Angela, I have started seeing a great woman with two adorable kids-- ages 4 and 7. I don't have any children of my own and haven't dated someone seriously with kids. I'll do my best not to spoil them, but are there any tips I should know? --Scott P.
Scott, the best advice I can give you is to take it slowly. Children are very impressionable. Going through a divorce, no matter how amicable the terms, will have affected them. You want your relationship with Mom to grow on it’s own. If you get too attached to the kids early on or vice versa, it may skew the real feelings of the relationship and either of you may move forward even if the situation isn’t fitting just for the sake of the kids.
If you follow my advice by taking things slowly and find you do want to grow your relationship with this woman, know her children will always be part of her life. In fact, until they reach adulthood, they will be the priority. That’s always a big challenge when getting involved with anyone with children. You have to be prepared to take the back seat sometimes. Interacting with the kids is the easy part. Just be a friend.
I am always upfront with anyone I date, letting him know my son and I are a package deal. Single moms can be cautious in romance until they know a potential love interest is accepting of the circumstances. I applaud you for embracing your situation and the entire package!
Angela, I need your help. My husband and I just moved in together after tying the knot! I am madly in love with him and a very happy wife, but I feel like we are having a bit of a hard time adjusting to living together. I almost feel like we are both walking on eggshells, whether we are talking about cooking dinner or juggling laundry. I want us both to feel comfortable in our new home!
Adjusting to the first year of marriage is difficult for anyone. Since you and your husband didn’t cohabitate previously, not only are you adjusting to being a wife, you are adjusting to sharing your personal space with someone else. That can be hard! We all love our independence.
What you are describing is merely a logistical challenge. You are going through the dance of who is responsible for what in the realm of your domain. When you both are in a relaxed state, sit down and talk about expectations. Write out your house rules as a family. Perhaps you like to do the laundry but hate the dishes whereas your husband finds loading the dishwasher an easy chore.
Address all of these things and negotiate who will be in charge of every household responsibility- from bill paying to grocery shopping. Although it seems very business-like, it will save you many arguments and frustration in the future by putting a plan in place now.
Do you have a question for Angela? E-mail NakedTruth@bocamag.com!
About Angela Lutin:
Angela Lutin is Essentially Angela. Blogger, Advice Columnist and Dating Guru for the social media age—decoding modern love one tweet, text, and like at a time. Angela’s weekly dating advice column, The Naked Truth, appears exclusively in Boca Raton Magazine. Her work appears regularly on the Huffington Post, and she has been a guest contributor to Shape Magazine, GalTime.com, Think Magazine, Blindfold Magazine, and more. She can been seen on MTV’s Made and Bravo’s hit show, Millionaire Matchmaker in early 2013. Crafting personal dating makeovers for her clients, Angela also maintains a private practice, which turns the romantically challenged into the relationship-inclined. Follow Angela on Facebook, facebook.com/EssentiallyAngela or Twitter, @essentiallyang.