He Wants to Meet My Kids, But I’m Not Ready—What Should I Do?

QUESTION: I’m a sin­gle mom of two and I’ve been dat­ing a wealthy, older man for a few months now. I know he’s more inter­ested in me than I am in him, so I’ve kept the rela­tion­ship “fun” with­out get­ting too seri­ous, and we’ve both been OK with it…until now. He wants to take the next step and meet my sons, but I’m not ready for that. How do I tell him “no” with­out los­ing him completely?

CHELSEA SAYS: Are you sure that you’ve both been OK with keep­ing things “fun”? Because I’m get­ting the impres­sion that you’re both on totally dif­fer­ent pages. It sounds like he’s look­ing for some­thing seri­ous, but you’re just look­ing for a sugar daddy. And there’s noth­ing wrong with a sin­gle mom hav­ing a sugar daddy, but only if he knows that that’s all it is. Your older man may be under the impres­sion that even with the age dif­fer­ence, you’re in a healthy, mutual rela­tion­ship. Mean­while, you’re just look­ing for some­one with money to pass the time with.

How you tell him “no” really depends on what you’re try­ing to con­vey to your sugar daddy: are you say­ing “not right now” or “never”? If you feel like it’s just too soon, then just explain your feel­ings openly and hon­estly, and if he’s gen­uinely inter­ested in estab­lish­ing a solid rela­tion­ship with you and your kids, he’ll be will­ing to wait till the time is right, too. If you’re sure that you never want your sugar daddy to meet your kids, then explain to him that you were under the impres­sion that you were keep­ing things casual and you don’t think your kids will under­stand the dynamic of your rela­tion­ship. How­ever, be pre­pared for the pos­si­bil­ity that he’ll bolt. Like I said, if you’re both not on the same page about the rela­tion­ship, you need to accept that he might move on to some­one who’s look­ing for the same things he is.

How­ever, I must say that I’m glad you’re hold­ing off on intro­duc­ing your sugar daddy to your kids. Before even think­ing about bring­ing your kids into the May-December rela­tion­ship, you need to be 100% sure that he’s an upstand­ing guy—the last thing you want to do is intro­duce your kids to a tool. They won’t take your rela­tion­ship seri­ously, and then when you do intro­duce them to Mr. Right, it’ll be that much harder to earn their approval. Sec­ondly, you need to make sure you want to keep him around for more than just his good looks and money, and, of course, that he’s plan­ning on stick­ing around too.

If you’re plan­ning on con­tin­u­ing to date this older man with­out telling your kids about him, there’s one impor­tant thing to keep in mind—they could find out. Of course, it depends on how old your kids are, but there’s always the pos­si­bil­ity that they’ll either catch on to you sneak­ing around, or they’ll hear it through the grapevine. In any case, if they find out before you tell them, it can hurt not only your May-December rela­tion­ship, but also your parent-child one too.