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If you find someone who you think could become a long-term partner, ask your kids if they want to meet this person rather than trying to force a first meeting.

Offer the option of waiting to see whether the relationship lasts a while longer before agreeing to meet.

Intellectually, this adult child, of course, understands that the family unit ended when the parent was widowed or divorced—but some adult children manage to avoid psychologically confronting this fact until the parent starts seeing someone new.

Parents often have unrealistic expectations that their new partners will instantly become part of a happy family unit.

That almost certainly will take time (if it happens at all).

Also: Dissuade your new partner from pushing too hard to form close bonds with your adult children when they do meet.

Your partner should be pleasant and polite but should let your adult children take the lead in these relationships.

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