QUESTION: My boyfriend is 20 years older than I am and he has three kids with his ex-wife—his oldest son is seven years younger than me. I’ll be meeting the kids for the first time in a few weeks when they join us on vacation in Hawaii. My boyfriend has said that they’re excited to meet me, but I’m nervous to meet them. How do I “meet the kids” without feeling so intimidated?
CHELSEA SAYS: It’s perfectly OK to feel nervous about meeting your older man’s kids for the first time. In fact, I would be more concerned if you were going into it casually because this is a pretty big step that you and your older man are taking. Even in the perfect situation, meeting the kids for the first time is stressful, but throw in the big age difference and the fact that you’re not much older than his eldest, and it’s only natural to feel anxious. But it actually shows that you’re thinking seriously about your May-December relationship and that you’re keeping his family’s wellbeing in mind, which is very mature of you.
It’s important to remember that this is probably just as stressful for his kids as it is for you. Don’t be surprised if his kids are a little apprehensive about meeting you, even though your older man says they’re excited. You chose your sugar daddy and he chose you, but his kids didn’t ask for this, so they may be a little skeptical about your May-December relationship with their father. If there’s some pushback with his kids at first, that’s OK. Just be patient with them and give them space. Don’t try to push your way into their lives. With a little time, they’ll probably start warming up to you a little more.
Here are some other tips for meeting his kids for the first time:
• Just because you’re closer in age to his kids than to him, don’t try to be their best friend. There’s no reason for you to be getting sloshed at the bar with what may become your future step-kids. Not only is it inappropriate, it’s also really weird. You also don’t want to swoop in and become the instant-mom. Just keep it casual.
• Avoid engaging in serious PDA with their dad. I know you’re going to be in romantic Hawaii, and yes, they’re probably adults, but it’s still gross to see your dad groping and swapping spit with someone. Don’t subject his kids (and yourself) to that awkward situation. It’s probably also a good idea to leave your sexy, G-string bikini at home. His son is only seven years younger than you—you may be his dad’s girlfriend, but you’ll still be a hot, young, nearly naked woman. He might get a little too excited to meet you.
• Try to find out ahead of time what his kids are interested in so that you can engage them in conversation. You could also bring something that you think they’d enjoy. For example, if his son is into cars, bring the latest issue of an auto magazine. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask your older man about topics you should steer clear. If one of his kids is going through a breakup, the last thing you want to do is bring up the topic of relationships. Also, never, ever pry. If they don’t seem like they’re down for dishing details, then let it go.
• Never trash-talk their mom. Even if your older man’s ex-wife is the epitome of evil, she’s still his kids’ mother and she’ll probably always come first in their lives. If you really want to get on their good side, compliment her on raising such great kids.
• It’s important to keep in mind that, as the new woman, you may never become super close with his kids, especially with a May-December relationship. But the key is to at least have a mutual respect for each other. You can still be on friendly terms with his kids without being a frontrunner for parent of the year.