Single mom needing advice

Hello- I am new this site and am hoping for some helpful advice. I have a 5 year old daughter. Her father and I were divorced 3 years ago. We have a pretty good relationship (all things considered).
I have started dating, and was very cautious in how much time a new beau spent with my daughter.
Recently, a good male friend of mine (who my daughter adores) became romantic. We kept the romantic side of our relationship away from my daughter, but continued to hang out all three of us.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out. And it breaks my heart to say that it went so badly we are no longer friends.
My daughter has been asking me about him, wanting to know when we are all going to hang out again.
How do I explain to my daughter that I am no longer friends with someone that she has grown to care about?
Has anyone here been in this situation? Maybe you even have advice on how your single parent handled this situation with you when you were younger.
Thank you!

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9 thoughts on “Single mom needing advice

  1. Maracuya says:

    [When I was young, my mother did date a bit here and there. I remember two instances where her relationships didn’t work out. She told me straight they she was dating Mr. Whatever, and because it didn’t work out, he wasn’t coming around anymore. I wasn’t too attached, so it seemed to be the best approach.

    Because your daughter is so young and will miss him dearly, I would probably go for the white lie. Something like, “Mr. So-and-so is very busy with work. He doesn’t have time to come around.” And maybe then she’ll move on after a while. Some kids can sense through these excuses, but others can’t. (Example: I believed my mother when she told me my dog was at the vet for several years following him being hit by a car.)

  2. EricaSwagger says:

    [The important thing to remember is that you’re the adult and she’s the kid. You don’t really owe her anything. She’s 5 and most likely won’t remember him in a few months.
    As mentioned above, a white lie works fine. Eventually she will stop asking about him. But if you really wan’t to be honest, the easiest thing is to just be honest. “He and I aren’t friends anymore so he can’t come over to play.” If it makes you feel better, add on “but he still loves you very much.” I promise she’ll bounce right back.

  3. Happy Pants says:

    [My take on this is that no matter you say it, your daughter is going to be sad about it. Personally, I would go with the white lie about being busy, because your daughter is five, and like the other two commenters have said, she’s not going to remember in a few weeks, or a few months. Or you can tell her that you aren’t friends anymore, but my only slight concern is that, depending on how precocious your daughter is, she might get angry with you because of that. Is she mature (or immature?) enough to blame you for ending a friendship she was benefiting from?

    TL;DR: Would you rather have her be sad and angry, or just sad? She’ll get over it quickly, no need to make it worse.

  4. faraday says:

    [I have a 4 year old…and I’ve been struggling with this too. I’m very selective on who she meets. In the 3 years I’ve been split up from her dad, she’s met one of the men I’ve dated. I will confess, she met him way too early…but it I know for my ex and I….we both thought we had found our soul mates. We ended up dating for over a year..She still talks about him 9 months later. When we see the building he designed when we drive downtown, she asks if we can go visit him…she asks when we get to go have a sleepover at his house again and tells me she misses his dog. One day in August, she asked how you “pick who you marry” and I told her “you choose the person who you love the most”……And she asked when I was going to marry M. How did she know my heart was still his? 😦

    I tried the “Mommy and M aren’t friends anymore and he can’t come see us anymore.” routine…but it still persisted. Finally, when the leaves were starting to fall off the trees a few weeks ago, I sat her down and I talked about how we need to say goodbye to things so that new things can come. We say good-bye to the long days of summer, to the warmth, the swimming suits. We sat there staring at the harvest moon…and we said “Good-bye summer, we’ll miss you!”…and we then we said “Hello winter”; and talked about everything we were welcoming: sweaters, snow boots, snow shoes and mitts. We welcome it with apple picking and pumpkin carving….and how we smile when welcome something new into our lives.

    Then I told her M wasn’t in our lives anymore either. We said bye to him. We said good bye to his dog. And we talked about how we were excited to welcome someone new into our lives.

    And you know…I finally am. And she hasn’t mentioned M since.

  5. AKchic says:

    [As a 2x divorced mother of 4 boys who is getting married again (hey, I’m a glutton for punishment), I do understand what you’re going through.

    Your daughter is old enough to understand that this guy isn’t coming around anymore, therefore she is old enough to understand the rudimentary basics. You two aren’t friends anymore, so he isn’t coming to hang out anymore. You don’t need to get into detail. If she starts asking why, distract her with a game, a book, or a project.

  6. Jasmine says:

    [I had a single mom who dated throughout my childhood. I don’t remember being overly attached to those she dated- in fact, I usually was ready for things to end before she was, and so had no problem when that person was out of our life.
    I will have to ask my mom if her memories were different, though, and if we ever had to have “the talk” like the one you are asking about. Because, if she did, I was never traumatized or upset with her about someone who was no longer around- so she must have done something right!
    Also- I am sorry you lost a friend. It’s hard enough to end a relationship without also having to help your child cope with their loss as well.

  7. Heather says:

    [I almost divorced my husband when my oldest was 1-2. She was really close to my X, Joe. After the break-up, we did all hang out a few times, and I tried to remain friends with Joe. But once my X-husband and I got back together, he didn’t want me being friends with Joe, and I respected his wishes. You just have to explain that you’re no longer friends, and she’ll move on.

    When I was a kid, I moved around a lot. I had to learn to make new friends and forget the old ones. This is similar, and it won’t scar your kid for life. My oldest vaguely remembers Joe, and he was a good part of her life. People come and go, and what’s important is that they left a good impression. Don’t worry so much. 😀

  8. Heather says:

    [OMG I think you helped me! My last guy, R, dumped me for an X who used to live with him, and his kids missed her and vice-versa. Maybe that guilt had something to do with it! Wow – thanks!!!!!

  9. lilredbmw says:

    [I don’t have children, so I guess maybe my advice won’t hold as much weight, but here goes…

    Children are smart. Smarter than we give them credit for. And while it might be easy to tell a white lie, I doubt that is the approach I would take. My parents were always very open with me. Okay, maybe too open at times, but I prefer too open to white lies or portions of the truth. I learned many a life lesson due to their honesty. If you tell a white lie about hime being busy, it is possible that she might be upset that he is too busy for her. However, if you tell her the truth, she will know it is not her fault at all. She will have to move on, life lesson learned.

    I would go with honesty. Honesty is the best policy.

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