It allows you to specifically discuss the practicalities of raising your child without detouring into negative areas and opening old wounds.
It also provides a recorded message, admissible into court, so parents tend to be more careful when using it.
Once your relationship becomes somewhat serious, try to get to know her son gradually, without attempting to rush or force the relationship or stepping in as a parental figure.
Children (especially young children) quickly can become attached to someone new and, consequently, may be confused or hurt if the relationship ends.
If your date wants you to meet her son right away, suggest that she introduce you as a friend.
"Too many parents attempt to communicate through their children," Neuman says, "which causes undue emotional stress on them and forces them to negotiate a situation their own parents could not handle.
Email is an excellent tool nowadays to communicate with your ex-spouse.
Generally, younger children are more accepting of new relationships. This age is just beginning to understand sexuality, and often preteens have trouble dealing with their own sexuality, let alone the idea that their parents are sexual beings, too.
Although the child at first may refuse to bond with you, over time (maybe even over a year), you can build a relationship.
Their own anxiety and need for control causes them to be 'understanding' of what you're going through, but you need to be the parent. "Saying nothing will leave your child stressed, as if he must compartmentalize both worlds and tiptoe around this other experience.
Get outside help for yourself, get therapy if necessary, and maintain those boundaries. And it might be difficult, but never criticize your ex -- it's a criticism of your child, who, of course, is 50% of your ex-husband or wife. Say, 'It sounds like you are feeling sad/mad/upset about meeting your dad's new girlfriend, is that right? On the other hand, grilling the child puts him squarely in the middle, which is an impossible position emotionally.
Dating someone who has a child from a previous marriage introduces many complicated issues.
Get your relationship off to a good start by considering these common scenarios. Is it OK to meet him now or should I wait until I have a better feel for the potential of this relationship before making introductions? Most experts agree that you should wait until your relationship shows signs of becoming serious before making introductions.
Some are asked to broker peace between warring exes, even as they are grieving the loss of a parent who has abruptly moved out.