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I am 39 and the girl I am dating is 34. I have a 5 year old daughter. When she and I met in October, it was only supposed to be a causal and fun type relationship. Well, things are progressing. I've met her family and they love me. We spend a lot of time together. However, there is one MAJOR hold back from this relationship moving forward at this time. My child. She isn't sure she wants a serious relationship with someone who has a child. She has dated women in the past who have had kids, and she says it's really not for her. Well, when that talk occurred I ended our relationship because I am looking for a potential life partner. A few days later, she came back to me and said that she wanted to try with us, even knowing that I have a kid. Right now we are taking things slow. She even asked me if she could come over and make cookies with my daughter.
I guess the hope I see is when I see her interacting with her 4 year old niece. She ADORES her, loves on her, and spoils her. So, I see this as a hopeful thing.

Another part to this is on NYE while she was intoxicated, she told me she had a real issue because of my daughter being adopted. She said she can not understand how I could love someone so much who isn't my blood. I was baffled that she felt this way. My thoughts were that she really has to be a cold hearted person to let something as small as that keep her from loving people. My response to her was that I am a kind and loving person with a big heart, and that my daughter, or anyone else, doesn't have to be BLOOD for me to love them fiercely.

What should I do?

Re: Confused

Kids are a deal breaker -- and it's great that the two of you are being so honest and upfront early on because you do want a life partner and you don't want to waste time with someone who's not interested in what you bring to the table -- an adopted daughter. I know you like her, but her hesitance about your simply having a kid should be a flashing yellow light, if not a red light, for you. And when I heard her question your love for an adopted child, it really made her sound like someone who is not mature or open minded. She may also be grappling with your being a parent and trying to make it work for her, but her own demons are bubbling up and her talking negatively about adoption may just be her way of projecting her unhappiness about your having a child at all, onto the adoption factor.

I think that the writing is on the wall -- she's not a good life partner for you because she's not someone who really embraces having a blended family with your child, and she's negative on adoption which is a huge part of yours and your daughter's lives. I know you like her -- but you can like or even love someone and they're not compatible for a long-term relationship. That's what's happening here. Consider that your confusion is really just disappointment. I'm glad you only invested three months in this relationship because I think it's time for you to find someone who wants kids, and embraces your adopted daughter, easily.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.