Now here's a mom with a thoughtful approach to dating. Her premise is that the typical advice, which says keep kids away from dates unless it's serious, is flawed because 1) it sets a bad example (that it's okay to sneak around and date on the sly), 2) once the kids meet the beau there's a lot more at stake, and 3) a relationship is formed without exposure to major players (kids).
Here's what she says:
"Once the divorce was final, I gathered my children and said, 'I loved being married, I loved your dad and I'd like to get married again. To that end, I plan to start dating good men. You'll get to meet and enjoy them _ think of them as friends, unless and until I let you know a special one will become a husband to me.' I think it's great for my kids to see me being so positive about marriage. ...I've had a few relationships now, and while my kids and I have naturally experienced some real adjustments to our new life, they've enjoyed meeting really nice guys who have enjoyed them in turn, and with whom I am still friendly in each case. It's great for my kids to see that I think very positively of men, and it's lovely for them to see me enjoying being treated well by good men. (Knowing that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage helps them here, too.)"
When my mom was single, she introduced me to her dates early on, even taking me along on first dates. Her theory was that it was best for all parties to get all the cards on the table and know right away if there would be any problems. On one occasion, I refused to talk with a man we were out on a date with. Mom was embarrassed by my behavior, but later decided I'd had good instincts when she decided the guy was a creep.