I’ve been dating a man for about month now – maybe 6 or 7 total dates. I like him, but I’m still getting to know him. I’ve only been single again for a few months. However, he seems to be all in and wants to meet my children. I feel like I need to be sure that I know him better and that he’s someone that will continue to be in our lives before I bring him to meet the kids. How do I tell him that I’m not ready?
– Not Ready Yet
Dear Not Ready Yet,
Trust your own instincts, they seem to be good. Knowing your own feelings and taking time to get to know a potential partner, BEFORE introducing him to your children is crucial. The rule of thumb is usually closer to 6 months of dating before bringing them together.
As you said, it’s important to get know the real person. People tend to put their best self forward at the beginning of a relationship. When you add in romantic attraction, sometimes people can also project their ideal on to a new partner, instead of seeing who THEY are. A good method to get to know someone is to be in multiple situations with them. Volunteering together, working together can let you see how they respond to stress. Hanging out with your friends together and getting their input. Hanging out with his friends will help as well. Notice how he interacts in all these situations. Is he kind, honest, open and respectful? As you begin to see more sides of his personality you will have a better idea of who he is, and if he is a good fit for you and your family. This will take time.
It’s still early in the relationship. It’s an appropriate time to have a candid conversation. Let him know that you’ve enjoyed getting to know him and that you want to continue getting to know him. You want to know him more deeply, experience more with him. All of that takes time. You need time as a couple before inviting the kids in. How he responds to this conversation will tell you a lot about it him. If this man is really interested in what’s best for you and best for your kids, he will understand.
Good luck with your conversation. I think you are ready to have it. Trust yourself.