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Jumping back into the dating pool can be a thrilling experience. Unlike dating during one's teenage years, however, children often play a role in the dating experience as an adult.
Though introducing adult children to your new partner may be easier than presenting a new flame to a preteen, the process still requires thoughtfulness and tact. Following these simple tips will make the introductory process as comfortable as possible.
Keep Your Children "In The Loop"
Communicating with your children is the best way to prepare for a future meeting between your children and your new flame. With adult children is it generally acceptable to discuss the dating process, including who you are seeing and what you are doing. Talk with your son or daughter about the dates you've gone on. If you're getting serious with someone, consider talking to them about it. Show your child a picture or two of your new partner. Allow them to get an idea of the person you are dating.
Talking to your children about your budding relationship will prevent them from feeling blindsided at a later date. These conversations will also allow your children to express their interest or voice their concerns regarding your new significant other. Talking about your partner early on will ensure that the first meeting between your partner and your children goes smoothly.
Communicate with Your New Flame
Communicating with your partner is just as important as talking to your children. Talk to your flame about your children's jobs, hobbies, and families. This information will give your partner a better idea of your children's lives and personalities. Instead of an awkward first encounter, your partner will have enough background information to carry on a meaningful conversation with your children. If there are any sensitive topics that shouldn't be discussed during an introductory meeting, let your partner know. Discussing your family with your partner can make the inevitable first encounter more comfortable for everyone involved.
Explain Things Gradually
Every relationship moves at a different pace. While some couples may be head-over-heels in weeks, others may find that intimacy takes months to blossom. Regardless of the natural pace of your relationship, it is important to consider how this information may affect your adult children. Though you may feel that you've found "the one" after just two weeks of dating, your children may worry that you're rushing into a relationship. When speaking with your children, it is best to pace yourself regarding the information that you share. Instead of getting over-excited about your new relationship, casually mention that you're seeing someone new and enjoying their company. By giving your children some time to warm up to things, they will generally be more readily accepting of your new romance.
Enjoy a Casual Family Get-Together
Many adults feel that the holidays are a great opportunity to introduce a new partner to their children. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth! It is always best to make the initial meeting casual and comfortable for all involved. No matter how well you have prepared your family and significant other for this encounter, it will likely be a little stressful for everyone involved. A casual environment ensures that the experience is as stress-free as it can be. Enjoy a low-key lunch together, go bowling, or see a movie. By doing something fun and casual as a group, you can allow bonding to happen naturally.
Listen to Your Children
Even though your children are grown up, your relationship may still affect them. Reassure your children that they can ask you questions about your relationship. If they have any concerns regarding your partner or your relationship, listen to them in earnest. There are many reasons your children may be reluctant to accept your new relationship, ranging from a feeling of parental replacement to fears about your financial security. By listening to their concerns and explaining your perspective on your relationship, you can assuage many of the anxieties your children may be experiencing. Know that, ultimately, your children want you to be happy. Though it may feel as though your children are treating you like a child, try to be understanding; it is almost certain that they have your best interests at heart. By listening to your children, you can make them feel more secure regarding your new relationship status.
Communication plays the most important role in establishing a great relationship between your partner and your children. By discussing your relationship early and frequently, you can open the doors to a comfortable first meeting. If all goes well, your partner and children might just form a lasting familial bond.
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