QUESTION: I’m dating a really successful man who’s 12 years older than me. He is really kind and good to me, but he has a 13-year-old son who I have yet to meet. Do you think it is right for me to go on with this relationship or become a mother to his son at this age?
CHELSEA SAYS: First of all, whether or not the relationship is right is really up to you and your man. We’ve had a lot of ladies ask similar questions, but every relationship is different and very circumstantial.
In your particular situation, it really depends on the nature of your relationship. Have you been together for a long time? Have you both expressed an interest in a serious, committed long-term relationship? All of this plays into whether or not this is going to be an issue. It also depends on your boyfriend’s relationship with the boy’s mother—is she still in the picture? Are they on amicable terms?
The fact of the matter is that when you’re entering a relationship where there are kids involved, you need to be both conscious and cautious, especially when they’re young, and even more so when they’re teenagers. You and your successful man have to decide together how you’re going to handle it.
If the two of you have been a couple for a while now, and he’s made no mention of meeting his son, why not have a conversation with your successful man about it? Ask him what his thoughts are. At the end of the day, a relationship can only work if the lines of communication are open, especially when it comes to something serious like kids.
Ideally, your boyfriend should be the one to let you know when he feels is the right time to meet his son. It’s his kid after all; he knows what’s best for him and (I’m assuming) will only have his best interests at heart.
If your relationship is still very new, then it’s probably a little early to be worrying about becoming a stepmother. I understand that you don’t want to waste your time in a relationship that can’t go anywhere, but I think you need to at least give it some time to see where it can go.
TRENT SAYS: Congratulations! From the outside, it sounds like you’ve found a successful man that you connect with, one that treats you well. Regardless of the age difference, life would be better if everyone could be in a relationship like that.
I’m not sure about the particulars of your relationship, so I can’t really say if it’s right for you to date him. And frankly, it’s not really my place to say one way or the other. You just have to ask yourself if the relationship makes you a better person. Do you bring out the best in each other? Do you love spending time together? Does he want to know what makes you, well, you? Remember, there’s more to a happy, successful relationship than age. And it sounds like you’ve found some of the cornerstones.
Now on to the issue of his son. When you date someone who’s significantly older than you, there’s always going to be the chance that they have kids who are relatively close to you in age. It comes with the territory, and it’s something you and the general need to discuss.
Keep in mind that he wanted to be with you. So, he’s clearly pondered this scenario to some degree. Because he wants the best for all of you, he’ll decide when is the best time for you to meet his son.
Also keep in mind that his son didn’t choose for his parents to break up, and he didn’t choose you to be his dad’s new girlfriend, so it will take time for the two of you to build a friendship. The age of 13 is usually an awkward time even in the world’s most perfect scenario. So, just be patient.
It’s easy to have a mediocre relationship, but who wants that? Successful relationships need to be nurtured; they don’t just happen. Embrace your relationship with your successful man and take the time to cultivate a meaningful friendship with his son when the time comes.