Dating when you’re over 50 is rewarding and exciting but it can come with it complications, particularly when introducing your new partner to people close to you. If you have adult children this can be an even more difficult situation to navigate so it’s important to make sure it’s handled tactfully.

Communicate from the start

Your children may find it difficult to adjust to the idea of you dating, particularly if it’s a relatively new decision and you haven’t introduced the idea to them. While you don’t have to share the details of every date you go on, if you begin dating someone who you feel a connection with, share this with your child at the earliest opportunity. It might be several weeks or even months until they meet your date, but by the time they do, they’ll already be much more familiar with the idea.

Share some details about each of them

As your children get older, you’ll likely see the shift in your relationship as they become increasingly protective over you, particularly if you’re regularly out meeting new people. Even if the person you’re introducing them to is your perfect match, they may need some encouragement to see them as fondly as you do. Start by sharing some snippets of their likes and dislikes and things they may have in common. Over time they’ll understand why you feel the way you do about your new partner and will be open to the idea of you being in a relationship again.

Don’t forget to include your partner

Introducing your partner to your adult children is like introducing your partner to your parents for the over 50’s. Their opinions are important; you want them to like each other and be supportive of the relationship otherwise you know it’ll be a difficult journey ahead. That’s why it’s equally as important to make sure your new partner knows enough about your children, as they’ll be feeling more pressure than any of you. Share stories and hobbies about your children so your new partner can meet them feeling like they already have a hint of what they’ll be like. With a bit of background, you can make the first meeting much more relaxed and enjoyable.

Make sure each of them are heard

First meetings might not always go well, and you might still be faced with some resistance from either your partner or your children. Ultimately you have enough experience to make your own decisions, but ensure both your children and your partner feel heard. Listen to opinions and digest what they’re saying. Opening a dialogue between you and your child about your new relationship will help them understand your perspective and work towards a place where your new partner and your children can form a relationship of their own.