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Introducing A New Partner To Adult Children
By Ken Solin
You’re excited about finally meeting a man or woman you feel has the potential to become your life partner. It took long enough, didn’t it? I mean you dated online for quite a while, sent email invitations, answered just as many, had dozens of coffee dates, and finally met someone special. The hard work is done, right? Maybe not if you have adult children you want to introduce to your new Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful.
Chances Are High Your Children Will Be Protective of You
Sure, you hoped your grown kids would be thrilled to know that mom or dad will no longer be alone, but you might be wrong about their level of enthusiasm. Adult children are often protective of a divorced or widowed father or mother, in terms of wanting to spare them from getting hurt again. And while that attitude is understandable, it’s not very helpful in practical terms.
Their Notion, Not Yours
It isn’t so much that your adult children don’t want you to meet someone, fall in love, and live happily ever after, as it is that they want you to meet someone who fits the parameters they’ve conjured up that reflect what they feel are appropriate. And it’s unlikely their main concerns revolve around passion and romance since they’re your children, not your peers. So how can a senior man or woman introduce a new love interest in a manner as close to sure as possible that will smooth the way?
You’re An Adult
It’s important to remind your adult children that you’re also an adult, and that you’ve spent many more years living on the planet than they have. And in that time you’ve developed pretty accurate radar about people. And while you may be new to dating after decades of marriage, you’re not a rookie to love.
If you’re divorced then you’ve learned about relationships the hard way, which while not the most desirable lesson path is a viable one nonetheless. If you’re widowed then you know what it takes to make a relationship work. You might want to remind your children that you’re not looking for a replacement for your deceased husband or wife, but rather a new friend and partner who isn’t supposed to necessarily resemble your previous one at all. And your new partner isn’t going to be their stepfather or stepmother either.
Suggest that they meet your new love interest with open minds and hearts, and that they give both you and your new potential partner the benefit of the doubt in terms of ready acceptance. Urge them to ask him or her questions that reflect their concerns, but remind them to be respectful while doing so since you’ve invested your heart in this person.
Respect Their Fears
Assume that your children only want what’s best for you, even though they may not actually know what that looks like. What they know is that there are a fair number of scammers dating online, and that they may automatically but wrongly assume your new love interest is such a person. Assure them that you’ve done your homework about this man or woman, in terms of knowing with some amount of certainty who they are and how they support themselves.
Remind your children that while you’re chronologically older, you’re not emotionally dead, and that you want someone to love in your golden years. You want to feel in love again, you’ve done the personal growth work to know what that’s supposed to look like, and your new partner fits that description.
Last but not least, let your children know that you love them and appreciate that they want what’s best for you, and that you believe in your heart that your new partner is the man or woman who in fact is what’s best. Ask them to accept your new partner on faith at first, which means believing in your ability to discern good qualities.
Hopefully your adult children will be happy for you, but if they aren’t, remind them that this is a choice and that you hope they’ll make the right one, which is to welcome your new partner with open hearts and minds.
Hopefully we allayed your doubts when it comes to introducing a new partner to your children. In case you are still looking for a partner, you should sign up for one of these senior online dating sites that do their best to help you find love.