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Meeting your Co-parent’s Significant Other

There are going to be lots of emotions running around once you do meet your ex’s new partner. There are a few things to keep in mind when this does happen. (2 min 14 sec read)

Dave Chartier
A single co-parenting dad, a freelance writer and former syndicated dad blogger with work published in USA Today, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

The probability of this meeting being an emotionally charged one is high, to say the least. Perhaps it is a chance meeting. Perhaps you bump into them. Perhaps it is a planned meeting. Perhaps you have no idea there was a significant other in the picture. Regardless there are going to be lots of emotions running around once you do meet (your ex, you and the significant other).

In any case there are a few things to keep in mind when this does happen. Hopefully, the first meeting will be brief. And hopefully it will be in a setting that steers clear of alcohol. Think coffee and tea, not beer and wine for this one.

The Basics.

If you are meeting this person, things must be pretty serious. Just keep in mind they will be more nervous than you. They may be quiet, or talkative. Fidgety or stoic, either way, go easy on them. And no need to grill them with 20 questions, if they’re ‘all that’ you’ll have plenty of time to get to know them. Start with some basic kid-centric questions to help understand what and how they may influence your child’s life.

  • If she’s a mom -or- he’s a dad, ask about their kids! What mother doesn’t like to talk about her children? This will also relax her a bit.
  • Where do they work? Do you enjoy what they do? What type of schedule do they have?
  • Do you live alone or with people or family? This is an important question because if your kid spends time with this guy or gal, they will most likely be interacting with whomever this person lives with, too.
  • What do they enjoy doing as a hobby or in their spare time?
  • Your turn. Talk about your child, tell them a few things about them you feel are important. Aside from sharing some important tidbits with them it begins to establish healthy dialogue which is important ongoing.

Don’t dwell on any one answer, keep it light and be accepting. In some way, shape or form this may be the beginning of a relationship with this person, too.

Reality Check.

If issues pop up through this conversation, or you simply don’t like the significant other, do your best to keep it to yourself, chances are if you say something both your ex and their new other will not care. Even if everything went as planned and you still walk away nonplussed, that’s okay. Even if the kids were not there you are setting the stage for coParenting in a blended family and it is all about keeping things drama-free and keeping the focus on the wellbeing of the kids.