I'm ready for a boyfriend, but not his son

Dear Sherry:

I just met a great guy who's everything I'm looking for. The problem: I'm only in my mid-20s, and this would be my first serious relationship; he's in his early 30s and has a 10-year-old son. I still consider myself very young and not mommy material. I never had a guy focus on me, and now I have to share that attention with his son. Do I proceed anyway and accept the package deal? Or am I still too immature to handle this relationship?



Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear M:

Don't call yourself immature. It takes maturity to realize that you're not ready for, as you phrased it, "a package deal." Certainly you want your first serious beau to be able to lavish all the care and attention on you that you so richly want and deserve.

So the best way to proceed is to have a long, honest talk with your new friend about your expectations and needs, as well as his. It sounds as if you should initially keep this relationship casual. Certainly don't bring his son into the mix, because you don't want him to get attached to someone (yes, you) who might be around only a short while.

Just be open to the possibility that the longer you know this man and, inevitably, his son, you might discover that mommyhood isn't a fate worse than you-know-what.

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