Wait for them to come to you.”The advice came from my dear friend Jennifer, who has a stepfamily of her own and understands that it takes time and patience to blend and bond. Months later, in a quiet moment, I told the girls as much, and let them know it’s OK to have any range of feelings about all this.
We create numerous relationships throughout our lives: friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, professional relationships and many more.
Here’s what to do: Your go/no-go window remains the third date, but the signals will be all new. My ex self-immolated when I joked about meeting his 6-year-old anytime before she was, say, old enough to drive. I treat my date’s offspring like feral, if adorable, animals—keeping my distance and letting them make the first move.
You now have to schedule sex around a third-party: the tyke. He slow-walked the intro since it reminded him his wife was never coming back and he was alone. And whether she calls you her BF or the plumber, just roll with it. And if he really hates you, but she doesn’t dump you, be flattered: She wants to keep you around. Ask only that the menagerie be respectful, with no name-calling, biting, or mud-slinging catapults.
Because each one can be so strikingly different, it's reasonable to expect that you'll need some advice once in awhile to keep them running smoothly.
Use the resources in this Web guide for advice about building and maintaining strong relationships, and even for suggestions about how to cope when a particular relationship is over.