How to Introduce a New Boyfriend to Your Child Without Harming Your Relationship With Either of Them

I’m often asked by single mothers how and when to introduce a new boyfriend to their child. It’s a difficult question to answer because every child is different. Some are attached and protective of their mother more than others. Use your gut instinct on when to introduce the boyfriend. Don’t surprise your kid(s) one day and invite him over. Let them know well before that day occurs that you met someone and that you’d like to introduce them.

Assure your child they’re still the most important part of your life

Children often become jealous when a mother gets a new boyfriend. You can avoid the jealousy issues if you assure your child that, no matter what happens between you and the new man, they’re still the most important part of your life. Don’t just say they’re still #1 to you – prove it. Don’t ditch your daughter’s dance recital so you can go out for drinks with the boyfriend. You’ll definitely be spending a bit less time with your kids now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have plenty of quality time together.

 Introduce a New Boyfriend to Your Child Without Harming Your Relationship

Introduce a New Boyfriend to Your Child Without Harming Your Relationship

Good Times and Places to Introduce Your New Boyfriend

  • At your house when the kids aren’t busy with other activities (their schedule is important too) and the mood in the home the past few days has been positive and upbeat.
  • At a quiet park on a Saturday afternoon. Find a park with a swingset, large walking path, etc. This works out well if your child enjoys activities such as sports or playing on a jungle gym. It gives the child and the boyfriend a golden opportunity to bond.
  • At your child’s favorite restaurant. Every kid has that restaurant they go crazy for. When Mom takes them out to dinner at that restaurant, there’s nothing that could possibly get in their way of happiness. Though they might be more focused on their delicious meal, you won’t have to worry about them getting angry.

    Child enjoys activities such as sports or playing on a jungle gym

    Child enjoys activities such as sports or playing on a jungle gym

Bad Times and Places to Introduce Your New Boyfriend

  • Any time your child has shown behavior issues or has been resenting the fact that you have a new boyfriend. Wait until things have smoothed themselves out before introducing. You don’t want to escalate the problems by bringing over the new boyfriend.
  • At a family function, such as a family reunion. He’s not part of the family yet and this is an uncomfortable way to introduce him to your child.
  • When you know the ex will be stopping by. You’re likely to anger the boyfriend if the father of your child stops by while he’s there. Talk about being uncomfortable!

     Family function

    Family function

You know your child better than anyone and have that motherly intuition. Trust that intuition before deciding to invite him over. Has your child’s behavior changed since you mention the new boyfriend? If so, go back to what I said about assuring your children they’re always going to be your top priority. Sometimes it takes a little time for kids to be comfortable with Mom meeting a new guy. They’ll accept it eventually. In the meantime, it’s probably best to not introduce them until you’re certain they’re ready to.