"We've been dating for a year; I haven't met his parents or his kids," girlfriend on relationship with divorced man

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Beginning a relationship with a partner who's been through a divorce isn't the same as seeing if you like someone who is single. The previous marriage and any kids they have will affect how your partner behaves and the way they see their life with you long term.

And when time passes, and you still haven't met the most important people in their life, you can start questioning what your relationship actually means to them.

My friend Cassie has been going out with her boyfriend John for one year. They met while she was shopping in Dallas, Texas, and went into the same store. John was looking for a present for a colleague's birthday while Cassie was checking out the place for a surprise gift for her sister.

"We got to talking, and I helped him choose what he needed. Once we were done, we went for lunch at a restaurant close by, and we talked some more. He was very friendly, and I felt comfortable talking to him, even though I don't usually find it easy to make friends," Cassie said.

John liked her too, and after their lunch, he asked for her phone number. He called her the next morning, and they had breakfast together. They also went for coffee every day for two weeks.

After that time, John asked her to go out with him, and they agreed they wanted to be more than friends.

"I had ended my previous relationship a few months before, and I was ready to try again. And John felt like he could be the right partner for me," Cassie said.

In the beginning, he just told her he was single. After a month, he let Cassie know he had been married for six years and had divorced. He was also a dad and had two daughters.

"I didn't mind that. He could have told me from the beginning, but he was worried I'd think it was too complicated. The only thing I cared about was whether he still had feelings for his ex. Once he said he was over her, everything was fine. I wanted to see his kids and try and get along with them too, but I could wait for that," Cassie said.

Time passed, and it's been one year since they first went out. They went on trips, tried several restaurants, organized parties with friends, and took classes together. John also asked Cassie to move in together starting next month, and she's still considering this step.

While she wants a more permanent relationship, and this looks like a step towards getting engaged, there is something else that confuses her.

John met her parents and her sister, but he hasn't introduced her to his mom and dad. And Cassie hasn't met his kids either.

"I keep asking him about that, but he finds so many excuses and keeps postponing it. So, now I'm wondering if there's anything wrong or if his parents want him to be with someone else. As for his kids, it would be so easy for us to meet when he has a weekend with them, but all those times, he just goes away on a trip, and I don't get to be there," Cassie said.

She asked John if this was about his ex-wife Adriana and her not wanting his daughters to meet Cassie, but John told her his ex was fine with him having another relationship.

"Adriana is dating someone too; she has no problem with Cassie and me. What we had is over, and we have both moved on," John said.

Despite what he keeps telling her, time is passing, and there's just no way for Cassie to meet his parents and kids. And she's wondering if that means he doesn't want to be with her for a long time.

"What if he's just avoiding that, so his daughters don't feel disappointed when he leaves me? And he won't take me to his parents' home to prevent any questions when he no longer wants to be with me? All these things make me doubt moving in together and what it's all about. I want a home and a family with him. And as long as I don't meet the ones he loves most, it's like I'm not that important to him," Cassie said.

She talked to her friends about her boyfriend's behavior, and they all felt it was very strange how he kept avoiding introducing her to his little girls and parents. They advised her not to move in together until she's clear about what this all means.

"We've been dating for a year; I haven't met his parents or his kids. And he's in no hurry to change how things are. Why would I move into the same apartment? So she could have someone to clean up the place and cook while he doesn't treat me like I am part of his family?" Cassie said.

What do you think about this situation? Is it fair for John to avoid taking Cassie to his mom and dad's home and not letting her get to know his daughters? Should Cassie move in with him anyway and wait until he feels ready to take that step, or is it an indication their relationship won't last?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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