At the risk of getting clobbered by 2x4s I have an inquiry for the folks here that have dated after divorce.
My XW moved the OM into my old house about a year after we separated. She introduced him as a friend, then a bf, then he moved in. Despite they're sordid beginning, she did it pretty well I think. They've been living like this for 9 months and the kids are there 50% so they've integrated into their new life there. Things seem to be going well for them. Kids don't like him a ton but they're used to the idea and 'roll with it'.
They know I'm dating, and actually encouraged it before I ever let them know I was. I've tried to do what I thought was 'right' but have always wrestled with 'well, they saw mom do it one way, seem to be ok with it, so does that change the rules for me?' kind of thing. Mom certainly didn't waste any time - but in her case, they had been together at least for a few years so their relationship was pretty solid by the time she introduced him. again, despite the way that relationship started, it seems to be fairly healthy.
I discuss dating with my girls (11, 9, and 7) a bit. They know I'm dating, know about girls I'm dating, and I explain how dating is just a period where you get to know one person and you're not dating other people (at least that's how I do it) to see if it may work out. They seem to really want me to have someone - no apparent worries that they'll lose me even though they have lost mom a little to the OM. I think they want me to 'have someone' and see coupling as a good model.
I'm in a small town and the girl i am currently dating has been at the same places as us a few times. They know her, I introduced her (as I do everyone I know) to them before we started dating. they know I'm dating her. I feel ok with this 'they know I'm dating and even know who I'm dating sometimes' thing.
Sometimes it seems weird to me that I keep my personal life separate from them. I dunno, like it isn't right. It sets up a weird dichotomy where I feel like I'm living two parallel lives and one is separate from them. Maybe that's part of divorce, but it reeks of sneaking or something. I fully understand they whole 'don't integrate a new person into your life until you're sure they're going to be a part of your life' thing but at the same time, it sometimes make sense to me to let the girls see how dating is supposed to work. that sometimes it doesn't work out and you don't date anymore. That you take things slowly, get to know someone, and then decide if you want to move forward. Sometimes I wonder if that's a healthier view of dating for them to learn. Especially since my oldest is 11 and it won't be long before her own 'dating' adventures begin.
I'm not sure what question I'm asking. Maybe I'm questioning the blanket rule of 'don't introduce anyone to your kids until you know you're going to be in a solid relationship' idea and wondering if there are some hybrid versions that make sense, too.
Yes, I'm asking because I really like this girl I'm dating now. I've dated 4-5 people now, all healthy (mostly, some sex too soon) dating escapades that ended, but ended well so I have some perspective of what 'seems good' vs. something that I felt may not work out.
Any thoughts or comments?