Question from Bailey from Pleasanton: I am 28, my boyfriend is 35. We have been together for a year. He has a 7-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. We’ve had several conversations about me meeting her, but he tells me he is waiting for the right time. As the holidays are coming and going and time is creeping by, I wonder if he sees a future with me if he is hesitant to introduce us. I love him and want to start our life together, but I can’t see us moving forward until I meet his daughter. What do you think?
Bailey, my first thought is: What is your overall goal – to meet your boyfriend’s daughter or speed up the process of starting your family?
Both are valid questions and essential in understanding what you want. Be clear about your motives so you can determine how you move forward in the relationship.
It is a delicate balance for parents introducing potential partners to their children. Both men and women are not always forthcoming in addressing their guilt after an unsuccessful marriage or serious breakup. It only gets more complicated as children enter the mix.
No doubt, what you two share is real and meaningful. If you’ve verbalized how serious you are about starting a family with him and settling down, he may not be ready to jump into that particular saddle again. His way of slowing things down could be pumping the brakes on you meeting his daughter.
On the same page
My advice is to ask him where he feels your relationship is currently. Identify if you are on the same page and timeline. If he is on the same page, buckle up. The ride is just getting started.
You are not the only woman he has to consider. His daughter’s mother is not a footnote. When it comes to her child, she will have questions, concerns and opinions. Whether their split was amicable or not, she wants to know who you are. Are you prepared to have that introduction first? Have you talked to your partner about how that would look? Whether they are on good or bad terms, it is a conversation that has to happen between them and eventually you, too.
His daughter is still relatively young and depending on when and how her parents split, she may still be dealing with confusion, anger and sadness, or holding onto the belief her parents will get back together. As a father, he could be safeguarding her heart from feeling left behind or replaced. Maybe this is not the case at all. He may want the introduction to happen in a natural, no-pressure setting, where all the adults know what is happening.
Bailey, be honest with yourself about your motives. Take some time to think about what comes with asking to meet your boyfriend’s daughter. Keep in mind the role you want will require you to constantly look at the bigger picture.
Be well. You are worthy.
Dominique King is a blogger who centers around marriage, family, fitness and personal growth. Her insightful and practical approach to advice gives everyday couples, parents and individuals a space to get answers to their questions.