I’ve been with my partner for a year, but he won’t let me meet his teenage son. PICTURE: Trinity Kubassek
I’ve been with my partner for a year, but he won’t let me meet his teenage son.
My boyfriend’s amazing and we get on so well, he makes me laugh and he fits in with my friends. I’m very much in love. However every time I ask him to introduce me to his 16 year old son, he tells me now is not the right time.
It hurts that he does not feel comfortable sharing such an important part of his life with me. He spends a lot of time with his son which I don’t begrudge but I’d like to be a part of it. He tells me he loves me, but I can’t help but be concerned: is this a sign he does not want to commit?
No matter how old we are or in what circumstances we get together, the stages of a relationship tend to fall into the same pattern. After a heady time of being only with each other, you want to introduce your newly important person to all the other important people in your life. By integrating him into your friendship circle, you’re progressing nicely. But he’s stuck in phase one.
There are two explanations for his behaviour. Though online dating, as you did, is often a great way to meet people, they arrive with no back story. You have to keep discovering things. It’s possible your partner had a difficult separation from his ex and is trying to protect his son. It’s equally possible the boy has become used to having his father all to himself and makes waves whenever it’s suggested he may have to share him.
With either of those scenarios, it’s important to point out the son is approaching adulthood, has had plenty of time to adjust to his parents not being together at least a year and ought to be gradually introduced to the person his father cares for, just as you should be able to meet him. It’s fair to suppose the boy will have plenty of other things going on and might be relaxed about the new arrangement. Even if he’s a bit surly, he’s sure to be happy for his father somewhere down the line.
The second possibility is that this man may simply be enjoying his time with you without thinking of it as a partnership. Have you met his friends?
It’s easy to be the life and soul of the party socially, quite another to face possible teenage truculence or introduce you to his mates and have to cope with their reaction. That isn’t to say you’re not good together, but your presence means he has to accept his previous partnership failed and he might not be great at admitting failure of any sort. He may be seeing you when it suits him and using visits to his son as an excuse to have some ‘me time’ without you.
I think he gets a pretty good deal: you’re a generous, open and tolerant person who has plenty of love to share. There’s never a right time for difficult conversations, but you need to have one. Then he can start talking to his son about a future for the three of you.
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