Can I date a single mom?

I really want to date this girl, but I’m scared of messing things up with her daughter.

Take a chance, says our elder. You’ll do great!

Dear EWC

A new girl started working at my job and I thought she was very cute so I wanted to get to know her. She has a hard demeanor about her but at the same time, she’s very fun. We clicked almost immediately and we were going on a date within the first week of meeting each other. To give a little background, she grew up in the city and her brother basically raised her. Her dad left when she was young and her mom wasn’t the greatest mom. When she was 18 she got pregnant and had a child. Her child’s father is still around to take care of his daughter but she wants nothing to do with him outside of letting her daughter have her father in her life. This is all opposed to me who grew up in the suburbs who had both parents until last year when my dad passed away. To say we’ve had very different lives up until this point is an understatement. My concern is that I don’t know if I’m ready to help take care of a five-year-old. I don’t want to be that guy who gets really close to the child just to walk away and break their heart. I do really like this girl and know I would do my absolute best with her daughter, however, this is my first relationship with a single mother and I’m scared to mess it up.

Ketchman replies

Almost anything that’s worthwhile will take a bit of risk to achieve. That, I think, is especially true for relationships. There’s always the chance that someone’s heart is going to be broken and that risk is balanced against the possibility of gaining all the joy that a long term, or a lifetime, a relationship can bring, not only to you and your prospective partner but to her child as well. While a bit of initial caution is always a good idea, if you seem to be hitting it off without any obviously insurmountable obstacles, as it seems to be in this case, I’d say it’s likely worth taking a chance on.

The fact that you are concerned about your effect upon her daughter says some good things about you, and your chances of success. It’s something you should be concerned about but not something that should dissuade you from going ahead. I think you should be frank about your concerns and discuss them with your girl. She’ll appreciate that and you’ll be able to continue to nurture your relationship and see where it goes. With a bit of luck, it can take the three of you to some wonderful places.

You should not think of the differences in your upbringings as a barrier. The fact that you’re both bringing different experiences to the relationship can strengthen, rather than weaken it. Entering into a new partnership can be a cause for some nervousness but lacking the courage to do so can make for a lonely and unfulfilling life. I would hate for you to be thinking, years from now, “If only”.

I hope that I’ve been able to offer you some useful thoughts. All three of you have my best wishes.

Letter #: 428531
Category: Dating/Relationship

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