Our life coach and agony aunt Dr Pam Spurr answers your questions every fortnight. The author of many self-help guides her latest is The Emotional Eater’s Diet for anyone who heads for comfort food in times of stress or unhappiness. More about Dr Pam below.
Is it too soon to ask him to spend Christmas?
Dear Dr Pam,
I got divorced a couple years ago and I have two children aged 12 and 14. I haven’t been lucky finding love again.
A few friends had set me up on blind dates but those haven’t worked. Last month by chance a colleague introduced to a lovely man. We’ve fallen for each other. He hasn’t met my children but they know I go on dates with a special person.
He’s widowed and his only son lives in Australia. I think he can go out of town to spend Christmas with his sister but we’ve both been hinting that we’d like to spend it together.
I’d love to have him spend Christmas Day with us but do you think it’s too soon? Please help!
Dear “Too soon”,
I really feel for you having been in a similar position when I divorced, before I remarried. In my new dating guide (THE LAWS OF SISTERHOOD – The girlfriends’ guide to successful dating and finding the one is out now: http://tinyurl.com/nmmrs43) I interviewed lots of people who’d been through divorce, or single again, and these sorts of dilemmas are common.
I think there are two critical things here: first off, hand on heart are you desperate out of loneliness to try and create an instant family Christmas? Because if your intense feelings are about loneliness, then I think it’s a bad idea to spend Christmas together after only a month of dating.
You could look to compromise and perhaps have Christmas eve lunch with him? Or Boxing Day drinks?
Next, a really big part of this is how mature your children are. And what their emotional state is post-divorce. Have they taken the divorce hard? Have they had any emotional and/or behavioural problems because of it?
Do they have a good relationship with your ex-husband? Have you agreed access with him over the holidays?
If things are pretty rosy, your children are feeling pretty good, they have a good relationship with their father, etc., then you might include them doing something with your man on Christmas Eve. You can go out for coffee and cake or something simple like that.
Or start a discussion with them. Sound out how they feel. You might find they’d hate to have their Christmas “crashed” by a man they don’t know. Or they might be up for it.
I definitely think you should put their feelings above yours. Good luck with thinking about these different points.
I hope it works out for you but even if they hate the idea of your new little spending Christmas, remember it’s only a few days before you can probably see him again.
Take care, Pam x
Dr Pam’s brand-new book is: THE LAWS OF SISTERHOOD – The girlfriends’ guide to successful dating and finding the one is out now: http://tinyurl.com/nmmrs43
Dr Pam is also on twitter @drpamspurr
Also visit www.drpam.co.uk