All kidding aside, if they are starting this behavior, I don't see anything wrong with having the guy pick you up for a date after you've gotten to know him, which seems to be the case for Mr. Date #4. As you say, it sets the precident for your kids regarding dating.
Believe me, your kids are going to figure out that you're sneaking around--they are smart like that
So, I am rethinking my position about "introductions" and if a man, being respectful and picking me up for a date, is an "introduction".
I think there's a very big difference between the "introduction" at the door, "So-and-so, these are my kids, kids, this is so-and-so" and the "introduction" of them hanging out together. I have a lot of people in my life that my kids know of and know their names, but they are not people my kids hang out with.
I say, if this guy is a great guy, let him come to the door and pick you up like a proper date. If the kids are hanging around, introduce them to your friend. If they're anything like my kids, they'll be distracted by something else within 25 seconds and won't even think twice. He's not going to "register" with them unless he's actually hanging out with them.
I don't have to decide on this issue as the date will be over before kids get home.
I think this is a fascinating discussion, and I am leaning toward allowing him to meet me at the door…maybe for date 5?
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings
My EW in a year went from married to me, to separated, to divorced, to married. So my kids gained a step father in a years time. They were introduced to him in a matter of weeks after she moved out.
Me, I'm dating and have had some people I've dated for a period of time. Two of them met my kids. One of which spent quality time with my kids once I was ready for that to happen (because kids will hang out with anyone - at least mine will). What does that do for me? It let's me see how they interact with my kids. My kids are still young (8 and 11) and I have a special needs kid. So I want to see how that dynamic works. It will be important long term. Some can say it could become the revolving door. Maybe it does. My kids understand that someone I date today I may not be dating tomorrow. They already know people break up, hell they saw that with their parents. I have already sat with them and explained why their parent broke up. Now I tell them that when people date and break up that is okay. They are not married. For me I want to be sure the person I end up with is good for me AND for them.
Now I totally understand the picking up at the door, being cautious thing. I'm a guy so I always pick up and pay for dates. That's just part of being old school (or just old).
There were a lot of different men. Some she only dated once, others a few times, a few for a few months. None ever slept over.
I HATED it. I don't want my girls to see me 'date' - ever. I have 50/50 so it's completely unnecessary in my situation. When I'm serious with someone I'll still probably wait a year or three before introducing them.
For me it's not so much the dating that is the biggest issue - it's the revolving door/breakup part I never want them to go through again. They'll have enough of it every 2-5 years with their dad.
I personally don't subscribe to the notion that kids learn how to date via their parents. Interpersonal relationships (romantic, platonic and familial), yes. Not dating. I know I didn't. It felt so weird to me that the sad clown was the first and only boyfriend my mum ever met. I left home at 17 - 11-odd years later she met him a few months before we married 18m after we met.
Having said that I think it would be more difficult if I had majority custody. Even then it would be a long while and serious before I brought my kids into it. I'd have to be fairly sure he was worth the risk.
Since I am not a revolving door, this is only the second man I've even considered dating with any seriousness in 3 years, I'm not too worried about my kids seeing him pick me up.
I hope it will open a dialogue about dating. It won't be long before my dd is dating, and I want her to talk to ME about it. She watches everything I do and all I've ever said is that I hadn't met anyone special enough to introduce to them, but I do tell them I date when they are gone.
They probably won't even notice. This is just my brain running scenarios.