Dating a guy with children

we’ll see about you.”We have tried to do all the “right” things: plenty of father-daughter time without me, consistent respect for their mom, a slow pace and patient approach.

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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.” I normally Internet stalk my online dating connections pretty thoroughly.

We decided to wait six months before my first meeting with his girls: a trip to the arcade at Castle Park in Sherman Oaks.

It was a long wait — we are both in our mid-40s — but well worth it. I had never dated anyone with children, and I never wanted my own. She’d called when we were driving to the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles, and we put her on speakerphone while I remained silent because she didn't yet know her dad was dating.

There was no coffee rendezvous; he took me to the fantastically romantic Il Cielo in Beverly Hills on our first date, and we’ve been together ever since. My dating profile indicated that I was open to it, but the gesture was theoretical. We want to publish your story I remember the first time I heard his youngest daughter's voice.

What DID surprise me is that, after the initial chemistry rush, Janie settled into a low-intensity pseudo-relationship that didn’t leave her at all satisfied. If he doesn’t follow through fast enough or often enough, make a mental note: “Hmm… I may have casually seen my wife for the first 4 weeks of our relationship, but I would always email the next day to say I had fun.

Which is why I wasn’t at all surprised when she met a man only two weeks into our coaching sessions. Application of this made-up “rule” is surprisingly simple. He calls, he texts, he emails – you just “mirror” his efforts and give him enthusiasm and warmth every time.

“I know it’s against your nature,” she said,”but when it comes to his kids, be a cat, not a dog. (Beth Reno)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.

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? “He’s a director,” I told my friend L., absently fiddling with the lighter in my hand. Because my own parents are divorced, I know what it’s like when Dad has a girlfriend.

For me, however, progress has come only with a practice of restraint: Relax like a cat and take a step back.

The first time I attended a school play, David’s daughter came out after the show.

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.

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