Advice for dating a man with a child

Usually, her limit tips at the 10-year mark, but sometimes, she will make a concession for 15 or 20.If his hair is aptly salt and peppered, she will even dip down to a solid five years older.“I know it’s against your nature,” she said,”but when it comes to his kids, be a cat, not a dog.You’re going to want to hug them and bond with them, but it’ll be better if you relax and hang back. I had already fallen in love with their father, so what would I do if they didn’t like me? David and I both grew up in Northridge, both completed graduate and undergraduate degrees at UCLA, had friends in common from college and recently discovered that my cousin was his childhood music teacher.I had become accustomed to our time alone: picnics at the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre, decadent meals at Black Market Liquor Bar and Gjelina, ocean-side walks in Santa Monica.He gave me tennis lessons and I dragged him to yoga class. But my favorite thing was always cuddling on the couch and talking.We figured flashing lights and photo booths, prizes and pinball, loud noises and lots of other kids would be a good distraction from “Dad has a girlfriend,” which also means: “Mom and Dad are not getting back together.”David’s daughters are sweet and smart, loving and funny and generous and affectionate … I tried to relax, think of the stretch of time ahead of us, remind myself there’s no rush.Because my own parents are divorced, I know what it’s like when Dad has a girlfriend.

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I usually sit on the other side of the couch so the girls can cuddle up with their dad when we watch movies.The first time I attended a school play, David’s daughter came out after the show.I wanted to run over and hug her, give her the flowers we brought, congratulate her on a good performance — until I saw her mom and realized that my desires were tertiary.But it’s still hard sometimes, and I think about Jennifer’s advice quite a bit. Instead, I find hundreds of articles about how to advance and evolve, take steps forward.For me, however, progress has come only with a practice of restraint: Relax like a cat and take a step back.

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