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Friend vs. do you make the introduction?

A friend and I are disagreeing over how to introduce the new boyfriend to the kids. I feel it's better to introduce him as my friend, and after they get to know him, get comfy with him, like him, etc. then to explain that he's more than just a friend, and continue to explain as the relationship progresses. She feels it's better to introduce the boyfriend as the boyfriend, b/c she says it's lying to the kids to say he's just a friend. Now, I pride myself on not lying to my kids, but I strongly feel that telling my kids that this guy they've never met is my boyfriend is just too much pressure on everyone involved. Now, obviously, we both have our opinions, and neither one of us is going to change how we do it, but I'm just wondering what others think. Am I lying to my kids, or am I trying to make the situation more comfortable and easier to deal with for all involved?


Asked by tropicalmama at 1:50 PM on Nov. 22, 2009 in Relationships

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I think it is important to avoid smudging the truth with children you hope will always tell you the actual truth. Even if it's embarrassing, even if it's 'adult', even if the words fly over their heads. Because even if they don't remember the words, they'll remember the truth in the tone.

    And children have the most inconvenient way of remembering and saying your words back to you at inopportune moments. Best if they are true words, in that case.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:18 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Oh, and just to be clear, I don't introduce a bunch of guys to my kids. The guy I'm currently dating is the first guy they will ever meet. That's why she and I are disagreeing on this. She thinks they will realize the significance of this moment, which I'm sure is true, but I don't see why I should make it an even bigger deal, if that makes sense. Oh, and the kids are 8 & 6.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 1:51 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • First words will be the lasting words. If you introduce him as your friend, that's what's going to stick. From then on, their idea of friend will be muddled.

    Answer by EireLass at 2:11 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • So, then, are you saying I'm wrong? I'm trying to do what's best for them. Should I tell them he's my boyfriend? I'm not really even sure they understand what that is, so I would need to explain that first. This is why I'm asking what you ladies think. I want to do this the right way, b/c I think that he and I have a real shot of having a very serious, long lasting relationship, and I don't want the kids feeling...I don't know, funny about it, I guess.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 2:34 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • This is an excellent time for serious conversations with your kids. If you tell them he's your boyfriend and they ask what that is, you can tell them it's a friend but even more special, and sort of go into it like that. You can talk to them about man woman emotions, sex, love, etc. What a great way to get the whole open discussion going.

    Answer by EireLass at 2:42 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • When my grandfather was dating (after his wife had been gone for over a decade) we were introduced to his gals as his "lady friends" and we didn't feel lied to. Perhaps you need something between friend and boyfriend. This is my "special friend" or something like that.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 4:26 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • I agree at lest some what with toriandgrace. Find a basic way to explain boyfriend. Tell your kids that this man is your boyfriend. Tell them boyfriend means extra special friend of mommy's. Be sure to cover that this man IS NOT daddy, and that he's not trying to be daddy. Your oldest will understand the basic boyfriend girlfriend concept, but your youngest is going to think of him as the boy you chase around the play ground. Explain to your oldest that your boyfriend isn't like what he's experanced at school. You need to make sure you cover it in understandable detail for both kids seperatly. My mom never told us anything about my step dad when she started daiting him. She just took us to his house and made us sleep in the living room while she fucked him. Screwed with my 4 year old head that's for sure. Don't do the same to your kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • I think friend is fine. I introduced my husband when we were dating (after 7 months) to my children as my friend. It didn't confuse them. They were 9 and 5. I would hope that any relationship would start off as a friendship anyway. It's not as if you're going to be making out in front of them, so friendship should be all they see anyway.

    Personally I felt funny calling him my boyfriend, I wasn't 16. lol I introduced him to everyone as my friend. I asked my 14 yr old (the once 9 yr old) and he says it didn't confuse him. He laughed at the answers of some of these women.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:54 PM on Nov. 22, 2009