and knew her kids etc.

Before we got married, we had a rough patch and decided to “take a break” for three months. Our daughter was 1 yr old at the time. I immediately started seeing someone else… he was part of the reason we took the break though. I had to see if the feelings I had for him were real. He was a real good friend so introducing him to my dd was not an issue, he already knew her.

[name]One[/name] of my best friends was a single mom for many years. She dated alot of guys and either never introduced them to the kids (almost pretending like she didn’t have them) or she’d immediately introduce them to her 2 boys. It was very odd. She asked me for advice about it on several occassions because some of the guys didn’t treat her or the boys how she expected them to be treated.

So my advice to her and you… You need to be careful to introduce the kids to your new boyfriend. Your first priority will always be your kids and if you can’t have both a relationship and care for your kids… I know it’s harsh, but I don’t think you should be dating. Your boyfriend has to understand this and they also have to understand that you don’t expect them to be a dad to your baby or support you…that you want things to happen naturally. You can introduce them and include your daughter in dates/days out down the road, but I think you need to be very selective with who you allow into your child’s life. If you still have contact with your ex/baby’s father things can get even more complicated … also if your family is nearby things tend to get complicated. Everyone has opinions and wants to tell you how they’d do it or what you are doing wrong. Basically my advice is… have a plan up front and follow through with it. Understand how/when you are available for dating and how your child fits into it.

I don’t think there is a set time period you have to wait or anything.

My best friend has been split from her son’s dad since he was less than a year. She had introduced him to pretty much everyone she’s dated fairly early into things. She’s a social person so I don’t think that any of the guys she dated really stood out to her son or seemed to be more than a friend. I think she purposefully held back from being affectionate in front of her son, but introduced early on.

Now she’s remarried, but even up to the point they were discussing marriage I think her son just thought of him as ‘mommy’s friend who comes over a lot’!

To counter what the PP said- I think you absolutely should be dating. Single for 4 months and you’re obviously thinking about it if you posted this here. I don’t think it’s good to just be entirely focused on children. Children can’t give you adult conversation, emotional support, the butterflies of early dating and meeting new people, ect…and you deserve that. [name]Just[/name] cause you’re a mom doesn’t mean you don’t deserve another chance at love imo.

You posted this question so you are obviously a caring mother who will do the right thing for your child. I think it’s crazy to tell someone they shouldn’t be dating! If you’re ready you will know…if the guy is good enough to meet your kid you will know.

All I said was if you can’t have both a relationship AND take care of your children (knowing that at first these two things are not as fluid/natural as if you were married or in a long-term relationship before baby was born)… you shouldn’t date. If you can do those things simultaneously and make a plan/goals/priorities, go for it!

Of course adults have emotional and social needs besides what they get from their kids.

I think if your child is a baby it’s different. I think at this stage it’s ok to date, and ok to have a new boyfriend meet the child but no sleep overs ect. At that age your child wont understand the dynamic, it’s just another friend. If it does get serious and you think your new bf and child need more than meet ad greet time, then you need to have “the talk” about your future. Seeing someone here and there is one thing but if this person is going to spend a lot of time at your house or go out to family functions they will be part of the child’s deveopment, so chose wisely.

I think these situations are much harder on kids when they mature. I know my mom introduced to her friends or boyfriends way too early and as a result we hated all of them and it played a part in the relationships never working out. Her current boyfriend she met 10 years after her and my dad split and I was an adult. She finally realized not to even mention she was seeing someone until she knew he would work well with our family. [name]Even[/name] though I’m an adult now I can still be bitter about how she approached dating when I was a teen, but at least when she got it right it worked out an she is now (or has been for some time) with someone I am happy to call family.

Ironically my mother’s birth father left my grandmother shortly after she was born. My grandmother met who I consider my grandfather shortly afterwards and by the time she was two they married and he legally adopted her, name change and all. My mother knew her real father but only saw him here and there. To her the man who married my grandmother was her real dad. The unfortunate part of this story is she didn’t tell my brother and I till we were a bit older so it was a shock, but we got over it quickly enough. It was just another bad decision on her part haha.

Thanks for the replies guys :slight_smile: I’m just a bit worried about the long term effects for Maylea.

Obviously when she is older she wont remember her dad walking out on us, and she wont really have seen him ever (unless he changes his mind and asks me for contact in the future). But not having a dad around will obviously affect her.

