One of my single dad friends — we actually became friends via online dating! — just emailed to ask for some advice. Since all of you have so much life experience, I thought I’d turn to you. Thanks!
So, D. — the divorced dad of a toddler — was dating a woman for five months, after which they moved in together. (I can hear some of you now: She moved in with you after just five months? What were you thinking?)
Judgments aside, living together made them realize that they weren’t meant for each other. There was no drama, fortunately, and she has recently found another place.
“She is coming by soon to pick up the rest of her stuff,” D. writes. “But here’s my question: how do I discuss this topic with my three-year-old? I don’t want to raise a kid who has separation anxiety and thinks that everyone vanishes.”
D. has been doing his best to explain to his son that his girlfriend his moving out:
“While I’m here to listen to him, I’m afraid that he might be saying that he still misses her six months from now,” he says. “Do you have any suggestions? Thoughts? Anything?”
My two cents?
As much as we try to be the very BEST parents — and always do everything right for our kids — life doesn’t always work out so magically.
You got attached — and your son got attached. That’s what relationships are about, and good for you for letting your son have his feelings.
You might say things like:
“It will be different without [her name] here, won’t it?”
“It’s sad to say ‘good bye, isn’t it?”
Remember this: your son had his own relationship with your girlfriend, separate from your romantic relationship.
I wonder: Can your ex phase out of your son’s life gradually?
Hopefully, at least over the holidays, she spend a little time with your son? Say, they can go out for ice cream? That way, he can transition into letting her go?
I know that many of you have been there!
If you have kids under five, especially, how have you handled a break up?
Let’s hear from you. Thank you.
P.S. If you haven’t watched the video with Single Dad RJ about when to introduce your child to your girlfriend or boyfriend, please watch it below. Let us know your thoughts.
Photo by Jason Nelson
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