Love Essentially: Boyfriend great with kids, but passion isn’t there, says divorced woman

Dear Jackie,

I’m dating a man with a 4-year-old. I have a 4- and 5-year-old. We have been out alone and with our children. I always have a great time when all the kids are there. But when it’s just he and I, I feel a bit awkward. I don’t feel comfortable doing more than kissing him. I like him. I find him attractive. We have fun together. I’ve never had this issue dating after divorce except for with this man. Should I keep this moving forward?

My gut reaction to this is that this guy sounds great. He seems like he’s a good dad who likes kids, he’s handsome and fun, and if you enjoy being with him, he must be affable. All that said, you are asking if you should “keep moving forward” with this man, when clearly, you can’t. Thus, your decision is already made, isn’t it?

Moving forward means getting closer, both physically and emotionally, and it doesn’t sound like you want to do that with him. In other words, when the kids are in bed, do you want him in your bed? Didn’t think so.

However, does that mean you have to stop seeing him? Not at all! This man sounds like he could become a close friend, and someone who could add value to your life, as well as to your kids’ lives. Every friendship is a gift, so I’d say grab it if you can.

But, you owe it to this man to be open and honest with him, and tell him how you feel. If you were him, wouldn’t you want to know? It’s the fair thing to do. Then it’s up to him to decide whether or not he wants to accept what you are capable of in the relationship.

He might be hurt and angry. He might tell you he doesn’t want to see you anymore. But, after thinking it over, he might agree to the friendship, and the two of you could build something very valuable and enjoyable. Furthermore, you could end up falling in love with him overtime. You never know.

In closing, I’ll say this. As a divorced person, I can attest to the fact that when it comes to dating, it’s very important for your kids to like the person you fall in love with. Actually, the relationship becomes blissful if your kids not only like him or her, but rather adore the person. However, YOU have to adore that person, too. In other words, you can’t make a relationship work because the kids are happy. You have to absolutely love your guy whether it’s dinner for five at Mickie D’s, or a week long vacation in Aruba for just the two of you.

My advice is, “move forward” with honesty and with hopes of a friendship, for now. If you lose him, you’ll come to realize you did the right thing. On the flipside, if the two of you become platonic friends and fall madly in love at a later time, you won’t have to worry about introducing each other to your kids!

Having trouble with your in-laws? Is it affecting your relationship with your spouse? Tell us about it! Or, send Love Essentially an e-mail with any dating or relationship question you might have! All submissions are anonymous. Jackie@loveessentially.com.

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