Dating a Mother

Hey Debby,

I enjoy reading the advice you give. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with so many people. I finally have something to ask you about.

My situation is this: I have a new girlfriend (it has been a month). Our chemistry is off the charts! She is super cool, smart, and hot. I guess you’ll say that we’re in the honeymoon phase… and I understand that. I’m not about to rush into anything, but so far, so good. Here’s the thing though, she has a child from a prior relationship. It’s a six-year-old boy that lives with her. She told me that the father is out of the picture.

Should I be approaching this relationship differently? Or does it not matter? I’ve always thought I’d have kids, but I imagined it happening when I’m 35 or so.

What do you think? When should I meet the boy? For the record, my girlfriend is 28, and I’m 29.

Fan of Yours - Vancouver, Canada.

Dear Fan of Yours (Mine?),

Thanks for the gratitude, and thanks for reading.

First, congratulations on being 29. I remember 29. Those were the days.

Second, about your relationship, of course it matters. The good news is that you can follow your girlfriend’s lead. She has had six years of practice at being a mom, and she can decide when to introduce the two of you.

Consider though, that you might not ever be the most important person in her eyes. The best you can hope for is first equal. If you can understand that her attention will always be divided, then go for it. She deserves love, and if you can settle for just a share of hers, then you can all be happy together.

Wishing you the best,

Debby Dupont

Silhouette of Debby Dupont

Worksheet with activities

Useful Language

  • Chemistry (n) - the relationship or attraction between two people
  • Off the charts (idiom) - at an extremely high level
  • Honeymoon phase (phr) - the early part of a relationship when everything seems good
  • So far, so good (idiom) - a project or activity has gone well until now
  • Prior (adj) - previous, from before
  • Out of the picture (idiom) - not involved in a situation
  • Approach (v) - to begin dealing with something in a particular way
  • For the record (phr) - used to include information that might be important to know
  • Those were the days (idiom) - used when looking fondly at the past
  • Follow someone’s lead (idiom) - to do as someone else does, to use another person’s example to guide you
  • Divided (adj) - separated into parts
  • Settle for (phr. v) - to accept something that is not exactly what you want


Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. What do you think of Debby’s advice? Would you add other tips or warnings?
  2. Who do you get relationship advice from?
  3. What is a good age to have children, in your opinion?
  4. Would you date a person that already has children from another relationship? Why or why not?
  5. Do you rush into things? Or are you cautious?
  6. How important is it to show gratitude? Do you thank people enough?
  7. Who is the most important person in your eyes? Are there several most important people?
  8. Do you know, or can you remember knowing, any six-year-olds? What are kids like at that age?
  9. What has been the best age to be so far in your life?
  10. What is chemistry between people? What causes it?