It has become the great debate amongst single moms.  Should we introduce our kids to the guy we are dating early on in the relationship? After all, it’s important to know ahead of time that they will connect and bond with our kids, right? Or should we introduce them later on in the relationship because we need to know if we are really serious about this guy.

First, we need to examine what is the underlying issue that makes this decision so challenging.  WE DON’T WANT TO HURT OUR KIDS. We don’t want to see our kids getting attached to someone and then the relationship doesn’t work out.  The nurturer in us doesn’t want to see our kids in pain and we certainly don’t want to set them up for it. However, we should look at this differently.  This is the real world.  Relationships come and go.  More importantly, we need to show our kids a healthy dynamic and how we cope with the aftermath of those relationships.

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So, which answer is right? The truth is, they both are right. You can introduce your kids to the person you are dating early in the relationship or later in the relationship. We each decide based on what we are comfortable with and what we have learned from past situations. My last boyfriend was introduced to my daughter after 4 months of dating. He didn’t have kids. It was important for me to see how he was able to relate to my daughter before we went any further. We broke up after 9 months and yes, my 11-year-old daughter was sad. For one whole day.  It wasn’t the end of the world. I explained to her that in relationships we sometimes have our differences that we can’t figure out how to move past so we agreed to go our separate ways.  I assured her that he was a great person but just not a great fit for me. She took it much better than I thought she would.  After seeing him once a week for over 5 months, I just knew she would be traumatized.  She wasn’t at all.  Now, the guy I dated prior to him, I wish I would have gotten to know better before introducing him to my little one. He turned out to be off his rocker and he HATED kids.  He wouldn’t even speak to her when she was around.  When he would invite us over to his place, he would go into another room and sit on the computer as if we weren’t there.  She was only 4 at the time but I believe she could sense the rejection.  But guess what?  She lived.  It wasn’t the end of the world. She never even once brought his name up after that relationship ended.

We may not get it right every time but what is most important is to make sure that the person you are dating knows how important your child is to you and the expectations of the relationship. Set boundaries. Make them clear to the person you are dating. Are you dating to eventually get married and build a family or just dating to have something to do? Maybe that could help you better decide when that introduction should happen.

Jillian “JJ” Simmons, a veteran radio host from Cincinnati, Ohio, is more than just another voice to fill the airwaves. As an on-air talent, she has captivated listeners from major cities from across the country, including her hometown Cincinnati (WIZF-FM), Dayton (WROU-FM), New York City (WBLS-FM, where she worked alongside “The Queen of All Media,” Wendy Williams), Indianapolis (WHHH-FM), and Houston (KBXX-FM) . Over the years, she has interviewed many of the rich, famous and influential, including our 44th President, Barack Obama. In addition to being a positive influence on people she meets through her work, JJ is a proud mother to a beautiful daughter. She uses her passion for the” mommy experience” to motivate other single mothers through her network and website Although she has always had an innate desire to empower others, raising a daughter has deepened her desire to foster change in the lives of women, and inspired her to give birth to JJ’s I’m Me Foundation.  JJ recently published her first book, Without Bruises: A Journey To Hope, Help and Healing which tells her personal story of surviving domestic abuse.

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