Heart choices: Should my children help choose my girlfriend?

Heart choices: Should my children help choose my girlfriend?

 How to pick the best of the bunch
Lora LeeI’ve met four lovely women through online dating. My job will relocate me back to Scotland in a year, and I think it is time to start an exclusive relationship with one of them. I want to introduce them to my children to see how they get on before I make my choice. What’s the best way to do this and what should I watch out for?Heart choices
In my work with divorced couples, I have seen people go through three psychological stages during the recovery process. But many get stuck in the first stage, the “hummingbird” stage, as writer Abigail Trafford describes it in her book, Crazy Time.This means that they take a long detour into casual dating after the end of their marriage. Some become obsessed with online dating, as it offers a seemingly unlimited variety of potential partners.

As the word hummingbird suggests, the danger for those who take this approach is that “their wings flutter too fast”. They flee at the first sign of any imperfection in their date, or quickly move on to a new prospect for the sake of it; casual dating becomes a routine.It’s nice to hear that you have decided to try to settle on one person. But introducing your girlfriends to your children is fraught with problems.

Why put your children through the stress of meeting different partners when they ultimately don’t have much say in your choice? In the end, it will be you who decides, not them, and they may be let down if you don’t choose their favourite.

You seem to have a good idea of what you want. You want someone who loves your children and is good with them, and will be a good wife to you. You are probably looking for someone who shares a similar parenting style. But instead of seeing how they act with your children, you could see how they act with those of your friends.

So how about introducing the girlfriends to your friends who have children? Watch how your girlfriends react to challenging moments, and ask your friends and their children their opinion of your girlfriends. They don’t have the same emotional investment in your choice as your children do, so they won’t feel disappointed if you don’t choose the one they like best in the end. But a word of warning: your friends might tire of you introducing different girlfriends to them.

The most important thing is to find a partner who is right for you and will stand by you.

Holidays are a great way to learn about people. As I write, I am in Spain, where a friend is staying with us. After a week together, I have realised that my obsession with history and architecture, my need to go for a run every day and my near-compulsive cleanliness is driving her crazy.

Dinner dates, or a weekend in a five-star hotel won’t give you this much-needed information. I am not suggesting playing games, but why not have a probation period like this to see if the two of you match in daily life?

Also, think ahead. You know what living in Scotland is like, so try to imagine how each of them would react if they lived there. How would your family and friends relate to them? Do you need someone who can go to work functions with you there?

Do you have strong political views and, if so, do you expect her to share them? Also, summer holidays in Scotland are lovely, but the long and dark winter is another story. Could she cope with the gloom?

I don’t know how long you have been divorced, but I hope you have reflected on the reason your marriage went wrong. You must take ownership of your own part, as you can even learn something from divorce.

It can be an amazing experience to start a new life with someone with whom you are compatible. A new partner could also be the start of a new family. But you and your partner need to have similar values to build on to make it a success.

Take your time to select the girlfriend who is compatible and loves you for who you are. Leave your children out of the equation for now. You must do the legwork and let your children enjoy the benefits.

Lora Lee is a registered psychologist and parenting counsellor who works in private practice as an adjunct to her non-profit work at St John’s Counselling Service

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 August, 2014, 10:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 August, 2014, 10:23amhttp://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/family-education/article/1580567/should-my-children-help-choose-my-girlfriend#RelationshipCompatibility  #OnlineDating  #ChildreninRelationship

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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