Although your beau may have warm and fuzzy feelings for you, his children may not feel the same way. If you're ready to meet your boyfriend's brood, but they are reluctant when it comes to the first introduction, you may feel a gamut of negative emotions. That said, as the adult in this sticky situation, you can problem solve ways to cope with this wrench in your relationship.
Avoid simply assuming that your boyfriend's kids just don't care to meet you. It's common for children of divorce to fear the issues surrounding a parent's new romantic interest, according to the KidsHealth website. Your boyfriend's children might feel territorial, not wanting to share their dad with anyone who isn't their mom. While this doesn't mean that they won't ever want to meet you, they may feel anxiety or fear about meeting someone who could potentially -- in their eyes -- take their dad away from the.
Children may worry that a new romantic partner will want to replace their other parent, according to family counselor Lerri Cooper, M.Ed. on the Edmond Family Counseling website. If your boyfriend's children are resistant to meeting you, they might think that you are stepping in to take over the role of mommy in their family unit. Although you may have no plans to swoop in and become an instant mom to them, you need to consider the possibility that they don't understand that. Instead of feeling offended or disappointed that the kids want to hold off on first introductions, talk to your boyfriend about reassuring his children that you aren't going to replace their mother. Take the children's perspective and empathize with how challenging meeting you is for them.
Parents should wait at least six months after separating to begin dating, giving their children time to adjust to this new family situation, advises HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you're dating a man who is newly separated or divorced, his children might just need more time to get past their parents' separation and adjust to the changes that occurred in their lives. Instead of forcing the point, be patient and give his children more time. Let the children become more comfortable with their new family dynamic and the idea that their daddy is dating instead of pressing your boyfriend to have them meet you.
Keep It Secret
Whether the kids are resistant, reluctant or are just not ready to meet, you may need to consider dating in secret. It's unnecessary for a single parent to introduce his kids to every date, notes the HealthyChildren.org website. If his children aren't ready for introductions, you don't need to throw in the towel and end the relationship. Go out for dates with your beau, instead of asking to go to his house when the kids are there or spend time together when they are with their mother. Although this isn't ideal, it can help you to cope with the kids disinterest in meeting you and bide your time until they are ready.