Mum/dad, dates are only good for eating, aren’t they?


‘I do wish we could talk longer but I’m having an ‘old’ friend for dinner.’

Remember these immortal and chilling words of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs? In your child’s imaginative world, hopefully they will not be taken seriously. You may not literally kill your date if they’re late meeting you, eat them, and wash them down with a nice bottle of Chianti.

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So how do you explain to your mini me that you’re dating a forty-something with the odd/multiplying grey hair? That they are not simply a temporary ornament in the hallway who’s there to change the light bulbs? Here are some hints on how to handle those curved ball questions:

What is a date, mum/dad?

Ah, that old chestnut, or rather date. Once you’ve explained that this new person is not for eating, politely explain that he/she is a ‘friend’ who, hopefully, you’ll be seeing more of. And, like eating a date, meeting someone could lower your blood pressure and be generally good for your health. Bowel movements? Don’t even go there. Your date shouldn’t be that scary!

Why is he/she still here when I go to bed?

You may need to tactfully point out the date is staying at your home for more reasons than dropping off beers/flowers. Again, explain that your date is your new 45+ friend and that adults like to talk a lot and watch TV. Together. Yeah right, if only these were the real reasons.

Why does he/she have wrinkly bits?

Our kids have a habit of putting their small size 10s in it. Gently tell little Amber that most people get a little wrinkly as they get more mature or over 45 that is, and this is normal if you met them online. Then carefully remind her that it’s not always nice to shout ‘wrinkles’ in a voice so loud that half the street can hear it!

Why does he/she keep asking me questions?

Unless you’ve accidentally dated someone from CID, the chances are that your date will want to get to know your child. They may ask what they’ve been doing at school or at nursery. Your child may retort in a firm tone: “CLEAR OFF. NOT TELLING YOU!” The best way to dampen that heated situation is to nicely reassure wee Charlie that your new friend is only being, well, friendly.

How can you breathe when you kiss on the mouth?

This curved ball question will rocket towards you so be prepared to field it. Kids will know what kisses on the cheeks are; kissing on the lips is new territory. Lucky old you – you may have reached first base – but spare the public affection from wee, inquisitive eyes…

Why is he/she still here in the morning?

Ouch…it’s think on your feet time…. Revealing that your date was too plastered to drive home after a bottle of wine will likely come back to haunt you. It’s back to that ‘special friend’ excuse again. Mention that your new acquaintance was too tired to go home or missed the last bus or train. Ball fielded? Maybe.

And the bombshell ball:

So why was he/she in your bedroom?

Yikes. You’re on your own there….and need another light bulb moment. And quicker than the speed of light.

How would you field this one? Please tell us below.