I would like the hive's insights on 'going too fast' in a relationship.
August 28, 2014 10:39 PM Subscribe
I met a chap in July, and am now entirely done with dating unless widowed early. I would probably benefit from advice on relationships that go through the usual relationship stages at a rapid pace. With kid in tow. Assume 'don't do that' is not going to happen.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I was not on the prowl to do this or anything. I had in recent years thought it would be nice to have a boyfriend, but I have a nice life of my own, and a young grade-school aged child, and good friends, and things are happy. And dating, never mind serious high-level commitment stuff, seemed overwhelming because he would have to meet such high standards. Especially with a kid! We'd both have to love him and who on earth was going to live up to two of us being picky?
Then in July I met an old friend's old friend who I had not previously crossed paths with. Now he is at my house every weekend and everything is terrific.
Terrific except for the vague awareness that we are doing things at a more accelerated pace than one normally does these things, and the feeling that if one is going to do that anyway, perhaps it might be good to pause and ask for counsel.
Practical whatnot: we are late 30s/mid 40s. He has no kids. My kid's father is not in the picture. There is a bit of a commute involved to see each other, but nothing unmanageable. Neither of us are what one might term "career-oriented" so I don't see huge concerns about sacrifices on either side for the other's work. We have checked in here and there to find the other one of us enthusiastic over the nice-to-meet-you, here's-a-dresser-I-emptied-out-for-you path we're on. (Google of interest here to me: "sliding vs. deciding.") We are both sane, intelligent, stable grown-ups not prone to relationship dramas.
So the request here is for the sort of advice you might want to give a friend who was single for years but suddenly all "Hey I just met this guy, and that's it, I'm set for life here partner-wise. Cool."
He comes with an endearing collection of old friends who keep being lovely to me and my kid, and if there is any hint of disapproval at all in those circles it is entirely imperceptible. My own circles seem to generally assume I've got it together enough to be making good choices but I know I've gently raised an eyebrow or two -- to be clear, while my kid likes him loads and expects to keep seeing him around (and, er, I think early on I may have threatened his life or something if things went pear-shaped and he involved any drama in the exit, but I just cannot see him being a locus of drama under any circumstances and would be eager to keep having him as a friend if for some bizarre reason we couldn't be a couple), kid is used to Mummy having friends; we have a little extra space and a sort of unique community so weekend houseguests are not something you are surprised by or would rush to bond to forever, etc.
I am not a fan of the hackneyed advice given to single mothers about dating, which tends to lean to the "don't even say their name in front of your child until you have a ring on your finger!" side. By that logic one should never have a close friend in one's life at all, because they might move away or die or stop being your friend or whatever, and then your child might be hurt. And how are you supposed to assess compatibility with your offspring like that? I don't want a relationship with anybody my kid dislikes; I don't have the time or child care to sneak around, and my kid has excellent taste in people and has consistently been the canary in the coal mine for alerting me to flakes and baddies on the periphery of our lives. My view is that the risks lie in encouraging the kid to think along this is your new parent! lines. Which: ew. But shortly after it was obvious that he was a boyfriend I tucked my kid in one night and got "You know, I wouldn't mind if [he] was my stepfather," which completely threw me because the kid had previously been wholly anti-stepfather in general. I had had sort of boyfriend-lite things twice before and my kid couldn't have cared less, but now it is "Please can we have him over again? Soon?" (I have not mentioned the seriousness with which I am taking the whole thing, just: yes, we will, I'd like to see him too...)
So I am also open to advice on throwing a second adult into a single-parent family, early as it may be to be thinking even further down the road here. If you were the kid in this situation (assume of course your mother's boyfriend is the bees' knees as far as you are concerned) your perspective would be useful.