Does my six-month rule make sense?

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Hi Meredith,

I'll be 39 in a couple of months and I have a young son. His dad and I divorced a couple of years ago. I've been dating since my divorce, hoping to find a relationship. I've had a couple that have ended because I wasn't willing to introduce them to my son after just a few weeks of dating. They wanted to start hanging out with my son and me, but I told them I wasn't comfortable with them meeting him until we had been dating for six months.

They were in theory OK with that, but both broke up with me pretty quickly when I held firm to that boundary. I usually have one or two nights a week to spend time with a partner, but sometimes I need that time to get work done, or just deal with life. In both relationships, I was told that I wasn't committed enough. They both talked about wanting to move in together within the first month of dating. I'm certainly not perfect, but I like to communicate daily. I also don't want to rush into moving in with someone I'm not incredibly certain about. I've always been that way. I've also always been pretty busy. But of course when I didn't have a kid, I could make more time for someone than I can now.

Am I being completely foolish thinking that I can find someone who will date me for six months or more before pressuring me to meet my kid and start planning to move in with them? Is this fairly normal dating behavior?

– Rushed

You're not being foolish at all! You sound thoughtful and responsible. You're protecting your child and you own happiness.

You are being great.

I can't speak to what’s normal, but moving in with someone is a big step, especially when that person has a child. It seems way too soon to have that kind of conversation when you've only known someone a month (I'll validate that). It's great that these people are enthusiastic about next steps, but they haven't been the best potential partners for you. The right person isn't going to ask you to rush.

Keep dating. Continue to make time for yourself. Seek out people who seem to get it – those who are comfortable with once or twice-a-week dates until it makes sense to try for more. If someone is fantastic and the vibes are very good, it's possible you'll revisit the six-month idea. But frankly, as a child of divorce I say ... you know your kid. Do what's best for him.

Remember that these people said you weren't committed enough for them. They need something you wouldn't want to offer, even if you were dating without a child in the picture. This process is about finding people with similar priorities.

It's not you, it's them.

– Meredith

Readers? Does six months sound right? What were your rules? Advice for this single parent?