I’m scared that if I found a new partner right now this minute, we were together for ages, I introduced them, she grew up around them etc, got used to having him in the house and we then split up, say six or seven years down the line … that she will be affected once again by a father figure leaving her?

And what if then, when she was say 11 I found a new partner and the same happened again. By the time she was say 17 she could’ve had 3 father figures walk out on her.

Surely that would be extremely pyshologically damaging? I know there is never any guarantee of a relationship lasting … but half of me feels like I shouldn’t even take the chance of a relationship because of the possible consequnces, like a relationship would be selfish.

Not a parent but I had to reply specifically to your last post. My parents split up when I was 20 months old. My dad remarried almost right away but my mom stayed single until I was three. At that point she got into a relationship with a guy named [name]Dave[/name] who she was with for nearly three years. We didn’t all live together but we did see him and his two daughters a lot and they sometimes spent the weekend. When I was six they broke up. I don’t remember him, or the relationship at all, even though we spent a lot of time together and all the kids knew each other. Actually [name]Dave[/name]'s daughter ran into my mom and I a few years ago at the store and I was so confused, I thought she was a stranger. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t remember much before age 7 or 8.

Would it hurt if your daughter got attached to someone and it didn’t work out? Absolutely. But the fact that you’re so worried about this already even though she’s so little tells me you’re going to be enough for Maylea that she’s not even going to need to have a father figure in her life, like my mom was for me. You love her so much. You’re a fantastic mom. And if down the line you have a long term partner and it doesn’t work out, all you need to do is make sure she knows that it isn’t her fault and has nothing to do with how much your partner did or didn’t like her.

Does Maylea have a good relationship with your parents? Speaking from experience, my relationship with my grandfather saved me. We are so close that I never needed a father figure, he is my father figure (I had visitation with my dad, but it was a verbally/emotionally abusive situation). I could have turned out so much worse if I hadn’t had my grandfather. Maybe that would be a way to make sure she always has a father figure in her life and doesn’t have to rely on your partner? I only suggest it because it seems like a way to ease your anxiety a little. :slight_smile:

If you ever want to ask me about my experiences, just message.

I have a couple thoughts here and please know I’m not judging or meaning any harm, I just wanted to give you a few things to think about here. I completely agree with the previous poster that you are a great mom and your care for your daugther is so evident here! I think that’s so important and don’t ever forget that. [name]One[/name] thing she will always need is love and you will defnitely be there for that. [name]How[/name] old is your dd? Did I miss that?

  1. No one can predict the future, obviously, but there is no reason to think that a serious relationship will inevitably end. Or that you are destined to have a string of people walking out on her life.
  2. [name]Do[/name] you believe in a long-term monogamous relationship (even marriage/lifetime committment)? Would you look for a partner who shared this value? I have a little hesitation in imagining you’d get yourself into situations where guys are walking out on you/your daughter over and over. Again, not trying to be preachy or judgemental, but you have to select the right people.
  3. I’m not saying you have to start dating for the sole purpose of getting married or find a dad for your baby, but it goes back to my first post here in that you need to prioritize and fully understand the situation. Maybe it’s not the right time if you are having these fears about a relationship’s ending/effects of the end on your daughter.

I’m speaking here as a child of multiple divorces. My parents split when I was two, and in the 22 years since then, I’ve had three stepfathers and three stepmothers, and an array of stepsiblings. I love both my mom and dad dearly. However, the sort of revolving door of familial relationships definitely had its effect on me. It was very confusing, and it definitely influenced the way that I view and conduct my own interpersonal relationships - if my husband and I ever break up, I will NOT be marrying a second time.

My advice to you: There’s no reason not to date and be happy with some adult companionship. However, be VERY careful who you introduce into your child’s life, and for all three of your sakes, think long and hard before deciding to move in and/or marry.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

Thanks ever so much everybody for the advice :slight_smile:

Crunchymama - my DD is 23 weeks old (today or tomorrow, depending if you count feb 29th lol).

You’ve all made me feel alot better and also given me things to think about.

I agree with almost everyone else, you can date and you should date. However I think ONLY when you think the guy could be one that you introduce him to your child. You don’t want them to be attached and then have the guy leave them. My husband to be’s sister just went through a divorce and her kids are 3 and 4, both cried a lot when their dad left, but they appear to be adjusting alright now.