Please call 310.288.6611 to schedule an interview or consultation with April Masini.


Dear readers and forum members:

Due to the demands of a new project I must suspend our forum activity. I am so sorry.

I wish you all the very best, always.

Confidentiality is protected, however your post and account cannot be edited or deleted once it has gone live on the forum. No exceptions.

[RUSH!] Relationship difficulty

Hi April,
My question is difficult. I met "Liz" 4 years ago. We were both married at the time and we knew our relationship would not go anywhere. So we did not pursue it. We both waited until we were divorced. About a year ago we started talking again and decided to "
date" We dated and enjoyed ourselves. However a few things happened but we overcame that and started dating again. In fact, in early December we took a trip to Marco Island together for a few days. We had a great time. Then about a week after we were back, she started acting "cool" towards me. We didn't see each other over the holiday and I didn't know what to do. Finally she said she was "upset" because my daughter had told her daughter that we were talking about "building a home together". I NEVER said such a thing to my daughter. The only thing I ever told my daughter was when she asked me about a picture of a house I had put on facebook. I simply told her it was a house that both Liz and I liked a lot. That's it, nothing more. So "Liz" tells me she is answering questions for her daughter now that she wasn't prepared to and needs to "protect" her kids. I'm not sure what this means. She also said "we are back where we started/were".

Any advice on what I can do to get back with Liz? We both have over and over again expressed our love for each other but this situation I just can't understand. I would never tell my children anything that they could repeat unless we both agreed to it. What should I do?


Re: [RUSH!] Relationship difficulty

Dating with children is tough! In fact, kids and potential step-kids can become as difficult in a relationship and as much a relationship deal breaker as a meddling in-law. It's easy to forget this because the idea of one big happy family seems so seductive, and children seem so sweet an joyful -- but beware! Dating with kids can be like walking over a minefield. Here are a few tips you can try:

* Protect the relationship you have with this woman, from both sets of kids. In other words, keep this relationship on the down low. Don't involve the kids in your dating lives unless and until you're mutually super serious about a commitment. Don't talk about the relationship with the kids. Don't share news about it. Don't include them on your dates or set up play dates between them. There are too many ways for kids to misinterpret their own feelings about your relationship and how it will affect them, so just don't involve them. Even with something as seemingly innocuous as telling your daughter that your girlfriend likes a particular house.... kids can run with these ideas and twist them out of context, between themselves -- and create relationship trouble as a result.

* Consider that this woman's children may feel threatened by your relationship with their mother. They may feel that they'll be displaced. They may feel jealous of her attentions towards you. They may feel that you're displacing their father -- even if you aren't trying to.... they may conjure up these ideas, and there's not a lot you can do about it. Her kids, her relationship with her kids, and their personal journeys are not controllable, but being aware of these potential feelings that the kids have, is going to help.

* Apologize. Explain that you didn't realize that talking to your daughter about your feelings about a house would spin out of control, and let her know that for future, you want to keep the relationship between the grown ups, big time -- and not the kids. Let her know you won't do that again, and you're sorry. She wants to hear you taking responsibility and making changes...
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.

Re: [RUSH!] Relationship difficulty

Hello April. Yes, I'm back again. After almost a year I started dating Liz in November. Because of the nature of our relationship in the past, I asked her if we could "wait" to go public and be official AFTER 3 months and a "re-evaluation" discussion in February. She insisted that she was "ready" and reluctantly agreed to what I asked. So things had been going along smoothly and last weekend was the date I set and we went away for the weekend and on Saturday we "talked". I honestly knew going into this that what we were going to discuss was "already talked about" over the course of last few months but given our past on again/off again I wanted to go this length of time and see! So we did and we talked. All was good. Then we get home and last week Liz is completely "distant". Finally Saturday she texts me and says that she was "underwhelmed" by the re-evalution and fairly irritated at me because of it because we had talked about all this stuff before. She has accused me of "manipulating" her and the situation and now she says she wants to "put a little distance" between us because of this and she's barely talking to me, only through texts. I'm actually besides myself but I do realize NOW that maybe the whole re-evaluation thing probably wasn't a good idea. I was going with my heart, not wanting to be hurt again and that's why I wanted to "wait" the time. I told Liz through text that in hindsight this probably wasn't the best thing and I apologized but it was done to satisfy my own mind that we could make it. Now she's barely talking to me. What do you recommend I do? I just sent her a text and invited her to dinner but she declined. I'd appreciate any advice I can put into action quickly as I don't want her to slip away.

Re: [RUSH!] Relationship difficulty

It sounds like she was looking for a commitment from you, and she didn't get it. So, now she's trying to move on. You have to understand that she is a 36 year-old single parent with three kids and she is probably looking for a commitment. Since the two of you have been dating on and off for about four years now, it would seem that you would know if you want to commit to her or not. I'm very sure that's what she is thinking. It sounds like she reluctantly went along with your request to date on the down low for three months and then reevaluate in a talk about the relationship. She was hoping that that would give you the time you needed to decide about a commitment. But when she didn't hear what she wanted, she got upset and that's what you're feeling and seeing. She's not getting what she wants from the relationship. I know you don't want to lose her, but it also seems you're not ready or willing to give her the commitment to keep her. Four years of dating off and on is a reasonable amount of time for you to know. And I think you're just not ready. And she knows that. She's not responding to your texts about dinner because she's not interested in dinner. She wants a proposal or some sort of commitment that the relationship is moving forward. You're at a crossroads in the relationship. Either you propose or you move on. There is a chance that with time, she'll come back to you because she misses you, but right now, she's going to try and find someone who wants a commitment with her. If you're that guy, this is your moment to step it up. But be honest with yourself. I hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything else.
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.